From revolvers to slimline single stacks like the M&P Shield, to the pocket pistol like a M&P bodyguard.
There is also the Kahr, or Keltec, even Glock’s new ultracompacts like the Glock 42 in .380 or 43 in 9mm – there are a plethora of options.
My personal favorite and arguably the best all around CCW is the Glock 26, the so called “baby Glock.”
I opt for a Gen 4 with factory Glock 3 dot night sights – and I recommend all your carry weapons have either night sights or a weapon light. For the size, the magazine capacity is great with 10 + 1 in a flush fit magazine, it also, like all double stack Glocks, takes 15, 17, or the comical 33rd magazines. This is great because you can carry it with a flush fit magazine to minimize printing, but have two 15rd or 17rd magazines as a backup.
Again, for a sub-compact it is wonderful. It holds plenty of rounds, while being accurate, and having the Glock 5.5 trigger pull, with roughly .5 inches of travel and an crisp and audible reset. Like most things in gun culture, people will have their qualms and want to upgrade a pistol further, but for self defense, CCW, or back-up weapon purposes, the Glock 26 is the best all around in my opinion, and right out of the box it will get the job done.
Like all Glocks, it breaks down easily, and is simple to use. Striker fired, the first trigger pull is the same as the last, and the accuracy is very good, especially for a weapon with a 3.4 inch barrel. It is small, only being 6.41 inches overall, with a 5.3 inch sight radius. From the bottom of the grip to the top of the slide, it’s a scant 4.1 inches, meaning this will barely print, even with a less than ideal holster. In fact, you can easily conceal this for ankle carry. Fully loaded, it only weighs about a pound and a half. In fact, when coupled with my Crossbreed Freedom Carry, I sometimes forget I’m even wearing it. It’s super comfortable, and disappears in the right holster.
I know what you’re thinking – what about the Glock 43? While that is a great CCW 9mm, I opted for a 26 since I can used magazines from other double stack 9mms, and I didn’t want to sacrifice magazine capacity for a minor amount of size difference.
What we like. High magazine capacity for its size, accurate for a 3.5 inch barrel, easily operated and disassembled, accepts other Glock 9mm double stack magazines, and it’s a Glock, so it eats whatever you throw at it. With night sights added, this pistol is ready to rock.
Lack of a rail – but most sub-compacts don’t have it. Also, it’s not very comfortable to shoot for a long period of time, but it is designed to be a CCW or back up weapon after all.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Castiglione lives in Atlanta, and is an avid outdoorsman and competitive shooter.
Where-abouts include getting after it in his garage gym, practicing martial arts, hitting the trails, or running CrossFit and Strongman competitions for his non-profit, Barbells for Bullies, which holds fundraiser fitness competitions dedicated to aiding Bully breed rescues, dog rescues, or other non-profits with similar missions.