By Will Andrews – Training Director
For the first time in a long while, I’m excited about a new handgun on the market. At the risk of being the industry curmudgeon, not much in firearms has changed significantly since 1935. Materials have changed. Production techniques have changed. And those changes have had limited impacts on performance. These changes have lowered production costs, and in many cases lighten the guns themselves.
But once in a while, something comes along that I feel truly fills an empty niche in the market place. Since the 1980’s, ammo capacity has been the driving force in the handgun market. It makes sense to me. More ammo is always more. No one has ever complained about having too much ammo. The drawback, of course, is that this necessarily grossly enlarged the grips of the pistols, making many of them simply unusable for those with small hands. This has been a particular problem since the 1990’s when the industry saw a huge influx of female shooters and gun owners.
The choices in pistols with slim grips and short trigger reach, appropriate for small hands, has been limited to very small handguns designed for concealed carry. Being designed for concealed carry, most of those choices have short barrels, short grips and are extremely light weight, all of which accumulate into a very difficult to shoot handgun. They recoil sharply, and the short barrels maximize report and muzzle blast. They are uncomfortable to shoot, and are very difficult to learn to shoot well. This has been a primary frustration for me as an instructor from the very beginning of my career.
The Glock model 19 is simply the Goldilocks pistol for many. It’s big enough to be comfortable to shoot, and it’s small enough to wear comfortably. It’s quite possibly the best sized handgun on the market today if your hands are large enough to properly grip it. With a 15 round magazine, it is simply too large for many females (and males of my stature) to grip properly. It seems after 30 years of my whining, someone at Glock finally heard me!
The new Glock model 48 is the new and improved Goldilocks pistol! It shares general dimensions with the Glock 19, except it is a narrower slide, with a svelte grip frame that holds a 10 round magazine. We now have a pistol large enough to shoot comfortably, small enough to wear in a holster comfortably, and with a slim grip and short trigger reach, making it a solid choice for those with hands smaller than an NBA player’s. I expect great things from this new pistol.
Released with the Glock 48 is the Glock 43X. It shares the slim grip and 10 round magazine with the 48, except it has a much shorter barrel and slide. This, too, will prove to be an excellent addition to the commercial pistol industry. It does, however, fall into a niche already filled by a number of already existing, well established pistols. Between the two new models, I’m more excited about the 48.
Come on in to Wilshire Gun and let’s take a look at this new pistol together!