The first generation of Glocks featured a couple of legendary pistols that we’ve come to hold in high esteem, including the forever-popular Glock 19. Released in 1988, the compact 9mm pistol has been a staple in gun markets worldwide, thanks to its highly functional design, excellent ammo capacity, and ease of use.
The Glock 48, along with the 43X, was released in January of 2019. It’s the new kid on the block compared to the Glock 19. Most gun experts are still unsure about the G48’s placement when it comes to Glock generations, which is why it’s placed in its own series of slimline pistols with the Glock 43X.
The Glock 48 was designed to be the slimmer version of the Glock 19, but does it live up to the G19’s status as far as functionality and versatility? Is the new Glock better than the old one? We attempt to answer these questions in this Glock 48 vs. 19 face-off, so stick around.
Glock 48 vs. Glock 19: Specifications
- Caliber: 9x19mm Parabellum (9mm Luger)
- Magazine Capacity: 15
- Length: 7.36 inches
- Width: 1.18 inches
- Height: 4.99 inches
- Barrel Length: 4.01 inches
- Weight (No Mag): 21.1 ounces
- Weight (Full Mag): 29.6 ounces
- Trigger Pull: 5.5 pounds
- Trigger Distance: 2.80 inches
- Magazine Options: 10, 17, and 33
- Caliber: 9x19mm Parabellum (9mm Luger)
- Magazine Capacity: 10
- Length: 7.28 inches
- Width: 1.10 inches
- Height: 5.04 inches
- Barrel Length: 4.17 inches
- Weight (No Mag): 18.6 ounces
- Weight (Full Mag): 25.2 ounces
- Trigger Pull: 5.4 pounds
- Trigger Distance: 2.64 inches
- Magazine Options: Shield Arms S15
Glock 48 vs. Glock 19: Breakdown
At first glance, the G48 and G19 may appear similar. However, there are quite a few notable distinctions between the two pistols, and knowing these distinctions will help you pinpoint the right Glock for your needs.
Size and Specs
Even though the Glock 48 and Glock 19 are vastly different, they do share a few similar specs. For instance, both pistols are about the same height and they share the same grip length.
With the similarities out of the way, let’s talk about the differences!
The biggest difference is that the G48 is slimmer than the G19. The thickness of the slide is about 0.80 inches, whereas the G19’s slide is 0.13-inch wider. The thickness of the G48’s grip is 1.20 inches, whereas the G19’s grip is 0.16-inch thicker.
In terms of weight, there’s a significant difference between the two pistols. The G19 weighs around 30 ounces with a fully loaded magazine, while the G48 weighs around 25 ounces.
On top of that, the overall length of the Glock 48 is shorter than that of the Glock 19. The two guns don’t have the same barrel length either. The Glock 48 has a longer barrel that measures 4.17 inches. The Glock 19’s barrel measures 4.02 inches.
The differences in size and specs might seem minute on the surface, but when both guns are pressing against your body, you’ll feel every ounce and every inch!
The strongest selling point of both the G48 and G19 is that they’re compact and comfortable to carry around. To add, they both feature Glock’s Safe Action System, which is a combination of three mechanical safeties that help prevent accidental discharge.
Note: there are no manual safeties on both guns.
One of the features that set the Glock 48 apart is the Gen-5 marksman’s barrel, which does an outstanding job of improving the gun’s shooting accuracy. It’s a match-grade barrel, so it’s suitable for competitive matches.
The G19 features an accessory rail, which enables you to attach a wide range of accessories, including lasers and lights. The G48, per contra, is rail-less, so you can’t attach a weapon light or laser. We don’t consider this a drawback, though, considering this is a gun that’s designed for concealed carrying rather than duty use.
Fit and Finish
The G19 sports an evenly-applied nitride finish. You won’t find a single spot on the gun that has more or less coating than another spot. As with most Glocks, the G19’s finish is black, which is an ideal color for duty use as well as concealed carry.
What we like the most about the Glock 19’s finish is that it’s highly resistant to wear and tear. Whether it’s holster wear or sweat and moisture, the Glock 19 can take it all and still look brand new.
The Glock 48 sports a different finish than that of the Glock 19. Instead of standard nitride, the Glock 48 features the nPVD finish. This finish is known for its stainless steel appearance, which will definitely appeal to a lot of people. It’s also quite rugged, so you don’t have to worry about wear and tear.
The two guns feature pretty much the same frame; polymer with a blackened finish. There are no bells on the whistles on either frame. The cutting is super clean, so you shouldn’t expect any mold marks or minor extrusions. Simple stippling is used to outfit each gun’s frame.
The texturing on the Glock 19 is slick compared to the fairly aggressive texturing on the Glock 48. The G48 uses Gen-4 texturing, which we don’t really have a problem with, but we would’ve preferred Gen-5 texturing.
The G48 was released after the 5th generation of Glocks was introduced, after all, so they should’ve gone with Gen-5 texturing, which is more aggressive than Gen-4 texturing without compromising on comfort.
Even though the age gap between the Glock 19 and Glock 48 is huge, you’d be surprised to learn that the two handguns have virtually the same ergonomics. This is especially the case if you’re comparing the Glock 48 with the latest-generation Glock 19.
Both handguns have a grip that’s long enough to accommodate your fingers, whether you have small or large hands. In other words, you don’t have to worry about your pinky finger having no grip space.
The grip on the G48 is slightly thinner than the one on the G19, which is to be expected since the former is designed to be a thinner version of the latter.
If we had to choose between both pistols based solely on the grip, we’d have to go with the Glock 48 because it’s more comfortable. This is especially the case if you have small hands.
Another thing that makes the G48 suitable for those with smaller hands is that it has a slightly shorter trigger reach than the G19. This makes it a bit easier for someone with shorter fingers to squeeze the trigger.
What’s more, the Glock 48 features front serrations that make it easier for the shooter to rack or press-check the gun from the front. This feature is missing on the standard version of the Glock 19—available on the Gen-5 Glock 19 MOS, though!
A feature that the Glock 19 has that isn’t available on the Glock 48 is the flared mag well. This feature allows for easier and quicker reloads. If you want to upgrade your stock Glock 48 with a flared mag well, check out Tyrant Designs.
Sights and Optics
When it comes to stock sights, there are quite a few options for both guns. The Glock 19 comes with standard polymer sights, but there are other factory options such as luminescent steel, standard steel, Ameriglo, and Glock night sights.
The Glock 48 comes with standard polymer sights as well; a white-dot front sight and a goal-post rear sight. Other factory sight options for the Glock 48 include Ameriglo sights, standard and luminescent steel sights, and Glock night sights.
Note: the G48 has a long sight radius in comparison with the Glock 19.
As far as aftermarket magazines, most of the aftermarket options on the market today will be available for both firearms.
When it comes to red-dot optics, Glock’s Modular Optic System (MOS) is available for both pistols, and so they both have red-dot mounting options.
The Glock 48 MOS is mostly compatible with Shield red-dot products, though. So, if you want to install a different brand of red dots, you’ll probably need to custom-mill the G48’s slide.
The MOS version of the Glock 19 doesn’t have that problem. It has quite a few mounting places, so it’s compatible with a range of red-dot optics from different manufacturers. With that in mind, the Glock 19 is the clear winner of this round.
The Glock 19 comes with a flush fit capacity of 15+1 rounds (double stack), while the Glock 48 has a magazine capacity of 10+1 (single stack). Glock offers a few extended magazine options for the G19, up to 33 rounds. It doesn’t offer extended mag options for the G48, though.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking to extend the G48’s capacity, you can opt for the S15 magazine from Shield Arms, which is a flush-fitting 15-round mag that’s compatible with both the G48 and the G43X. This is a standard-size magazine, so you don’t have to worry about it adding to the gun’s profile.
The mag release function is reversible on both guns. So, whether you’re right-handed or left-handed, either one of these pistols will work for you. Note, however, that the Gen-5 model of the Glock 19 has an ambidextrous magazine release function, which isn’t an option on the Glock 48.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the Glock 48 is its single-stack trigger design. It just feels too squishy! The trigger break and return reset are both clean, but the slack itself just doesn’t feel right.
The factory on the Glock 19 feels a lot better, especially if you have the Gen-5 model. It’s also worth noting that if you have several Glock 19s, you’ll notice that the trigger feel is consistent with all of them. The same cannot be said about the Glock 48.
When it comes to concealment, there’s no debating that the Glock 48 is the more concealable option here since it’s slimmer, shorter, and lighter. It’s especially perfect for an IWB holster.
The Glock 19 is still an excellent concealed carry pistol, but if you’re looking to minimize the footprint of your concealed carry gun as much as possible, the G48 is the way to go.
In our experience, the G19 delivers a better shooting experience than the G48. The felt recoil is softer and the trigger functionality is smoother. The G19 is especially better than the G48 if you have larger hands.
We also found the Glock 19 to be the easier gun to reload, mainly because it uses thicker magazines that are easy to grab. Regardless, both guns are reliable and display very limited rearward recoil and muzzle flip. So, whichever one you choose, you’ll be satisfied!
Glock 48 vs. 19: Conclusion
If we had to pick between the Glock 19 and Glock 48, we’d probably go with the Glock 19—the 5th-Gen variant, in particular. Both guns deliver a solid shooting experience, but the Glock 19 is just more convenient when it comes to magazine and trigger design.
The G48’s strongest selling point is its size. While both handguns are suitable for concealed carry, the Glock 48 is better in this category than the G19. It also has a lot of neat ergonomics that make it one of the most comfortable options in its class.
We recommend trying both firearms at the range to get a feel for how they perform. This is the best way to determine which of the two is best for your needs.