When I first started evaluating handguns, I always found myself including lines like, “this is great for the range but too big for deep concealment,” or “it’s a great carry pistol but you’ll spend a lot of time filling magazines during practice.” Today, nearly every manufacturer is building a pistol that bridges that gap and makes it more likely that your CCW pistol may just be your only pistol. The latest to enter the arena is Taurus, with its Gx4 micro pistol. This 9mm striker-fired polymer/steel-framed semi-auto boasts a 14-round capacity and an MSRP of less than $400, so naturally, I needed to get my hands on it.
First, let's address the price point. Before you look down your nose and claim “you get what you pay for,” I’ll be the first to confirm that you are absolutely correct. The low-cost Gx4 does indeed give you less … well, more precisely, it gives you fewer. An international effort between the company’s Brazilian and American engineers yielded a design that is so simple it is comprised of fewer than 50 parts. That means fewer places the gun can fail, faster manufacturing and a reduced price to the end user.
The final product is just 1.08” thick, .44 inches tall, and only between 5 and 6 inches long depending on which of the two included backstraps you have installed. These measurements are with the flush fit 11-round magazine installed; however, a 13-round extended magazine is also available, which allows even the largest of hands to build a complete grip.
Speaking of grip, the grip panels of the Gx4 are very similar in both style and texture to the Tx22, another best-selling pistol that hails from the Georgia-based company. Aside from the grip, there are pads of the same material on either side of the frame which serve as a place to keep your trigger finger when not actively engaging targets. The one on the opposite side is great for the support hand thumb, giving the shooter a little more control over recoil.
Once my sample arrived I was excited to see that Taurus embraced the feedback from the wide-style trigger on guns like its G3c, and continued in that direction by further widening and flattening the trigger on its new Gx4. A few dry-fires were all it took for me to fall in love with what they have done, as it broke without a hint of creep and reset in just .25 of an inch. Later I weighed it with a Lyman Digital Trigger Scale and confirmed a pull weight of 6 lbs, 2 oz.
During my dry fire I ran the gun through its basic manipulations and gained an appreciation for the fore and aft cocking serrations as well as the angled slide front that helps it to be inserted into a holster. Aside from that, there were few other angles to speak of, as this gun was intentionally designed to be as smooth as possible to ensure comfortable carry.
I brought the gun and a CrossBreed MiniTuck holster to the range along with a few hundred rounds of ammunition from Noxv and Fiocchi. I started my testing by gaining an initial feel for the pistol by banging away at a steel IPSC from a distance of 18 yards. The gun cycled everything we put into it and went into slide-lock with 100 percent reliability, even with the lightweight 65-gr. ammunition from Novx. I found the sights to be simplistic—which should be read as “perfect,” when we’re talking about carry guns. The rear sight is solid black with a few serrations to help with any glare, and the front post is treated with just a basic white dot to enhance low-light visibility. Technically the rear sight is adjustable, as it is installed via dovetail, but my gun came arrived dialed in tight enough to shoot X-rings right out of the box. The 3.06” barrel produced far better accuracy than I would have expected, as micro-pistols are not built with match-grade accuracy in mind. My best 7-yard group of the day went to the Noxv ammunition and measured 1.23”. Fiocchi’s best group was not too far behind at 1.84”.
After getting comfortable with some basic handling, I put on the holster and practiced my draw stroke from the 8 o’Clock position (I’m a lefty). I really liked how fast it came to target with next to no effort. From concealment, I was able to get a shot off in as little as 1.21 seconds within my first magazine. With a little practice, I’m sure I can be sub-second but I’ll take this as a starting point for a brand new pistol out of a brand-new holster. I finished my range session by running a plate rack and conducting some other transition drills that helped me to build an idea of where the gun points and its overall balance.
Before jumping into the car I topped off the magazine with more Novx ammunition and re-holstered it to evaluate how it felt during everyday use. The drive home was especially comfortable and I could easily see myself swapping out my “old” single-stack for the new Taurus Gx4. Let’s face it, if a gun is comfortable to carry and comfortable to fire, then it is naturally going to get shot more. At the end of the day, this is what is going to determine your overall effectiveness in a self-defense situation. For more information visit www.taurususa.com.