We’ve spent some time comparing different models of Glock and how they stack up against each other .We started off by putting the Glock 19 up against the Glock 48, and then looked at what a Glock 43 gives you versus the Glock 48.  We’re going to wrap up this series today by taking a look at a Glock 19 vs a Glock 26. These are Glock’s first two attempts at building a 9mm pistol that was smaller and lighter than the full-size 9mm Glock 17. Both are very popular guns in their market niches, and both continue Glock’s legacy of making reliable, accurate guns. 

Glock 19 vs Glock 26 Fast Facts

  • The Glock 19 is one of the most-popular pistols for concealed carry in the United States 
  • The smaller Glock 26 is one of Glock’s first attempts at a compact 9mm pistol 
  • Magazines, sights and triggers for the Glock 19 will work in a Glock 26 

Glock 19

Glock 19 vs 26

One compact Glock, and one really compact Glock

The concealed carry movement in the United States was in its infancy in 1984 when Glock released the model 17. The initial market for this pistol was the Austrian Army. However, the unique advantages of a lightweight, rugged high capacity service pistol drew the attention of other militaries all over the world, as well as a number of law enforcement agencies. 

A full size gun with a barrel over 4 inches long might work on the hip of a patrol officer or military service member, but undercover officers and detectives wanted in on the Glock action as well, and in 1988, the Glock 19 was born. This coincided with the beginning of concealed carry movement in the United States and the birth of what some people call “Gun Culture 2.0.”

Gun Culture 2.0 is more about concealed carry than is about hunting and target shooting, and the features of the Glock 19 are well-suited to someone who needs a compact, yet concealable defensive pistol. 

Glock 26

While smaller than the Glock 17, the Glock 19, however, was still too large for some applications. Some law enforcement officers and armed citizens use a smaller, more concealable pistol as a backup gun or for situations when even the Glock 19 was too difficult to conceal. 

Two Glocks side by side

No, the American flag back plate does not come standard on the Glock 26. Neither do those sights

Glock responded to this need in their usual manner, namely changing the dimensions of a pre-existing gun and slapping a new number on it. The Glock 26 rolled out in 1992 and soon became the backup gun of choice for police officers who carried a Glock 17 or Glock 19 as their primary sidearm. 

Things were a little bit different when it came to armed citizens, however. Glock 26 is much shorter than Glock 19, which means it can be difficult to get enough fingers on the frame in order to establish a good firing grip on the pistol. An extended grip or higher capacity magazine can solve that problem, but then you are left with a gun that’s just as thick and only slightly less taller than a Glock 19, but with a shorter barrel. 

The Glock 26, however, is ideally suited to serve as a backup gun if you carry a Glock 17 or Glock 19. It takes the same magazines as those pistols and has the same method of operation as the other two guns. This means that your spare magazine will work in your backup gun and you won’t have to switch over to another type of trigger mechanism or something similar if your primary pistol is out of the fight. 

CaliberWeight (w/magazine)Height (w magazine)WidthLengthBarrel LengthCapacity
Glock 269x19 Luger19.72 ounces4.17 inches1.30 inches6.42 inches3.43 inches10 rounds
Glock 199x19 Luger23.6 ounces5.04 inches1.26 inches7.36 inches4.02 inches15 rounds

Practical Considerations 

On the range, the larger frame of the Glock 19 vs the Glock 26 made a big difference when it came to holding on to the gun. The Glock 26 is definitely smaller and much more difficult to hold onto, especially during rapid fire. The shorter frame meant that we couldn’t get our pinkies onto the gun. This, in turn, meant the Glock 26 had more felt recoil and muzzle flip under rapid fire than the Glock 19 during rapid-fire exercises such as the Bill Drill

Comparing two Glocks

Even with the magazine extension you see in this photo, the 26 was hard to hold onto

The Glock 19, on the other hand, showed why it is a popular choice for a defensive pistol. The gun was easy to shoot and easy to control, even during rapid fire. The larger size of the Glock 19 vs a Glock 26 makes it harder to conceal. However, with a good holster and a proper cover garment, it can be quite easy to carry a Glock 19 in almost any situation. 

Why You Want A Glock 19

As we’ve said before, the Glock 19 is the Toyota Camry of guns. If it were a beer, it would be Bud Light. The Glock 19 is everywhere, and is the default carry gun of choice for many, many new gun owners. If it’s too thick for your comfort, the Glock 48 might be the gun for you. If the size and weight of the Glock 19 are a bit much for you, consider carrying a Glock 48. It’s everything you like about the model 19, but less. 

Why You Want A Glock 26 

The Glock 26 is a great little gun and the perfect companion to a larger double stack 9mm Gock. However it’s a bit thick compared to the small compact 9mm’s of today. This means unless you want the four extra rounds in a Glock 26 or need magazine compatibility with a larger gun, I’d suggest going with the Glock 43. While it’s even harder to control under rapid fire than the Glock 26, it’s smaller, lighter and easier to conceal, which are key features in a small pocket pistol or backup gun. It’s not that Glock 26 is a bad gun (it’s not, it’s a terrific gun), it’s just that there are newer guns out there that serve the same purpose, but with slightly better features. 


Glock pistols have a well-earned reputation for simplicity, accuracy and reliability. In today’s crowded gun market, where many different manufacturers are making better pistols than ever before, Glock pistols continue to be best-sellers, year after year. This means that whatever gun you choose, if you’re considering a Glock 19 vs a Glock 26, you’re going to get something that will be there for you when you need it the most.