Taurus G3c — A Legit Choice for an Affordably Priced Pistol
If you think a handgun is a handgun, you’re technically correct…but wrong for all other intents and purposes. The reality is that all guns should be purpose-specific. Handguns are used for everything from hunting to home defense to duty weapons and everything in-between, so take the time to choose carefully. Some, like the Taurus G3c, are meant not only for self-defense use but for concealed carry.
Read on to find out why the Taurus G3c is worth a closer look.
Over the years Taurus has come out with a wide range of handguns suited to a variety of needs. The company’s roots stretch back more than 80 years to the day founder Forjas Taurus created his first revolver. Since then the little Brazilian company has grown exponentially to become one of the top and more well-known firearms manufacturers in the United States.
In the last few years, there have been some changes for the company here in the States as well. Until recently, United States production took place in Florida; today Taurus hangs their American hat in Bainbridge, Georgia. So if you get your hands on a G3c, it came from the Peach State.
The Taurus G3c itself is the culmination of years’ worth of handgun designs.
The timeline looks a bit like this: in the late 1990s, there was the Millennium line of pistols which led to the Millennium G2 which morphed into the G2c. Only a couple of years passed between the launch of the G2c and the G3c, a rather speedy window considering the time lags between the unveiling of some new models. Of course, the G3 came before the G3c as well. The “c” in G3c is for “compact,” your clue it’s meant for concealment.
Specs and Features
This is a basic black semi-automatic pistol chambered in the currently-favored 9mm caliber.
Straight from the box, you’ll notice it’s a no-nonsense gun with few frills. Remember, your self-defense handgun is a tool, so a straightforward pistol is what we call A Good Thing. Just as there’s an appeal to beautiful, custom-made guns there’s something right about a good, durable pistol.
The Taurus G3c is available in either a black-on-black model or as a two-tone design with a black frame and stainless steel slide.
It’s a striker-fired gun meaning there is no hammer, externally or internally. When you pull the trigger on a striker-fired gun an internal spring is compressed to create the rapid forward motion that releases the sear so the gun will fire. One nice thing about striker-fired guns is that there’s no hammer to snag on your clothing or make the gun a bit more difficult to conceal.
Whether a striker-fired gun is or is not better than a hammer-fired gun tends to be a matter of opinion and is definitely a discussion for another day.
With a stainless steel barrel length of 3.20-inches, this is a gun that’s fairly easy to conceal. Its overall length is 6.30-inches, overall height is 5.10-inches, and overall width is 1.20-inches. Empty weight is 22 ounces even.
The frame itself is polymer while the slide of my black-on-black review model is a steel alloy. A trio of forward serrations and a wider group of rear serrations give shooters a better grip as well as options for manipulating the slide (that said, if you’re going to use those forward slide serrations please learn how to do it safely so your fingers don’t go near the muzzle and your hand doesn’t cover the ejection port).
Taurus took the time to consider the shooter’s needs when designing the G3c.
The frame has what has become recognizably shaped textured areas on all sides of the grip; the grip texturing is aggressive which has a lot of pros for many shooters. The last thing you want is your carry gun slipping and sliding due to sweat or blood on your hands. Finger rests are located at the top of the grip and immediately above the trigger guard – those may or may not be well-placed or sized for your hands.
A few nice improvements to the G3c model also lend to its durability and versatility.
My personal favorite upgrade is the inclusion of the sights being Glock-pattern cut. This means you can put a crazy variety of aftermarket Glock-pattern sights on your G3c and truly broaden your horizons. The gun ships with standard white sights – not the older three-dot style but rather white dot in front, solid black to the rear.
Another change is the Tenifer finish – ferritic nitrocarburizing – that gives the slide a lot more resistance to scrapes, scratches, and scuffs.
Fit and Feel
The Taurus G3c fits my hands reasonably well. It’s a compact pistol, after all, so it absolutely should be on the smaller side. I’ve fired a significant number of Taurus handguns over the years and have found the handguns from their now-discontinued Millennium line seem to fit me best, and that includes the G3c since it’s a descendant of sorts of the Millennium guns. The gun’s aggressive grip texturing comes in handy – your hands aren’t going to slip – and felt recoil is minimal, basically as expected for a compact 9mm.
When choosing a gun for self-defense use there are some parameters that must be met. Of those details, the most important rule is that the gun must cycle reliably. How many rounds it takes to confirm a gun’s reliability is a matter of some debate and confusion in the gun world. For me, that number is about 500 rounds and it cannot all be target ammunition. At least 100 of those rounds should be the specific defense loads you intend to use in your carry gun. Is it a pricey test? Yes, but arguing about cost is like putting a dollar amount on the value of your life.
Of course, in the current ammunition-poor climate it can also be extremely unrealistic to expect to run 500 rounds of any ammo through your gun in a short timeframe. Can you manage 200 rounds, at least? Do your best.
Even with ammunition being so difficult to get your hands on at the time of this writing you should not allow yourself to believe 50 rounds are enough to prove a gun will cycle reliably. Thus far the Taurus G3c has cycled without failures but it is nowhere near my preferred 500-round count.
The trigger in the G3c is slightly better than the old G3 system. One nice feature is that this gun does have restrike capability so if you experience a click-no-bang you can try again. The trigger itself is curved and has a Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Gauge pull weight averaging 6 pounds, 3 ounces.
There is some inconsistency in pull weight which can be felt during live fire. Otherwise, the trigger performs as expected for a factory striker-fired gun trigger. It gets the job done.
During range time I put various loads through the G3c including Winchester Silvertip 9mm 115 grain JHP, Hornady American Gunner 9mm 115 grain XTP, and Federal Premium Syntech 9mm 124 grain TSJ.
Shooting from the bench at 10 yards the gun produced five-shot groups with an average size of 1.77-inches; moving out to 25 yards groups tended to open closer to 3 inches. T
The best five-shot group size from 10 yards was using Federal Personal Defense 9mm 124 grain Hydra-Shok; the group size was 1.3-inches.
The Taurus G3c is a legit choice for an affordably-priced pistol. Of the different models, its performance is one of the better ones and it does outperform its price point. Controls can be manipulated without changing your grip and accuracy is there for the expected closer-range self-defense scenario. It’s impossible to say today how it will hold up for long-term, harder use but it is easy enough to routinely field strip and inspect your gun. You should be doing that anyway.
It should be interesting to see what Taurus comes out with next. You can check out the G3c online at www.TaurusUSA.com. MSRP $308.77.
Taurus G3c Specifications
Firing System: Striker-Fired
Material: Stainless Steel
Length: 3.20 inches
Finish: Matte Stainless
Length: 6.30 inches
Width: 1.20 inches
Height: 5.10 inches
Weight: 22 ounces, empty
Slide Material: Steel Alloy
Slide Finish: Tenifer Matte Black
Frame Material: Polymer
Frame Finish: Black
Safety: Loaded Chamber Indicator, Manual Thumb Safety, Striker Block Plunger
Sights: Fixed Front Sight, Drift-Adjustable Rear Sight
Ships With: 3 Magazines
Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you’ve seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master’s Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.