In this post, we’ll be giving you our Taurus GX4 review to find out if it is indeed a home run or strikeout for Taurus. If all we’re considering is sales of this super popular micro 9, then yes, it’s definitely a financial home run for Taurus. Is that all that matters though, and should we consider some of the strikes along the way before giving Taurus the win? Continue reading to find out our preliminary conclusions from the bench and then decide for yourself if you’re truly getting a good deal for your money.
Check out this article before you consider buying the Taurus GX4 (or if you already own one): Taurus GX4 Problems: Read This Before You Buy!
Taurus GX4 Benchtop Review A Brief Introduction
In May of 2021, the Taurus GX4 officially hit the proverbial shelves both online and in gun stores throughout the country. Due to the high demand for the GX4 right out of the gate, it was slow getting into the hands of the buying public and was mostly seen in early sneak-peak first impression videos from prominent gun tubers.
Most of these early previews of the Taurus GX4 were positive and boasted of Taurus’ completely built-from-the-ground-up design and improvements in ergonomics, trigger, and best of all, its low price point! The GX4 even won a couple of prestigious awards at the 5th Annual NASGW-POMA in 2021.
As the reviews of the newly designed Taurus GX4 began to pour in on YouTube, it was put through its paces on various testing grounds and performed admirably in most respects. The GX4 seemed to reliably feed just about any ammo you put through it with only the occasional break-in failure that may partially be attributed to the ammo being used. But, by far and wide, the majority of tests performed on the GX4 passed with flying colors. Later on down the road, though, as more and more people got their hands on a Taurus GX4 of their own there appeared to be a potential number of flaws that made their way past quality control.
These flaws are written about in more detail in our “Taurus GX4 Problems” article that you should definitely check out! We’ll be touching on those briefly in this post but will be mostly focusing on our take on the Taurus GX4 and if we had any buyer’s remorse after our purchase. We’ll also be going over the features of the GX4 and what you get for your money.
The Box Contents
The Taurus GX4 comes with some standard accessories as well as some not-so-standard extras that I’ll break down below.
Included in the GX4 box:
- 1 Taurus GX4 Micro 9mm semi-auto pistol.
- 1 Replaceable back strap for larger hands.
- 1 Back strap that comes pre-installed for small-to-average-sized hands.
- 2 11-round Mec-Gar magazines [made in Italy] with flush-mount base plates. (13-round magazines and pinky extension base plates are sold separately).
- 1 Polymer case with positive locking tabs, egg crate foam on top and bottom, and two holes to place small padlocks.
- 1 Kid-safe, tamper-proof gun lock that threads through the open chamber and through the magazine well with the slide-locked back.
- 1 Miniature Taurus GX4 slide takedown tool that you turn to the left to actuate after the trigger is pulled.
- 1 Manual, warranty card, and some coupons for optional accessory purchases.
Below is a picture of most of the box contents minus the bullets and padlock.
The Taurus GX4 base model has an MSRP of $392.42, but when I purchased my Taurus GX4 I paid $329 for it while most gun sites were selling them for $349 and couldn’t keep them in stock even at those prices. Fast-forward to mid-2022 and now they’re selling all day for just $299 for the basic non-TORO models with several non-serialized and swappable body colors to choose from (there are no options to buy separate bodies at the time of this writing and no third-party bodies being made that we’re aware of).
Compared to the GX4’s competition, there’s no doubt who the value leader is in this equation but that lower price does come with some caveats- namely quality control.
Having purchased other micro 9s like the Sig P365, Ruger Max-9, and Springfield Hellcat, the Taurus GX4 has a more unique approach to its grip design than the rest of the competition. With two interchangeable sizes of back straps, you can really dial down the palm swell to your hand size.
The sandpaper-like grip texture gives you a very positive purchase on the GX4 and helps to mitigate recoil on an otherwise snappy 9mm micro-compact. Taurus placed this texturing in all the right places too so those with sweaty hands will definitely appreciate the additional grip it provides.
I would recommend getting the pinky extension if you’ve got average to large hands though. The 13-round magazine will help you manage the recoil even more and keep you from having to adjust your grip after every shot. The 13-round extended magazine gives the Taurus GX4 a nearly full-sized grip and will imprint more when concealed but is definitely worth the tradeoff if you want maximum control and better shot placements under duress.
I started this trigger review with a question mark because even though the flat-faced trigger is much improved, there are some serious issues with them if you’re one of the unlucky ones that received a bad trigger. My trigger blade safety was missing its tension spring and the trigger pull is a whopping 9lbs! The rated trigger pull is supposed to be only 4.5-5.0lbs but I’ve seen other reviewers that have the heavy trigger like mine.
Apparently, not all GX4s that leave the factory have the same trigger spring tension as some are definitely a lot heavier than others. A heavy trigger will have a negative effect on your range sessions by causing finger fatigue and forcing shots to hit low since you’re squeezing it so hard! If you did manage to get the correct trigger spring, then it’s a definite upgrade from the G2C and G3C compact 9 offerings from Taurus (possibly the best trigger of any striker fire polymer gun they’ve ever made).
Size and Shape
The Taurus GX4 belongs to the relatively new double-stack micro 9 space that was started by the Sig P365. While not quite as small as the Sig P365 in all dimensions, it is more similar in size to the Hellcat and slightly smaller than the Ruger Max-9. The GX4 clocks in at only 6.05″ long, 4.40″ high, and a slim 1.08″ thick. Slightly bigger than my hand, the GX4 is a very concealable weapon that you barely even notice in an IWB setup (depending on the holster you use).
The GX4 only weighs a meager 1lb 2oz unloaded, but the weight differences between all of the micro 9s are negligible and I doubt you’d notice the difference in your hand or on your person. All of the micro-compact 9mm offerings to date are derivatives of the Sig P365 design-wise. The GX4 sports exterior design cues similar to HK (trigger guard), the Walther (grip palm swell), and Glock (trigger blade safety, squared slide, and back plate) as well as a few unique additions Taurus added when detailing the exterior.
The internals on the new Taurus GX4 shows a lot of promise borrowing designs from Sig and Glock and mixing them together to produce very tough and rugged bones. The modular and serialized internal stainless steel frame houses the fire control group with a long built-in slide rail that is easy to remove and retained by a rather beefy takedown pin.
Note: Be careful when removing the frame because the spring that tensions the slide stop will pop off easily and is really tricky to put back on without knowing its proper orientation prior to removal!
This element of the GX4 was borrowed from the Sig P365, though not an exact copy. The stainless steel barrel has a nice DLC coating that should keep it from wearing away too quickly but the feed ramp could do with a bit of polishing to ensure smoother feeding. The steel guide rod has two captured springs providing ample tension for reliable cycling but is still easy enough to rack.
The slide borrows many safety features from the Glock such as a drop-safe plunger, a striker block, and the now ubiquitous trigger blade. The GX4 features an improved flat-faced trigger that many have praised but this trigger has been known to have some problems in early production releases (you can check out those trigger issues in this post we did here: Taurus GX4 Problems).
The slide is made out of a run-of-the-mill steel alloy (most likely from the 41xx series of chrome-moly steels that make up a large portion of mass-produced gun parts) and is gas nitrided for corrosion resistance. The matte paint job scuffs and scratches rather easily and we can only hope the case hardness penetrates deep enough to prevent rust underneath the thin layer of surface paint.
The design of the slide incorporates front and rear slide cocking serrations that give your fingers a positive grip and should suffice even if your hands are particularly sweaty. The front serrations on the slide have the ideal angle for performing safe press checks for those who like press-checking.
The Taurus GX4 barrel is made of stainless steel with a satin black DLC coating to decrease friction wear marks during use. Coming in at slightly over 3 inches in length, the GX4 barrel has 6 grooves with a 1:10-inch RH twist rate. The muzzle appears to have an 11-degree rounded bevel, also known as a “target crown”, which is ideal for achieving the most accuracy you can possibly get out of a really short 3.06″ barrel.
The GX4 shoots about as accurately as the higher-priced micro-compact 9mm pistols on the market but right-handed shooters with longer fingers tend to pull shots a bit to the left if they don’t adjust their finger position. This is not a barrel accuracy issue though and having adequate practice behind the trigger will remedy these issues.
The Taurus GX4 comes with two Italian-made Mec-Gar magazines that have a capacity of 11 rounds of 9X19 Parabellum.
Note: The flush-mount base plate that comes on both magazines does not allow for a full 4-finger grip and you’ll have to buy the pink extension separately if you want to gain a full purchase to better control the snappy recoil that is commonplace on micro 9s.
Mec-Gar makes really high-quality magazines and the ones they make for the GX4 are no exception! For such a short magazine to be able to hold 11 rounds is one of the greatest selling points for buying a micro 9 like the GX4.
These magazines have very forgiving spring tension and should be fairly easy for most people to fully load without the aid of a speed loader. The spring tension on a fully-loaded magazine does not cause any issues chambering the first round like some magazines have been known to do. I think Taurus made a wise choice for their OEM magazines and an easy one at that!
The metal sights come standard on the Taurus GX4 and borrow heavily from the Glock design but thankfully Taurus didn’t opt for the cheaper plastic sights that Glocks come with. The blacked-out serrated rear sights are a popular option that I’m glad to see done here and the front sight has a simple white dot that is easy enough to see on most targets in broad daylight.
It is said that aftermarket Glock sights will fit in the GX4 but not without some minor adjustments. Lake Line Inc has made some much-improved aftermarket sights specifically made to fit perfectly on the GX4 and add night sight functionality and better sight picture. This may be a necessary upgrade if you happen to receive an early production GX4 with loose-fitting rear sights and a front sight that flies off after a few shots! Read more about that here in our Taurus GX4 problems article: GX4 Problems- The Sights
The Taurus GX4 has been out a little over a year and the aftermarket support growing- albeit slowly. Hopefully, this will improve as the popularity, ownership, and demand of such aftermarket support grows as it did for the Sig P365. As of today, Kydex holsters are non-existent for the GX4 except for one that Taurus sells on their website (and a very basic one at that). No aftermarket magazines are available but you can purchase additional Mec-Gar magazines on Taurus’ web store like the standard 11-round and 13-round extended mags- as well as a pinky extension base plate.
You may be able to find some generic universal leather holsters that will fit the bill but don’t expect them to be a perfect match for the GX4. Lake Line Inc has made quite a few aftermarket parts for Taurus guns like the G2C and G3C and already has some GX4 support. Unfortunately, you still can’t find any replacement springs or firing pins should they fail or if Taurus forgot to include them. We think this will change by the end of 2022 and into 2023 as the GX4 gains more and more adoption in the market.
Taurus GX4 Review: Our Verdict
So, is the Taurus GX4 a veritable home run for the company or did it tally up enough strikes to strike out? If you’re one of the fortunate ones to receive a properly assembled GX4 without any missing parts, get a barrel with an out-of-spec chamber, or have a delayed striker hangfire issue, then you undoubtedly will consider your Taurus GX4 to be an easy home run!
If, on the other hand, you’re like me or dozens (if not hundreds) of people who received a faulty GX4 out of the gate then (depending on the severity of the defect) you may be of the opinion that the GX4 is a dumpster fire on top of striking out! Since I’ve had better experiences with some of their other models like the G2C, and weighing in some of the other issues people are having, I’d say it’s strike two at the bottom of the 9th inning with no runners on base and the next pitch better hit the sweet spot.
Just to add one last baseball analogy, if my GX4 returns to me and functions flawlessly for at least a hundred rounds, I’d probably consider it a solid ground hit double at best. If not, a strikeout it will be!