In April of 2019, I was invited to attend a writer’s event in Bainbridge Georgia, a little over 100 miles from my home. Taurus had broken ground on a new plant after announcing that they were pulling out of Miami Florida. We saw the shell of the, soon to be completed, 200,000 square foot production facility. We also had a great range day and ate some outstanding barbeque. The new plant would consolidate all production and assembly under one roof, something not possible in Miami. It also allowed the company to integrate the newest in design and production equipment. The plant was officially opened in December of 2019 and the race was on.
During the visit, the Taurus leadership made it clear that they were stepping up their game and expanding their line of products. Of course, their primary target was the personal protection and concealed carry community. They have accomplished that and more! According to their website, they offer nine models in 96 different variations. That does not include their extensive line of revolvers.
Their flagship pistol is their G3 series. The G3 is a full-size, striker-fired, pistol that has a magazine capacity of 15 rounds. It features a polymer frame, steel alloy slide, with a 4” barrel. It has an overall length of 7.28”, a height of 5.20” and weighs 24.8 ounces. Taurus G3 Details
They also offer the G3c, a compact model of the G3. The G3c has an overall length of 6.3”, an overall height of 5.1”, and weighs 22 ounces. The G3c has a magazine capacity of 12 rounds and, internally, shares all the same construction and features as the G3 full-size. The exception is a shorter slide, frame, and barrel. Taurus G3c Details
The New G3x
The great thing about modern production pistols is the ability to plug and play or mix and match. Taurus recently announced the newest G3 pistol at the 2022 SHOT Show. The G3x combines the full-size frame of the G3 with the short slide of the G3c. I received one of the new models a week before its announcement at SHOT Show. I had shot the G3 series at the 2019 event but this is the first one I have had on hand for a personal evaluation. Taurus G3c Details
The slide is made of a steel alloy with a matte black Tenifer finish. The G3 firing system is a striker design that is similar to Glock and other striker-fired pistols. The steel slide contains the striker, striker spring, and a plunger striker safety. The 3.2” barrel features a nicely polished and contoured feed ramp. The feed ramp, combined with a well-designed ejector ensure reliability. The slide has forward and rear cocking serrations for a positive purchase. The slide is contoured and void of any sharp corners or edges. The sights on our test pistol are steel and were more than adequate, with a plain serrated rear blade and a white dot front sight.
The frame of the G3x is injection molded from a polymer. It has “traction pads” that are raised panels with a stippled texture. The panels are located on the backstrap, the sides, and the front strap. The result is a positive grip that minimizes any slippage. The magazine release appears small but proved very functional. The low-profile slide stop is located in the traditional position with a raised rib around it. A finger recess, on the grip, is located on each side and serves as an index point for the thumb. The base of the trigger guard is evenly radiused without any sharp corners and there is a recess on the frame for the support hand thumb. The magazine well is slightly beveled and a heel extension helps guide the magazine home. As with the other G3 models, the G3x has an accessory rail. The G3x comes with two 15-round, metal, magazines that have a bright orange follower and a polymer butt plate.
The trigger on the G3 series of pistols is somewhat unique. The trigger features the, now mandatory, safety lever. The take-up on the G3x is significantly longer than most other pistols. By my measurements, from a resting position to initial contact with the striker, was 5/8”. For comparison, the take-up on my Glock 19 GEN5 was only .25”. However, there is a reason. Unlike the Glock, the Taurus has a “restrike” capability allowing the shooter to pull the trigger a second time without having to cycle the slide. The trigger, on our test pistol, averaged 5 lbs. 2 oz., with a very clean break. While the take-up is significant, the reset is very short and distinct.
Disassembly of the G3 series is the same as a Glock. After removing the magazine, and checking to ensure the chamber is clear, the trigger must be pulled. The slide is retracted slightly and the dual takedown levers are depressed. The slide is then removed from the frame and the recoil spring and barrel can be removed. The general appearance of the internals is also similar to a Glock. This simplicity lends itself to reliability. Our G3x was marked “made in Brazil” with the Bainbridge Georgia company markings.
Due to weather, and scheduling conflicts, all of our testing was done at an indoor range. This precluded me from being able to chronograph the defensive loads we tested. We started our range time with some Fiocchi 115 FMJ ammo. This allowed us to become familiar with the sights and triggers. Initially, I was shooting two to three inches to the left from 10 yards. I attributed this to the G3x having a significantly different take-up and break than my Glock 19. In addition, the lighting at the indoor range was not ideal. After three or four magazines, my trigger control improved and the little gun shot just fine. After 100 or so rounds, I did notice that the locking block role pin had walked out on the left side of the frame. This was easily corrected and it did not reoccur.
We tested the G3x with the following personal defense ammunition:
Federal 138 gr. Syntech Defense
Speer 135 gr. Gold Dot Carry Gun
Hornady 115 gr. XTP American Gunner
Remington 147 gr. Golden Saber Bonded
Super Vel 90 gr. +P JHP
We had no malfunctions even with the short, 90 gr. +P, Super Vel load. To test the ejection cycle, I fired 10 rounds without having the magazine inserted. The ejection was both positive and consistent. Kneeling, with the pistol resting on my range bag, I shot several groups to see how accurate the G3x is. My best group, shot from 15-yards, is shown with four out of five rounds being in the 10 ring with three Xs, and a called flyer. I also shot several groups from 20 yards. While not as tight, I generally managed to keep all the hits inside the 8 ring.
The textured grip panels provided a solid purchase on the pistol, especially when shooting a few timed drills. However, in my opinion, for daily carry, they are sharp enough to be abrasive to both skin and clothing. If I were going to carry the G3x, I would smooth the panels slightly with some fine-grit sandpaper.
I appreciated that Taurus elected not to give the G3x a 3-dot sight picture. I find the rear dots to be very distracting. I did find the front sight somewhat difficult to index rapidly, due to the overall height. In comparing it with the sights on my G-19, I found it was significantly shorter. I’m sure with more time, I would become accustomed to it, but a higher front sight blade, and corresponding rear sight, would be an improvement.
I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the G3x. It was reliable, fit the hand well, and shot better than I expected. The size makes the G3x comfortable to shoot while still being easy to conceal. While we were unable to torture test it, by running thousands of rounds through it, I know that Taurus tests its pistols extensively. The final benefit is that the MSRP on the G3x is only $342.98. This is a great value for those on a limited budget who want a reliable, and well designed, pistol.
For more information, visit Taurus at Taurus USA
|Taurus G3x Specifications|
|Magazine||2 15 rd. Capacity Magazines Standard|
|Action||Single Action w/Restrike|
|Slide||Alloy Steel Black Finish|
|Frame||Molded Polymer – Black|
|Rear Sight||Fixed Blade – drift adjustable|
|Front Sight||Black with white dot|