The Glock 19 was introduced in 1988 as a compact alternative to the duty-sized Glock 17. The Glock 19 was smaller and lighter than the 17, and such began Glock’s long and successful journey into concealed carry. In 1994 the Glock 19’s smaller sibling was born, the “Baby Glock” model 26. The Glock 26 is smaller than the G19 by nearly the same ratio as the G19 was reduced from the G17, while still retaining the legendary Glock framework and mechanics that provide exceptional reliability.
Like the Glock 19, the Glock 26 shoots 9x19MM (standard 9MM Luger) and so no stopping power is sacrificed for it’s smaller size. It also sports a double stack magazine, although at a 33% ammunition loss: The G19 has 15+1 capacity whereas the G26 holds 10+1. Detailed specifications and a comparison are outlined below, and I’ll give an opinion as to which gun I prefer. If .40 S&W is your caliber of choice, read on as the Glock 23/27 pairing is nearly identical to the G19/G26. The Glock 23 has a capacity of 13+1 in .40 and the G27 has 9+1.
The Glock model 26 is chambered in 9×19, commonly known as 9MM Luger or just plain 9MM. Glock also offers the 26’s twin, the model 27 in .40 S&W as mentioned above. If you’ve narrowed your EDC (every day carry) search down to the Glock 19 Vs. the Glock 26, I’ll assume you already have done your due diligence on the generic Glock features such as sight pictures, the “safe action” system, etc. and so won’t go into much detail on what you likely have already learned.
The latest Glock 26 Generation 5 comes with 3 magazines, which each hold 10 rounds of ammunition. Incidentally, any larger Glock 9MM double stack magazines will fit the Glock 26 – so if you already have mags on hand they are interchangeable. Despite being a subcompact size, the G26 retains the heritage of the Glock 17 and while the parts are different sized, they are identical and provide the same reliability that made the Glock name so reputable when it was first released. On the downside for the Glock 26, at the time of publishing there is not an optics-ready option, and an additional disappointment is the lack of an accessory rail on the frame.
If you need more info on the Glock 26, check out our full review here.
The Glock model 19 is also chambered in 9MM, and also comes with 3 magazines. The Glock 19 holds 50% more ammunition than the G26 with the G19 having 15+1 capacity. Like the G26, the G19 also accepts higher capacity Glock 9MM magazines. It’s important to note that while the magazines are interchangeable so long as they are 9MM, no Glock pistols accepts smaller capacity magazines. For example, a Glock 19 will not accept a G26 magazine, similarly to how a G26 will not accept a G43 magazine.
Both guns feature the same finish, frame material, trigger, action type, and sights. Since the G19 is the same width as the Glock 26, it will fit in most of the same holsters. Aftermarket sights and most accessories are interchangeable as well. The Glock 19 gets a head start in this race because unlike the G26, the G19 comes with a front accessory rail and is offered in a MOS (Modular Optics System) “Optics Ready” configuration. On a more subjective note, the G19 definitely fits better in the hand – more on technical specs below. The G19 and G26 Gen. 5 both list for $647 MSRP, with the Glock 19 MOS option being $98 more.
For more information about the Glock 19, see our full in-depth review.
Glock 19 vs Glock 26 Comparison
Size and Specs
|Glock 19||Glock 26|
|Capacity||15 (optional up to 33)||10 (optional up to 33)|
|Length||7.36 inch||6.50 inch|
|Width||1.26 inch||1.26 inch|
|Height||5.04 inch||4.17 inch|
|Weight (empty mag)||23.63 oz||21.52 oz|
|Weight (full mag)||30.16 oz||25.75 oz|
The Glock 26 has a shorter frame and barrel, but same width as the Glock 19. The Glock 26 is 6.4” long, 1.3” wide, has a 3.4” barrel, and weighs 19.7 ounces unloaded. The Glock 19 is 7.3” long, 1.3” wide, has a 4” barrel, and weighs 21.5 ounces unloaded. Sight radius, or the distance between the front and rear sights, is 6” on the G19 and 5.4” on the G26. Basically it boils down to the G19 being the same width, and an inch or so larger on the grip and slide than the G26.
When placed side by side, the guns are nearly identical in every other aspect, and they also have similar internal parts. The Glock 26 is lighter and therefore much easier to “grab and go”, whereas the extra length and weight of the Glock 19 will have you searching for the right holster for each outfit when you leave home. Neither gun is going to fit in a pants-pocket so this eliminates pocket carry – I tried with the G26 a few times and it’s awkward. I find the 5 extra rounds of capacity is a good trade-off for having a larger grip on the Glock 19.
Pearce manufactures a +2 pinky extension for the Glock 26; however, I have found that this makes your G26 a Glock 19 sized gun with only 12 rounds capacity. If you can stand shooting the G26 with your pinky hanging off, carry it that way because the small size is a distinct advantage. You’d be 100% kicking yourself for not buying a G19 outright if you are going to put pinky extenders on the G26 because then it’s almost the same size but without the benefits the G19 boasts.
Winner: Glock 19
The Glock 19 only has 17% more barrel length and 11% better sight radius than the Glock 26, but there is a noticeable difference when it comes to range time. The improved sight picture and .6” of barrel length gives the G19 a distinct advantage. To further skew things to the Glock 19 side, you can only get 2 fingers around the grip of the G26, leaving an unnatural shooting stance and significantly increasing recoil vs the G19. I was acclimated to the Glock 26 grip after a couple boxes of ammo, so no big deal. It’s one you’ll definitely want to hold at a local shop and not buy sight unseen.
At distances of up to 25 yards, both guns excel at easily putting shots on a man-sized target. This makes both pistols ideal for conceal carry, since defensive shooting takes place well within 7 yards in most cases. Unfortunately, with mass shootings on the rise, many are wanting more accuracy and range built into their EDC pistol. Once the target moves beyond the 25-yard marker, shots are tough with the G26 without extensive practice. I’ve owned a Gen 3 and 5 variation of the G26 and put over 2 cases of ammo through them and I can barely shoot past 25 yards consistently, and that’s with non-moving targets. Contrarily, I was ringing a 12” plate at 100 yards with my new G19 Gen. 5 within 10 minutes of unboxing it.
The bottom line – the Glock 19 prevails by leaps and bounds at just about any target distance, plus the 5 additional rounds (15+1 vs. 10+1) provides substantial security, making the G19 the clear winner in this category.
Winner: Glock 26
I’ve owned and carried a Glock 26 for nearly 15 years now. When it first came out in the 90’s, it was marketed as a deep concealment subcompact pistol. It filled the role of every day civilian carry and police backup for many agencies for years. There wasn’t anything to dislike about it in its early years. More powerful than 380 ACP, more capacity than any other subcompact at the time, interchanging magazines with larger Glock pistols, plus it was affordable and boasted the Glock stamp of durability – what wasn’t to like? Then came along the Glock MOS system.
Pistols have become lighter, stronger, and higher-tech with the advent of Optics Ready milling cuts being performed on carry pistol slides. The Glock 19 MOS features 15+1 capacity, has a red dot ready slide. This is a technological improvement that pushes the envelope on just how far you can accurately shoot a pistol. The G26 doesn’t have an MOS option. The downside to this of course is added bulk.
I typically carry the Glock 26 just because it’s easier, especially in the summer. The Glock 19 is a bit on the larger size for a carry gun for me (5’7” with a little padding around the tummy) and so it prints on a lot of my shirts. I’ve always found the G26 simply disappears with the right holster, although it’s too thick for a pocket pistol. My holster of choice is usually a Versacarry leather IWB. If you’re taller or in better shape, you’d probably get away with concealing the G19 more easily. In the winter months where more clothing is worn, my go-to is definitely the Glock 19 MOS because of its higher capacity and accuracy. The better accuracy of the G19 MOS is both inherent due to the longer barrel and added because of the optic.
If I had to pick just 1 pistol and were to spend my money again today though, I’d still choose the Glock 26. The Glock 19 is just too large for me to confidently conceal year-round.
Reasons to Purchase the Glock 26
- Size: The Glock 26 remains one of the most compact guns on the market that holds 10 rounds. Any other gun is going to sacrifice in one way or another. The Glock 43 is smaller, but only holds 6 rounds. The 43X has a longer grip. The Glock 19 is longer on both ends. The G26 double stack magazines supply ample ammunition while maintaining a discrete footprint. Other brands have managed to pack in 10 or 12 rounds in similarly sized guns, but they lack the notoriety of Glock reliability. Even though it’s tiny, the Glock 26 still retains the reliability of the short recoil system it’s predecessors have, unlike other subcompact manufacturers that use the straight gas blowback system. Not only is the Glock design more reliable, the Browning designed short recoil system that Glock uses also absorbs more felt recoil, enabling the shooter to have faster follow up shots and a pleasurable range experience. The number one reason to choose the Glock 26 is that for its compact size it doesn’t sacrifice any reliability.
- Affordability: The G26 isn’t an inexpensive gun, but for around $550 (typical dealer price) you can have protection you trust. There just isn’t another gun that’s been around this long for the same price. If you’re willing to buy used, I’ve seen prices as low as $400. There are reasons the G26 continues to stand the test of time, and being rock-solid reliable without breaking the bank is one of them. Magazines, night sights, and other aftermarket accessories are also inexpensive and widely available as Glock is one of the top selling manufacturers in the US.
- Stopping power: Most guns in the sub/micro compact arena are chambered in .380 Auto, but not the Glock 26. No sacrificing stopping power for size here – the Glock 26 is one of the smallest 10-capacity pistols made in 9MM.
Reasons to Purchase the Glock 19
- Size. No, not because of it’s small size. I can’t say the Glock 19 is small or that being a “smaller” gun puts it on this list. Saying it’s small or easy to carry is a lie. It’s not a thin gun with a short grip. That said, if you can find somewhere on your body to hide this pistol, do it and never look back. While I love the Glock 26 for its concealment, the G19 is a gun that simply fits in the hand perfectly and performs better. Read on for the reasons I love this gun.
- Capacity. It’s 15+1. Those are tough numbers to beat, even with all the other guns on the market from other manufacturers. There are a lot of 10+1 and 12+1 pistols out there, but 15+1? Forget about it. Compared to the G17 (17+1) and other full size guns, the Glock 19 seems half the size for holding so many rounds of 9MM ammunition.
- Accuracy. The Glock 19 is a high-performance pistol.Not only does the G19 fit perfectly in my hand, the grip angle and generous sight radius complement the longer 4” barrel well. In 2018 Glock introduced the “Glock Marksman Barrel” with enhanced rifling and an improved crown. I own handguns from Colt to Canik and speaking from personal experience the G19 outperforms all other handguns at defensive shooting distances. It’s accuracy is second only to a single action revolver. With a little practice, you can easily shoot 50-75 yards with the Glock 19. I’m nobody special and I was doing it right out of the box. With a little effort, 100 yards is in the realm of possibility, especially with the MOS configuration.
- Optics Ready. Unlike the Glock 26, the G19 can be purchased in an optics ready configuration (Glock 19 MOS). Once you setup your favorite reflex sight on the G19, it’s really hard to miss your target, even out to 100 yards. I’ve firedthe Glock 19 in both configurations, and I’ll say with confidence the irons are not to be underestimated – that said, I love the added versatility of the MOS system. Having red dot capability is easily one of the biggest improvements to conceal carry pistols in several years. The G19 MOS system supports Trijicon’s RMR and Holosun right out of the box, with other adapter plates being found at the online Glock Shop for a meager $10 each. All magic comes at a price however – the MOS version does add $98 to the G19 MSRP.
- Accessory rail. If the Glock 19 isn’t already perfect as a EDC gun, you can also add a weapon light or laser. I find the gun large enough as a conceal carry weapon that I wouldn’t personally add anything extra to it, but I love the versatility. It’s nice to have a rail available because the Glock 19 can go from being your carry gun to your nightstand gun by simply adding a light. It covers a lot of “what if” type of scenarios. The Generation 5 series rail is Picatinny, so you won’t have to search for any proprietary mounting parts.
It’s difficult to say with a high degree of certainty which gun is the clear winner in this bout.
No doubt the Glock 19’s high capacity, accuracy, and MOS availability put it strides ahead of the Glock 26 in terms of security. Is it small enough to every day carry though? I find that the G26’s exceptional 9MM firepower and 10 capacity make the gun an incomparable challenger for year-round deep concealment.
There are going to be hot summer days where the Glock 26 is going to shine vs. the Glock 19. The G19 is too large and heavy to go jogging with. It’s not a shorts and- T-shirt gun either. There will be no summer BBQ concealment without someone noticing, and at that point you might as well be open carrying. With the proper holster, it’s very simple to hide the G26 without adding any bulk.
On the other hand, even with standard iron sights the Glock 19 excels at accurately shooting distances the Glock 26 can’t touch. The 5 added rounds and MOS capability of the G19 provide firepower that is unmatched by any other compact carry pistol.
Both guns are winners in different ways, and at the end of the day the choice comes down to your individual needs and carry style.
Jordan is an avid hunter and gun enthusiast. His fondest memory of shooting was when his Grandpa took him squirrel hunting for the first time. Jordan has been in the sporting goods industry since 2011 when he opened his gun shop in Georgia.