Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New gun tryout: Glock Model 26

As my first review for Grab A Gun, we have the Glock 26

'New to me' because while I've fired a Glock before(once), it was a full-size pistol in .45acp, and that consisted of five rounds.  I'd not handled one of these.  It's a compact 9x19mm, sometimes called the Baby Glock.  By the factory specs it's 6.41" long, 4.17" high, and 1.18" wide, with a 3.42" barrel, and feeds from a ten-round magazine.

Being a Glock, there is no external safety: you keep your finger off the trigger and it doesn't make loud noises.  Handle it just like a double-action revolver: aim, press the trigger, bang.  They've got a reputation for reliability, which is really the single most important quality in a self-defense firearm.*

The one I fired has a magazine baseplate that gives a little more finger room, enough for a third finger.  This thing IS compact in the vertical; if you've ever picked up, say, a Ruger LCP and thought "There's not room for all my fingers!", it's like that at first.  The grip is wide so as to hold that short double-stack magazine, which makes it pretty hand-filling.  That 1.18" width is the same as the full-size models; flat it's not. 

Light it is; loaded it weighs just over 26 ounces.  One pound, ten ounces for ten rounds of 9mm, not bad.  White-dot front sight that stands out pretty well, no problem aiming.

How'd it work?

I put a box of CCI Blazer Brass ball ammo through it first.  25 rounds trying for accuracy(accurate as I get, anyway), the next 25 on a silhouette.  First ten, fired offhand at ten yards

Second ten, same distance, from a rest
You may notice I actually shot better offhand.  Yes, sometimes I am weird; no idea why these were all pulled to the left, unless my grip was doing something odd today, or I was putting my finger in a bad position.  So I tried five more offhand, same distance.
Much tighter, still to the left.  While I'm quite willing to say "This thing doesn't hit where you aim!" if I actually think the piece is at fault, this is pretty clearly on me.

The trigger was great; smooth and light, couldn't ask for better.  And it was quite controllable; that short grip having that hand-filling size helped a lot.  I like the 'dot on the front sight only' arrangement, makes it easier for me to focus on the front.

At that point I moved to the silhouette target at ten feet and started with pairs aimed at the center, then some Mozambique drills.  Also fired some one-handed.

After finishing the ball I tried a box of Speer Gold Dot 124-grain+P.  Definitely more oomph, and some of the spread from those was caused by the muzzle blast making the target dance like Remo Williams(you try keeping a tight group when the target's blowing around).  I admit to being pleasantly surprised at how controllable the thing was with this ammo; you know you're firing powerful stuff, but no trouble keeping it aimed where you wanted it for fast second shots.

Some of these I ran fast, just looking at the front sight and pretty much ignoring the rear, which is where most of the spread came in.  Taking a bit more time to line the sights up kept them nicely centered(see "I blame the stuff to the left on myself" above)

What do I think?
My first acquaintance with a Glock was early on in their becoming popular, a cop I knew showed me the one he'd just bought.  I had two thoughts:
"Man, this thing is LIGHT!" followed by
"You know, this grip kind of sucks."
Those early models were blocky enough that they really weren't comfortable to me.  That .45 I mentioned earlier?  It put those five rounds in a nice, tight group, but wasn't very comfortable while doing it.  This is much better to my hand, things have been rounded enough in the grip to make a big difference.

One more thing: yeah, this was only seventy rounds so not a long enough test for personal statements on reliability, but this is a rental gun at a very busy public range, it doesn't get daily, let alone 'every time fired' maintenance, but not the slightest problem.  I didn't try to field-strip it(they frown on that), but the barrel that I could look at while the slide was locked back was pretty much dry.  The insides weren't horrible, but it obviously had had a lot of rounds through it.  I doubt anyone giving it a reasonable amount of care would ever have a problem with it.

It's a solid pistol.  Small enough to not be a big problem for concealed carry, controllable, a much better trigger than I expected.  I think it'd be a good one.

*Yes, above power and accuracy.  Something with enough energy to stun a buffalo and accurate enough to pot a goblin through the heart at fifty yards is useless as a self-defense firearm if it can't be trusted to operate every time.

**If that's one you don't know, see here

1 comment:

Windy Wilson said...

A friend of mine bought a Glock about 6 months ago. We go to an indoor range every couple of weeks, I with my .22 and 1911, he with his Glock 17. It's kind of whippy for me. He shoots pretty well at the ranges used for CCW certification here, but has trouble sometimes with feeding.
Colonel Cooper once quoted a friend as saying the worst sound to hear was "click" when you expected "boom", so I'm right with you on reliability as number 1.