In Praise of the Glock 26

I get it, the Sig P365 changed everything.  Before it the king of small autos was the Smith and Wesson Shield.  At that time the Shield brought to bear a single-stack profile, actually shot well for such a small gun, and it was reliable.  It was, undoubtedly, my favorite of the “single-stack” 9mm micro pistols.  Then, along came the Sig Sauer P365, which was even smaller than the Shield, and it packed 10 rounds into the flush-fit magazine.  Now, all the imposters have followed suite and max-capacity in minimum-footprint is the rage.

Well, when the Shield was the dominant force among single-stack 9s, one could obviously make the argument that the tried-and-true Glock 26, while larger in most dimensions, had more ammunition capacity and could also take the full-size Glock variant magazines.  Now, many shooters think that the G26 and other double-stack sub-compacts like it are obsolete.  Why carry a larger gun if these new micro pistols offer as much capacity in a much smaller footprint?   Is the Glock 26 obsolete? 

In my opinion the Glock 26 is a combat handgun, just in reduced platform, so it foresters the easy carry of a true fighting pistol.  The micro 9s are convenient concealed carry guns, in particular they are deep concealment guns.  These new micro 9s are excellent options to have as they allow one to carry a gun that is amazingly capable for such a small package.  They shoot well for their size, but they don’t shoot like a compact double-stack variant of a full-size service pistol.  The Glock 26 is much more akin to a Glock 19 or 17 than it is to a micro 9. 

I find that with the 12 round Magpul magazines, which provide a full firing grip for my relatively small hands, I give up little compared to a Glock 19, yet even with the 12 round magazine the G26 carries much easier than a G19.  I can perform at “combat handgun” level with the G26, not at micro auto level.  I find the G26 easy to conceal in anything I wear save for formal dress or gym shorts.  While some of the new micro 9s seem to be quite reliable, I will need to see it before I believe they will hold up to the amount of shooting a G26 will (which gives up nothing in reliability or longevity to the larger versions of the Glock 9mm platform).  Finally, while a 10, 12, or 14 round capacity is impressive in such small guns, the G26 can take 10, 12, 15, 17, 21, 27, or 33 round magazines.  Versatility?  You bet.

If you have shot both, ask yourself not which is easier to carry, but which would you rather go into a fight against multiple assailants with right now, a Sig P365 with 11 rounds in the gun and a spare 14 round magazine (admittedly, awesome for such a small gun) or a G26 with 12 rounds in it and a spare 21 round magazine?  Which gun can you reach out farther with?  Which provides more controllable recoil and faster follow-up shots?  And reliability?  I realize that some of the new micro 9s are proving very reliable, but the G26 is the same gun as the most proven service handguns on earth, just reduced in height and length.

I love that there are great guns that are so small yet so capable now on the market, but I consider the G26 a combat handgun, and in the 21st Century that is what I will continue to carry. 

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