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
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