When I was a younger man, I tended to avoid Glocks. They just seemed ugly, blocky, and a bit of a fad. Pretty dumb, I know. At least I never walked around with a mullet, like some of you guys. Thankfully though, I now have a few more years under my belt. To which, many of the naive and youthful sensibilities of my past have abated me. I now find myself more frequently wearing Crocs and shooting Glocks. I mean, let’s be honest, Crocs are ugly but super comfy… kind of like a Glock.
Despite my bad jokes and the tactical disadvantages of a pair of Crocs, the Glock 26 (“Baby Glock”) is tactically sound. If you are in the market for a great concealed carry weapon, then rocking the Baby Glock in your Crocs won’t make you a fashionista, but you will be well-armed…and comfortable.
So, flip that mullet to the back, and let’s get down to business.
Glock 26 Specs
- Capacity 10(Standard) 12 (Optional)
- Caliber 9mm
- Height 4.17”
- Length 6.42”
- Weight 21.52 oz.
Glock 26 Background
Glock brought the Glock 26 to the table in 1995 and designed it as the kid brother of the Glock 19 and Glock 17. Both of which (Glock 19 & 17) are staple choices for many Law Enforcement agencies. A bigger brother to all of these is the Glock 34. All these models are striker-fired, 9mm handguns, with the major differences between them being essentially size, length, and ammo capacity. Over the years, Glock has innovated and refined this series of handguns multiple times and delineated these changes through a naming convention that sequentially orders each generation.
The Baby Glock (a nickname given to it by the manufacturer) on the other hand, was intentionally designed to provide a concealed carry option that provides a smaller and lighter double-stacked gun, which affords a relatively high ammo capacity. Compared to the single stack options of a Glock 43, LC9, or the M&P Shield, this is a great advantage. Moreover, since the Glock 19 influenced its design, the Baby Glock has a very familiar feel to Glock 19 and 17 owners. To top it off, the Glock 19 mag, Glock 17 mag, and Glock’s 34 round mag are all receivable in the Glock 26. This I believe is a great feature and selling point for the Glock 26.
Currently, the latest model of the Glock 26, is the Glock 26 Gen 5, released in 2018. However, this article will be focused on the Gen 4, while briefly annotating minor comparisons of the Gen 5 model for context.
Glock 26 Features
1 Magazine Interchangeability
Availability of an extended 12+1 magazine, but also capable of housing Glock 19, 17, and Glock’s 34 round magazine
2 Aggressive Texturing
Small pyramid shaped texturing on grip promotes excellent retention
3 Ambidextrous Mag Release
Ability to relocate the mag release for left-handed shooters
4 Dual Recoil Spring Assembly
Recoil spring that lessens muzzle flip and softens recoil
5 Modular Back Strap System
Back Strap adaptability to accommodate a more suited grip without changing grip angle
Glock 26 Review – Our Take
My first impression of the Glock 26 sounded something like this: “Jeepers! It is a dadgum baby Glock!” Very compact, stout, and pretty much a shrunken Glock 19. The dimensions around the grip, the trigger location, mag release, and slide lock all felt like holding a Glock 19. Recently, I have come to enjoy shooting the Glock 19 and 17. With that, I was quite anxious to get my hands on the 26 and throw some rounds down range.
Now, this handgun was designed to be a double-stacked concealed carry weapon. Whereas the 17 was created to be more or less, an open carry or operational carry. The 19 on the other hand can and is used for both. Surely, the 26 can be utilized as an open/operational carry, but I do not understand why anybody would, considering the tactical advantages and extra doses of freedom you get with the 19 and 17. The Baby Glock is a specific tool, designed for a specific purpose, and that’s perfectly fine. Just something to keep in mind if you’re debating between these models for your next buy.
To get a feel for the Glock 26, I tested it through a litany of drills that will reveal nearly all aspects of a handgun. I also ran a tremendous amount of dry fire reps. In doing so, I discovered things I like, things I don’t like, and some things that are unique to the Baby Glock.
Overall, it did not disappoint. Its sleek and compact design really makes the difference in carrying concealed. I personally like an appendix carry, and from that position, it was comfortable and accessible. While wearing a normal-sized t-shirt, there was very little visible external printing. To compare, I holstered a Glock 19 in the same holster and commenced normal daily activities. It printed on my t-shirt just a little bit, but there wasn’t much difference in walking or standing. Sitting down and especially while sitting inside of a car, the longer barrel and slide of the Glock 19 pressed into my thigh and created a noticeable point of pressure compared to the Glock 26. For that, I give the Glock 26 higher marks on comfort when concealed.
Despite its ability to conceal well, my greatest talking point against it is the short grip. As with nearly all sub-compacts designed for concealment, the absence of that full-length grip can be an issue. I noticed it the most while shooting, and some of it was on the draw. It’s natural that shortened grips on handguns like these are going to create an issue; however, I do believe consistent training can eliminate a good portion of fumbling that comes with manipulating a small weapon.
All this considered, the Glock 26 will fulfill its purpose right out of the box without any Gucci go fast stuff on it and is absolutely worth considering. It’s not a Lambo, or for you guys with mullets; it’s not a Camaro. It’s like an 88 Ford Ranger that gets the job done every time. Durability and reliability matter most, especially when considering a concealed carry weapon.
Let’s zero in on the Baby Glock a bit more…
Reliability – Not much to mention here, as Glock firearms have one of the best reputations for working whenever you pull the trigger. During my bout of testing with this firearm, I did not experience any malfunctions related to the operation or mechanics of the handgun. However, I did experience trigger freeze on two occasions, but this was at no fault of the gun itself. The error was on my part from not being acclimated to the trigger travel to reset. Certainly, easy enough to train out, or replace the trigger with an aftermarket product that suits you better. At the end of the day though, the Glock 26 operated beautifully, and on a high level of consistency.
As far as ammo goes, I busted through 2 boxes of CCI Blazers, 2 boxes of 115 gr XForce (first time shooting that stuff, no complaints), a box of 115 gr Magtech, and even a box of 115 gr Wolf steel cased ammo. The Baby Glock ate it up and spit it out with no problems. Like any new purchase, be sure to experiment with ammo and find what works best for you. For the sake of this article though, any of the choices above are relatively inexpensive and great for training.
Accuracy & Shootability – With accuracy in mind, I didn’t experience anything spectacular. I am no pro-3-gun shooter by any means, but I can stack rounds when not on the clock. While on the topic of accuracy, one of the previously mentioned features of this handgun is the dual recoil spring. Glock incorporated this feature to decrease muzzle flip and make accuracy easier to attain for quick successive shot groups. Nevertheless, the muzzle flip is still noticeable. Especially if you’re accustomed to the recoil of a Glock 19 or 17. Typically, the shorter the barrel, the snappier it’s going to be. I believe this is also exasperated by the shorter grip. However, I find some improvement when shooting with the extended 12+1 magazine. That pinky finger may be the smallest digit, but it certainly makes a world of difference to manage recoil.
The standard Glock sights get the job done, but are bland in my opinion. Check out “glockstore.com” or even Amazon, for better options.
The trigger is O.K… Nothing to write home about, but will work, nonetheless. I do like the crisp snap of the trigger when it goes into action. Technically, this handgun has three safeties: trigger safety, firing pin safety, and drop safety. All of which sequentially disengage when the trigger is pulled. Likewise, all of them reengage when the trigger is released. Therefore, one could say the Safe-Action Trigger is the only safety. Which is fine, I prefer self-defense/conceal carry weapons this way.
All in all, its accuracy and shootability were what I expected. Nothing spectacular, but functional and consistent.
Ergonomics – This is where I am going to beat up the Baby Glock the most. Much of these talking points are consequential to their size. Please note, that I do believe some of these can be trained through or at least mitigated.
For example, if you are accustomed to drawing with a full-sized handgun. Chances are your speed will initially be decreased in trying to find that good consistent grip purchase while drawing the Glock 26. That initial grip is paramount to drawing quickly, pushing out, firing accurately, and managing recoil. There were multiple times in my testing that I fumbled grasping for a proper grip. This was especially true for drills on the clock. Once that timer went off, I aggressively sought that initial grip and failed to do so. I would categorize this as another point of performance that will require additional training and attention if you choose a Glock 26.
As for the magazine, I discovered while running the standard 10+1 magazine, my pinky finger collapsed underneath the magazine and played pretty much zero part in stabilizing or gripping the gun. However, a feature that does help with retention is the finger grooves. Despite their assistance with grip, I find it to be an overall disadvantage to someone with smaller hands, as it forces a two-finger grip. If this aspect of the gun turns you off, I suggest checking out the Glock 26 Gen 5, as this feature was not carried over to its design. However, if you solely run the extended 12+1 magazine, you will gain the additional grip of that pinky finger, but also lengthen the grip’s profile, and potentially create more external printing while concealed.
What I do like about the ergonomics of this gun, is the aggressive texturing that is provided on the grip and back strap. These tiny pyramid-shaped features really do induce the traction necessary for retention. Likewise, a feature I would like to see on more handguns is the modular or interchangeable back straps. The ability to reduce or gain the circumference of the grip is a great feature to personalize your firearm.
In the same vein of personalization, Glock saw fit to give southpaws the ability to move the mag release to the “wrong side” of the grip. If you were interested in adding the slide lock to the “wrong side” as well, I would also consider the Gen 5 over the Gen 4.
Given my criticisms of the Glock 26, I still believe it’s worth the money. Shop around and you’ll find they are running about $500. If you want something other than black, it’s probably going to cost you a bit more. Colors such as Olive Drab, Flat Dark Earth, and grey are all available if you look. There are also ample aftermarket products out there for RMR cut slides, grip wraps, triggers, and sights. Just be sure to check the price check before you buy. All these high-speed go-fast products can increase the overall total to way beyond 500 bucks.
If you already own a Glock 19 or 17, this pistol might appeal to you more, especially if the Glock 19 is just a bit big for you to conceal. If you are a bigger guy though, I wouldn’t waste much time with sub-compacts for concealment anyways. With a little wardrobe adjustment, you can probably conceal a full-sized pistol with little effort.
If a sub-compact is a must for you, then be sure to check out the Glock 26’s competitors. The Springfield Armory Hellcat or the Sig Sauer P365 are always great choices, even if they cost a bit more.
No matter what you decide, train, train, train! Spend 40 dollars on a laser cartridge from Amazon and get those dry fire reps in! They make a huge difference in proficiency and save you tons in ammo costs.
Stay strapped friends!
The small gun’s muzzle flip requires significant attention. Coupling this with shortened two-finger grip makes it even more difficult to shoot.
Even the 1911 fan boys can’t argue Glocks reputation for reliability. Beat it up, forget about it, doesn’t matter…it’ll shoot.
The adaptable mag release and back straps are the redeeming qualities here. Without those options, I would be more critical.
Although accuracy can be improved with more training, it is more difficult to be accurate with this gun over full sized handguns.
It’s hard to beat $500 or under for a reliable name brand pistol, especially compared to its immediate competitors
Glock 26 Gun Deals
Glock 26 Ammo
Glock 26 Starter Pack
So what’s next? Well, if you decide to get the Glock 26, you’re going to need to pick up some must-have basics. Here’s our recommendation for what you need to get started.
- Gun Cleaning Kit: Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box on Amazon or build your own personalized cleaning kit with premium components.
- Shooting Glasses: All it takes is one piece of rogue hot brass, and you’ll learn the importance of shooting glasses. But not all glasses are built the same. See our recommendations for the Best Shooting Glasses.
- Hearing Protection: Firing a gun without wearing proper ear pro can be very dangerous and detrimental to your hearing. Find out the best hearing protection for you in our full-length review.
- Storage: Check out our article on the Best Biometric Gun Safes
- Targets – If you’re wanting a great resource for shooting practice or zeroing your optics on your optics rifle or pistol, download our FREE Sighting in Targets below.
Glock 26 Upgrades
Glock 26 Field Strip
An important aspect of owning a firearm is knowing how to field trip it ready to be cleaned. While scouring the internet we have found a great short video on the disassembly and reassembly of your Glock 26 which I would highly recommend.
Glock 26 Documents
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February 6, 2023
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