Knowledgeable gun enthusiasts can’t deny the quality of Glock semi-automatic handguns. Since the 1983 introduction of the legendary Glock 17, Glock's reputation for reliability and durability has only grown over time. The Glock 43 and the Glock 26 are also no exceptions to this phenomenon. Both are excellent subcompact handguns that any discerning pistol buyer would likely eagerly purchase.
The Glock 43
The Glock 43, high-quality subcompact pistol, was first introduced in 2015. The G43 is also one of the smallest and lightest single-stack handguns found in the 9mm semiautomatic subcompact gun family. Glock 43s also maintain the Austrian gun maker's reputation for reliability and durability.
This handgun comes standard with a slide that's narrower than other competing 9mm subcompacts, making the pistol very thin and extremely easy to conceal. The small Glock 43 is comfortable and great for deep carry, such as in a pants pocket or hidden in recessed areas on a body. The G43 also comes with a six-round flush-fitting magazine and a 7-round pinky-extension magazine for larger hands needing a more comfortable grip.
Glock 43 Pros
Pros of the Glock 43 include a single-stack, which makes it thinner than the G26, and it's also highly concealable. Its lightweight, narrow frame makes it easier for smaller hands to hold and capably handle. Since its 2015 introduction, Glock has eliminated unnecessary levers on the pistol's frame to make the G43 simpler to operate and more streamlined in appearance. However, just because it's simpler and more streamlined doesn't mean you can't fit a G43 with various aftermarket accessories. Discerning Glock owners looking for a little more "tacticool" won't be displeased by the Glock 43.
Glock 43 Cons
If there are any real cons to the G43, one might be its trigger guard. Larger fingers may find that guard to be a bit uncomfortable after extended time spent within it. The handgrip on the Glock 43 might also benefit from a bit more stippling to allow for a more confident and firmer grip. Plus, there's no Picatinny rail capability, limiting the kinds of accessories that can attach to this Glock. Keep in mind that the G43 also can't handle the G43X's 10-round higher-capacity magazine because it's a bit too thick.
The Glock 26
Glock first released its striker-fired, semi-automatic G26 model in 1994. It was purpose-built by the Austrian gun manufacturer to be highly concealable. This "Baby Glock's" diminutive, subcompact size makes it an ideal choice for any concealed carry preferences a gun owner may have.
Law Enforcement Fan Club
Law enforcement officers (LEOs) think tactically by nature. The 9mm Glock 26 is popular amongst police officers as a backup gun and is often carried in an ankle holster. Because it takes a double-stack magazine, which is necessary to hold ten cartridges, the Glock 26 is a little thicker than the Glock 43.
Not surprisingly, LEOs also like having more rounds in their firearms, even when they're intended solely for backup purposes, which is one reason why the G26 holds ten cartridges. Of course, the tradeoff for more rounds is often that the gun itself will be a little fatter or thicker or bulkier. Even though the Glock 26 is slightly thicker in comparison to the Glock 43, it is hardly a deal-breaker in any way.
Firing and Handling the G26
The Glock 26 fires its 9mm cartridges with minimal recoil. It's controllable and not excessively "snappy”, and it delivers more on-target accuracy, especially for a gun its size. Because of their shorter barrel lengths, compact and subcompact handguns may sometimes require a bit more patience when new owners first fire them. Still, this Glock is very easy to handle right out of the box. Also, because it's a semiautomatic, the Glock 26 delivers a fast rate of fire. As quickly as you can send one round downrange, it chambers another and is ready to continually fire until the magazine is empty. Additionally, its smooth operation allows a shooter to quickly bring the gun's sights back on target.
The Glock 26's Stealth
Because of their small size, subcompact pistols are stealthy and concealable. In that regard, the G26 is emblematic of Glock's concealed carry design philosophy. With the right holster, you can snugly fit the Glock 26 wherever you need to. You can holster the G26 inside your waistband, outside your waistband, inside a coat, under a pullover sweater, or under a plain t-shirt. If you want or need your small-framed gun to hold more rounds than you would typically find in a subcompact pistol, the G26 might be what you're seeking.
There are three different generations of the Glock 26 now in existence. With the Gen 3, Gen 4, and Gen 5 models currently available, chances are high that you'll find one ideally suited to your needs and personal tastes.
Glock 26 Gen3
With the introduction of the G26 Gen 3, Glock added finger grooves and thumb rests to its popular Glock 26 handgun. According to the gunmaker, those grooves and rests created a better grip, which allowed shooters to have more control and accuracy when firing. Additionally, Glock added its proprietary Universal Glock Rail to the G26 Gen 3 pistol frame's dust cover for added attachments, such as sights, lasers, and lights.
Eventually, Glock designers came to concede that the G26's finger grooves might be uncomfortable for some shooters. Those grooves caused some people to grip the Gen 3 too tightly or in an awkward manner, in other words. Still, with its lightweight frame, the G26 Gen 3 is, like the rest of these models, an excellent gun for concealed carry. Improvements and upgrades to the Glock 26
Gen 3 included:
- Safe Action safety feature
- Loaded Chamber Indicator
- Thumb rests for ambidextrous reversal
- Added finger grooves
- Added Universal Glock Rail
Glock 26 Gen4
Many gun enthusiasts and experts maintain that the Glock 26 Gen 4, with its significant upgrades, including reduced recoil, was the version that stood out from its forebear, the Gen 3. For example, Glock added a modular backstrap system to Gen 4's grip. The Austrian gunmaker also enlarged the magazine catch, making it reversible for left-handed shooters to quickly aim and fire with their dominant hand. These improvements made shooting more manageable and more comfortable for people with larger hands, an essential upgrade in any subcompact pistol.
Like Gen 3, Gen 4 is excellent for concealed carry. Its easy-handling nature also makes it ideal for those learning to shoot, especially with smaller hands. Although a G26 Gen 4 isn't completely ambidextrous, the Gen 4 model and its reversible magazine catch enhance the left-handed shooter’s experience. Glock's RTF, or Rough Textured Frame, also improved shooters' ability to comfortably hold the G4. This addition proved excellent in wetter conditions when grip becomes very important. A minor downside to the Gen 4 is that the trigger's pull weight might be a little on the heavy side for some, considering its subcompact size. Its finger grooves could also make the extended holding of the gun a bit uncomfortable for some shooters. Features of the Glock 26 Gen 4 include:
- Safe Action safety feature
- Loaded Chamber indicator
- Thumb rests for added ambidextrousness.
- Finger grooves
- Universal Glock rail
- Modular backstrap system
- Enlarged magazine catch
- A dual recoil spring assembly
Glock 26 Gen5
Glock designers reworking the G26 for its Gen 5 model decided to remove the handgun's finger grooves to make the gun more comfortable, increasing stability and accuracy. Glock also improved the gun's finish. It now comes with the popular nDLC finish, which improves durability and extends the gun's life, often by years. This innovative Glock finish gave the gun added protection from wear and tear and harsh environmental conditions.
Glock also enhanced the G26 Gen 5's accuracy and shot improvement, made possible by the Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB). Stock sights on this Glock have remained mainly unchanged over the years. Still, Glock states that the new marksman barrel can increase a shooter's accuracy out to 25 meters long for a subcompact pistol.
However, by and large, Gen 5's features are much the same as Gen 4's. The gun's RFT or Rough Texture Finish does give the Gen 5 better grip capabilities, thus improving on-target accuracy. Like the G26 Gen 4, the Gen 5 has the proprietary dual recoil spring assembly that absorbs most recoil and force felt from the shot. If shooting fatigue is a concern for you, a dual-recoil assembly should help put that to rest. As with the Gen 3 and Gen 4 versions of the Baby Glock, the Gen 5 is an ideal 9mm concealed carry pistol because of its small frame and lightweight design. Features of the Glock 26 Gen 5 include:
- Safe Action safety feature
- Modular backstrap system
- Enlarged reversible magazine catch
- Dual recoil spring assembly
- Rough Textured Frame (RTF)
Summarizing the Glock 26
There's no doubt the small-frame, subcompact G26 is a comfortable gun to carry, weighing in at only 1.6 pounds fully loaded. Other than the potentially uncomfortable finger grooves in the Gen 3 and Gen 4 versions, there's very little to pick at in a Glock 26. If those grooves are that big a deal for you, go with the G26 Gen 5 model.
Magazine compatibility and ammunition capacity are also very high with the Glock 26. It can take a wide variety of Glock double-stack magazines, including the Glock 17's and Glock 19's mags, as well as Glock's double-stack 33-round ultra-high-capacity magazine. Don't expect a 33-round magazine in a G26 to be all that concealable, though.
However, if having the ability to shoot many rounds without reloading is paramount, this is a great gun/magazine setup. Alternatively, you could start with a standard 10-round mag in your G26. You can then conceal a spare 33-round magazine in a spacious coat pocket or a magazine holster. Peace of mind from having at least 43 rounds available to send downrange at a target or targets is definitely significant.
Glock's modular backstrap system on the G26 Gen 4 and Gen 5 also allowed owners to customize the backs of their hand grips to fit their hands more precisely and snugly. Any handgun that's easier to fire and more controllable is also more accurate because of less recoil. Though it's not fully ambidextrous, the G26 in Gen 4 and Gen 5 versions undoubtedly improved over non-ambidextrous handguns.
The Glock 26's long list of improvements over time has been significant. Items on the list include a wear-and-tear-reducing nDLC finish, plus an enlarged and reversible magazine catch. The Glock Marksman Barrel, more comfortable grip, greater accuracy out to more distant targets, and lighter trigger pull weight (now down to 5.84 pounds) complete the menu. Add up all those improvements, and there's almost nothing to dislike about this subcompact, high-capacity, semi-automatic pistol.
Putting it All Together
Certain similarities between the G26 and the G43 make both guns excellent subcompacts. Yet, their differences also appeal to a wide variety of buyers. The Glock 43 is smaller than the Glock 26 due to its 6-round and 7-round single-stack magazines. The Glock 26 is thicker to support double-stack magazines that hold from 10 rounds up to 33 rounds.
The G26 and the G43 are popular amongst many cops and average citizens as backup pieces. Their sizes and weights make them suitable for smaller men, women, and children. Additionally, beginner shooters likely won't be intimidated when first firing these pistols. Finally, many add-on components and accessories exist for the G26 as well as the G43.
When deciding between the Glock 26 or the Glock 43, it depends on what features matter more to you as a buyer. Do you need a more oversized frame to accommodate your hand? Or maybe you want the G43's pinky-extension mag for that same hand? Perhaps you have a child who's now ready to learn to shoot, or you're a female with smaller hands? In every case, We The People Holsters can help you accessorize whichever Glock you ultimately decide on.