I’ve been concealed carrying for almost three years now, and the Glock 43 has been my primary carry gun the entire time. It was also the first firearm I purchased. It met my needs at the time that I bought it, but now that I’m further along in my journey and more comfortable concealed carrying, I figured it was time for an upgrade. I ended up going with the Glock 48 and I am loving it! In this post, I’ll compare and contrast the two firearms and talk a bit about why I chose the Glock 48.
I can just barely get my whole hand on the Glock 43. With the flush magazines, my pinky is barely able to stay on the grip and the butt of my hand is hanging off the edge. When I first started shooting and carrying the G43, I didn’t realize just how important it is to get a solid grip on the gun. I thought that since I was more or less able to squeeze all my fingers on the grip, it would be fine. But what I’ve learned overtime is it’s not just about getting your fingers on the grip, but the way your entire hand fits is important too, especially when it comes to recoil control.
With the Glock pinky extension magazine, my pinky is able to stay on just fine, but the butt of my hand is still hanging off a bit, so I typically carry and shoot with the Hyve +2 base pad. With the extended base pad, it essentially lengthens the grip of the gun. I am to get a better grip and have more control over the firearm.
On the other hand (not literally), I can get a great grip on the Glock 48 with the standard magazines. Since the grip is longer, all of my fingers fit with room to spare and the butt of my hand is not hanging off like it is on the G43, allowing me to have better control over the firearm. In addition to the grip being longer on the G48, it’s also ever so slightly wider. I find this allows me to get a more comfortable, natural purchase on the firearm.
When it comes to drawing, especially from concealment, I find that I have a much easier time with the G48. The longer, wider grip provides a larger target for my hand to find and I am able to get a much more solid purchase consistently right out of the holster than with my G43. I’ve been able to train myself to get a good purchase on the G43 but I’ve found it takes a lot of effort to make that a consistent occurrence, whereas it comes more naturally with the G48.
The standard capacity G43 magazines have 6 rounds, plus one in the chamber gives me a total of 7 rounds when carrying. With the +2 base pads, that gives me 8 rounds in the magazine, plus one in the chamber for 9 total.
The G48 has a 10 round magazine, plus one in the chamber for a total of 11. The extra capacity is definitely a plus! There are also some options for the G48 to get more capacity, like the 15 round flush fit mags from Shield Arms. I have not yet tested these mags in my G48, so I’m not carrying with them right now and I can’t recommend them or give you a review, but many folks seem to be very happy with them. That extra 5 rounds without any sort of extension on the magazine is super enticing. I will keep you posted once I am able to test them out!
The G48 magazines are slightly wider than the G43 magazines, so they are not interchangeable in any way even though they are both considered single-stack 9mm. I find that the extra few millimeters on the width of the G48 magazine, along with the added length, allows me to get a better handle on the magazine. Reloads are easier and smoother!
The G48 weighs a little bit more than the G43 since it is slightly bigger, but there is not a huge difference in weight. Unloaded, the G48 is less than 3oz heavier than the G43. The loaded weight will depend on which magazines you’re using, the type of ammo, and how many rounds (since I have an extended base pad on my G43 and a couple extra rounds, it weights a bit more than the standard capacity mags). For my setup, the loaded G43 weighs 23.14oz and the loaded G48 is 25.57oz.
When it comes to shooting, it’s nice to have a little extra weight on the gun! More on that in the recoil section.
The trigger is essentially the same in both guns. I’ve left my triggers completely stock (I don’t like to make modifications to those kinds of things for my carry guns). Both have a 24N trigger pull. You might be wondering what the heck that means, so let me give you a quick overview.
In this case, the “N” means “Newton” which is a unit of measurement pertaining to force, named after Sir Isaac Newton. In terms of the Glock trigger pull, 24N is referring to the firing pin spring. According to my quick google search, 1 pound of force is equivalent to 4.448N, so 24N equates to 5.395 pounds, as in it will take 5.395 pounds of force for that firing pin spring to compress enough to lower the trigger bar and release the firing pin. From there, the firing pin strikes the primer, and so on and so forth.
If your eyeballs glossed over in that last paragraph, let me put it in laments terms: 24N refers to the amount force required for the gun to go bang when you pull the trigger. Tada! If you want to see more about how this all works and learn more about Glock’s safe action system, check this out. There are some cool graphics that demonstrate how your Glock functions when you pull the trigger!
The point I’m getting at here is that the trigger pull on both guns is the same! The trigger distance on the G48 is 2mm longer than the G43, but I can’t detect much of a difference and they feel the same to me.
Small guns are great for concealment, we know this. What is not talked about as often (particularly for women at the gun counter when the salesman is trying to push the smallest gun possible for you to carry), is how sucky it is to shoot a small gun. I’ll be honest with you, it’s not a good time! In general, smaller gun = more felt recoil. The G43 is a spicy little one. In addition, it can be difficult to mitigate recoil given that I can’t get the best grip on the firearm.
The G48, being a little bigger and a little heavier, has less recoil. In general, more mass = less felt recoil. AND since I can get a better grip on the gun, I can also better mitigate the recoil. This results in the G48 being much more comfortable to shoot, and I can be more accurate since I don’t have as much recoil to contend with.
A consideration for my concealed carry firearm is that I want to enjoy training with my gun. I’ll be honest, I haven’t enjoyed training with my G43 as much as I’ve wanted to. I took an all-day class with it and it was not a good time. I felt like my hands were going to fall off by the end of the class and I was sore for days. Of course, that can happen if you’re doing a lot of shooting, but it is much more enjoyable to train with a firearm that has less felt recoil and is easier to control. Because of this, I won’t shy away from shooting my G48 at the range like I do with my G43. If I take my G43 to the range and I have other options to shoot (like my G19X), I will generally spend more time with those other options. I don’t feel like I will have that problem with my G48.
Why the Glock 48 instead of the Glock 43X?
I realize that this post is all about the G43 and the G48, but I do want to touch on the G43X. I get a lot of questions about the G43X, and why I chose the G48 instead of the G43X. When the G43X and G48 first came out, I thought I wanted the G43X because it would fit into all the holsters for my G43. When people were telling me that the G48 would be better option because I could swap the slide between the G43 and the G48, it made absolutely no sense to me because I knew that the slide, barrel, and overall length of the G48 was longer than the G43. What in the world were people talking about?
What I didn’t realize is that the portion of the G48 that makes the frame longer is not actually a part of the frame, but a part of the slide. Whoa! This means that you can in fact take the slide, barrel, and recoil spring on the G48 and swap it with the slide, barrel and recoil spring of the G43. The G48 frame with the G43 slide, barrel, and recoil spring results in what is basically a G43X. MIND. BLOWN. I lovingly refer to this combination as FrankenGlock. It makes me giggle.
This means that by acquiring one G48, I get TWO more options for concealed carry pistols! That made the decision super easy for me. If I didn’t already have the G43, I think it would have been a bit more difficult to decide between the G48 and G43X. Both are great firearms and great options for concealed carry!
Let’s be honest, this post is already really long. You can read more about concealing the G43 and G48 in this post.
One last thing…
I realize this post could potentially read as talking you out of the G43. Please don’t take it that way! This post is based on my own experience and my own anatomy—yours might be different! If the G43 meets your needs and fits your hand well and you’re able to comfortably shoot it, don’t let me deter you! We are all different and we must to do our due diligence to find what works best for us individually. I still love my G43, and there are still instances where I will carry and shoot it!