When Flugaloo fear was on the rise everyday civilians found themselves scraping together whatever cash wasn’t already invested in toilet paper to buy a firearm. When a gun is purchased under these circumstances it typically is not a Cabot or a Caesar Guerini that comes home, it’s something with more of a bargain-basement feel. Today, that no longer means low quality. I laugh because many millennials aren’t even familiar with the phrase “Saturday Night Special”, and that’s a good thing!
When it comes to my list of capable manufacturers of budget-friendly handguns, Taurus is at the top. Time after time they introduce a feature-rich firearm at a price point that makes you wonder if it fell off a truck. Last year they crushed the rimfire market with their TX22 and this year they put up quite the concealed-carry contender with their new G3c. Sound familiar? It should. It’s as if their full-sized G3 invited the compact G2c over to “just watch a movie” and nine months later this little baby showed up.
At first glance you might mistake the G3c for a G2c and rightfully so. Both are 9mm semi-automatic striker-fired handguns sporting a polymer frame. They are dimensionally identical and will even fit into the same holsters. I love it when this happens because carry guns without existing holsters are absolutely useless. Also, if you are upgrading from the G2c you don’t have to make that investment again. Indeed, the G3c is more of an upgrade than it is a new platform, but the upgrades are prominent. For starters it incorporates the G3 trigger. This trigger is the lightest and crispest striker-fired pistol trigger that they make. The trigger of our test gun broke at just 4 pounds, 9 ounces and a tactile reset was found within less than one-quarter of an inch of forward travel. I’m not really into comparison gun reviews but to put it in perspective it was shorter than a very well-built German pistol that was also sitting on my desk. The trigger is of the single-action variety, but like a double-action it has re-strike capability should the round not fire the first time. If you are making the transition from a revolver, DAO, or even a DA/SA your muscle memory during an ammunition failure comes over too. Sure, that sounds counterproductive, as conventional wisdom leads us to believe that if a round doesn’t fire the first time, it won’t fire a second. However, if you understand the striker-fire system 9 out of 10 times the failure is due to a light strike and a second smack will usually get the party started. The best part of it all is that if you don’t trust it tap-rack-bang (or assess) is still an option.
The roughly $30 price increase gets you more than their best trigger; the slide, sights, and controls are souped-up as well. The slide has been enhanced with forward cocking serrations, as well as a Tenifer finish to help it resist rust from being pressed against a sweaty body all day. The controls are treated with Teflon to make them more lubricious and the sights are treated with metal! Yes, they abandoned the polymer sights and replaced them with ones made of steel. The rear is drift-adjustable and cut to a popular dovetail so you can even do a little aftermarket work should you so desire.
After enough fondling I stepped away from the keyboard and took the new budget blaster to the range. The plan was to run Winchester’s new Silvertip 147 JHP ammo and their Defender 124gn +P through it. I picked both of these because they fit the application best and I like to see how snappy a little gun can really be. The first magazine downrange went very well. I found the reset easily and about halfway through I was double tapping the Champion IPSC steel target at 10 yards. After a few more magazines I accuracy tested both rounds and found that the gun really liked the heavy 147-grain Silvertip rounds. All of my groups were within 2.5 inches and we saw our best at 1.56. The Defender wasn’t too far behind with its best group measuring 2.03 inches and nothing outside of three inches.
I was remarkably impressed, so much that I debated replacing my current carry pistol with the G3c. I found carrying it to be very comfortable, even in the $10 “universal” holster that I had at my disposal. I also liked that 12 round magazines are currently available with plans for 15 and even 17 rounders in the works. While my gun was a flat black, I wouldn’t be surprised if they make these using their other polymers as well. For more information visit TaurusUSA.com
Taurus G3c Specifications
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Capacity: 10- or 12-round
Slide Finish: matte black
Operational Controls Finish: Teflon
Firing System: single action with restrike capability
Action Type: striker
Safety: manual, trigger safety, striker block, and loaded chamber indicator
Sights Front: fixed (white dot)
Sights Rear: drift adjustable (white dots), serrated ramp
Slide Material: alloy steel
Overall Length: 6.3″
Overall Width: 1.2″
Overall Height: 5.1″
Barrel Length: 3.2″ (stainless steel)
Weight: 22 oz. (unloaded)
Magazines Included: 3×10 or 3×12
Packaging Size: 9.8″ L x 6″ W x 1.8″ H
Packaging Weight: 33.20 oz.
Additional Feature: Picatinny Rail (Mil-STD 1913)