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As the leading handgun manufacturer in the world, Glock prides itself on not only setting the standard in handgun manufacturing, but raising it as well. Market leaders who don’t seek to improve their products or build on their proverbial lead are market leaders who will inevitably regress. Glock has proven time and time again that it is not satisfied with rehashing its guns – it looks to improve on them so as to offer gun lovers the very best in handguns with each new release. That’s how they have managed to take and hold the lead in gun manufacturing. The Glock 19 and the Glock 26, while different in a number of ways, both looked to raise the standard in handgun manufacturing ever higher, and in typical Glock form both managed to accomplish just that. This is our Glock 19 vs Glock 26 Comparison and Review!
Little Brothers of the Glock 17
The Glock 19 and the Glock 26 are both sequel guns that followed successful predecessors, but they were not conceived in the same way or with the same intent in mind. The Glock 19 was released in the late 1980’s and billed as the heir apparent to the legendary Glock 17, although the only truly distinctive difference between these two firearms is that the Glock 19 is a more compact version of the Glock 17. Peripherally there are some other incidental differences between the two guns, but the Glock 19 was ultimately developed to be marketed and sold as a smaller version of the Glock 17. The Glock 26, on the other hand, released in the mid-1990’s and was meant to act as more than a smaller version of the Glock 19. Featuring additional features in addition to a smaller frame, the Glock 26 is different than the Glock 19 in more ways than just size – the 26 uses a pistol grip that supports two fingers, a shorter barrel and slide, and a double-stack magazine with 10-round standard capacity – all very different than what is offered in the Glock 19 (Check out our Glock 19 Review for a in-depth look at this powerful handgun!)
Tech Specs of the G19 vs G26
|GLOCK 9MM PISTOLS||GLOCK G19||GLOCK G26|
|CAPACITY(standard – optional)||1517/19/33||10
|WEIGHT (ounces unloaded)||21.16||19.75|
Pro's and Con's of Glock 19 and 26
Pros of the Glock 19 and the Glock 26
Many of the factors in handgun ownership, and especially in regards to these two guns in particular, come down to subjective preferences as far as perceived ‘superiority’. For example, the Glock 19 was manufactured to be a more compact version of the Glock 17, and that’s exactly what it is. For its time, the Glock 19 pushed the envelope in terms of compact handgun size, which made it an ideal choice for concealed carry purposes. However, the Glock 26 came along and introduced an even more striking size difference between it and the Glock 19 than what existed between the Glock 19 and the Glock 17. This can be likened to the developmental arc of smartphone screen sizes – initially, screen sizes were in the 3-4-inch range, within anything bigger being seen as excessively large. Nowadays, newer ‘phablets’ have made screens in the 4-inch range seem excessively small – proving that standards, tastes and preferences do in fact evolve over time. The Glock 26, with its smaller form, is the more ideal concealed carry option, however the Glock 19 represents a good mid-way point between the modern version of compact and ‘full-size’. The Glock 19 uses a larger sight radius, which is good for accuracy, as is the longer barrel as compared to the Glock 26. Additionally, the Glock 19 is favorable in that it has the largest amount of support in terms of modifications and accessories of any Glock handgun, and features a larger standard magazine size, which is inherently beneficial. The Glock 19 also features a handy picatinny accessory rail, while the Glock 26 has a distinctive bevel to the front of the slide that makes re-holstering the pistol a cinch. With an extended mag, the Glock 26 can essentially ‘become’ the Glock 19, making for a gun of roughly the same size that carries the same amount of ammunition. The Glock 19 can never ‘become’ the Glock 26 – it can’t go backwards in terms of size.
Cons of the Glock 19 and Glock 26
As if this needs to be rehashed, what gun owners dislike or do not prefer in their firearms does largely come down to subjective opinion. Gun owners come in all different shapes and sizes with different qualities that they are searching for when they go ‘gun shopping’. The Glock 26’s limited ammunition capacity is one of the only objective shortcomings in either one of these guns – no one wants a smaller mag, but that’s the price that the Glock 26 pays in exchange for extreme compact form. As far as size, whether or not smaller size constitutes a ‘con’, again, comes down to the individual gun user. The smartest thing a prospective buyer can do is head to a range and try out both of these firearms to see which will hold and fire more comfortably for them. For some folks a larger grip will feel more comfortable, while some people with smaller hands will prefer a smaller grip. This is why the Glock 26 has become popular with women shooters. In terms of concealed carrying, some will find that the Glock 19 conceals well, while others will prefer the even smaller form of the Glock 26 – again, your results may vary.
There’s a reason that Glock manufactures and sells different kinds of guns, as opposed to just one ‘all-purpose’ gun. Yes, there’s money to be made in selling different kinds of guns, but the truth is that not all gun owners are alike – they can actually differ quite a bit. Depending on needs and preferences in terms of size, ammunition, concealed carrying, and more, some may prefer the Glock 19 and some may prefer the Glock 26. Any would-be Glock handgun owner would be best served by trying out each of these guns for themselves before making any purchasing decisions – the best way to find out which gun you’ll end up preferring is by trying both out. Good luck, and happy shopping!
Looking for a bigger handgun? Take a look at our Glock 17 vs 19 review to see how they size up!