There haven’t been a lot of gun launches this year, but Taurus is doing its part. The Taurus GX4 is a new approach to concealed carry for the company. How does the GX4 stack up against Taurus’s other 9mms and the rest of the increasingly crowded double-stack micro compact 9mm market?
First look at the Taurus GX4
On the surface, there are two big points to consider. The flush-fit mags on the GX4 hold 11 rounds–so capacity is solid. And, because this is a Taurus, the GX4 will come in well below the price of much of the competition — so it will compete, from day one, and will sell well even after the inevitable sales slow down.
There’s a lot more to this micro-compact 9mm, though.
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Capacity: 11 RDS
- Magazines: 2×11
- Firing System: Striker
- Action Type: Single Action Only
- Front Sights: Fixed White Dot Steel
- Rear Sights: Serrated Drift Adjustable
- Safety: Striker Block, Trigger Safety, Visual Loaded Chamber Indicator
- 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: 4.4 in.
- Weight: 5 oz. (unloaded)
- Packaging Weight: 80 oz
- Packaging Size: 8 in x 9.75 in x 3 in
- MSRP: $392.42
The GX4 fits in the long lineage of Taurus’s evolving concealed carry guns. This is purpose-built for the task and carries easily. To that end, it is similar to the G2C and G3C, both of which sell exceptionally well.
The GX4 is also large enough to carry outside the waistband and can fill that niche that is typically reserved for compact pistols. There’s enough to hold onto and enough grip to hold the gun down, so it isn’t as hard on your hands as some smaller 9mms can be.
The GX4’s slide
The slide has some deep serrations. The spacing between the ridges is wide. This provides part of the GX4’s new look and something to grab when manipulating the slide.
Taurus has beveled the sides of the slide to cut out surface area. This can reduce glare and weight, too. And the front end of the slide has been beveled slightly to make it easier to insert into holsters.
And up on top, there’s a loaded chamber indicator, too. There’s no manual thumb safety.
The frame on the GX4
The texture on the frame is rough. Taurus has moved into the sand-paper feel that many manufacturers have adopted in the last decade. It bites into the hand enough to allow for a really solid grip.
There are places on the frame, like the area above the trigger guard, where extra texture has been added. This can help you keep the gun down during recoil or just provide a solid index point to reference as you aim and steady the pistol.
Likewise, the area near the magazine release has been left smooth. This allows for you to slide your thumb to the mag release button easily, without looking at it. This subtle feature is the key to fast magazine changes.
There is a spot, though, where texture seems to be missing. It is above the mag release. That small spot on the frame is slick. I’m looking for a design rationale for that slick spot, but I can’t come up with anything practical.
• The small sections of texture above the trigger guard are called the index pad and recoil management pad. Which is which? It depends on which hand you shoot with.
• The frame inside the grip is stainless. The exterior of the grip is, of course, polymer. Inside this polymer is a stainless framework designed to eliminate flexing of the plastic.
• Unlike the G2C and G3C guns, the lines on the GX4 are very angular. From the bevels on the slide to the geometry on the grip, the GX4 looks unlike the recent Taurus pistols.
• The gun comes with two backstraps. One is a high-swell backstrap that positions the shooting hand higher on the grip. The one that comes installed fits most hands and isn’t as aggressive with its positioning.
The front sight is fixed and screws in place, should you want to swap it out for something else. The rear sight is drift adjustable and flat black with some horizontal serrations. There are no white dots on the rear.
The cross-cut dovetail is sized for industry-standard replacement sights meaning there are options now. That’s a good thing. This is the only thing on the gun that I wanted to change immediately.
When I drew from a holster and presented to the target, I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be. I had trouble getting the white dot front sight lined up in the read sight. I was shooting steel and actually sent a couple of rounds into the berm because I pulled the trigger on my follow-up shots before I was able to get my sights 100% aligned.
If I was shooting slowly, though, I had no issues. The rear sight worked fine. And I’ll likely learn the ropes of this set-up soon enough.
The magazines are Mec-Gar mags, made in Italy. They’re steel with ample witness holes. They’re laser-welded and robust.
Magazines come in four basic variations. 10 round mags are available for restricted areas. 11 round flush-fits are standard.
For extra grip, Taurus is making extended floor plates for the 11 round mags. They’re also making 13 round extended mags.
They also have yellow followers. This is an ideal detail that allows you to look at the gun during operation to know if the slide has locked back on an empty mag, or if you have a problem. The yellow follower is so easy to spot that you’ll know instantly.
The magazines have wide floor-plate and the grip is scalloped to accommodate manual extraction, should a sticky mag not drop when you hit the release.
One inch wide
Taurus is calling this a Micro-Compact. When I think of that term, I think more of .380 mouse-guns or similar pocket pistols. But this is on the smaller side of the double-stacks.
The GX4 comes in at 1″ wide. That’s damn thin. The slide stop lever and take-down pin are recessed in allowing for less protrusions from the gun. The controls are accessible, but they’re not going to catch or add much to the dimensions of the pistol.
Like many other guns in this size range, I find it difficult to drop the slide with the slide stop lever. It can be done, but it is far more reliable to drop the empty mag and sling-shot the slide home. And the texture on the slide makes that an easy transition.
The bang switch
The trigger on the GX4 has a flat-faced shoe. The safety blade itself is serrated and easy to feel with the pad of your index finger. This one breaks over seven pounds.
I’m not a fan plastic triggers. I’ve spent too much time behind really good 1911s and rifles to ignore a good trigger, and this one–like many in these types of guns–feels like it is made of plastic, which it is. As far as triggers go, though, this one functions well.
My round-count with the GX4 is low, as the gun is brand new, but I have not found any creep or grit in this one yet. The reset is positive and the break is clean.
The low-down on take-down
Take-down is easy enough, though it will require a flat head screwdriver or the world’s gnarliest thumbnail. There’s a simple pin that rotates and allows the slide to slip free. Underneath, you’ll begin to see where the GX4 really begins to shine.
Taurus has cut the barrels on these guns at 3.06” and coated them in Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC). The slide is gas-nitride finished. Many of the operational parts are Teflon coated…
…those that aren’t are nickel-plated. The Teflon and nickel add protective layers, but both are also slick. They clean up easily, too.
Taurus G4X Accessories
As is common with early looks, we picked this one up before the news of its existence had gone public. That means holstering the GX4 is a bit more complex. This design favors inside-the-waistband carry, but most IWB holsters are custom fit to individual guns.
I did have a couple of outside-the-waistband holsters to work with. Guns like this often fit well enough in holsters for similarly sized guns. But the holster makers will catch up quickly.
More holsters will be on the market at the time of publication. And more accessories will follow. Viridian Weapon Technologies is shipping their E-Series lasers now. We’ve got one coming and will have it installed soon, so more on the Viridian + Taurus micro-nine pairing to follow.
MSRP at release is $392.42. That’s going to put the hurt on some of the competition. FFLs who work on narrow margins are going to buy these in bulk and use volume to make it profitable. And that’s a big win for anyone looking for a functional carry gun, a pack gun, a truck gun.
Think of it this way–you will be able to buy two GX4s for the same price of one of the guns that now comprise its competition. When this begins (i.e. as of this writing) selling retail for $350, it is hard to argue with. Brand loyalty will still keep some customers’ brand loyal, but those who haven’t made up their minds are about to hear a pretty convincing sales pitch.
As we all knew it would, the micro-nine market can’t really sustain that $600+ price-point—at least not when there’s stock sitting on shelves. That part may take a while, but if the G2C and G3C are any indication, these GX4s won’t be gathering dust.
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