The new Taurus G3 is a budget-friendly polymer pistol. A pistol that delivers on all the key attributes of the G2 but with a nod toward full-frame performance, plus a few upgrades along the way. The G3 boasts a full-size polymer frame that feels much like the TX22, which I absolutely love. Taurus enhanced the grip design and added a sandpaper like stippling for comfort and a much better-feeling pistol in the hands. The stippling texture is not too aggressive but definitely provides a great grip where needed the most. Taurus also added a bit of ergonomics to the palm swell for a natural full grip that effortlessly places the strong hand high and tight on the frame. This promotes straight wrist alignment for newer shooters.
The Affordable Taurus G3
Being a firearms instructor, I am a big fan of any pistol with thumb shelves and gas pedals on frames. They both aid in new shooter grip and trigger discipline when teaching pistol shooting and safety. Taurus nailed both of these on the G3 with some very subtle yet useful thumb shelves on both sides of the grip. The shelves help the shooter achieve a solid lock and faster grip. They also place the index finger in position for a straight pull on the trigger.
Integrated into the frame just above the trigger guard are what I call gas pedals but Taurus calls Memory Pads. These subtle recesses offer a home for safely placing the trigger finger when not pulling the trigger. The thumb shelves and the Taurus Memory Pads are positioned on both sides of the frame so left- and right-handed shooters can enjoy them. The frame also includes an integrated Picatinny rail up front for your favorite lights and lasers to hangout.
The G3’s ergonomics do not stop at the polymer frame. Smooth contouring along the slide blends with a slightly tapered slide profile, giving the slide a very attractive unique look. The G3 features decent front and rear machined serrations. They are not overly aggressive but are functional. However, I personally would have liked to see them a bit deeper and a few more of them in the front. For smooth holstering and to minimize clothing snags, the G3 has uniform beveling along the front of the slide and frame, and an attractive contoured bevel along the back of the slide.
Taurus also added a few safety features on the new G3. First is the striker block. This keeps the striker from moving forward unintentionally. The G3 also includes a manual safety thumb lever. The thumb safety is positioned above the thumb rest for easy manipulation. The Thumb safety is easy to operate, even being fairly low profile. The pistol also boasts a trigger safety. The trigger safety is a pretty basic design that we have all seen on many polymer pistols. It simply forces the shooter to have their entire finger over the trigger shoe to naturally depress the trigger safety.
The Trigger System
I think we can all agree, the G2’s biggest downfall was the sloppy trigger. I got to shoot the G3 at a media event when it was still in the prototype stage. The number one thing that all of us media guys loved about it was the new trigger. It felt great on the range, so I was really excited to get my hands on a production model to see if it still was that good. To my dismay, I discovered a different feeling trigger system in the actual production gun.
Don’t get me wrong here, it is way better than the G2 trigger, however not the amazing trigger I felt in the prototype model. The G3 has a pretty light six-pound pull weight and exhibits a very smooth but long take-up with a crisp yet springy break. The G3 trigger’s reset is very audible, which I really like, but is a bit longer than it needs to be. Again, this trigger is not the best but definitely not the worst either.
Customers can select a few different options for feeding the beast. G3 models are available with two 10-round magazines, two 15-round magazines, or a combination 15- and extended 17-round magazine. The 17-round magazine features a fitted polymer sleeve over the extended tube, allowing four fingers to engage the grip when drawing from a holster. As a striker-fired pistol, the G3 utilizes a single-action firing system.
What really sets the G3 apart from competition is its second-strike capability. In a failure-to-fire situation, the shooter can reset and pull the trigger again to re-strike the primer. In a defensive situation this feature could be very helpful. The four-inch barrel is made of stainless steel. The recoil system is made out of steel, which is great to see since I hate plastic guide rods. The spring is specially tuned to deliver low recoil, which really helps make this pistol a viable option for any shooter.
Let me start by saying that I was never a big fan of the G2 line. I did not have great expectations for the G3 either. My first trip to the range changed all that. I ran 200 rounds through the G3 in about 20 minutes. I ran it fast, hot, and hard trying to get my first malfunction. To my surprise, I did not get a malfunction. In fact, with every pull of the trigger I became more and more impressed with this gun. The G3 was comfortable, had very little perceived recoil, and was pretty darn accurate. I worked at distance from 10 feet out to 75 feet just to see what I could do with the brand new Taurus. This was with no cleaning or anything, right out of the box.
At close, what I call defensive distances, 25 feet and closer, I was able to consistently put rounds on paper shooting five-round groups that all fell within one inch in diameter. Reaching out further all the way to 75 feet, obviously the groups opened up a bit, but were all on a standard silhouette target. No misses at all and no malfunctions. I shot one hand, off hand, double tap, rapid fire, multiple magazines in a row with no cool down, and even from the hip. It performed perfectly.
I got about 600 rounds total through the gun using ammunition from HSM, Hornady, Wilson Combat, Remington, Aguila, and SIG Sauer. All different grains and types of ammo. It ate it all flawlessly. Although the trigger is 100 times better than the G2 trigger, it is not the best. It has a very long but smooth take up with a smooth, crisp, average break. However, a gun that performed this well for under $350 MSRP, I need to just shut my mouth and stop being a trigger snob. It is the best trigger you will find in a $350 gun.
Whether for personal defense, developing shooting skills, or just for the person looking to add a budget-friendly 9mm to the collection—the new Taurus G3 might just be the full-size polymer pistol you have been waiting for. Accurate, reliable, decent looking, and an all-around decent package at an amazingly affordable price.
For more information, visit taurususa.com.
Taurus G3 Specs
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Overall Capacity: 10, 15, or 17 (with extended magazine)
- Finish: Matte Black / Matte Stainless
- Grip/Frame: Polymer
- Firing System: Single Action with Restrike Capability
- Action Type: Striker
- Safety: Manual and Trigger Safety, Striker Block
- Sights Front: Fixed (White Dot)
- Sights Rear: Drift Adjustable (White Dots)
- Slide Material: Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel
- Slide Finish: Matte Black / Matte Stainless
- Overall Length: 7.30 inches
- Overall Width: 1.25 inches
- Barrel Overall Length: 4 inches
- Overall Height: 5.20 inches
- Overall Weight: 25 ounces (unloaded)
- Magazines Included: 2×10, 2×15, or 1×15 and 1×17
- MSRP: $345.23
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