TTAG Reader: What I Carry and Why – LKB’s GLOCK 26 Gen 3

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My EDC is a GLOCK 26 Gen3. I bought a few years ago from a local cop who was ready to upgrade to a Gen4. As you’ll see from the photo, he had made three minor modifications to it: (1) heavily stippled, (2) extended mag release, and (3) aftermarket external safety. The first two mods aren’t uncommon, but an external safety, you exclaim? On a GLOCK? Well, there’s a method to my madness for keeping it . . .

You see, I pocket carry almost exclusively (using the pictured Desantis Superfly). At my day job, I’m almost always wearing slacks and a tucked-in dress shirt. Even when I wear a suit, most of the time I lose the jacket at the door. (When a jacket is typically required e.g., going to the courthouse), the question is usually moot as I have to disarm anyway.) As a result, for me IWB or OWB is right out most of the time, and even after Texas legalizes open carry in January, I’ll probably stick to my usual routine.

While I always use a holster and religiously follow the rule that “nothing goes in the pocket with the gun except the gun hand,” I still want to be extra careful with a gun in a pocket; hence the aftermarket safety. I’ve trained extensively with it so that the “sweep” of the safety upon presentment is second nature.

Why a G26? Four reasons:

(1) Reliability – I’ve put at least 15,000 rounds through it (most of them in training classes with Steve Smith of Asgard NTG), and it always, always goes boom. Rain, mud, dirt, powder fouling, pocket lint … meh. It just keeps going.
(2) Accuracy – Maybe it’s just this particular gun, but it’s very accurate. A good shooter can shoot 2″ groups with it at 20 yards all day. And the extra heft makes it easier to shoot than a single stack 9mm.
(3) Capacity – Daily load-out in the pocket holster is 10+1, with a spare G17 mag with a grip adaptor in the weak side pocket. That’s 28 rounds of +p JHP goodness.
(4) Concealability – In cargo pants (or suits tailored for my EDC), in a Superfly it just disappears.

Can I draw from a pocket as fast I can as from my OWB Serpa? If I’m starting from the “hands in the interview position,” no way. But if I’m in my usual public posture — where my hands are casually in my front pockets — yup, and if necessary I can get a good grip on the weapon without brandishing or revealing that I’m armed.

If Walther comes out with a subcompact double stack 9mm with a superb trigger like their PPQ, I might reconsider. But for now, it’s a G26 for me.

(See the rest of the posts in this series here. Send your What I Carry and Why submissions with a photo to thetruthaboutguns@gmail.com with WICAW in the subject line.)

comments

  1. avatar achmed says:

    Cool. I tried to pocket carry a 26 for a while. Just seemed too big for that.

  2. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    I was discussing a replacement for my current work pistol with an associate last night, Glock and the PPQ were seen as potentially viable.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Pantera,

      Have you considered the Ruger LC9s? It is a single-stack with 7 in the magazine plus one in the chamber. And you can purchases extended capacity 9 round magazines. That means you can have 8 + 9 = 17 rounds in a single-stack pistol with just one spare magazine. Carrying a second spare magazine meas you would have 26 rounds of course.

      The fact that this pistol uses a single-stack magazine means it is thin and fits nicely in a pocket holster in a pants pocket without any significant printing.

  3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “That’s 28 rounds of +p JHP goodness.”

    I love it!

  4. avatar Katy says:

    I’d be interested in hearing more about the tailoring to accommodate pocket carry. What sort of adjustments do you ask the tailor for (assuming he isn’t already used to the request)?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I was thinking that typical pockets are not very durable and keeping a heavy object in them would cause seems to fail well before the pants wear out. Anyone have that experience?

      1. avatar AdamTA1 says:

        I’ve been pocket carrying for over a year now. I’ve seen no real signs of wear on my dress pants that I wear at work every day but the cargo shorts I wear at all other times if I’m not working had the pockets start wearing at a few places. I took some iron on patches and ironed them to the material of the pockets inside my shorts to “sturdy” the pockets up and to patch the small holes that were starting to wear. The wear was happening when I used a remora holster since the top corner of the gun was able to rub up against the pocket. I’ve since switched to a desantis super fly holster and with a pair of shorts I picked up around the same time it has not worn on the pocket at all.

    2. avatar LKB says:

      Good question. The last time I had some suits made, I could not find any info on this.

      In working with the tailor (the Knot Standard location here in Austin, BTW), we worked through a number of options on the test suit, and finally came up with a design that works for me. Key things I learned if you’re doing bespoke trousers for EDC:

      (1) If you are going bespoke, take your complete EDC (wallet, phone, keys, pocket rig, knife, mag, etc.) to your test suit fitting — and, of course, be considerate and let the tailor know up front that you will be doing so. (My local Knot Standard sales rep (Lindsey) was completely cool with this, but I can imagine it might freak out some people.) Pants will fit differently with all your usual stuff.

      (2) Leave yourself plenty of room around the thighs. Some of the current stylish suit cuts tend toward a narrower profile / tighter fit — that won’t work for pocket carry. A traditional cut on the trousers with a pleated front works well for me.

      (3) Extend the length / lower the back of the slash pocket opening — you want as big an opening as you can get away with.

      (4) Play with the shape and depth of the pocket to hold your particular rig in the right position. Pay particular attention to the top of the pocket (there’s often some “dead space” where the pocket is sewn to the beltline, and this can easily snag your rear sight on a draw). Trial and error is required here, but this is the easiest thing for a tailor to do, as the pocket doesn’t show. (Worst case — just tell the tailor to do the front pockets as if they were on a pair of cargo pants.)

      (5) Have the pocket lined with a reinforced, ripstop material, and have the tailor sew the pocket to the beltline with reinforced stitching. (You’re going to be carrying a lot more weight in a pocket than typical suit pockets are designed for.) Also have them reinforce the belt loop attachments on the strong side for the same reason.

      (6) On the weak side front pocket, create a reinforced “pocket in the pocket” that’s shaped to hold your spare mag. If you carry a folder in your hip pocket, have them do something similar for that too.

    3. avatar Five says:

      I where Tru-Spec tactical pants which are a little cleaner than typical cargo pants. Vertx also makes some office quality tactical pants.

      I can fit a G43 in a SuperFly hosted very comfortably in the leg pocket and is my primary workday carry method.

      I’ve never felt the need for an external safety on my Glock using the Desantis Superfly holster. It fits the gun snuggly, completely protects the trigger and draws very slowly.

      1. avatar Five says:

        BTW, I’m impressed that you pocket carry the G26. I looked at it and thought if I was going to go G26, I might as-well go G19, but both seemed too big to fit my cargo pant pockets comfortably, much less my front pants pocket.

        1. avatar LKB says:

          G26 with the factory 10 rounder is comfortably pocketable in a pair of Tru-Specs (which I happen to be wearing today — they are certainly “nice enough” for work).

  5. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    I wear suits everyday, also. I don’t think a G26 would fit into my pockets, at least not in a way that I could draw quickly.

    I do like the gun though. Mine’s in a Crossbreed IWB.

  6. avatar Vhyrus says:

    “If Walther comes out with a subcompact double stack 9mm with a superb trigger like their PPQ, I might reconsider.”

    P99c?

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      Sadly, the P99C is not a sub-compact. The grip is only marginally shorter than a G19.

      1. avatar Vhyrus says:

        As an owner of a P99c, I can assure that is absolutely false. In fact, I did a side by side comparison of the G26 and the P99c for TTAG. Here you go.

        http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/12/daniel-zimmerman/gun-review-walther-p99c/

        1. avatar LKB says:

          Well, I definitely plan on checking out Walther’s offerings at TFF this weekend. Especially the .45 ACP PPQ . . . .

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          I count the little pinky rest that comes on the non-flush magazine. Without it, the gun is practically unshootable for me. I can’t stand dangling pinky guns.

  7. avatar Fred Frendly says:

    You can carry a Glock unchambered Israeli style and still rack the slide as fast as fumbling with that safety.

    1. avatar LKB says:

      Care to make a friendly wager on that?

      1. avatar Fred Frendly says:

        If you think the IDF, under constant imminent threat in a perennial war zone is somehow sacrificing their safety by carrying Condition 3, you probably think Obamacare will save you 2500.00. Besides, a pistols just for shooting your way to your rifle.

        1. avatar LKB says:

          I have no problem with people carrying Israeli if that’s what they’re comfortable with and they’ve practiced doing so. Indeed, when I first started carrying, I carried that way for the first few months.

          I simply take friendly issue with your specific challenge that “you can carry a Glock unchambered Israeli style and still rack the slide as fast as fumbling with that safety.” At least in my case and with this particular weapon, I’m comfortable saying that’s not the case. Further, in a situation where draw speed is really an issue, I’d probably be shooting from position 2 anyway . . . . which you can’t do if you’re carrying without one in the chamber.

          Again, different strokes for different folks. There are lots of different and effective ways to carry, and it’s far more important to practice, practice, practice with whatever technique you decide on.

        2. avatar Rokurota says:

          1986 called. It wants its cliches back.

          First, let’s dispense with this “fighting your way to your rifle” BS. We carry to defend against immediate and sudden threats, not wage protracted war.

          Second, there are a lot of theories as to why the Israelis (and many other forces) taught condition 3, but it’s not because it’s faster or better (yes, it is safer — as long as you don’t get attacked). In general, military sidearms are a fighter’s last resort on the battlefield. That’s not the case for concealed carriers. Condition 3 carry requires space, time, and two good hands. Flicking off a safety requires only time, and not a lot of it.

          With this latest wave of attacks, Israeli handgun doctrine may change (http://preparedgunowners.com/2015/10/15/watch-as-israeli-carry-nearly-gets-an-israeli-police-officer-stabbed-to-death/). My money’s on the safety.

        3. avatar jwtaylor says:

          Fred, even the folks I’ve spoken to and worked with in the IDF admit they are sacrificing draw time carrying in C3. They do so because of the fear of negligent discharges among a minimally trained population, just like many US soldiers do both in the US and OCONUS. Also, since they work with the civilian population contantly around them, there is an increased threat of having their weapon taken from them. They simply believe the risks of a chambered round, in their situation, are outweighed by the benefits.

        4. avatar Anon in Ct says:

          I’ve known a few ex-IDF folks. If they are on duty at a checkpoint or some other high threat post, they definitely have a round in the pipe – whether the safety is on or off depends on the local ROEs and the local commander’s orders.

          The whole “Israeli Carry” thing is about what they do when they are not on duty but still “active” and thus armed. And in that context it makes sense.

        5. avatar foo dog says:

          thanks jwt and anon in CT, for sharing what IDF and others in Isreal are doing, and thinking.

          Personally, if I *could* CCW for simple self-defense in San Diego County (the year 2031 at the rate the CA9 is going on Peruta), I would carry “The One Gun To Rule Them All; The G23”, in C3.

          Dont want to be Tex Grubner and blow my balz off, pocket-carrying, or my toe off- like I’m a Professional DEA guy…I’ll sacrifice a half- second, just to look good.

    2. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

      No. Just no. I click off my Ruger SR on the draw just like a 1911. You are not going to rack a slide and draw in the same amount of time. You so run risk of short shucking the slide ans jamming the system. Also, it requires 2 hands when I can 1 hand draw and turn off safety.

      1. avatar Fred Frendly says:

        You carry a Ruger SR in your pocket? Nice bulge, or are you just glad to meet me?

        Pistols with short travel trigger pulls and no thumb safety like Glocks should be carried in gun specific holsters when carried with a round chambered. Dropped in your pocket or stuffed in a waistband is just asking for a second A hole.

        Pistols with thumb safetys like a 1911 can be safely carried cocked and locked and stuffed in your waistband. Just pointing out that the function of various thumb safetys varies, and that after market job on that Glock doesnt look particularly snickety. If it is, great, but most Glocks do not have them. I carry IDF style, inside pants, no holster, Clipdraw, works for me. If that extra second to rack the slide means that much then methinks I should have already had my AR at shoulder height.

        1. avatar Gunr says:

          All of that is simplified by just carrying a wheel gun, like a Ruger LCR, or S&W Airweight. No safety to worry about, no slide to rack. Just draw and shoot, if it doesn’t go bang there’s another one just 72 degrees away.
          Oops! wrong thread, were talking G-26’s here, Nice gun!

        2. I carry a gen3 Glock 26 with a Zev fulcrum trigger and a tungsten spring guide. I carry high to the right in a kydex holster. I shoot 150 rounds a week at Nardis gun range. I shoot only from 21 feet and draw and fire only. Trying to build muscle memory. Love my Glock.

  8. avatar Jon in CO says:

    Good on you for pocketing that thing. I don’t see how, but if it works, it works.

  9. avatar RenegadeDave says:

    I like how a large part of these is the justification for sub-optimal holster choices or caliber choices. I would legitimately be curious how many of these folks are shooters as opposed to just CC’ers.

    1. avatar LKB says:

      I’m curious . . . what do you mean by “shooters as opposed to CC’rs”?

      1. avatar RenegadeDave says:

        Folks who have a concealed weapons license and a gun that they carry vs. someone who gets out and actually shoots in a format that will build skill toward actually using said firearm, meaning more than just punching paper on a square range. Some of these dudes say stuff like “I’ve trained this way so that this suboptimal piece of kit is totally no big deal anymore”, okay… how? A lot of times it sounds like they’re trying to convince themselves as well as the audience.

        1. avatar LKB says:

          Well, speaking for myself, I practice with the gun I carry (pictured above), as much as I can. Practice is at ranges where I can work from the holster, moving and shooting, with snap caps added to the mix. Strong side, weak side, two hands, one hand; single targets and multiple ones. I also try to take classes at least a couple of times a year from guys who train professionals (Asgard NTG). I recognize the wisdom of The Sage Eastwood: “Man’s got to know his limitations.” (Lord knows I have plenty of them.)

          And I can tell you that having shot with some of the writers in earlier articles in this series (inter alia, Jon Wayne Taylor), many of them have forgotten more than I’ll ever know, and shoot better than I ever will.

  10. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    I tried the G26 on my ankle for awhile, and found it to be too bulky and have too much weight, which made me feel off balance.

    Also, I tired to pocket carry it for all of 20mins… It looked and felt like I had a brick in my pocket.

    Good on you for handling it, it was more than I could bear.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      I pocket carried a XD subcomp for many months, so I know it is doable with the right type of pants.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        Doable, no doubt. My preference, negative.

    2. avatar LKB says:

      I have to admit, pocket carry of something bigger than a mouse gun took some getting used to. (Then again, so does any kind of CC.) Once I found the right kinds of pants for this, however, I find it a lot more comfortable than OWB / IWB.

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        Anything bigger than an LCP and I’m going to carrying IWB appendix.

        It’s just the way I found to be best for me. Different strokes for different folks

      2. avatar Five says:

        SInce you’re using a similar set-up to me, Glock, Tru-Spec pants, leg pockets, superfly holster, I’m curious if you have also found the draw to be easier if you’re moving? Laterally to the left seemed best for me.

        1. avatar LKB says:

          The guy I train with (Steve Smith of Asgard NTG) teaches that the first rule in a gunfight is “don’t stand still.” So, yes, when I practice my draw, I’m always moving. Left, right, back, down, etc. And practice, practice, practice. Then practice some more.

  11. avatar Gregolas says:

    The thumb safety is a good idea, and I may incorporate it on my G43 and my Gen 4 G19( when I get it).
    But you hit the nail on the head on why I’ve carried a Gen 1 G19 for 25 years: it goes “BANG” every time you pull the trigger. Love ’em, hate ’em, that’s what Glocks do.
    The purpose of a handgun is emergency lifesaving. So what if it won’t shoot into 2″ at 50 yards? Reliability is Job One for any gun design. Glock has gotten it right. My new G43 is just a boringly reliable as “Old Heinrich”, even firing sideways, upside down, left handed, etc.

    1. avatar LKB says:

      FWIW, my gun’s prior owner had the safety done by these folks:

      http://www.tenring.com/glock-pistol-work-2/

      It works great.

  12. avatar The Pontificator says:

    My favorite G26/27/33 accessory (other than night sights) are the GAP Enterprises magazine floor plates. Neither “pinky rests” nor magazine extensions, they allow the operator’s ring finger to lock into the grip and help prevent the pistol from “walking” out of one’s strong hand during multiple shots.

  13. avatar Charles Ray says:

    I wonder how many Golden Retrievers or autistic 6 year old boys this pistol was used to off.

  14. avatar herb says:

    I live out in the sticks. I have carried everything from a pair of Colt Combat Commanders to a snub nose Smith 38. The only time I wear suits is to funerals. right now, I carry a Smith Model 49 Bodyguard that belonged to a good friend of mine who was a detective for the LA Sheriffs Dept. before he retired. He carried it for twenty plus years. It has the single action taken out of it and is strictly double action. It is not fancy, but having had situations where I had to display a gun to discourage a would be criminal, I found it to be completely adequate. Granted I don’t live in a target rich environment like a lot of you guys, but that is my story, and I am sticking to it.

    1. avatar Al Bondigas says:

      Those living in a “target rich environment” should try to get the best concealed weapon ever devised: a brand new driver’s license with their brand new zip code on it.

  15. avatar Jimmyjames says:

    the TWO SIX was my carry gun until the Sig P290RS came out. Now it’s my truck gun. As someone else mentioned it is a big chunky monkey of a pistol for carrying.

    1. avatar Joel says:

      I liked the 290, except if I remember correctly, it has almost the same unloaded weight as a G26. 19oz vs 20oz. Of course, who cares about unloaded weight right? My pocket carried edc weighs 14oz empty, but loaded in the pocket holster it tips the scales at 18oz. That’s the number that matters. Since the 290 carries fewer rounds, I am sure it’s lighter in the pocket than the G26. It is certainly smaller. I really like the size of the 290.

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