Taurus GX4XL T.O.R.O.
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I have to admit, my first experience with Taurus firearms was not favorable. Years ago, a friend purchased a .357 revolver and brought it over for me to look at. He was proud of the gun, and I reserved telling him exactly how I felt because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. It was the early ’70s and at that time, I had a Colt Python and a S&W Model 19. I still consider those two guns to be the pinnacle of revolver design.

The Taurus was crude by comparison. The single-action trigger was acceptable, but double action was extremely heavy. Sights were fixed and the finish was far below the standards of base models of S&W and Colt at the time.

My later impressions were similar. Taurus revolvers were heavy and had poor triggers. The semi-automatics were less than reliable and didn’t provide real accuracy. But in the last half dozen years, my opinions have changed.

I don’t like to review guns I can’t recommend to the average buyer so I didn’t review many Taurus guns. Then an editor asked me to do a review on the then new TX22.

My primary business is as a firearms trainer. Many of my clients are new to shooting, and I often use .22 Rimfire in the introductory stages of training. The TX 22 was so good, I bought two for use on my range with new shooters. They are incredibly tough and reliable, easy to operate and affordable. These guns have now had thousands of rounds put through them with virtually zero attention or problems.

In the last few years, people who never would have considered owning a gun for personal protection have decided gun ownership is a good idea. My average week involves individual training to a lot of new gun owners and many have already purchased a gun.

As might be expected, many purchase guns based on price and as a result, I see a lot of Taurus concealed carry guns. I decided it was time to review a 9mm Taurus concealed carry gun, so I chose the GX4XL T.O.R.O. The XL version has a longer slide and the T.O.R.O. designation indicates it comes optics ready.

 

 

I was already impressed by the reliability and utility of the GX4 line because of my experience with client’s guns, but after spending some time with my test gun, I’m even more impressed. With a weight of 20 ounces, a slim just over one-inch width and the 3.71-inch barrel, it’s the perfect size and weight for a daily carry pistol. The magazine capacity sits at 10 rounds with the standard mag and 13 rounds with the extended magazine. I don’t recommend daily carry guns larger than this because of the temptation by many gun owners to leave a heavy and bulky gun at home. It will do you no good there if you should need it.

The grip surface is plenty grippy, the flat faced trigger is very good and breaks at a good level for a defensive gun. Sights are a white dot front and a dovetailed rear. There are no dots on the rear sight, something many experienced shooters prefer. Of course, it’s a simple matter to add a red-dot sight to the gun if you feel the need. I particularly like the grippy surface in front of the takedown pin. It’s a great reminder of where the trigger finger and support thumb should be with a proper high, thumbs forward grip. As have all the recent guns in this line, it ran flawlessly with any ammunition I tried.

It would be an oversight to not include mention of the G3 series as well. I’m equally impressed with them and especially like the second strike capability of the G3 series. The standard GX4s are commonly discounted for about $330 and base model G3s can be had for just over $250, all extremely reasonable pricing.

At any price they’re reliable, user friendly and an excellent choice for a daily carry, defensive pistol.

 

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40 COMMENTS

  1. Looks like my old Millennium. Which broke. So they fixed it. Then I got rid of it.

    The only Taurus that ever gave me trouble. Don’t give me trouble.

    • Well I realize my Taurus gats aren’t “the best” but why oh why have I gotten 9 to run close to perfectly? You gotta break them in.And not be inept. Includes recalled Millennium Pro’s 111& 140 from a dozen years ago. They are long gone but not because they weren’t reliable. My newest G3x is a step-up with no frame safety and a very good trigger. A near glock clone🙄

  2. i commented before i finished reading. there was no review. just mention of another toerest and some it works and is a good size.
    cool.

  3. Thanks for a positve review on a good gun – arguably not a classic, but definitely good

    H8rs gonna H8
    Kudos to new gun owners, buy the best you can afford, buy practice ammo, buy training. Plan to spend the better part of $1000 and 100 hours to become competent.
    Read, read, read.

    Form your own opinions and adapt as your experience and budget allows.

    I have two Taurus (Milen.PT111 (my first) and a G4)
    two Springfields (Hellcat & Hellcat pro) and a Beretta 92.

    I trust my life with all of them.

    • Cris,

      Of course training is good and I encourage everyone to train as much as possible.

      Having said that, I am calling baloney on your statement, “… spend … 100 hours to become competent.

      It doesn’t take 100 hours of training or practice to be competent at self-defense in 99% of real-world engagements. The major skill component which is necessary for self-defense is being able to point your finger at someone–which 99.9999% of teens and adults are already capable of doing. The remaining skill component is being able to draw (typically from concealment). I dare say that 99.9999% of teens and adults need no more than about two hours of training at drawing and shooting to be VERY proficient for 99% of real-world engagements.

      I specify the above because I don’t want prospective newcomers to armed self-defense–who do not have $1000 and 100 hours for training–to conclude that they must abandon their pursuit of armed self-defense.

    • The great state of Idaho allows anybody to carry concealed within it’s borders, and gives it’s citizens the responsibility to determine if they are qualified to do so. But if you want reciprocity with places like the state of Washington, you have to get what they call an “enhanced” permit. That takes about eight hours combined classroom and range time, which I believe is more than sufficient to educate people about the grave responsibilities of discharging a firearm, and the technique for hitting a target that is close enough to you to be considered a threat.
      Over the years, I have indeed spent thousands of dollars and dozens (if not hundreds) of hours on this rather expensive hobby. But that’s because it’s a hobby, not because it’s a necessity. I’m not fooling myself or anybody else into thinking I’m an “operator operating operationally”.

  4. I have had good results with my two Taurens. One a .45 millennium pro which has always worked and a 6 inch barreled .357 revolver that I use for hunting pigs. I realize that Taurus deserved their reputation but I personally have had no problems with the two I own.

  5. For not much more I would go for the well proven Shield Plus. Stores around here were selling them for $299 at times during the holidays. I think they are regular price of $399.

  6. The trigger alone is something of a turn off to me. Just like so many of FN and S&W designs. This just doesn’t look like a serious kind of adult item. It looks more like a toy to me. I think they could have done better with the way the magazine floor plate mates up to the bottom of the frame too. Granted, this opinion is purely based on the picture in this article. But I’ve fired Taurus semi-autos before and really haven’t been all that impressed.

  7. My opinion – maker supplied images. I doubt this guy has even handled a Taurus pistol.
    All fluff i was hoping TTAG could do better. Sad indeed.
    hhh
    Never would I trust my life to a Taurus, this fantasy wont change my mind. I will go elsewhere for a real shooting review by credible real people.

  8. Taurus is playing ‘copy cat’ a little with this gun and kinda screwed it up too. The grip (and changeable palm swell) and mag base area, a bastardized rendition of whats found in the Sig P365 series.

  9. I wanted a G3C for awhile and got a NIB deal. Took the slide off to see the innards, lubed it and sold it the next day because it is made not so much to tinker with. Since the GX4 has no manual safety to separate itself from the pack I would spend extra for a Glock, etc. Or between the G3C and GX4 I would want my manual safety G3C back.

  10. It’s interesting to see these smaller companies like Taurus or Keltec do a lot of innovation. And then have bigger gun companies copy them.

    I like my judge revolver. And ten years ago using caliber adapters, is how I discovered how wonderful, 32 s&w and 32HR magnum are.

  11. I carried a Taurus G2 for probably 7 or 8 years. I put as many rounds downrange as my Glock 19. It was every bit as reliable as the Glock. The Glock has a better trigger, the G2 was as clean but way too long. The Glock finish was way better. Eventually I sold the Taurus after replacing it with a GX4. The GX4 trigger is better than a Sig P365. Also better trigger on the Glock too. Its as accurate as my G19 as well.
    Needless to say its my carry gun rather thany CZ75 compact, FNP45T, Glock 19, Steyr M40 or H&K P30.

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  13. Taurus by all accounts has turned things around. I’ve only had one but it was impeccable, I would have no problem buying another one, just haven’t seen one that I needed. The closest is the 856, but having just gotten a chiefs special it seems somewhat redundant.

    • I believed the hype and got a TX22. It’s been a dumpster fire from the very first day. It locks back with rounds still in the magazine, after two trips back to Taurus. It also starts keyholing after two hundred rounds, like clockwork, I suspect because the bore is full of chatter marks that accumulate lead very rapidly and the muzzle crown is uneven and has toolmarks on it.

      Additionally the gun is very prone to the top cartridge nose-diving and stopping with the bullet nose stuck against the front of the magazine tube, pointed down with the base of the cartridge angled up, and it even has bolt-over-base high angle stoppages where the slide closes on a cartridge laying diagonally across the feedramp. I think it wouldn’t do that so much if the magazine springs weren’t such weak soft mushy garbage made out of very very thin, very very soft metal wire. I got four more factory new magazines and all the springs are the same, and they all do the same thing. Also all six magazine followers had long strips of mold flashing sticking out all the way around, and even after shaving it all off with a razor blade, I couldn’t get sixteen into two of them until I removed material from the bottom of the followers. Using a needle file to cut a little bit of a feedramp into the inside of the top of the mag tube in the front helped a little with the nose-dives. Smoothing up the followers with a Dremel and a felt bob with fine white alumina polishing compound, then hosing down the inside of the mag tube with dry film lube, also helped a little, but the springs are so weak that any trace of unburnt propellant or carbon fouling inside the mag tube at the top makes the follower drag and bind and the gun starts doing nose-dives and bolt-over-base high-angle stoppages over and over. And it’s a semiauto .22, so it gets absolutely filthy, really really fast.

      Also it shot 6″+ low and 6″+ left at seven yards with the rear sight adjusted all the way up and right, and the rear sight did not hold zero more than two or three shots anyway. The replacement rear sight they put on it on the first trip back does hold zero and I was able to zero it, so hooray, I guess.

      I detail stripped it to look at the mechanism myself, and saw, among other things, that the slide stop spring is soft, thin wire that stays bent when you bend it, and does not behave like a spring. Furthermore the slide stop spring that was in it looked like it had been stretched between two pairs of needle nose pliers in a ham-handed attempt at fixing the problem. I called Taurus a third time and told them what I saw. They told me I’d voided the warranty by taking it apart beyond basic fieldstripping, so there will not be a third trip back to the factory.

      With me, at least, they were very polite, and as helpful as the scripts the management gives them allow them to be, but the gun is absolute garbage. I should sell it but I tinker with it, and as I hold it in my hands it reminds me not to believe glowing Internet reviews for new products from companies known to sell trash.

      I do not think the design is unsalvageable, and aspects of it are positive–it feels very much like an M&P in the hand, and the trigger also feels very similar, making it a fairly good training tool–but the execution is horrid. I should have known. Taurus products have always had a horrible reputation. Nonexistent QC. Soft metal. Springs that don’t spring. Improper heat treatment. No heat treatment. Parts that break. Parts put in the wrong way at the factory. Malfunctions of every kind. Revolvers that go out of time when the bubblegum-soft internals wear after just a few hundred rounds. Semiautos that don’t cycle, or that cycle full auto unintentionally, or that fire when bumped or shaken.

      https://youtu.be/2fn6GFSwTEw

      At least it doesn’t fire when it gets shaken or bumped, I guess. I never should have spent the money on it. Looking at it fills me with regret. Maybe I should have gotten one of the Kel-Tec .22 pistols instead, but I haven’t heard much good about those. Could it have been any worse, though?

      Friends don’t let friends buy Taurus products. Maybe it’ll be better than a Hi-Point. Don’t bet on it, though.

      • Similar experience with a Taurus Revolver. It would lock up after a cylinder or two. Not enough gap between the cylinder and forcing cone. Their solution was to back the barrel out. This indexed the front sight to about 1 o’clock.

        Had a local gunsmith fix it and traded it for a S&W at the same shop.

        I will never spend my hard earned money on another Taurus. I steer anyone I know, away from Taurus.

        Eph Ephing Taurus.

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