Firearm trends come and go, but some guns are so well thoughtout that they outlast design and consumer developments for years. These are the guns that keep you coming back, even after trying newer designs.
Enter the Glock 26. Introduced in 1994, the “Baby Glock” was popular in both civilian and law enforcement worlds, due to its small size, reasonably powerful round and ability to use full sized Glock magazines. The pared-down frame and slide made it easy to carry and conceal. And the fact that it could use any 9mm Glock magazine gives it the firepower to make it a great concealed carry choice when compared to single-stack compact nines.
I bought my first Glock 26 — a Generation 3 — a few years ago, and after carrying it a while, I was kicking myself for not getting one sooner! This little pistol is awesome, and I now carry it more than any other pistol in my collection. Reliable and accurate right out of the box, it is my constant companion.
Internally, it’s not much different from any other 9mm Glock, so you get the well-known reliability and predictable trigger pull, plus you can use standard capacity magazines from Glocks 17 and 19 as spares, almost tripling your firepower with only one extra magazine.
Even better, on the off chance that the Zombie Apocalypse comes to pass, you can even use the 33-round Glock 18 magazines in this little powerhouse. An added bonus is that magazines are typically very inexpensive, with factory Glock standard capacity magazines going for around $21 and the popular Korean contract magazines can be found for as low as $10 apiece.
The newer Generation 4 Glocks share the same rugged reliability and features, but have interchangeable back straps that allow the shooter to adjust the grip frame to fit the individual shooter, as well as a dot-shaped rough texture finish on the grip frame area that adds slightly more purchase than the old style stippled finish. The new magazine release button is reversible, and the recoil spring assembly now features an improved dual spring arrangement that is claimed to soften recoil and extend the service life of the pistol.
Carry solutions are extremely easy to find for the “Baby Glock,” and in a pinch, you can even use holsters made for other 9mm or .40 S&W Glocks.
Shooting the Glock 26 reveals no surprises if you’ve shot any other Glock 9mm. The sight picture is clear and sharp, with the familiar U-shaped white outline and white front dot standing out clearly against most any background.
Recoil is very forgiving in this small pistol, and follow up shots are super easy to manage because of the comfortable grip frame and superior ergonomics. I’ve found it to be just as accurate and comfortable to shoot as my Glock 19 when I do my part, and with the addition of a Pearce Grip “plus two” magazine extension, it fits my hands perfectly while upping my round count to 12 in the magazine. That, coupled with the reduced size of the slide and grip frame, make it an awesome concealed carry choice.
The first thing you might notice about it on the range is that it’s comfortable and, dare I say, luxurious to shoot. The wide back strap and hand-filling grip softens the recoil of even heavy 9mm loads much more than you would experience out of a thinner, single-stack 9mm. Even without the grip extension, it’s more than controllable and comfortable enough to shoot all day if you want, without eating up your hand with sharp edges or beating you to death with sharp recoil.
Up close and personal, where this pistol was designed to perform, it’s light, handy and quick to point. The slide features a nicely beveled forward section that aids re-holstering and the controls are easy to reach without offering any snags or edges that could catch on your cover garment during your draw. You can tell this pistol was designed with concealed carry in mind.
The polymer frame, durable internals and tough surface finish on the slide ensure that sweat, rain and other hazards of daily carry won’t rust or corrode your pistol as you go about your daily routine, even in the hottest weather, which is a valid concern here in Texas. With all that it has to offer in terms of durable, concealable firepower and comfort, the Glock 26 is the “total package.”
For the last several years, dozens of manufacturers have been coming out with excellent compact nines in response to the fast-growing concealed carry market. You don’t see a lot of publicity about it, but Glock was ahead of the game by a good many years. Twenty years later, the “Baby Glock” is still an excellent choice, quietly chugging along, right up there with all the new technological wonder-guns available today.
This little pistol, largely unchanged since its introduction, is proof positive that good designs are hard to beat, and that’s why it’s still going strong.