If you’re looking to buy or already own a Taurus GX4, this article is a must-read. Many newly-designed, hot off-the-line pistols are sometimes plagued with early production issues. In this post, we’ll be addressing all of the Taurus GX4 problems and how to determine if yours might need to be sent back to Taurus for repair.
I’ll be listing the GX4 problems from the most severe to the least problematic and adding just a few nitpicks that some may argue just come with the budget territory. Either way, these are definitely problems we believe everyone should be made aware of before purchasing a Taurus GX4 to use for self-defense or add to their carry rotation.
Check out our full bench review if you want to know our thoughts on purchasing the Taurus GX4 here: Taurus GX4 Review- Homerun or Strikeout?
Top Taurus GX4 Problems Reported
I’ll be starting off this post with the problem my personal Taurus GX4 had when I received it. Then, we’ll go over some of the other problems people report having with their Taurus GX4 pistols. As an aside, a lot of manufacturers experience problems with completely new designs that are rushed out to market, especially when talking about budget handguns.
It has recently come to my attention (on Taurusarmed.net), and I’m not sure how much of this is substantiated or just speculation, that most of the problems people are having with their GX4s are coming from those from the earlier batch “A” production guns and supposedly the batch “B” guns have addressed all of the problems I’m about to list. My GX4 does have an A in the serial number and is an earlier production model.
Taurus has been getting better at producing more reliable handguns, like the G2C and G3C, for a very reasonable price. The problems occur when a manufacturer starts cutting too many corners and is too lax with their quality controls. Even higher-end brands like Sig Sauer have had their fair share of problems and recalls, but on average there will be far fewer lemons exiting the Sig factory versus the Taurus factory.
Because of this fact, it is especially important to check each and every firearm you purchase before depending on it to potentially save your ass! This is even truer when you’re talking about budget handguns made by Taurus. There is a reason they are able to sell their firearms at such a low cost to the consumer and that’s by cutting some corners and having less stringent quality controls.
Curious about how many problems we uncovered with the Taurus G3C? Check out our newest post to find out! Taurus G3C Problems
Taurus GX4 Problems: #1 The Trigger
This is one of the first problems I ran into when I searched the web in preparation for writing this article and discovered my own trigger issue that I hadn’t noticed hardly anyone else having. My Taurus GX4 trigger, brand-new out-of-the-box, had a dead trigger safety. The trigger safety is all-important on an IWB carry gun that doesn’t have any external safety as a backup.
The blade on my flat-faced trigger was missing the return spring to keep it extended and functional. This means the trigger can be fired without your finger fully on the trigger. It also means the trigger could potentially depress under inertial forces if it was accidentally dropped! This is a really serious problem that should not have passed QC inspection… but unfortunately did!
I have included a short video below showing the trigger safety blade malfunction. It may be missing a return spring or perhaps the spring became disconnected somehow (no, it was never installed). Either way, I’ll be returning it to Taurus for warranty repairs.
Another potential trigger problem that has been reported on a bit more than the problem I am having is the trigger breaking and having a delay before the striker releases and having what’s known as a “hang-fire”. This is a potentially dangerous situation that could end very badly if the shooter doesn’t know what to do to make the gun safe.
Some posit this is a relatively rare occurrence and isn’t widespread but Taurus has admitted to this issue in a company-released statement here: “It’s a tolerance stack on the trigger bar. We tested over 2000 units we had in inventory and very very few exhibited the problem. Unfortunately yours did. So we’ve addressed it in our production”.
Personally, I’m not sure if mine has this problem or not since I’ve yet to shoot it with its current limp trigger-blade problem. I did try to induce this malfunction a few dozen times while dry-firing it and couldn’t get the striker to delay when tripped. The Taurus is a good fit for my average-sized hands and most of the people who seem to have this issue have large hands with long fingers.
One more issue I’ve seen with the GX4 trigger is the inconsistent pull weight from gun to gun. Out of the box, some report their triggers are nearly 10 lbs while others report trigger weights of only 4.5-5 lbs. My trigger was tested with a pull weight averaging nearly 9.78 lbs on the lowest possible position with the most leverage! That’s a bit too heavy for comfortable shooting at the range but not as important in a self-defense scenario where a heavy trigger pull might be preferred.
It’s also important to mention other quality control issues people experience with the Taurus GX4 such as missing slide lock springs and missing pins on the frame assembly. Here’s a quote from a TaurusArmed.net member I found:
It’s really unfortunate that none of these missing parts can be purchased anywhere and a terrible inconvenience that the customer has to pay in lost time just to get a working firearm because it obviously slipped through Taurus’ quality controls undetected! They really need to improve in this area because I’ve never purchased any “budget” guns that were outright missing parts. Enough ranting from me, but that just isn’t good business practice.
Taurus GX4 Problems: #2 The Barrel
We’re not entirely sure what the rate of incidence of the chamber tolerance problem of some Taurus GX4 barrels is, but we saw at least one video by GBGuns where he noticed that the shell casings were showing the telltale “Glock smiley marks” and powder burns on the unsupported side due to an oversized, out-of-spec chamber.
I’ve heard this is more common on micro 9mm pistols to help increase reliability but some of these barrels may be more oversized than others. The person who made the video had their barrel replaced by Taurus and there seems to be a bit more support than before. Accuracy doesn’t seem to be adversely affected by the oversized chambers on these barrels as the GX4 is about as accurate as any other micro 9mm currently on the market. The improved trigger and ergonomic grip seem to help a lot in this regard.
Taurus GX4 Problems: #3 The Firing Pin
Some people have reported firing pins breaking at around the 1,500-round mark. This is likely due to poor heat treatment of the firing pin and less-than-stellar quality controls. It’s also been brought to our attention that Taurus will not sell you a new firing pin if it breaks and will force you to send it back on your dime and pay for the repair. We can’t confirm if this is a widespread issue or if this was due to the gun being out of warranty but it still doesn’t seem like a good move to deny the sale of a simple and easy-to-replace part.
Speaking of firing pins, the firing pin channel on the Taurus GX4 is oblong to help keep debris from clogging up the channel and causing malfunctions.
One of the consequences of having an oblong design is it causes “primer flow” which is usually something you’d see when using high-pressure rounds. Because of this, it’s probably not a good idea to use your own hot reloads in this particular handgun.
Taurus GX4 Problems: #4 The Extractor
After reading an insightful thread from Taurusarmed.net, it came to my attention that the extractor may also exhibit failures to extract. This seems to happen more often with some ammo than others but it shouldn’t be happening with any ammo after 250+ rounds of breaking in a well-lubricated gun!
Below is one of the members of the forum mentioned above. He was not the only one in that thread that has experienced extraction problems.
I have yet to find out if my Taurus GX4 from the early A batch of guns will exhibit any of these problems since I need to wait to find out if Taurus will send it back to me with the missing trigger blade safety spring actually installed. I will update this post with some videos and pictures after I take it to my local gun range to test the GX4 after repairs. Some of the comments in that thread have me more than a little bit worried about the competence of some of the “gunsmiths” that Taurus has employed.
Taurus GX4 Problems: #5 The Finish
This is more common with budget brands like Taurus and is more of a gripe than a serious problem but it can lead to premature rusting if you carry it using in the waistband holsters or keep the gun in a humid and hot environment like the inside of a glove box. It also ages the look of the gun prematurely and affects resale value. The GX4 slide is not stainless steel but is a low alloy steel with the typical gas nitride matte finish. It looks like Taurus did a better job with the finish on the GX4 compared to the G2C but about on par with the G3C. That said, it still leaves a lot to be desired!
Taurus has always used some of the cheapest finishes of any gun manufacturer, as has been evident on just about every Taurus model I’ve ever owned. Granted, they seem to have improved somewhat with the introduction of the GX4 but it’s still super easy to scratch and scuff and I’m doubtful it will be 100% rust-proof without the help of some quality gun oil! This spot rusting, unfortunately, happened to my IWB Taurus TCP which only saw limited carry in my rotation. The Taurus TCP is a micro .380 that has since been discontinued and replaced by the Taurus Spectrum.
It wasn’t more than a week or two of hot summer sweat and Texas weather that exposed just how bad the finish on that Taurus TCP was. My G2C, which was my EDC for nearly a year, seemed to fare a bit better rust-wise but still, the finish couldn’t hold up to holstering in a soft leather IWB holster. It looked so bad after a while that I just decided to buff off the nearly non-existent surface paint and sealed it with some Mother’s steel polish. That seemed to do the trick but that’s what you get when you go for these budget guns!
Taurus GX4 Problems: #6 The Sights
This last problem is from the rear sight of the GX4. Many have reported the rear sight drifting after firing x amount of times at the range. The front sight has also been reported to have fallen off after less than a full mag of shooting which leads me to believe that Taurus is forgetting to add any thread lock to the screw. This can be remedied easily enough with a sight upgrade from Lake Line but it would be nice if they made them a tighter fit at the factory.
This is yet another example of cutting corners and having less-than-stellar quality controls for a product meant to protect your life. Hopefully, most GX4 owners won’t encounter this problem with their sights but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did happen to your GX4.
Final Thoughts On The Taurus GX4 Problems
Don’t get us wrong, the Taurus GX4 appears to be a solid offering from Taurus at a great price (at least the ones from more recent batches). There are many more people that have been completely satisfied with their purchase and have experienced none of these problems, or very few issues, whatsoever.
Not everyone, though, has likely shot their Taurus GX4 enough to know for sure if a problem may or may not exist so that surely accounts for at least some of the positive experiences- or lack thereof. I, on the other hand, will not be able to give you our full review on the Taurus GX4 until my gun is repaired and sent back to us for testing.
Until such time, we cannot recommend that you buy a Taurus GX4 when there are more proven options available out there, albeit more expensive options, but what’s a few hundred more when your life is a stake? To each his own! On a side note, and if after reading this you still plan on purchasing a GX4, try finding one from a retailer that sells a lot of them to better your chances of receiving the latest production model since you’re less likely to run into any issue that way.