Published on March 26th, 2013 | by Destinee (FateofDestinee)

Sub compacts: Ruger LC9 vs. Glock 26 vs. Beretta Nano

With concealed carry in mind, I took 3 popular 9mm sub compact pistols to the range for comparison: the Ruger LC9, Beretta Nano, and the Glock 26. Some may disagree with my inclusion of a double stack pistol in comparison against two single stack sub compacts, but that is exactly why I included it (to compare a double stack 9 against a single stack as well as one single stack to another).

Right off the bat, the most notable difference between the three models (without firing any of them) is the grips. As the Glock is a double stack pistol, it has a bulkier (and more angular) grip than either the Nano or the LC9. The little Beretta and slim Ruger both measure .9in in width (compared to the 26′s 1.18in). While the LC9 is equal in how narrow the grip is to the Nano, it feels slightly more top heavy.

This isn’t entirely surprising considering the LC9 is the lightest of the three sub compacts. It weighs a slight 17.1 oz, as compared to the Nano’s 19.97oz and the 19.75oz Glock (note: as the Glock holds more rounds than the other two, while loaded it is the heaviest pistol in the comparison). While the Ruger is the lightest, it also is the least comfortable to shoot. The heavier Glock and Beretta are easier to keep steady and feel well balanced. The weight also seemed to be a factor in perceived recoil.

Sub compacts: Ruger LC9 vs. Glock 26 vs. Beretta Nano - TheArmsGuide.com

The slim Beretta Nano makes it a competitive option for concealed carry pistols.

The Glock 26 has the least noticable muzzle flip and recoil. This, in combination with the larger grip made it easier to keep rounds on target while firing. All the sub compacts in this article have short barrels (26: 3.42″, Nano: 3.07″, LC9: 3.12″), but the increase in felt recoil was more significant in the slimmer Beretta and Ruger pistols. It took me a few rounds to get used to the difference, but the snap isn’t so wild that it is a great challenge to keep rounds on target. It does make the LC9 and the Nano less enjoyable to put rounds through, though (although, in a CCW pistol, a fun range experience means less to me than accurate range performance).

Another of the most significant differences between the Glock, Nano, and Ruger is in their trigger pulls. The Glock 26 has the lightest trigger pull that broke nearest to the front of the pull. I feel it contributed to being able to shoot more accurately with it. The Nano has the longest and heaviest trigger pull of the three. It was further back than I had anticipated, but it is relatively smooth, well, smoother than the LC9′s trigger, that is. I struggled the most adjusting to the pull of the Ruger LC9′s trigger. It doesn’t break quite as far back as that of the Nano, but it was more crunchy and unpredictable, to the point that it detracted from my ability to keep shot groupings as small as with either the Beretta Nano or the Glock 26.

In fact, my most accurate and precise groupings were shot with the Glock 26. While the grip of the Nano fit my hand well, the long trigger pull and increased muzzle flip contributed to not being able to keep quite as tight shot groupings as with the Glock. However, my performance with the LC9 was the least accurate and precise. The increased felt recoil (due to the light weight of the small pistol and its short barrel) as well as its uniform trigger were factors in that outcome.

Another difference to note between these three sub compacts is the difference in sight picture. The Glock 26 features a notch and post sight. Compared to the three dot sight pictures of the LC9 and Nano, I find it slightly more difficult to align quickly. However, it isn’t so great of an issue as to impair my ability to put rounds on target with it. It may be a product of my experience with shooting 1911s with three dot sight pictures, but I found I had no trouble whatsoever with maintaining sight alignment with the Beretta Nano’s large white three dots. The Ruger also features a 3 dot sight picture, but the dots are rather small, and that made it somewhat more difficult for followup shots.

The Nano performed well for me. I put 200 rounds through it without lubrication and I didn’t get a single error, misfeed, or jam. Using the same ammo, I did get one jam with the Glock 26, which I thought was ironic. I think that the Beretta is competitive within the market of pocket size (sub compact)  9x19mm Parabellum handguns. But, which do you prefer?

About the Author

In addition to writing for The Arms Guide and her personal blog, Destinee is also a vlogger. She publishes videos on weapons, gear, and fitness on her YouTube channel every Tuesday and Thursday.


12 comments
TenorSax
TenorSax

Glad to see someone firing one handed, as opposed to the current orthodoxy of two handed constipated goose stance - I mean, the pistols just don't weigh that much, you expose yourself more, you take longer to get into firing position - Destinee has it right.

Concealedcarry
Concealedcarry

I am relatively new to this site and although I do appreciate the review of these three weapons I do agree (albeit not with his tone/manner/etc.) some of the questions posed by chatroomkiller "Are all these guns Black?  Are any available in Stainless, Tutone, Tan or Green? How many clips come with each gun?  How much are clips?  What materials are each made from?  How about the slide?  What's the warranty?  Are all made and serviced in the USA?  So did you shoot multiple brands of ammo?  FMJ and HP?   Can they handle +P +P+ ammo?  Laser an option?  Do any come chambered in a .380?"....maybe these questions could be added to a standard list of questions you try to answer when you provide reviews. 

sandrad
sandrad

I just purchased the nano 9 and love it. Love the feel. I have small hands and is very hard to find something that I liked. Have done quite a bit of research and decided on the nano. Recoil is not bad at all for the size if the gun. I am very pleased with my gun.

chatroomkiller
chatroomkiller

Well the Glock 26 cost $600 and the Nano $400 and the LC9 $350.  You already point out the Glock is a double stack and not really in the same class as the others.  So what the point of your review?  A $600 double stack is better than a $400 single?  You don't even list cost in the comparison.  What's with that?  Total waste of time.   

Where is your shotgun review of a Purdey vs the Stoeger  and Yildiz?  

Twigster
Twigster

Nice review of these pistols.  I liked the way you used the display and your breakdown of each pistol. Plus you being pleasing to the eyes is also a plus.  Keep up the good work!

peter3101
peter3101

I have a LC9 and love it, it's very thin and a great deep conceal option. I also have a Glock 26 although I use either xl pinky extensions on the mags or Glock 19 mags with spacers so I guess it's really a G19 lol  but I love the baby Glock and have the option to make it small if I wish. Have handled the nano but it was way to small for me. 

JoeFabeetz
JoeFabeetz

I...can't...keep...adding...guns...to...my...wish...list.  Stop it.  lol

RonBagnato
RonBagnato

Price is not reflective of accuracy or quality the bottom line is the person squeezing the trigger

bttrclngr
bttrclngr

@chatroomkiller Why not just read the review and glean the knowledge that might be useful.  There's no need to bash people who are trying to help.

By the way, nice review Destinee.  Ignore the trolls.

FateofDestinee
FateofDestinee

@peter3101 I've found my hands are a mite peculiar as they're a little large for a female, but smaller than most males. It makes it tricky to find guns that suit my grip, sometimes.

chatroomkiller
chatroomkiller

@bttrclngr @chatroomkiller Sorry Destinee, I didn't intend for it to be personal.  I thought you were a professional not just someone trying to help. 

I'm sure you agree cost should be compared. I don't believe the video was working when I commented cuz I couldn't believe you didn't have up close pictures of the guns.  Your video shows a close up of the Nano and the price but not the others.  It has some problem as it will not replay with the replay button.  

So... 

Are all these guns Black?  Are any available in Stainless, Tutone, Tan or Green? How many clips come with each gun?  How much are clips?  What materials are each made from?  How about the slide?  What's the warranty?  Are all made and serviced in the USA?  So did you shoot multiple brands of ammo?  FMJ and HP?   Can they handle +P +P+ ammo?  Laser an option?  Do any come chambered in a .380?  

I will try to glean something, but don't really like plastic guns so I don't remember why I even read this review.  

I'm a 1911 guy and carry a Seecamp. 

Back to Top ↑
  • Hot Video of the Day

  • Recent Posts

  • Latest Job Opportunities
    See All Job Posts

    Hire Highly-Skilled
    Military Professionals

    Post Your Jobs Today



The Force12 Media Network