[Review] Taurus G3c: The Brand New 9mm

I was minding my own business one day when I got a call from my media contact at Taurus. 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. I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement in case my review was ready before the 15th of June, the official G3c launch date. Well, that didn’t really matter, as my gun’s shipment was delayed a bit, so there are already some reviews online. As for this reviewer, I plan to wring the gun out and see just what the secrecy, etc. was about. I picked this gun up today at my good friend Duane’s gun shop – it seems like I think that sometimes it might be easier, in terms of transfer, if I had my own FFL, but then better reasoning kicks in and I’m glad to have to go get the guns from him. That’s just another opportunity to have a visit with my good friend.

First Impressions

I opened the box today and looked upon its contents…I think we have a winner, ladies and gentlemen. Here’s why I think so, without even having the opportunity to shoot it yet:

  • 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. After I shoot it, my opinions may change – we’ll see. Anyway, it looks really good right from the get-go. So, now let’s look at the gun.

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Specs and Pictures

First, here are the specs, both from Taurus and from my measurements…

Caliber:9mm
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
Length:6.3 in
Height:5.1 in
Width:1.2 in
Weight:22 oz.
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
MSRP:$305
Real-World Price:~ $250-$280
Taurus G3c profile left
Gun in profile…the gun is a virtual clone of the G2C.

Taurus G3c profile right

Taurus G3c field stripped
Field-stripped
Taurus G3c frame side
Frame
Taurus G3c frame from top
The inside of the frame is very clean (except for oil, of course) – no post-production leftovers in here.
Taurus G3c slide left
Slide

Taurus G3c slide right

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.

Taurus G3c slide inside
The inside of the slide.

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 G3s 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).

Taurus G3c front sight
Sights

…and, if you want to replace the front sight, just take it off via this screw:

Taurus G3c front sight screw

Taurus G3c rear sight

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 glare when I shot the gun.

Taurus G3c grip texturing
Here is the grip.

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.

Taurus G3c trigger

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.

Taurus G3c box contents
Here is the box it came in.

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…

Taurus G3c magazines

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 mates up with a similar cut in the grip…here’s a shot of it:

Taurus G3c mag cuts

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.

Taurus G3c barrel recoil spring
The Barrel and Recoil Spring

Nothing new, here, folks…move along…

Taurus G3c barrel feed ramp
The feed ramp is polished sufficiently – I had no troubles feeding different bullet shapes.

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 RN1097307
NovX 65-gr. RN Practice Load1595 (really!)367
Handload: Lee 124-gr. RN/4.8 gr. Long Shot1000278

Let’s look at some targets…

Taurus G3c target winchester
Winchester “White Box”
Taurus G3c target novx
NovX

If you’re not familiar with this ammo, please read my review on NovX. This stuff just screams out of a short 9mm barrel.

Taurus G3c target handload
Handload

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.

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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. I look at the G3c before me and see something 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 is going to happen in the letter he sent out via email a while ago, 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 sold my G2c in order to buy it. I guess I’m putting my money where my mouth is, to quote the old saying. 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.

Mike
Written by Mike

Mike has been a shooter, bullet caster and reloader for over 40 years. Never one to be satisfied with the status quo, he is often found at his reloading bench concocting yet another load. With a target range in his backyard and after 40 years of shooting, his knowledge of firearms and reloading is fairly extensive. He is married, with four sons and daughters-law and 8-and-counting grandkids.

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