Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that one gun is necessarily better than the other. Whilst there are some people who claim that you can never carry enough ammunition, I think these are the same people who, in a dangerous situation, will unload a whole magazine at the air. Your self-defense strategy, to my mind, should not be based on how many times you are going to miss.
For that reason, though the extra 4 rounds of the Glock 26 might make you feel a little safer, in reality an extra 4 bullets is unlikely to make that much difference. If you can’t disable an attacker with 6 rounds, you need to get on the range and practice some more.
And if you still feel that you need some extra capacity, it is always possible to carry an extra magazine. I know a lot of people resent having to carry a back-up magazine for a back-up weapon, but unless you are carrying extra ammunition your weapon is more aesthetic than useful.
In my humble opinion, then, though a lot of people make a big point out of the difference in ammo capacity between these two weapons, in practice it is not really a big issue. I think that the weapon that feels better to you, and that you can shoot more accurately, is always the better choice.
Finally, the ability to carry these pistols concealed. This, like the ammunition capacity, is an area in which there is a measurable difference between the pistols. The 43, being just that little but smaller than the 26, can be concealed more easily, and might print less depending on how you are carrying it.
For most of us, concealing either weapon will not be a problem – both are compacts, after all, and both can be easily hidden. However, if you are particularly small, or live in a hot part of the country where light clothing is the norm, even a half-inch difference between pistols can be telling.
The biggest difference here, I would say, is that the slightly smaller frame of the 43 makes it just about possible to carry it in a pocket. While I would never recommend “naked” pocket carry with a Glock, due to the relatively light trigger pull on these weapons, when paired with a decent pocket holster the 43 is just about small enough to use in this configuration.
So there you go. Both the Glock 26 and the 43 are great guns, and in reality there is not much to choose between them for most shooters. Both are reliable and accurate, and make great concealed carry self-defense weapons.
However, there are a few key differences between the weapons. If you find compact pistols hard to shoot anyway, then the tiny Glock 43 might be too small for you. On the other hand, the 43 can be concealed just a little bit more easily.
Then there is the ammunition capacity – the Glock 26 will give you 4 more rounds as standard. If you don’t think the 6 rounds of the 43 are enough for you, it might therefore be worth getting the 26, or carrying another magazine.
This article by Will Ellis originally appeared at Gun News Daily in 2019.