Taurus G3c Review – Can You Trust It For Concealed Carry?
Today we’re looking at the new Taurus G3c and we’re going to answer some very important questions about this budget pistol.
- Is it reliable?
- What’s the level of quality?
- How well does it work for Concealed Carry?
- How does it compare to other handguns in the segment?
To fully answer the questions we’re asking about this pistol, we need to dive deep into the characteristics and specs of the Taurus G3c.
The G3c is an updated G2c.
The Taurus G3c is the successor to the popular G2c pistol (which succeeded the PT111 G2). Taurus has sold the G2c and PT111 G2 in droves and there’s no reason to believe the G3c will be any different.
The G3c comes just two years after the G2c and costs just a touch more. However, it brings extra features (and 3 magazines) to the table in exchange for the slight price increase.
The Taurus G3c is known as a value gun.
Although this pistol (including previous models) is known as a “value gun,” Taurus has a loyal following of customers that are quick to let you know it’s not a cheap gun. These loyal Taurus fans are eager to tell you the pistol is packed with value.
Many Taurus fans accuse owners of Sig Sauer and Glock pistols of foolishness for paying twice as much for their pistols.
The Taurus G3c is sized right for concealed carry.
The Taurus G3c’s size is a bit of an anomaly. It’s a bit larger than most single stack pistols yet smaller than almost any double stack pistol save for the Sig P365 and Springfield Hellcat. Yet, its very svelte frame packs 12 rounds of your favorite 9mm ammo.
Pound for pound, it has one of the best size-to-capacity ratios you’ll find.
Get some good Taurus G3c holsters and you’ll be all set.
Upgrades Over Previous Models
The Taurus G3c is an updated G2c.
The G2c itself was just a barely updated version of the PT111 G2 which Taurus released back in 2013. The PT111 G2 was one of the best selling pistols in the country for years. All three of these pistols are so similar that if you laid them side by side, you’d have a really tough time telling them apart.
Although the G3c can trace its history back to some earlier “Millennium” pistols from Taurus, we won’t go further back than the PT111 G2 in this very brief history of the handgun.
You see, the PT111 G2 was so different from previous models that it should really be considered a completely different pistol line from 2013 forward.
The difference between the G2c and PT111 G2 was mostly just the new name. Sure, they changed the logo and some of the roll markings but it wasn’t really an updated version of the PT111 G2.
However, Taurus finally did away with their internal locking safety system (that nobody used) which utilized a key to render the firearm inoperable.
It was more or less just a renamed PT111 G2. Re-naming it sure helped with sales though. Taurus G2c was a lot easier to say than PT111 G2. Plus people like buying the latest pistol. Nice trick Taurus.
Taurus’ new G3c has some real upgrades over the G2c though. Let’s look at them:
- Better sights
- Better trigger (supposedly)
- Forward slide serrations
- Scallops on the mag base plate
- Tenifer finish (instead of bluing)
- Teflon-coated controls
- Comes with three magazines
- Re-contoured slide (not really an upgrade)
- Different loaded-chamber indicator
Taurus finally upgraded the sights on this latest version. Taurus installed metal sights on the G3c that are more modern. Many newer pistols have moved away from the type of sights that require you to line up dots.
More and more gun makers are switching the rear sights over to a more muted black style. Instead of two dots to lineup with the front dot, the G3c’s rear sight is just matte black. It also has serrations to help prevent any possibility of glare.
This sight system is supposed to make it easier to focus on the front dot. I agree with the decision that Taurus made here. I can line up the front dot easier and faster with the new sights.
There’s more good news here: The new sights are actually Glock pattern sights. It’s very easy to drop off the G3c at your gunsmith and have some better sights installed.
You’ll have a lot of options because there are a ton of options out there where Glock sights are concerned.
While Taurus carried over the same (unique) trigger system from the previous version, it did add a couple of upgrades.
The trigger has been upgraded with a wider trigger face and wider safety lever.
The safety lever in the previous version was narrow and uncomfortable. The new safety lever is much wider and less noticeable when pressing the trigger.
The trigger’s curve is a little less pronounced as well. It’s hard to notice unless you stare at it long enough but the trigger is barely straighter.
Another change is the over-travel stop on the trigger. To be honest, I can’t really notice the difference in over-travel between the new trigger with the old one.
The PT111 G2 trigger doesn’t really have much over-travel to begin with. Perhaps it’s because it breaks so far rearward to begin with.
The trigger has the same serrations in it that help your finger get a good purchase.
While Taurus’ new trigger does feel more comfortable on the pad of your finger, I can’t really tell any difference between the latest version and the previous version that’s on my PT111 G2.
That’s not a bad thing though.
It has the same 6-7 pound break. It has the same unique DA/SA striker system. The Double Action trigger pull feels just like squeezing any other Double Action handgun trigger.
After that, it goes into Single Action mode where it feels just like any other hammer-fired pistol in Single Action mode.
However, you’re not likely to fire the pistol in DA mode very often because the idea is to rack the slide (putting it in SA mode) before you holster it.
The idea behind most striker-fired pistols is that it’s a good thing to have every trigger pull feel the same. It can be difficult to accurately transition from a double action trigger to a single action trigger when shooting fast.
However, most people will carry the G3c with the striker “cocked” into SA mode so there shouldn’t really be any uncomfortable transitions.
This means that the trigger breaks as far back as a hammer-fired pistol with the hammer cocked back. You can’t really call this a bad thing or a good thing. It’s just a different…thing.
As long as you shoot the pistol enough to know where the trigger breaks, your golden.
So how does the trigger handle when you’re actually shooting and analyzing it? Great! This trigger breaks cleanly and has a short reset with an audible reset click.
The lack of over-travel coupled with a short reset makes follow-up shots quick and easy.
I’m going to be completely honest here.
I can shoot this pistol as fast and accurately as some of my much more expensive pistols.
Once you get used to the trigger, you’ll be more than capable of getting very tight groupings in rapid fire drills.
It’s also worth mentioning that the nature of the DA/SA trigger means you can get second-strike capability if you need it. The double action pull can hit a primer again if it didn’t go off. This is indeed unique in the striker fired pistol category.
I’m not sure of how useful it is since most people running malfunction drills don’t go for another trigger pull. They just tap and rack to clear the pistol.
I suppose you could add a trigger pull before your tap and rack routine but that would definitely take a lot of practice to pull off instinctively in a real world scenario if you’ve had a lot of training with a typical tap and rack drill.
Frame and Controls
The Taurus G3c’s shape and ergonomics are almost exactly the same shape as the G2c with a few notable differences.
- The slide has been reshaped.
- Slide serrations on front of slide.
- Scallops for pulling a stuck mag.
- Tenifer finish instead of bluing.
- Controls are coated with Teflon
The older versions of this pistol had a long scallop cut out of the top of the slide on both sides. Perhaps it shaved an ounce or so off. Anyway, those scallops are gone now and the front of the slide is a bit blockier.
The slide now has a taller face which gives Taurus a little more space for the forward slide serrations.
Taurus also added scallops that meet on the bottom of the grip and top of the mag base plate. These allow you to pull a stuck magazine if it doesn’t drop freely.
I think I should add a quick note here about the PT111 G2 that I’ve had since 2014. I have never had a magazine get stuck.
I’m not saying the scallop was a meaningless addition to the Taurus G3c. I just want to point out that I don’t believe this was added to correct any problems with the previous versions.
Speaking of magazines, the G3c comes with three of them. That alone justifies the slight increase in the MSRP.
The G3c has a Tenifer finish instead of standard bluing like my old PT111 G2. This should hold up much better in the long run.
The controls are coated in Teflon. In a practical side by side test, I can’t really tell the difference in actually using them. Perhaps the finish will last longer with the Teflon coated over them.
Taurus hasn’t changed the ergonomics on this pistol line since 2013.
That is a very good thing. The Taurus G3c feels very good in your hand.
Here’s what I like about its ergos:
- Rounded edges
- Memory pads for trigger finger
- Flatter, wider trigger
- Easy to takedown
- Pinky extension on magazine
- Forward slide serrations
- Aggressive stippling
- High shooting grip
The truth is, the whole topic of ergonomics is a very subjective thing. What might fit my hand incredibly well could feel less than ideal in your hand. The only way to know if you’ll like it is to pick it up and see how it feels in your hand.
I find the ergonomics of the G3c to be very well thought out and executed extremely well. Your mileage may vary.
In my opinion, this is where the Taurus G3c really shines. I’ve put a few hundred rounds through it and it appears to be just as reliable as the Taurus PT111 G2 I’ve had for a few years.
I’ve put thousands of rounds through the PT111 G2. I have cleaned it a few times here and there but I certainly have not kept it immaculately clean.
I’ve fired my carry ammo through it. I’ve fired cheap bulk ammo through it. In fact, I’ve fired dozens of different types of ammo through it.
I’ve kept count of every single failure. There have been zero. I know that sounds crazy. This is a Taurus. I paid $220 for it. How can it be this reliable?
I think Taurus earned a bad name a while back with some of their earlier Millennium models that were not as reliable.
I haven’t had any problems with any of the Taurus pistols that I own. I know someone who had a problem with a Taurus .38 revolver with a binding cylinder a few years ago. However, I had the same problem with a Ruger SP101.
I know there are lemons in every manufacture’s lineup. This is especially true when a new pistol is first released.
Remember Sig’s early P365 pistols or Glock’s early G43 examples? Most people don’t. If they do, they generally dismiss those problems to growing pains and move on.
When a budget pistol has a few growing pains, people tend to remember it longer for some reason.
Because this pistol is really just an upgraded PT111 G2 and not a totally new pistol design, I don’t expect many people to have hiccups with it. I haven’t.
The Taurus G3c mags are virtually the same as the previous versions with the exception of the scallop on the base plate.
They have a bright yellow follower that easy to see when the slide is locked open.
The G3c accepts 15 and 17 round Mec-Gar mags from the full size G3 as well. I also want to point out that some people on online forums state that Sig P226 mags will also fit (although, I haven’t personally tried).
This pistol is quite safe.
It has the trigger lever that we’ve already discussed. It prevents the trigger from being depressed by an object coming in from the side of the gun. It should also keep the trigger from moving backward if it’s dropped.
There is a thumb safety on the frame. It’s small enough that it doesn’t add unnecessary bulk. Yet it’s still easy enough to disengage in a hurry. It’s set up for right handers and is not reversible.
You can do a quick chamber check by looking in the U-notch for a round. This U-notch replaced the pop-up style loaded-chamber indicator on earlier models.
It’s good. It’s very good.
Sure, I own other pistols that have better triggers and accuracy. Those other pistols dang sure better be more accurate and have better triggers than the Taurus G3c because they cost twice as much money.
The question here isn’t whether the G3c handles as well as pistols costing twice as much money.
The question here is whether the Taurus G3c shoots well enough for concealed carry.
The answer to that question is…oh yes…it does. It shoots very well. Once you get used to the trigger, it handles very well.
Does it shoot accurately enough to use for self-defense? It’s way past that point. It’s very accurate. I can punch a small ragged hole through the target from 20 feet away.
Is it reliable? This is the part that surprises some people. The Taurus G3c is very reliable. Remember the story I told earlier in this article about my six year old PT111 G2? I’ve put thousands of rounds through it. I haven’t had a single malfunction with it.
Is the trigger easy to master? Yes, it is. You just have to get used to the fact that it breaks further back than your other striker-fired guns.
The trigger acts like a traditional Single Action trigger you’d see on a Sig P226 or Beretta 92. Which is to say, pretty good.
Are the sights easy to see and use? Yes, the sights are easy to use. Granted, they are on the smaller side. However, this is quite common for concealed carry pistols. If you don’t like them, you will like that Taurus uses Glock-style sights that are easy to swap out for sights that you do like.
How does it handle recoil? The Taurus G3c handles recoil very well. It is a smaller pistol so you’ll definitely notice more recoil and muzzle flip than you will on your full size pistol. The G3c handles recoil very similarly to other pistols of this size. I don’t have any trouble lining up quick follow-up shots with this gun.
Does the G3c shoot well for a sub $300 gun? It shoots very well for the money. If Taurus listed the pistol at $400, I might recommend you pony up the extra money for the Sig P365, Springfield Hellcat, or Glock 43X. But you can pick up the G2c for barely over $200. Once the G3c has been out for a few months, I’m sure it’ll be readily available for well under $250.
The Taurus shoots very, very well for a $250 gun.
- Cartridge: 9mm
- Capacity: 12 rds.
- Barrel length: 3.2 inches
- Overall Length: 6.3 inches
- Height: 5.1 inches
- Width: 1.2 inches
- Weight: 1 lb., 6 oz.
- Trigger: 5 – 6 lbs.
- MSRP: $306
Let’s look at some of the other notable affordable guns on the market.
Sccy CPX-2: I believe that the CPX-2’s trigger really holds it back. I would never recommend it over the G3c. However, the new DVG-1 has striker-fired trigger and the option of a red dot. I haven’t handled that pistol yet so I can’t compare it but it is worth looking at.
Hi-Point: Don’t go here, ok. Just…don’t. If you only have $100 and you just can’t wait the time it’ll take you to save up another $100 then maybe Hi-point is for you. Yes, it’s a gun. I can’t say much past that.
Stoeger STR-9c: This one is just like the G3c; great bang for the buck. I’d definitely check it out.
Ruger Security 9 Compact: This is a great pistol that’s also in a similar price range to the Taurus G3c. The security 9 compact is a really good handgun for the money. It has an internal hammer-fired trigger that is actually pretty good. It should definitely be on your short list with the G3c if you’re looking at pistols in this price range.
Are any of the above guns better than Taurus’s G3c? The short answer is no but the Stoeger and Ruger are definitely on equal footing.
The point is, you do have a few options in this price range that are of decent quality and reliable.
- Is it reliable? – Definitely
- What’s the level of quality? – Very Good
- How well does it work for Concealed Carry? – Very Well
- How does it compare to other handguns in the segment? – Good for the price. Its trigger is a bit different though.
I’d say the Taurus G3c is 80% as good as the Sig P365 for 50% of the cost. Is that extra engineering prowess worth a few hundred more dollars? That’s up to you.
The Taurus G3c is way past the point of being good enough for concealed carry.
In fact, it’s excellent for concealed carry:
- It’s accurate.
- It’s small.
- It’s lightweight.
- It shoots very well.
- It holds 12 rounds of 9mm.
It’s a near perfect concealed carry handgun.
It’s size-to-capacity ratio is only bested by the latest offerings from Sig and Springfield.
If you’re on the fence about buying this handgun, get off the fence and buy it already.
You can definitely trust it for concealed carry.