The Glock 26 carries 10 rounds of 9mm ammo in its short magazine, and will accept the 15-round magazine of the compact G19 or the 17-round magazine of larger Glock 17, 34, and 17L models. Law enforcement agencies such as the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in California issue it with highly effective 127-grain +P+ ammunition, with no ill effects on the rugged little Glocks. At the same time, mild 9mm recoil combines with the pistol’s ergonomics to make it eminently “shootable.” In boxing terminology, the G26 hits above its weight class.
The Glock 27 is the .40-caliber version of the G26, and holds nine of those potent rounds in its short “concealment” magazine and a 10th in its firing chamber. It will accept the magazines of larger Glock .40s, including the 13-round Glock 23 mag and the 15-round full-size versions that come with America’s most popular police service pistol, the Glock 22, and the longer-barreled Glock 35 and Glock 24 pistols.
The late 1990s saw Glock shorten its large-frame pistols at the front and butt, and fit them with the double captive recoil springs so well proven in the “baby Glocks.” In doing so, a new genre of handguns was born. These slimmed-down powerhouses had lost enough bulk for Glock to be comfortable describing them as subcompacts. A great example of this is the Glock 30, a compact .45 ACP with a capacity of 10 rounds in the mag and an 11th in the chamber. It works with the 13-round mags of its service-size companion gun, the Glock 21. Virtually since its introduction, the G30 was found to be extraordinarily accurate, not just for its size but even in direct comparison with larger pistols intended for exposed wear by uniformed personnel.
In 2013, Glock introduced the G30S, a hybrid pistol combining the G30 SF frame with the slimmer slide of the G36. It has a 10+1 capacity and still delivers good accuracy and controllable recoil.
The Glock 33 takes nine powerful .357 rounds in its short magazine and one more in the firing chamber. It will accept the 13-round Glock 32 mag and the full-size 15-rounder from the Glock 31 service pistol. My 125-grain duty loads chronograph an impressive 1,340 fps from its 3.42-inch barrel.
Most Glock subcompacts, like all Glock service and target models, are designed for maximum capacity and have double-stack magazines that widen the grip frame. Glock has listened to customers who wanted slimmer profiles for better concealment and grip frames with smaller circumferences. The latter feature is important to those with small hands and also reduces the trigger reach dimension, making the pistol handle better for most people with short fingers and even for many with larger hands. Glock’s response has been two slim pistols with narrower, lower-capacity magazines (necessitated by the narrower frames). The first of these high-powered pistols was the Glock 36, which carries a 6+1 payload of .45 ACP cartridges.
The Glock 39 varies from the other “baby Glocks” slightly in that while it shares the same small frame, its slide is just a little bit wider. This is because it’s chambered for a powerful large-bore cartridge, the .45 GAP (Glock Auto Pistol). The G39 is fully loaded with a six-round concealment mag, but will take the eight-round magazine of the compact Glock 38 and the 10-rounder designed for the full-size Glock 37.
The other Slim Line Glock, introduced in early 2014, is the Glock 42. Again, the capacity is 6+1 rounds, but in the G42, the chambering is for the compact .380 ACP round. The gun’s locked-breech design, compared to the simple blowback mechanism so common with other .380s, combines with the cartridge’s own power level and the signature double captive recoil spring of Glock subcompacts to deliver extremely soft recoil. At 0.94 inches wide and weighing 13.76 ounces unloaded, the G42 has comfort and concealment factors that will appeal to any pistol packer. The negligible “kick” will likely prove to seal the deal for recoil-sensitive shooters. The G42 also has the shortest trigger reach of all Glock pistols.
Small handguns are a staple of the law enforcement armory for plainclothes officers and off-duty personnel, and more American citizens are licensed to carry concealed handguns in public now than at any time in any living person’s memory. Thus, it is no surprise that demand has burgeoned for small, concealable pistols sufficiently powerful and “shootable” to give the user a high likelihood of winning a gunfight with armed criminals.
Glock has been on top of this market since the mid-1990s, when it introduced the line that became known as “baby Glocks.” The stable of Glock subcompacts expanded from there.
Many of these models will function with magazines from larger models in the same caliber, which not only enhances firepower but allows one pouch of the larger magazines on the uniform belt to serve both the full-size service pistol and a smaller backup weapon.
The calibers available in Glock subcompacts range from .380 to .45 ACP.
- RELATED STORY: Meet GLOCK’s 4 New Modular Optic System (MOS) Configuration Models
- RELATED STORY: Top 9 Concealed Carry GLOCK Pistols: From .380 Auto to .45 Auto
For more information on the Glocks seen in the gallery above, please visit Glock.com or call 770-432-1202.
A belt holster is one of the most comfortable methods for everyday carry, adjustable for...
by Dennis Adler / Apr 7, 2015