This week, we got our hands on the all-new Taurus G3C. Building on the very successful, indeed cult-like following, of the G2, the G3 series is Taurus’ latest entry to the CCW market. Can the little gun from Brazil hold up against the big dogs in the industry? With a big pile of 9mm, we set out to find that answer for ourselves.
I’ve been a Taurus fan for quite some time, despite some QC issues in the past. So when this one came up for review, I jumped right on it. Not only did I want to know for myself, but I wanted to be absolutely sure the G3C got a fair shake. You all know me by now as not one to pull punches.
The G3C is kind of an odd duck, which is not always a bad thing. Taurus makes some innovative steps from time to time and certainly marches to the beat of their own drum. The first place this reflects is in the overall size of the gun. It is bigger than a Glock 26 but smaller than a Glock 19. It is wider than a Springfield Armory Hellcat or Sig P365, but still slim enough to count as a concealable gun. What size does that make it, in category? A mid subcompact? No idea. But overall, it is going to work for a lot of people in a lot of roles. The slightly larger size lends itself to being easy to pick up a shoot, while it is still small enough to carry well.
The grip has a very nice basketweave texture to it, in places. That wasn’t a misplaced sentence. Taurus has done some really good work in the advancement of ergonomics and textures in the past few years. The SPECTRUM, in my opinion, was a badly underrated gun. But that willingness to be different lives on in the G3C. The texturing is in little panels, which does cover about 80% of the grip including the front strap and backstrap. The smooth parts in between at first feel like an aesthetic choice. But, in use, it feels like the gun has just enough texture to stay in your hand. Nothing more, nothing less.
Also, cut in the frame are little divets for both support hand and main hand. These are intended to be thumb shelves, which is a nice touch. The ones on the grip are kind of laughable if you have larger hands, but the ones up front do provide a good index point. A distinct look that will be beneficial to some no doubt.
The gun ships with three 12 round magazines, each steel with a very slick metal coating. A bright yellow follower provides easy visual confirmation of empties. Out of the box, they are a little stiff. That is pretty normal with any new magazines, and I’m sure they’ll break in over time.
The G3C has a manual safety, albeit left side only. I would have like to see the safety a little bigger, but at least it has one. Kudos to Taurus for putting one on. But how small is the safety lever? Well, I didn’t notice it was a safety until I was on my third set of magazines. It is functional and small enough not to inhibit the gun as a CCW piece. But I would have still preferred it be just a bit wider.
The sights on the gun are steel, with a white dot front and black rear. If I had to offer an opinion, I would call them “good enough” sights. They aren’t fancy tritiums or fiber optics as are standard on some guns, but they don’t suck either. That is me saying I wouldn’t feel compelled to swap them out before I even left the gun store. They work well enough as is, no doubt. I made not only 40 yard hits with ease, but burning it down up close was no sweat either. If you do want to swap them out, good news. The G3C sights were designed to be compatible with most aftermarket Glock sights. So options are plentiful.
Okay, sunshine and roses is over. I talked about all the things I liked, now lets talk about what I didn’t. Now to be fair, there was not one thing about this pistol that I hated. But still, at an MSRP of $309, you knew there were going to be some trade offs. And I would be remiss not to bring them up.
The slide, as the kids say, is chonky. All polymer frame guns to some degree are top-heavy, but it is both width and mass you feel on the G3C. Not terribly so, and I have shot worse balanced handguns. I will also say that during shooting, you don’t even notice. But it does both feel and look a little weird if you are just sitting around the gun counter. Is it a deal-breaker? Not for me. I can get over some looks if it works, and this worked.
For all that slide mass, I expected a beefy barrel. What I got instead was a spaghetti noodle. Now this is a really stupid complaint, but it is something I noticed. The blocky chamber area looks like Mr. Universe, then you pull the slide back to reveal Mr. Magoo. I’m not even a big pistol accuracy guy, and this had me concerned. But, proof is in the pudding. Even run very hot, the G3C was absolutely slamming a B/C zone target at 40 yards. So I would call this an aesthetic problem only, and then only if you care.
The third bit of weirdness is the trigger. This is advertised as a striker fired gun, with Taurus’s exclusive RESTRIKE capability. If you have a failure to ignite a primer, you can just pull the trigger again. Well, I call that a double action/single action, I don’t care if you can see a hammer or not.
RESTRIKE, DA/SA, whatever, it leaves you with the same problems. Basically, the gun feels like it has two different trigger pulls. Now because Taurus built this with a non decocking striker, as well as did a really good job, its harder to notice. And the pull is opposite of a DA/SA actually. Since you partially cock the striker when you load the gun, the normal trigger pull is almost no resistance on a long pull, to hard wall, then it breaks at about 6 pounds. If you have to RESTRIKE, the pull of the trigger has to re-arm the striker. And the pull is significantly longer.
Even in under normal operation conditions, the trigger pull is on the long side. I count that as a deficit, if a minor one. The front half of the pull is so light, you can start to forget how long it actually is. But if you start hammer steel up close, you will notice. Undoubtably this would be overcome with lots of rounds on the gun. I don’t think it is a bad trigger, at all. But I do know I chucked a couple off steel because of it.
Overall impression? I couldn’t be happier. At this price point, the G3C is very hard to beat. I would have no problem recommending this one to a friend, or carrying it myself. It ate everything I fed it, without the slightest hiccup. It ran fast just fine, and had accuracy beyond what most people can use. Is it a Wilson Combat 1911? No. But does it absolutely get the job done, at a very reasonable price? I find no fault in it for that task.
For more information visit Taurus USA website.