Glock, Glock, Glock, the conversation about the Austrian-made, polymer frame, striker pistol never ends. You either hate them or love them. What you can’t deny is that they work exceptionally well. They dominate the handgun conversation for a reason, and they’ve completely changed the market. Nowadays, it seems everyone copies the Glock pistol with their polymer frame, double stack designs, with partially cocked strikers, and modular footprint.
With all that said, today we are going to compare two Glocks. Specifically, the Glock 43 and Glock 26. Full Glock 26 review here. Both represent two distinct markets of concealed carry pistols and both show how Glock infiltrates so many markets that they even compete with themselves. The market for Glock pistols is expansive enough that they can support competing pistols. With that in mind, allow us to help you find the right Glock for you.
- Final Grade : A+
- Final Grade : B+
Why the Glock 43 vs. Glock 26?
What’s the point in comparing these two guns? I admittedly didn’t just pull them out of my butt or throw darts at pieces of paper with random Glocks. I chose these two because they represent the concealed carry genre. The Glock 26 and Glock 43 are both small guns and both 9mms. They are well suited for easy carrying and allow for deep concealment in a multitude of concealment positions.
While they are similar in many aspects of their design, they are also very different. They both represent two specific carry genres. The Glock 26 represents the classic subcompact 9mm, which was quite popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. The Glock 43 is a single stack 9mm, a genre that dominated in the 2010s and .
That leads us to our main difference…
The Big Difference
Size, due to magazine design, is the biggest difference between the Glock 26 and Glock 43. With the Glock 26, we get the stock Glock double stack 9mm magazine. It holds ten rounds and is considerably thicker than the Glock 43’s magazine. With the Glock 43, we have a single stack 9mm magazine that holds six rounds.
The use of a double-stack magazine creates a fairly thick weapon. The Glock 26 is 1.26 inches thick compared to the 1.06-inch thick Glock 43. Since the grip comes in considerably thicker, the rest of the gun might as well be thicker too. The grip, slide, and overall layout of the Glock 26 have more in common with the Glock 19 and 17 than the Glock 43.
Thicker guns and bigger guns can be tougher to conceal and less comfortable to carry. There is also a slight trigger reach difference between the two guns due to the grip width.
Upgrades and Accessories for Glock 43
Glock 43 OEM Magazine 6 Round 9mm
|Buy on Amazon
Other Size Differences
Outside of the thickness difference, there are a few slight differences in each firearm’s size worth mentioning. The Glock 26 might be thicker, but it is shorter. The Glock 26 is 4.27 inches tall, and the Glock 43 is 4.25 inches tall.
The Glock 43 is shorter in overall length at 6.26 inches, while the G26 measures out to 6.5 inches. In barrel length, the difference is very minor. The Glock 26 has a 3.43-inch long barrel, and the G43 has a 3.41-inch long barrel.
In terms of weight, the Glock 43 is lighter. At 16.23 ounces, the G43 is a fair bit lighter than the 19.4-ounce Glock 26.
We already established that the Glock 26 holds ten rounds and the Glock 43 holds six. Out the gate, the Glock 26 clearly wins. It also keeps winning. If this was a race, the Glock 26 would be lapping the Glock 43. The G26 can also use magazines from the Glock 19, the Glock 17, and the 33-round stick magazines, not to mention the numerous drums that allow it to hold 50 rounds.
The Glock 43 has a little aftermarket support in the magazine department. ETS makes slightly extended magazines that can hold nine or twelve rounds. That’s just huffing and puffing to even try to keep up with the G26. If capacity is king for you, then the 26 wears the crown.
You will notice, for our favorite Glock 26 upgrades we have listed all double stack 9mm Glock magazines, as it can accept them all, greatly enhancing the capacity of the 26 over the 43.
Upgrades and Accessories for Glock 26
Glock OEM Gen 5 12 Round 9mm
Glock OEM Gen 5 15 Round 9mm
Glock OEM Gen 5 17 Round 9mm
Glock OEM Gen 4/5 33 Round 9mm
Ghost Minus Trigger Connector for Glock
Trijicon HD Night Sight
|Buy on Amazon
There are a few minor differences worth noting. First, the Glock 26 gets the Gen 5 treatment these days. This includes the Marksman Barrel, the new magazine design, the ambidextrous slide stop, and several other upgrades. Beyond that, there is a factory MOS version for optic compatibility.
The G43 falls into the slimline family, and as a slimline gun, the G43 sits outside of the typical generational differences. There are no optics-ready models from the factory, and it doesn’t get the love of the Marksman Barrel either.
Since the Glock 26 is basically a chopped Glock 17, it shares parts commonality with the Glock 17 and 19 series. Meaning you can use aftermarket magazine releases, slide stops, sights, triggers, and more with the Glock. 26. The aftermarket for the Glock 26 is absolutely massive compared to the Glock 43.
From a Practical Standpoint
We’ve given data, the numbers, weights, capacities, and more. What does it all mean at the end of the day? We’ll let’s dive into that.
As mentioned, the thinner, lighter, and smaller Glock 43 gives you a weapon that’s easier to conceal and likely much more comfortable to conceal. It’s downright pocket-sized. Carrying it IWB, appendix, and even ankle or pocket is possible and comfortable.
The Glock 26’s thicker than a Snickers design can make it a little harder to conceal and a little less comfortable. It might require you to make slight adjustments to your clothing to conceal effectively. The bigger Glock 26 doesn’t fit well in a pocket and will require looser-fitting jeans for ankle carry.
The G26 is still fairly easy to conceal, but there is a huge comfort difference between the two. Although the size differences may seem slight, you can feel the weight and size distinction when you tuck each gun into an IWB holster.
When it comes time to start banging hammers, you will find the larger Glock 26 is a bit easier to shoot. A thicker frame disperses recoil over a wider area and can be more comfortable. I really noticed this during high-volume training.
The extra weight can help reduce recoil as well. Obviously, you have more ammo, so reloading is less necessary. Reloading is also a little easier since the magazines are wider and easier to grip, and the magazine well is also wider.
These slight differences can matter to the end user, and hopefully, we’ve provided you with the information you need to make your decision. At the very least, we’ve helped make it easier, and what will help you the most is to try both guns, preferably at the range, and see what really works for you. The good news is that Glock has made quality guns for decades, and either way, you’re getting a fantastic option for self-defense.
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