Review: Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm After 500 Rounds
We've been kicking around the new Taurus GX4 over the past couple of months and have some things to say about it.
Taurus announced the new micro-compact semi-auto pistol in May, billed as an 11+1 shot 9mm that was roughly the size of a traditional .380 pocket gun that had half the capacity. The specs of the polymer-framed striker-fired handgun – 5.8 inches long with the small backstrap installed, about an inch wide, and 4.4 inches high with the flush-fit magazine inserted – put it in the same boat as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat line.
Unlike most of the semi-auto pistols on the market that have a toolless takedown, the GX4 requires a tool to move the take-down pin in the frame a quarter-turn.
Reassembly occurs in reverse and involves no tricks.
On the Range
We ran the Taurus GX4 with a mix of 500 rounds of 115-, 124-, and 147-grain factory 9mm loads including Winchester white box round-nosed FMJ, Winchester red box USA Ready flat-nosed FMJ, Federal training loads, and some assorted steel case (who knew the latter would soon become collectible!). Self-defense loads included Winchester's USA Ready 124-grain JHP+P and Browning's X-Point 147-grain JHP. When it came to reliability, the Taurus emulated the G3C we tested last year and ran like a clock, with no stoppages or failures.
Accuracy, testing in practical offhand shooting out to 25 yards, was acceptable, running ragged groups. We did not test it from the bench as it is not a bench gun.
The trigger is flatter than those previously used by Taurus and breaks at 90-degrees with very little take-up and a 6-pound pull on average. For a factory trigger, it felt good and offers a second-strike capability that doesn't leave the user with a dead trigger in the case of a hard primer. More on that in a second but check out this video of the trigger in use:
While we were testing our GX4, there surfaced a few videos on the web of individuals having issues with the trigger on their guns struggling to reset or failing to engage the striker outright. To try and replicate this reported failure, besides the 500 live rounds, we subjected our review gun to several hundred trigger pulls in dry fire with snap caps and found our pistol to have no issues we could report. As always, with any gun intended for self-protection, be sure to test it in sufficient live fire before using it as an EDC piece.
During the test period, we carried the GX4 for about 200 hours under multiple conditions and environments, finding it to be an ideal size for deep concealment such as in AIWB. Crossbreed, DeSantis, Galco Gunleather, Mission First, and others all have fits available for the model, making it easy to find a carry holster. With that, the gun is still big for ankle or pocket carry, at least with my ankles and pockets.
Speaking to the materials used in its construction, we found no rust or corrosion despite its close carry by a sweaty fat guy in the Gulf South during summer. The flush, no-snag profile of the pistol allowed for an easy draw stroke even when pulling from concealment.
Unlike the other lilliputian 9mm pistols on the market, the GX4 currently is not offered in an optics-ready format, although it should be noted that Taurus recently added the TORO series to its legacy G3 line, to include selling optics-cut slides separately for upgrade, so the possibility that a GX4 with a red dot cut in the future shouldn't be ruled out.
The GX4 has a $392 asking price, which smokes the competition, so you can't throw too many rocks at the company for not including night sights, an MRD cut, and extended mags with the basic gun. The closest thing to that price point up to now is the optics-ready Ruger MAX-9 with an MSRP of $499, with the other pistols running north of there.
Stay tuned as we stretch the GX4 to 1,000 rounds and beyond.