Glock GEN5 G26 – Product Review

In March of 2011 I was in one of my favorite gun stores. Several new GEN 4 Glocks had been introduced and many gun stores were anxious to rid their inventory of GEN 3 Glock pistols. Because of that, I was able to purchase several GEN 3 Glock pistols at an excellent price. One of those pistols was a GEN3 Glock G26. The GEN3 Glock 26, as with the others, have never been fired.

Recently, I have been considering sub-compact pistols and few have drawn my attention. Also, recently, and because Glock has been introducing their GEN 5 models, I felt that the upgrades to existing Glock pistols and new models like the G45, G48 and others warranted another look at their line-up.

I am not a Glock fanboy, but I do recognize them for what they are; excellent, plain, and simple tools for self-defense, home defense, target, hunting, and competition. With self-defense being my primary interest, The Glock G48 would serve the purpose; however, I find the grip to narrow for my liking, although that can be rectified with grip tape, grip sleeve, etc. Although I like a large grip, the Glock GEN3 G36 would work well (which I already had), but I wanted a bit more capacity than the G36 allowed – for the purpose of which I wanted the pistol, although spare magazines could include G30 and G21 magazines. I needed maximum conceal-ability with minimum space to work with.

I also had available to me a no-longer made XDS 3.3 with a 7-Round w/ Grip Extension, or 9-Round Extended or Flush Plate and an XDs 4.0 that holds the same amount of cartridges. There was also the XDE 4.5 hammer fired pistol that holds 8 +1 or 9+1 rounds (depending on the magazine used). I guess I was being fussy when I rejected these pistols, because all are excellent pistols. For some reason, I was focused on a Glock GEN5 G26.

The Glock GEN5 G26 raised a question mark in my mind. Would the Glock GEN5 G26 be a more than adequate pistol for my needs. The GEN3 Glock G26 I already had in my possession. But, the Glock GEN3 G26 would be bettered by the new Glock GEN5 G26 with its improvements – and that mattered to me.

I began my decision to purchase a Glock GEN5 G26 by watching many video and written reviews available on the WWW. Most, if not all, convinced me that the Glock GEN5 G26 would be a worthwhile investment, as I had a need for a sub-compact pistol, and especially since there had been twenty-improvements in Glock pistols since their GEN3 models.

The specifications and dimensions for the Glock GEN 5 G26 are not very impressive and have remained virtually the same throughout the pistol’s existence. But, there are a few things about the G26 that work for me and I am going to discuss them.

On my model, Glock Night Sights (GNS) came standard. Night sights are something I have come to appreciate because of their clarity to my eyes and not so much for their low-light characteristics. I am not a fan of Glock’s “block n’ dot” polymer sight system.

GLOCK Gen5 pistols are the latest examples of GLOCK’S constant pursuit of perfection. Gen5 pistols feature over 20 design modifications from their Gen4 predecessors, including the GLOCK Marksman Barrel, nDLC finish, ambidextrous slide stop lever, the removal of finger grooves and a flared mag-well.” – Source: Glock

Unfotunately, the Glock 26 has a short, chunky grip due to the staggered 10 round magazine (three are provided with the pistol). My pinky finger hangs off the standard grip, but I installed Pachmayr XL Grip Extender for Glock 26,27,33,39 after the first shooting session to alleviate that. The extensions are not so much for gripping the pistol as they are to provide a guide for my hand when pulling the pistol from a holster – on or off the body. The extensions serve as an index, of sort, to my hand.

The Glock GEN5 G26 comes with grip adapters, of which the large beavertail adapter was put into place as soon as I received the pistol. I like to get as high on the backstrap as possible, but that sometimes results in my hand briefly interfering with the slide as it travels rearward; albeit, a slide traveling at speed has much more impact on my hand than vice-versa. A beavertail grip helps to alleviate that problem. The large beavertail grip adapter lengthens the trigger reach, which is what I need for my fingers too be (somewhat) properly indexed on the trigger.

While with the large beavertail grip adapter and magazine extensions installed I may have affected the conceal-ability factor of the pistol, I can still effectively conceal the pistol on the body.

Glock GEN5 G26 Without Grip Adapter

Glock GEN5 G26 With Large Beavertail Grip Adapter and Magazine Extensions Installed

The wide grip feels good in my hand, unlike the narrow grip of the Glock G48 with its single-stack magazine. My hand just does not feel as if I am getting the full benefit of gripping the pistol. Overall, I prefer a large gripping surface.

The texture of the gripping surface is excellent with enough texturing to maintain a full grip front, rear, and on the sides; it is a definite improvement over the GEN3 series. I feel no need to add a grip sleeve or other aid. The front serrations on the trigger guard will never be used by me, but some like to place a finger on the front of the guard and the front trigger guard serrations accommodates that style of shooting. The trigger housing is not as undercut as I would like, which would allow a bit more finger under the trigger guard that results in a bit higher grip on the pistol.

The frame, in case you are interested, does not incorporate a rail and is a big plus in my book, as I do not care for rails, unless they can be used to hold a couple of Slim Jim snacks and, so far, no adapters for Slim Jim snacks are available for any railed firearm.

The Glock GEN5 G26, like other GEN5 pistols, has no finger grooves on the grip. While finger grooves have never bothered me, I do like the removal of the grooves from this pistol. My fingers, with Glock pistols that incorporate them, lined up with the grooves near perfectly, while some had alignment issues with the finger grooves never matching their finger hold on the pistol.

The grip angle remains typically Glock, which forces you to tilt your wrist a bit more forward than what you may be used to with other pistols. With that said, the angle does force your wrist to be more in line with the slide of the pistol. If you have fired a Ruger MK .22 caliber pistol, you will not be a stranger to the Glock grip angle.

The grip incorporates a thumb rest on both sides to accommodate left and right-handed shooters.

The Glock GEN5 G26 has ambidextrous slide lock/slide release levers that is handy for left-handed shooters and when firing the pistol weak hand for right-handed shooters. While I normally use an overhand method of releasing the slide, I do use the weak hand thumb to press the slide lock and release the slide during combat reloads. In short, I use whatever slide release methods works at the time. What I have not experienced yet is the wear on the finish of the slide lock/slide release levers, although I have seen that wear in several Glock GEN5 G26 reviews.

The magazine release is on the left side by default but can be changed to the right side if the shooter desires. The grip size accommodates most thumbs to reach the magazine release button without changes the grip on the pistol – at least it does for me. The magazine release button is much larger than that found on the GEN3 G26.

Field stripping of the Glock GEN5 G26 is the usual for all Glock pistols; remove the magazine and perform a safety check to ensure that the pistol is unloaded, point the muzzle in a safe direction and pull the trigger, pull or push the slide slightly rearward enough to remove tension on the takedown assembly, pull the takedown assembly down on both sides of the pistol, and remove the slide from the frame. After which you can remove the captive dual recoil spring assembly and the barrel.

The barrel is the new “Marksman” barrel; whereas, the grooves are cut deeper than with previous models. This is supposed to aid in accuracy, and in theory it should as the deeper grooves provide a better grip on the bullet. Accuracy; however, is still up to the shooter. The barrel, at the muzzle end, is nicely crowned to protect the muzzle and (supposedly) the chamber end provides better support for the cartridge. Only someone who reloads their ammunition could tell me if that is true or not. Traditionally, there was always a slight bulge in the case at the chamber end of ammunition being shot in standard Glock barrels. It is only a question of  whether the bulge is still present on the case with the new barrels and how much is present.

The slide uses Glock’s nDLC finish and is supposed to be superior to previous finishes. Machine work is excellent and the front of the slide (and frame) are beveled for ease of holstering and reduced wear in that area.

Single Locking Block Pin

Glock has gone from a two pin locking block system to a one pin system, which I am happy to see because I have seen some Glock frames crack at the upper pin with the two pin system, which held me off from purchasing Glock pistols after I found out about the issue. While I do not expect Glock pistols to be those that can be passed on to future generations, having a longer life expectancy with my firearms is always a desire. Glock pistols should provide years of service if they are not abused, but the same can be said for any firearm, anything, or anyone.

Range Duty

As my usual, I was shooting Magtech 124-grain FMJ fodder for accuracy and function testing. I had no doubts about this ammunition, as I have been using quite a bit of it lately, it seems. For defense use, I have been relying on Sig Sauer V-Crown 147-grain JHP, as this ammunition seems to perform well in all my 9mm semi-automatics, if I do my part.

With a silhouette target set at seven yards, I set about checking out the Glock GEN5 G26. I was not concerned about the pistol, as Glock pistols simply work out of the box. I was more concerned with my performance with the pistol.

After initial testing, I went to work on some Mozambique drills, which provides a chance to run some reloads. The night sights helped me in that department as I prefer these sights over the usual Glock polymer sights. And, with new spectacles, I can actually see the darn things, as compared to the blurred sight picture of my old vision. As a side note, this pistol was the last of the G26 pistols equipped with night sights at the vendor from which it was ordered. The other thing that helped me was the slightly beveled magazine well, which makes inserting magazine easier than a magwell with no beveling. The shape of the magazines also helps when inserting them due to the slope of the magazines at the feed lips.

Of course, the Glock GEN5 G26 incorporates the Glock safety system; trigger safety, firing pin safety, and drop safety. Safety; however, as always, is up to the shooter.

The trigger in the GEN5 models seem to be an improvement over previous triggers, although the trigger characteristics are still Glock. Maintaining strict sight alignment throughout the trigger pull is still essential for accuracy and I do not feel as if I am fighting the trigger. Compared to many of the double-action/single-action triggers that I have been pulling lately, the Glock trigger is consistent and once I found where the break and rest points were on this pistol my accuracy with the pistol increased, but I am still old, slightly shaky and putting rounds where I want them takes a bit more concentration on my part. With that said, the Glock G26 never was intended for target work, but placing rounds where you want them with the Glock GEN5 G26 is fully possible if the shooter does their part.

The trigger safety plunger has been redesigned for smoother operation (see that follows). The trigger face is smooth and flat with the integrated trigger safety lever rather than the previous serrated and rounded trigger.

The trigger pull, on this pistol, is 6 pounds 6.2 ounces (5 pull average) and I expect it to smooth out as the pistol is broken in fully. The trigger, when shooting, does not feel as heavy as what was measured. There is the usual mushy feel as the striker is being fully cocked and then a clean break. The trigger does feel smoother than on my GEN3 G26 but is still nothing to write home about. Reset is quick and tactile (if you take the time to feel it) and is in its usual spot in the trigger travel.

Reloads, as expected, were smooth. Glock has a little lip at the bottom of the grip that prevents the hand from being pinched during reloading a magazine, not that it has never happened to me. Also, the magazine release button is much larger than that found on the GEN3 G26, and that is welcomed.

Felt recoil was a bit snappy, due to that 3.43” barrel, and I had to ensure that I had a firm grip when I pulled the trigger to keep the muzzle rise down.

Between the large beavertail grip adapter and magazine extensions, I feel that I have full control over the pistol.

The Glock GEN5 G26 is as accurate a pistol as I can be with it. I will become more accurate with it the more that I shoot it. I was well pleased with both initial performances – the pistol and mine.

Concealed Carry

Glock GEN5 G26 in a Falco A112 “Hawk” IWB Holster

Well, of course, the Glock GEN5 G26 can be carried concealed or however you wish to carry it. The Glock GEN5 G26, like its ancestors is a wide pistol, but with a slide width of only 1 inch and an overall width of 1.3 inches at the ambidextrous slide lock, it is not wider than most pistols, except for those diminutive sub-compact types that I feel like I am going to lose the pistol anytime that I shoot it.

The Glock GEN5 G26 weighs in at 1 pound 11.1 ounces fully loaded with 10 rounds of Sig Sauer V-Crown 147-grain JHP ammunition. For reasons beyond what I want to go into here, the pistol will not be carried with one in the chamber unless absolutely necessary.

I have been carrying the Glock GEN3 G26 in several holsters that fit several pistols with no issues. The Falco A112 Hawk holster and the Simply Rugged “Cuda” and “Cumberland” holsters carry the G26 well, although they were purchased for a Glock G19. I only carry just behind the right hip (unless I am wearing a shoulder holster system). However, any holster that tucks the pistol tight into my body will do simply fine.

You may not wish to use the beavertail grip extension or magazine extensions as I have. Not using these devices slightly help in the concealment department, but their use I leave up to you. Personally, I will give up a slight disadvantage to concealment to the advantage of better control over the firearm that I carry.  After effectively concealing a full-sized 1911 for many years, concealing the Glock GEN5 G26 is very easy for me – and so much lighter than my usual EDC, although some may feel that I am giving the 9mm cartridge too much credit over the .45 ACP. Personally, I don’t think that way – any more.

To Summarize

Glock GEN5 G26 Set Up My Way

Of the many choices of sub-compact pistols available to me, whether already in my possession or not, the Glock GEN5 G26 seems to be the right choice for me and my purposes for it.

The more that I handle Glock pistols the more I am being accustomed to them. As such, I have become a bit more adept and feel more comfortable with them. The Glock G26 is no exception. The Glock GEN5 G26 version has vast improvements over the GEN3 Glock 26, and it is welcomed in the family for my purposes.

Whether you are a Glock fanboy or not, the Glock GEN5 G26 has both likable and not so likeable features, as with many handguns of this nature. As usual, in the final consensus, it is your choice to have and to hold one. For me, the Glock GEN5 G26 is a keeper.

Resources

As my usual, I provide research and reviews from others, as I would not hope that you rely on my thoughts alone on any firearm. There are plenty more than what is listed. Do your research and you decide if a Glock GEN5 G26 is a good fit for you.

About Taurian

Taurian is an Oath Keeper, veteran, former LEO and Defensive Tactics Instructor. Until retirement, Taurian had over forty-seven years of experience as a Technical Writer and Training Program Developer. After leaving home at the age of ten without any shoes, Taurian continues on with many years devoted to the keeping and bearing of arms.

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