G17 Gen 3 Full Size and G26 Gen 3 Subcompact 9mm Glocks

Glock 17 and Glock 26 9mms

These guns work great together. The G17 has capacity with low weight; the G26 tucks away nicely. They share trigger-action styles and grip feel, except for the shorter 26 grip.

Pairing up similar guns for home defense and carry has its advantages. Creating a memory bank of motor skills that carries over from one gun to another can come in handy when you need to be a winner. The trick is to find two pistols with an operating design that offers the same feedback and relies upon the same technique for effective action. One pistol should offer maximum capacity and the other should afford in concealment what it gives up to its larger brother in firepower.


glock 17 vs glock 26

Glock Model 17 and Glock Model 26

We have said time and again that a manufacturer cannot simply arrive at a design platform and expect it to work with every caliber, but the G17 has proven to be one of the seminal pistols of the 20th century.

G17 specs

We feel this concept of limited universality carries over to the low mounted three-dot fixed sights that are standard on Glock pistols. In our estimation they are a long way from Bo-Mar target sights, but they are at their best when mounted at a sight radius of 6.4 inches atop the G17. Since the Glock pistol was introduced, one complaint against it has been how the hand fit the gun. European pistols are usually built around a strong-hand-only grip, allowing one hand to be free to hold on to Herr Rin Tin Tin. The outcry for grip improvement became louder as Glock offered more and more variations (read smaller) on the full-sized gun. Today’s Glock pistols offer “checkered” finger grooves and lines on the palm-swelling backstrap as well. There is even an indentation for the thumb on each side.

The Glock’s advantageous hand-to-grip fit showed up at the range. Despite a range of trigger design, all the pistols in this test proved capable of shooting the Black Hills ammunition into five-shot groups measuring 2.5 inches or less from a sandbag rest. The Glock pistols stood out from the rest because they were willing to shoot very nearly as well standing unsupported. Certainly this is the way a defense gun is meant to be used. We found it easy to keep the muzzle up and prevent scooping. At the bench the Glocks were easy to shoot continuously without fatigue. Before beginning a controlled press, we were able to pad the trigger like a catcher palming his glove in anticipation.

Shooter comfort and a consistent trigger made it possible for the little G26 to print at least one sub 2-inch group per choice of round. This despite the G26’s grip being so short that the pinkie is free to wave in the wind. (Magazine extensions are available but we do not feel that the 9mm cartridge produces sufficient recoil to make them a necessity.) The larger G17 broke the 1-inch barrier firing the 124-grain JHP +P cartridge. We even managed to shoot the Black Hills 115-grain JHP +P rounds so consistently that every group measured only 1.1 inches at 15 yards. The Glocks define what we think gun mates should be.

Gun Tests Recommends: Glock G26 and G17. Buy them as a pair. You will never be confused even when your pinkie has no place to go on the smaller Glock 26. The Glock 17 pistol is one of the best nines ever, and in the G26 9mm pistol, this same magic has survived the shrinking process very well.





The 26's short grip, left, doesn't present a place for the pinkie finger to hang onto, as does the full-size 17.


Originally published in July 2001

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