Thursday, December 12, 2013

Glock G26 9MM Baby Glock Review

Glock G26 9MM Baby Glock Review
I want my babyback babyback baby... Glock 26

Yes everytime I see a Baby Glock 26, I start to hum that stupid Chili’s babyback ribs commercial. Despite the effective marketing brainwash on me of poor quality ribs at a chain restaurant, the Glock 26 has become one of the favorite concealed carry handguns on the market.  Its no wonder the little size quickly gained the nickname the “Baby Glock”. Recently the latest Gen 4 version of this pistol was introduced with a lot of added features to make one of the best concealed carry guns even better.

Glocks are constantly my top recommendation for new and seasoned shooters simply because I believe they are among the safest pistols on the market. Glock has built one of the most recognizable firearms brands in the world on its Safe Action System which includes a quick trigger reset, Trigger Safety, Firing Pin Safety, and Drop Safety. Whether you carry for defense with a live round in the chamber or with a chamber empty Massod method, you can be assured that once loaded you are carrying one of the safest guns on the market.

Glocks are also among one of the mechanically simple guns are the market with only 34 component parts. As the saying goes, the simpler the better and Glocks were the first design to prove their durability not in hundreds or thousands of rounds, but in 10s of thousands of rounds.  From safety and reliability, Glocks have always been a top choice of defensive, law enforcement, and military experts.

I picked up a new Gen 4 Glock 26 complete with a set of factory installed night sights as a lighter and smaller alternative to my loved and totally abused daily carry Glock 19. Fit and finish are just like … well any other Glock you have ever seen before. 

The new Gen 4 raised micro-square grip texture is a HUGE improvement as well for a gun designed for a pinky dangling two-finger grip. The texture is actually grippy with a little bite to keep the gun secure in the hand.

Some people have complained a bit about the Gen 3 and 4 designs due to finger grooves. I am a one of those big Gen 2 Glock fans and have never been a huge fan of the finger grooves. With that noted, if Gen 4 finger grooves have a place in the Glock line for me, it is in the Glock 26. For my smaller hand, the finger grooves actually deliver a bit more grip to hold on to.

The biggest comfort and ergonomic upgrade is the very flexible Modular Back Strap grip system which allows five grip options for shooters to choose from.  The Glock 26 can be shot without any grip attached or can be used with standard or extended beavertail back straps each with two profile options.  All the shooter needs to do is assure the gun is unloaded and then push out the grip retention pin with the included tool on the grip carrier/organizer and make the swap. One of my testers liked the thicker profile beavertail grip attached and of course I liked the Baby Glock naked without any supplemental grips attached.  Gone is the one size fits all Glock grip for something that is tunable and even a beavertail option that prevents slide bite for the large monkey pawed.

Other Glock Gen 4 enhancements on the G26 include the dual recoil spring which has shown to substantially increase the life of the spring. Also new on the Gen 4 in the reversible enlarged magazine catch which according to Glock could be swapped from the left to the right side in seconds. I would add if you have done the mag catch swap a few times before and have the right tool in hand. One thing thankfully gone on the Gen 4’s is whatever that super slick Teflon finish was on Gen 3 Glocks in favor of something that feels less slick like the old tenifer finish of the older Gen 1 & 2 versions. Night sights are nothing new, however this is my second Glock with factory installed night sights and I based on the price it will be a trend I continue.

From a functional defense perspective this little 10+1 9mm pistol delivers quite a bit of firepower. If you want a bit more capacity users can slip on a 2+ round magazine extension or use any Glock 9mm G17, G19, G34, or even 33 round extended magazine. In fact I carry the same G17 spare magazine as I do when carrying my G17 or G19 pistols.

Without getting into a huge analytical debate over the ultimate defensive cartridge, I feel comfortable in the capabilities 9mm with 10+1 rounds on tap to defend myself with some of the really good defensive rounds from Federal, Winchester, Hornady, or other with similar in performance as those I have pictured. If you feel that a .40 S&W is more your speed then you might want to opt for the Glock Baby .40 - G27 which is identical to the G26 in length, height, & width and only an ounce heavier fully loaded with one round less. The G27 also can share all the .40 S&W format magazines from the .40 S&W Glock line for extra capacity.

Reliability-wise it is a Glock and I have yet to have a Glock related mechanical failure, however I have had more than a few ammo related failures to fire, cycle, feed, and extract all related to poor quality reloads or the very rare issue with cheapo import ammo. Nearly every failure I can trace back to some crappy under-powered or non-spec load I have cranked out in my basement. So I was not particularly surprised after hundreds of rounds that I have yet to have an issue with this Baby Glock.

Everyone always asks about the accuracy - “Are the Sub-Compact Baby Glock as accurate as the Standard and Compact sizes?” Well in theory they are locked into a Ramson Rest, however with a pinky dangling off the bottom delivering less grip and a roughly 1” shorter sight radius than the Compact models and 1.5” shorter sight radius than the Standard Glocks you have the reality of life fighting against you. I can still bang away on the 12” 100-yard steels off-hand with the Baby Glock, however the task is far less tedious with the larger sized models grip and sight radius. That noted, accurate hits in the vital zone of defensive targets in the 10-yard or less distances of reality are no more difficult with the Baby Glock than the larger sized Glocks. What you do sacrifice most is a bit of control and recoil which impacts the speed at which you can deliver successive accurate shots on those targets. So is the trade off for the smaller more concealable size.

About 80% of the time I have a G19 riding on my hip because it is a great concealable compromise between size and capacity for my body size, however there are times with this or that clothing that requires a smaller gun. This is where the shorter height and shorter overall length of the Baby Glock allows it to print significantly less.  I maintain that the best upgrade you can put on a Glock is a Clip-Draw which allows carry without a holster. Although in this case, I prefer the Universal Clip-Draw model for the G26 instead of the Glock specific version. If you need a holster, reach for a Super-Tuck Deluxe from Crossbreed.

Although I still giggle a bit with that stupid jingle in my head every time I pick up the Baby Glock, the G26 is a serious piece of defensive equipment. It is sized right for a deeper concealment, can slip in a larger coat pocket, and according to Mrs Pandemic fits pretty well in a purse. The Glock G26 is an excellent concealed carry pistol option for the first timer and pro whether it rides on your hip, pocket or purse.

9x19 / Safe Action
Length: 163 mm / 6.41 in.
Width: 30.00 mm / 1.18 in.
Length Between Sights: 137 mm / 5.39 in.
Height: 106 mm / 4.17 in.
Barrel Height: 32 mm / 1.26 in.
Barrel Length: 87 mm / 3.42 in.
Weights Unloaded: 615 g / 21.71 oz.
Loaded:  740 g / 26.12 oz.
Trigger Pull: ~2.5 kg / ~5.5 lbs.
Trigger Travel: ~12.5 mm / 0.49 in.
Barrel Rifling: right hand, hexagonal
Length of Twist: 250 mm / 9.84 in.
Magazine Capacity
Standard: 10
Optional: 15/17/33

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