Not too long ago, truly small handguns were products of compromise. Compromise in reliability, caliber and sight picture was common.
A .32 Auto or .38 snub nose was considered standard fare.
During the past generation, the development of light, reliable and more powerful handguns has changed the practical features of personal defense.
Among the most common handguns chosen for personal defense is a pistol commonly referred to as the slim-line nine.
These handguns are typically polymer-frame striker-fired pistols with a slim grip accommodating a single-column magazine holding seven to nine rounds.
Modern polymer technology has resulted in several redesigns. The latest is an evolution of the Taurus G-series of pistols.
The Taurus GX4 is a modern 9mm pistol with many good features.
Features and Specs
Among the unique features of the pistol, is that it features an additional grip insert, which many pistols of this size do not.
The GX4 is compact, with a short slide and modest grip. The slide is coated to combat corrosion and the polymer frame isn’t subject to corrosion.
This is a single-action pistol. Quite a few pistols using the modern striker are single-action pistols.
The Taurus features a safety lever set in the trigger to limit discharge by lateral pressure. The pistol is slick, with very little to snag on.
The sights are low-profile, small enough to limit snagging, but large enough for a good sight picture.
The muzzle end is slightly beveled for easier holstering. The barrel features a nicely crowned muzzle.
The gripping surfaces are well designed, with good coverage on the front strap, rear strap and side panels.
In the unlikely event of a stuck magazine, there are frame cuts on each side of the magazine well to provide leverage for ripping the magazine free.
There are roughened sections on the frame as well to accommodate those using the thumbs-forward grip.
Taurus GX4 Specifications
- Overall Length: 6.05 Inches
- Barrel Length: 3.06 Inches
- Maximum Width: 1.08 Inches
- Height: 4.4 Inches
- Weight: 18.5 Ounces
GX4 Capacity and Control
These are interesting dimensions. The pistol is clearly a compact pistol, but the weight is in line with some handguns that are slightly larger.
Coupled with the pistol’s recoil spring-within-a-spring technology, this weight makes for a comfortable pistol to fire.
At no time was the pistol uncomfortable to fire.
The Taurus GX4 features a slim grip, but Taurus managed to design the grip to accommodate a wide range of hand sizes.
The pistol is supplied with two 11-round magazines.
In contrast to offering a flush-fit 10-round magazine and a longer, extended 12 or 13-round magazine, Taurus has given us a relatively short grip with greater capacity than competitors such as the SIG P365.
This makes sense in a concealed carry pistol.
The Taurus handles well, with an easy-to-rack slide and only two controls — the slide lock and magazine release.
The pistol’s takedown is quite simple. A screw on the right side of the frame is turned to release the slide and the slide simply runs off the frame.
GX4 Carry Options
The Taurus is simple enough to use, but not utilitarian.
The pistol is a simple black finish for concealment and non-reflection, but there is considerable style in the grip treatment and forward cocking serrations.
This is a nice-looking pistol. It is a good fit in the Crossbreed tuckable and IWB holsters, a surprisingly comfortable package on the belt.
Crossbreed’s combination of a rigid Kydex holster and supple leather backing makes for excellent concealment and comfort.
GX4 Accuracy and Reliability
Firing the pistol was accomplished with a variety of full metal jacketed practice loads and a few of my lead bullet handloads.
Reliability was excellent without any failures to feed, chamber, fire or eject.
The pistol gets on target quickly and offers excellent hit probability. This is what really matters, fast shooting and rapid follow-up shots.
As for absolute accuracy, I lined up the MTM K-Zone shooting rest and took aim at a target at 20 yards distance.
I kept five shots in three inches, sometimes less. For personal defense, more study and selection is needed.
I fired a magazine each of the Hornady 115-grain XTP, 124-grain XTP and 135-grain Critical Duty.
There are excellent modern defense loads with much to recommend. Function and accuracy are good.
I would choose the Critical Defense load in this application.
Conclusion: Taurus GX4 Review
‘The Taurus GX4 is a bright spot in new introductions. It is the right gun at the right time and should prove to be a sterling choice for personal defense.
What do you think of the Taurus GX4? Let us know in the comments section below!