I’ve made no secrets about my ongoing love affair with Glocks. I know some says they feel blocky, uncomfortable and they don’t fit the hand well, but the more I shoot them the more I love them and the more it feels like they were made for my hands. The more I experience their reliability round after round after round after round… get it? I think an even better question would be with all of the concealed carry style pistols I review on this site, how could I NOT have done the Glock 26 yet?
Anyway my Dad wouldn’t go near them for the longest time. Despite my explanation of Glock pistols actually having THREE different safeties built in, I guess the idea of no manual external safety spelled “unsafe” to him just like it does multitudes of other people. So when he called me in December to say something like, “Hey bud, I’m thinking of getting a new carry rig, is there anything you can suggest?”, I tried stopping myself before I surprised even my own quick wit with “GET A GLOCK 26!” (all CAPS LOCK = shouting)
At the time I was carrying a Gen Glock 23 every day in my Louisville Leather IWB holster (and a Glock 19 prior to that), which to this day is still the most comfortable way I’ve found to carry the compact frame sized Glocks on the inside of my belt. I have a couple of friends that pack Glock 27s & 29s every day, so I figured the 9mm version Glock 26 would be the best starting point for Dad.
So he got it a few days after Christmas and started shooting it immediately. When he showed up with it in June to do the handgun review it had 600 trouble free rounds through it. Perfect. This included a mixture of standard FMJ ball ammo and his preferred Barnes SDX 115 grain self defense ammo. After several flawless trips to the range and commandeering a new kydex fitting for his White Hat Holster he began carrying it. Daily. Any time I would ask him about his Glock 26 he’d rant and rave and talk like he’d been a fanboy all along and I never had to convince him.
A couple months ago my buddy Vic at 5 Rings Tactical started to ask if I had seen issues with new production Gen 3 Glock 9mm pistols, namely the 17, 19 and 26. My answer was “NO” as every Gen 3 Glock I had touched in 9mm was 100% perfect. Apparently around July of 2010 Glock started using a “DIPPED” extractor that has proven to be of inferior quality when compared to the original pieces. Glock has pretty much denied this publicly up and down but after doing a little snooping online one can find it’s definitely a problem.
BECAUSE Dad’s 26s (yes plural, he had to get another one) were new production Gen 3 9mm pistols I called Glock to get a manufacture date via the serial numbers. Yep, one was made in November of 2011 and the other in April of 2012. Both in the problem window. BUT apparently some distributors have been making steps to avoid issues with these new production Gen 3 pistols by ordering the original style extractors in bulk from Glock and having their own Smiths replace them before distributing to dealers. That or an assembly worker has gone vigilante rogue on the builds and refuses to put the new dipped extractor in. I can’t say for certain whether or not these 26s have the old or new style extractor, but either way, Dad’s 26s haven’t had the problem.
I’ve had experience with the snappier Glock 27 both in Gen 3 and 4, but this was my first time firing the GLOCK 26 in 9×19 caliber. Heading in I already knew how much I loved my Glock 19. This thing absolutely purrs. The recoil is terribly mild, accuracy is outstanding and the overall footprint is so small you forget you have it with you while wearing a quality holster. The factory trigger is terrible as usual, but I’ve grown used to them from repeated use and they honestly don’t bother me any more. My family is now so inundated with Glock pistols that my mother prefers shooting Dad’s 26s over her own Ruger LCR and even Dad’s buttery smooth 1911s! Yeah my mom shoots. Big deal.
What about the short grip? Well for me personally because of where the palm swell falls on the back side of the grip frame it rests right in the groove of my hand. So for me being able to get two full fingers on the grip with my pinky slid underneath the butt of the magazine was just fine in terms of control and comfort. Grip extensions are available if the shooter demands a longer grip, but the tradeoff is enhanced concealment of the short grip the Glock 26 offers.
IN THE END
In the end it is what it is. A baby Glock. It’s the mirrored footprint of its bigger counterparts that have people swearing by its reliability for years past and years to come. Maybe I’m mailing this in a bit because I’ve done serious top-to-bottom review of other Glock pistols, but in all honesty that’s the truth. It’s just like the others… only smaller. The model is a Generation 3 which isn’t the newest out there with the Gen 4 models are finding their way into popularity here and there, but you’d better believe Glock is continuing to make Gen 3 pistols because they’re affordable, people love them and they just work. Glock pistols aren’t 100% free of its own problems here and there, but their reliability and reasonable price make it an outstanding option when you need a gun you can carry and not worry if it gets beat up and abused.