Taurus G3C – Full Review

New Taurus packaging.

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.

3 mags ready to go.

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.

Mid sub compact? You tell me.

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.

Textured grip panels.

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.

Front thumb index point.

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.

Well designed magazines.

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.

safety engaged

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.

front
rear

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.

A striking profile, in its own way

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.

A slide on the thicker side

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.

barrel on the thinner side

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.

Trigger safety is large

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.

double recoil spring

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.

front cocking serrations

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.

Hornady XTP 9mm

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.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Ej harbet July 22, 2020, 9:34 pm

    why not tell us how many rounds.
    There’s a market for high round count test articles on various guns that sell to us poors

  • Sierra Victor Romeo July 16, 2020, 8:45 am

    Sadly, with all the price gouging that is rampant at this time, the $306.00 price is more like $370.00 plus ,plus, plus! So, we see now that panic and fear are excellent tools to jack up prices to folks who actually care and respect our rights.
    Very sad (and scary) time in America.

  • Al Scuderi July 13, 2020, 8:58 pm

    The G3c internals are the same as the G2c and the 111g2 , the only difference is the trigger itself, thats it !! other than cosmetically, the same platform , I have 111g2, G2c and 709 all with Keep Tinkering Triggers, the 709 was reworked alittle , the G2c and 111g2 drop right in ,and still have the restrike feature , and yes there are worth it , shorter resets shorter stroke and much more comfortable , better trigger control, I still may get one , But its not I Have to have it NOW!!! the G2’s Have a 18 lbs recoil spring from Galloway , works really good we’ll see, all reviews have been favorably thus so far , Happy shooting !!!

  • DrThunder88 July 13, 2020, 7:05 pm

    Looking at that one photo, I thought the gun had a USB-C port on the side. Dopey me was immediately thinking “Oh, that’s where you plug it in to charge it.”

  • John Schwamborn July 13, 2020, 11:15 am

    I suppose the barrel can’t handle +P rounds? Would like to know thank you.

  • Richard Swoy July 13, 2020, 11:02 am

    Looking for a small 22 revolver, suggestions?

    • Stuart July 13, 2020, 5:32 pm

      Ruger LCR. In .22 or .22 magnum.

  • Scott July 13, 2020, 9:51 am

    Yawn, here come the Taurus haters. The six that I have put lead where and when I want it, without fail. Stories of Taurus sucking are rarely (ever?) backed with proof. I did sell one that I had though, as my thumb and the mag release did not get along due to ergonomic differences of opinion. My fault truly as that has happened with other makes and models.

  • steve Hammill July 13, 2020, 9:46 am

    At least you admitted to being a fan boy upfront. Really soft review.

  • Philip Viavattine July 13, 2020, 9:06 am

    I have a G2c and considered the new model, however I like the raised chamber loaded indicator for night time home defense and I can stick it in a pocket holster in my shorts here in Florida. Yea the trigger isn’t all that great but after qualifying all those years with a Model 10 or Ruger Security 6 in double action only everything seems an improvement and I was a Possible shooter & firearms instructor. While I have other pistols including a Bersa combat plus, a 1911 & an SD9 a S&W .380EZ when I carry outside of Florida on a HR218 permit (10 round capacity restrictions) I carry the G2c more than any other due to the heat here and it fits so nicely in my cargo shorts.

  • Mark July 13, 2020, 7:33 am

    Re: manual safety
    Gee…I thought all you guys read the manual that comes with the gun you are reviewing before anything else. Either I was wrong or it didn’t cover how to operate the safety. Please let me know.
    Thanks

  • Richad July 13, 2020, 7:24 am

    It’s another case of reinventing the wheel…but at least the wheel is getting cheaper….

  • Steven Koelliker July 13, 2020, 7:09 am

    Clay, did you mention that the gun is made in South Georgia at Taurus USA’s new headquarters? It’s not from Brazil. USA made.

    • Joe Barry July 13, 2020, 9:03 am

      NO the G3C is actually Made In Brasil, NOT the USA

    • Budman July 13, 2020, 10:12 am

      I see a “Made in Brazil” imprinted on the right side.

      • Dane Foss July 14, 2020, 8:57 pm

        Actually, in the 3rd picture you can see it says Bainbridge GA right on the gun

  • will ford July 13, 2020, 7:04 am

    taurus? I will pass, Had two, bad luck with both.

  • Darren July 13, 2020, 4:50 am

    I wish this trigger mechanism could be backported to my G2C. That’s the only thing I hate about the gun is the travel that feels like I’m driving across the state of Texas.

    • srsquidizen July 13, 2020, 8:14 am

      Description in the article sounds almost exactly like the trigger on a PT111 G2. That’s the model which preceded your G2C which, like this “new” G3, looks to be pretty much the same gun with minor improvements. Never shot a G2C so can’t really say how much the pull differs from a G2. Maybe one of the “improvements” on this G3 was to go back to the old trigger.

      • Lying Bastard July 13, 2020, 8:57 am

        While I like my PT111G2, I feel like the G3C is a scaled down version of the G3 which is a scaled up version of the G2c which in turn is a slightly repackaged (lost the silly lock system version of the PT111G2. So, do I have to see all of that as the Taurus equivalent to Glock versions?

      • Darren July 14, 2020, 1:10 am

        Maybe I misunderstood his description. My issue is that the takeup is enormous if you are in the single action mode. The double action mode is fine, but the single action mode has a mile of travel before you get anywhere.

    • Wil Radford July 13, 2020, 11:54 am

      Hi Darren. I also do not like the Glock trigger style safety levers. There is a company called keeptinkering.com that makes an after market trigger without the safety gizmo. I ONLY SWAPPED OUT THE TRIGGER ITSELF, NOT ANY OF THE INTERNAL PARTS. Due to a slightly different trigger geometry (I presume) my trigger pull was reduced by 1.5 pounds to around 4.75 pounds as measured on my digital gauge, and it did away with the trigger gizmo. Might want to look into it. It was about $40 IIRC. Another option is to drive out the pin in the trigger that holds the safety lever and spring in, and shoot it without it. Ok by me since it still has the frame mounted safety.

      • Darren July 14, 2020, 1:12 am

        I wasn’t too bothered by the glock mechanism in the center of the trigger, it is just the single action pull. I’m used to my 226s where single action rivals sex and double action ain’t bad (of course I’m single and been so for a while, so I might misremember the sex part.)

  • Gary F. Logan July 13, 2020, 4:14 am

    So…how do I get one~?

  • Darrell Mcqueen July 12, 2020, 10:02 pm

    I need ordering information

    • Richard Robinett July 13, 2020, 6:26 am

      For more information visit Taurus USA website.

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