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-9Sig Sauer P365Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat line.
 

The Basics 

 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
The Taurus GX4 with its standard 11-shot mag filled with 147-grain Browning JHPs and a 12th round in the pipe is 23.9 ounces, making it the company's entry into the growing "Micro 9" field. (All Photos: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
The GX4 also undercuts the already popular Taurus G3C pistol in size and weight, while giving up a round of capacity.  The newer Taurus also has much better grip ergonomics. 

 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
The Taurus GX4 comes from the factory in a hard case with two flush 11-round steel-bodied magazines made by Mec-Gar in Italy. Also included are an extra backstrap, cable lock, and assorted literature. 

 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
The company offers an optional extended 13-shot mag as well, which adds to the grip. In my opinion, Taurus should ship the GX4 with both an 11-shot and a 13-shot mag instead of two of the shorter mags, but that is just me. 
Taurus GX4
The 11+1 shot Taurus GX4 is definitely compact. Micro compact, you could say. 

 

Maintenance


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. 
 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
After clearing the gun, I tried the take-down pin with a range of flathead screwdrivers and multi-tools with no problem but couldn't get it to turn with the rim of a cartridge. 

 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
Once the pin is turned, you can push the loaded slide up and away from the grip frame and complete a basic field strip. Inside, note the matte stainless inner frame rails, dual captive recoil spring, and satin black DLC coating on the stainless-steel barrel. Operational control parts have a Teflon coating, and the steel slide stop has polymer overmolding. Metal internal parts are nickel plated. The slide, with front and rear serrations, has a gas nitride coating. 


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. 
 

GRAB A NEW GX4 TODAY!

 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
The GX4 has fixed steel white dot sights with the rear serrated sight being drift adjustable. 

 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
Glock-pattern, Taurus offers an AmeriGlo front night sight and screw to upgrade the GX4 for like $29 that swaps out with a Glock tool. 

 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
This is an average two-magazine group from the 7-yard position, which hit just off the "x." For the record, Winchester USA Ready flat-nosed FMJ tended towards smaller groups. 

 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
Recoil, on a gun in the 20-ish ounce range with a stubby slide, was snappy, especially in one-handed shooting with the flush-fit mag, as shown. However, the GX4 was easy to get back on target, and we found the longer 13-shot mag helped by providing more purchase on the grip for the last finger. 


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. 
 

Carry


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. 
 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
Part of a complete breakfast including the GX4 stuffed with Browning X-Points in a DeSantis holster, 13- and 11-shot mags, a CobraTec FS-X double action OTF knife that I "borrowed" from one of our staff photographer's shoots, and my ThurNite T1 1500 lumen pocket light. 


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. 
 

Closing Thoughts


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. 
 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
The Taurus GX4 has an asking price in the $392 range. 

 

Taurus GX4 Micro Compact 9mm
Besides the plain black, Taurus offers the GX4 in Tungsten or Coyote Tan as well (Photo: Taurus)

 

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