First Shots: Taurus G3c Sub-Compact Review

Taurus G3c Sub-Compact Review

Just introduced is the new Taurus G3c sub-compact 9mm pistol with a lot of useful features and upgrades at a very reasonable value price. It is evident from handling and shooting this gun that Taurus is committed to making competitively-priced concealed carry handguns with several nice features and attention to quality control.

Taurus is making fine progress toward re-establishing their reputation and this solid budget gun helps. They are also working on improving their customer service. The made in Brazil (not at their new USA Bainbridge, Georgia facility) G3c improves upon their already top-selling Generation 3 G3 full-size and G2c sub-compact budget 9mms. And as my favorite Mayberry Mechanic Gomer Pyle use to say “Surprise, Surprise!” They have added several very helpful improvements at a near $300 budget price for a single action, 22 ounce, 12-round pistol.

Metal, metal, and more metal. Coating, convenience, and durability. This new G3c pistol has some nice upgrades and additions that usually you would pay more for. I wanted to shoot and thoroughly evaluate this hot-off-the-press, budget-priced sub-compact 9mm to consider it for concealed carry, fun range plinking, and/or as a quickly available lower-priced truck gun. And I hope it helps you make some decisions. You can compare this G3c review with my handgun analyses, comparisons, and rankings of 21 other concealed carry guns in my book “Concealed Carry & Handgun Essentials.”

First, I want to give you a summary of the G3c’s specifications and features as a basepoint. Next, I give you my 10 criteria that I use to evaluate all guns. Then finally, I present my analysis and how I specifically evaluated the gun against each of my 10 criteria to recommend or not recommend it. As always, set your own criteria and priorities, do your own research and check my data, information, etc. with yours, for your very personal selection process. Just a note to remind you that I do not get paid by Taurus or any gun manufacturer nor receive any sponsor payments or paid incentives for my reviews and comments. I want to objectively give my opinions, evaluations, and comments.

Taurus G3c Sub-Compact 9mm Specifications:

Spec 1Spec 2
Caliber9mm
Model Number1-G3c931
ActionStriker-Fired; Single Action with Restrike; Short Recoil, Locked-Breech
Barrel - Length3.26"
Barrel MaterialStainless Steel; Polished Feed Ramp
Front SightsAll Metal Fixed, Single White-Dot Front; Serrated Square-Notch Metal Black
Rear SightsRear; Dovetails into Slide and Drift Adjustable; Glock Upgrade Compatible
Slide MaterialCarbon Steel; Tenifer Treated
Slide - FinishMatte Black; Beveled & Tenifer Coated for Corrosion and Wear Resistance
Operational Controls - FinishAll Operational Controls Have Teflon Coating for Durability
FramePolymer; Black; Sub-Compact
Trigger - TypeUpgraded Flat Single-Action with Restrike Capability; Short Reset Trigger
Trigger Press4.80 pounds (as measured over 10 trials with my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull gauge)
Magazines - Capacity12 Rounds; 3 Steel Mags; Blued Double Stack (10 Rounds Available)
Height5.10"
Width1.20"
Overall Length6.30"
Weight (Unloaded)22.0 oz, Empty 12-Round Mag
SafetiesManual Thumb Safety (left side only); Trigger Safety; Firing Pin Block
GripsAggressively-Textured Black Polymer Grips; Wrap-Around 6 Textured Panels: 2 Panels on Each Side and Front and Rear Panels
OtherLimited Lifetime Warranty for Original Purchaser Only (per p.38 Manual)
MSRP$305.74

Taurus G3c Sub-Compact 9mm Features

  • Consistent, Smooth Single-Action Light & Short Trigger, with Short Reset & Second Strike Capability
  • Trigger Face is Grooved, Wide, and Flat for Solid Contact
  • All-Metal Controls (Slide Stop, Mag Release, Thumb Safety, etc.) Treated with Teflon Coating
  • Steel Slide Treated with Tenifer Finish for Resistance to Corrosion and Wear
  • Very Nice Overall Ergonomics, with Aggressively-Textured Wrap-Around Comfortable Grips
  • All Steel Front and Rear Sights; White-Dot Front; Serrated Square-Notch Black Dovetailed Rear
  • Highly-Polished Feed Ramp for Smooth and Reliable Round Feeding
  • Memory Pads on Left and Right Side for Indexing Trigger Finger and Thumb for Comfort and Control
  • Front and Rear Angled Cocking Serrations: 3 Smaller Front and 8 Larger Rear
  • Witness Hole on Top of Chamber to Visually Verify Round (no raised bar above slide indicator)
  • Trigger Guard is Rounded & Undercut; All Edges Rounded for Comfort, Smoothness, & for Holstering
  • Ambidextrous Reversible Magazine Release
  • Two-Piece, Dual Recoil Spring Assembly; with Steel Supports to Help Slide Cycling
  • Picatinny Accessory Rail, MIL-STD 1913
  • Low-Profile Slide Lock Lever to Reduce Snagging
  • Mag Well and Base Plate have Indentations to Help Mag Feeding and for Malfunctions
Taurus G3c Sub-Compact Review
Taurus G3c 9mm – Right Side with Memory Pads, Mag Well & Base Plate Indentations 3 Mags

Taurus G3C Review Criteria and Considerations

Here are just 10 of my criteria and factors I use for evaluating any handgun, so I will use them for the G3c. In addition to my criteria, there are other subjective features that may be appealing for some, like a certain style, mag release location, action, caliber, appearance, number of mags included, type of sights/modifications, bore axis, rail, grip angle, non-porting or porting, included extras like a holster and pouch, customer service, etc. So, I combined these into my last Miscellaneous criterion. I must admit that all gun-choice decisions involve tradeoffs, but I really want all of my criteria to be met. I assigned a total possible point score of 10 points for each of my 10 criteria for a total possible score of 100 points. You can certainly add your own additional criteria and preferences or subtract any of mine.    

Recognize that there are several features, characteristics, pros and cons, and personal criteria to include and consider and you make your own tradeoffs according to your priorities, preferences, defined needs, and use.

Taurus G3c Rear Sights
Taurus G3c Sub-Compact 9mm Metal Serrated, Square-Notch Black, Adjustable Rear Sight

 

Taurus G3c 9mm Range Test

I was anxious to shoot the G3c and see if it truly met or surpassed all ten of my criteria, so that I could help you and myself evaluate this pistol for concealed carry and other purposes. So I headed out to the outdoor Santa Rosa Shooting Center in Pace Florida where we train our students and shoot our test guns.

And many thanks to Fiocchi and SinterFire for providing quality 9mm ammo in various grains and types for my testing and evaluation of this G3c. All ammo functioned fabulously without any malfunctions, or failures of any kind. Without a doubt, this sub-compact pistol and its quality control and features were a pleasant surprise to me and fun to shoot. Taurus has improved and it is not the previous Taurus, so be open-minded and try this gun for yourself. I appreciate its fine, upgraded smooth single-action trigger and its re-strike capability, its about 4.80-pound press, its very short reset, memory pads to help thumb and finger positioning and rest, reliability, and accuracy. The trigger’s light, about two-pound takeup, with a firm stop before it cleanly breaks was impressive for a budget gun. Below are my evaluations for each of my 10 criteria for the G3c. I was considering it for my concealed carry gun rotation and for a truck gun. I wanted to put the pistol through its paces and check it thoroughly for malfunctions, stoppages, accuracy, reliability, ergonomics, and my other criteria.

General Observations About Field Performance

Here are just some of my general highlights that impressed me at the range about the new and improved G3c.

Reliability and Accuracy

I was nicely surprised that I had not a single malfunction of any type and it fed all ammo we had well. This gun was reliable, at least for my range trial. There were no stoppages and overall this pistol performed magnificently. It digested the different types and grain weights of ammo without any problems, including the Fiocchi 115 grain FMJ (1200 fps), the Sig Sauer 124 grain FMJ (1165 fps), and the SinterFire Greenline 100 grain frangible lead-free JHP (1350 fps) rounds. The SinterFire frangible high-velocity ammo performed exceptionally well. I did not get to test the gun’s restrike capability since there were no light primer strikes.

For a 3.26″ short-barreled, only 22-ounce pistol, I was pleased with its decent and manageable felt recoil, slight muzzle rise, and accuracy. It was just a little snappy, but no problems at all for me with felt recoil and just some minor concern for my wife. Consider that this G3c with a higher round capacity and very close to the same barrel length, has about a $250 less MSRP than the Springfield Hellcat, Glock 26, and Sig 365. Of course, there are many factors and features to consider and to prioritize for each shooter.

Slide Racking

Racking the slide was very easy, probably due to the all-weather black Teflon coating treatment that reduces friction, as well as corrosion and rust. All operational control parts are coated with the Teflon. And the slide is Tenifer coated to provide longer wear resistance, to minimize scuffing, and to help prevent corrosion. I remember working at DuPont’s West Virginia plant in the Teflon Department in the summers of my college years. They invented Teflon and it is a remarkable product that protects against corrosion and abrasion, reduces friction, and protects upon impact.

Trigger

The trigger was exceptional, especially for a budget-priced handgun. I was very impressed with its smooth, light, almost no resistance, and crisp single-action-only trigger press. Although the press was slightly longer than I wanted. The trigger is not bad and not great but works very fine. No hammer and single action with restrike. The trigger safety blade does not irritate your trigger finger when the trigger is pressed. And the trigger is flat faced. This hammerless gun had a light takeup, a short reset, and was accurate for this old codger and his 3 to 3.5-inch rapid-fire groups at 7 yards. Good enough for self-defense and concealed carry, but it is not an expensive match-grade trigger, and this makes sense for the price. The flat-faced trigger helped me concentrate my finger pressure on the front of the shoe for a straighter press.

Mags and Mag Well

The blued-steel, double-stack polished mags dropped quickly and easily from the mag well. Where the bottom of the mag well on the grip joins the polymer base plate of the 3 mags (yes 3 included) there are indentations, scallops, or dimples on both sides to help with mag changes and if you need to rip out the mag because of a double feed or malfunction. The quality mags with their slick, metal finish performed exceptionally well and they really did drop freely. The mag release’s button had a serrated surface for easy use and it can be reversed for left-hand/ambidextrous operation. These steel mags have a bright yellow follower that helps confirm the mag is empty. 15-round and 17-round G3c mags will also be available for higher capacity.

Front and Rear Sights

All-steel front and rear sights are standard. The rear sight is all-black and serrated to reduce glare and quicken sight picture acquisition. The rear sight is drift adjustable to fine-tune the point-of-impact and is dovetail cut to accept common aftermarket optional fiber-optic or tritium night sights.

Ergonomics

The overall ergonomics and grip were excellent for me and my medium-sized hands and fingers. At the very end of my trial shooting session, however, the aggressively-textured grip surfaces were just starting to take their toll on me, but this mild irritation was after a lengthy, continuous shooting range session. After all, for personal protection, you rarely shoot 200 and more continuous rounds. Overall, this gun was very comfortable in my hand and the grip texture was honestly no problem for me and my average mitts. The grip was comfortable and felt just right. The texturized panels are larger than the previous G2c model, providing a solid grip. The G3c’s three-finger grip and texturing and memory pads on both sides of the gun helped with trigger finger resting and thumb positioning, control, and recoil. They give you a tactile reference point, for example, for parking your trigger finger.

Below I will get specific and give my opinions for each of my 10 criteria to support my recommendation for this Taurus G3c sub-compact, after my hands-on range testing.

Using my 20-second timed Concealed Carry Drill with 5 circle targets and 15 rounds at 7 yards, accuracy was acceptable and my self-defense goal was met. But, shoot it for yourself to make your own decisions, based on your abilities and proficiency.

Taurus G3c Memory Pads
Taurus G3c’s Memory Pads, Manual Safety, Slide Lock Lever, Mag Release Button, & Slide Serrations
Taurus G3c Target Hits
Taurus G3c Sub-Compact 9mm Rapid FireTarget Hits at 7 Yards, Various Ammo, & My Concealed Carry Drill Circle Targets

Holsters

Kramer Handgun Leather G3c Holster

Kramer Handgun Leather makes a beautiful, high-quality In-the-Waistband (IWB) #4 Horsehide Leather custom holster for the G3c pistol. The above hard-molded horsehide leather holster is very durable and is designed to carry the G3c in a vertical or neutral rake position. It works well for concealed carry, as well as for range use and self-defense. It has great workmanship, is very comfortable, extremely durable with the horsehide material, and conceals well. It is designed with a very strong and high-quality spring clip which can be affixed to the belt or waistband. I love their attention to details and this strong clip keeps the gun secure when it is being drawn. There are nice color options, e.g. Horsehide Black and Horsehide Mahogany.

Kramer Handgun Leather wants to offer my readers a 20% Discount off all purchases through September 30, 2020, for their high-quality leather holsters. When ordering, use the Discount Code “ColBen-USAC-G3c.”

Taurus G3c Leather Holster
Taurus G3c 9mm Pistol in Kramer Leather IWB #4 Horsehide Holster

CrossBreed G3c Holster

CrossBreed Holsters’ Outside-the-Waistband (OWB) DropSlide kydex polymer and leather, open-muzzle holster has 1 3/4″ belt loops and is designed to keep your holster tight against your body. The fine leather backer is configured to accommodate a different position of the kydex pocket allowing for a lower-riding holster. The specifically-designed cut of the leather backer allows for a full grip on the firearm when drawing. The holster has a 15-degree forward cant for strongside carry. The extended leather on the bottom side of the holster keeps most long-barreled firearms from rubbing against your clothes and body. The DropSlide is available in these leather options: Black Cowhide, Founder’s Leather, and Natural Tan Horsehide. Kydex options include: Standard Black, FDE, Sniper Grey, OD Green, and Tiffany Blue. There is a Two-Week, Try-It-Free Guarantee and a nice Lifetime Warranty.

CrossBreed G3c Holster
Taurus G3c 9mm Pistol in CrossBreed Kydex and Leather OWB DropSlide Holster

Taurus G3c Range Test Results for each of my 10 Criteria:

1. Accuracy and Reliability – Score: 9

The accuracy of the G3c was exceptional for me at 7 yards, for a budget gun. This value gun will get the job done without any adjustments right out of the box. Although the barrel was thin and not a bull barrel, it did not get overly hot after my extended range use and did not affect accuracy. All my hits were in the 5 circles of my “Col Ben’s Concealed Carry Drill” and within 20 seconds of my draw. This old codger was pleased and the gun did most of the work. Of course, the remarkable 4.80 pound light trigger press of this single-action striker helped reduce my movement and resulting accuracy. I used my Modified-Isosceles Stance, a two-handed grip, and fast-fired from the draw.

G3c Review
Taurus G3c Light Single-ActionTrigger Press– 4.80 Pounds

2. Trigger Press – Score: 10

The superb trigger press averaged about 4.80 pounds with 10 readings from my Lyman Electronic Trigger Pull Gauge. This was exceptional for a budget gun and was not too light for a carry gun for me. I appreciate a short and light trigger press. I prefer that my carry guns have a maximum of 6.5 pounds press or less, so this press was fabulous. I will buy this gun and use it as a truck gun, for range fun, and it probably will slide into my carry rotation later.

3. Trigger – Score: 10

I liked the short, light, and positive reset of the G3c’s very crisp trigger. Its fine trigger had a tactile and very identifiable click with a very short reset. The consistency from shot to shot was there for this striker-fired pistol. I could easily recognize the short reset point for quick follow-up shots of this notable flat trigger. They added a wider trigger bar safety blade, so folks will not pinch their finger. I really enjoyed shooting this smooth trigger. You usually have to pay a much higher price for this kind of trigger. Usually most striker-fired pistols have to be manually cycled if there is a dud in the chamber, but the G3c has second-strike capability so you just press the trigger again to set off the primer. I liked the trigger finger memory pad for resting the finger.

4. Barrel Length – Score: 9

The 3.26-inch sturdy stainless steel barrel combined with its polished feed ramp and single-action performance to deliver fine results for me. The steel barrel of this value-priced handgun appeared to be of first-rate quality, although not match-grade and not a thicker bull barrel, as you would expect at this price point. I did experience some muzzle flip with heavier loads.

5. Sights – Score: 9

The sights consist of a single, white-dot all metal front sight and an all black, serrated square-notch rear sight. The rear sight dovetails into the slide, is drift adjustable, and the sights are compatible with several aftermarket optional Glock sights and several night sights and fiber optics options. I could easily pickup the steel sights in daylight and the black serrated rear sight did help reduce glare, but the sights were more difficult to identify at dark. Of course, I prefer my front bright-green fiber optic and tritium night sights, but this is a value-priced gun. But, the standard sights are decent. Out of the box, the sights were right on.

6. Proper Gun Weight – Score: 8

The G3c’s overall 22 ounce unloaded weight was acceptable for me for all-day concealed carry. But, the lightweight tradeoff with more recoil was apparent for this 3.26″ barreled light handgun and I wanted just a little more weight to mitigate the felt recoil and muzzle flip. The muzzle flip was noticeable especially for my wife. There are always tradeoffs and weight versus carry is a very personal balancing act. I recognize that the added weight has advantages for felt recoil, muzzle flip, and even for accuracy. For me and my carry frequency, routine, and goals, this light weight was not a major problem, but I could tell my accuracy suffered some. I am willing to make the tradeoff for this criterion for my concealed carry gun. But, you should try carrying this lightweight G3c gun for yourself and then make your personal evaluation about the relationship between its weight and accuracy.

7. Caliber – Score: 10

Overall, it was easy and comfortable to shoot this 9mm pistol. I can manage a 9mm caliber’s felt recoil, but my wife is more sensitive to it. But, she could control the G3c for the most part without any problems and was accurate with it. I can easily control this pistol. The G3c digested the various types and weights of 9mm ammo easily without a single malfunction or stoppage.

8. Capacity – Score: 10

Outstanding capacity. There were three 12-round high-quality steel magazines included with this sub-compact pistol. Unparalleled rounds capacity for self-defense in this value-priced gun. It is very similar to some recent short-barreled pistols with very similar specifications, but they are much higher priced. Love that three superior, steel mags are included, with bright yellow followers to confirm the mag is empty.

Taurus G3c Grip Panels and Aggressive Texture
Taurus G3c Grip Panels and Aggressive Texture

9. Ergonomics – Score: 10

The ergonomics of the G3c sub-compact 9mm are excellent. Form, function, and fit were splendid, especially given the low price point. It sits low in the hand for shooting and it was very comfortable for me to hold in my medium-sized hands. The aggressive grip texturing on all six panels helped me firmly grasp the pistol and control it. The texture was not too gritty and not under texturized. The grip’s body width was ample to allow me to acquire a firm and comfortable grip, even when my palms sweated in the Florida sun. I was able to easily reach and operate all the controls. And I don’t miss a decocker. The all-metal parts of this sturdy pistol and the memory pads are nice enhancements. Just press the manual safety lever up for safety “on” and down for off.”

Taurus G3c Sub-Compact 9mm Pistol in Cardboard Box with 3 Steel Magazines, Lock, and Manual
Taurus G3c Sub-Compact 9mm Pistol in Cardboard Box with 3 Steel Magazines, Lock, and Manual

10. Miscellaneous – Score: 8

The G3c has a nice visual loaded chamber indicator that replaces the mechanical indicator which is on the G2c. The grip features with the nicely contoured palm swell and highly-texturized 6 grip panels were nice additions for special retention help. There are several physical extras that helped this model. The mag release is reversible. The slide nose is beveled to help holstering. But, for me, the added 3 small, forward slide serrations are not necessary nor useful for me.

As always before shooting any new gun, I disassembled, lubed and cleaned, and re-assembled the G3c before I shot it. The takedown is easy, but be certain to first remove the mag and then check the chamber both visually and tactilely (not tactically) that the gun is unloaded, before you press the trigger to start disassembly. The trigger must be pressed for field stripping, as the manual says. SAFETY FIRST! Just draw back the slide about 1/8″, pull the disassembly latches down on each side of the frame, release the slide and disassembly latches, and “pull and release the trigger,” then remove the slide.

In the past, some readers have commented on Taurus’ Customer Care Service and strongly suggested that they need to improve it. I cannot give solid, researched data about this, but I can share a recent experience with you. For this review, I called their Customer Care Department with three questions and had to leave a message without my name requesting a callback. They never did respond to me and when I called back a few more times I received the message “All Customer Care support agents are busy assisting other customers, please call back at a later time.”  In addition to the Covid-19 problem concerns now about products, services, and timeliness, there can be many explanations for this lack of response, so carefully evaluate their customer service for yourself. I had to factor in my Customer Care Service experience now for this criterion, but overall this is To Be Determined later.

Total Points = 93

This remarkable G3c sub-compact 9mm rated 93 points out of 100 Possible, for my above 10 criteria. This is a fabulous value-priced small, lightweight, easy-shooting pistol for fun range plinking, as a truck gun, and for someone on a tight budget for personal protection and concealed carry. It is not meant to be a luxury gun with many lavish features and an up-market price. I certainly RECOMMEND this as a reasonable choice for consideration for your new gun for personal protection and for fun range plinking.

Taurus G3c Review Conclusions

The Taurus G3c 9mm single-action, striker pistol has excellent ergonomics sitting low in the hand, with a comfortable aggressive grip texture in six places, and the memory pads help with indexing the trigger finger and thumb. It has an improved exceptional flat trigger, a soft, light, and smooth trigger press of only 4.80 pounds with a short reset. The trigger was fine, especially for a budget-priced handgun. I was very impressed with its smooth, light, and crisp single-action-only trigger press… although the press was slightly longer than I wanted.

The included three steel magazines and their superb 12-round capacity were special. The sights are not plastic, but are steel and are certainly sturdy and acceptable. But for me, if there was one thing to change it would be to consider getting aftermarket night sights and/or a fiber optic front sight. Of course, this is a personal preference and not absolutely needed. All control parts are coated with Teflon and the slide is Tenifer coated to protect against corrosion, abrasion, and to reduce friction. Racking the slide was very easy for me and for my wife.

For a budget-priced gun near $300, the G3c has very good accuracy, fine reliability, and the felt recoil was manageable for me during my test and evaluation session at the range. It handled ammo in various weights and types from three different manufacturers without any problems at all. The frangible lead-free SinterFire ammo and its reduced splash back was first-rate. My diminutive wife could easily rack the slide, the pistol was comfortable for her, and she was accurate with the gun. But, she did comment on the muzzle flip for the 3.26″ barrel and this lightweight gun.

Overall, this is a well-built, budget-priced sub-compact pistol with several excellent features and upgrades. It can be used for self-defense, fun range plinking, and even as a truck gun, depending upon your preferences. I definitely recommend this fine 9mm pistol. But, do your own cost-benefit analysis to decide if this pistol is for you. I cannot know what is best for you or for anyone but myself. For me, however, this gun meets my criteria and has fine Form, Fit, and Function, but handle and shoot this pistol to decide for yourself. Consider Taurus’ customer care service for yourself.

I hope this review has helped you gain some information you did not previously have. Consider that these are just my opinions with limited live-range fire. You need to determine for yourself its reliability, accuracy, and personal fit by your own shooting and handling of the gun. Like always, I recommend that you shoot any handgun yourself before you purchase it. Decide on your criteria, how you will primarily use the gun, what features are important to you, and are you willing to pay for them ahead of your range time. Then critically evaluate the gun YOURSELF per your criteria and purpose, with standard drills (several mentioned in my book), with various ammo types, over an extended break-in period of at least 500 rounds. Remember, Safety First Always.

Continued success!

Contacts

Taurus USA
1-229-235-4020
1-800-327-3776
Bainbridge, GA 39817

Kramer Handgun Leather holsters
1-253-564-6652
Tacoma, WA 98411

CrossBreed Holsters
1-888-732-5011
Springfield, MO 65802                  

SinterFire Frangible 9mm 100 Grain Ammo
1-814-885-6672
Kersey, PA 15846

Fiocchi USA Ammo
1-417-725-4118
Ozark, MO 65721

Photos by Author.

* This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense and concealed carry. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever.

© 2020 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected].