Taurus USA Goes Micro Small with the New GX4 9MM Pistol

The new GX4 micro 9MM from Taurus USA, a solid choice for home- and self-defense.

Looking for a small, ultra-concealable pistol for self and home defense? Taurus USA may have just what you need with the newly introduced GX4 micro-compact. A semi-automatic, striker-fired 9MM with a very small carry footprint, the GX4 still holds 12 rounds of 9MM (11+1 with the standard magazines), can use 9MM +P loads, and is surprisingly accurate for a pistol with a 3.06-inch barrel.

The GX4 packed neatly against my body during a week’s worth of concealed carry, and in 200 rounds didn’t produce a single malfunction with both range and self-defense loads. The smooth exterior of the pistol made snagging rare, and the texturing on the grips provided great purchase.

All of this is a 9MM that carries a suggested retail of under $400.00.

The Taurus GX4 holds 11+1 rounds of 9MM with standard magazine, and a 13-round mag is available, too.

Yet, the GX4 is a small pistol, which in my experience means it actually takes more work to become proficient with the GX4 versus a medium to full-sized handgun requires. That’s not a knock against the GX4 or any of the other micros launched in the last two to three years. It’s simply a reality of packing 9MM power into a pistol that literally fits into the palm of your hand, and a reality I had to re-learn with this micro.

The GX4 sports a polymer frame with a stainless-steel framework designed to eliminate frame flex or deformation when firing. The magazine release is nearly flush with the frame as is the slide stop for easy drawing out from the concealed position.

Smooth Operator: GX4 features flush controls and a nicely mated slide and frame for snag free carry and draw.

The steel slide is beveled and contoured the meld nearly seamlessly with the frame. The front and back slide serrations are angled and spaced fairly wide to provide a shooter’s fingers increased leverage and a very positive grip for charging and cartridge extraction. And, the GX4 slide includes a visual loaded chamber indicator.

The GX4’s stainless-steel barrel features a satin black DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) treatment for reduced friction and greater wear and corrosion resistance. For the slide finish, Taurus went with a gas nitride coating to maximize slide surface hardness.

Serrations across the back of the GX4’s rear sight help to cut down glare.

Topping the slide is a fixed-position steel front sight with a white alignment dot. The square-notch steel rear sight features serrations across the back to minimize glare, and the cross-cut dovetail slot allows for drift-adjustment of the sight’s windage. The sights are small, of course, and may take some getting used to especially for those shooters used to higher, more visible sights. But the smallish sights are a trade-off inherent in the micro-compact design.

Sights on the GX4 are small, as befits a micro pistol, but they are quite functional.

Taurus also Teflon coated the control parts, including the magazine release, for smooth operation, and to better resist wear and corrosion. The steel slide stop has polymer over molding for maximum durability. Inside the Taurus GX4, metal internal parts are nickel plated to further fight corrosion and rust.

At the range, my initial feeling was the GX4 either had a problem with the sights or for some reason the barrel was loose. Because, the pistol kept pulling shots four inches low or better—at five yards. And it couldn’t be the shooter, right?

Well, damn, it was the shooter.

I have medium-sized hands. The little finger of my shooting hand, the right hand, essentially dangled in space as there wasn’t enough room on the grip for all four fingers. It took some shooting–and missing–for me to figure out I needed to curl my little finger under the magazine plate. Doing so stopped me from pulling down the GX4 when I squeezed the trigger. 

I used three brands of ammunition to test the accuracy of the GX4: Federal Premium Syntech Defense firing a 138-grain jacketed hollow point with a blue poly coating; Remington UMC and its 115-grain FMJ bullet; and Winchester USA Ready loaded with a 115-grain flat-nosed FMJ bullet.

Five shots at five yards and under one-inch with Remington’s UMC 9MM range ammunition.

Accuracy? At five yards offhand, the UMC pegged a five-shot group at just .78-inches. Syntech Defense scored a .99-inch group at the same distance, with four of those shots clustering at .57-inches. Winchester USA Ready’s best was 1.2 inches at five yards.

At ten yards firing offhand, the Federal Syntech drilled five shots into a nice 1.39-inch grouping, while the top groups from Remington were right at 2.0-inches and Winchester at 2.28-inches.

Federal’s Syntech Defense did really well at ten yards offhand in the Taurus GX4.

But this is a micro-compact pistol and misses are quite easy to pull off. Any loss of concentration and the resulting bad mechanics, and I shot groups of over 3.0-inches and larger at both five and ten yards.

My conclusion: if this was my daily carry gun, I’d make sure I did a magazine or two at the range weekly.

I also performed several magazine dumps with the different brands of ammunition, mixing them in the mags, and experienced zero malfunctions.

The trigger on the GX4 features a bladed safety, and was fairly crisp for a striker-fired system.

The trigger pull on my GX4 averaged 3-pounds, 10-ounces, as measured by my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge. There was a slight uptake on the trigger before it engages, common in striker-fired models, but the trigger wasn’t mushy or springy, unlike so many striker-fired pistols.

The GX4 features stippling patches along the sides of the grip, as well as on the front of the grip and the full length of the backstrap. The texture is quite aggressive and felt a lot like 100 weight sandpaper to me—and I liked that a good deal. Those stippling patches provided a very firm grip during magazine dumps and while I did a few shooting-and-moving drills. They also proved a very secure texture for locating and drawing out the pistol from the concealed position.

McCombie really liked the sandpaper-like grippyness the GX4 stippling provided.

Speaking of concealed, I carried the GX4 for a week, using the Crossbreed Reckoning Holster, an inside-the-waistband model. The Reckoning featured a Kydex pocket mounted to a leather backer, with the retention device located right under the trigger guard. It provided a comfortable fit even after many hours and put the GX4 at a very accessible angle for fast drawing.

In addition to the two standard flush 11-round magazines, Taurus offers GX4 11-round magazines with a finger extension and a 13-round magazine. The pistol can also be purchased in a ten-round magazine version for those states with magazine restrictions. 

The Taurus GX4 comes with two backstrap options. Installed at the factory is the standard backstrap profile with its slight palm swell to accommodate the preferred grip for most shooters. Those who favor a higher wrist position for natural point-of-aim via a more pronounced palm swell can install the included high-swell backstrap.

The Crossbreed Reckoning Holster proved comfortable and very functional for all-day concealed carry.

All of which represents a good deal of positives features for a carry gun with a suggested retail of $392.00. Although, in these crazy times when firearm and ammunition demand keep outstripping supply, who can say for sure what your local FFL might ask for this handy and accurate little pistol.

Specifications: Taurus GX4

Caliber: 9mm Luger

Capacity: 11 RDS

Magazines: 2, 11-round flush standard

Firing System: Striker

Action Type: Single Action Only

Front Sights: Fixed White Dot Steel

Rear Sights: Serrated Drift Adjustable

Frame Size: Micro-Compact

Grip Material: Polymer

Slide Material: Alloy Steel

Barrel Finish: Satin Black DLC Coated

Slide Finish: Gas Nitride Treatment

Barrel Length: 3.06 in.

Overall Length: 6.05 in.

Overall Width: 1.08 in.

Overall Height: 4 in.

Weight: 18.5 oz. (unloaded)

Safety: Striker Block, Trigger Safety, and Visual Loaded Chamber Indicator

MSRP: $392.42

Taurus USA  

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About the author: Brian McCombie writes about hunting and firearms, people and places, for a variety of publications including American Hunter, Shooting Illustrated, and SHOT Business. He loves hog hunting, 1911’s chambered in 10MM and .45 ACP, and the Chicago Bears.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Firemanbob December 27, 2021, 11:03 pm

    Have tried my best to get it to fail, never cleaned it, all types of ammo easily digested. The Gx4 is a reliable belly gun for minimal conceal carry.

  • Creighton Demarest July 7, 2021, 7:23 pm

    McCombie, maybe you should read the pistols operators manual before you test and review. The operators manual for this pistol warns the operator to NOT use +P ammo. A full page of explanation and warnings against using +P ammo. You state in your opening comments that you can use +P ammo with no warning.

  • David Capetillo June 13, 2021, 11:06 am

    Taurus. They turned it around. They make a fine pistol. Tool. Reliable. Shoots straight. The cost is little. Taurus. Winner. I am buying one. Just bought GC3. Buying micro 9mm. Good is good. No matter how makes it. You become less of a shooter if you close you mind. I shoot glock.

  • Kane May 31, 2021, 10:18 am

    I tried just a little to find what places a pistol in the various catogories of full size, semi-compact, compact and a micro. I guess it’s like the old adage on pornongrahy. I know that most compacts and micros are out of my wheelhouse but thus Tarus seems like it might NOT be a deal breaker even though it is considered a micro.

    To the fine folks at GAD, if the spell check is turned off, please turn it back on. I know many of us commenting are complainers with strong sense of entitlement and I apologize. I am guilty and I appreciate all your efforts. I NOT saying the culture here will change, I am just saying I need spell check. You win, point made. Thanks.

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