For all of 2017 my primary handgun was a Glock 26 Gen 3 and the majority of my training was done with this gun. I actually train with the gun I carry (imagine that) so I got quite intimate with the 26. Overall, I love the 26 as it is easy to carry but also quite capable. For all intents and purposes I believe it is a perfectly capable defensive handgun. However, I know that it does give up some performance to the larger alternatives, at least for myself. Well, in my last range trip of the year I switched over to my Glock 19 as this is what I will be carrying for at least the entire winter. How did it go?
Wow. Amazing. What a difference. I was faster and more accurate all the way around. I find that I don’t really lose any performance between the Glock 19 and a larger pistol because for all intents and purposes the 19 is a full size gun for myself. Having a full grip on the gun is probably the primary issue. Going to the 26, however, I am giving up performance, no question. The 26 is mechanically accurate, that is certain. However, the compromised grip on the much smaller weapon is what affects me the most, and I imagine this is the case for many shooters.
How does this shape my thoughts on the Glock 26? I still love it and I will probably carry it and train with it again over the summer months. It is a capable gun but the reality is that it remains an abbreviated platform and most shooters will give up something. Even though I put thousands of rounds through it over the course of 2017 I struggled to fight a tendency to push shots to the right (I am left handed). This, I believe, was a matter of the smaller grip shifting in my hands under recoil. These sorts of issues are common when working with smaller guns and this is the compromise we embrace when using them.
So, size matters………at least pertaining to handguns.