Cylinder & Slide's Glock 26 9mm
Daily back-up gun for 14 years gets upgraded to ultimate carry postol!

By: Rob Garrett
Combat Handguns February 2010

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Since the Glock 26 was introduced it has become a favorite for civilians and law enforcement officers.  The little pistol has much to offer.  It is only slightly larger than some traditional .380 ACP's, holds 11 rounds of 9mm, and is compact enough to be concealed in an ankle rig and even the cargo pocket of your favorite tactical pants.  I purchased mine in 1995 and it quickly replaced a well-worn J-frame as my daily on-duty back-up and primary off-duty weapon. 

With an extra magazine in my left front pants pocket, the little Glock 26 gave me 21 rounds of high performance 9mm in a platform that was reliable and capable of engaging targets out to 25 yards.  Even when I neglected it, it continued to run.  I can't remember ever having a single malfunction.

Cylinder & Slide has established a worldwide reputation for their work on 1911's, Browning Hi-Powers and for their quality custom parts.  However, owner Bill Laughridge finally gave in and realized that there was a market for refining Glocks.  

A look at C&S's online catalog found 27 pages of options for the Glock family of pistols. Custom finishes include: Cerami Cote, Black T, NP3, Electroless Nickel, and Roguard. Bar-Sto match grade and drop-in barrels are offered for those who want to squeeze every bit of accuracy out of their Glock.

Frame modifications include removing the hook on the triggerguard, removing the finger grooves on the frontstrap, stippling and grip reductions. For the ultimate modification, C&S will even build up a beavertail to enhance the grip and help control recoil. The shop will also serrate the slide, add front cocking serrations, and install sights from Novak, Heinie, XS Sights, and BoMar. In other words, the shop can do just about anything the customer can come up with.

When he offered to give my Glock 26 a makeover, I could not resist. Ten years of daily carry had given it a well-worn look. I sent the pistol to C&S and waited to see what magic Laughridge and his crew would come up with.

Custom Details

Internally the C&S crew performed a combat trigger job by cleaning up the factory fire control system. They removed the factory creep and polished all of the bearing surfaces to giving a smooth trigger pull that breaks at a clean 5 pounds. While reliability was never an issue, the feed ramp was polished and the muzzle received an 11-degree crown. This recessed crown protects the muzzle and is a custom touch that is esthetically pleasing.

Externally, the frontstrap received a stippling treatment to enhance traction on the short grip. I am wary of stippling after seeing some jobs that looked like they were applied by a drunk with a propane torch and a 10 penny nail, but the C&S stippling was as perfect as I have seen. The depth was uniform and the pattern was clean with no overlapping dimples. It was a nice replacement to the skateboard tape that I had applied several years before.

The final frame modification involved removing the hook on the triggerguard. The leading edge of the triggerguard was expertly rounded, removing the finger hook, while retaining a uniform thickness of the triggerguard. While C&S offers several sight options, I elected to stay with the standard Glock night sights due to their robust design. An ankle gun takes a daily beating from a variety of places and Glock's thick rear blade has proven durable over the years.

Laughridge refinished the Glock 26 with his custom Cerami Cote finish. Cerami Cote is a flexible ceramic finish that is made up of a two-part epoxy base with ceramic color. The epoxy compound is mixed, applied to the pistol and then allowed to harden. The coated parts are then baked at a very specific temperature to cure the finish. According to Laughridge, Cerami Cote is four times tougher than the popular polymer finishes.

It also works well on all surfaces to include carbon steel, stainless steel, titanium, aluminum, and polymer frames. At the current time, Cerami Cote is available in armor black (flat black), graphite black (satin finish), earth brown, OD green, gray, and silver. The final touch was the C&S mustache logo that was etched on the top of the slide between the rear sight and ejection port.

The pistol you see is not a pristine sample or a safe queen. It is the pistol that I have carried on a daily basis for over 14 years. The great majority of that time, it has been carried in an ankle holster from either Galco or my late friend, Lou Alessi. Those who live with an ankle rig know the amount of dust, dirt, and general crud that accumulates on a daily basis. This not only threatens reliability but it is abrasive on the exterior finish. I was somewhat skeptical about how well Cerami Cote was going to hold up. My fears were unfounded.

After almost four years, the most significant wear is on the left side of the pistol that rides against the leg. The contour lines on the front of the slide and the high spots on the left side of the slide show wear. Given the location on the pistol, this is to be expected. The right rear corner of the slide is chipped from being banged getting in and out of a car.  Other than those specific areas, the coating looks almost as good as new. The barrel hood, which normally takes a beating, does not show any wear and the muzzle shows only slight wear at the point of contact with the slide.

The Cerami Cote treatment has proven to be as durable on the polymer frame as on the slide. Not surprising, the Glock 26 has continued to be 100 percent reliable. Even when bone dry, filled with dust and lint, it ran without any malfunctions. Since it is my primary carry weapon, I try to blow it out with compressed air. Even if I forget, I have no concerns over the reliability of the pistol.

Range Time

Several years ago, my department was evaluating various loads in preparation for selecting a new duty round. While visiting with the ATK/Speer representative, I had an opportunity to test Speer's 9mm 124-grain +P Gold Dot Hollow point. The load easily broke 1200 fps (feet per second) and penetration and expansion were excellent. Since that time, the Gold Dot has been my standard load in all of my 9mm pistols.  While a little snappy in the Glock 26~ it is manageable and accurate.

Recently Crimson Trace introduced a new tine of lasers called the Laserguard. It is a two-piece housing that mounts the taser to the front of the triggerguard and places the activation switch at the base of the triggerguard. I had a Laserguard on my Ruger LCP and recently received one for a Glock.

It mounted property to the Glock 26 even though the hook has been removed. The downside to the Laserguard is that it significantly changes the profile of the pistol creating holster problems. Galco has introduced a new model of their Ankle Glove that will accommodate the Crimson Trace Laserguard. This will become a permanent attachment to my Glock 26.

It is little wonder that the Glock 26 has become the choice of professionals worldwide. It is rumored that the Israeli Mossad even makes use of the little pistol.  While the slogan is Glock Perfection, C&S has redefined perfection and made it even better.  The Glock 26 has been my daily carry pistol for over 14 years and I don't see it being replaced anytime soon.