When Taurus announced the G3 series of pistols, I wasn’t particularly excited. Having owned a G2 in the past, it performed well for the price point, but ultimately wasn’t anything to write home about. Then I saw the G3 Tactical model, which piqued my curiosity. Taurus isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you’re talking about “tactical” pistols, but this one has suppressor-height sights, optics-readiness, and a threaded barrel, all at a very affordable price.
I finally got the chance to try one for myself after a weekend hanging out with Primary & Secondary earlier this year. After some significant range time, here are some first impressions . . . .
If you’ve shot an older Taurus G2, then you’re basically familiar with the G3. This specific variant is their full-size pistol, coming in at 17 rounds of 9mm capacity with slightly extended magazines.
These magazines come with a removable sleeve which provides an uninterrupted grip for even the manliest of man hands. Users can also use flush-fit 15-round magazines for a slightly shorter grip. Grip texture is slightly less aggressive than it was on the Taurus G2, which I imagine most shooters will be happy to see.
One of the biggest ergonomic changes in the G3 Tactical is the new trigger. The Taurus G3 features a wide, flat-faced trigger with a wider safety bar. This new trigger is fantastic, and not just “fantastic for a Taurus.” After shooting the G3 side-by-side with Walther and other quality pistols, the G3 Tactical is up there even with its higher-priced competitors. It puts my Gen4 GLOCKs to shame.
Controls and Features
Other controls are largely unchanged. The magazine release is still small and smooth, but we had no issues finding or using the little button. The slide release is medium sized, and angled slightly outward for more positive activation.
Unlike my GLOCKs, the slide locked back on empty every time, ensuring the release is compatible with modern high grips. Takedown levers are still GLOCK-like, and slightly recessed, keeping them unobtrusive for your support hand grip.
A full-length 1913 rail adorns the dust cover, which accepts all manner of full-size lights and lasers. Forward slide serrations offer manipulation up front if that’s your preference.
The barrel is threaded 1/2-28 — as it should be on a “tactical” pistol — to take all of your standard suppressors or muzzle devices, and is topped off with a thread protector. In full tactical fashion, the Taurus G3’s slide is Cerakoted “patriot brown” with a flat dark earth frame.
Iron sights are extremely simple on the Taurus G3 Tactical…and just the way I like them. There’s a plain front post and a rear notch, all black, completely lacking tritium or fiber optics. The sights are just tall enough to be useable over a Holosun 507C, but do nothing to intrude on the optic’s sight picture. They’re out of the way, but still effective if and when needed, and precise enough to score 20-yard headshots on IPSC torsos.
Interestingly, the rear notch is very shallow compared to many suppressor-height iron sights. This gives the illusion of a smaller overall height without impacting performance.
The G3 Tactical uses the Taurus’s flexible T.O.R.O. mounting plate system. This allows users to use the optic of their choice rather than be limited to a single footprint. Our example featured an RMR plate for use with a Holosun 507C. Unfortunately, the optic was already mounted upon my arrival, so I wasn’t able to get a good look at the plate system.
Taurus offers three other plates which support popular optics such as Leupold DeltaPoint Pro, Vortex Venom, and more.
Range time was a little different than what a normally put a gun through. This was due to the nature of the event.
We began by firing 500 rounds of Aguila 124gr FMJ in under 20 minutes. This got the gun incredibly hot, accelerating wear in place of a longer review process.
Some of the attendees decided to cool the G3 Tactical off by dunking it in a cooler of ice water immediately after the burn down, curious if the sudden temperature change would impact the gun. It shook of the ice bath like a champ. Over the next day we put nearly another 500 rounds of Aguila down the pipe. While we never benched the gun to check mechanical accuracy, we easily made consecutive hits on an IPSC headbox out to 20 yards.
Throughout all of this, we didn’t experienced any stoppages, parts breakage, or hiccups. The optic plate stayed firm on the pistol, though the optic itself loosened repeatedly due to an unfortunate lack of thread locker. The barrel’s thread protector also worked its way off under heavy amounts of fire, but was recovered and was no worse for wear.
The Taurus G3 Tactical pleasantly surprised me. It’s chock full of features that will typically cost far more in a “tactical” pistol. The G3T provides a stellar shooting experience, and looks good without breaking the bank. The gun took everything we had to throw at it and kept on chugging, showing a clear improvement in quality from its predecessors.
While I’m not ready to trade in my GLOCK, I would feel more than comfortable with this pistol in my waistband. Hopefully this G3 isn’t a diamond in the rough, as this could signal a new era for Taurus, climbing their way out of a reputation for bargain bin blasters into one of serious (and seriously affordable) defensive tools. I truly hope Taurus stays the course with more products like this, as I think they’d be a strong contender for shooters of all levels.
Current MSRP on the Taurus G3 Tactical is $589, with street prices a good $100 or more below that. With affordable magazines, quality extensions from Henning, and holster support from Harry’s Holsters, this gun might be my top recommendation for new shooters. As a longtime Taurus sceptic, the G3 Tactical and new 856 Executive Grade may have made a believer out of me.