May 19, 2021
By J. Scott Rupp
The folks at Taurus have been busy of late for sure. The well-regarded G3 and G3c semiautos are only a couple of years old, and earlier this year we saw the introduction of the optics-ready T.O.R.O. versions of those pistols. And Taurus wasn’t about to be left out of the micro-compact competition, so now we have the GX4, an 11+1 pistol with a 3.06-inch barrel, overall length of 6.05 inches and an unloaded weight of just 18.5 ounces.
The polymer frame has excellent stippling along the sides of the grip and on the frontstrap. That same stippling is found on the backstrap, and here’s one area where the GX4 stands out from its competitors: It comes with interchangeable backstraps, which are easily changed by driving out a pin.
The backstrap that comes installed has a slight palm swell, but if a more pronounced swell fits your hands better, you can switch to the other one. Swapping them does not change the trigger reach length.
The trigger guard is squared off, the front left smooth. The frame sports a slight rise behind the magazine release to discourage accidental activation, and the area around the slide-lock lever is contoured so the lever won’t snag on clothing during the draw. There’s a slight recess built into the bottom of the frame that, combined with a similar recess in the magazines’ base plates, enables you to get a fingertip in there to strip out a stubborn mag.
Inside the polymer frame is a stainless chassis. Operational controls get a Teflon coating for smoothness and corrosion resistance, other internal metal parts are nickel-plated, and the barrel is treated to a Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) coating.
The slide’s wide serrations are found fore and aft aren’t particularly deep or aggressive, but they get the job done. The front of the slide is beveled for easy holstering.
Sights include a drift-adjustable serrated rear and a white dot front that’s screwed in. They’re based on the Glock pattern, so if you want another setup you won’t have any problems finding aftermarket sights.
The Taurus GX4 9mm pistol ships with two 11-round magazines with bright yellow followers, and there are numbered witness holes from 4 to 11. Ten-rounders are available for those who live in restrictive states, and Taurus is selling 13-round magazines as an option for those who want more capacity.
The trigger has a slight dogleg to it but sports a flat face, and our sample broke at 7.2 pounds on average. It’s got less than a quarter-inch of take-up, and the break is pretty crisp for a striker-fired pistol. The reset is short and nicely tactile.
The full report on the Taurus GX4 9mm micro-compact pistol will be in the August/September issue of Handguns, but suffice to say it shot really well—both from the bench and during drills. I think the sights are great, and the gun handles well for such a small 9mm, and it was totally reliable. You get all this for a suggested retail price of less than $400, which is as much as half the cost of some competing pistols.