Just when you think you’ve caught up with the rapid-fire release of Taurus polymer pistols, the famous Brazilian gun manufacturer goes ahead and boosts its G-series line of EDC striker-fired 9 mm pistols again. For three consecutive years, Taurus has added a new model to this very popular line. Its first full-size model, the G3, held its rank among many new polymer intros in 2019 with considerable aplomb. This was followed in 2020 by the 12-round G3c (compact), and then earlier this year, the TORO (optics ready) models.
So when we were teased with a new spring release, we wondered, “G(ee) … , what’s next?” Well, now we know. Taurus has just announced its newest—and smallest—iteration in the series, the GX4, an 11+1 capacity carry-size pistol.
I’m always excited when a new 9 mm pistol lands in the lineup, as it broadens the aperture for shooters in their quest for an adequate defensive carry gun. As with men, there is no single answer to which is the right gun for women, or to its adequacy for individual use and situational preference; it’s different for each woman. But so far the previous Taurus compact models have found favor amongst those CCW practitioners who were able to harness some range time in the past year.
So how will this new micro-compact model compete in this class of pistols that has taken the concealed-carry world by storm? Although the pistol denotes the corresponding "G" designation, this pistol departs from the line in a few ways.
I had the opportunity to shoot this pistol last week, and instantly noticed a downsizing from the G3c. On paper it may seem inconsequential, but in my small hands, there was a big difference. While the G3c might be my “Goldilocks” gun of the three most recent Taurus G’s, I can certainly see where shaving off a few tenths of an inch in overall size to make it even more concealable could be a worthy tradeoff for the extra punch I experienced after several magazines. Despite my small hand size. I definitely benefitted from the larger (included) backstrap and extended 13-round magazine. I just like a little more grip to hold on to.
Admittedly I have an adjustment time each time I put a new polymer 9 mm into my hands. But that's typical for most shooters. Fortunately, Taurus took shooters like me into consideration when they were considering features that would foster as good of a shooting experience as possible with a small concealed-carry pistol.
How Small Can You Go?
If you purse carry, you'll certainly want to be sure you secure this pistol in a holster designed for this method. For those who choose to carry inside the waistband, the 1” frame width of the GX4 will no doubt provide comfort and negligible printing with the proper holster. In terms of overall dimensions, barrel length is 3.06”; length is 6.05”; width is 1.08”; and height is 4.4”. Weight is 18.5 ozs. unloaded. These all add up to ideal specifications for a very concealable gun. (Shown: Taurus GX4 in CrossBreed Holsters "The Reckoning," IWB configuration)
The GX4 is built on a stainless frame with a polymer grip. A polymer receiver bolsters an integral stainless-steel framework, adding to its strength and durability.
Taurus says the GX4 is designed to deliver “maximum concealment without sacrificing ergonomics, performance or capacity, offering everything you would expect from a full-frame defensive handgun, but at a fraction of the size and weight,”—which are two of the prime considerations when considering carry guns. For certain, cartridge capacity has not been sacrificed in this micro-pistol. Chambered for 9 mm Luger, the Taurus GX4 delivers several double-stack magazine options. While the GX4 arrives from the factory with two flush 11-round magazines (a standard magazine with a floor plate that is flush with the bottom of the grip, and an optional 11-round magazine with a finger extension), Taurus offers an optional 13-round extended magazine. The Taurus GX4 comes in a 10-round magazine version for consumers in capacity-restricted states. Either variant provides for capacity most welcome in a concealable package.
Of course, there are other well-thought-out features on the pistol that are evidence Taurus wants this to be your carry gun. The stippling along the grip is intended to offer a balance of aggressive texture across the front and side panels, as well as the full length of the backstrap. Stippling is also found forward of the trigger at the indexing and recoil management pad locations. These pads help maintain proper hand positioning and assist in managing the recoil that results from firing 9 mm rounds from a smaller pistol. This ultimately translates to fast target reacquisition.
Taurus has also ensured shooters are able to easily manipulate the slide stop lever and takedown pin while maintaining a flush, no-snag profile. Likewise, the magazine release button is flush to the grip to eliminate snag potential during mag changes. And as mentioned, Taurus includes two backstrap options with the GX4, which many operators will appreciate.
The trigger on the GX4 offers the short and tactile reset. Serrations along the trigger safety blade are designed to prevent finger slip and promote a straighter, more consistent trigger pull. Serrations at both the front and back of the slide provide a positive grip for charging and cartridge extraction, and also for push/pull manipulation from either end of the slide.
A fixed-position white-dot steel front sight and square-notch steel rear sight can be easily swapped for any number of compatible aftermarket tritium or fiber-optic sight systems (which I would do immediately). The rear sight features serrations across the back to minimize glare, and the cross-cut dovetail slot allows for drift-adjustment. The front sight can be easily upgraded to aftermarket night sights by a gunsmith or anyone with a pistol sight installation tool.
As with all Taurus polymer-frame pistols, the Taurus GX4 slide includes a visual loaded chamber indicator, eliminating the need for the traditional “press check.” To separate the slide assembly from the frame for cleaning, the Taurus GX4 utilizes an easy take-down pin system (alleluia!).
Granted, shooting champion and Team Taurus Captain Jessie Harrison (shown) could make a safe queen out of the homeliest of guns when she draws it. But don’t let her own aesthetics overshadow those of the new GX4. The pistol isn’t just petite and pretty; it’s a practical tool, and the features that dress it up also have purpose. For example, its stainless-steel barrel that features a satin black DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) treatment is designed to reduce friction and offer greater wear and corrosion resistance. Additionally, to maximize slide surface hardness, engineers opted for a gas nitride coating—another in this gun's lineup of wear-resistance properties.
Elsewhere, operational control parts are Teflon coated, which acts as a lubricant, allowing certain components such as the reversible mag release to operate with maximum smoothness. And the steel slide stop has polymer overmolding for maximum durability. Inside the Taurus GX4, metal internal parts are nickel-plated for even more rust and corrosion resistance.
Just as you shouldn’t assume this is just one more budget polymer 9 mm pistol, you should not infer lesser quality based on its attractive sticker price. With an MSRP of $392.42, Taurus GX4 buyers can enjoy all the feature benefits and ergonomics typically associated with larger polymer-frame striker-fired pistols at a price point that fits any budget.
Although there are similarities across the board with 9 mm striker-fired pistols (more engineering than artistic), there are just as many differences among them right out of the box. As such, each model has its initial appeal, but also their break-in period (for the shooter, not necessarily the pistol). While my initial groups were acceptable, I will need some more range time with the GX4 before I can claim proficiency (and perhaps, new sights, as alluded to earlier). While I have no delusion that shooting the GX4 will turn me into the next Jessie Harrison, it sure was easy to imagine myself practicing some run-and-gun techniques or other concealed-carry maneuvers with her on the range.
Indeed it's wonderful to welcome a new viable choice for women and men alike who are looking for their ideal CCW pistol.
Manufacturer: Taurus International Manufacturing, Inc.
Caliber: 9 mm Luger
Capacity: 11 rounds
Magazines: 2 x 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”
Overall Length: 6.05”
Overall Width: 1.08”
Overall Height: 4.4”
Weight: 18.5 oz. (unloaded)
Packaging Weight: 39.80 oz
Packaging Size: 8” x 9.75” x 3”