What is the best compact Glock?

What is the best compact Glock?

Written by Mark Buff , GunZee founder and CEO.

Compact Glocks offer the best of both worlds—they're concealable enough for discreet everyday carry, yet they're also accurate and reliable enough for serious defensive use. 

There are a variety of compact Glocks to choose from. Whether you are looking for a concealed carry Glock, or want to purchase one for home defense purposes, there is an option that will suit your needs.

Quick links:

Glock 19

Glock 23

Glock 30

Glock 32

Glock 44

How do I choose?

Here are some top compact Glocks on the market.

Wear your compact Glock with GunZee’s memory foam holster pad and enjoy comfortable IWB carry like never before!

Glock 19

Glock 19

Glock 19

Image source: https://us.glock.com/en/pistols/g19

The Glock 19 is one of the most popular Glock and CCW handguns worldwide. It was first released in 1983 and it has been continuously updated and improved over the years. The latest generation of the G19 is the Gen5, which features several improvements, including a new modular backstrap system, a flared magazine well, and a reversible magazine catch.

The G19 is a semi-automatic pistol chambered in a 9mm Parabellum cartridge. The gun has a standard capacity of 15+1 rounds which can be expanded with extended magazines.

It has a 4-inch barrel, measures 7.36 inches long and 4.99 inches tall, and Weighs 23.65 oz unloaded. The slide and frame are polymer with steel slide rails and steel locking block and barrel. 

The G19 utilizes Glock’s unique Safe Action System with a striker-fired mechanism and a consistent trigger pull. Although this system acts as a safety, the lack of manual safety makes it less desirable for some users.

The G19 is highly accurate and controllable due to the low bore axis, light recoil, and optimal sight radius for a compact pistol. Plus, its ambidextrous controls and proven reliability make it suitable for both left and right-handed shooters. 

This user loves his G19 because of its reliability and customization options.


Glock 23

Glock 23

Glock 23. Image source: https://us.glock.com/en/pistols/g23

The Glock 23 is a semi-automatic pistol, chambered in a .40 S&W cartridge. It is a popular choice for beginners due to its known extreme reliability and ease of use. It is capable of functioning in adverse conditions, including dust, mud, and water.

It is 7.36 inches long and 4.99 inches tall with a barrel length of 4.02 inches. It weighs approximately 25 ounces unloaded with a 13+1 capacity.

The G23 has a durable polymer frame with steel slide and internals. It utilizes the Safe Action system with a striker-fired mechanism.

This Glock is easy to control in rapid fire and has high accuracy due to a low bore axis and optimal sight radius. It is available with three polymer sights and has ambidextrous controls. 

The long grip makes the G23 a good choice for people with larger hands.

Although this user doesn’t find the G23 pretty, he thinks it is reliable and accurate.  


Glock 30

Glock 30

Glock 30. Image source: https://us.glock.com/en/pistols/g30-gen4

The Glock 30 is a semi-automatic pistol chambered in .45 ACP caliber. The standard magazine capacity is 10, but extended magazines are available to increase capacity.

The G30 is 6.88 inches long and 4.45 inches tall with a barrel length of 3.78 inches. It weighs approximately 23 ounces unloaded. 

The G30 has three integrated safeties: trigger, firing pin, and drop safety. These passive safeties help prevent accidental discharge and enhance safety without the need for any external manual safety switches.

The gun is available in various finishes such as black, olive drab, and flat dark earth. Its modularity allows users to customize certain components according to their preferences.

For those who prefer higher magazine capacities, the G30 isn’t the best option. 

“Super smooth, great power, and so much fun to use,” says this user about his G30.


Glock 32

The Glock 32 is a semi-automatic pistol chambered in .357 SIG caliber. It was designed as a law enforcement pistol that could match the ballistic performance of the .357 Magnum revolver cartridge in an autoloading platform.

The G32 is 7.36 inches long and 4.99 inches tall, with a barrel length of 4.02 inches. It weighs approximately 24 ounces unloaded. 

The standard magazine capacity of the G30 is 13 rounds, but extended 15 or 17-round magazines are available. The grip also accepts the larger Glock .45 ACP magazine with an X-grip magazine sleeve.

The G32 is an accurate and reliable pistol. It is equipped with fixed sights, but adjustable sights can also be installed if desired. 

The .357 SIG caliber generates more recoil compared to some other calibers, and some users may find it more challenging to manage. 

This user finds his G32 to be great for self-defense.


Glock 44

The Glock 44 is a compact, semi-automatic pistol. It is known as the company's first rimfire pistol, chambered in .22 LR

The G44 is 7.28 inches long and 5.04 inches tall, with a barrel length of 4.02 inches. It weighs approximately 14 ounces unloaded, making it one of our lighter compact Glock options. 

The G44 offers low recoil, allowing for more control and improved accuracy. It also has a similar grip, frame size, and control layout to  larger caliber Glocks. This pistol gives new shooters an introduction to Glocks in an affordable .22 LR format.

Although the .22LR cartridge is inexpensive, it does limit the Glock 44's versatility compared to some other Glock models that support multiple calibers. It may not be the best option for those looking for a concealed carry pistol for self-defense situations.

“Perfect starter weapon,” says this user about his G44.


If you wear your G44 in an IWB KYDEX holster, apply our awesome holster padding and enjoy superior concealed carry comfort.

How do I choose the perfect compact Glock?

To choose the right compact Glock you should keep the following factors in mind:

  • Size and dimensions. You should consider the overall size, barrel length, and height of the Glock models. If your first priority is easy concealment, opt for a smaller size. If you prefer shootability, larger grip sizes should be a priority.
  • Caliber options. 9mm is most popular for capacity and recoil control. .40 S&W and .45 ACP offer more power but require more practice to master recoil.
  • Magazine capacity. Consider how many rounds you need to carry for your intended use. Also, consider local regulations that may limit magazine capacity.
  • Reliability. Glocks are known for their extreme reliability, but some models are more reliable than others. Look for a model that has a proven track record of reliability.
  • Accuracy. While Glocks are generally quite accurate, you should consider factors such as sight options, barrel length, and your shooting style. 
  • Aftermarket customization. Glocks are one of the most popular handgun platforms in the world, so there is a wide range of aftermarket accessories available. If you're interested in customizing your Glock, look for a model that has a lot of aftermarket support and attachment options.
  • Budget. Glocks are available at various price points, so choose a model that best fits your budget. Keep in mind that additional costs will be applicable if you plan on customizing your handgun with aftermarket accessories.

Popular accessories for compact Glocks

While compact Glocks are great pistols straight out of the box, there are several accessories available to enhance their functionality.

Some of the more popular Glock accessories include: 

  1. Sights
  2. Grips
  3. Mag extensions
  4. Lasers


Upgrade your gun’s sights to enhance accuracy. Here are some sights you should consider:

  • Trijicon HD night sights are bright and easy to see in both low light and bright light conditions.
  • Ameriglo tritium sights are also bright and easy to see in all lighting conditions.
  • XS sight systems DXT2 iron sights feature a big dot front sight and a V-notch rear sight, making them fast and easy to acquire.


Aftermarket grips can improve ergonomics and grip, enhancing your overall control of the firearm. Here are some grip suggestions:

  • Talon grips provide a positive grip, even in wet or sweaty conditions.
  • Hogue grips are made from a soft rubber material that is comfortable to hold and absorbs recoil.
  • Grip force adapter makes the Glock grip thicker and more comfortable to hold.

Mag extensions

Magazine extensions can increase magazine capacity without significantly altering the pistol's profile. This is beneficial for those who prioritize a higher round count. Look for options such as:

  • Taran Tactical Innovations +2 base pad adds two additional rounds to the capacity of your Glock magazine.
  • Magpul +3 base pad adds three additional rounds to the capacity of your Glock magazine.
  • Pearce Grip Extension is a grip extension that adds two additional rounds to the capacity of your Glock magazine, and also provides a more comfortable grip.


Laser sights can aid in target acquisition and provide an additional aiming reference. Here are some lasers to consider for your compact Glock:

  • Crimson Trace lasergrips are easy to install and activate, and they provide a bright laser dot that can help you acquire your target quickly.
  • Streamlight TLR-8 laser and light combo provides a bright laser dot and a powerful LED flashlight.
  • Viridian C5L laser and light combo provides a bright laser dot and a powerful LED flashlight.

Compact Glocks FAQ

Which Glock is the most compact?

The Glock 42 chambered in .380 ACP is the most compact and smallest Glock pistol. At just 5.94 inches long and 4.13 inches tall, it is a popular model for deep, undetectable concealed carry and backup purposes where small size is paramount.

What is the most powerful compact Glock?

For the combination of compact size and respectable power, the venerable Glock 30 chambered in .45 ACP is arguably the most powerful compact option. It provides the knockdown power of the .45 caliber bullet while remaining small and portable enough for all-day concealed carry.

Which is better, the Glock 43 or 43x?

With its shorter grip and single-stack magazine, the original Glock 43 has an easier time vanishing under light clothing for concealed carry. However, the G43X remains easy to conceal while carrying a 10-round magazine in its longer grip, making it a good option for self-defense.

Which is better, the Glock 42 or 43?

The Glock 43 in 9mm has more ammunition capacity at 6+1 rounds compared to just 5+1 in the .380 caliber Glock 42. The 9mm Luger cartridge has superior ballistic performance over the shorter .380 ACP rounds. These factors make the G43 the better all-around choice.

Which Glock is the best overall?

With its track record in military, law enforcement, and civilian use, the Glock 19 stands out as the company's most popular and well-rounded pistol overall. Its mid-size frame shoots comfortably while holding 15+1 rounds of versatile 9mm ammo. With this being said, the best choice will ultimately come down to the needs and preferences of the user.

Which Glock is best for everyday carry?

The Glock 26 subcompact 9mm packs 10+1 rounds into a very concealable package, making it perfect for everyday concealed carry. It has a  slight edge over the Glock 43 and 43X single stacks, thanks to a larger capacity and its ability to use full-size G17 magazines as spares.

What Glock do Navy SEALs use?

The Glock 19 is the standard issue sidearm for the U.S. Navy SEALs. Its lightweight polymer frame, high capacity, and reliability in harsh conditions make it favored for special operations use. The .40 caliber Glock 23 is also sometimes used among SEAL teams.

Which Glock is easiest to conceal?

Among the easiest pistols to conceal are the single stack 9mm Glock 43 and the even smaller .380 caliber Glock 42. Their slim profiles and short grips disappear effortlessly under clothing for discreet deep concealment carry, making them the easiest to conceal.

Which Glock has less kick?

For milder recoil and muzzle flip, the Glock 44 chambered in .22 LR has the least amount of kick due to the rimfire cartridge. For defensive calibers, the 9mm models like the Glock 19 and Glock 43 have gentler recoil than the snappier .40 S&W and .45 ACP compact models.

About the Author

Mark Buff is the founder and CEO of GunZee. He is an ardent firearms enthusiast and has been carrying concealed for more than 15 years. He created GunZee to solve his own problem: that of uncomfortable KYDEX holsters. His patented GunZee memory foam holster pad makes inside-the-waistband carry super comfortable.

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