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Old May 4, 2012, 08:09 PM   #1
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Review: Glock 26 Gen4 vs. Ruger SR9c

I find these reviews to be super helpful when I am researching guns, especially when I can find one directly comparing two guns I am considering. This will be my attempt to give back to the community by comparing these two 9mm carry choices that are both very popular.


Some pictures. Note: The Glock is wearing large backstraps and XS Express 24/7 Big Dot sights. The Ruger is wearing Meprolight night sights and the aluminum striker indicator is not stock.

Comparing thickness



Both guns are striker-fired 9mms designed with concealed carry in mind. They both contain the same Glock-like trigger system with passive firing pin block and trigger safeties. The SR9c has a manual safety, magazine disconnect, and loaded chamber indicator as well. Both guns have 10+1 capacities.

When I purchased the SR9c as my first gun, I wanted a manual safety. It was a comfort thing. Now that I have carried and trained for about 7 months, I have come to realize the holster is the safety and the manual safety on the SR9c is redundant. FOR ME.

The magazine disconnect I removed immediately when I started doing IDPA. It prevents me from being able to "show clear" by dry firing without a magazine in the gun (you can still do so, but it damages the firing pin. It just takes one strict range officer to give up on the idea of putting an empty magazine in the gun just to dry fire it, then remove the magazine again.) However, I continued to worry about the legal implications of doing so if I ever needed to use the gun to defend myself. Disabling a factory safety mechanism and all that.

The loaded chamber indicator I could take or leave. It bothers some people, I wasn't one of them. I don't find I miss it on the Glock.

The SR9c has an accessory rail while the Glock 26 does not. Both guns have a multiple backstrap system which I will discuss below.

Both guns have striker-fired triggers. Now, before I say this, understand that my specific specimens are very different. My Glock 26 has about 200 rounds through it, while the Ruger has 1,400. That said...

The SR9c has the nicer trigger, but not by a ton. It is smoother, and feels about a pound lighter. However, I like the reset on the Glock better. The Ruger's reset isn't bad by any means, but the Glock's is just a bit more defined and crisp.

I am not a trigger snob, and the above does not prevent me from shooting either gun well. To me, trigger discussions are meaningless if it does not affect shooting the gun well. But for those who this matters to, the SR9c has the edge. Based on my dry-firing experiences in stores, it's better than the XDs and M&Ps as well.

You may have noticed in the pictures above, neither of my guns have stock sights any more. I feel no gun is at its best with the stock sights. But if you are planning on using the stock sights, the Ruger's are a lot better. On my Glock 26, when the front and rear sights were aligned, the front sight dot was covered slightly by the rear. What this meant was if you acquired a quick flash sight picture and fired, you were firing high, because you didn't cover the front site with the rear when aligning them. The Ruger has a nice big front sight, and shot perfectly to aim out of the box for me.

While we're on the topic, my Ruger wears Meprolights, the finish on which fell apart when they were professionally installed. My Glock wears XS 24/7 Big Dot sights, which I can't say enough about. Every combat gun should have these sights, but back on topic...

Both guns include nice, well-made magazines. I include this topic because some guns I've owned have had magazines I hate using, and guess what, you're stuck with them. The Glock is a metal-lined polymer shell magazine with well-marked witness holes for every round starting at 4. The Ruger is a metal magazine with witness holes starting at 4; one side has even numbers and the other side has odd. I never encountered a magazine-related issue with either gun, and didn't have a hard time finding additional mags at good prices.

The Ruger can use full-sized 17 round mags, and the Glock of course can use 15, 17, or 33 round mags. Both guns have a 10 round capacity with flush fitting mags. The Ruger comes with a pinky extension for one of the magazines, and they are available but not included with the Glock.

The above pictures speak best to this. But the Ruger is slightly larger in all dimensions except thickness, the Glock is slightly thicker. I don't trust width numbers as advertised, because they do or don't consider levers at their discretion. So its not really apples to apples. The Glock is a thicker gun, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

HOWEVER. It doesn't matter. It's not enough of a different to affect anything, except possibly the comfort of the grip. But that's subjective anyway. For my uses, grip length is the most important dimension, and the Glock is noticably shorter here. It's also a tad nicer for appendix carry as it is shorter in length as well.

This is a very subjective topic, and you should handle any gun you are thinking about purchasing. For me, the Glock 26 Gen4 fits my hand very well. I use the large backstrap, and it appears in the pictures above. The three backstrap choices are well thought out on the Glock. With nothing attached it is the -2mm size, the same as the short frame (SF) series available on the Gen 3s. With the medium backstrap it is +0mm and is the normal Glock size. With the large backstrap it is +2mm. This works best for me.

The Ruger has a reversible backstrap. It is the cheap piece of rubber on the backstrap; if you turn it around it has a little bit of a palmswell on it. Even though I like the large backstrap on the Glock, I hate it on the Ruger. Maybe its because its made of rubber, but its just uncomfortable, even though the size is probably better for me. To me, it was an afterthought to have another bullet point in their marketing material.

The Glock 26, particularly the Gen 4, is much more comfortable for me. I like finger grooves on all the guns I've handled that have them. The thicker grip combined with the large backstraps make it very easy to shoot well, for me.

Both guns are very concealable in my opinion. I started out carrying the SR9c at 3:30-5 o'clock in a Crossbreed Supertuck. Along the way I discovered appendix carry was much better for me. I can carry both guns appendix without issue, both comfortably and safely. The Glock is slightly smaller in every dimension except thickness, the Ruger is slightly thinner.

Again, my Glock only has 200 rounds through it. But I do have stories to tell about the Ruger.

The following two links are threads about the two issues I encountered. I will summarize them as well.

The first issue I had occurred after about 300 rounds. The trigger would fail to reset after firing. I would need to manually rack the slide to get the trigger to reset. There was a round in the chamber, just the trigger wasn't back and couldn't be fired. I sent the gun back to Ruger, and about 2 weeks later they sent it back with new "stronger" parts. Why they don't put the "stronger" parts in all their guns is a question I still have.

The second issue was the infamous SR9/SR9c barrel peening. Do a search of the web if you're not familiar with it. Basically, the slide to barrel fit is poor and the barrel ends up getting damaged. It doesn't affect reliability or performance, but some think it could if left unchecked long enough. I sent the gun back to Ruger, again had a 2 week turn around, and they replaced the barrel. But they made it clear that next time I would have to pay. Seemed odd to me they would acknowledge there was a problem by requesting the gun and then replacing a part, but then say they were only fixing it this one time.

No issues to report with the Glock so far. I will be sure to update this thread (and start a new one) if/when I encounter one.

Hope someone finds this helpful!
Everyday Loadout

NRA Instructor
NRA Member

Last edited by ScotchMan; May 6, 2012 at 10:41 AM.
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Old May 6, 2012, 07:53 AM   #2
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Join Date: December 23, 2010
Location: Vermont
Posts: 240
Thanks for a thorough report.

I have a Gen4 G26 and my friend has the Ruger SR9C...

As you stated, both have pros and cons and strengths and weaknesses...

He is beginning to experience the trigger reset problem, I think.....

My Gen4 had some early issues with FTF/FTE, but now that I have over 1200 rounds through is what I have come to expect from Glock: "Perfection"
When two of equal skill meet at swords' point, there is no conclusion to the match--Takuan Soho (written in 1629)
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