Some guns get all the glory, and others just do their jobs. Taurus’ compact G3c pretty much falls into that latter category. That’s kind of good news for us. For one thing, the G3c does its job reliably and very well. The other good news is that glory is often expensive, and the G3c pistol is not. Plus, in my very humble opinion, it’s not a bad-looking carry pistol. 

From my experiences, Taurus’ recent line of concealable 9mm pistols has consistently provided impressive function at budget-friendly prices. But they often get overlooked by people searching for a reliable self-defense handgun. The likes of Glock, Sig Sauer, Springfield, and Smith & Wesson cast a somewhat unfair shadow over these Taurus guns when it comes to concealed carry options. In transparency, I’ve owned a few of each brand. 

In fact, a range buddy offered to buy one of my Glocks from me while we were at the range a few weeks ago. I don’t generally like parting ways with any of my guns, and I couldn’t bring myself to break ties with that Glock just then. I love that pistol and have put a few miles on it. But what he really wanted was a solid self-defense and range gun at a good price. 

So, I offered him a chance to run the Taurus for a few mags, and off he went on a hunt for a new G3c. I can totally understand why.

Up-Front Value

In testing this Taurus G3c, I can honestly say we’ve spent more on ammo than the gun cost. Better yet, even when I gave it “crummy” ammo, it was a solid shooter. I’m well over 600 rounds of a mix of ammo on this gun, and that’s not counting the other shooters I’ve passed it off to for further testing.  

I’m also going to say we did nothing to baby this pistol over multiple range visits and various shooters. Many pistols suggest a break-in period of at least 200 rounds. Some even recommend that you use specific ammunition inside the gun and generously clean it between range trips. Heck, that’s fair enough, and I extend that recommendation to testing any magazine you want to carry as well.

While I definitely still recommend you push any self-defense gun through a break-in period and test the ammo you want to carry, I did not treat this pistol with such affection. I took the G3c out of the box with no cleaning and ran it exactly as it came to me from the factory. Right out of the box, it functioned like a charm. 

Specs & Function

The Taurus G3c is a budget pistol, but don’t judge it as such. I routinely carry a Sig P365 and a Sig P320. For size comparison, the G3c falls nicely in between these two workhorses. It does that at a fraction of the price, and it’s plenty concealable with enough meat to hold on to when shooting. I’ve listed some more specs below, and they are impressive for a gun at this price point.

  • Length: 6.3 inches
  • Width: 1.2 inches
  • Height: 5.1 inches
  • Weight: 22 ounces
  • Barrel Length: 3.2 inches
  • Sight Radius: 5.125 inches
  • Trigger Pull: 5.6-pound average
  • Capacity: 12+1

The sights are also Glock-style compatible, so there are plenty of options if you want to add night sights or metal three-dot sights. Overall, this line of Taurus guns has shown consistent improvement over time as well.

While this is a bit anecdotal, the triggers on the Taurus carry line of pistols seem to have gone through an evolution of improvement. Having owned and regularly fired the Taurus PT709 Slim as well as the preceding PT111 Millennium and G2c, the G3c feels crisper in the break and more positive in the reset. The mush I was accustomed to with my old PT709 Slim, a reliable and slim gun itself, is mostly gone in the G3c.

The trigger pull itself in single action comes in at 5.6 pounds for me. There is a generous amount of take-up before the wall, but it is just light enough to let you know you are actuating the trigger. The wall is positive and, for a gun at this price point, quite crisp. The reset is around a quarter of an inch, and rapid-fire shooting is both easy and reliable. 

I have never short stroked this pistol. Beyond that, and many may find this comforting in a self-defense pistol, the gun offers a double-action/second-strike function. It is designed to be carried in single-action mode and offers a thumb safety, but the gun is capable of double-action firing if a round fails to fire. That sets it apart from comparable carry guns like the Glock 26, which is longer but also shorter in height.

Height is an appropriate transition into the experience of shooting this gun.

Taurus G3c in a man's hand
The G3c is a nice fit for my hands. (Photo: Paul Peterson/
Taurus G3c safety
There is a thumb safety, which works well and is easy to train with. (Photo: Paul Peterson/
Taurus G3c grip texture
The patches of grip texture provide great control. (Photo: Paul Peterson/


Range Time

My hands are above average in size. Nevertheless, I find it easy to gain a comfortable grip on the gun without sacrificing concealability. The gun is very controllable, and the thumb safety is positive but easy to manipulate.

We ran the gun through several rapid-fire tests, and it functioned flawlessly. It is compact, but the sight radius is about as generous as you can get with a pistol this size. The magazine also ran without a single hiccup, and it offers plenty of firepower at 12+1 rounds. Muzzle flip was also easily controlled. It is not a snappy gun, and shooting it is comparable to a Glock 19.

One feature that really stands out is the grip zones. The G3c has a series of grippy patches that weld very nicely to your hand when shooting. There’s even an ambidextrous dimple for your trigger finger on both sides of the gun. The grip texture is in all the right spots for me as a shooter, and the newer G3c version also offers the addition of front slide serrations. I personally have no complaints, and all the texture seems to fall into a nice Goldilocks zone for me.

My Thoughts

Taurus G3c pistol on a bundle of bushes
The G3c is robust but light enough to easily carry. (Photo: Paul Peterson/


G3c pistol on black background
At the same time, it is a nice-looking pistol. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

I own several Glocks and Sigs. They are still on the top of my list for go-to guns. But I would not hesitate to carry the G3c. For me, the safety is an extraneous feature that is easily trained around. I know plenty of other shooters who prefer to have the thumb safety. That’s a personal choice.

In function, with the exception of the safety, the disassembly and reliability of the gun stands alongside my Glock 19/17 and Sigs. It would be a great backup gun, home defense pistol, daily concealed carry firearm, range pistol, you name it. Since I called out the safety, I think it is worth noting that I never actually had any issues with it when shooting. I reset the safety regularly while shooting, and I had no issues with failing to slide it down before firing.

Cards on the table – this is a nice gun that deserves consideration if you are looking for something reliable, fun to shoot, and effective.

revolver barrel loading graphic