recent proliferation of compact 9mm pistols with
standard-capacity magazines has been a most welcome market trend,
at least as far as I am concerned. Advances in design and
engineering technology have allowed gun makers to offer us
smaller, lighter, and easier-to-conceal 9mm pistols, while
retaining the magazine capacities of their larger predecessors.
Pistols such as the SIG P365, the Springfield
Hellcat, and the Ruger MAX-9
opened the door, and Taurus recently entered the fray with their
excellent G3c T.O.R.O. 9mm pistol.
The G3c T.O.R.O. is marginally larger than the others
mentioned, but now Taurus has upped the ante with their all-new
Micro-Compact GX4 pistol, and it is an impressive machine.
The GX4 offers most of the features of the
G3c T.O.R.O, in a smaller, handier package. The GX4 gives up one
round of magazine capacity to its big sister, but it more than
makes up for this in size, weight, and concealability.
Ergonomics are every bit as good, the sights are the same, and
the GX4 is, at least to me, just as easy to shoot with speed and
accuracy. The G3c T.O.R.O. has second-strike capability while
the GX4 does not, but if I have a bad cartridge chambered, I
would rather tap-roll-rack
than continue to hammer on it anyway. The G3c T.O.R.O. is
factory-configured for a wide variety of optical sights, while
the GX4 is not (at least, not YET), but I consider such
capability superfluous in a pistol meant for pocket carry. Since
comparisons with the G3c T.O.R.O. are inevitable, let's just get
that out of the way:
Comparison - Taurus GX4 and G3c T.O.R.O.
||Single Action Only
First, the GX4 is an attractive pistol. The
look is streamlined, which is indicative of the way the pistol
handles, and the GX4's ergonomics are the best of any Micro-9 I
have handled to date. The alloy steel, Nitride-finished slide is
gently tapered at the muzzle to aid in holstering, and the slide
also features cocking serrations fore and aft for easy
The GX4's frame consists of a stainless steel
frame insert with polymer exterior and grip; the stainless frame
insert eliminates flex while firing, and offers the structural
rigidity necessary when firing full-power 9mm loads from such a
small pistol. Speaking of power, the GX4, like all Taurus 9mm
pistols, is approved for use of +P-level ammunition. The pistol
functioned perfectly with several +P and +P+ loads I tried, but
as a rule, I would not feed any small 9mm a steady diet of +P
loads; not only would the regular use of such ammo tend to
beat-up any small pistol, but these days it's best to save
"the good stuff" for more serious uses than range and
The 3.06-inch barrel is coated in black DLC
for toughness and lubricity, and pairs with a steel recoil rod
and captured dual-spring system.
The GX4's frame and grip are where the
ergonomics of the pistol really shines: the frame's shape and
configuration make the pistol very easy to handle, easy to
shoot, and easy to shoot well. The attractively aggressive lines
of the pistol are not just there for show, but make a great
impact on how well the pistol handles. There is a molded-in
finger channel along each side of the frame that comfortably and
reliably guides the shooter's finger to the trigger, making a
quick and repeatable hold easy to achieve. Just above the
trigger guard on either side of the frame are Taurus' Signature
Indexing and Recoil Management Pads (RMP), which are
aggressively, but not excessively, stippled to allow positive
and comfortable purchase to the fingers. Strewn over the
grip are wonderfully-designed stippling panels, which also
afford the perfect amount of roughness to easily control the
pistol under recoil, without abrading the hand like a cheese
grater. The front strap and grip sides are attractively and
effectively stippled, while the back strap is similarly
stippled, and interchangeable with a second (included) stippled
back strap featuring a bit less palm swell. I found the
pre-installed back strap to be perfect for my fairly-large hand,
but the ability to change out the back strap is a nice option to
have, and allows the GX4 to be tailored to the shooter's hand.
The GX4 also features magazine and grip cuts to aid in magazine
stripping, and the magazine release is easily reversible for
those who prefer the button on the pistol's starboard side.
The GX4's trigger is excellent. The face of
the trigger is of a wide and flat-faced configuration, with the
trigger safety blade being similarly wider, flat-faced, and
vertically serrated. The trigger's physical properties
contribute to the pleasantness of the trigger's action; the
trigger reach is 2.56 inches, take-up is 0.079 inch, travel is
0.10 inch, and pull weight measured an average of 4 pounds, 4.3
ounces on my Lyman
Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge. The GX4 also features
a nice, short trigger reset of about 0.375 inch; as stated
above, unlike the G3c T.O.R.O., the GX4 has no restrike
capability, but that is just fine with me.
As we have come to expect with striker-fired
pistols, the GX4 is a very safe design, featuring a striker
block, a trigger safety, and a visual loaded-chamber indicator
in the top of the barrel. There is no manual safety, but again,
that is just fine with me.
The sights of the GX4 are excellent, easy to
see, and quick to pick-up for initial and follow-up shots. The
front sight is steel, post-mounted, with a white dot. The rear
sight is also steel, serrated on its rearward face to reduce
glare, and dovetail-mounted for windage correction. These sights
are very easy to acquire, but for
low-light situations I would prefer a Tritium Night Sight front;
this should be an easy improvement, as a Glock 43 sight should
work just fine, and I will procure one for that purpose. Not to
complain, however: night sights are
not every shooter's preference, and Taurus' not including
them on the GX4 allows the pistol to be offered at a
significantly reduced price.
Stripping the GX4 for cleaning and
maintenance is very quick and easy. First, MAKE SURE THE
MAGAZINE AND CHAMBER ARE UNLOADED, and make sure there is no
ammo within reach (trust me on this!). Second, rotate the
slotted end of the Take-Down Pin 1/4 turn counterclockwise.
Third, pull the trigger and slip the slide forward off the
frame. The barrel and recoil spring assembly can then be removed
as required. To reassemble, after reinserting the barrel and
recoil spring assembly, simply slip the slide back onto the
frame. Accomplishing this task takes less time than it took you
to read this paragraph.
The GX4 comes with two excellent-quality
steel eleven-round magazines; Taurus did a great job with the
design of these magazines, squeezing eleven rounds into a
magazine that is 3/4" shorter than the G3c T.O.R.O.'s
twelve-rounder (by the way, the G3c's magazines will not
function in the GX4). The two included magazines both functioned
perfectly; the GX4 produced zero malfunctions of any kind during
testing with a variety of ammo types. Shooting the GX4 was a
pleasure, with even +P+ loads proving to be very easily
controllable despite the pistol's small size and weight.
Specifications - Taurus GX4 Micro-Compact
9mm Pistol (Model #1-GX4M931)
||Micro-Compact, Polymer Grip
||Alloy Steel, Nitride Finish
||3.06 inches, Satin Black DLC Coated Finish
||Striker Block, Trigger Safety, Visual Loaded Chamber Indicator
||4 pounds, 4.3 ounces
||Fixed White-Dot Steel Front, Serrated Drift-Adjustable
|MSRP as of May
A good pocket
holster offers secure carry and ease of use while breaking-up
the pistol's outline in the pocket and making it print through
clothing much like a wallet. An excellent concealment holster
option from my good friend Rob Leahy of Simply
Rugged Holsters is the "Pocket
Protector" leather pocket holster. A basic
"rough-out" leather pocket holster, the Pocket
Protector is a well-designed and well-constructed pocket carry
solution, and, very
importantly, the Pocket Protector is easy to use and quick on
the draw. Rob
convinced me of the efficacy of pocket holsters many years ago,
and I have used one of Rob's pocket holsters since that time.
The Pocket Protector is available for a variety of pistols and
revolvers - basically, any pistol or revolver that will fit in a
pocket - and sells for only $35.00 US. I highly recommend them,
or any of Rob's holsters.
With the introduction of the GX4, Taurus has
entered the Micro-9 market much as their totemic Bull enters a
China Shop. Built in the USA, the GX4 takes a back seat to none,
and Taurus' commitment to ergonomics and 100% reliability places
the GX4 firmly at the forefront of this exciting new crop of
Micro-9 pistols. Retailing for $100 to $200 less than competing
designs, the GX4 represents an amazing value in today's market,
and coupled with the pistol's rock-solid performance and
reliability, it is easy to see that Taurus USA has another
winner with the GX4.
View Taurus USA's entire product line at: www.taurususa.com.
To find a Taurus dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at Lipsey's:
To order Taurus products Online, click on the GUN GENIE at Davidson's
Gallery of Guns:
Buy Ammo Online at Lucky Gunner: www.luckygunner.com.
Federal Premium Ammo: www.federalpremium.com.
Buffalo Bore Ammo: www.buffalobore.com.
Defiant Munitions Ammo: www.defiantmunitions.com.
Double Tap Ammo: www.doubletapammo.com.
Simply Rugged Holsters: www.simplyrugged.com.
Lyman Products: www.lymanproducts.com.
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