My Glock 48 and XS Big Dot sights: The First 1,000 Rounds
I’ve been waiting for this pistol for at least 15 years. This was roughly the time frame when my state became Shall Issue. Prior to that, I’d not envisioned the ability to carry concealed. We had to jump through hoops to use a handgun for hunting deer, and you had to be certain that you didn’t run afoul of any rules, lest you find yourself in serious trouble.
Thank goodness we can carry a tool to defend ourselves with, and that there are so many outstanding examples to choose from.In my early days, we still had revolvers. I had one to hunt deer with, as well. Then, serious training began, where the sidearm was not a magical talisman that would scare Bad Guys away. The thought of performing 2 speed loads to fire 18 rounds seemed ludicrous then, and even more so now.
If you were around back then, it was wise to have one of those huge Mag Lite setups that held like 4 D cell batteries. In a perfect world, you could bludgeon the Bad Guy, fall back, and (in theory) reload the wheel gun. Yeesh. What was learned through serious scenarios, and Force on Force is that revolvers are pretty poor tools when dealing with multiple people, especially if misses occurred.
The Miami Shootout was not too far in the past, and it took a very bad day to make people realize that there are people unafraid of other people in uniform. What an epiphany. By the way, a sidearm is a terrible choice for ending fights. Shotguns and rifles tend to end fights pretty darn quickly.
Fast forward a couple of decades (nearly 3) and the same pattern is repeated. Bad Guys are rarely alone, and there are plenty of Bad Guys around who are pretty much ruthless. The flock (normal, timid souls) are completely engrossed with their “devices”, and grinding out the minutiae of their daily lives for all the world to tune into, if so inclined. Either way, I have my Glock 48.
My last Glock Armorer school was with the Gen 5, and it’s a pretty well thought out handgun. There were murmurs of new things on the horizon. By SHOT Show 19, I’d seen images of the 2 new offerings in “Slim Line” configuration. At a casual glance, they appeared virtually identical to Kahr pistols. I’ve owned several Kahr pistols since the K9 came out, 25 years ago. Some would say that having an infatuation with both Glock and Kahr makes me a fool. Maybe so, but I’ve had a Glock in a duty holster since 1992, and didn’t regret the lack of a revolver for a millisecond.
Most people who carry a handgun for pay are issued the firearm, and you don’t have to like it, but you’ll use it to stay gainfully employed with that particular department. Luckily for me, I grew very fond of these pistols. Both Kahr and Glock have served me well, and I’ve pressed literally tens of thousands of rounds into dirt with both types. I trust both. The 48 reminds me of a hybrid of the two.
Following are reasons why.
Let’s discuss hands for a moment. I’m fortunate enough to have large hands, so manipulation of most firearms types is not an issue. I wear a size 16 ring, my wrists are 9 inches in circumference, and from the base of my palm to the tip of my trigger finger measures 8 inches. This equates to being larger than the “average” person, for whatever that is worth.
Those types of measurements should be included by every person out there trying to get you to drink their Kool Aid in regard to whatever it is they are trying to foist upon you. This gives you, Dear Reader, an idea of how your hand would work with the grip of Handgun, Model XYZ. You won’t see/hear these measurements, but you can find literally tons of droning nonsense on firearms related whatever, online. If your hand is of similar size, you will likely find pistols like the Kahr K9, P9, and CW45 to your liking. Forgetting those who complain about literally everything, I’ll attest that I’ve not ever had a bad Kahr, or Glock.
With these measurements, I can assure you that my days of being sleek and lethal are far behind me, if I were ever in that zipcode to begin with. I have learned that I cannot tuck a pistol in my pocket like some can, without the entire outline of the pistol being clearly evident. If you subscribe to ankle carry, by all means, do so. I could possibly get down there, but as far as returning fire and boldly falling back…not so much.
To keep things as simple as possible, I’ve not made a habit of putting full sized pistols designed for hip holster carry, into my dungarees. This is not comfortable, at all. Carrying a small gun, like, say, a ridiculous .380 anything, is unacceptable. Concealed carry is a life choice, and it involves research, trial and error, and compromise. The 48 hits the wickets, and I can indeed carry it inside the pants. As far as holsters go, well, I make my own, and I’ve managed to fabricate one that works, for me.
With new pistols, there is a need to be patient for all of the accessories to appear. It’s taken far too long to get 8 magazines, but I’ve got them. It is indeed true that you can take the slide off of a 43, and use it on the 48. I have done so, using the slide from my wifes 43. It works. The plastic sights that come with the gun were the first thing I changed, and this was interesting. I fired 200 rounds for break in with the plastic sights, zero issues, of course, but the plastic sights had to go.
Allegedly, sights from 42 and 43 pistols will work.I put on a set from a vendor I will not name, and they were not so great. Within 200 rounds significant loosening had occured, and the rear sight could be pushed with my thumb. Not good. I then installed a set of Big Dot sights from XS, along with a dollop of red Loctite. When you do this kids, be certain you have things the way you want them.
With the final 600 rounds through the gun with these sights, no issues. I’ll not blast the first company, tolerances can be off. For whatever reason things didn’t work out, and stuff happens. There was/is no need to damn this company, and that’s all there is to it.
With the Big Dot sights, you won’t be winning bullseye competition matches, but they are steel. I can use them to push off a rigid object, should I encounter hand damage if bullets fly.
If you don’t have steel sights for this exact purpose, then you’re likely only shooting paper, and shame on you. Buy some anatomical targets, and see how many times the hands take rounds. If your gunfighting world is limited to non moving paper, fine. Realize that you WILL shoot targets in the hands, and should expect the same in return.Steel sights are handy when disabled. If you don’t practice disabled drills with both hands, shame on you again. If you are going to practice disabled drills, buy dummy rounds. It is not advised to perform disabled drills with live ammunition, initially. Doing this type of activity with a “hot” gun can quickly get you disabled, or killed, for real.
Moving on, there are forward serrations, and, who cares? The gun came with an LCI extractor set up, and this was a nice addition that I didn’t have to order separately. LCI stands for “Loaded Chamber Indicator”, and gives you tactile verification there is a round in the chamber. I’ve read/heard that you shouldn’t ever trust this, and I retort with “Poppy cock”. With over 20 years on this platform, I’ve yet to see a single failure, or “false positive”.
Typically the people who drum up this drivel are likely fans of the “Forward Press Check”, which has creeped its way into pistol culture, somehow. If you don’t know what this is, good. Fan flipping tastic that you don’t know what it is. Apparently, there are those amongst us that can’t remember if they chambered a round, and spend way too much time doing extraneous, quasi dangerous manipulation on the gun, because perhaps they have forgotten a shootout they may have had during brunch. Ridiculous, but it gives them a chance to look cool during their self inflicted videos that “someone, somewhere” is breathlessly waiting for.
So, with a decent supply of factory mags (for now), different sights, and LCI, this was a pretty satisfying handgun. The reliability has been of the boringly typical flawless Glock type, no matter what I fed it. This included Wolf- the somehow “bad” standard for ammunition. Also included was what is now called “Winchester white trash”, Federal ball, and an assortment of viable defensive cartridges including Cor-Bon, Hornady, Remington, and Winchester. All rounds were digested in mixed orders, zero issues. I did not clean the gun for the first 1000 rounds, either.
With all new guns, you should put at least 200 rounds through it before even considering the gun for carry. If you pay attention, you will see groups get tighter, and feel the mechanicals getting smoother. Here’s a free tip while we’re at it. Dry fire the bejeepers out of it, too. If you follow a regimen of actually using the tool, you may discover that aftermarket triggers are unnecessary. Along the way, I managed to score a pair of magazine extensions as well, because 28 rounds in reserve is not ever a bad thing.
The virtue of the 48, for me, at least, is that it has the size of a Kahr combined with a trigger that I’ve became very familiar with. This is not to say that a Kahr has a bad trigger. However, it is far different than Glock, and the reset between the 2 is distinctly different. I’m a huge believer that you should have exactly 1 type of trigger, so that when things are for real, you keep things simple. For the guns you use on the range, buy whatever the hell you want, but for duty/ccw, keep the trigger press to 1 type.
The last couple of items for the gun were things I made. First was a tape wrap on the grip. I really like the diamond cross section that a Hogue slip on offers, but I’m still trying to work that detail out. I’ve ordered several, and when I discover which does indeed fit, the type will be shared. However, you can do a lot to give a grip some dimension with duct tape, and a hockey tape covering. I find it amusing that some people actually spend money buying pre cut sand paper, and putting it on a pistol. Maybe some more arts and crafts during the formative years would have cured this… or maybe they are afraid of using an exacto knife?
Holsters- well, as mentioned, I make my own. I bought drones as soon as they became available, and have made a couple types to tinker with. If I’m unhappy with the end result, alterations are not an issue.
The 43 X and 48 have already been thoroughly blasted by the gurus who don’t own them. The critiques come from those who apparently have plenty of time to just be upset with everything. People must be buying them, because the all black variants have came out. In my opinion, this was completely unnecessary, but hey, if there is money to be made from it, carry on. Accessories are starting to become available, and other vendors will likely start making magazines and what not, soon. In my mind, this “review” if you will is just the first relay of information for those who may want it. There have already been several “testimonials” put out that are not exactly accurate, but then again, who can be certain? The more you tinker with firearms, brands notwithstanding, the more likely you are to experience unusual things.
10 items for consideration. All of these are not solely in regard to the 48, but are (I believe) sound advice none the less.
1-Vendors should provide excruciating detail in regard to dimensions
2-Gun writers should give detail to their hand size to help you in making decisions
3-The 48 is very similar to Kahr K9, P9, CW45, size wise
4-The black models are available, so they must be selling
5-Fire at least 200 rounds through a new gun for break in
6- Safe Dry Fire helps smooth up the trigger
7-Use anatomical targets to see what you “destroy” on your paper targets
8-Expect similar results to yourself in terms of destruction, should you be engaged live fire
9-Semiauto pistols trump revolvers
10-Two spare magazines trump the person with 1 magazine in the gun