Taurus GX4: A Great Concealed Carry Sub-Compact 9mm ~ VIDEO

AmmoLand Editor, Jim Grant, gets his hands on an exclusive early look at the all-new Taurus GX4 handgun.

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Before the Taurus GX4, I had never owned a Taurus pistol in my entire life. If you’re wondering why it’s probably not what you think. When I first got into shooting, the gunshops around me either didn’t carry Taurus or priced them at or above guns from companies with objectively better track records for reliability. Now given, this was nearly 15 years ago, and the Taurus of the mid-2000s was plagued with quality control issues.

GX4 Action01
The new Taurus sub-compact pistol was quick-shooting and had mild recoil. IMG Jim Grant

I mention this not to scare off potential buyers, but rather to give perspective on both the negativity surrounding older Taurus guns on the internet, as well as the progress made under its new CEO – Bret Vorhees. Under Vorhees, Taurus has really improved its image by producing more modern firearms at affordable prices, and by doubling down on quality assurance to make sure that customers never need to take advantage of the lifetime warranty behind the guns.

Taurus GX4 01
The new Taurus GX4 is easy to conceal and features excellent ergonomics. IMG Jim Grant

Taurus GX4 Pistol in 9mm

Manufactured in Brazil, the new Taurus GX4 is a striker-fired, polymer-framed locked-breech semi-automatic handgun chambered in 9mm parabellum. It feeds from steel, stagger-column 11-round flush-fitting magazines and includes two in the box. One interesting aspect of the magazines’ design, is the extreme angle of the tapered portion of the magazine’s body at the top. Presumably, this was done to allow for a smaller slide without compromising the GX4’s magazine capacity. Despite this relatively steep angle, the follower never felt like it dragged, even when loaded to capacity.

GX4 Green
The new Taurus pistol is compact, lightweight, and reliable. What more could you ask? IMG Jim Grant

As mentioned above, the Gx4 features a polymer frame to reduce overall weight. The GX4 only weighs 18.5oz unloaded. Additionally, the frame and slide are both dehorned for easier, cleaner draws from concealment. In contrast, the frame features selected areas covered in a molded stippling texture to ensure shooters retain control of the pistol when it’s wet or oily.

The frame also has a low-profile magazine release button and slide release to prevent snagging on clothing or holsters. This also makes the gun slide into a holster easier.

Below this, the GX4 features a flat-faced trigger with a safety blade in the center not totally dissimilar to those found on a Glock.

Taurus GX4 Ergonomics

GX4 Grip
The GX4 features molded stippling on the frame to give shooters better purchase on the handgun during recoil. IMG Jim Grant

All controls on the Taurus GX4 are easy to reach for shooters of all sizes, and in testing, even my 100-pound wife, who wears a size small glove, can reach everything without having to shift her firing grip. This is partially due to the overall compact size of the gun but also the channel at the top of the grip, which reduces the length of pull of the pistol.

The trigger is very competent but not light; after all, it is a concealed carry gun that lacks a manual safety. Using a Lyman trigger scale, 25 trigger pulls averaged out to 7.3lbs. Some trigger pulls measured as little as 6.4lbs, others as high at 8lbs. But this was due to trigger finger placement and not to an inherent design flaw.

GX4 Trigger
The Taurus GX4 features a trigger blade safety instead of a manual one. IMG Jim Grant

Another ergonomic concern for me on the GX4, which applies to all compact concealed carry handguns, is the bore axis of the pistol. If the barrel is too high above the grip, it gives mechanical advantage and leverage to the recoil impulse against the shooter’s grip. This, in turn, translates to additionally felt recoil. Thankfully, the GX4’s bore axis is fairly low, which helps tame the sometimes snappy recoil of 9mm ammo when fired from a compact, lightweight handgun. This is great because even though the Taurus is roughly the size of a .38 special J-Frame revolver, it has dramatically less felt recoil and more than double the capacity (Plus faster reloads.).

Reloads with the Taurus GX4 pistol were also pretty quick. So while the gun lacks a beveled magazine well, the sharp angle of the magazine bodies helps funnel the magazines into the mag-well.

Accuracy

GX4 Rear Sight
The GX4’s rear sight is a steel black notch with anti-glare serrations. IMG Jim Grant

Although the GX4 only has a 3.06-inch barrel, the pistol proved surprisingly accurate – even with 115gr inexpensive FMJ. While I didn’t have enough time to do a scientific, in-depth accuracy test, the Taurus handgun never struggled to hit any targets on my range. This even includes a 12-inch steel gong at 60 yards. However, the pistol’s somewhat snappy recoil did make hammered pairs very difficult beyond 10 yards on small targets.

GX4 Front Sight
Like the rear sight, the pistol’s front sight is also made of steel. Unlike the rear sight, though, it features a much more visible white dot in the center for faster sight acquisition. IMG Jim Grant

That said, man-sized targets (it is a concealed-carry pistol, after all) proved no challenge even when firing the Taurus GX4 pistol as quickly as possible at 10 yards. And I suspect the heavy break on the trigger contributed more to any difficulties I had quickly shooting than any mechanical limitation. Plus, the trigger should improve substantially after a few hundred rounds of break-ins.

GX4 Reliability

Due to my abridged time with the gun and the insane price of ammunition lately, I only put 350 rounds of ammo through the GX4. One hundred fifty of these rounds were 115gr Winchester White Box FMJ.

GX4 Action02
During the course of the review, the GX4 encountered no malfunctions whatsoever. IMG Jim Grant

Additionally, 100 rounds of 124gr FMJ from Aguila was test-fired through it, as well as a mix of 135gr +P Critical Duty JHP from Hornady, 124gr HydraShok JHP from Federal, and a few 147gr JHP from Browning ammunition. In all this testing, the gun never encountered any malfunctions whatsoever. It was exactly as reliable as any high-quality concealed carry pistol should be. Overall, the gun was utterly dependable.

Under the GX4’s Hood

GX4 Take Down
To disassemble the Taurus GX4, the only tool needed is a 9mm casing or cartridge. IMG Jim Grant

The Taurus GX4 utilizes a simple locking lug and a double, captured recoil spring for operation. Disassembly for cleaning is straightforward. A shooter simply removes the magazine, then clears the action of any cartridges before turning a disassembly lever with either a flathead screwdriver or the rim of a 9mm cartridge. Once the lever is rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise, the slide must be gently pressed forward, and then the trigger pulled to release it from the frame.

After that, to free the recoil spring from the slide assembly, just push it towards the muzzle to relieve tension before lifting the rear up and away. The barrel comes apart much in the same way. Just slide it forward slightly to unlock it from the slide, then lift it vertically and backward away from the muzzle to remove it.

To reassemble, do the previous steps in reverse, except the takedown lever does not need to be rotated. It will rotate by itself once the slide is re-installed on the frame.

Is the Taurus GX4 Worth It?

With a strangely specific MSRP of $392.42, the GX4 is by no means an expensive handgun – especially compared to its peers.

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But there are a few options I would have personally liked to see included that were absent on this original gun. For starters, I would have preferred a more visible front-sight post. Ideally, a tritium-filled one. However, that would undoubtedly raise the MSRP substantially.

The other gripe I have with the gun is its lack of an extended magazine or possibly an extended baseplate. With the stock magazines installed, the gun is still very comfortable for me – though caveat emptor – I have smaller hands. So if you’re well over six feet tall, the gun may be small for you. Thankfully, it does include an enlarged backstrap to help fill the hands of larger shooters.

GX4 03
The Taurus GX4 on a piece of iron ore. Because why not? IMG Jim Grant

Taurus GX4 Verdict

Compact, easy-shooting, and featuring a very solid magazine capacity, the new Taurus GX4 is an excellent handgun for concealed carry. Some may scoff at the prospect of buying a handgun not made by one of the big defense companies but rest assured, if my example is any indication, the Taurus GX4 is a reliable performer and one that I wouldn’t feel under-armed carrying.

Read Related: Taurus GX4XL 9mm EDC Pistol Review ~ VIDEO


About Jim Grant

Jim is one of the elite editors for AmmoLand.com, who in addition to his mastery of prose, can wield a camera with expert finesse. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.

When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.

Jim Grant

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willyd

Taurus is the parent Company of Heritage which makes a fun plinking revolver, but trying to get any service or answers to questions takes an act of congress to get any answers, thus I’m not sure if I want to test the waters of Taurus, just my thoughts! I’ve had much better luck working with Ruger!

HikerJohn316

Looks like a good solid pistol. The reliability and low price of Taurus pistols meet the need for those wanting a sub-compact at a more affordable price than the other makes.

JIAZ

“MSRP $392.42”

If I can pick one up for $300.00 or less I’ll give it a try. If it runs well it’ll be assigned backup duty in my backpack/camp/outdoor trek gear.

“Some may scoff at the prospect of buying a handgun not made by one of the big defense companies.”

I won’t “scoff”, but on my personal 4 O’clock, I’ll stick with “one of the big defense companies”.;)

Finnky

Funny. Just what they’ve done…

gsteele

Currently on sale at Kentucky Gun Co for $235.99 after rebate, with free shipping & handling. I have both PT-111 Millennium G2 in 9mm and PT-140 Millennium G2c in .40 S&W, and they are both fantastic – reliable, easy to handle, concealable, high capacity – and eminently affordable. Taurus is clearly on a roll.

Boom

What a comprehensive review… New & fresh too. I don’t think Ive seen any others.

alan93

I got the G2C after taurus replaced my millenium in a recall. Love it, the trigger pull, the grip and 13 rnd capacity. Before that had a 24/7 pro .40. love that too.

musicman44mag

Wow, I must live under a rock. I never heard about the recall until reading your post. Too bad I sent mine in 2011 for mags falling out and they sent it back and said they fixed it. That was a lie. The new mags I bought fell out. So I went to work trying to figure out what to do to fix the problem. I would test the mag in the store by grabbing the bottom of it after being inserted and give it a twist and pull down. The ones that fell out would come out. The others… Read more »

Billcase

Made in USA .. not Brazil
6 other reviews.. trigger from 5# to 5.5 #

Really stopped watching your review…
mis information

Dangerous Dave

I have no doubt it’s a very nice pistol. But I picked up my P365 for not much more money than that on sale. It weighs less, holds more, and comes stock with tritium front and rear, and a rail. Putting a decent set of sights on this Taurus will easily put the price over that of the Sig, or the Hellcat for that matter. With the sights on this Taurus, you damn sure can’t shoot it in the dark, and adding light or laser is not an option. I won’t even bring up the horrendous customer service (or lack… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Dangerous Dave
Xaun Loc

Clearly you bought your P365 in 2019 or before — and obviously have not looked at the prices at the few dealers that actually have one in 2021.

Montana454Casull

Go big or go home , Tauras Raging bull 454 Casull . Just not a 9mm fan or a striker fired plastic pistol guy ! Bigger is better in my world .

gsteele

Right – and so concealable! If you’re a buffalo.

Dangerous Dave

I purchased one of these on sale because the reviews were pretty good and the price was cheap enough. I fired exactly two shots and the front sight disappeared, never to be seen again. I sent it back to Taurus and waited. When it came back, I made it through two full magazines, and this time I actually caught the front sight falling off the gun before it disappeared. Now I’m thinking there may be a problem with the slide where the sight mounts, because what are the odds of the front sight coming off TWICE with less than 30… Read more »

Pa John

In my immediate household there are several Taurus G2’s and a G2C (A G2C is basically a newer almost identical G2 minus the built in gun lock, and they can all share the same 12 round magazines), and they all shoot and function just fine. Easily as accurate as the shooter at typical self-defense distances, pretty much what you’d expect from a 3.2″ barrel regardless of brand. Speaking of Brazil, here is a DuckDuckGo search for “Brazil loosens gun laws”: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Brazil+loosens+gun+laws&atb=v314-1&ia=web For those with little time or inclination to follow links, here is just one of the headlines that search… Read more »

Dangerous Dave

After stating in a previous comment that I’d never buy one of these because the price was too close to what I paid for my P365 on a good sale. Well, I caught one of these on sale for $299, and thought, what the hell, so I bought one. What a mistake. First trip to the range with it went like this. First shot, dead bullseye at 10 yards. Nice. Second shot almost in the same hole! Wow! Third shot…wait…where the hell did the front sight go?! Gone! Son of a… Not good, but Shit happens. Sent it back to… Read more »

Dubi

Hi Lee, who designed this pistol. To me it looks like a Sirkis design, perhaps I am wrong.

PMinFl

Already for sale for $401.69 at KYguns.