These compact Glocks are ideal for concealed carry.
The gun world seems to have a love-hate relationship with Glock pistols. Some people love these polymer frame handguns, some people hate them. One thing that is undeniable, these guns are here to stay.
Glocks have become increasingly popular for concealed carry. The "safe action" design of these guns means you don't have to think a lot in a self-defense scenario. Essentially you just aim and squeeze.
The simplicity and reliability of the Glock design is why so many law enforcement agencies have these guns as their service pistol of choice.
Today we're going to look at Glock compacts and subcompacts as concealed carry sidearms.
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We'll start with arguably the most popular Glock out there, the G19. I own a Gen 4 model of this gun and I know plenty of others who also use this 9mm as a self-defense firearm. Glock has it labeled as a compact on their website even though most gun experts agree it's somewhere in between a full-size and a super-compact firearm with an overall length of 7.28 inches.
The Gen 3 version is slightly longer at 7.36 inches. All models have a 4.02-inch barrel length which provides good accuracy. This is a safe bet for a newer handgun owner.
The 19 weighs a little over 30 ounces with a full magazine. With the right holster, it is comfortable enough for all-day carry. The standard capacity magazine is a double stack that holds 15 rounds. On the Gen 4 models, Glock also included three magazines. A nice touch, as you won't need to run out and buy more immediately. The Gen 4 and Gen 5 models include extra backstraps to adjust the fit to your hands.
Another variation of this gun is the Glock 19X, which was only introduced a few years ago. This model combines features of the ever-popular Glock 17 and the 19 to create what Glock calls a "crossover" pistol.
Another 9mm, the main differences here are a lower magazine capacity of 10 rounds and a smaller overall frame. The 26 weighs about 25 ounces when fully loaded. The Gen 5 version weighs slightly more according to Glock's website. The barrel length is a little shorter at 3.43 inches.
The 26 is much more concealable than the 19, thanks to an overall length of 6.42 inches in the Gen 4 and 5 models. Once again, the Gen 3 is slightly longer. Glock found a way to shave down the size with newer ones. The downside is a much shorter grip.
I've read complaints from shooters with larger hands having a harder time with the type of two finger grip this gun requires.
If you're like me, you might be on the fence between this and the 19. I spent a ton of time researching both. You'll find there's a lot of divided opinion on this debate.
I ultimately went with the 19 for the full-size grip, but would recommend going to your local gun dealer to hold both in person. You'll probably know right away whether that shorter grip will work for you or not.
Some people just don't like 9mm as a self-defense round, and that's fine. That's why Glock made guns like the G23 chambered in .40.
It's very comparable to the G19 in terms of size. It has the same 4.02-inch barrel length and weighs about 30 ounces. Both guns are the same width and same overall length. In fact, gun owners have noticed more subtle similarities.
There are .40 to 9mm conversion barrels on the after market, and it seems most are nothing more than a quick barrel swap away from shooting a different round. Make of that what you will.
The standard magazine for the G23 does hold two less rounds than the 19, which is to be expected with a larger round. Most people are fine with the trade off for the extra stopping power the .40 provides.
This is a gun you'll often find being used by law enforcement officials. When I took my concealed carry class, the instructor called this Glock "the best semi-automatic carry gun ever," in case you wanted a second opinion.
As you might expect, this gun is very comparable to the Glock 26. It has the same barrel length, same slide and overall length, and even the same width. The main difference is that this firearm shoots .40 Smith & Wesson instead of 9mm. It's a lot of firepower in a very compact package, making it ideal for concealed carry or home defense.
Most of the stuff I talked about with the 26 and the size of the grip applies here. The big question to ask yourself is what kind of trade-off will you accept? The .40 ammo gives more stopping power, but it only has a nine-round magazine as opposed to 12. You can use larger magazines with this gun, as you can with all Glocks, but it becomes less concealable. A short barrel, combined with a larger round, will also make this one a little more difficult to handle accurately.
The biggest plus of the 27 is that it is much more concealable than many full-size .40 pistols. If you're going to be a dedicated, every day carrier, don't underestimate comfort of carry in your decision on what pistol to get.
If .45 is the only caliber you'll consider for self-defense, the G30 is worth a look. It weighs about 33 ounces with a full magazine and you'll get 10 rounds in a compact and concealable package. The overall length of this gun is just 6.97 inches and it sports at 3.78-inch barrel. Not bad for a gun with this much firepower.
If you're looking at this gun, you'll also see the G30s. That gun is a slimmed-down variation. Glock managed to shave about three ounces off the overall weight by making the slide much thinner, while still retaining the same 10-round magazine capacity and barrel length.
That weight difference may not seem like much. It is hard to see the difference until you look at the slides from both firearms from the back, but every little bit of weight counts. This is especially true of your everyday carry gun.
The G30s is a good option for anyone concerned with a slimmer profile and smoother draw from concealment.
The .357 Sig is a slightly lesser-known round that packs a real punch. Don't confuse this with the .357 Magnum, because it's not the same round. The size of the bullets is closer to the .40 S&W.
Making good use of the .357 Sig is the Glock 32. This gun has a 4.02-inch barrel, 30-ounce fully loaded weight and a 7.28-inch overall length. So, it's comparable in size to the Glock 19.
While this gun packs plenty of firepower, the downside is the obscurity of the .357 Sig round. It might be hard to find this round in some stores depending on where you live. Glock also only made a Gen 4 version of this gun, so if you live in a state like California that bans Gen 4 firearms, you're out of luck.
It is worth noting there are plenty of law enforcement agencies that still use the .357 Sig for their service firearms, so it's a tested round that's trusted by professionals.
This gun is also chambered in .357 Sig. However, this firearm has dimensions that are closer to the Glock 26. The overall length is just 6.42 inches and fully loaded it weighs just 25 ounces. This one has a short, 3.43-inch barrel length. We're not surprised to hear this one has a little bit of a kick to it as a result.
The standard capacity magazine is nine rounds. This is another gun that just isn't talked about much, even among Glock fans. Plus, it's another Gen 4 only gun.
We're not sure if Glock has decided to not make anymore .357 Sig guns or if it's a model they are planning to roll out again. We'll have to wait and see.
We don't think many people carry 10mm Auto as a self-defense round, but that didn't stop Glock from making the subcompact G29. We've since heard about some people carrying this gun in the backcountry as a lighter bear defense firearm.
It might take some time to get used to firing such a powerful round out of a 3.78-inch barrel, but you can stake your life on this round taking down even the largest of threats.
At 32 ounces fully loaded, it is a little heavier than some of the other Glocks out there. However, they managed to squeeze in a magazine capacity of 10 rounds into this little firearm.
If you're looking for pure power in a compact package, the G29 is one to consider.
This 9mm pistol is a newer addition to the extensive line of Glock handguns. The dimensions of the frame are very comparable to the G19 with the same barrel length and an overall length that is only slightly longer. The biggest difference here is in the slide, which Glock shaved down to only one inch wide.
Glock also made a 17-round magazine standard for this firearm. The two extra rounds combined with a smaller slide give this gun a weight of 30 ounces fully loaded. The downside is that this is more of a full-sized firearm even though Glock lists it as "compact" on their website. We're sure people are concealing one of these, but it may take some getting used to if you're used to a smaller framed firearm. Being a newer firearm in Glock's line of products, it is also Gen 5 only.
Now we can start talking about some of the slimmer concealed carry guns Glock has introduced in recent years. The Glock 43 is one of the more popular ones.
This is a single stack 9mm that has a 3.41-inch barrel and an overall width of just 1.06 inches. It also weighs only 20 ounces fully loaded. That means this one of the lightest and most concealable options Glock sells.
The downside is the magazine capacity. You only get six rounds with the G43. There is a variation of this gun called the G43X that has a 10-round magazine. It's a little heavier, a little wider and has a different finish.
Another downside is this gun is not compatible with other Gen 4 magazines. It's something to consider if you're planning to do a lot of shooting.
This is another in Glock's "slimline" series of concealed carry guns. If you're looking for a little more accuracy in a smaller 9mm, this might be the way to go.
The barrel length is slightly longer at 4.17 inches, and the Glock 48 features one of the slimmed-down slides that some of the Gen 5 guns are becoming known for. The slide width here is just 0.87 inches!
The weight is about 25 ounces fully loaded. The 7.28-inch overall length and full-size grip do bring this close to the borderline when you're talking compact guns. It really boils down to what you're looking for.
We've heard some complaints about a nearly full-sized firearm only having a single stack magazine. However, there are probably also people out there willing to lose ammo capacity in favor of toting around a lighter gun.
This gun is very similar to the Glock 30 we talked about earlier. The overall length and barrel length are identical. The big differences are that they shaved a ton of weight off the slide, making it thinner. Plus, the overall height of the gun is also shorter. The magazine capacity is reduced from 10 to six rounds of .45 ACP.
Because this is a single stack, expect there to be a weight difference. The G36 weighs in at 26 ounces, meaning it's a lot lighter on your gun belt during a long day. If you want stopping power in a lightweight package, the G36 is a firearm to consider.
If you're looking for the lightest, most compact firearm Glock makes, look no further than the G42. Chambered in .380 ACP, this gun is built with weight and concealability in mind. Fully loaded, the gun only weighs 15 ounces. It has a tiny overall length of just 5.94 inches and an overall width of 0.98 inches. If you're looking for a slim profile, this is it.
The G42 is a single stack semi-automatic pistol that holds six rounds. This one is often marketed towards women and other shooters with smaller hands because of how compact it is. It's not the type of gun you'd want in an extended shootout, but for an encounter with a single attacker it will more than do the job.
The newest firearm in Glock's extensive lineup, this firearm is the company's first foray with .22 long rifle. The gun is near full-sized with a 7.28-inch overall length and a 4.02-inch barrel. However, it weighs just 16 ounces fully loaded. When Glock announced this gun, they surprised everyone by also offering an optional threaded barrel so you can add a suppressor right away.
There aren't a lot of reviews of this firearm out right now, but from the little we've heard, it's very similar to the G19 in terms of feel. We wouldn't be surprised if some people buy this as a trainer pistol to work on fundamentals with that gun while shooting much cheaper rimfire ammo. One thing that has us scratching our head is the fact the magazine is only 10 rounds. Maybe they just wanted to get the design of their first rimfire down pat first. We're betting bigger magazines will be released eventually for this one.