The GX4 is one of the newest-generation compact pistols by the Brazilian gunmaker Taurus. This micro-compact semi-automatic pistol quietly arrived on the U.S. civilian market in 2021.
Although it may not have received as much attention as competing models from other manufacturers, the GX4 has many features and benefits for the discerning gun owner. Discover what the Taurus GX4 is all about, what makes it unique, and why you may be interested in this handgun for concealed carrying and self-defense.
Overview and Features
One of the most recent trends in the concealable semi-auto pistol market is the high-capacity micro-compact, typically chambered in 9x19mm and featuring a slim magazine, either single stack or staggered column. Although the first gun to popularize this concept was the SIG Sauer P365, released in 2018, there are now many competing handguns.
One of these handguns is the Taurus GX4. The latest handgun in Taurus’s catalog is a subcompact, polymer-framed, striker-fired 9mm pistol with a trigger-mounted safety similar to those found on Glocks.
The GX4 is the latest iteration of the Taurus G-series semi-automatic pistols, effectively serving as the successor to the subcompact G3c pistol, even though the G3c and its variants are still in production.
The frame features an ergonomic textured grip compatible with an 11-round flush-fitting magazine, giving the GX4 a total capacity of 12 rounds. The stainless steel slide features relatively simple front and rear serrations, a fixed front sight, and a drift-adjustable rear sight.
The GX4’s controls are typical for a modern polymer-framed handgun: flat-face trigger, Glock-style trigger safety with textured serrations, a reversible magazine release button, frame cuts to facilitate magazine extraction, a slide stop/slide release lever, and a takedown pin. The GX4 also features a visual and tactile loaded chamber indicator as an additional safety feature.
As with many modern pistols, you won’t find a decocking lever or manual safety. However, you may notice the sides of the frame are specifically designed to minimize snagging, making it easy to draw and reinsert in your holster.
You’ll also find a long groove running on each side, above the trigger guard, with a textured portion seemingly intended to guide and rest your trigger finger when not ready to shoot.
If you need a little extra firepower, the GX4 is also compatible with extended-baseplate 13-round magazines, giving you two additional rounds over the standard mags. Taurus also produces magazines limited to 10 rounds for shooters living in states with laws restricting magazine capacity.
Awards and Recognition
The original Taurus GX4 received two 2021 NASGW-POMA Caliber Awards for Excellence in the following categories: Best New Handgun and Best New Overall Product.
Specifications (Standard Taurus GX4)
Chambering: 9x19mm Parabellum
Overall length: 6.05”
Height: 4.4” with flush-fit 11-round magazine
Weight (with an empty magazine inserted): 18.5 oz.
Barrel length: 3.06”
Barrel twist rate: 1:10 RH
Standard magazine capacity: 11 rounds
Trigger pull weight: Approx. 6 lbs.
Taurus GX4 Variants
Besides the original pistol, Taurus has produced the GX4 in four additional variants, expanding the product line to meet the needs of all shooters: the GX4 T.O.R.O., the GX4XL, the GX4XL T.O.R.O., and the GX4XL T.O.R.O. RITON.
The Taurus GX4 T.O.R.O. is a variant of the original GX4 featuring the new Taurus Optics Ready Option slide, the manufacturer’s proprietary pistol optics mounting system.
Besides the capability to accept a micro red dot sight, the GX4 T.O.R.O. is otherwise identical to the standard GX4 and compatible with the same parts and magazines.
Taurus certifies the mounting system on T.O.R.O. slides and is compatible with the following micro red dot sights:
Hex Wasp GE5077
Riton 3 Tactix MPRO2
SIG Sauer RomeoZero
Sightmark Mini Shot A-Spec M3
Trijicon RMRcc (with an adapter plate)
The GX4XL features a longer slide and barrel than the original GX4, extending the pistol’s overall length to 6.43” and the barrel length to 3.71”.
Despite the slight increase in length, the GX4XL uses the same frame as the original pistol. At 20 ounces, the GX4XL’s unloaded weight is just 1.5 ounces heavier than the original, an almost negligible difference.
Although GX4XL pistols ship with the 13-round extended baseplate magazine, the frame height is unchanged, meaning they will still accept the standard 11-round magazines if needed.
The GX4XL T.O.R.O. is a GX4XL fitted with the T.O.R.O. slide. It is compatible with the same red dot sights as the standard GX4 T.O.R.O. model.
GX4XL T.O.R.O. Riton
The GX4XL T.O.R.O. Riton is the same pistol as the regular GX4XL T.O.R.O. but packaged with a Riton 3 Tactix MPRO2 red dot sight. This sight features a 3 MOA red dot, 1 MOA windage and elevation adjustment, and an auto-shutdown feature (approx. 3 minutes without motion).
Powering the sight requires 1 CR2032 battery, which will provide it with an autonomy of approximately 50,000 hours.
Features and Performance Review of the Taurus GX4
Although the GX4 may appear similar on paper to other handguns of the same class from more prominent manufacturers, it does offer a range of unique features and advantages worth considering.
Although the intended effective range of a micro-compact pistol is inherently limited by the pistol’s size, barrel length, and relatively short sight radius, the Taurus GX4 is an accurate handgun in its category, regardless of the ammunition selected.
A well-trained shooter should be able to print groups between 1.5” and 2” at the typical self-defense distance of 7 yards. When shooting at 15 yards with slow, carefully aimed shots, most shooters should expect group sizes of 3” to 4”.
Owners of T.O.R.O. versions can install a red dot sight, giving them better target acquisition and potentially improving practical accuracy. This feature can be a significant advantage in self-defense scenarios. It is easier for most shooters to place a dot on the target than align the front and rear sights under stressful conditions.
The standard Taurus GX4 was designed for concealed carrying, pairing well with a dedicated inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster. It ranks among the most compact and easily concealed pistols in Taurus’s catalog, with dimensions comparable to a Glock 43 or a SIG P365.
Due to the pistol’s unique dimensions compared to previous-generation Taurus semi-auto handguns, the GX4 will not fit in a holster intended for any other G-series model (e.g., G2s, G3, G3c), requiring its own dedicated holster instead.
Controls and Ergonomics
The Taurus GX4 features a frame with textured side grips and front and rear backstraps. Ahead of the front backstrap, the trigger guard features a slight undercut for the shooter’s fingers, whereas the back of the frame features a noticeable tang, encouraging shooters to adopt a high grip. These design choices help the GX4 feel comfortable and easily controlled in all circumstances.
The broad slide serrations and the factory recoil spring help make it easier to rack the slide and chamber a round, which can be advantageous for older shooters or people with decreased hand strength.
The location of every control on the Taurus GX4 is easily reachable by shooters with nearly any hand size, making it easy to manipulate. Additionally, the GX4 features a wider trigger guard than its predecessors, making it more comfortable to shoot with gloved hands.
One of the most notable aspects of the new Taurus GX4 is one of its few significant disadvantages, especially compared to the previous-generation G3c: the frame lacks an accessory rail, meaning the GX4 will not accept a tactical light or a laser sight. The rail is missing on all versions and variants, as they all share the same frame.
While this may not be a problem for shooters who primarily use the GX4 as a dedicated concealed-carry handgun, it limits the pistol’s usefulness for other applications, such as home defense or competition shooting.
The lack of a rail also leaves the GX4 with relatively few compatible third-party parts. Besides micro red dot sights compatible with the T.O.R.O. variants, available accessories include grip and frame enhancements (e.g., third-party backstraps), night sights (e.g., XS Sights GX4 night sights), and pinky magazine extensions.
Recoil and Shooting Comfort
Taurus’s ergonomics-focused design means that despite the GX4 being a micro-compact chambered in 9x19mm, felt recoil does not feel overly sharp, improving the shooting experience and making it an overall enjoyable handgun to shoot, even for extended periods.
Additionally, while the Taurus GX4 is +P rated and safe to shoot with high-pressure 9mm ammunition, doing so will increase the amount of felt recoil and result in a snappier, less forgiving experience. If you intend to use the GX4 for personal protection, consider avoiding +P ammo and sticking with standard-pressure ammunition for better results.
If you’ve been into firearms for a long time, you may remember an era when Taurus pistols (e.g., PT 24/7) were known for their reliability issues.
However, the company has significantly improved quality control on its entire range of semi-automatic pistols. The GX4 is a continuation of these improvements: it can reliably shoot and extract virtually any brand of quality 9x19mm ammunition.
An independently conducted test of the pistol has shown it can survive at least 2,000 rounds of consecutive shooting without cleaning, sustaining only one magazine-related malfunction and one failure to eject with brass-cased ammunition.
Although the number of malfunctions (specifically, failures to extract) increased when switching to steel-cased ammunition, this performance loss is expected and not attributed to the firearm, as steel is less malleable and thus harder to extract than brass.
With so many new features and improved build quality compared to older Taurus semi-autos, you may wonder if the new Taurus GX4 is more expensive than its predecessors. Fortunately, that is not the case.
Pricing is unquestionably the GX4’s most significant advantage: the company’s MSRP for the standard GX4 is $392.42, making it significantly more affordable than equivalents from Glock, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, or Springfield Armory.
While variants such as the T.O.R.O. models, the GX4XL, and the Riton are appropriately higher-priced due to the additional features, none exceed the $550 mark. Many gun shops and firearm retailers will offer each model for less than the manufacturer’s recommended price.
If you’re looking for a high-quality 9mm concealed carry handgun, the GX4 and its variants are seriously worth considering.
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