Concealed Carry: Glock 19 vs. Glock 26

The Glock 19 is a do everything pistol, while the Glock 26 is easier to carry.

The Glock 19 is a do everything pistol, while the Glock 26 is easier to carry.

I recently received an email from a reader asking me to do an article on the Glock 19 vs 26 for concealed carry. I am a fan of Glock 9mms almost in any configuration, but if I could have only one, it would be the 19. It is truly the do-everything pistol. On the timer, I can’t statistically show a difference in performance inside of 20 yards (as compared to a 17.) I can manage around 275-280 on the FBI Bulleye Course with a 19 which is within single digits of what I can do with a tuned 1911 on the same drill. The 19 is big enough to be pressed into the role of a full sized service pistol, yet small enough to fit underneath a T-shirt in a Raven Eidolon Holster. Given my philosophy of selecting the biggest gun with most capacity that I can practically carry for the circumstances, the Glock 19 fits the bill 99 percent of the time. So what about the 26?

Until the 43, the 26 was the smallest 9mm in the Glock lineup. It was and still is a popular choice for a backup pistol as it is fairly small and can accept magazines from its bigger siblings. It is somewhat fat for its shortness, and most people can only get two fingers on the grip. That said, it is quite controllable and fits well in an ankle holster. In fact, for situations where I have to tuck my shirt in (such as weddings or other formal events) I prefer a G26 or J-frame in an ankle rig.

So how to decide which to carry. First, consider your environment. Can you dress around the 19 in your waistband? Will the extra bulk of the 19 make you miserable all day? What are your performance deficits with the 26 as compared to the 19? If you cannot quantify this, it’s time to hit the range. I would suggest comparing split times from 3, 5, 7 and 10 yards. Also compare target to target transition times, and also shoot some groups at 25 yards under reasonable time pressure and consider the differences.

Most people simply choose what is most comfortable to carry, but in an age of ever increasing threats, that five shot revolver may be insufficient to solve your tactical problem. Of course, carrying any gun is better than none at all, but comfort and concealability usually comes at the cost of performance and capacity. Hit the range and know what you are giving up when you choose that smaller, more comfortable option.


This entry was posted in Modern Service Pistols by Tim Lau. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tim Lau

Tim Lau has over a decade of experience as an end user, armorer and instructor. He has worked for several well known firearms training organizations, and holds multiple firearms instructor certifications. He owns and operates 10-8 Consulting, LLC, which provides industry consulting services as well as marksmanship and specialized firearms training to qualified civilian, law enforcement and military personnel.

16 thoughts on “Concealed Carry: Glock 19 vs. Glock 26

  1. Little typo “until the 34” I think you mean 43. Great read! The 19 is do it all.

    • I think from my exsperience being a cop for 18 yrs in NYC the glock 19 and 26 are great handguns. They both suck for off duty lowprofile consealment carry. Very reliable but its like carring a brick on your hip.
      I own a new g43 9mm and a g42 380.
      Both reliable and great for low profile concealment carry in surrounding ny metropolitan area. Only problem the NYPD is taking forever to authorise the g43. Rumor has it they are testing it. G26 is a winter off duty carry. Its not a summer carry with a t-shirt. Everyone who has 20/40 vision knows you are carring a brick or a glock. The glock 43 is ideal for all year around carry. Yes lit has less rounds but in this day and time concealability is the way to go. Taran tactical makes a nice plus 1 plus 2 adapter to the mag. Makes up for the 6+1. Bringing the gun to 7+1 or 8+1 in 9mm. Thats big for carring.

      G42 380 is also awesome little pocket fire ball to have. Slim concealable and potent little firearm. 15 rds or less it will take down the aggressor. Glock makes some great little guns now. G19 great patrol gun just not consealable.

      • It depends on your body type and mode of carry. I recently had a friend tell me she had no idea I had been carrying a gun (a G19 in a Raven Eidolon) under my t-shirt all this time.

        • Well i hear ya. Im 6ft 1 260
          No way to hide g19/g26.
          I love the G43 is way to go.
          15 yds with 124gr speer gold dot
          Will make a believer out of street

          • I’m 5’6” 150lbs and I can easily conceal my issue 17 or my 19 off duty, and I’m in south Florida. Good holster and good belt make the difference.

  2. “Until the 34, the 26 was the smallest 9mm in the Glock lineup.”

    I think you mean the 43. It happens to the best of us. Good points and thanks for typing this up.

  3. “Until the 34 . . .” I think you mean the 43. (The 34 is the big 9mm.)

  4. Thank you Tim for your opinion and insight, I deeply appreciate this post. I have both the G-19/26 (been using both since 1996), they make a good team — versatile, accurate, reliable and comfortable. So recently I’ve been carrying a G-43. Why, because I thought I needed something smaller, and I thought it would be a little more comfortable to carry than the G-26/19 . But after 700+ rounds of mixed 9mm I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t shoot the G-43 as well as the G-26/19 (especially if I get past 7 yards). In the end, it’s more about “shoot-ability” than comfort–plus, I transitioned from revolvers to a G-19/26 for one big reason–capacity…

    • Sometimes concealability wins out over shootability and capacity as it is simply impracticle or even impossible to carry a G19 given the social or otherwise restrictive circumstances. That is where the 26 or even 43 fits the role nicely. Not my first choice in a lethal force encounter, but it is more effective than harsh language.

    • Galco ankle rig. Not fancy but does the job. If I carried that way every day I might look into something higher end.

  5. Sold my SR9c and Nano to friends. Already had a G17. Bought a G26 a few weeks ago. It is a big difference under the belt, vs the Ruger and Beretta, more squeeze. However, I love my G17 and I love the G26.

    Just bought the PG pinky extension today, as my only complaint was my pinky floating under the magazine. It didnt feel right for such a thick gun. The extension makes it perfect.

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