From Skeptic to Believer: The Taurus G3C for Everyday Carry!

The Taurus G3C Review
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From Skeptic to Believer: The Taurus G3C for Everyday Carry!

The Need for a New EDC

I never thought I would buy a Taurus, but I did, and it surprised me. There, I got that out of the way! Now, I need to explain myself.

A few years ago I moved down to South Florida from Georgia and was introduced to the idea of an endless summer and a lot of humidity.  My manner of dress changed from a deputy sheriff's uniform, and I find myself in shorts and a t-shirt every day. 

With that change of wardrobe came a change in EDC (everyday carry) guns; I no longer carry compact and full-size semi-auto pistols but instead pocket carry (in an appropriate holster) a Glock 43.

I love my Glock 43! I was issued one at the Sheriff’s office, which I carried as a backup and off-duty in my pocket during the summer.  When I retired from law enforcement, I bought a Glock 43 for myself because I enjoy them as a micro-compact 9mm. 

What I don’t like about this pistol size is the magazine capacity.  The Glock 43 is a small, slim pistol that carries 6 +1.  I carry mine with TTI (Taran Tactical Innovations) mag extensions that allow me 8+1 capacity, and it still disappears in my shorts pockets. 

But I still wanted more capacity!  I’ve been eyeing several alternatives in sub-compact, and in January I was excited to be heading to SHOT Show 2024 to handle all of them in one place.

The Encounter at SHOT Show

At SHOT Show, I ended up in the Taurus booth. While waiting to speak with someone from their marketing team, I played with their pistols on display. I handled the Taurus G2, G3, and GX4 pistols line and was shocked by what I found!

Taurus was a brand I never considered, as my past experiences with them were less than stellar. In the early 2000s, I had a friend with a .40 Taurus pistol that just gave us headaches at the range, and it never seemed to function correctly.

As a LE firearms instructor, I had also seen people attempt to qualify with Taurus products, and malfunctions and quality issues seemed typical.

Geez, they have come a long way since my earlier experiences!  At SHOT Show, I realized I was handling something markedly improved from what I had experienced from the Taurus brand of years past.

The Taurus G2, G3, and GX4 line of pistols have a really nice feel and construction quality to them.  Upon field stripping a G3C, I found many similarities to Glock pistols, which is not a bad thing!  

Let me say here: I’m not trying to poo-poo the Taurus company or brand.I want to plainly say that they seem to have had a dubious reputation, but I now have the impression that they have worked hard and successfully to improve their product offerings and reputation.

I left SHOT Show on the last day, a Friday. Before I went to bed that Sunday evening, I had won a Gunbroker auction for a G3C of my own and ordered a CrossBreed Holsters, The Reckoning AIWB (appendix in the waistband) holster!

The Taurus G3 lineup at SHOT Show in all of it's many configurations.

The Taurus G3 Line

The Taurus G3 series of pistols feature polymer frames, are striker-fired, and are offered in a range of sizes and configurations (and colors):

  • G3 -  Standard Full-Size (17, 15, and 10 RND)
  • G3 T.O.R.O. - Full size with the “Taurus Optic Ready Option” optic cut slide (17 RND)
  • G3 Tactical - Full size, optic cut slide, co-witness sights, threaded barrel (17 RND)
  • G3C - Subcompact frame and slide (12 and 10 RND)
  • G3C T.O.R.O. - Subcompact with the “Taurus Optic Ready Option” optic cut slide (12 and 10 RND)
  • G3X - Compact - no thumb safety (15 and 10 RND)
  • G3XL - Sub-compact frame, full-size slide, no thumb safety (12 and 10 RNDS)

One submodel is offered in .40 S&W, a G3C without a manual thumb safety. In addition, the G3 and G3C 9mm variants can also be optioned without the manual thumb safety.

The Taurus G3C

The Taurus G3C fit perfectly into the size envelope I was looking for. My Glock 43 with the TTI extended magazines are almost identical in side profile size. But, whereas the Glock 43 is a single-stack pistol and therefore slim, the Taurus G3C is a double-stack pistol and wider than the G43.

The doublestack magazine and its 12-round magazine capacity attracted me to the idea of carrying one in lieu of my G43 with its 8-round capacity.  The G3C features a 3.2” barrel.

The Taurus G3C is very close in size to my Glock 43, as I have it configured for EDC in a pocket holster.

The G3C grip frame features aggressive texture panels in just the right places to engage hands for frictional lock-up and strategically places divots on the frame, aiding this by providing thumb rests. The G3C also has an accessory rail on the front dust cover that will accept smaller weapon lights, such as the Streamlight TLR-7 or OLight PL-Mini.

The slide also provides the right textures with aggressive serrations front and rear, providing options for manipulating the slide in loading and press checks.

Speaking of the slide, one of the nice features of the G3 series of pistols is that the slides are all Glock sight compatible, and they ship with very usable steel slights installed. The front sight features a simple white dot, while the rear sight is plain steel.

Its Glock-sight compatibility is great for those shooters out there who might have a preference for certain Glock-compatible sights or want to upgrade the stock sights for night sights.

One G3C feature I was attracted to at SHOT Show was its very Glock-like trigger. The trigger shoe features a trigger safety similar to a typical Glock trigger and the trigger pull of the G3C is similar to a typical Glock trigger in that after the trigger safety is defeated, there is a somewhat squishy takeup on the trigger before you meet a wall of pressure and start pushing through the sear pressure.

That takeup on the G3C is noticeably longer before you hit that sear point.  Some experienced shooters may dislike this longer takeup, but it is so light and smooth to me that it is something I don’t notice anymore when working the trigger on the G3C.

Once the slide has cycled, and if you’ve pinned the trigger straight back, the shooter is presented with a very satisfying and short trigger reset.

The Tarus G3C trigger is also restrike capable! This means that if you pull the trigger and the gun doesn’t go, “bang!” if you release the trigger, it resets without the slide having to cycle. This means if a round doesn’t have proper ignition, you have the potential of a “do-over” by pressing the trigger again.

For some shooters, this could be a selling point. However, it isn’t of much consequence to me, as I would not want to sit there pulling the trigger on a dud round in a gunfight until it eventually went off. I would rather quickly work a malfunction drill to get the gun back into the fight on a fresh round. 

This restrike capability reveals its benefit to me in its ease of use for dry fire training. One can just dry fire the gun over and over without having to cycle the slide to reset the trigger after each trigger pull!

The standard safety features of the G3C are nice, for both the new shooter looking for a pistol they may feel more comfortable handling, as well as the experienced shooter. Like a Glock pistol, the G3C has a trigger safety the necessitates defeating in order for the trigger to be fully depressed.

There is also a striker block to keep the striker from contacting the cartridge primer in cases the pistol is dropped. The top of the barrel’s chamber features a witness hole where one can see the rim of a loaded cartridge. 

One major difference in safety features the Taurus G3C has that Glock pistols don’t typically have is the manual thumb safety on the left side of the frame. As I carry my G3C AIWB (Appendix In the Waistband), I feel a little more comfortable holstering and drawing from that position, knowing that I have that added layer of safety to keep the gun from discharging while in close proximity to my “nether region.”

I find the manual safety quick and easy to defeat and reengage as it falls in a similar position to that of a 1911 or 2011, and it provides a nice shelf to apply downward pressure on with my thumb while shooting. I wish it were slightly wider for range use, but it is just right for concealed carry, not adding significant additional width to the gun.

The Taurus G3C features a manual thumb safety that might help some newer shooters feel more comfortable carrying the G3C.

The slide lock lever is nothing particularly notable; it functions simply without adding significant width to the gun.

The standard 9mm Taurus G3C ships with three 12-round magazines marked “Made in Brazil” and features a high visibility yellow follower (the followers in the .40 S&W G3C are orange).  The magazines seem to have nice quality construction and a very slick finish that should aid in cartridge feed and drop-free ability. 

The 15-round magazine baseplate has a nice finger extension that allows for a full five-finger grip of the pistol. Taurus does offer optional 15-round magazines for the G3C that ship with a grip-extension sleeve, providing a longer and more comfortable grip length when utilized.

Interestingly, the 15-round magazine, shipped in Taurus packaging, is marked “MEC-GAR—Made In Italy.” All the mags I have used with this Taurus have been reliable and quality!

The Taurus G3C ships with three 12-round magazines (left), and there are 15-round (right) and 17-round mags available as an option.

T.O.R.O.

The Taurus G3C I purchased started as a standard model, but I can’t “leave well enough alone.” While working in law enforcement, my unit was an early adopter of carry optics on duty pistols, and I’ve learned to love having an RDS (red dot sight) mounted up on a carry gun. 

Taurus offers several pistols in the G3 line-up with their T.O.R.O. (Taurus Optic Ready Option), including the Taurus G3C T.O.R.O.. One can also purchase T.O.R.O. conversion kits for the G3 line of pistols directly from Taurus, and it didn’t take long before I had done just that.

The T.O.R.O. kit for the G3C arrived complete with all internal parts installed, except for the barrel and recoil spring assembly, which simply swaps over from your stock slide. The T.O.R.O. kit ships with multiple adapter plates and screws, allowing for the mounting of many different popular pistol red dot sights.

I mounted a Holosun 407C on my T.O.R.O. slide - one of my favorite pistol optics due to its side load battery that doesn’t require the RDS to be uninstalled entirely from the slide for battery changes as the Trijicon RMR line does. This means there is less chance of broken or stripped screws and no need to confirm zero or re-zero after battery changes.  

I also installed a set of TruGlo Glock 17 MOS compatible night sights on the T.O.R.O. slide for co-witness with my Holosun.

Taurus G3C with Holosun 407C and TruGlo Glock 17 MOS compatible sights installed.

Range Impressions

Shooting the Taurus G3C was not unpleasant and was just as good as shooting any other modern polymer-frame pistol. Because of its subcompact size, recoil became a little fatiguing after a lengthy range session compared to a large frame 9mm like a 2011 or Glock 34, but it was nowhere near as bad as shooting guns like the Glock 43 or 26 for long strings of fire.

Unfortunately, I have an extremely high grip on pistols and prefer a larger beavertail to protect the web of my thumb on my right hand. The Taruas G3C doesn’t offer the best situation for my high-handed grip, and I “railroad-tracked” my hand (the grip serrations on the slide cut through the web of my thumb every time the slide cycled).  

In all fairness, though, I suffered this issue with every Glock pistol I was ever issued until the Gen 4 and newer Glocks were released with optional beavertail grip options. So, on the Taurus G3C, I can live with it.

I ran somewhere between 800 and 1000 rounds of 9mm through my G3C, a mixture of Blazer 115 grain FMJ, Blazer 124 grain FMJ, and Speer Gold Dot 124 grain JHP, and experienced ZERO malfunctions or stoppages. 

One thing I noticed is that while chambering the Speer Gold Dot 124 grain JHP, the blunt nose of the projectiles dragged on the feed ramp a little and jammed up the gun while chambering the first round.

This condition is easily avoided by charging the gun “enthusiastically” (not riding the slide) or using the slide catch lever to drop the slide on a fresh round. 

The G3C seemed to point a little low for me at first, which is probably due to my long career shooting Glock pistols with a less-than-ideal grip angle. After a couple of rounds down range, I was able to adjust my grip to consistently present the gun on target.

Unfortunately, the most convenient range for me to access (a public range) happens to be one of the least convenient ranges at which to review guns. I was unable to shoot drills with my Taurus G3C to explore shooting controlled pairs or target transitions.

Additionally, shooting for groups was inconvenient as you have one lane with one target at this range, and you can’t change targets on your own schedule. 

Although I could not quantify scientifically how well I was shooting the G3C, I was happy with my groupings, having shot a fist-sized hole through my target at 10 yards by the end of my range session.

The Taurus G3C out at the range was a fine shooter!

Final Thoughts

Straight up, the Taurus G3C surprises me and I love it. This gun can fit into a couple of different niches.  

The G3C is perfect for the newer shooter who is more comfortable handling a weapon with a manual, external safety. They might want a gun for home defense AND everyday concealed carry but might not necessarily be a gun guy/woman yet who wants to own multiple firearms for those multiple roles.

With a weapon-mounted light and an optional 15 or 17-round extended magazine, it could perfectly fulfill the home defense role. Then, one could swap out the mag for the standard 12-round capacity mag for an easily concealed EDC gun.

For the experienced shooter, if one can get past the fact that it’s a Taurus and not a high-end Gucci gun, it is a perfectly acceptable and well-running pistol!

It’s not a high-end luxury sports car that is sexy and fancy, but rather a tough little work truck that gets the job done (and done well). And if it gets holster wear and dirty, I won't care as much!

I’ve been carrying the G3C for a couple of weeks in my CrossBreed Holsters, The Reckoning holster, and I have to tell ya, I’m pretty happy with the surprise this pistol has turned out to be.

The CrossBreed Holsters "The Reckoning" holster is a comfortable AIWB (Appendix - In the Waistband) carry option!

My Taurus G3C kitted out for home defense and concealed carry with the Holosun 407C and a 15-round extended magazine.

THE BASICS

CALIBER
9MM LUGER

FRONT SIGHT
Fixed

MAGAZINES INCLUDED
3

CAPACITY
12 Rounds

REAR SIGHT
Drift adjustable

ACTION TYPE
SA w/Restrike

SPECIAL FEATURES

Accessory Rail
Integrated Picatinny rail.

Taurus Optic Ready Option T.O.R.O.
Four Mounting Plates to Quickly & Easily Interchange your Optic

Re-Strike Capability
Trigger can be reset forward for (DA) without cycling the slide

TECH SPECS

FRAME SIZE
Compact

OVERALL LENGTH
6.30 In.

OVERALL WIDTH
1.20 In.

TWIST RATE
1:10 - in RH twist

BARREL LENGTH
3.20 In.

OVERALL HEIGHT
5.10 In.

OVERALL WEIGHT
22.00 Oz. (Unloaded)

GROOVES
6

MATERIALS

FRAME MATERIAL
Polymer

SLIDE MATERIAL
Alloy Steel

BARREL MATERIAL
Stainless Steel

FRAME FINISH
Black

SLIDE FINISH
Tenifer Matte Black

BARREL FINISH
Matte Stainless

SAFETY

Loaded Chamber Indicator

Striker Block

Manual Safety

Trigger Safety
This Pistol Surprised me! The Taurus G3C as my new EDC!
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