Glock 48 VS. Glock 19

The Glock 19

The Glock 19 is one of the most iconic and popular pistols in America. It is the de facto reigning concealed carry pistol of savvy users and is consistently the top-selling pistol in the United States. The Glock 19 is used by countless law enforcement agencies including the FBI, Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, and the NYPD. The Glock 19 is even widely used by U.S. Special Operations Forces including Army Special Forces, Marine Raiders, and Navy SEALs.

The little brother of the Glock 17, the Glock 19 is considered a compact pistol. It has a slightly shorter barrel and a slightly shorter grip frame than the Glock 17, both dimensions being ½” shorter. The compact Glock 19 holds 15 rounds. The Glock 19 is known for extreme reliability, accuracy, and user-friendliness. It became immediately popular when introduced in 1988 and has remained popular ever since.

The Glock 19 is currently sold in Gen3, Gen4, and Gen5 variants. The gen Gen3 Glocks have a frame with finger grooves, Gen4s have finger grooves and an interchangeable backstraps, and the Gen5 models having no finger grooves and interchangeable backstraps. The Gen5 guns also have some other upgrades no seen in previous generation Glocks like the carbon steel Glock Marksman barrel and forward slide serrations. All three of these Glock models are available with a light rail and MOS-compatible.

The Glock 48

The Glock 48 is part of Glock’s relatively new “Slimline” series of pistols. The Slimline Glocks, beginning with the .380-chambered Model 42, began to be rolled out in 2014. The Slimline family of Glocks now also includes the 9mm-chambered models 43, 43X, and 48. The Glock 48 is chambered in 9x19mm and has a standard magazine capacity of 10 rounds.

The Glock 48 is commonly viewed as a single-stack Glock 19 due to its compact size. Most of the dimensions are very similar to the G19, but some things are slightly different, and a few things significantly so. The Glock 48 isn’t classified as belonging to any particular “generation” of Glock pistols, but it has several features of the Gen5 Glocks. Front slide serrations, a built-in beavertail, a reversible magazine release, and GMB rifling similar to that found in Glock “Marksman” barrels. And of course, it has the ubiquitous polymer frame that made Glock famous.

The Glock 48 comes in two variations: the standard Glock 48 and the Glock 48 MOS. The MOS version comes with a slide that is milled to accept a small, RMSC-footprint red dot optic (RDO). The Glock 48 MOS also comes with an accessory rail for the attachment of a weapon-mounted light (WML). The standard Glock 48 has no provision for a WML or RDO. While the original Glock 48 shipped only with a silver slide, newer versions are shipped with the standard black slide.

Biggest Differences between the Glock 48 & 19 Pistol

There are several differences between these two pistols. First, the Glock 48 has a longer barrel than the Glock 19. This is a bit counter-intuitive given that the G48 is the overall smaller of the two, but it has a 4.17-inch barrel compared to the G19’s 4-inch tube. This also gives the Glock 48 a very slight advantage of a longer sight radius. The G19 and G18 share the same overall heigh of 5.04 inches, and while the Glock 48 has a longer slide, its overall length of 7.28 inches is shorter than that of the Glock 19’s 7.36 inches.

I. Width

The biggest difference between these two pistols is the width. While not the largest physically, it is the one that makes the biggest difference. The overall width of the Glock 19 is 1.26 inches while the overall width of the Glock 48 is just 1.10 inches. That extra 0.16” might not sound like a lot but it makes a dramatic difference in the feel of the pistol. This difference comes into play both when shooting and carrying the two guns.

When carrying the two, especially inside the waistband, the difference is noticed in the bulk of the gun and holsters required to carry them. The G48 definitely feels smaller than the paltry dimensional differences would indicate. When shooting the G48 can make a world of difference to shooters with small hands. The Glock 19 grip is notoriously boxy and block-like, and the narrower G48 grip frame is preferred by many with smaller hands. For those with very large hands, or those accustomed to the Glock 19, the Glock 48 may seem uncomfortably small.

Despite the size differences between the Glock 19 and Glock 48, the weight difference between the two is fairly small. The Glock 19 weighs in at 21.16 ounces without a magazine, or almost a pound and a half. The Glock 48 weighs 18.48 ounces without a magazine, just a little over three ounces less. The Glock 48 seems much smaller than this weight difference would indicate.

II. Capacity

Another huge difference between these two pistols is their capacity. The Glock 19 is a 15+1 pistol. That’s a pretty impressive capacity. Additionally, the Glock 19 can use larger 17-round magazines from the G17, and even larger mags. The Glock 48, on the other hand, is limited by it smaller grip diameter and a single-stack pistol. It holds 10 rounds in its factory magazines, and because its magazine well is smaller, it can’t accept mags from the Glock 17, 19, or any other Glock. Aftermarket magazines are available from Shield Arms to boost the capacity of the Glock 48. These aftermarket, 15-round mags make the Glock 48 essentially a slender Glock 19, but the interchangeability aspect is lost.

III. Trigger Weight

The Glock 48 has one other noteworthy difference: the trigger. The advertised trigger weight on the Glock 19 is 28 N, which is 6.29 pounds. The Glock 34 has a slightly better trigger with a lighter trigger pull of 24 N, or 5.39 pounds. In practice there is some variability in Glock triggers, so the practical difference might be smaller, and an aftermarket trigger could probably improve the available accuracy from either model.

IV. Uses

Either of these pistols are excellent concealed carry handguns. The Glock 19 definitely gets the edge for capacity (15+1 vs 10+1), but at the expense of an overall bulkier pistol. For some – those with larger hands - this might be a good thing, but many will appreciate the flatter profile of the Glock 48. The Glock 48 gives up five rounds, but is much thinner and feels very compact – much more so than the numbers would lead us to believe. The smaller G48 may be the better concealed carry pistol when carried on a smaller frame or when deeper concealment is desired.

Though either would probably serve the average person perfectly well, the larger Glock 19 would probably be preferable in a home defense role where its larger size would matter less, and the extra rounds could come be a (literal) lifesaver. This assumes, of course, that the user shoots both guns equally well. The Glock 19 would also probably be the better option for uniformed law enforcement officers with its larger magazine capacity.

Best Upgrades for All Glock Models

Both the Glock 19 and the 48 are outstanding performers as they come out of the box. Neither is perfect, however. A few modifications can go a long way toward squeezing some extra performance out of these platforms, or any other Glock model.

Upgraded, metal triggers are an excellent upgrade that can improve the performance of nearly any Glock. Aftermarket, drop-in trigger kits like those offered by Overwatch Precision can decrease the trigger pull length, lighten the trigger, and make it crisper. The flat-faced trigger an also aid in a straight-back pull of the trigger and consistent trigger-finger placement.

Factory Glock sights can sometimes leave a lot to be desired, as well. The Have Blue sights offered by Overwatch Precision offer a rugged, steel rear sight with a clean, crisp, fiber-optic front sight. The aggressive forward angle of the rear sight allows for easy one-handed manipulations, and all the angles are smoothed to be easy on the hands.

The Glock 19 and Glock 48 are both outstanding platforms. Overwatch Precision offers a host of other upgrades for your favorite Glock model, from the “Original” Glock 17 to the infinitely popular G19 to the svelte new Glock 48