January 03, 2019
In typical Glock fashion, the Austrian arms maker released their latest polymer-framed pistols just ahead of SHOT Show. While last year saw the addition of the FDE-colored model 19x, this year sees Glock steering their product line away from military-contract designs and towards the civilian concealed carry market. In particular, they’ve formally announced the addition of the model 48 and 43x.
The 43x is more than simply a revision of their wildly popular subcompact, 9mm Glock 43 handgun. Indeed, it includes a few new features that make it easier to shoot without severely impacting its concealability.
For example, the original Glock 43 was only 4.25 inches tall. The new 43x is more than a third of an inch taller, giving the shooter that much more grip real estate. This aids in the shootability, and handling characteristics of the pistol. It is an extension of the 19x design that utilized a small slide with a longer grip.
Another interesting feature of both of these guns, is the slide itself. The original 43 had a slide coated in the same durable black nitride finish as all 5th Gen models. Both the new 43x and 48, employ a nickel Physical Vapor Deposition (nPVD) coating which is incredibly durable, and resembles a satin nickel finish. It also makes the slide much more resistant to corrosion - an excellent addition to a handgun designed to be worn close to the body.
Additionally, these new nPVD slides feature forward serrations for shooters who either want another area to charge their pistol from, or those who perform press checks on their handguns.
But I’ve almost exclusively discussed the new 43x, and not the 48 - why?
Simply because the two guns are mechanically identical. The only point of variance between the two, is that the 48 uses a longer slide, and longer barrel. But don’t let that fool you, the 48 is the gun shooters have been demanding for nearly a decade. It is, in effect, Glock’s version of the Colt Commander. Unlike the commander, this gun appears to be developed in direct response to the rising popularity of SIG’s P365 unveiled last year at SHOT.
The pistol utilizes the same sized frame as the 43x, but with a longer slide and a barrel that measures 0.76in longer. This combination adds additional pointability, as well as greater muzzle velocity and mechanical accuracy.
Personally, I’m excited about the new designs, and wished they had existed more than a decade ago when I bought my first Glock pistol for concealed carry. I quickly learned that the full-sized model 17 isn’t ideal for carry, but the reliability and capacity impressed me greatly. I think this will make the Glock series of semi-automatic pistols much more appealing to female shooters, and those with smaller hands like myself.
While I was capable of learning to shoot just fine on a model 17, having a grip that allowed for a more comfortable trigger pull and easier concealment would have gone a long way. Lastly, it’ll be interesting to see how the market reacts to the design. If these little polymer pistols will steal from of SIG’s thunder, or simply entice existing Glock owners to add to their collection.
Either way, stay tuned for additional coverage of SHOT Show 2019, and all the latest news from the gun industry.
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