Compact or Subcompact?


New member
Hello, I have my permit to carry in MN but have not yet purchased a firearm to carry. I am probably going to purchase a Glock 19 or a Glock 26 (with a magazine extender so my little finger fits on the magazine), I just need to go to the range to make sure they both feel right.

If both feel comfortable in my hand the question I have is what would the real advantage of a 0.5" shorter firearm be? Obviously they make a subcompact firearm for a reason but I'm not sure that I'm the target audience. I'm not a big guy so hiding a firearm on me during the summer could prove tricky, even a subcompact. And during winters in MN I could hide just about anything.

The real question: For us slender guys, does a 0.5" really make a difference?


I live in Wisconsin and have to open carry here and can conceal when I travel. I am a bigger guy and bought a compact. Then I realized that a sub-compact worked a lot better for conceal. I just use the compact in Wisconsin for open carry... Until November. ;) I guess it really depends on how you will be carrying during the different seasons and situations. It wouldn't hurt to have a few different weapons to choose from.


New member
I'm a big guy also, I have a number of carry guns, the main one is a glock 26 and I use the extender, I found it easier to conceal then my full size glock, the 26 didn't print as much since it was smaller, even in the summer when I'm just wearing shorts and a t-shirt I'll have it in a holster on my belt covered by my shirt.


New member
I have both. I carry the 26 much more. The smaller size makes a huge difference. If I were to only have one, I would prefer the 26.


I have a G-26, G-27, and G-30 on my carry permit. I mostly carry the G-27 which is the same size as the G-26. But I live mostly in Kalifornia where we are restricted to a magazine size of 10 rounds.


New member
I used to carry my Glock 30 but recently purchased a Ruger LC9. I am a big man, but the Glock 30 was just to much for the summer. I really like the Ruger LC9 it is a compact 9mm. I have big hands and they fit comfortably on the Ruger. I highly recommend you check it out before you make a purchase.


New member
I'm in MN also and its either my G19 or my customized Colt Commander, but either way they ride in a Crossbreed super tuck. I'm not a big guy either, 6 foot, 170 lbs.


New member
Sorry I didn't finish my last, the neighbor needed some help. The glock is lighter and rides close and comfortable with shorts and a tshirt. The colt is for winter time under a sweatshirt. Just my two cents but I'd say go with the 19. Ya have a small frame and .05" is just not imho not that big of a deal. Plus ya don't need a grip extension. Get the gen4 tho cuz u can customize your grip.


New member
Dont let yourself be scared away from the power and superiority of a full size glock as an every day carry. I carry a Glock 22. 15+1 rounds of .40, not too hard to conceal.


Well-known member
Dont let yourself be scared away from the power and superiority of a full size glock as an every day carry. I carry a Glock 22. 15+1 rounds of .40, not too hard to conceal.

Ditto! I typically use a Galco Miami Clasic Shoulder holster system.

Providence Ranch

New member
I also carry a Glock 22. That's a full-size frame, 40 cal for those who don't know. I'm a bigger guy than most, but as others have said, carrying full size isn't all that difficult. And my argument is that despite the minor inconvenience of a slightly larger weapon, the tradeoff is immense. Better handling, better accuracy, and increased capacity. Once its in your hands, you'll be glad you went full size! (No jokes, now...)

That having been said, find what will work for you ALL the time, and carry it ALL the time. Because that gun you leave at home because its too big or too heavy won't do you a lick of good.


New member
I weighed the options and decided a Glock 23 (compact) was preferable to the 27 (subcompact). I'm 200 pounds, so I don't have trouble concealing it. I just go with an IWB holster and not even my LE friends have "made" me. I now feel completely comfortable carrying the compact, even in the summer. I also have a bit longer barrel so I'm acquiring my sight picture that much quicker. The size difference wasn't substantial enough for me to drop down to the 27.

Bottom line, it's got to be comfortable for you. If it's not, you're not going to carry it. Then you'll be violating the first rule of a gunfight, which is, "Have a gun."

Are subcompact glocks shoot-able? Yes. Just watch this. hickok45's Channel - YouTube


New member
I don't carry a Glock, but I've got both the full size XDm 9mm and the compact XDm 9mm. I use the compact for carry and don't have any problem w/ concealing it when carrying "on person". I carry on my weak side for crossdraw. (I do also carry in my "purse", which is a Maxpedition and has a holster, as I work in healthcare and there are too many times that I am in places that it would be uncomfortable for me to possibly be discovered carrying. Although technically I am legal to be doing so, if I would be discovered and told it wasn't acceptable, I would have to stop carrying there and I'm not willing to do so.)
I live in MN,too. We are coming up fast on Fall, so I would say if you like the compact after shooting it, get it, as you're not going to have any trouble concealing in the upcoming months. Then if you feel it won't work for you when summer comes around again, get the sub-compact. You know you're going to end up w/ both of them at some point anyway!


New member
As a tall skinny guy, I'm a bit obsessed with getting the shortest grips I can for carry. CAN you conceal something larger? With the holster options available today, yes...but I find it to be easier even with 1/2" difference you mention. Remember that you can also easily find adapters (e.g. X-Grips) that let you use full-sized magazines if you you can carry with a more compact option and have a full-sized reload if that floats your boat.

As for compact grips, especially in 9mm, I've found that with just a little training, having my pinky on the frame via an extension doesn't make a difference allowing me that much shorter of a grip not needing it poking out.

Old Zebra

Another factor to consider is attire. In t-shirt and shorts weather, I prefer to carry my Sig P238 in a pocket holster or a SmartCarry holster. With belted jeans or slacks, I conceal-carry my 3-inch 1911 in a belt holster. My 5-inch 1911 usually stays at home because the longer grip is more challenging to conceal well. Also, I prefer a lighter weight for concealed carry.

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