Glock-9mm-5bc

The G26 and G27 were introduced at the same time in July, 1995. They were the first of the subcompact Glocks, often affectionately called “Baby Glocks.”

The G26 field stripped.
The G26 field stripped.

The G26 is chambered in 9×19 and the G27 is chambered in .40 S&W. It was only natural to go with these two calibers for the first of the subcompacts, for two reasons. First, these are the two most popular calibers in total Glock sales. Second, these are the two most popular issue calibers for police departments.

As with all standard-frame Glocks, the beauty is in the universal controls. It doesn’t matter if you’re handling the long slide G34, the G17 or G19, the G26 or G27, the .45 GAP pistols, .357 pistols, or any other standard-frame pistols, the controls are in the same location. The only Glocks that are different are the large-frame Glocks (like the G20), and the slimline Glocks (like the G42). Even those have the controls located in the same relative place on the frame, the only difference being that the differing thicknesses of the respective frame changes how your thumb interacts with those controls.

The G26 is my current everyday carry (EDC) pistol. Wisconsin is pretty new to concealed carry, and being a writer I’ve had the luxury of testing out many different concealed carry pistols. I started with wanting the smallest pistol I could find, which ended up being a little .380. Then I wanted something with more horsepower, which landed me a compact .45. Except that it wasn’t that compact, and I tired of trying to prevent it from printing. That’s about the time all the micro-nines hit the market, and I’ve tried most of them.

(Top to bottom): G26, G19 and G17 slides. Notice where the wall thickness reduction starts on each model.
(Top to bottom): G26, G19 and G17 slides. Notice where the wall thickness reduction starts on each model.

My initial carry 9mm was a nice little pistol, and reliable. But some of the parts on it seemed to wear out fast. The second one I tried is one of the fanciest on the market, but is the least reliable pistol I’ve ever owned. One failure per magazine is terrible, and this wasn’t just mine, but a widespread problem. I tried a couple of other micro-nines, and found one that is really great, except I don’t care for the trigger.

About that time rumors were swirling about the new Glock G42 coming out, which everyone thought would be a single-stack 9mm. If it was, it would be exactly what I was looking for. If you know one Glock, you pretty much know them all, and I like what I know about Glock pistols. But when it was released, it wasn’t a 9mm. So I turned to the G26, and I love it. I can’t picture carrying anything else for my EDC. It’s not quite as thin as I would like, but in exchange, it holds ten rounds in a standard mag, with the ability to use full-size G17 magazines (and will also work with G19 magazines). So I carry the 10-round magazine loaded, with a 17-round magazine on my belt.

(Top to bottom): G26, G19, and G17. The difference in barrel length is a reduction in the hollow barrel, which is once again, not a lot of weight reduction.
(Top to bottom): G26, G19, and G17. The difference in barrel length is a reduction in the hollow barrel, which is once again, not a lot of weight reduction.

The G26 is 6.41 inches in length, and 4.17 inches in height. That puts it at 0.9 inches shorter than the G19, and about 1.5 inches shorter than the G17. In height it’s about 0.8 inches shorter than the G19 and almost 1.3 inches shorter than the G17. At 21.17 ounces, it’s approximately two ounces lighter than the G19, and almost 3.5 ounces lighter than the G17. Given the difference in size, that’s not a lot of weight difference.

For the most part, though, there’s not going to be a lot of weight difference, and there shouldn’t be. There are three parts to the Glock that are reduced to make for the compact and sub-compact models: the frame (the bottom of the mag well and the front of the dust cover), the slide, and the barrel. The only part that can be shortened with impunity is the frame, but that’s only half an inch of polymer shell in two different places. The weight difference between the three frames is 3/8 of an ounce each.

The thing is, the 9mm cartridge creates basically the same recoil when fired, whether it’s from a G26, G19 or G17, which means you still need the same force to counter the force of recoil. The barrel and the frame comprise one of the two ways to counter the force of recoil, the other being the slide spring. You can’t have a significant reduction of weight in the slide and barrel, because you still need that counter weight.

(Top to bottom): G26, G19, and G17. The difference in weight of the three different slide springs isn’t a lot, either.
(Top to bottom): G26, G19, and G17. The difference in weight of the three different slide springs isn’t a lot, either.

Each model has a specific slide weight that it needs to cycle properly, and to achieve that, a portion of the slide wall is reduced so that it is thinner. The G17 reduces the slide wall about three-fourths of an inch from the front of the ejection port. The G19 doesn’t reduce it until after an inch and a half. The G26 doesn’t reduce it until as far forward as possible, which actually ends up being at the same place as the G19. To make up for the extra mass it needs, it uses the slide spring.

Unlike the compact and standard-frame Glock models, the G26 and other sub-compact models do not have an accessory rail on the dustcover. This means that you won’t be able to mount a flashlight on it, and if you’re looking to add a laser it will have to be mounted in a different manor, such as on the grip or the slide spring. The front of the slide is also beveled, which I think makes it look nice, and not so boxy. The lack of a rail (and thus accessories) and the beveled slide front make for a really smooth, easy slide into a carry holster.

In Part I, the author looked at the mid-sized G19. In Part III he will examine the G34.


This article is an excerpt from…

Glock Reference GuideGlock Reference Guide
By Robb Manning
Undeniably one of the most notable and influential firearms designs in the past half-century, the Glock pistol maintains its reputation as the preferred autoloading pistol for law enforcement and personal protection. With Glock Reference Guide, explore the evolution of the Glock pistol from the beginning to the very latest models. Coverage of every model produced is provided, as well as detailed descriptions and images. Buy it here

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