The NEW GX4 Micro-Compact 9mm Pistol from Taurus USA

by Boge Quinn

May 19th, 2021

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Fore and aft cocking serrations.





Sights consist of serrated steel drift-adjustable rear (top) and steel white-dot post (bottom).



Extra backstrap allows the grip to be tailored to the shooter's hand.



Aggressively-textured stippling panels make for a sure and comfortable hold.



Textured index pads on either side of the frame give positive purchase to the index finger.





Muzzle is tapered for effortless holstering.





Visual loaded-chamber indicator.





The 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.


Taurus GX4

Taurus G3c T.O.R.O.

Caliber 9mm Luger 9mm Luger
Firing System Striker Striker
Action Type Single Action Only Single-Action with Restrike Capability
Frame Polymer, Micro-Compact Polymer, Compact
Overall Length 6.05 inches 6.3 inches
Overall Height 4.4 inches 5.1 inches
Overall Width 1.08 inches 1.2 inches
Barrel Length 3.06 inches 3.2 inches
Weight, Unloaded 18.5 ounces 22 ounces
Manual Safety No Yes
Magazine No No
Magazine Capacity 11 12
Optics-Ready No Yes

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 manipulation. 

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 plinking.

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)

Caliber 9mm Luger
Firing System Striker
Action Type Single Action Only
Frame Micro-Compact, Polymer Grip
Slide Alloy Steel, Nitride Finish
Barrel 3.06 inches, Satin Black DLC Coated Finish
Safety Striker Block, Trigger Safety, Visual Loaded Chamber Indicator
Trigger Pull, Average 4 pounds, 4.3 ounces
Trigger Reach 2.56 inches
Trigger Take-Up 0.079 inch
Trigger Travel 0.10 inch
Overall Length 6.05 inches
Overall Width 1.08 inches
Overall Height 4.4 inches
Weight, Unloaded 18.5 ounces
Sights Fixed White-Dot Steel Front, Serrated Drift-Adjustable Steel Rear
Magazine Capacity 11 Rounds
Magazines Supplied 2
MSRP as of May 2021 $392.42 US

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:

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:

Federal Premium Ammo:

Buffalo Bore Ammo:

Defiant Munitions Ammo:

Double Tap Ammo:

Simply Rugged Holsters:

Lyman Products:

Boge Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.





The GX4 comes with hard plastic case, lock, manual, extra backstrap, and two quality 11-round steel magazines.



"Pocket Protector" pocket holster from Simply Rugged Holsters.



Size comparison: Taurus G3c T.O.R.O. (left), Taurus GX4 (right).



The GX4 proved to be accurate and 100% reliable using a variety of ammo types.



Disassembly pin.