I’m not going to lie. I’ve wanted to test a Glock 26 as my daily concealed carry gun for years, even with all the newer carry guns. Somehow, other handguns always came my way, and I just never got the chance to add one to my own collection. 

But as more and more subcompacts and micro 9s hit the scene over time – like the P365 I routinely carry – I did wonder if I even really wanted it anymore. Still, I had this little devil on my shoulder begging me to try one. So, I finally grabbed one for testing … and – spoiler alert – I’m really glad I did.


Table of Contents

Intro: G26 History
First Impressions
Shooting & Accuracy
Specs & Features
Pros & Cons
Final Thoughts

Intro: G26 History


Modified specifically for concealed carry, the puggish Glock 26s were Glock's entry into the more subcompact-size market, with some genes shared with the larger Glock 19 and Glock 17. While that may seem obvious, it’s worth noting the market space Glock was targeting with the G26 and just what became of it over time.
 

Glock 26 9mm pistol
Glock's 1995 contribution to the subcompact game required more than simply making the parts on the larger Glocks shorter. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


Launched in 1995, the gun was really meant for the civilian market, though it certainly found a home with law enforcement as a backup/off-duty/undercover option. The reception was positive, and it was even dominant, for a while. Until the new double-stack micro 9 revolution, there just weren’t that many guns in its size range or smaller in 1995. With a then-generous capacity of 10+1, it was a nice compromise for fans of Glock’s reputation for reliability who required something a tad smaller than the Glock 19. 

By today’s standards for micro 9s, the older Glock 26 is rather girthy. Redesigning the gun for its smaller size did require reworking the frame, slide, barrel, and spring assembly, which became a dual recoil spring. But that thickness opened the doors for a platform that could use most other 9mm double-stack Glock mags for guns like the G19 and G17. So, when more than 10 rounds were needed, the Glock 26 could still answer the call while remaining relatively small for daily carry needs.
 

First Impressions

 

Glock 26 9mm pistol
I mean, it's not very big. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


My gun came to me as a humble, factory-stock used Glock 26 Gen 3 from the Guns.com Certified Used Vault. Even used, this pistol showed almost no signs of it, with very little wear anywhere on the frame, slide, or barrel. I personally own a Gen 4 Glock 19 and 17, so I was excited to compare the guns. It felt a bit retro for a compact carry gun these days, but not really in a bad way.

The first obvious impression was the size, which certainly was concealed-carry small. I could feel some familiarity in the grip when I picked it up. There were the same finger grooves and thickness shared by my personal Glocks, but the grip was clearly shortened to just barely allow my little finger to comfortably rest with a pinky extension. The backend tucked into the center of my palm nicely. 
 

Glock 26 9mm pistol
The pinky extension certainly helps with some control, though you can skip that for a bit more concealability. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)
Glock 26 9mm pistol
The sides of the grip are actually rather slippery, but the rear cutouts do dig into my palm for comfortable but controllable traction. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


So, obviously, it felt smaller – not a shocking observation – but it also felt good in my hand with a weight similar to my Glock 19. After years of shooting thin small-carry guns, I had grown fairly used to the feel of them. Yet, I never really loved that thin feeling. 

I was hopeful for the little Glock 26 and quickly prepped it for a range visit.
 

Shooting & Accuracy

 

Glock 26 9mm pistol
The Glock "goal post" sights offer function, but they're not my favorite. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


My used test gun still had the stock Glock polymer “goal post” sights, never my favorite but certainly serviceable from past experience. The sight radius was a shorter 5.5 inches compared to my Glock 19’s more generous 6 inches. Thus, my first thought was I shouldn’t expect better accuracy with a shorter grip and sight radius.

Then I realized the shortened grip actually helped me point the gun more naturally. Normally, I find that Glock’s 22-degree grip angle makes my natural point of aim angle upward. That was less true with the G26. I was going to warm up before testing, but instead, I decided to just see how the gun performed on my first mag.

I rolled a target out to 10 yards, loaded my first mag, and hoped for the best. The results surprised me in two ways. First, for the size of the gun, it shot a nice group for my abilities on my first go. I printed my shots high for the first mag, but that’s a common thing for me with stock Glock sights. 
 

Glock 26 9mm pistol
These were my first shots at 10 yards. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


On my first go, I ended with around a 2-inch group at 10 yards, minus a low flyer that would still only stretch it to 3 inches. The shots were also nice and centered. In comparison, it shot about how I do with my Glock 17 at 15 yards. Frankly, I’ll take that performance for a small carry package.
 

Glock 17
I can do better with my full-sized Glock 17, which boasts a significantly longer grip and sight radius, at 15 yards – with this being a more rapid-fire target from the same distance with 69 rounds. But that's not really a knock on the smaller G26. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


What struck me most was how controllable the gun was with the short grip and the small pinky extension. The recoil impulse was there, sure, but it was not uncomfortable. Follow-up shots were smooth and fast. 

The trigger, also stock Glock, had the familiar springy take-up, toothpick-like break, and a positive reset at about a quarter of an inch of travel. It wasn’t anything special, but personally I wouldn’t change it if it were my concealed carry gun.

9mm ammo
I don’t really feel I need to spend much time on reliability for the proven Glock 26 platform, and the gun happily ate everything you see above and more. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


As for reliability, the little G26 ran flawlessly over 400 rounds of a mix of Federal 115-grain Synthetic Range, 115-grain Buffalo Cartridge Company Adrenaline, 115-grain Blazer Brass, 115-grain Remington Range, 124-grain SIG Sauer Elite V-Crown, and 124-grain Sierra JHP. 
 

Specs & Features

 

Glock 26 9mm pistol
All the parts are rather standard but modified Glock parts. But you will note the double recoil spring. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


There’s nothing very flashy about the G26 specs anymore, so I’ll start by listing the basics right out of the gate.

  • Overall Length: 6.5 inches
  • Barrel Length: 3.4 inches
  • Height (Flush Mag): 4.2 inches 
  • Height (Pinky Extension): 4.9 inches 
  • Width (Widest Point): 1.7 inches
  • Slide Width: 1 inch
  • Sight Radius: 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 1.38 pounds
  • Trigger Pull: 6.8 pounds
  • Capacity: 10+1, with standard G26 mags

Interpreting that, it’s just 0.86 inches shorter than a Glock 19 with a height that’s pretty much just an inch less. Weight rolls in at just 2.5 ounces less than a stock G19, making it a bit hefty compared to something like a newer Taurus GX4 that comes in at just 1.17 pounds, offers a capacity of 11+1, and is trimmer in basically every other dimension. 
 

Glock 19 and Glock 26
Side by side, the G26 (left) clearly has a reduced length when compared to the Glock 19. On paper, it's only 0.86 inches shorter, but that does seem a bit more significant when they're next to each other. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)
Glock 19 and Glock 26
Similarly, the length of the grip is only an inch less on the G26, but you can see the impact that might have on concealed carry. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


So, the specs don’t look much different than a Glock 19 and are certainly less “compact” than the many modern micro 9s. But there are other issues, specifically the features of the gun itself.

The grip texture is lacking, in my opinion, even on the updated versions I’ve shot like the Gen5s – but many folks slap on their own texturing. It has semi-stippled side panels that are a bit slick and didn’t seem to impact my grip feel much. The back base of the gun has some cuts that do dig into the base of your hand a bit when shooting, with similar cuts between the finger grooves. Overall, it works, but it’s lacking and was improved – in my humble opinion – in the Gen4 and Gen5 Glocks. But it’s minimal.
 

Glock 26 9mm pistol
The small magazine release and slide stop are fine with me, but the newer gens increased the size. Plus, there are plenty of aftermarket options. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


As a Gen3, it has a small slide release with a short mound protecting it at the base. The magazine is equally small and hard to reach without breaking your grip. Again, these were all more or less improved in the Gen4 and Gen5 models, and there are aftermarket solutions, but they’ve always been areas of complaint that I’ve heard about Glocks in general. Then again, Glocks are still immensely popular and have proven reliability, so weigh it with that in mind.

Finally, we get to the sights, which are just basic Glock polymer sights we’ve been seeing for years now. The front white dot and rear “goal post” do work. Personally, I would change them out for metal night sights. 
 

Pros & Cons

 

Glock 26 9mm pistol
The front finger grooves with some texturing are probably the most positive parts of the grip for controlling the gun, which isn't saying much compared to many newer grip textures. It's worth noting the Gen5 Glocks removed the grooves in favor of more texture. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


Here's my shortlist of the pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Simplicity and easy to use
  • Easy shootability
  • Feels solid and controllable
  • Lots of aftermarket support
  • Concealability
  • Reliable
  • Can host larger Glock mags

Cons: 

  • Heavy by today’s concealed carry standards
  • Lower capacity compared to many lighter options
  • Could use more grip texture
  • Sights are basic but effective
  • Thick 
     

Final Thoughts

I think it’s fair to end by returning to why I ever wanted a Glock 26 in the first place. It’s not that much different from a Glock 19 in size with five fewer rounds. Heck, I’ve even been told by several range buddies, “Man, just skip it and get a Glock 19.”

But I did get to spend some time carrying this G26. Thanks to a random Kydex IWB holster I found in my big ol’ box of holsters, I took it for a spin over a few weeks, primarily carrying it appendix. It does conceal easier, pokes less on my body when working, and I generally enjoyed carrying it more. The size difference is minor to the Glock 19, but it does have a surprising impact. 

So, I certainly wouldn’t snub adding a G26 to my collection. And I feel I wouldn’t have been wrong to get one earlier in my concealed carry journey. 

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