The Taurus G3 series have been some very popular handguns. The balance of features, performance and very affordable prices have added up to pistol that will effectively defend the home without breaking the bank. Taurus has offered good performance in their G3 handguns, better than most polymer frame striker fired pistols in this price range.
The new G3X was created by mating a full-size G3 frame with the compact-length slide of the G3C. The result is a GLOCK G45-ish combination, although the Taurus G3X is slightly more compact.
The G3 and G3C have an easily manipulated frame safety. Taurus has eliminated the manual safety from the G3X, at least with this initial model. This seems to be the preference of the majority of gun buyers these days. I like a manual safety, but certainly use a wide range of handguns that don’t have one.
The G3X features a striker-fired single action trigger. The pistol has a blade type safety in the trigger face. With a trigger action that usually breaks about 6.0 pounds — my example averaged 6.2 pounds — that’s sufficient safety for most of us.
The G3X is a blend that many shooters want. The full-size frame gives the shooter a full-fingered grip on the gun and 15+1 rounds of capacity.
Most shooters will fire the G3X well on the first try as the pistol handles quickly. The full-size grip offers a good, secure hold and recoil control while the shorter slide comes onto the target quickly.
The G3X’s compact slide features a nice set of iron sights (the rear is dovetailed) and modest, but effective forward cocking serrations. The dull matte Tenifer finish is businesslike if nothing to write home about.
Those looking for optics compatibility will, however, be disappointed, at least for now. Unlike the G3 and G3C, the initial G3X doesn’t have a T.O.R.O. optic cut slide option. But with the ever-increasing popularity of pistol-sized red dots, you’d have to think a T.O.R.O. version of the G3X is somewhere in Taurus’s not-too-distant future.
The pistol’s two fifteen-round magazines aren’t difficult to load to capacity. At a time when many more expensive handguns are still delivered with a single magazine Taurus ships the G3X with two.
The pistol’s takedown sequence is modeled on the GLOCK. You’ll want to be certain to drop the magazine and double-check the chamber before pulling the trigger. Two takedown levers are pressed downward to run the slide off the frame. Then remove the recoil spring guide assembly and pull the barrel away from the slide.
An advantage of the G3X is that the pistol’s trigger offers second strike capability. If the first strike doesn’t ignite the primer for some reason, the trigger can be pulled again. That means a slightly heavier trigger pull, but it’s a good feature to have. Knowing what I know about misfires I would probably rack the slide and bring another round up, but a second strike feature is handy, if not essential.
Firing the pistol didn’t produce any revelations, but it was interesting. The G3X never failed to feed, chamber, fire or eject a round. I used a good mix of what was on hand and what I could find on the shelf. The pistol’s grip is comfortable, without any sharp edges to abrade the hand.
The grip frame is nicely stippled with an overall effect that provides good adhesion for a firm hold on the gun. Control isn’t difficult.
I was able to easily keep my shots in the X ring of a B27 target at 7 and 10 yards. Even at 15 yards, only a few shots strayed from the center of the target. The G3X is an easy pistol to use well.
Since the pistol ran well with cheap ammunition it should run well with expensive ammunition. Just the same I proofed the G3X with several self-defense loads.
I fired the G3X for accuracy from a solid standing barricade rest at 15 yards using Black Hills EXP, Black Hills 124 grain JHP, and the Black Hills 100 grain Honey Badger. The pistol averaged five-shot groups of 2.0 inches to 2.35 inches at 15 yards. That’s is good performance for an inexpensive handgun.
On ammunition selection, the all copper Honey Badger certainly has merit. The sharp cutting edges slice through a target creating damage. They also produce hydraulic force. This is a great load that doesn’t rely on expansion to get the job done. The 124 grain JHP is a very accurate loading in every handgun I have tested it in. The balances of expansion and penetration is ideal for service use. I like the Black Hills Ammunition EXP the best of the three loads, however. The Extra Power load offers more velocity than most 115 grain loads at 1200 fps even in a short 3.2 inch barrel. Expansion is good, yet the EXP doesn’t venture into +P category.
I carried the G3X in a simple Galco Stow-N-Go IWB holster. Even with its full-size frame, the pistol disappeared under a light covering garment. I really liked this affordable, concealable combination.
The Taurus G3X 9mm may be the best value to come out of this year’s SHOT Show. It’s incredibly affordable, reliable, and seems to have no drawbacks in a configuration that more gun buyers want in an everyday carry/home defense gun.
Specifications: Taurus G3X 9mm Pistol
Action: Single action with restrike
Frame Size: Full Size
Barrel Length: 3.20 in.
Overall Length: 6.30 in.
Overall Height: 5.20 in.
Overall Width: 1.20 in.
Weight: 22.60 oz
MSRP: $342.98 (about $260 retail)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Reliability * * * * *
The pistol feeds everything I’ve fed it so far.
Ergonomics * * * * *
This is an excellent handling handgun. It’s comfortable in the hand and the full-size grip means good control and recoil management.
Accuracy * * * *
It isn’t a tack driver, but the G3X is more than accurate enough for personal and home defense out to 25 yards or so…exactly what this gun is meant for.
Concealability * * * *
Many will find the G3X a practically perfect size for concealed carry. Larger than a SIG P365 but easier to shoot accurately, and smaller than a GLOCK 19.
Overall: * * * * ½
Taurus’s blend of their G3 and G3C pistols meets a need many of their customers have for a combination carry and home defense gun that doesn’t lighten the wallet too much. If the combination of a full-size frame and compact slide is what you’re looking for, the G3X is a reliable and very affordable option.