The Taurus G3 was the start of a new lineup. A duty-sized pistol, it was just the item you needed for a daily holster-carry sidearm. But those who prefer a more-compact version are now all set with the G3c. The Taurus G3c subcompact pistol has all the features of its bigger brother, with the smaller size an everyday carrier needs.
This latest entry in the G series has fixed sights made of steel—no polymer sights, to be worn down through draw-and-dryfire practice or mangled by an errant doorframe. The front has a white-dot insert, and the rear is a plain square notch in the steel blade. The rear sight can be drifted in its dovetail, and the front can be replaced with one taller or shorter for zeroing your G3c. If you want replacements, the G3c sights are of Glock dimensions, so pretty much any aftermarket sight provider can accommodate you.
The slide has the G3 profile, with clean, angular sides and top. A large bevel at the top reduces the squareness of the slide, making it more comfortable in the holster. The front of the slide has been similarly beveled, to permit easier holster insertion. (A proper holster stays open so you can re-holster without having to use your off hand.) The slide has cocking serrations front and back—they don’t extend through the bottom line of the slide. They provide plenty of grip for slide manipulation, without the holster-shredding possibilities of some serration designs. The rear of the slide has been rounded to match the contour of the frame, which helps prevent clothing from draping on the slide or “printing” (a simple way of saying that the outline of the firearm is visible through clothes). The slide has been treated to a Tenifer finish to improve hardness, corrosion resistance and abrasion resistance. It is then given a black surface treatment to match the polymer frame.
At the rear of the ejection port is a beefy extractor. The barrel is just over 3 inches long, and the center of the hood has a groove machined into it to act as a chamber indictor. The barrel locks into the slide, as most modern pistols do, by using the ejection port opening as the locking-lug-bearing surface. The front of the barrel is fitted to the slide without a barrel bushing, using the tight-machining tolerances and geometry of the tilting barrel to provide a positive lockup.
Underneath the barrel, Taurus has equipped the G3c with a dual-spring recoil system, which is constructed entirely of steel—no polymer or mixed-polymer-and-metal parts here. You may, in time, wear out the recoil springs, but you are unlikely to wear out the guide-rod parts.
The G3c is a striker-fired pistol. It uses a trigger bearing a safety tab in the middle of the trigger. (This is in addition to internal safeties.) As an added measure for those who prefer one, the G3c also has a thumb safety on the left-hand side of the frame. There are distinct clicks in the up and down positions of the safety, so you know when it has been pushed up or down.
The slide-stop lever is moved up by the magazine follower when the last round is fired to lock the slide open. When reloading, you can, after inserting a loaded magazine, either press the lever down or retract the slide and let go to chamber the first round of the new magazine.
Forward of the slide stop are the takedown tab and a scalloped location for your trigger finger to rest in when you are not on-target and pressing the trigger. Taurus has improved the trigger pull for the G3c, and it shows.
At the front of the dust cover is an accessory rail so you can mount a light, laser or dual unit.
The frame has a scallop on both sides for your thumb. The ergonomic (and quite comfortable) grip has non-slip panels Taurus has molded into the polymer. These are arranged to work with your hands and resist recoil. At the bottom, the frame and the magazine baseplate have a two-part recess that allows your fingers to grip the baseplate more easily, should you need to rip the magazine out in a speed reload. The rear of the magazine well opening has the backstrap extending down below the rest of the frame to provide a contact point and index for reloading. Except for the accessory rail, where they are needed, there are no hard edges, corners or sharp lines on the frame. It fits the hand without presenting hand-abrading edges.
In testing, the G3c worked flawlessly, which is to be expected in the 21st century. The G3c produced reasonably tight groups (compact daily-carry pistols are not meant to be bullseye guns) and has mild recoil. At 22 ounces, it is not the lightest pistol to be had, but it is light enough to not be a burden to carry. Holsters are easy to source for this gun and magazines are plentiful.
As an everyday-carry choice, the G3c should be at or near the top of your list even before you find out the price. But with an MSRP of $306, the G3c is significantly less expensive than many other 9 mm subcompact options.