Taurus earlier this year released a stretched slide version of their well-liked G3C, promising full-size pistol performance in a compact package in the new G3XL. Here's what we found out.
The 9mm Taurus G3XL carries over the standard model G3’s full-size Tenifer-finished all-steel slide and 4-inch stainless-steel barrel assembly. A crossover concept, it also borrows from the G3C by using its compact grip frame. The resulting G3XL thus has the benefit of the longer sight radius, tending to better accuracy over shorter barrels, while adding a few fps to bullet velocity for increased terminal performance. Meanwhile, the smaller frame allows easier carry than the standard-sized G3.
The end result is a very concealable 12+1 capacity handgun that still allows a decent sight radius akin to the one seen on the Glock 19, while just weighing 24 ounces and coming in a bit shorter in height.
Compared to other Taurus G3 Models
The G3XL stacks up well when compared to the rest of its family, such as the 15+1 G3X and the 12+1 G3C compact. While the G3C and G3X are the same length due to their common 3.2-inch barrel, the G3XL runs almost an inch longer due to its 4-inch barrel and corresponding slide.
All three pistols will accept the available 15- and 17-round magazines meant for the standard G3.
On the range
The first hundred rounds through the Taurus was fitting – all steel-cased Wolf hardball. We then followed this up with several boxes each of Federal's American Eagle 115-grain FMJ and Syntech 115-grain polymer-coated Total Synthetic bullets. For personal defense ammo, we ran a box of 124-grain Speer Gold Dot JHPs and three of Federals 124-grain HST tactical loads. In all, we found zero issues feeding or performing.
The Taurus cycled everything. The only jam we had was the Smuckers on the sammy before heading out to the range.
The striker-fired system on all of Taurus' G3 models use a single-action trigger with a restrike capability. We found our test gun to break at about 5 pounds after a deep take-up and to have a short reset for a factory striker-fired trigger. While it is no competition race gun trigger, it is functional.
Check the trigger pull and reset out on the range.
Accuracy was decent, with steel Glock-pattern sights, utilizing a blacked-out rear and a white dot front. At the 7-yard mark, you could stack groups with range ammo in practical shooting. Pushing back to the 15 and 25, keeping center mass hits was easy, even in rapid strings. After running over 1,000 rounds through the shorter-barreled G3C over the years, I can attest that the G3XL was less snappy in comparison and easier to get back on target.
At the end of the day, the Taurus G3XL has a lot going for it. The shorter grip frame of the G3C series allows for easy concealability while the more standard-sized slide and barrel of the G3 provide a bit more peace of mind when it comes to performance. The G3XL is more fun to shoot than the shorter G3C. That's good from a training standpoint if you follow the logic that if a gun is easier on the user while at the range, it will thus make it out of the safe more and gain additional "lead equity" over other models. A gun you shoot more is a gun you carry, a gun you trust.
That, along with easy-to-find magazines, lots of holster options (the G3XL fits in just about any standard G3 holster), and the ability to quickly swap out sights from a common pattern go a long way towards supporting the pistol.
Also, did we mention it can usually be had for under $350, even with today's inflation?