New Moderate Capacity Micro Nine: Taurus GX4

May 19, 2021

The new Taurus GX4 “11 + 1” 9mm subcompact has been announced. Received here about a month ago in a nice polymer case (rendered in olive drab), the new gun has a flat trigger, a trigger blade ‘safety’ (as well as a striker safety plunger) and no second-strike capability.

When the licensee took it out of the olive-drab polymer protective case and I first saw it, I thought “A SIG P365?” While the looks are somewhat similar at first glance, the feel is quite different. What does it not have? No night sights and no accessory rail -- but likely more important for a moderate capacity micro-pistol it has an additional backstrap. They’re catering to a range of potential users, including those with larger hands.

Grasping grooves front and back are shallow and provide grip without abrasion. Speaking of ‘grip,’ the frame of the pistol is modestly textured; it strangely provides great traction without the need for medical attention if you carry the piece under a shirt.

The licensee told me “I really like this gun and I think that, depending on their price point, this could be a great seller.” (The price point is remarkably low.)

It’s clear they did their homework on this one. The trigger feels lighter than it is; my malfunctioning trigger pull gauge gave one close reading, just over six pounds. It feels lighter.

The Taurus GX4 is supplied with a pair of 11-round magazines. Below, the gun is also packaged with a larger backstrap, thoughtful for those with larger hands.

The magazines are black with yellow followers – the high visibility follower is a good idea. There are textured ‘index’ points bilaterally on the frame above and forward of the trigger guard. The gun takes down via a ¼ turn screw on the starboard side of the frame. It does require a press of the trigger to put the striker at rest before disassembly. The standard warnings (which really should be unnecessary) apply; lock the slide open, look and feel inside the chamber while the muzzle is in a direction where an unintended discharge will produce minor property damage and no personal injury.

The frame is nicely textured, “just right” in terms of abrasion/friction and features a ‘swell’ at the heel, to fill the palm. As mentioned, there’s another backstrap in the box, I’ve yet to try it.

I didn’t wait through the ammo drought to shoot it, but I had to be crafty. I didn’t want to take it to our LEOSA range and have word get out early, so it was early morning trips to the (undisclosed location) to get some work done.

Here’s what I found.

The mags load to ten pretty easily. I loaded one down to facilitate an in-battery load. On the ‘short course’ I used with the Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP and optics-less Ruger MAX-9, I shot the same ammo as used with the other guns – 115 grain FMJ steel-case Monarch from Academy Sports – keeping it consistent. Shots were fired from ‘near-contact’ close combat, back to 25 yards. Over one-half of the shots fired were at fifteen yards and beyond.

Using the FBI-QIT99 target (like with the other guns) I contrived to press one hit low (out of 11 fired at 25 yards). That yielded a 96% score. This comprised the very first rounds I’d fired out of the gun. The course includes point-index firing, one-handed shooting at the headbox, a failure drill, 15-yard singles from guard and shooting at 25 yards.

It was a good first effort, one I’d consider successful if I’d been shooting a service- or service compact autoloader.

Nicely done, Taurus.

The next trip saw me using the gun with some support gear actually received to use with this gun. The holster, provided by Taurus, was a specially made DropSlide OWB rig from CrossBreed Holsters. As the name says, it’s an open bottom “slide” style holster that is on a drop-loop black cowhide belt loop unit. Being generously cut fore and aft, the backer forms to the user’s curvature and draws the butt of the pistol in tight for decent casual concealment – as long as the cover garment is long enough. The GX4 is a short pistol, so no worries there.

I also used the Universal Mag Carrier, Gen 2 from Pitbull Tactical – I first noticed it on Yamil Sued’s Gunstock Reviews channel on YouTube. It looked like a handy intervention for all the various magazines I use in the process of evaluating new guns – so I ordered a pair. They clip on the 1.5” belt, inside or outside. The carrier body expands to accommodate larger magazines while being a single-stack inside dimension while at rest. So far, the Universal has been used with GLOCK 23, S&W Shield (and Shield Plus), Springfield Armory Hellcat RDP and Ruger MAX-9 magazines.

It’s gear that works.


The following range trip saw me using a compilation of “close range benchmarks,” consisting of Tactical Professor “high value-close range) strings, a stage from a state course of fire and the Waidelich/Bakersfield standards (or a facsimile thereof). On those “close range benchmarks,” the GX4 – executed the Tac Prof drill, all hits over 1.0 second, but less than 1.2. The FDLE pairs were all over one second, again less than 1.2 seconds. The BPD was 1.61, 2.07, 7.13 and 3.99. At 60 ft, one hit was low in the nominal “4-zone” yielding a score of 91/100.

I shot this course with a service compact pistol and with a mod-cap micro that had an optic – with lower scores than the Taurus GX-4. That could have been a fluke, but it’s apparent that this little pistol is able to keep up with larger guns and guns with optics.

It’s quite the pistol – and it’s a great time for concealed carry.

-- Rich Grassi