In recent years, there has been a number of brand-name firearms companies that have chosen to relocate to the friendly political climate found in the South. One of those is Taurus USA. In 2019, Taurus has made the corporate decision to leave the Miami area and consolidate all production and assembly under one roof. The result is a 200,000-square-foot facility in Bainbridge, Georgia, that has been beneficial to the company and the community. The new facility gave the Taurus leadership the opportunity to improve and expand their line of products.
Testing the Taurus G3X
One of those products is the G3 series of semi-auto pistols. According to the Taurus website, the G3 family consists of the G3, G3c and G3XL. Between these three series, Taurus offers a total of 28 different models. The G3 is the flagship model and is considered a duty-size pistol. It is striker-fired 9mm with a polymer frame. The standard G3 features a 4-inch barrel and has a magazine capacity of 15 rounds. Taurus also ships the G3 with 10-round magazines where required by state law. It has an overall length of 7.28 inches, a height of 5.20 inches and weighs 24.8 ounces.
The G3 series features a steel alloy slide that is finished in a black Tenifer finish. The operating system is a modern striker-fired design that features a plunger striker safety, a captured dual recoil spring assembly and a stainless steel barrel. Unlike some modern pistols, Taurus has contoured the slide with a flat top and nicely radiused edges. The leading edge of the slide features three cocking serrations on each side and is beveled for easy re-holstering. The sights are made from steel and are very functional with a plain black rear blade and a white-dot front sight.
Enter the G3x
Given that Taurus had a full-size G3 and the compact G3c, the next logical step was to blend the two pistols. Taurus recently introduced the new G3x to the market, which combines the full-size frame of the G3 with the shorter slide of the G3c.
While the frame of the G3x is considered a compact size, it was large enough for me to obtain a full firing grip. Textured panels called “traction pads” are located on the frame to assist in obtaining a positive grasp on the pistol. I appreciated the rounded edges of the trigger guard and the undercut front strap. The G3x has a beveled magazine well and a backstrap extension that is contoured to the magazine baseplate. While the magazine release and slide stop appear smaller than normal, we found them fully functional. The magazines of the G3x are metal with a bright yellow follower. The magazines that came with our test pistol had a 15-round capacity. The shorter slide features a 3.2-inch barrel giving the G3x an overall length of 6.3 inches.
Solid Trigger System
The trigger on the Taurus G3x averaged just over 5 pounds when measured on an electronic trigger gauge. When comparing striker-fired triggers, I generally use a stock Glock as the standard. The G3x’s trigger has a long take-up that measured five-eighths of an inch. The trigger did break cleanly, and the reset was similar to a stock Glock. The one difference between the two pistols is that the Taurus has a “re-strike” capability that allows a second trigger pull without cycling the slide.
Disassembly of the G3 series is pretty standard. Once the pistol is confirmed as being empty, the process requires the trigger to be pulled. The slide is retracted slightly, and the dual takedown levers are depressed. The slide is then removed from the frame, and the recoil spring and barrel can be removed.
On the range, the new Taurus held its own as we shot a large variety of ammunition. I first ran a box of Fiocchi 115-grain FMJ to become accustomed to the new Taurus. I then attempted to see if I could induce a malfunction. Next, I first fired 10 rounds without having a magazine inserted in the pistol. I experienced no malfunction to feed and ejection was positive and consistent. I then fired a couple of magazines while simulating a compromised grip. The G3x passed these tests with no issues. It even ran the short 90-grain Super Vel load with no issues. The only issue we had was with some 147-grain match FMJ. For some reason, the feed ramp on the G3x was not compatible with the 147-grain bullet length and profile.
Initially, I was pulling shots some three inches left from 10 yards. I determined that this was the result of poor finger placement on the trigger, The different trigger take-up and break took some time to become accustomed to. The trigger, and my control, improved the more I shot the pistol.
Carry Ammo Tested
I selected three premium personal-defense loads for formal testing. These were Federal’s Syntech Defense, Hornady’s American Gunner and Speer’s G2 Carry Gun. During my initial examination, I was concerned about the low-profile sights. The front sight is shorter than the sight on my Glock 19. On the range, this was not an issue. For accuracy testing, I shot all groups off-hand from 15 yards. All three loads grouped around 2 inches or better if I did my part. I also shot a “Test,” which is 10 shots fired from 10 yards, with a par time of 10 seconds. The score on my first attempt was 94, which I was pretty pleased with. Stretching the gun to 20 yards, I was able to keep all of the rounds inside the 8-ring on a B-8 repair center target.
At the end of the day, the Taurus impressed me. The only issue that we experienced came at around 100 rounds. The locking block roll pin started to walk out of the frame. After we re-centered it, we had no further issues. The “traction pad” grip panels gave the pistol a solid feel in the shooting hand. However, if I were going to carry the G3x daily, I would consider smoothing the panels slightly to reduce the wear on my clothing.
Overall Impressions: Taurus G3x
The G3x has a lot of positive attributes. The slide’s Tenifer finish is going to be extremely resistant to wear and corrosion. I liked the fact that the G3x has a plain rear sight and dot instead of the more common three-dot. The trigger, while different, was very good and enabled the little gun to shine on the range. While we did not have a reason to use the re-strike capability, it does offer an option to the traditional “tap, roll, rack, reassess” procedure when there is a failure to fire. It allows for easy dry-fire practice.
In overall size, the G3x falls between a G19 and a G26. The frame is large enough to accommodate a full grip by most shooters. This makes it pleasant to shoot and relatively easy to conceal. In the end, I found the pistol perfectly suitable for the concealed carrier. One final benefit is that the MSRP on the G3x is $343. This makes it a great value and places it in a class of its own for either a primary or secondary pistol. For more information, visit taurususa.com.
Taurus G3x Feature & Specs
- Caliber: 9mm
- Barrel: 3.2 inches
- OA Length: 6.3 inches
- Weight: 22.6 ounces (empty)
- Sights: Fixed front, drift-adjustable rear
- Grips: Polymer
- Action: Striker-fired semi-automatic
- Finish: Matte black
- Capacity: 15+1
- MSRP: $343
Taurus G3x Accuracy Results
|Federal Syntech Defense 138 Segmented Hollow Point||1,014||2.5|
|Hornady American Gunner 115 XTP JHP||1,062||2|
|Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun 135 G2 GDHP||1,021||1.85|
This article first appeared in the July-August 2022 issue Tactical Life magazine. Get your copy today at OutdoorGroupStore.com.