GLOCK 26 Gen 5, Big Update for the Subcompact Pistol – Review

The Glock 26 Gen 5 is the newest iteration of the baby Glock.

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- The Glock 26 Gen 5 has been out for some time now, but after nearly a year of ownership, about 1,000 rounds down range, and some modifications I feel I have gotten to know the sub-compact pistol rather well. While this isn't my main squeeze when choosing a CCW, it does fill a role in between my ATEi Glock 19 and my TXT Custom Gunworks Glock 43. Even though it isn't the gun I generally go for, the baby Glock still holds a prominent place in my safe and is shot far more often than my Glock 43.

Since the Glock 26's introduction to the market in 1995, the sub-compact wonder nine has found its way into police holsters as a backup gun that takes the same mags as their duty gun, concealed carrier hands, and even some recreational shooters in states with magazine capacity laws. The ability to pack a small pistol that is almost as capable as a compact or full-size gun is something that most concealed carriers are constantly on the hunt for.

The new nDLC coating on the slide is said to enhance reliability and resistance to corrosion.

Glock 26 Gen 5 Upgrades

The introduction of the Glock 26 Gen 5 meant that all the improvements to the rest of the Glock line would be applied to the new pistol. What that translates to is that your dollar goes just a bit further when you buy a Gen 5 gun over the Gen 3 or 4 pistols. Unlike the rest of the Gen 5 lineup, the Glock 26 didn't get the flared magazine well since it would sort of ruin the concealability of the gun.

The largest upgrade in my opinion? The Glock Marksman barrel.

The crown jewel of the Gen 5 has to be Glock's new Marksman barrel, a welcome improvement over the older polygonal barrels of previous generations. While Glock hasn't released exactly how much better the Gen 5 barrel is, my testing with the Glock 19X, Glock 34 Gen 5, and the Glock 26 that we are reviewing here support the claim of accuracy improvement. As with any pistol, the level of accuracy the gun is capable of is wholly dependant on ammunition quality.

Glock also improved the trigger for the Gen 5.

Other changes to the Gen 5 guns include an improved factory trigger that is hands down the best Glock has ever produced, ambidextrous slide stop, the omission of the finger grooves, and a new nDLC coating on the slide.

Making The Glock 26 My Own

While Glock pistols are super serviceable right out of the box, I have learned over tens of thousands of rounds through the Austrian pistol what I tend to prefer as a shooter. When I performed the accuracy testing that I will talk about later the gun was entirely stock with the exception of a set of Trijicon HD sights and the stipple work from TXT Custom Gun Works.

Trijicon HD sights on the Glock 26.

Was the stipple work necessary? No, but when TXT asked if they could stipple it, who am I to say no? One thing that Glock didn't change is the thick trigger guard. I, like many others, suffer from “Glock Knuckle” when shooting a Glock without the trigger guard undercut, as part of the framework that was addressed. The +2 Glock magazine extension that I added to a 10-round magazine was also stippled to extend the length of grip just a touch. The side benefit is the magazine capacity was increased from 10-rounds to 13-rounds.

The stock trigger was perfectly serviceable and had I not removed the Apex trigger from my Glock 34 Gen 5 to test the TangoDown Vickers trigger, it would have stayed stock. The new trigger Glock is using is so good that it feels better than many of my aftermarket triggers. That said when you have a great trigger sitting in a parts bin, why not put it to work in a pistol?

Shooting the Glock 26 Gen 5

You might be wondering how the Glock 26 Gen 5 shoots and how recoil is when shooting defensive ammunition. Interestingly, the dual recoil spring does quite a lot to absorb the recoil even though it is a tiny pistol. Other pistols that are roughly the same size just don't handle the recoil quite as well for some reason.

Now I know there is a school of thought where some don't believe that it matters how fast you can deliver follow up shots because they believe that how harsh the recoil is will be the last thing on their mind. I tend to disagree with that mentality and feel that follow up shots are incredibly important. I prefer shooting the Hackathorn / Vickers “The Test” drill to see how well I am able to place reasonably accurate follow-up shots on target. Make sure to check out this article about The Test to learn how to run the drill.

Accounting for a point of aim error, the Vickers/Hackathorn “Test” was 96/100. Not bad for a little gun.

When shooting the pistol on NRA B8 targets, you might notice that the groups are not always centered. Normally I would chalk this up to poor shooting on my part but recently I did some testing on changes in ammunition and point of impact. What my results boiled down to is that when switching ammunition, there is a high degree of probability that the point of impact is going to move, sometimes as much as several inches at 25-yards.

Shooting the Glock 26 off hand at the 25-yard line produced an impressive 6.034″ group with the Trijicon HD sights. Shooting a 90 or better at 25-yards with any pistol isn't something to scoff at, but shooting 90 or better with a pistol that can be carried in your pocket? Seems like the Gen 5 upgrades were doing their job when combined with that +2 magazine extension I added.

Shooting the Glock 26 Gen 5 at 25-yards with irons unsupported resulted in a 6.034″ group scored at 91/100 without POA correction, 94/100 with POA correction.

Final Thoughts About the Glock 26 Gen 5

If I were in the market for a carry pistol and didn't have a desire to add a weapon mounted light like a TLR-7 or cared about a red dot ready variant, the Glock 26 would be pretty high on my list. Personally, I tend to carry my milled Glock 19 far more than the 26 or 43 for the simple reason that it has a Trijicon RMR mounted to it. Should I decide to send the Glock 26 Gen 5 off to ATEi to get the same treatment as my preferred carry gun and scooped up a holster that worked well with the baby Glock, I could see it quickly becoming a serious rival for my Glock 19.

So should you buy one? I feel that you would be well served by the Glock 26 Gen 5 over the Glock 43, 43X, or even the Glock 48 as long as you add that plus 2 extension to the magazine. That bit of extra length did wonders for shootability without impacting concealability in the slightest. Reliability and accuracy are on point and the felt recoil is well within acceptable ranges.

Once you take into consideration that you can run a Glock 17 mag as a reload or even add a plus 5 extension to that Glock 17 mag, I think you will quickly come to the conclusion that with the Glock 26 Gen 5, you really aren't leaving too much on the table if any at all when choosing a self-defense tool. The Glock 26 seems to be the next best compromise between capacity, shootability, and concealability for a carry gun after the Glock 19.

The Glock 26 Gen 5 starts at an MSRP of $749 but can be found in the $560 to $600 range at online retailers like Brownells. Check out the Glock website for all of the specs and features that your heart desires.


About Patrick R.Patrick Roberts

Patrick is a firearms enthusiast that values the quest for not only the best possible gear setup but also pragmatic ways to improve his shooting skills across a wide range of disciplines. He values truthful, honest information above all else and had committed to cutting through marketing fluff to deliver the truth. You can find the rest of his work on FirearmRack.com as well as on the YouTube channel Firearm Rack or Instagram at @thepatrickroberts.

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    Patrick RobertsGatorChiptheBarberOld 1811Roy D. Recent comment authors
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    Gator
    Guest
    Gator

    Funny, I’ve heard a lot of people happy about the lack of finger grooves but I miss them. I bought a gen 5 17 a while back and I’ve barely shot it. Think I might sell it and buy a ‘back up’ gen 4 19 I’m case something happens to my EDC one.

    ChiptheBarber
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    ChiptheBarber

    Good article, Patrick.,I always try to read your material. There must be something wrong with me though. I’ve got no problem with any of the earlier Gen Glocks. Fingergrooves/no Fingergrooves, they all fit me and I like them fine. I’m okay with the factory 3-dots, they just can’t be my bedside gun. I DO however put a Zev (or other) 3 1/2 # trigger connector and spring kit on mine. Catch the kit on sale for under 12 bucks or just the connector for under $5. All the ones I’ve taken out shoot pretty much the same—just aim, pull trigger,… Read more »

    Old 1811
    Guest
    Old 1811

    Back in the 70s and 80s, gun reviews in the popular magazines of the day often started with, “Before I started using this gun, I shipped it off to my good friends at [custom gun shop] for a trigger job, Wolff springs throughout, my preferred type of front sight, and a rounding of all the corners.” In other words, the gun reviewed was unique to the writer and nothing like the gun you or I would buy at the store, so it’s basically worthless to the reader/buyer. This “review” is the same way. It’s the author’s money and the author’s… Read more »

    Firewagon
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    Firewagon

    Improved Glock barrel accuracy? ‘My’ load in my early Gen G29 will do consistent 3/4″ groups @25 yards – that compares to ‘competition’ prepared guns, and/or much more expensive all metal rigs. Sample my “Mickey Mouse” group: ?dl=0 My personal issue, and to each his own, with the nine is ‘energy at the target.’ Standard 9mm loadings are little better than the 38 special, and even in +P loadings reach only about 450 FPE. My 10, out of that 3.78″ barrel, with Speer 180 GDHP bullets, does 624 FPE. One shot kills on hogs, coyote, and deer! Well, two on… Read more »

    Travis
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    Travis

    Remind me to never go to TXT as they did what I see as a mediocre job on the stippling and trigger guard undercut. I don’t understand people paying people to do those services when it is easy as pie to do yourself. Mine is perfect and looks 10 times better than the one pictured in this article. I shaved the back, did a double undercut of the trigger guard, shaved the finger grooves (Gen 3) down, and stippled it. This was all done to fit the gun to my hand specifically, and my Glock fits my hand like a… Read more »

    Mark
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    Mark

    The Glock 26 is one of my back up pocket guns. Yes, I carry this in my front pocket with no issues. Other members of this club include the VP9SK and P320 SC. The Glock 26 pairs nicely with my 17/34 on my hip. Proven and reliable. An all time classic gun. I sold all of my Glock 43s. I simply have no use for them anymore. The Glock 26 with the 12 round mag is vastly superior and easy to conceal.

    Ridgerunner
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    Ridgerunner

    Been carrying a Glock 26, Gen 1 since 1995 and it has never missed anything.

    Greg K
    Guest
    Greg K

    My local gun salesperson handed me one of these 26s just a while back. The 2 things that impressed me was that they eliminated the finger grooves and the trigger unbelievable for a Glock. When I tried it, while pointed at the floor, I looked him in the eye with surprise, and he just started nodding in confirmation.

    Matt in Oklahoma
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    Matt in Oklahoma

    There has never been and never will be an accuracy issue with the Gen1-3 barrels.

    Roy D.
    Guest
    Roy D.

    Like all barrels some like different bullets better than others. I have had no problem finding bullets/loads that my Gen 3 Glocks shoot well. Same goes for after market barrels of which I have about ten for when I want to walk on the wild side with my loads or just conversion barrels. By the same token there are bullets that they just won’t shoot well at least in my guns/barrels. But then that’s partly why firearms make such a good hobby. I recently purchased LoneWolf “AlphaWolf” barrels for my G-30 and G-23 and they have a rifling that is… Read more »

    JDT
    Guest
    JDT

    Did we read the same article? Where did it say the Gen 1-3 had accuracy issues? I only read the new Gen 5 barrel has accuracy improvement.

    Mark Are
    Guest
    Mark Are

    GLOCK – SEEKING perfection. That is what their motto should be. So my Gen 3 26 should be sold to some unaware person seeking a small concealable gun and I should get the Gen 5? I mean after all the Gen 3 has the polygon barrel and right hand only mag release as well as the older trigger style. And since I may carry it while out hunting to defend myself from bears, maybe the Gen 5 should serve me better since it will shoot a smaller group at 25 yards and since mine has that old antiquated polygon barrel… Read more »

    JDL
    Guest
    JDL

    A 9mm for bear protection? Hope you’re a fast runner!

    Roy D.
    Guest
    Roy D.

    You only need to be faster than the other fellow and a 9mm can take care of that.

    Robert
    Guest
    Robert

    @ Roy D.
    Man dude i don’t know i want to hang out with you in bear country!

    Bill
    Guest
    Bill

    Good article with facts, not puff!

    James Tompkins
    Guest
    James Tompkins

    I like and agree with the comment of “well served by the Glock 26 Gen 5 over the Glock 43, 43X, or even the Glock 48” . The G26 can use mags (possibly the most available on the planet?) in it from so many other Glocks, knock offs, ARs, KRISS, or even that skinny flip and fire KelTec. Universal mags are sooo nice, even if I look funny with a 33 rounder hanging out of my holster!

    JDT
    Guest
    JDT

    I like and agree with the comment of “well served by the Glock 26 Gen 5 over the Glock 43, 43X, or even the Glock 48” . The G26 can use mags (possibly the most available on the planet?) in it from so many other Glocks, knock offs, ARs, KRISS, or even that skinny flip and fire KelTec. Universal mags are sooo nice, even if I look funny with a 33 rounder hanging out of my holster!

    phil morris
    Guest
    phil morris

    i have been carrying a box stock gen4 26 for many years and have put many rounds through it , it goes bang every time I pull the trigger and puts a hole where the sights are aimed , I have always felt that the moment you start making any changes you now have a hobby gun not a tool , but never the less , an interesting article + good info , bravo glock!