Glock 26 Gen5 Review: A Reliable Subcompact Carry [2022]

The Glock 26 may not be the thinnest. It may not have the highest capacity. But what it is, is reliable, accurate and concealable. If you are looking for a reliable concealed carry gun, check out this review....

9mm glock handgun review
Glock 26 Gen5 Review: A Reliable Subcompact Carry [2022]
ImageProductPrice
Glock 26 Gen5Glock 26 Gen5Check Price

Introduction

The original Glock 26 was released way back in 1994 and still remains a popular concealed carry option. It was given its nickname of the “Baby Glock” by the company itself, which has stuck with it almost 30 years later. Even with new Glock models coming to market with higher capacities and thinner frames, the G26 holds a special place in many hearts.

If you haven’t had the chance to shoot a Glock 26 for yourself, I hope this review will help you decide if you think one would be right for you. Let’s take a closer look at the latest generation, Glock 26, the Gen5.  

Glock 26 gen 5 leaning on pumpkin
The hashtag #glocktober has become popular on social media, where people post fall/Halloween-themed content with their Glocks.

Glock 26 Gen5 Review

Glock 26 Gen5

Specifications

Caliber9mm
Capacity10+1
Barrel Length3.43 Inch Glock marksman Barrel
Overall Length6.42 Inches
Width1.30 Inches
Height4.17 Inches
Weight19.72 Ounces (without mag), 21.69 Ounces (with empty mag)

Pros & Cons

Some of the pros and cons may seem contradictory to each other, but I’ll explain in more detail through the features section to help you understand exactly what I mean.

Pros

  • Easy to conceal
  • It’s a Glock…it’s reliable
  • Ability to accept higher capacity magazines
  • Ambidextrous/reversible controls

Cons

  • Too small/poor ergonomics
  • Limited accessories due to no accessory rail
  • Low standard capacity

First Impressions and Range Time

The gun comes with three 10-round mags, a mag loader, and two interchangeable backstraps. As usual, it all comes packaged nicely in the standard Glock hard case. No complaints from the unboxing.

Overall Feel

I used to have a Gen4 Glock 26, but this was the first Gen5 Glock 26 that I’ve handled and shot. It’s also the first Gen5 that, when I picked it up out of the case, I wished it had the finger grooves back. It just didn’t fit my hands comfortably due to such a short grip, but I do have larger hands than the average person.

glock 26 gen 5 unboxed
That’s a good looking package to open!

Reliability

I was able to hit the range a few times with the G26 so far and have put 220 rounds through it. 200 of those rounds were 115-grain Federal Champion FMJ that GunMag Warehouse graciously sent over to help with this review, while the other 20 rounds were 124-grain Federal Punch JHP.

As expected, I didn’t have any issues with either type of ammo, so I didn’t feel the need to put a ton more through it yet. Glocks are one of those pistols I don’t usually experience any break-in periods with.

Accuracy

glock 26 gen 5 range test groupings
My first couple groupings were more of an adjustment period for me.

For me, the Glock 26 is more of a close-quarters defensive pistol. I would say 10-15 yards would be my sweet spot. Once I saw my errors at 20 feet, I was able to correct and at least tighten the grouping up at 30 feet, even though it was a bit low.

Overall, the short grip really threw me off. I constantly had to shift my grip and readjust every couple of shots. At the end of the day, though, I’m guessing I’d adjust over time or simply run a larger capacity magazine.

Features

I’ve reviewed a ton of Glocks. Most recently, many of them have been Gen5s. While the Gen5s are, in fact my favorite to date, one of the new features simply does not work on this specific model for me, but I do happen to like on almost all of the others. That is the removal of the finger grooves on the grip.

Grip

If you’ve happened to read any of my other recent Gen5 Glock reviews, you would know that I’m very glad that Glock removed the finger grooves on the grips. However, the Glock 26 is an exception, where I would actually like the finger grooves back. With the grip being so short, I think the finger grooves would help larger-handed folks like myself get a more secure grasp on it.

The interchangeable backstraps are definitely worth experimenting with on this one since the grip is already so small. Anything to get a better hold is worth it here.

glock 26 gen 5 ergonomics and grip
This is the first Gen5 that I’m wishing Glock would add the finger grooves back to the grip.

Sights

This specific Glock 26 model came with the factory Glock night sights, a huge step up from the typical polymer OEM Glock sights.

The white three-dot configuration is easy to pick up in brighter scenarios, and the green tritium inserts help to acquire your target easily in low-light scenarios. Both the front and rear sight are metal and seem like they’d be very durable through extended use.

glock 26 gen 5 front and rear sights
I will opt for these night sights over the standard polymer OEM Glock sights any day.

Trigger

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, these Gen5 triggers are my favorite out of all the generations. They seem to have a much smoother uptake and a clean break and reset. The pull clocked in between 5.5 and 6 pounds, with an average of 5.72 pounds for me, using a Wheeler digital trigger gauge.

glock 26 gen 5 trigger pull
Using my Wheeler digital trigger gauge, I saw an average trigger pull of 5.72 lbs., which feels about right from shooting it as well.

Controls

Every handgun, in my opinion, should have ambidextrous or reversible controls. On the G26, you’ll find exactly that. It has an ambidextrous slide-stop lever and a reversible magazine release. If you happen to find either of them a little too small for your liking, plenty of companies manufacture and sell extended options.

glock 26 gen 5 slide controls
The left-handed community should be happy with the controls here!

Slide

It’s crazy to me that the Gen5s are the first to have the front slide serrations. I guess I was just used to the previous generations not having them, and I didn’t think about it. Now that they do, Glock better never go back. This particular variant doesn’t have an optics-ready slide, but there is an MOS (Modular Optic System) variant that does, although it’s not available in the US at the moment.

glock 26 front sights
The front serrations are greatly appreciated, but they could stand to be a bit more aggressive.

Magazine

Even though the G26 comes with 10-round mags, it will accept the larger double-stack Glock mags with capacities all the way up to 33.

When it comes to polymer mags, the OEM Glock ones are some of my favorites. There is a reason that other guns are made to accept Glock mags. They are super durable and I’ve found them very rarely to blame for any malfunctions. The bright orange followers are a nice touch as well, helping you quickly identify which of your mags are empty.

glock 26 gen 5 magazines
The lower capacity 10-round magazines help keep the G26’s size down, but do leave some to be desired from a capacity standpoint.

Accessories

ImageProductPrice
Tyrant Designs Magazine Extension for Glock 19/23 PistolsTyrant Designs Magazine ExtensionCheck Price
Streamlight TLR-6 Pistol Light Streamlight TLR-6 Pistol Light Check Price

Just because there isn’t an accessory rail on the G26, doesn’t mean you can’t find accessories for it. If you’re OK with the sights, I would recommend looking to add capacity via a magazine extension and then a weapon mounted light.

Tyrant Designs Magazine Extension

Since the Glock 26 has a lower-than-ideal capacity, adding any rounds is a huge bonus. With the Tyrant Designs extension, you’ll be able to add five more rounds to your magazine! It’s very easy to install the extension on your own magazine, or you can buy one pre-installed on an OEM Glock mag. If you want to add a pop of color to your G26, the mag extension comes in seven different colors/finishes!

Streamlight TLR-6 Pistol Light

No accessory rail…no problem. The Streamlight TLR-6 attaches directly to the trigger guard of the Glock 26. It features a 100-lumen light, a 640-660nm red laser, and an ambidextrous on/off button. The batteries load through the bottom of the light, so you don’t ever have to remove the light from your gun!

Alternatives

If the Glock 26 sounds like it might not be the exact right fit for you, here are a couple of other options to research. Both are compact, affordable, and will provide you with at least the same capacity as the Glock 26, or more.

SCCY DVG-1 RDR

SCCY DVG-1 RDR

If you’re thinking of carrying the Glock 26, size likely matters to you. The SCCY DVG-1 is going to give you the same 10+1 capacity but in an even smaller package. It’s also priced much more competitively, so you’ll have some extra cash for ammo or accessories. Don’t let the price fool you though, we’ve found the DVG-1 to be both accurate and reliable.

Smith and Wesson M&P9 Shield Plus

Smith and Wesson M&P9 Shield Plus

The Shield Plus is delivering some of the best value in the micro-compact arena, in my opinion. The newest model now comes with a flat face trigger, night sights, and an optic-ready slide. On top of all that, you’ll get an impressive 13+1 capacity.

FAQs

Is the Glock 43 or the Glock 26 a better gun?

I wouldn’t say one is “better,” but one may be better for you specifically. If capacity is more important to you, go with the Glock 26. If concealability is more important to you, go with the Glock 43. Both are very easy to conceal.

Is the Glock 19 or the Glock 26 better?

Both are great, but the same as the question above, one may just be better for your specific needs. I personally prefer the Glock 19 due to the additional capacity, longer barrel for improved accuracy, and it’s still easy enough to conceal.

Is the Glock 26 a good carry gun?

The Glock 26 is easy to conceal and is very reliable. As long as you’re OK with the 10+1 capacity, it’s a great carry gun.

Conclusion

The “Baby Glock” may not be the thinnest. It may not have the highest capacity. But what it is, is reliable, accurate, and concealable. It still has an appeal to Glock owners and non-Glock owners alike, which keeps it flying off the shelves. If you’re looking for a reliable concealed carry gun, the Glock 26 Gen5 is worth checking out to see if it fits what you’re exactly looking for.

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Ryan Domke is a freelance writer, photographer and social media consultant with a passion for guns and tactical gear. He works with some of the largest manufacturers in the firearms industry, allowing him the opportunity to continuously learn from and knowledge share with the 2A community. When he’s not spending time with his family, you’ll likely find him at the range or starting a new DIY project.

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