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G26 vs G23

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by BORELLAR, Aug 23, 2010.



    Jul 29, 2010
    Hey, I have a glock 26 which is what i currently am carrying with Hornady critical defense loads 115 gr. , I was just wondering, and I have never shot a G23 by the way, but I just really like the compact glock size, and I was thinking about if I should have a 40 cal with me instead of the 9mm. Now, I know that most people are going to say they like the 40 cal better, or that I should try them both and see which one I like best. What i want to know are these questions:

    Make an unbiased statement on the following:
    Do you think...

    There would be very big difference in recoil, holster options, etc.
    and also, Is the wound channel really that big of a difference to feel short changed with a 9mm? Should I feel like my 9mm IS NOT ENOUGH???

    I just want to know that IF someone were to threaten my life, that I could stop the threat in their tracks to the point to where my life is safe, and they are not gonna pursue their attack any longer.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  2. I would keep the 9mm.

    I have a Glock 23, and in such a light pistol the recoil is very snappy. It's not unmanageable, but I am not the biggest fan of it.

    A 9mm when loaded with a quality round is every bit as effective as any of the other common service calibers when you do your part, which is key regardless of that caliber you are using because in the grand scheme of things, handgun calibers are poor man stoppers anyway.

    I like the 9mm and have complete confidence in it's ability to take down a two legged assailant. If you want a compact sized Glock, get a G19 and load it with a round that is reliable in your gun, expands reliably and has at least 12" of penetration in ballistics gelatin.

    Also, you current carry load doesn't exactly impress me. I am not a fan of light for caliber loads. In 9mm I want at least a 124gr bullet. I have been impressed by the 124gr+p Speer Gold Dot which is what my M&P9 is loaded with.

  3. i would carry the most powerful round i could handle, if thats a 9mm i would be happy with that. the .40 might recoil a little more but that is because more power is comeing out the bussines end. if the 9mm and .40 did the same no one would carry a .40, why.
    almost anyone can handle a .40 and the more you shoot them the less recoil you feel. i remember when i first got my 23, i thought that it was peppy, now i don't even think of it.
  4. ABNAK


    Apr 22, 2005
    While I no doubt agree that a .45>.40>9mm "power"-wise, I do believe that the advancements in modern bullet design have narrowed the gap between them significantly compared to 10 or 15 years ago. In fact, while I have a G36 and G23 my favorite is my well-used G19 stoked with 147gr +P HST. Ironically those very same advancements in bullet design have drawn me to the heavy-for-caliber loads that I wouldn't touch with a 10ft pole previously!
  5. katana8869

    katana8869 NativeFloridian

    Oct 17, 2005
    Occupied Territory
    When people talk about recoil of 9mm vs .40 S&W they are often basing their opinion on a light target load like WWB 115gr when shooting 9mm. I own the G19 and G26 as well as the G23 and G27. My experience has been that a 124gr 9mm +P has a recoil level that is not that much different than the 180gr .40 S&W.

    The 135gr .40 is an entirely different story. Some of those (such as the Cor-Bon 135gr jhp) can be downright nasty recoil wise.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  6. bobandshawn

    bobandshawn BOBO

    Oct 6, 2009
    I have a G26 and a G23. I use the 26 for EDC with 165 gr Winchester Ranger hollow points. My 23 sports a TLR-1 tac-light with 185 gr Winchester JHP and is my HD weapon. I like having slightly different setups and feel totally comfortable with either. It's all about shot placement, really. Holsters are readily available for both. BTW - I would definately go bigger than 115 gr rounds if you want confident knock down power!!!

    my .02

  7. rohanreginald

    rohanreginald Novice

    Dec 9, 2009
    Borrellar, the caliber you carry should be a 9mm and bigger IMO. I carry 45's and 9mm's because of availability and popularity.

    I feel no less gunned carrying my 9's then the 45's. These are both well established cartridges that have been proven over years. The .40 is no exception!

    My advise though, is to carry what you are comfortable with. If you feel that a 9mm is not adequate, then carry what you feel is adequate, as long as you can operate it proficiently.

    Don't over think the caliber thing, just carry good reputable ammo.

    Holsters availability is the same for for G26 and G27. They are both very popular pistols.
  8. CynicX


    Feb 25, 2008
    You can stop a threat with a 9mm, depending on the threat of course. A .40 will deliver more energy to your target. You've probably seen this before...


    You can see the 9mm has the least impressive results when it comes to wound channel. It still delivers 12" of penetration though. Those results can vary, a 9mm JHP +p+ would be more similar to the .357sig. But then someone could argue to load a .357sig hot, which are results I'd love to see. But the gun could become unmanageable for a lot of people.

    Like suggested before shoot the what you can handle easily. Make sure you are testing it from the gun you want with the ammo you'll use. For example I rented a fullsize Glock 20 (which is 10mm) and shot it just fine with your standard range ammo all day. But a compact Glock 32 (which is .357sig, 9mm bullet in a .40 cal case basically) loaded hot is a lot more intense and some would find it unmanageable...

    I've dropped in a .40s&w barrel into my G32 which basically makes it a G23. I can notice more recoil then a G19. Some think its a pretty snappy weapon since its a compromise between a lighter gun then the full size with a higher muzzle velocity then a sub compact. I wouldnt consider it "bad" by any means but that is how I perceive it.

    Regardless only way to tell is to go rent one and buy some defense ammo and see how you like it.
  9. cole

    cole Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    Owned the G23 twice. The G27, too. Both nice guns. REALLY tried to like the .40sw (tried HK and Sig, too); didn't work. Snappy recoil with 165gr and 155gr loads, as well as with full-power 180gr loads.

    In the end, for me, I decided nothing the .40sw offers offsets the snappy, torquing nature of the recoil IMO. If I want more than 9mm I look to .45acp. Both have better recoil characteristics for me in guns I want to shoot.

    Own the G26. FAR prefer it. Mine is loaded with 147gr. Owned the G19 (three times) as well. FAR prefer the G19 to the G23. Glocks in 9mm are excellent IMO.

    For LE, carrying OWB on a duty rig, I think 16rds of 180gr .40sw in a full size gun is the way to go for most. But, that's a different consideration.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  10. Daryl in Az

    Daryl in Az Enjoying life!

    Aug 31, 2007
    A carry handgun, including the cartridge it's chambered for is a very personal choice. No one else knows what your preferences and needs are, so you're the best one to determine what you should carry.

    Recoil is subjective. I have a buddy who's a whole lot bigger than I am who can't handle recoil very well. He does ok with a .40 S&W, but anything above that level will cause him to start flinching...badly.

    He loves shooting 9mm's, and he hits well with them.

    I've shot quite a bit of 9mm ammo over the years through various handguns, yet I've never owned a handgun chambered in 9mm. It's a great little cartridge, and I'd not feel undergunned in most situations I might encounter where a gun might be needed.

    Is the .40 S&W more powerful? Yes.
    Does the .40 S&W have more recoil? Yes
    Is the .40 S&W a more effective fight stopper? Maybe.

    I've no personal experience with shooting people (thankfully), so I have to rely on what others have reported, and there are numerous shooting reports to keep a person reading for months. At base value, I think there's a reason that the 9mm isn't as popular as it once was among law enforcement agencies. Like the .38 special that was once so popular in law enforcement, it's falling by the wayside with favor turning to better things.

    The Miami/Dade County shootout back in 1986 was a major turning point for service cartridges in the US. Officers armed with .38 special +p and 9mm ammo came up holding the short end of the stick, so to speak. They eventually won the shootout, but it cost the FBI some serious casualties.

    Long story short, the FBI started looking for something better, and the .40 S&W was Smith & Wesson's answer to their call for a lighter loaded 10mm.

    With all this said, the question is whether or not the 9mm is sufficient. After all, a dead perp is a dead perp, right?

    In all likelihood, I've have to say "Yes, it is." The chances of a regular Joe on the street having to shoot through a car door or some such are a lot lower than for an LEO. If I already had a 9mm, I'm not entirely sure I'd sell it in order to buy a .40 S&W chambered handgun. The 9mm is cheaper to feed range ammo to, and modern SD ammo makes it a lot better than it once was.

    When buying a carry gun, where identical guns are chambered differently, but at the same price, I'll choose the .40 every time. I carry a handgun because of the unknown threats that are out there, and it's better for me to err on the side of caution. I live close to the Arizona/Mexico border, and there's some additional threat to be concerned with here IMO.

    This isn't what you want to hear/read, but shoot them both, and decide for yourself what will make you the most comfortable. I can only say that I'm VERY happy carrying and shooting a .40 S&W.

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  11. CynicX


    Feb 25, 2008

    Better ammo would have helped the FBI tremendously in that fire fight. Going off memory I believe it was Platt (one of the bad guys) was shot in the upper arm with a 9mm at the very beginning of the fire fight. The round then entered his body, stopping millimeters from his heart.

    Once again I believe Platt was the suspect that actually murdered the two special agents.

    That being said, if that single round was more powerful FBI could have not sustained any fatalities that day.

    Hence why the FBI switched calibers.

    Of course there is no telling what would have happened.
  12. Daryl in Az

    Daryl in Az Enjoying life!

    Aug 31, 2007
    There never is, which is exactly the point.

    If any of the common SD cartridges send a well designed bullet through the chest of a BG, the fight is usually over. In best case scenarios, anything would work.

    It's when things go really bad that differences might be found. In the Miami/Dade incident, a slightly heavier, better penetrating bullet might very well have saved lives.

    From my hunting experiences, I can say without a doubt that a 25 grain Berger bullet from a .17 Remington will put a coyote in the dirt if the bullet is placed right. If it's not, then it doesn't work quite as well.

    That said, any solid body shot with a 100 grain bullet from a .243 will have the same affect as the perfectly placed bullet from the .17 Rem. That's no excuse for poor shooting, but things sometimes happen that we don't expect or plan.

    I choose the .17 Remington over the .243 for coyotes simply because I can choose my shots, know where to place them, and it's far less damaging to the fur. The .17 Rem is also more fun/pleasant to shoot.

    But if my life depended on stopping a coyote, I'd take a .243 without a second thought. Larger cartridges/calibers stop them equally well, but no better in my experience (I have a LOT of experience shooting coyotes).

    The same concept holds true for handgun cartridges. I've shot a couple of javalinas, and even a few coyotes with a .40 S&W. I've hunted with guys who did similar things with a 9mm, and from what I've seen there's a noticeable difference in the reaction of the animal(s) between the two cartridges.

    These differences could be attributed to a number of things, including the ammo used, but I still feel better carrying a .40 S&W as an EDC gun.

    I have larger handguns that are heavier, and kick/hit a lot harder, but they seem unnecessary and ill-suited for EDC.

  13. GunFighter45ACP


    Jun 11, 2005
    D/FW, TX
    Caliber wars aside, the question is which one (G26 or G23) will carry better. No doubt about it, the subcompact framed G26 will win in this category, so I wouldn't worry about caliber & just stick w/what you've got. Now, if you really like the size of the compact Glock & want something new then I'd say to go shoot a G19 & a G23 side by side & see which one feels better & is more accurate for you.
  14. i would concider the effects on target of each caliber in a side by side also. i like the 23 in a .40 but i'm sure a 19 in a 9mm would feel better and i would be more accurate but you need to concider terminal effects of your ballistics.
  15. voyager4520

    voyager4520 -----

    Apr 25, 2009
    SE Colorado
    I own two .40 Glocks and I say.....

    ...Keep your 9mm. The only real difference between the two is recoil and cost of ammo. The only real benefit of .40 is that during the last ammo shortage it was on the shelf at the stores while hardly anything else was.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2010
  16. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    I'm not sure anyone told you, but the G26 & G23 are diff sized guns. I like my G26, but the G27 in 40 i sjust too much of a good thing in a small package IMO.
  17. CynicX


    Feb 25, 2008
    I wouldnt say those are the only real differences...

    Marshall and Sanow One-Stop-Shot rates pretty much all .40s&w above 9mm

    Permanent Cavity Volume is always larger (FBI rating) we can clearly see this in the above picture.

    Temporary Stretch Cavity (I dont know if any agency uses this) is always larger with a .40 vs 9mm.

    Ballistics Pressure Wave which is measured in PSI is higher with .40. This is what causes neural/hydrostatic shock we here so much about.

    Expansion is bigger (bigger bullet of course) causes a larger hole. Which then causes an decrease in the time of incapacitation. Which there is even a rating/measurement for. AIT, Average Incapacitation Time.

    Aside from penetration there are large differences in the performance of these things.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  18. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy

    Jan 25, 2008
    Clarksville, Tn.
    I have and carry a G23. I like the caliber and size. The sub-compacts are just too small for me. Go with what you like because most if not all modern ammo will do the job if you hold up your end.
  19. My advice would be to stop chasing this illusion. Stopping power is hitting your adversary in the vitals with as many bullets as possible until the threat is over.

    No service handgun caliber or bullet style can promise better "stopping power." It's up to you and your ability to disable the vital organs of the target.

    Either a 9mm or a .40 S&W is perfectly capable of stopping a threat.

    How the target reacts when he realizes he has been shot is up to him. No matter what you decide upon, practice until you can become really proficient with it.

    And if you ever have to use it to defend your life, regardless of the caliber, keep firing until the threat is over.
  20. Daryl in Az

    Daryl in Az Enjoying life!

    Aug 31, 2007

    If blood pressure drops, so does the perp; no matter how much (s)he wants to keep going.