U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Opinions of the Glock 48 vary widely; For some, the gun is an answer to a question that no one was asking, while to others it’s a step closer to Glock “perfection.”
In my opinion, the truth about the gun is found somewhere between these two polar extremes.
Philosophically, I tend to agree with the first group. Their advice is, “buy a handgun that’s suitable for defense, get training, and practice that training religiously. Don’t keep looking for the next gun. Gear isn’t the solution— you are. ”
Though I agree with that philosophy there are always new products and new customers entering the market. I have the privilege of testing gear and offering an opinion. My opinion is that of a regular guy, a lifetime shooter, and an outdoorsman— who trains to protect his family. Though the sport-side of shooting isn’t my primary focus I continue to enjoy the shooting sports and find them helpful tools aiding my pursuit.
My opinions offered via these articles are intended to help you purchase what will actually work for your end-use. I’m here to help you avoid wasting time and money.
A lot of firearms trainers recommend the Glock 19, M&P 2.0 Compact, and other guns like them for good reason. They strike a near-perfect balance; offering a useful size for both concealment and effective fighting. They are accurate, reliable, durable, and relatively inexpensive. They offer enough capacity and have widely available replacement parts.
However, for a lot of people in professional dress environments double-stack guns can be limiting. They are able to be concealed but not easily. Some shooters with smaller hands may find the double-stack grip good enough but not custom suited to them.
Candidly, I think you can conceal whatever you want to but it will take commitment.
Though many would subscribe to the cliche statement “carry guns are not to be comfortable but comforting” we all make a choice that balances effectiveness with daily practicality. Another often touted cliche statement comes to mind— “the gun that’s with you is the only one that matters.”
You must ask yourself, what will you carry at all times?
That’s the gun you should train with most.
If you’re already carrying a Glock 19 every day without issue— this article is probably not for you. However, if you’re entering the concealed carry conversation the Glock 48 may be worth your consideration. Perhaps you find yourself carrying a small pocket gun but you have a desire to carry “more gun.” You’d like to be carrying a gun that you feel confident using beyond bad breath distance but so far you haven’t consistently done so. The Glock 48 may be worth a look as well.
In fact, there are several single stack polymer guns on the market these days that are both reliable and shootable. For years my friends at Kahr Arms were the only ones in this category. They’ve served a niche well for a long time. Some of you may recall Rob Pincus’ project with Avidity Arms that was working to bring a gun to market in this category. Rob and his partners felt this was an underserved niche in the industry. They weren’t wrong, indeed these single stack offerings have proven to be a popular class.
Their popularity is easy to understand. A handgun’s width and the length of grip are the two dimensions that determine ease or difficulty concealing. This is especially true if the carrier is concealing inside the waistband. Inside the waistband, carry is by far the most common carry method for citizens in the US who carry daily.
My G48 is riding in one of the very best holsters on the market today. The PHLSTER Spotlight. Jon the designer and owner of PHLSTER makes outstanding gear and has for a long time now. I was one of his early customers years ago when his holsters first went online. I have a G19 holster that’s becoming quite old– really it should have failed by now.
I’ve always thought that a thinner G19 was a good idea. When Glock actually made one I was not only shocked but enthused. I bought one, took it the range for a couple of months, and decided it would be a good gun for a project.
Translation — I liked it.
My G48 sample rode with me to go see Doug at DP Custom Works. Doug is an outstanding machinist who’s custom projects don’t receive the attention they deserve. Make no mistake, DP Custom Works gets attention and has a good reputation. Still, it seems that marketing hype can overwhelm the gun industry— Instagram in particular. No shade to Salient, Agency, and ZEV but for the life of me I can’t figure out why people wait in line to spend $2,500 on a handgun without considering shops like DP Custom Works, ATEi, and SUAREZ International first. I know there are lots of other viable contenders for custom work— I’m merely listing a few good options.
Doug is one of us.
He’s a competitive shooter that loves our country and his family enough to protect them. I like to talk to him. He looks me in the eye and speaks with pride about his work after welcoming me into his shop. He has reason to be proud. He’s meticulous about details, thoughtful in his design, and fastidious concerning shop turn around. His work speaks for itself.
Doug performed his EDC package on my G48 which included an added Glock style front serration and side shallow cuts with DP logo. In addition, he added an optics cut for my Shield RMSc, and top serrations along the top of the slide. My slide was refinished in black Cerakote as well. It works well and looks great.
With a newly customized slide in hand, I ordered a trigger from the cat king himself— Damon Young. Damon is the owner of SSVI and the designer of the TYR trigger. The TYR is my favorite aftermarket Glock trigger to date. The folks at SUAREZ International sent out one of their FACESHOOTER barrels. I picked up a mag release and S15 mags from Shield Arms. I wish the G48 had an accessory rail but alas it does not so I ordered a TLR6 light from Streamlight and called it a day. Next, I picked up an RMSc from Shield Sights. At the time, the RMSc was one of the only red dots narrow enough to fit the G48’s slide width. Since then others have come to market. Most notably, the Holosun 507k— look for more about that optic in the future. Then it was off to the range for what ended up being months of testing.
Months for a number of reasons.
First, because the Glock 48 was to be compared with other single stack carry guns. I compared it to Kahr Arms ST9, K9, and T9. Next to Smith and Wesson’s Shield M&P Pro with Apex trigger & 4” Performance Center Optics Ready Shield M2.0. Then to Springfield’s Optics Ready Hellcat. After that to the SIG’s P365 XL. All great guns in their own right. The G48 stacks up nicely with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Next, the testing period was longer than usual because of lingering questions.
For the size, the G48 is near the bottom of the pack in capacity with its standard 10 round magazines. At the time of purchase, there was a bit of industry hype about S15 mags set to come to market soon. It took some time, but as I mentioned above, I did procure two mags eventually. My initial finding was that my sample size of two fed well but didn’t lock open consistently after the last round. I reached out to Shield and they sent out new stronger springs for each magazine.
So far, those have been holding open after the last round is fired. There are mixed reviews online so I’m not prepared to recommend them as carry mags currently. I’ll continue testing.
As you know ammo is at a premium these days so if someone wants to send me 1,000 rounds of 9mm I’ll fast track that right away. Also, I tested the +2 mag extensions from HYVE and they worked well. I checked to see if the Mag Guts spring kits for G43’s worked with the 43x & 48— they don’t. I believe Mag Guts is working on a 43x/48 kit but the last I checked it hasn’t been released yet. I’ve heard rumors that Samson may be developing a kit similar to their Shield kits as well but only time will tell. So the capacity question is left lingering. Here’s what I can report. After the springs were replaced I’ve put 250 rounds per mag through the S15s without failure. That may be enough for you. For me, it’s not enough to move them into my carry rotation. The HYVE +2s extend the dimensions but are a proven design and have performed reliably for hundreds of rounds.
The next delay has been with the RMSc. I bent one a bit. I didn’t break it, nor did it fail to function. I like the form factor and the overall design. For the average concealed carry user it’s a viable option but if you’re looking for a go-to war optic this design isn’t robust enough yet. I’m hopeful about the RMSw that’s new to Shield’s lineup. My reservation is that at the beginning of the article I encouraged you all to train. The average concealed carry citizen doesn’t do enough of this. If you do, even if you don’t “go to war” you may find yourself wishing for a more robust optic. I think you could say the same about a number of handgun red dots on the market like the Romeo Zero. This sight is worthy of your consideration— you know your end-use proceed accordingly.
The FACESHOOTER barrel from SUAREZ International is outstanding. The barrel’s threading provides the ability for a comp or silencer and the accuracy is not hindered in the least. In our correspondence, Randy at SUAREZ said “accuracy of 1.250 or better at 25 yards is obtainable with good ammo”— my use has given me no reason to dispute this claim. It’s better than I anticipated and SUAREZ products have a good rep so that’s saying something.
The TYR trigger mentioned above had a clean and consistent break. When I averaged several pulls on my Lyman Trigger Gauge from Brownells the trigger weight came in at 4.8 lbs. I like a 5 lb trigger in carry guns so this is perfect.
The TLR6 provides a back up to the light you already always carry and doesn’t add much to the overall profile of the gun. My G48 is riding with factory night sights from Ameriglo.
Is the thinner profile enough thinner to make a difference when the G19 seems too big? For some, the answer will be yes and others no. Those who say no will be those who have little to no trouble incorporating a compact or full-size gun into their everyday carry.
For me, the G48 is a great option that has absolutely been welcome in my carry rotation. To clarify, I doubt I’d have a carry rotation if I wasn’t a writer. Remember, I’m testing products so you can save time and money. A G48 with a set of upgraded sights would make a great carry gun for a lot of people. If those people want something truly special they’d be well served by sending their gun to Doug at DP Custom Works— you’ll love the end result.
I’m curious about your purpose-built carry guns. What features do you like in a custom handgun? Please let me know in the comments below.
About Brian (Rev) Norris:
Brian (Rev) Norris, in addition to writing and talking guns and gear via video, is a pastor (hence the “Rev”) who specializes in mentoring young men in the urban context. If he catches a moment of free time, you’ll likely find him enjoying his family or heading to the range on his motorcycle. Brian has enjoyed the shooting sports since his father introduced them to him as a child. He’s an outdoorsman who enjoys life to the full.