9mm Glocks [2018]: Ultimate Guide

Looking for a great self-defense handgun that is perfect for concealed carry and will never let you down?

A 9mm Glock gives you the best of both worlds.  You get the advantages of using a 9mm and the reliability that comes with the Glock name.

In other words, Glock 9mms are powerful, easy-to-carry handguns that can get dragged to hell and back and will still fire without any problems.

shooting 9mm glock
Glocks are known for two things: their rectangular shape and unwavering dependability.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the pros and cons of following Glock models.  For those of you who can’t wait, here’s the rundown:

  • Glock 17 ($499.00) – best all-around 9mm handgun for any situation.
  • Glock 19 ($499.00) – slightly smaller size makes it great for concealed carry.
  • Glock 26 ($539.00) – Subcompact design makes it great for concealed carry and backup guns.
  • Glock 34 ($635.00) – engineered for long-range accuracy.
  • Glock 43 ($449.00) – Smaller than the Glock 26 and comes with a low-capacity magazine.  Solid single-stack 9mm that packs a punch in a small package.

If you’re in the market for a new 9mm, this is an article that you don’t want to miss!

9mm glock guide
Glock sizes for comparison, courtesy of our friends at Lucky Gunner.

Which Type of Glock Is Right for You?

The best model is the Glock 18, hands down.  Unfortunately, most of us are unable to purchase and own a 1200-rounds-per-minute handgun with full-auto capabilities.  

Sadly, we won’t be looking at the Glock 18 today, but there are a number of 9mm Glocks that shoot just as well, minus rapid fire.

100 Rounds in Glock 18
100 Rounds in Glock 18

That being said, let’s have a look at the parts of Glock’s 9mm arsenal that are available to the average citizen.

Glock 17 Gen4 ($499.00)

There’s a reason why the Glock 17 ($499.00) is a law enforcement favorite.  It’s accurate, weighs less than 1.5 pounds, and comes with a 17-round magazine.

When it comes to self-defense, you’ll have a hard time finding a better overall gun that packs the stopping power, accuracy, and capacity of the Glock 17.

9mm glock 17
The Glock 17 is arguably one of the most widely-used handguns in law enforcement.

Here are some of the new features and upgrades added to the Gen4 G17:

  • More aggressive grip texture.
  • Dual recoil pin for less recoil and more accuracy.
  • Adjustable backstraps.

One of the biggest complaints that people have had about Glock handguns is the uncomfortable handle.  However, the introduction of backstraps has helped make handling the Gen4 much easier than its predecessors.

For this reason, I recommend giving the G17 out for a test run before ruling it out.

Why it’s great

The G17 was carefully designed with the help of military personnel, competitive shooters, and law enforcement officers. Their valuable input is one of the main reasons why the G17 is dependable, accurate, and easy to handle.

It’s a great all-around gun and is perfect for anyone seeking a 9mm for self-defense purposes.  

Glock 19 Gen4($499)

If you’re looking for the same punch as the G17 but something that’s easier to carry around, the Glock 19 ($499.00) might be the gun for you.  The size and design of the G19 makes it an incredibly easy gun to handle, which is why it’s one of the top-rated self-defense handguns for women.

9mm glock 19
Don’t let its smaller size full you.  The Glock 19 packs a hard punch.

The Glock 19 is the G17’s compact twin.  Its 7.28” length makes it a popular gun for security forces and anyone looking for a good concealed carry piece.  

The Gen4 version of the G19 was released with a number of minor upgrades that set it apart from previous models, including:

  • Adjustable backstraps.
  • More aggressive grip texture.
  • Enlarged magazine catch that supports right and left-handed operations.

The G19 is a lightweight gun that was designed to be carried comfortably.  It comes standard with three 15-round magazines, which is more than enough firepower for the average person seeking a gun for home or self-defense.

glock 26 vs 19
The much smaller 26 on the left is a good bit more concealable than the 19 on the right….but also comes with fewer rounds on tap, and is a bit harder to shoot accurately.

Why it’s great

For starters, the G19 is a reasonably priced handgun that’s dependable and accurate.  Its compact size makes it perfect for concealed carry.

You can even comfortably carry the G19 around as a backup piece without having to worry about unnecessary discomfort.

Overall, the G19 is a more mobile version of its predecessor, the G17.  It’s compact size and built-in accessory rail makes the G19 a popular piece among private security agencies.

Glock 26 Gen4($569)

The Glock 26 ($529.00) is affectionately known as the “baby Glock.”  This 6.41” long sub-compact handgun is the smallest of Glock’s 9mm models.  

And while it’s a great concealed carry gun, the G26’s small size makes the handgun difficult to handle for people with large hands.

9mm glock 26
The G26 didn’t get the nickname “baby Glock” for no reason – it’s tiny.

When Glock released the G26 Gen4, they added two great features: adjustable backstraps and a magazine-release button that’s easier to access.  While these modifications helped make the handgun easier to handle, the gun’s small size may take some getting used to.

Like with other Glock products, the “baby Glock” is designed to be just as durable and accurate as its predecessors.  It comes with a 10-round magazine, so you don’t get as much firepower as you would with bigger 9mm Glocks.

Don’t let the size fool you though, the G26 is just as strong as full-sized 9mms.

Glock 26 and XD-S 9mm comparison pic
Glock 26 and XD-S 9mm comparison

Why it’s great

The G26 is designed for one primary purpose: concealed carry.  If you’re looking for a gun that’s guaranteed to be comfortable and easy to lug around, you won’t find a better match.

Its small size makes the G26 the best gun for shooters who need compactness over versatility.

Glock 34 Gen4 ($635)

The Glock 34 ($635.00)  is the only 9mm Glock that was designed specifically for competitive shooting.  Larger than the G17, the Glock 34 has a barrel length of 5.31” and an overall length of 8.74”.

If you’re looking for a Glock for concealed carry, the G34 is probably not the best choice.  Its long-barrel design makes it difficult to conceal comfortably.

However, this same design makes it an incredibly accurate gun to have if you don’t mind using it for open carry.

9mm glock 34
Larger than most, the G34 excels at hitting those long-range targets.

The design of the G34 was based off the Government Issue Colt 1911.  It comes with adjustable rear sights and 7.56” between the front and rear sights, giving the gun a long sight radius.  

In terms of accuracy, the G34 is arguably one of the most precise 9mm Glocks out there.

Another feature that sets the G34 apart from other Glock 9mm handguns is the extended slide release and magazine release button.

While it would have been nicer if the gun was made ambidextrous, these upgrades do make the gun easier to use in a fast-paced competition setting.  

Why it’s great

While the G34 is bigger and bulkier than the average 9mm, its long barrel and sight radius give it incredible accuracy.  Factor in the fact that it’s built with the same dependency as other Glock models and you’ve got yourself a great 3-gun pistol.

Glock 43 ($449)

If the G26 is the “baby Glock” then the Glock 43 ($449.00) is newborn.  This handgun ins an ultra-slim, subcompact handgun that has a length of 6.25” and width of 1.02”.

It’s great for stashing a backup gun in a suit pocket or purse, but its 6-round capacity magazine completely negates one of the largest benefits of a 9mm: more ammo.

sig p938 vs glock 43
Sig p938 (left) and Glock 43 (right)

The biggest drawback of the G43 is that its small size can make the gun hard to grip, especially with people who have larger hands.  Glock answered this problem by giving the G43 a beaver tail design, which does a great job with helping make it easier to hold and control the gun.

In order to get the most out of the G43’s small size, you’ll want to use the standard 6-round magazines.  The good news is that the G43 is an accurate handgun for its short barrel length, making it a good backup piece.

Why it’s great

If you’re looking for a handgun strictly for concealed carry, I’d recommend going with the G19 or the G26 since they have higher magazine capacity.  If you already have a gun that you concealed or open carry and you’re in the market for a reliable backup gun, give the G43 a try.  

You’ll hardly notice it sitting in your inside coat pocket!

More on Glocks

You probably already know that Glocks have their fair share of haters who don’t like their unusual shape, polymer frame, or slippery grip.

Guess what? Many gun manufacturers are moving away from metal frames and switching to polymer.

Also, you’ll get used to the shape and your Glock can easily be stippled for maximum grip traction.  

The reason why you should consider making your 9mm purchase a Glock is because Glocks are known for their consistency.  They’re consistently accurate, durable, and dependable.

Need some 9mm recommendations?  We go with results from a FBI-style ballistics gel test to come up with our Best 9mm Ammo for Self Defense & Range.

Once you get used to shooting one Glock, shooting a different model shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. For this reason, I swear by them… even if they are ugly as sin.

How do you feel about Glocks?

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5 Comments on "9mm Glocks [2018]: Ultimate Guide"

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Good article, but I would have to give the “Best All Around” title to the Glock 19.

My first gun was a G22, full size .40 per recommendation of a friend in LE. It wasn’t practical for a civilian Carry/Conceal. Sold it and bought the G23, compact .40. Shot it for a couple of years and never felt like I was as consistent as I felt I could be. Replaced the barrel with a 9mm conversion barrel, recoil spring, and ejector. Basically I now have a G19 9mm. Love it and I’m shooting faster with tighter groups. Never had a failure after the conversion and maybe 3000 rnds. Bought the G26 as a backup. I’m not a… Read more »

Good article and interesting read, but no 17L love?


The 17 Gen 4 was my first purchase and it lives up to the hype. Very reliable and easy to shoot. My 2nd Glock buy was the 26 Gen 4 for conceal and carry. I love the size/capacity combo.

Can’t go wrong with Glocks.

I have owned the Glock 17,19,26,42,and even a 23 and out of all of them my favorite is the 26 with an xgrip mag sleeve I can get a full purchase on the grip as well as a 15+1 capacity.While still having a very carry friendly gun.My accuracy with it is amazing.I have added a 3.5lb trigger and truglo tfx night sights as well some cosmetics.This gun is truly an awesome carry gun maybe the best money can buy.And throw a Taran +6 base plate now im packing 21 rounds of 9mm in my G26 wow what firepower in a… Read more »