Last year was a successful product year for Taurus USA. The company clearly demonstrated its renewed commitment to manufacturing practical, affordable handguns with consistent quality control.
New options included the American-made TX22 rimfire pistol, lightweight versions of the six-shot Model 856 concealed carry revolver and the G3 9 mm semi-auto. The 4″ barrel, double-stack G3 built on the success of previous G series models with an improved trigger system and modified slide profile.
This year, Taurus is expanding the G3 line up with the new sub-compact G3c. The company didn’t settle for just making the pistol smaller; it incorporated improvements to the slide, sights and controls.
Manufactured in Brazil, the G3c is a polymer-frame, striker-fired semi-auto that employs a short recoil, locked-breech action. With a design that is clearly based on its predecessor, the G2c, this pistol offers a standard 9 mm 12+1 ammunition capacity. With external dimensions comparable to those of the Glock G26, it’s easy to find suitable holsters for comfortable concealment, like the DeSantis Inner Piece 2.0 inside-the-waistband holster.
The carbon-steel slide is treated with a Tenifer finish, which has a proven history of scratch, wear and corrosion resistance. The deep front cut outs of the G2 style slide have been replaced with a squared-off profile that allows for canted cocking serrations at the front and rear. This is a plus for those who prefer to manipulate the slide from the front end. The slide’s nose is beveled for easier re-holstering, while the back end is nicely rounded to match the contours of the frame.
The polymer sights have been replaced with an all-steel sight system. The white-dot front sight is paired with a serrated square notch rear sight, which dovetails into the slide so as to be drift-adjustable. Taurus recognizes that many concealed-carry practitioners are swapping out factory iron sights for fiber optics or night sights. To make this process easier for customers, the G3’s dovetail and front sight port are compatible with sight upgrades made for Glock pistols.
The bore of the 3.2″ long stainless steel barrel features traditional 6-groove rifling that allows for the use of cast lead bullets. The top of the chamber has a witness hole that takes the place of the mechanical chamber indicator found on the G2c. It allows the state of the chamber to be verified without pressing open the action. The feed ramp is polished mirror-smooth for reliable feeding.
The two-piece, dual spring recoil assembly uses all-steel supports instead of a mix of steel and polymer, like some models. It provides plenty of support while allowing the slide to be manually cycled with ease. Although the slide is not quite as light as the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 9 mm (I had one on hand for comparison), it comes close.
The slide rides on four short rails which project from steel front and rear support blocks that are secured to the frame with roll pins. The pistol’s serial number can be found in no less than four locations. It’s stamped to the front support block and can be seen through a left side cutout in the polymer frame.
Another is located in a metal plate molded into the dust cover with the remaining two found on the barrel and slide next to the ejection port. The external controls, including the takedown lever, slide stop, magazine release button and the thumb safety are all metallic instead of polymer. Like the slide, these controls now have an upgraded finish. They’ve been treated with black Teflon, which is not only corrosion-resistant but also increases lubricity for smoother control operations.
The left-side thumb safety lever has an unobtrusive low profile that won’t dig into your hip when holstered. It swings up into the Safe position and down, exposing a red dot on the slide, to fire. It shifts positions using a modest amount of pressure with distinctive clicks when it locks into either position. The magazine release has a serrated surface for improved purchase and it can be reversed for left-handed operation.
Like the slide, all of the frames edges have been rounded for a sleek appearance and comfortable feel. The dust cover sports a molded in 1.25″ long, 1-slot MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail. Just behind the rail are left and right side indentations (Taurus calls them Memory Pads) that act as touch points for the tip of the trigger finger when resting against the frame. The trigger guard is curved and rounded along the front edge, to serve as a support hand finger rest, and undercut where it meets the grip for added comfort.
One of the reasons striker fired semi-autos have become so popular is a consistent trigger pull. But not all striker triggers are created equal. Some have a mushy, indistinct feel. The G3 series was released with a new trigger system that feels like it belongs on a more expensive pistol. The face of the trigger is grooved and flattened with a wide integrated safety lever. It has a light 2-lb. take up with a firm stop before breaking cleanly with 4-lbs. 10-oz. of trigger pull.
The trigger comes to rest against the frame and only needs about a quarter inch release in order to reset. The result is a trigger that feels tuned instead of factory installed with a short reset that aids in quick follow-up shots. This pistol’s ignition system also provides second strike capability. This means that, should the firing pin strike a hard cartridge primer, the trigger can be pulled a second time to strike it again. This feature is not available on many striker-fired pistols.
Some striker fired pistols suffer from bulky or blocky feeling grips. Taurus went out of its way with the G3 grip frame to make sure it would be a comfortable fit for a variety of hand shapes. Although the G3c’s frame is shorter, the company was careful to preserve the positive grip characteristics of the larger version.
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