Taurus G3 15-Round Magazine Review

Today, we’re looking at 15-round magazines for the Taurus G3 pistol. Is that good or bad? It’s good, but we need a little background to appreciate that significance, because Taurus has a mixed reputation among gun owners. The Brazilian gunmaker was founded as a tool and die manufacturer in 1939 and began producing firearms in 1941. The company expanded to the US in 1968, exporting its revolver line. The mid-1970s saw a partnership with Smith & Wesson, with Taurus making several revolvers that looked and functioned like the American wheel guns. That relationship ended in 1977.

Taurus G3 15-round magazines
These 15-round G3 magazines have performed well indeed. (Author’s Photo)

Taurus, however, had other things cooking. They acquired an almost new Beretta plant in São Paulo, complete with tooling, designs, and experienced employees. Taurus re-entered the American market with a bang, producing the PT-92 and PT-99 pistols, which were good quality handguns based on the proven Beretta Model 92 design. The company also continued its successful revolver line. Taurus’s US efforts were aided by opening a subsidiary company, Taurus Holdings, Inc. in Miami, Florida. Taurus now operates in the United States as Taurus USA, headquartered in Bainbridge, Georgia.

But the 21st century saw the company’s quality and customer service take a step back. More like several steps. Over a million of the most popular Taurus models were recalled for safety issues, while consumers complained of unreliability and maddeningly unresponsive customer service. I myself had similar complaints several years ago after a very disappointing revolver failed to measure up to the still-nice Taurus Model 66 I bought in 1986. Worse, I couldn’t even reach Taurus customer service to complain. I was saddened because I really like that Model 66. But things seem to have changed.

Taurus Seems to Be Back

Management changes and a new dedication to their customers seem to have put Taurus back on track. After years of lackluster designs, the company has come back with new revolver and semi-automatic pistol designs that offer good quality at very attractive prices. And their new TORO (Taurus Optic Ready Option) line, which includes revolvers, is very cool.

Taurus G3 Tactical Pistol
The Taurus G3 Tactical is a cool, yet affordable, pistol. (Author’s Photo)

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical at first, but Taurus has responded to my revolver issues and straightened out that situation. I’ve heard other reports of Taurus’s improved customer service, as well. I also, after a little trepidation, picked up one of their new semi-auto pistols. The G3 line offers many options and has good reviews. So, I got my hands on the G3 Tactical and, I must say, it’s a cool gun. I thought I’d like it, but so far, the gun has exceeded my expectations. But as we know, a semi-auto firearm is only as good as its magazines. So, how do they measure up?

Taurus G3 15-Round Magazines

The G3 is a duty-sized handgun and, keeping up with modern trends, offers 15 and 17-round capacity magazines. Today, we’re looking at the 15-round models. Let’s start with basic specifications.

  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Capacity: 15 rounds
  • Heat-treated steel body
  • Nitride finish
  • High visibility polymer anti-tilt follower
  • Chrome-plated steel internal spring
  • Compatible with G3, G3X, and G3 Tactical pistols

Amy concerns I may have had about these mags were immediately put to rest when I saw that they are made in Italy by Mec-Gar. Mec-Gar is possibly the world’s premier magazine manufacturer, producing high quality products for companies like Beretta, Israel Weapon Industries, Walther, and others. Include Taurus on that list. My 17-round Taurus mags are not made by Mec-Gar, but these are, so that’s a good thing.

Taurus G3 15-round magazine witness holes
The individually numbered factory witness holes are nice. (Author’s Photo)

The steel magazine has a nice nitride finish and factory witness holes numbering from 2 to 15. Some of the more expensive companies don’t do that. I love that Taurus does. The yellow polymer anti-tilt follower makes these mags easily distinguishable from my many other mags. I usually mark them by manufacturer and model, but these followers make it easier. Or maybe that’s just a thing for me.

The polymer baseplate is easily removed for maintenance, though you’ll need some kind of punch to press the button. These 15-round mags fit flush in my G3 Tactical, as they do on the G3 and G3X. They make the grip a bit shorter than the extended 17-rounders, giving me more concealability if I want to carry it. These mags are not compatible with the smaller G3C model.

17-round and 15-round magazines
The 15-round G3 mag (right) offers a bit more concealability than the longer 17-rounder (left). (Author’s Photo)

On the Range

I noted that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the G3 Tactical. It’s done nothing but run and I really like several of its features. But that’s for another article. As we said, however, if the mags aren’t up to snuff, neither is the pistol. No worries there, as these mags have run right along with the gun.

I don’t beat my mags to death, but neither do I baby them. My son and I run drills in a gravel-lined pistol bay and almost all those drills have a reload component. My mags hit that gravel a lot. I’ve said before that I see mags as commodities to be used. These eject smoothly and positively, thanks in part to that nitride finish. Each of these 15-round mags has approximately 350 rounds through it, with no hiccups.

Honestly, I’m not surprised by that, given that they are Mec-Gar products. I’m more surprised by the gun than the mags. It does seem, in my case anyway, that Taurus has righted the ship. I always note that I do not try to deliberately induce equipment failures by pouring dirt or whatever into the mags or the guns. That just seems counterproductive and dumb to me.

But I do run them hard, and these mags are holding up like champs. I run a variety of ammo brands like Blazer, Magtech, Federal American Eagle, Sellier & Bellot, Belom, and Fiocchi. Loads have been 115 and 124-grain FMJ. I fired a few rounds of IMI 124-grain +P Black Dot hollow points as well. The gun and the mags had no problems with any of them.

Young man firing Pistol
The Taurus G3 Tactical, and its magazines, have done nothing but run. (Author’s Photo)

Lots of Bang for Your Buck…

…Literally and figuratively. These mags deliver 15 rounds of 9mm firepower, and they are very affordable, especially compared to some other companies and considering they are Mec-Gar products. I only have two 15-rounders right now, but I’ve only had the gun for a couple of months. I’ll be stocking up moving forward.

If you’ve been gun-shy about Taurus, maybe now is a good time to revisit what they have to offer. I can’t categorically declare them to be “back” after running one gun. But I like what I have seen so far. The Taurus G3 Tactical has outperformed my expectations and so have the mags. I know I’ve said it several times, but the partnership with Mec-Gar encourages me. I sincerely hope that Taurus has turned it around. These quality mags are a good place to start.

William "Bucky" Lawson is a self-described "typical Appalachian-American gun enthusiast". He is a military historian specializing in World War II and has written a few things, as he says, "here and there". A featured contributor for Strategy & Tactics, he likes dogs, range time, and a good cigar - preferably with an Old Fashioned that has an extra orange slice.

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