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I was minding my own business one day when I got a call from my media contact at Taurus back in June 2020. He said Taurus was coming out with something new, a new 9mm. It would ship with either three 10- or 12-round magazines and was based on the four-inch-barreled G3 full-size 9mm pistol that Taurus came out with not too long ago. Knowing that Taurus can be fairly innovative when it comes to firearms design, I was anxious to see the gun, take it through its paces and write the ultimate Taurus G3c Review.
When I finally got to open the box my first impression was, I think we have a winner, ladies and gentlemen. Here’s why I thought so, before even shooting it:
- It’s based on the very popular G3, with the same flatter-faced single action trigger with restrike capability. Plus, it’s in 9mm, the most common concealed-carry caliber today;
- The gun has forward slide serrations (important to some folks);
- The grip texturing is even a bit more aggressive than that on its predecessor, the G2c – that grip is amazingly “sticky” and the new G3c, even more so;
- Sights are steel, with a drift-adjustable rear. The rear sights’ dovetail is cut for aftermarket replacement, most notably TruGlo tritium sights and the front is replaceable a la Glock;
- Speaking of the trigger, I didn’t have my Lyman gauge handy but I would guess that it may be around 5 pounds – more later after I measure it (see it in the Specs). The trigger is very nice, not much if any take-up or creep. And, the restrike capability means that if the primer doesn’t go “pop” the first time, pull the trigger again. Being a handloader, sometimes I don’t get the primer seated all the way down and it takes a second “whack” to get it to go. Easy to do with this gun;
- Holsters should be easy to find, as the gun is a near-clone of the G2c. Many choices abound. (Later: I did try to stick the G3c into a kevlar IWB holster I have for the G2c – no go. I would imagine the “softer” G2c holsters might fit it).
Remember, these are just my quick observations about the gun straight out of the box. So let’s see if they changed after shooting it. Anyway, it looks really good right from the get-go. Now let’s look at the gun.
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Specs & Pictures
First, here are the specs, both from Taurus and from my measurements…
|Capacity:||Three 12-round magazines. Taurus 15- and 17-round mags will work as well|
|Action:||Single action with restrike capability|
|Trigger Pull Weight:||5 lbs, 7.4 oz., average of 10 pulls|
|Slide:||Alloy steel, Tenifer finish; front serrations|
|Sights:||Steel, fixed front white dot, drift-adjustable serrated rear|
|Safeties:||Manual thumb, striker block|
|Operational Controls Finish:||Teflon|
|Real-World Price:||~ $250-$280|
The Slide & Materials
Note the slide engraving and the new forward serrations. The slide is finished using the Tenifer (Melonite) process, which is a method of ferritic nitrocarburizing. This makes the metal harder and more rust-resistant. Glock, S&W, and others either use or have used, this process.
I saw no extraneous machining marks. Taurus has really cleaned up their milling act, literally. Parts were polished that needed to be. The only anomaly I see is the part of the slide over the barrel – two separate channels are milled here. I would need to see other G3cs to see if this is the norm. (To the best of my knowledge this is a pre-production gun, and subsequent guns may look different).
At any rate, the thing worked great. Note the polish job on the central feed rail – it came like that from the factory. That was impressive, especially when you consider the number of guns I’ve owned that did not have that rail finished in that fashion. The time and effort I’ve expended over the years just to get the feed rail slick… at least I didn’t have to do that here. (For another take on a central feed rail, read my review of the Springfield XD(M) .45 – it’s interesting what they did).
…and, if you want to replace the front sight, just take it off via this screw:
The sights are steel, and replaceable. The dovetail is a standard-sized cut, so that aftermarket sights should soon be easily obtained. The rear is drift-adjustable, as well. Serrations helped break up the glare when I shot the gun.
Grip & Texturing
As I stated above, the texturing seems to be more aggressive than that on the G2c. I stippled my G2c grip with a soldering iron – this grip feels just about like that grip. Very aggressive, which places the gun firmly in the hand when shooting. But, it was not uncomfortable – I really like it.
The G3c trigger uses its big brother’s flatter face and reconfigured safety blade. That’s the only thing I didn’t like about the gun – either the safety blade or the trigger had a pretty sharp edge that made my trigger finger sore after a number of rounds. If it were my gun, I’d find a way to relieve that edge without compromising functionality.
Above, I made an observation about how the trigger had “not much take up or creep” – well, shooting it proved that it did have a bit of take-up, but part of that is due to its single-action striker. I measured it at just shy of 5 ½ lbs. There was a touch of creep before the striker fired, but the break was very crisp. It’s a nice trigger, much better than previous Taurus efforts.
Notice on the right two magazines, plus the one in the gun – you get three 12-round mags with this gun, not unlike some Glocks. That is a welcome touch! Speaking of those mags, here they are, all lined up…
When Taurus first started putting yellow followers in their mags, I noticed it and commented on it. I like the yellow color – you can tell when the mag is empty, or is about to run out. Witness holes are at the 6 and 12 round levels. The magazine is stamped “Caliber 9mm – MADE IN BRAZIL” on the other side so we know they’re not Mec-Gar mags but that’s OK. I’ve never had trouble with any Taurus magazine feeding or otherwise acting up. Look at the base plate – something new Taurus is doing with these mags is to add a bit of a scallop, a dishing of the plastic of sorts. That matches up with a similar indentation in the grip…here’s a shot of it:
This is just a fail-safe in case the mag doesn’t drop free – you have an easier job of removing a stuck mag in a hurry with relief “dishing” cuts than you do without them. This is by no means a new feature – other makers have done this for years – but it looks like Taurus is trying to put all the applicable features it can into this new product. I think they could take even more off the frame and mag, make the “dish” a bit deeper, but that’s just me. The photo also shows off the more aggressive grip texturing.
The Barrel & Spring
Nothing new much new to speak of there in this Taurus G3c review. Read the full Taurus G2c review for more info.
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On The Range
I tried the gun with a few different 9mm ammo brands and loads – here are the three most interesting:
|Brand/Type:||Velocity, f.p.s.:||Energy, ft./lbs.:|
|Winchester “White Box” 115 RN||1097||307|
|NovX 65-gr. RN Practice Load||1595 (really!)||367|
|Handload: Lee 124-gr. RN/4.8 gr. Long Shot||1000||278|
Let’s look at some targets…
If you’re not familiar with this ammo, please read my review on NovX. This stuff just screams out of a short 9mm barrel.
These targets were shot at 15 yards, at my backyard range. It was very sunny, and the serrations on the rear sight came in handy – no glare. The groups tend to be to the right on the target, because that’s how my eyes work. I was using a 6-o’clock hold – perhaps a center hold would have raised the groups a bit. At any rate, the sights were fairly well regulated for both these loads and my eyes, at least in terms of elevation.
How Did It Shoot?
I set my target stand up at 15 yards, with three blank targets attached. I went back to my bench and loaded the gun with the Winchester load. Taking up the slack in the single-action trigger, the shot broke. The recoil was a bit brisk but was nothing to write home about – the gun was eminently controllable. I credit the grip texturing and ergonomic design for the controllability aspect.
The sights were easy to pick up and allowed quick target acquisition. Empties were thrown well clear, to the right, and about 10-15 feet back. I repeated the exercise with the NovX load, my handload, and a few other miscellaneous 9mm loads I had hanging around. After shooting the targets, I broke out my Caldwell Ballistic chronograph and measured velocities – the results are above. In the end, the gun shot well and had no quirks or problems. It functioned perfectly, and the sights were impressive. This gun should digest whatever it’s fed, including lead bullet handloads.
Where Does The G3c Fit In?
If you’re wondering about this brand-new model and what slot it will occupy in Taurus’ line-up, I’m betting that it will replace the G2c. The “modern” progression of concealed-carry 9mms from Taurus started with the PT111 which then progressed to the PT111 G2, then it went to the G2c. The G2c was (is) a great seller and put a lot of pistol in your hand for about three hundred bucks. After the introduction of the four-inch-barreled G3 with its improved trigger, sights and ergonomics, the launch date of its compact version was widely speculated.
Now that we have the G3c, will the G2 series (G2c, G2s single-stack) continue? I don’t know, but if past history is any indication, the G2 will eventually go away in favor of the G3 series. After all, what’s not to like? Three 12-round (or 10 rounds, for those states) magazines with the ability to use 15- or 17-rounders, steel replaceable sights that use a standard dovetail/screw-post mount, great grip texturing, new trigger – that is a lot of gun for under $300.
So where does that leave those of us who own a G2c? Well, this shooter is trying to sell his in order to buy a G3c. I do like the improvements and the “shootability” of this new platform. For me it seems like a bit of a new start for Taurus – the gun just looks more “grown up”, like it belongs in the big leagues. I hope the reliability factor is there, as this gun could place Taurus in a position that it has never been in before. Receiving a serious look from the previously-Taurus-bashing compact 9mm CCW crowd. These are the folks who buy Glocks, Walthers, S&Ws, Rugers, Sigs. etc. – you get it – who say they’d never even look at a Taurus.
This gun could put Taurus on a new playing field if the company follows through and hits its improved reliability and customer service goals. I guess we’ll see if this is the case – it bears watching. If Taurus actually makes the improvements in customer service, reliabilty and website parts availability that its CEO claims are going to happen. It could be a game-changer for them. At any rate, the G3c is a heck of a bargain.
So, to sum up, I like this new gun. I must, because I ended up selling my G2c in order to buy it. Is it the best budget 9mm? Maybe… what I will definitely say is that if you are in the market for a compact 9mm and you are on a limited budget, check this one out. It should be “real-world” priced with the SCCYs, the Kel-Tecs, and other lesser-expensive guns but the build quality says it should go for more.
I’ve owned guns by those other two manufacturers (plus more “bargain guns”), but I think this gun is a heck of a buy. It remains to be seen if Taurus actually cleans up its act, but I’m hoping it will – this might turn things around for them.
As always, feel free to leave a comment below and if you like the targets I shot above, you can download them for yourself here. Now, it’s time to go to the range and do some shooting, but be safe! Thanks for stopping by.