Taurus G3X 9mm
By Massad Ayoob
At $342.98, Taurus’ newest G3 is ridiculously priced … low-priced, that is
Built at the new, modern plant in Bainbridge, Georgia, the G3X presents itself as Taurus’ answer to the uber-popular Glock 19: a 15+1 round 9mm Parabellum, striker-fired with a polymer frame, no thumb safety, and Glock-ish takedown. Like the G19, it’s in that sweet spot “Mama Bear” size that’s suitable for uniform duty wear but also amenable to concealed carry.
Trigger reach was about the same as the Glock 19. Pointing — always a subjective characteristic — was good. The sights were decent: white dot post front, serrated square-notch fixed rear. Stippling was aggressive and the grip filled the hollow of the palm nicely. For sure, it’s not going to slip.
The left-side-only mag release button was easy to reach and activate, even for this elderly tester’s arthritic thumb. Ejected magazines shot right out of the bottom. The mags themselves were easy to fill up to capacity, even with arthritic hands, and easy to insert and positively lock in even when full up and with the slide forward.
The trigger pull of the G3X is very good, producing a 5.021-pound average pull weight. There is a long and very light take-up until you “hit the wall” of firm resistance, then, there’s a light, very short roll, and the shot breaks. If you have a bad primer and get a misfire, the G3X is one of the rare polymer striker guns that gives you a second chance: “second strike” capability.
A Potentially Life-Saving Feature
The G3X is designed as a self-defense pistol. When the rapist/strangler/grizzly bear/whatever is right on top of you, you may have to press your gun muzzle right against the deadly threat and pull the trigger. Most semi-automatic pistols will go out of battery in that situation and fail to fire. This one, apparently, won’t! Its recoil spring guide design gives it “stand-off capability”: it will remain in battery (the parts in alignment to allow firing) and reward you with that life-saving shot.
Testing started with 147-grain subsonic; the Remington-UMC jacketed truncated cone training load. This load put five shots into 3.85-inches with the tightest trio in 1.00-inch even — much more promising, and an example of why I take that second measurement.
The 124-grain load was Sig’s famously accurate Elite Performance jacketed hollow point, which lived up to its reputation with the best overall group of the test: 1.95-inches, with a “best three” measurement of 1.15-inches.
For 115 grain, I used American Eagle full metal jacket, my most often purchased personal 9mm training load. The group measured 3.95-inches for all five hits and 1.90-inches for the best three.
The average “best three” measurements indicated sub-two-inch group potential, and the five-shot groups were all well within the classic standard of “four inches at 25 yards is acceptable service pistol accuracy.” As a bonus, the gun was sighted in from the factory, which is always a positive sign of quality control and inspection before the pistol is shipped.
On the Clock
I shot the G3X over the civilian qualification course I give beginer students: six rounds in eight seconds one-hand-only with either hand at four yards, with two-handed shooting starting at seven yards, three cover positions from ten paces, and three different stances at fifteen yards for a total of sixty shots at about “Police Pistol Course” speed. The gun came back on target nicely between shots; the sight picture was adequate and speed reloads were a breeze. I wound up with one shot from fifteen yards just kissing the center zone’s line and fined myself one point, finishing with a 299 out of 300. 99.7% ain’t bad for an economy-grade pistol with a trigger pull that was new to the shooter and spoke well of the gun.
Like me, the testers who shot it were surprised by this economy-priced pistol’s accuracy and handling capabilities. The Taurus G3X sells for $342.98, which is an almost ridiculously low price for today’s standards. This will put it in the hands of many people who might not be able to afford a handgun that has had more time to build a reputation. See the entire G3 line at your nearest dealer, or for more information, contact Taurus USA; Tel.: (229) 515-8464; Web: www.taurususa.com.