Last year, we noticed a strange but undeniable trend. Somehow, despite all the odds and options, the older Taurus G2c semi-auto 9mm pistol consistently landed as one of the best-selling guns on every single month. The gun is nearly a decade old now, and there’s even a newer version – the G3c that’s also budget-friendly – but the G2c continued to just dominate, and we had to understand why. 

Fortunately, I also happen to be a fan of the G2c, so I had one in my personal collection. But as a budget gun, I never really babied my G2c. It’s been one of those guns that gets cleaned last, shot fairly often, and is normally fed the cheaper ammo for range time. 

While it’s tempting to clean the gun up after shooting and before it gets its photo shoot, it also just feels more honest to run the gun dirty and say how it does. In this case, the Taurus G2c not only functioned at 100 percent on the range, but it also chewed threw some ammo that gave a few other test guns consistent issues. 

Specs, Function, and History

Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol
The gun is a fairly standard striker-fired design that's reminiscent of the Glock 19 on the inside and in how it is disassembled. As you can see, it's been a bit since it got a good cleaning. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

When I say I shot this gun dirty, I do mean over months without cleaning and mostly with just the most affordable reloads and other cheap 9mm I could get my hands on. I was not surprised that it worked and worked well. The Taurus line of affordable carry guns have been consistent performers for me, and their size has always lent them to being easy carry guns.

From the newer G3c to the PT709 Slim and the previous PT111 that differs only slightly from the follow-on G2c – the naming convention being one of the biggest differences – I can only remember one issue with Taurus’ budget carry guns. That wasn’t really a Taurus problem, as it came from an aftermarket magazine that would cause the occasional hiccup. If it came from Taurus, so far, I can say it has functioned and run reliably. 

RELATED: Budget Friendly and Big Capacity: Taurus G3c Is a Winner

Oddly, though, I find that the G2c – and newer G3c – line shoot really well for me. I’ve paid a lot more money for a larger Glock 19, and I am on the fence about which one I actually shoot better.

Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol
I've been running this gun dirty with dirty ammo, but it has also chewed through defensive loads like Hornady Critical Defense and Sig Sauer Elite Performance. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

The standard capacity for the G2c and G3c is 12+1, and the G2c weighs in at 20.5 ounces unloaded. Actually, the gun is fairly comparable in size to the single-stack Glock 43X, but with a higher capacity and generally much lower cost. Empty magazines also eject with some gusto even if the slide is locked to the rear, which is a nice feature that is easy to miss and sometimes lacking on much more costly firearms. 

At first, I questioned the trigger pull, because the online specs from Taurus put it at between 5 and 9 pounds. The gun is technically capable of shooting with a double-action trigger, but that is more of a second-strike option for a light primer strike. There is no decocker, so the gun will almost always be fired as a single-action-only gun, but the second-strike option is there and another often overlooked feature.

For my shooting, the trigger pull is closer to 4.87 pounds for single action and a surprising 5.9 pounds for the longer double-action pull. The trigger is a bit spongy with some creep, but it performs well in practical shooting and resets for me naturally as I recover and aim after each shot. It also points more naturally for me than a Glock 19 with its 22-degree grip angle, but the sight radius is shorter at 5 inches, making it nearly an inch shorter than the G19. Yet, somehow, I still shoot it almost as well if not better than my stock Glock 19 Gen 4. It’s budget, sure, but it's effective and fun to shoot.

What Does Budget Get You?

So, prices will range a bit for a G2c, but they can be consistently found between the $200 and $300 mark. Occasionally, you might even find a used one that comes with a bunch of extras like holsters and spare magazines, which can now stretch to 15 and 17 rounds.

Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol
This has been a fairly average grouping after running four mags – 48 rounds – through the gun at a reasonably rapid pace of around one round per second from 15 yards. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

This gun is sitting at 750+ rounds since I acquired it as a used firearm, and I’ve learned that the trigger feel when dry firing doesn’t do the gun justice. On the range, I barely notice this is a budget stock trigger, and we’ve stretched it out to 30 yards with consistent hits on an 8-inch steel plate. As a used gun, this one did come with some Talon grip tape, but I actually like the patched stippling that comes with the stock G2c and G3c, and there are dimples for your index finger and thumbs to help you “feel” your grip position while shooting.

Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol
This used gun came with added grip tape, but I actually like the original patches of stippling. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

It also has a dual recoil spring, and the recoil is quite controllable for follow-on shots. In fact, I’m not quite sure why this is true given its size, but it’s one of the more controllable compact pistols I’ve fired. The G3c is comparable, with the added benefit of front slide serrations that are missing on the G2c. The gun also breaks down almost identically to a Glock 19, and it requires a pull of the trigger to remove the slide and barrel assembly. 

It's a somewhat minor point, but the front rail could take a small light if you wanted to add one. For me, I would consider this a great entry-level concealed carry gun that checks all the boxes for anyone who just wants an affordable, reliable, simple carry gun. Upgrading it or adding bells and whistles almost defeats that beautifully simple concept.

I suspect that is why the gun excels. It’s affordable, reliable, predictable, and simple. 

Stones to Throw


Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol
Probably my biggest complaint is the thumb safety. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

Whelp, if you want to throw stones at a gun that comes in around two bills and has run like a Glock 19 but is smaller and carries comfortably, I guess it would start with the safety. Some people love it, some hate it, and I have become more or less indifferent about it on the G2c. 

The safety is a downward-stroke thumb-safety design, and it’s positive and audible in both directions. It’s also fairly slim and unobtrusive. In general, if you like thumb safeties, this one isn’t bad. If you don’t, I can empathize, but I also have become very comfortable just working with it. 

Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol
The gun already hosts a trigger safety, so many might find the thumb safety to be an unnecessary addition. (Photo: Paul Peterson/
Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol
The Taurus website also only lists two magazines that come with the gun, and I would have liked to see that be three. But as a used gun, this one already came with three mags and a holster. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

That said, the gun already has a trigger-blade safety, so it’s a somewhat redundant feature if you prefer those. However, for many concealed carriers – particularly newer ones or those accustomed to the 1911 – that thumb safety is a nice addition that brings some extra piece of mind. To date, it hasn’t been an issue other than a topic for theoretical debates about manual safeties on carry guns. 

Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol
Smaller than the Glock 19, the G2c differs only slightly from the newer G3c. (Photo: Paul Peterson/
Taurus G3c 9mm Pistol
Two of the most striking differences with this newer G3c are the addition of front slide serrations and a Glock-style rear sight dovetail. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

A bigger concern might actually be the sights. One of the two big changes between the older G2c and the newer G3c is the addition of Glock-style dovetails for the rear sights on the G3c. That’s a solid upgrade in my book, and it means more than the addition of front slide serrations for me. It’s just far easier to get aftermarket sights that fit a Glock footprint. This gun does have metal aftermarket phosphorus sights, so there are still other options for the older G2c sights.

Taurus G2c 9mm Pistol sights
This gun has aftermarket metal phosphorus sights, which are bright but need to be charged. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

The phosphorus sights are very bright if you charge them with a flashlight, but that brightness fades after an hour or so. If, however, you’re fine with the stock adjustable sights that come with the gun – which are rear-adjustable – then that’s probably not a huge concern. In fact, adding nice tritium sights to a budget gun is a fast way to turn a budget gun into a less-than-cheap option anyway.

Final Thoughts: Would I Carry It?

Yes, I would carry this gun, and I’m on the fence about whether or not I shoot it better than my other carry guns like the Sig P365. It works, and I shoot it well. The same thing was true for the Taurus G3c. I’m not 100-precent sure how Taurus is making and selling these guns at the price point it offers, but I will say that the Taurus carry line has worked well for me personally after more than 2,000 rounds through the PT709 Slim, G2c, and G3c that were also personal purchases.

The guns have excelled at being budget-friendly and reliable firearms for me and other shooters that I’ve talked to about them. I also like the rather small profile that they offer, which conceals well but still feels like a full-size gun when you’re on the range. 

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