Taurus G4X gun in case

Taurus GX4 review: 11+1 capacity 9mm under $400

Looking for a full in-depth review of the brand new Taurus GX4? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I have owned and shot Taurus guns for more than a couple decades. If you have read any of my other reviews (for example the Taurus G3C review) you will be aware that I have not always been impressed by Taurus.

However, I need to state right away. This gun will be a game-changer for Taurus. I’ve never seen a gun like this with “Taurus” engraved on the slide. Let me explain…

  • Affordable – MSRP: $392
  • Easy to carry – excellent ergonomics
  • Improved trigger – comfortable flat-faced trigger with safety blade
  • Glock-style steel front and rear sights – effective and easily upgraded
  • Metal guide rod – shows real commitment to quality
  • Mec-Gar magazines – leading American supplier.

The Taurus GX4 Back Story

A while back I received an email from my contact at Taurus asking if I wanted to be in on the launch of a brand-new pistol chambered in 9mm. Of course! I jumped at the chance – I like to see new, not-yet-in-stores guns… what shooter wouldn’t? Anyway, I picked up the gun at friend Duane’s gun shop and opened the box.

At the time I was there, a mutual friend named Gary was in there. Gary is a state trooper in my home state and is a gun aficionado – we’ve had many discussions about pistols. I’ve gained some insight about some specific guns and their carry characteristics from him, knowledge that a lot of shooters just wouldn’t have access to.

At any rate, I showed him the GX4 and the first words out of his mouth were “This is made by Taurus?”

I think that sort of sums this gun up in a very succinct manner… yep, it’s made by Taurus.

Before we go on, let’s take a quick look at the current trend in small 9mm pistols and see how the new Taurus fits in. 

The current trend in 9mm pistols is to make them basically the same size or smaller than older, single-stack guns but to have them carry almost double the number of rounds that the originals carried.

An example is the new Ruger Max-9 sports a capacity of 12+1 rounds and is not much larger than its single-stack stable mate, the LC9 (for an idea, check out my Ruger LC9s review). That gun held 7 rounds plus one more with the extended magazine.

The Max-9 has not grown appreciably but holds almost twice as many rounds. The Taurus comparison might include the PT-709 Slim 9mm and this new GX4.

The Slim was 6.25” long and 4.5” high, with a width of just under an inch at .95”. It carries 7+1 rounds. One of our sons has one of these and really likes it – it’s a really decent carry gun for not a lot of money. When you compare these measurements to those of the GX4, you begin to see just how interesting this gun is. 

I have prepared a short chart that compares vital statistics of the GX4 with those of three other top-selling micro compacts. Here we go:

 Taurus GX4Glock 43Springfield HellcatSig P365
OA Length:6.05"6.26"6"5.8"
OA Height:4.3"4.25"4"4.3"
Widest Width:1.13"*1.06"4"1.06"
Weight (oz), with empty mag:17.917.918.317.98
Capacity:11+16+111, 13 both mags included10+1
MSRP:$392$580$599$530

*measured across slide stop lever. Actual slide width is 0.85″

So we see that the new GX4 lives in a pretty interesting neighborhood.

As we get into the features of the gun, I think that you might come to the same conclusion that I did – Taurus is stepping up its game. So, we see that the new GX4 is in the same size classification as some of the most popular concealed carry pistols going – but what sets it apart from previous Taurus pistols?

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Taurus GX4 compared with the G3c and Spectrum .380

Let’s compare the GX4 to two other Taurus pistols, the G3c 9mm and Spectrum .380.

Taurus GX4, Taurus Spectrum and Taurus G3c next to each other.
Top, Taurus G3c; middle, GX4, bottom, Spectrum.

Taurus GX4 and the Spectrum

Taurus Spectrum placed on top of Taurus GX4

Here’s the tiny, pocket-size Spectrum on top of the GX4. Notice how little of the GX4 is sticking out underneath the Spectrum. We must remember that the Spectrum was designed to be a 10-ounce pocket pistol – the GX4 isn’t that much larger. When you factor in capacities, the comparison gets really interesting. The Spectrum holds either 6 or 7 (shown) rounds of .380; the GX4, 11 rounds of 9mm.

Taurus GX4 and the G3c

Taurus GX4 on top of the Taurus G3c
GX4 on top of the G3c. The G3c wears a Viridian red laser, so please take that into account when you are looking at the two.

Now for the Taurus G3c. This gun is one of the best-selling semi-autos that Taurus makes, with good reason. Holding 12 rounds and including three magazines, this pistol lends itself to upgrades (Glock sights fit it) and is very easy to carry. Here are a couple of comparison photos.

Taurus GX4 placed next to the Taurus G3c
G3c, top; GX4, bottom. The G3c also sports AmeriGlo Glock night sights. The GX4 has the included large backstrap installed.

Here are some informal numbers I gathered today as I compared these three Taurus guns. I am just including relevant measurements as to gun size and weight.

 Taurus G3cTaurus GX4Taurus Spectrum
Overall Length:6.30"6.05"5.40"
Width across the widest part of the gun:1.229"1.127"0.90"
Height, no magazine:4.795"4.215"3.80"
Weight in ox. (no mags):19.3 x/laser16.110.3

So, what does all this mean? Why compare three different guns made by the same company? I just wanted you, dear reader, to understand just how small the GX4 is and to see where it will fit (snugly) into the Taurus pistol line-up. I also included some competing models from other manufacturers above so you could see how this gun lines up with some of the competition. 

The GX4 will, undoubtedly, be one pistol that will require overtime from the workers who make it – I predict that it will be a runaway success for Taurus. Why, you ask? Good question. Let’s examine it in a little detail.    

Taurus GX4 Features

Let’s just start at the beginning, with a look at the gun from each side…

Taurus GX4 close up on the left
Taurus GX4 close up on the right

Ergonomics

Notice the clean lines, without any angularity to speak of. Lines are blended and ergonomics are excellent. Not to jump ahead of ourselves, but when I shot this little gun it felt like it shot more softly than my G3c. Not quite sure how they pulled that off, but it’s amazingly smooth. Also note the forward slide serrations – great for press-checks and to cock the striker for dry-fire practice. Lastly, the front of the slide is beveled for easy insertion into a holster.

Taurus GX4 fieldstripped

Here we have the major components after a quick field-strip. Notice how the magazine’s baseplate has a slight cut that matches the grip’s relief cut at the bottom. This is to make it easier to strip a stuck magazine from the gun if it won’t fall free. I had no problems with this – the mags fly out of the grip.

Grip

Taurus GX4 grip close up

A shot of the grip. Taurus has continued its texturing pattern from the G3 and G3c – rough enough to keep the gun in your hand, but not so rough that it abrades your skin. Also note the little pin, lower left – this is the pin you remove in order to swap out the backstraps. I traded mine out – I put the more aggressively-angled one on the gun… now it feels more like a Glock, as my son pointed out.

Full-length Frame Rails

Taurus GX4 frame rail

Now, here is something that is a true departure for Taurus and shows that they are serious about changing their image – full-length frame rails. No more little “tabs” sticking up for the slide to ride on – these rails are serious. This tells me that Taurus is drastically upping their game. The left side’s rail is pretty much the same, except for the cutout for the slide stop.

Controls

Taurus GX4 controls

A good shot (above and below) of the flat-faced trigger with its safety blade. This one doesn’t pinch my finger like previous blades have done. The mag release is reversible for us lefties – yay to that! Also note the minimal slide stop/release. Yes, it does work as a release – there’s just enough of it to allow your thumb to release the slide, and the slide release spring tension is just enough to hold the slide open but not too much. Sometimes those really stiff slide release springs can cause you to have to press down the release with both thumbs – I hate that. Not very usable, unlike this one. It actually works as advertised.

Trigger

Taurus GX4 trigger

The slotted post above the trigger is the takedown lever. Turn it counterclockwise with a case rim or dime and the slide pops off, no trigger press needed. I’ll take this slotted-lever-takedown over a removable (read: easy-to-lose) takedown pin any day.

Also visible here is the roughly-textured area above the trigger on the side of the frame. This is replicated on the other side as well, and is designed to be a place for your trigger finger to rest when it’s not busy doing other things, like pulling on the trigger. It keeps your finger out of trouble.

Taurus has included this feature on at least three generations of their pistols and it’s a good thing to have – a passive reminder to keep your finger out of the trigger guard until it’s time to fire. Another use for it is as a place to park your support-hand thumb when firing – it encourages a consistent grip, a good thing.

Front Sight

Taurus GX4 front sight

The Taurus GX4 features a front sight, white dot. This sight is attached in a manner similar to Glocks’ sights – it is held in place by a screw from underneath – see below.

Taurus GX4 rear sight

Rear sight. Both sights are steel. There are replacement sights available – like the G3c, the dovetail was cut with a Glock-style sight in mind. I would imagine that those sights should be available by the time you read this. Also, there is a new addition to the rear striker plate – the bull. That new Taurus logo is getting around these days!

Taurus GX4 sight picture

Sight picture. The white dot is visible, considering it isn’t a night sight or fiber optic. 

Taurus GX4 slide underneath front sight

In the interest of front sight replacement, it is attached in the same way as it is on the G3c (and on your Glock, as well). Note the clean machining – no stray marks or chatter here.

Taurus GX4 internal engineering

Taurus GX4 slide underneath

OK… see the striker block? See how part of it has been relieved? This aids in keeping things running smoothly and helps with slide function and trigger pull as it engages the trigger bar. Also, the central feed rail is tapered from the rear to the front and has a cutout for the striker block to ride in – very nice.

Taurus GX4 recoil spring

The captive recoil spring is double-wound and uses both coil and flat wire springs. Notice that the guide rod is made of steel – another improvement from the Bull people.

Taurus GX4 barrel

The barrel. Notice the milling that relieves the top and sides of the chamber area. The feed ramp is polished – I had zero failures to feed. 

Taurus GX4 barrel feed ramp

Mec-Gar magazines

Taurus GX4 mag made by Mec-Gar

And, topping everything off – Mec-Gar magazines. Taurus had built their own magazines until now, as far as I know. This is a distinct improvement. The 11 witness holes on the other side are just icing on the cake for this example of a “stack-and-a-half” magazine. 

Taurus GX4 magazine witness holes

Final thoughts comparing the Taurus GX4

Let’s sum up the differences between this gun and its previous cousins. Bear in mind I am not an engineer or a gun designer, but I’ve lived with and shot many Taurus autoloaders for a couple of decades now so I think I know a little about them. Here are the differences between previous guns and the Taurus GX4, to the best of my knowledge – these come strictly from my observations. I have not been coached by anyone at Taurus. They didn’t want to talk about this gun in much detail before the publication deadline passed (which figures) so I was on my own. 

Another point I need to make is that the G3 and G2/G3c had started making some of these changes so those guns include some of these listed GX4 features, but it’s only in the GX4 that I see them completed and fully integrated into the new gun.

FeaturePrevious GunsTaurus GX4
Grip/Ergos:Angular, not well textured, sharp edgesSmooth line, nice texturing
Frame Guide Rails:Partial-length, 4Full-length, 2
Barrel:Alloy steelBlackened stainless steel
Finish:Nitride or other processTenifer
Sights:Plastic, rear adjustableSteel, replaceable
Recoil Spring & Guide Rod:Coil wire-wound, plastic rodFlat and coil wire, steel, captive with steel rod
Striker Block:Round, flat, not relievedRelieved and optimized
Trigger:DAO or DA/DA/re-strikeSAO, cleaner trigger pull - seems lighter than it is; flat-faced
Magazines:Built in-houseSupplied by Mec-Gar
Backstrap:Built-in, not changeableExtra, replaceable backstrap included

There are things that can’t be quantified about this gun, as well. It just feels different in the hand. This is a subjective thing that will be different for every shooter but the gun fits me and is fun to shoot.

Speaking of shooting, let’s look at that experience…

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Shooting the Taurus GX4

Let me state right off the bat that I think this gun shoots “easier” than my G3c. How I define easier is that it doesn’t feel like it kicks as much. How’s that for scientific? I really can’t explain it – I just know how it feels when I shoot it.

The gun put all the bullets on all the targets, in mostly the right places so the handling definitely aids in shooting accurately. I am convinced that the grip design has a lot to do with it – I can’t put my finger on it but the thing just fits really well. This is taking into account that the GX4 is what I call a “2-and-a-half-finger” gun – the grip allows two full fingers plus about half of my pinkie to be placed on it.

Now that I have a little more factory 9mm ammo, I was able to get a better idea of what the GX4 was capable of doing with those factory loads (and, of course, I had to shoot my favorite handload just for giggles but I didn’t include it here). At least I had fun shooting it – I’ll still swear it kicked less than my G3c, which is a larger and heavier gun. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 

20-Yard Targets

Here are a couple of 20-yard targets I shot. The gun is accurate (probably more so than I am) given that it has in essence only a three-inch barrel and a really short grip that doesn’t allow you to grip the gun fully. Even so, it works well. It was fun to shoot. A thought — if I had more ammo, I could’ve really narrowed the groups down. I hate having to limit my shooting because it doesn’t really show the gun off to its fullest extent. But, c’est la vie – such is the situation now. Hopefully it will get better in the future.

20-yard target, Fiocchi Training Dynamics, 11-grain FMJ
Fiocchi Training Dynamics 115-grain FMJ
20-yard target, Fiocchi Defense Dynamics, 147-grain JHP

Thanks to Fiocchi for providing ammo – this is really good stuff. When it re-appears on your local dealer’s shelf, pick some up – you won’t be disappointed. It’s not expensive, and it works. Plus, it’s all made here in the U.S. Handloaders – they even sell primers and those work very well.

Now is a good time to look at the GX4’s specifications. Remember that this review is being written before there is any information online about this gun, so I took what I could from the owner’s manual and my own measurements.

Taurus G4X Specs

Specifications 
Action:Single Action Only (SAO)
Capacity:11 + 1, two MecGar magazines included
Barrel:3.06"
OA Length:6.05"
OH Height:4.30"
Width:1.13”, measured at the slide stop lever; slide is narrower (.85”)
Weight:17.9 oz. with empty mag; 22.2 oz. with loaded mag (11 124-grain cartridges.); 16.1 oz., no
mag-all are my measurements
Trigger Pull:5 lbs., 13 oz. measured. About ¼” take-up, very little creep, distinct break
Sights:Serrated steel rear, windage adjustable; Steel front white dot
Materials: Slide: Black Tenifer-coated alloy steel or stainless steel; Barrel: Satin black stainless steel
Grip:Polymer
Safety:Striker block; trigger safety; loaded chamber indicator
Features:Reversible magazine release; extra backstrap
MSRP:$392
"Real-World" Price:Too soon to tell

Conclusion

I really think that Taurus won’t be able to build these things fast enough. When you consider that this gun shares many features with more expensive, similar pistols for around half their price, you tend to think you’re holding a winner in your hand.

Two things really impressed me, really stood out (well, more than two but these are at the top of the list). They are the full-length slide rails and the steel recoil spring guide rod with its flat-wire-wound spring. These are features that you usually see on pistols at the top of the food chain, not on a gun meant to sell for a bit more than $300.

Of course, the steel replaceable sights, the extra backstrap, the improved trigger and the impressive 11-round capacity all go together to make this gun remarkable. However, the first two features I named knock it out of the park as far as I’m concerned. 

Looking to buy a Sig Sauer P365 or Springfield Armory Hellcat-sized gun but your budget won’t allow it? Like the micro-compact size but with the increased capacity these guns sport?

Take a look at the GX4. By the time you read this, they should be shipping. I would imagine that a real-world price might be in the neighborhood of $325-$350, but time will tell. I do know that I was well and truly impressed with this gun – it fits in a pocket, it carries 12 rounds of 9mm, it’s accurate, it has sights that work and its grip is adaptable to your hand.

What’s not to like? If you own one of these, please let us hear from you below. As always, keep ‘em in the black and stay safe! 

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16 comments
  1. Hi Mike great article, looks like Taurus has hit it out of the ballpark here, from your pictures and what you have written seems to be well built. I am going to the range this weekend hope they have one to try. Take care have a good week.

  2. Marc, yeah, I hope you can find one to try. They’ll be ramping up shipment soon, I’d guess. I think you’ll like it. Thanks for writing!

  3. Hey Mike , Enjoyed your review, I too enjoy Taurus Product and I also Have a few, we spoke before and I think this will cement the Na sayers about The Committment that Taurus Has to its Buyers , I Trust My Taurus Products , all Of them , My Understanding is that Kygunco sold out in less than 4hrs, I will be recieving Mine Friday, Looking Foward, all other Online Outlets are already sold out !!! all of them , wow, right gun at the Right time , Just go and check out the supply , and the reviews are pretty solid, in fact Mostly all Taurus HandGuns are sold out , they must be doing something good, I think they really did their Homework , I believe that They could not afford another Spectrum ( Ill say Stall) because it really isnt a bad Gun , Just got a bad rap, and so the Sig 365 gets a pass with Broken firing pins ? go figure, any way Great review, I believe they will offer a TORO slide for Purchase later
    if so desired , Maybe , Thanks

  4. Big Al, I agree. Taurus has done its homework and has come up with a winner – a game changer for them. like I said above. Hopefully, gone are the dark days of bad QC, slow customer service, etc. I don’t think they’ll be able to make these fast enough. Thanks for writing!

    1. Got mine Sunday took My G2c with me, and yes you are right it is smoother than the G2c, I think its the weight of the slide or they way its weighted from front to back , Not sure, but smoother it is , also had the 13rd mag with me , they had the accessories already so i ordered before they sold out, and the pinky extensions , they do work well, Hope you had a Good Reflective Memorial day , Remembering all of our Fallen Heros , Take Care ,

  5. Al, glad you like it. I think Taurus won’t build these fast enough. And, yes, we owe an awful lot to our veterans, no doubt. Thanks for writing!

  6. Thanks for the comprehensive review, Mike. I was never a big Taurus fan, but after buying the G3, the 692 3″ ported barrel .357 Magnum/9mm revolver, and Taurus Defender revolver with the 3″ barrel and VZ grips, over the last two years, and being impressed with all three (especially considering the price), I picked up the GX4 today. You were accurate in your prognostication that these little semi-autos would fly off the shelf. It retails for $392 and I paid $379 for it. I was fortunate to get the last one in stock at the gun shop. With this pistol, the price of Taurus poker has gone up in order to acquire this micro 9mm. However, it still comes in at least $100 less than the Ruger Max 9, and $125-$150 less than the S&W Shield Plus, Sig P365, and Springfield Hellcat. Although I consider myself a Springfield Armory guy, I could justify the additional money for the Hellcat given the apparent quality of the GX4. Like your review, others in the review industry have been mighty impressed with this latest release from Taurus. However, I wish Taurus would have included a take down lever rather than the slotted button. I can’t really complain about much else. I already have the 13 round magazine on order. The extension on the bottom of the mag allows a full three finger grip, rather than a 2 1/2 finger grip. For $36 (plus shipping), I think it’s a wise investment. I normally do not carry pistols that chamber anything that doesn’t at least start with a “4.” But this size gun is startling easy to conceal, and with the extended magazine, can hold 14 rounds of 9mm. Not too shabby for the price as well as quality.

  7. John, good call on the GX4. Like you, I have extended mags coming for mine as well. This gun will be a sleeper for the Bull company, no doubt. It compares very favorably with my Springfield Hellcat RDP and my Springfield XD-s OSP, both of which cost more. Thanks for writing!

  8. Mike, Good thorough review. I had read some articles & paid attention to how Taurus was progressing on development of this pistol for a little while. I saw one in a store in very early June so I handled it and it felt great to me. I then went home, read your article and several others before going back and purchasing my GX4 the next day. That was 3 & 1/2 weeks ago, I have had it to the range once so far & put 100 rounds through it from a couple manufacturers without a glitch and I dare say I am quite impressed with it. I will have to be honest, I did not have a problem with the GX4, however, I did have an issue with one of the magazine followers when I was doing malfunction drills and stripped the mag hard to the ground & the follower shifted/jammed. I disassembled the mag on the bench & fixed that quickly, and with several reloadings of that mag it continued to work well afterwords. This is the 3rd Taurus handgun I own and it is by far the best. I also do own several Ruger and several Glock pistols, as well as carrying a company owned Glock on the job for over 20 years. This GX4 will become my EDC after I run more ammo through it including various defense loads to fully break it in.

  9. Gary, glad you like it. I was truly impressed, as were many other reviewers. I think Taurus has hit one out of the park with the GX4. Thanks for writing!

    1. Bob, I believe it is partially cocked but am not sure…anyone else out there have any info on this? Thanks for the question!

  10. Just bought my Taurus gx4 from Kentuckygunco this week,and waiting for my local gun store to notify me of it’s arrival. Shot 2 cz 9mm pistols,and can’t wait u till I get my gx4. All good reviews. Will find out for myself and report back

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