The Second Amendment is for everyone. It doesn’t matter your race, religion, gender, or income level. As such, affordable weapons are a must if we’re going to expand the right to keep and bear arms to as many Americans as possible.
Taurus is well known for their affordable revolvers and semi-automatic handguns. They are also known for getting both a lot of love and a lot of hate online.
My experience with Taurus pistols has largely been negative, but that was confined to several revolvers. Their semi-automatics seem to have a decent enough reputation. There was a time when if someone asked if Taurus was a good gun I’d tell them to save $50 more and get a Smith & Wesson Shield. With the semi-auto G2s I can’t say that anymore.
The difference in price isn’t $50 anymore, it’s almost a hundred (more for latest M2.0 model). The G2s has been retailing for around $169 online putting it almost in the Hi-Point C9 neighborhood.
In fact, I purchased mine for that price at my favorite local gun store, Big Bend Outfitters. The G2s is a single stack variant of the double stack Taurus G2c 9mm. The G2s seems to be a successor to the old Taurus 709 series of subcompact single-stack 9mm firearms.
The Taurus G2s, Inside and Out
Like so many guns these days, the 9mm G2s subcompact comes in a simple cardboard box that contains the weapon, manuals, assorted paperwork, and two (yes, 2) 7-round magazines. In addition to 9mm Luger, the G2s is also available in .40 S&W which comes with two 6-round mags.
The G2s is available in either a black or matte stainless steel slide finish. The gun comes with adjustable rear sights, an oddity on a small carry gun. The G2s sports simple 3-dot sights, the same ones Taurus on the double stack G2c, the PT111 G2, the PT 140 G2, the 709, and 740 handguns. The benefit of that is aftermarket sights are widely available.
The G2s is a small gun, ideal for concealed carry. It’s a little wider than most at 1.10 inches but that’s barely a concern. At 20 ounces, it’s not quite as light weight as other modern single stacks, either (a GLOCK 43 is 18 oz). The gun comes with a manual frame safety as well as a trigger safety and a loaded chamber indicator on top of the slide.
I’m not a fan of manual safeties, but the G2s safety is well placed. It’s quick and easy for the thumb to activate and, more importantly, deactivate with a proper firing position.
One of the more interesting features of this handgun is the internal DA/SA trigger design. The gun lacks any means to de-cock it. Once you rack a round in the chamber the G2s is in single-action mode and it stays that way.
The handgun is always in single action unless a round fails to ignite. Then you can pull the trigger again for a double-action second try. Taurus describes this as SA with re-strike capability.
How the G2s Handles
The G2s reminds me of the grip on the original Walther PPS. It’s a bit like gripping a 2×4. It’s not rounded very much, and while not optimum it’s not uncomfortable. It’s flat and that’s a plus for concealed carry.
The slide has long and deep rear serrations which are appreciated. The grip is aggressively textured in several points around it. The G2s semi-auto pistol has a scalloped frame to accommodate your thumb and your trigger finger.
Inserting a magazine in the G2s is oddly difficult. It gets about halfway in and then requires you to give it a good smack to get in there. This is whether the mag is empty or full. It’s weird and happened with the display model at my LGS as well as the new model I purchased.
The safety clicks on and off with ease and is nicely textured on both the top and bottom. The magazine release button is small, but easy to reach without much hand movement. The pistol is simple and planned out well. It does nothing innovative, but is very serviceable.
On the Range
I had a few issues with the G2s. At first, I created a massive shotgun-like group all over a target at 10 yards and couldn’t figure out why. It turned out the front sight was loose and was moving a bit between shots.
I tightened it up and put a little Loctite on it for good measure. After that, the G2s shot true and was up to par with other guns in this size category.
The next issue was with one of two supplied magazines with one type of ammo. I used Winchester USA Forged steel cased ammunition and with one of the magazines, the rounds would stick and wouldn’t allow the follower to rise. I had to smash the bottom of the mag to get it to jump up.
I only had the problem with that brand of Winchester ammo. This wasn’t an issue with brass cased ammo and was only an issue with one of the magazines.
The G2s trigger is okay, especially for a trigger that bills itself as a single action. Interestingly, it has the same long trigger pull length in both single and double action modes. It’s just a heavier pull in DA.
The light single action pull is similar to the P99’s anti-stress mode. The G2s pull also feels like plastic is dragging on plastic the entire time. It won’t win any awards, but it won’t affect your accuracy.
What did affect my accuracy was the slide ripping into my hand. I have large mitts and with a high, thumbs-forward grip I got quite a bit of slide bite. Every so often I caught myself flinching and waiting for it.
If you have smaller hands or use a lower grip, you probably won’t experience that.
Beyond that I ran into two failures to eject in my first 200 rounds which consisted of 50 rounds of brass cased ammo and a 150 of the Winchester USA Forged. Before my next range session, I cleaned the G2s, applied some oil and cleaned out that tricky magazine.
Range Day 2
The next day I went through some basic snap drills, Mozambique drills, and reload drills. The snap drills and Mozambique drills were simple and mostly accurate. Snap drills at 15 yards on a small target can always be tough with a little gun. I kept most shots quicker than or at 1 second and landed most of my shots.
The double-tap to the chest on the Mozambique drill was tough. The first round hit dead center but the second often went high…that’s somewhat predictable with a small gun. Slowing down to a controlled pair makes it a bit easier.
Reloading drills were interesting. My hands are big enough that I can pinch the hell out of them with the magazine base plate. That’s not the gun’s fault, but if you have big hands watch out. Besides that, reloading is simple as long as you give the mag a solid pat on the way in. Magazines drop free, both loaded and unloaded and that is worth appreciating.
Beyond that I practiced shooting from cover and from longer distances. I started at 15 yards and aimed at the Sage Dynamics Headshot target. I tapped out a little earlier than average and 20 yards is the absolute max. And even at that range, I was dropping rounds outside of the headshot target.
This is a concealed carry gun meant for use in close quarters situations.
The good news: throughout my second shooting session, I didn’t run into any issues with the gun or the magazine, regardless of the ammo used. Both my friend and I enjoyed shooting the Taurus G2s, and my friend remarked that he couldn’t believe how cheap this gun was for how well it performed. Ditto.
Specifications: Taurus G2s Semi-Automatic Pistol
Ratings (out of 5 Stars):
Ergonomics * * *
Everything is placed in an easy-to-reach position, right where you’d expect. My main complaints come from the slide bite and the weird hang-up when it comes to inserting a magazine.
Accuracy * * *
The G2s subcompact is a functionally accurate gun. It won’t win any bull’s eye awards, especially with that long, plasticky trigger, but it’s well-suited for self-defense, its intended use.
Reliability * * *
Two failures to eject, a tricky magazine, and the wobbly front sight knock the reliability rating down a peg or two. Everything seems to be running smoothly now, but those initial concerns are valid and worth mentioning.
Customization * *
You can swap the sights and add an accessory to the rail, but that’s about it.
Overall Rating * * *
The Taurus G2s does nothing special or innovative, but it does seem to mostly work. If I needed a personal defense or carry gun and didn’t have a lot of cash, I’d buy and carry one without a doubt. There are options that are lighter weight and more slim, but most of them cost significantly more. I’m probably going to stick to my P365 for daily carry, but at less than half the cost, the G2s is a worthy option.