Concealed Carry

How to Choose: Taurus G1–G4 Series Pistols

Taurus PT111 G2, and G3 Compact handguns

The first handgun I carried after getting my concealed carry license was a Taurus PT 24/7. I didn’t know beans about semi-automatic handguns in those days. However, my friend did and that’s the gun he recommended I buy.

It was a good choice. Now, almost 20 years and lots of guns later, I still consider that gun among my favorites. Among the things that stand out about my earliest Taurus, and have continued through the various versions, are the double-strike trigger and indentions on the frame to guide finger placement. The double-strike trigger gives you a chance to try again in the event of a light primer strike without having to rack the slide.

Taurus PT 24/7 PRO DS .40 S&W semi auto pistol with two loaded magazines and an open box of ammunition
The author’s first EDC was this .40 caliber Taurus 24/7. Many features of the Taurus G Series of pistols that have followed thereafter can be seen in the design of this early Taurus.

Taurus released a G2 version of the PT 24/7 along about 2012. Quite frankly, some of those changes took a bit for me to get used to. First was the trigger. Although it remained a double-strike trigger, this is where Taurus first adapted the Glock-style, trigger-within-a-trigger safety.

The original 24/7 had a takedown pin that went through the frame, but the new one had Glock-style pulldown tabs on either side of the frame. Both features have continued with the different G models, so I’ve gotten used to them. The PT 24/7 had a 4.2-inch barrel and weighed approximately 27.2 ounces. It was available in black, stainless, or titanium. It came in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP.

The PT 24/7 had a little brother, the PT111 Millennium Pro, which featured a 3.25-inch barrel and weighed around 18 ounces. The PT111 was the G1 of all the G guns we’ve gotten from Taurus in recent years. Unfortunately, the PT111 became the subject of a lawsuit that did a lot of damage to Taurus’ reputation.

It seems someone dropped one and it went off. Then, from all over, came reports of Taurus pistols discharging when being dropped. Taurus settled the claims and fixed the design of existing guns while ensuring future Taurus products would not have the same issue.

Personally, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many people couldn’t hold onto their guns. Taurus also spent a lot of money and effort to fix its customer service issues. Today, for the most part, is now known for giving excellent customer service on its products, all of which have a lifetime warranty.

Taurus THC 9mm handgun, left profile
Taurus has continued to advance its hammer-fired pistols right alongside the G series. This early hammer-fired example has evolved into today’s THC model.

Along with the PT111, Taurus offered the PT132, PT138, PT140, and PT145. These guns were all somewhat squared off and available in black, stainless, and some of them in titanium. The revised PT111 G2 was released in 2013 and has been a strong seller ever since. This gun was offered in several colors and has smooth, rounded surfaces designed more for concealed carry.

While I didn’t like the PT 24/7 Gen 2, I very much liked the Millennium PT111 G2. I picked one up, tan in color, and still consider it one of my favorite handguns. One thing I really appreciate about the Millennium G2 is that it offered a double-stack micro-nine before other companies were beginning to explore that market segment. The G2 also features an optional manual safety, loaded-chamber indicator, and adjustable sights.

Taurus G4XL T.O.R.O. with a Riton Optics 3 Tactix MPRD 2 red dot sight
The latest in the G Series from Taurus is this G4XL T.O.R.O. which the author chose to equip with a Riton Optics 3 Tactix MPRD 2 red dot sight.

Most manufacturers who bring out new models periodically, drop the earlier model from the lineup. I find it interesting that Taurus continues to catalog existing models when the new ones hit the street. The result is offerings in several price brackets thus providing a choice of models anyone can afford. Let’s look at the differences in the various striker model handguns offered by Taurus in this class of guns.

Specifications – Comparison by Model

 

PT111

PT111G2

G3

G3C

GX4

GX4 XL

Caliber

9mm9mm9mm9mm9mm9mm

Capacity

10+1, 12+110+1, 12+115+1, 17+112+111+111+1

Barrel Length

3.3″3.2″4″3.27″3.06″3.7″

Total Length

6″6.2″7.28″6.2″6.05″6.41″

Weight

20.1 oz.20.8 oz.25.36 oz.21.87 oz.18.5 oz.20 oz.

Height

5.125″5.1″5.2″5.06″4.3″4.33″

Width

.99″1.2″1.25″1.25″1″1″

Front Sight

Square, dovetailed to slideSights Adjustable: 3 white dotsFixedFixedSteel white dotFixed

Rear Sight

Square notch, dovetailed to slideDrift adjustable, rear sight onlyDrift adjustable, rear sight onlyDrift adjustable, rear sight onlyAdjustable serrated steelDrift Adjustable, T.O.R.O. Ready

Grips

PolymerPolymerPolymerPolymerPolymerPolymer

Finish

Blue, Stainless or Titanium Shadow GrayCarbon Steel or Stainless SteelMatte Black, Matte Stainless SteelMatte Black, Matte Stainless SteelMatte Black, Matte Stainless SteelMatte Black, Matte Stainless Steel

Remarks

 Manual safety, Loaded chamber indicator, Taurus memory padPicatinny Accessory RailPicatinny Accessory RailReversible Mag release, Interchangeable backstrapReversible Mag release, Interchangeable backstrap

The comparison chart only tells part of the story. Looking at the Taurus catalog, there are numerous options in color schemes, sights, and safeties. After I bought my first G3, which was only available in black at the time, I added a couple more in color to stash in locations around the house and in the vehicle consoles. Magazines are interchangeable between the G2 and the G3C, but not the GX4.

The trigger on the G2 and G3 models is the same double-strike trigger, but the GX4 has an entirely different trigger. I bought my GX4 before the long slide T.O.R.O. model came out. It had the Glock compatible sights so many manufacturers are using now.

I was about to replace the factory sights with a set of XS night sights. My friends at Taurus gave me a heads up on the T.O.R.O. long slide so, I ordered one. T.O.R.O. stands for Taurus Optic Ready Option that provides a mounting platform for many red dot sights. I was pleased to see one of my favorite red dots was on the list, the Riton Optics 3 Tactix MPRD 2.

Taurus G@ left and G3 right sights comparrison
Here’s an example of the minor differences between some of these models. This comparison shows the factory sights on the G2 left and the G3 Compact on the right. The G3 sights are easily replaceable with any sight group designed and sold for the Glock 19.

If you already have a G2 or G3 Compact, is it worth it to move to the GX4? If you’re interested in going red dot, it is definitely a worthy upgrade. If you plan to stay with steel sights, the GX4 mounting system provides plenty of options, and the new grip frame adds a bit of comfort and security.

Wait… There’s More!

So far, I’ve been concentrating on the PT Millennium series, but Taurus has much more to offer. If you’re interested in 1911s or Beretta 92 compatible firearms, you’re probably already looking at the Taurus options in those areas. What you may have missed; however, is the variety of hammer-fired pistols Taurus offers in its TH series of pistols.

As in the Millennium series, there are two size options available. The full-size frame that matches the G3 size striker-fired pistols are labeled TH. The THC pistols match the size of the G2 and G3C. These are all great shooters and are priced just as affordably as the Millennium pistols. They feel so good in your hand and shoot so well, too. Worth a look.

I own, and have written about, Taurus defensive revolvers. Just this week, my contacts at Taurus gave me a heads up on a couple of new additions to its revolver line. Taurus has added the T.O.R.O. to the 856 Defender series platform. This is an easy-to-carry, six-shot, .38 Special revolver that will handle itself well with a red dot sight.

When looking for an affordable, reliable, smooth-shooting handgun, Taurus has many offerings to consider, some of which have been in the market and well-proven for several years. That means you can pick up one or more example with high-end reliability at bargain basement prices.

Do you own a Taurus G Series Handgun? Which one? Share your review in the comment section.

  • Taurus G3 Gray, left profile 9mm pistol
  • Taurus G4XL T.O.R.O. with a Riton Optics 3 Tactix MPRD 2 red dot sight
  • Taurus G3c 9mm semi auto pistol
  • Taurus 856 T.O.R.O. revolver with Holosun red dot sight
  • Taurus PT 809 C top and G3C 9mm handgun bottom
  • Taurus G@ left and G3 right sights comparrison
  • Taurus PT111 G2, and G3 Compact handguns
  • Taurus THC 9mm handgun, left profile
  • Taurus PT 24/7 PRO DS .40 S&W semi auto pistol with two loaded magazines and an open box of ammunition

About the Author:

David Freeman

David is an NRA Instructor in pistol, rifle and shotgun, a Chief Range Safety Officer and is certified by the State of Texas to teach the Texas License to Carry Course and the Hunter Education Course. He has also owned and operated a gun store. David's passion is to pass along knowledge and information to help shooters of all ages and experience levels enjoy shooting sports and have the confidence to protect their homes and persons. He flew medevac helicopters in Vietnam and worked for many years as a corporate pilot before becoming actively involved in the firearm industry.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (19)

  1. Taurus has definitely set itself straight with highly improved customer service and ease of warranty issues handled, it’s a great budget friendly brand.
    I traded my SW SD9WE (which was the clone of Glocks G19 and they had to pay $8 per sale to Glock as a settlement), for a PT111 millennium pro G2 back in 2015 and I still own it.
    It has never failed and eats anything you feed it, from brass to nickel coated steel to aluminum and even lacquer coated steel casings.
    Have had a stove pipe and a failure to lock the slide back last round but they are rare.
    I’ve carried it for several years and it’s definitely a solid choice. The G2 & G3 are exactly the same if not buttoned up a little.
    The GX4 is the most comfortable gun they make imo. The grip let’s you dig the web in hand right up and deep into the grip giving you excellent purchase.
    It’s snappy as the others but far less than other larger SF pistols.
    They are accurate. Everyone of them can shoot and can hit from all SD ranges thinkable.
    The GX4 XL is the cream of the G crop with recoil mitigation that’s better and a good trigger that’s got an audible reset and gives you the assurance you need when firing it.
    Tried them all but that one is the best and spite the YouTubers saying they aren’t drop safe, I’ve researched that and we have tried many times to get them to discharge by dropping and dragging them through gravel and dirt.
    Not one mishap and that’s a testament to Taurus.
    Taurus cleaned up their act when they hired the design engineer of Beretta and SA. These guys know their shit and they came in and immediately worked to fix the problems.
    Today we see the fruits of their hard work and deliver the best budget edc/SD strikerfire pistols on the market, arguably of course.
    Since then we’ve seen some other companies fade like Bersa and new companies from Turkey coming to play like Canick. Though Canicks offerings are more money to buy.

  2. I have owned my taurus pt111 g2 millennium for over 7 years now. I have put it through hell and back. I have dropped it in the mud when I have got out of my truck. I have dropped it out of my deer stand while deer hunting, and it still works as it should. They are very good and reliable firearms. I recommend a friend of mine to get one he lives his as well.

  3. Taurus’s rep has kept me away as I’m a Smith guy. But two of my brothers got the G2C when they came out. Of course I gave them a hard time… however they do feel good in the hand. Inexpensive. Tactile chamber indicator is nice. And they actually shoot pretty decently and have proved to be reliable so far over the last several years. One brother gave his to one of our sister-in-laws when he picked up a Hellcat. I almost concidered a G2C based on how theirs performed and the price but ultimitely decided to stick with Smith when I wanted a new pistol. Ya know, those boating accidents are a terrible thing… when Smith debuted the Shield Plus. I don’t regret the descision. Maybe a G2C at some point, some day… just because. Just not high on the priority list.

  4. Like the author, my first EDC was a Taurus 24/7 in .40 S&W. Wanted something smaller so got a Millennium Pro PT45. Still my EDC. Can’t beat 10 rounds of.45 (20 with extra mag) just walking around. The 24/7 now lives in my night stand. Never have had an issue with either pistol. My eyes are not what they used to be, so am thinking red dot. Will be looking into the T.O.R.O series. Big Taurus fan!

  5. I remember saving up and buying Daniel Defense DDm4V7 to be exact.
    I took it out on the far edge of my land with some buddies to shoot at various stuff for fun and my atv which was also new, broke down. So I figured I’d walk the stretch. The DD AR is heavy. It’s not something you want to lug around all day. Yes I had a few goodies on the rig but it weighs roughly ten pounds.
    That’s nothing really, unless your carrying it with other gear.
    After half mile and switching hands and shoulders to lug it, I was spent and regretted doing it.
    The worst thing was I’d disassembled and inspected and oiled her up like I do all my new firearms purchases and saw it had a jammed mag release. I didn’t think to check it. I shoved a small blade in it to pop it out and it’s was like it was wedged in to a crevice smaller than it was.
    Never seen this before but realized I’d have to field strip it there.
    Well I don’t have my kit bag as I didn’t think it was necessary.
    I was made fun of by my buddies after I told them what I paid. It wasn’t a cheap AR.
    It was a top shelf AR. Daniel Defense takes care of their customers and it was a quick fix but still.
    Point is that it can cost $200 or $2000 and every once in awhile one gets through qc undetected. It’s rare but it’s still real.
    Taurus has great pistols no doubt but like all others you’ll get one defect and it slips through without notice.
    Taurus has however stepped its customer service up and would’ve easily fixed or replaced your pistol if anything was wrong with it.
    Shame it has to happen to rare individuals like this but it’s bound to happen eventually.

  6. Own a 709 and a G2C. Love them both. The 709 single stack is great for concealed carry (if you have smaller hands like I do.) Have never had an issue with either model. Carry daily.

  7. When I was looking for a small EDC in 9mm I checked out several name brands including Glock, Sig Sauer and Tuarus. At the time the G2c was the smallest 9mm with any capacity and felt like it was made for my hand. I bought it because it fit my hand like a glove. This was at a time when Tuarus was getting a lot of bad press. However, I had owned several Tuarus firearms through the years including a Model 44 and a PT92 which was my EDC carried in a shoulder holster rig. Never experienced a malfunction with any of them and all great shooters. I ended up buying 4 of them over the next couple of years. Three are concealed in various rooms in the house.

    That being said, I did run into a problem picking up the front sight when shooting in a low light situation. My friend was shooting a Sig P365 with tritium front and rear sights and was not having a problem. I tried his Sig and started hitting the target. I could see the front sight. I searched the internet and could not find tritium sights that fit the G2c till after I bought a P365, spending 3 times what I paid for one G2c. The sights weren’t cheap, at $100 a set, but I bought 2 sets and replaced the sights on two of the G2c’, a great upgrade. By then I had been carrying the Sig for a while and was used to it’s smaller size and lighter weight. Then one day after firing 12 rounds through the Sig, I noticed the tritium was missing from the front sight, For what I paid for it and the front sight falls apart??? Sig did replace the front sight free of cost, but still, for that kind of money, it should not have been a problem. Never had an issue with a Tuarus. Good dependable firearms at any price. Still carry a G2c.

  8. I still have my stainless steel PT145 Pro and never had any issues with it. Don’t plan on dropping it. When I contacted Taurus about the trigger issues that they were having problems with. The wanted for me to send it back to them in exchange for a blue G2C in 9mm. I understand that the only thing they make in 45acp is a 1911. I already have a G2C in 9mm. I purchased a 45acp not a 9mm. They basically said sorry about your luck. That’s the only option I had. I even offered to pay the difference for something in 45acp. No can do. For now its in my safe

  9. I bought my wife a G2C for her birthday a couple years ago. We both liked it a lot so I had to get myself one. It’s a good shooter and we carry them quite a bit. It’s a lot lighter than my XD subcompact 40.

  10. well, the semi auto Taurus 9mm, that i shot, caused me to be concerned it would rattle apart while i shot it. It`s a big No Thanks, from me. The owner subsequently gave it away. So I heard.

  11. The G3 actually has a pretty good trigger. It’s improved from the millennium pro indeed. You may have an unusual issue with yours.

  12. Wow it’s amazing how educated I will be reading all of this information from posts and replies , Beretta I love them , I have few in my collection , and now within now that Beretta is on Taurus , even better will purchase more on the Taurus itself , thanks for the feedback , looking forward to read and enhance my knowledge with your posts , Thanks again and Blessings .

  13. I have both the G111 40s&w and the G2 9mm, both are good guns, the 111 I have had many years and enjoy it, in my opinion it shoots better than the glock 40 subcompact ( 27?) that I had, less felt recoil and hand shock. the G2 9mm is a sweet shooter, feels good in the handle and when you shoot it, for the cost you cann’t go wrong with these firearms.

  14. I have owned and used a Taurus G3 for several years and find it to be an outstanding pistol. I am hard pressed to find another pistol that I like to shoot better than my G3. I am amazed that a pistol of this quality and reliability can be bought so inexpensively.

  15. Been a fan, carrier and advocate for Taurus for decades now. Was even offered a sponsorship at one time.
    In the last fifteen to twenty years Taurus has stepped up its game in the firearms market. Since Beretta took hold of it and started expanding their manufacturing to the USA , Miami, as well as Brazil, Taurus has the ex- chief designer from Beretta at the helm and he’s worked magic to improve function, variety and reliability where it once lacked these important traits.
    I own (still) the ptlll millennium pro G2 and still carry it from time to time.
    Bought at Floridas shot Show way back when, it’s never had an issue and you can feed it anything. It’s got tens of thousands of rounds through it and it still runs great today.
    Doesn’t matter the grain or the tip, I’ve even ran plus P’s trying to break it at one time and it chewed through them like candy. I don’t suggest using plus p’s but when ammos scarce then you can do this at least for awhile.
    I’ve owned two 856’s and actually sold my Ruger LCR just to get the second 856 when my other one was ‘lost in a boating accident’.
    Big fan of their wheel guns and multi caliber interchangeable cylinders available on one model I’m looking at next.
    Then the GX4 came out and I didn’t wait for the XL either. The GX4 is the pinnacle of the G series. It sits in my hand perfectly with solid purchase and runs fast. Capacity is the same but I’ve never needed more than one or two in a SD situation.
    It is imo the best micro or Sub semi auto pistol out today. Forget the hellcat , the LCP max or the Equalizer.
    Although the equalizer is nice, the GX just shoots easier and is more accurate at longer ranges.
    I’ve taken it out to fourty yards with consistently hitting 16” steel at roughly 87% groups within 8” at 40yards. No optics just the standard sights.
    This was unheard of just ten years back spite us doing this with the pt111 unreported of course.
    If your on a budget or simply like guns that are reliable accurate and comfortable to shoot, the Taurus is a great choice. It rivals more expensive brands iterations respectively.
    They have an extremely fast 22 competition striker fire I’m told is excellent as well. All can be had for under $350 each with many around $250 that’ll last you decades of use.
    Can’t say enough about them.
    I’m a SIG guy mostly but I refuse to deny any that earned their dues. Taurus did just that.

  16. I have a Taurus G3C very cool gun , even when fully loaded feels light and with the 3 magazines it’s ready to rumble ! The only light problem that I had was on the ejection at the very 200 rounds tested , informed and educated myself on how to correct that problem and now it’s working the way it should be . Planning to get the hammer strike or a full size to use it with a MCK kit eventually , but so far I AM HAPPY WITH MY G3C .

  17. I own a G3c, an got a X-mas deal on it. Only shot it once so far about 100 rds. Its ok at 7 yds, but I don’t like the trigger, way to much take up then a break on the shot, mushy to say the least, but looking into a different trigger system for it, maybe ?. As it role is a SD daily carry gun, mite leave it just the way it is. Further testing required.

  18. I’ve owned my g3c a year now and my only complaint is it temperament with hollow points other than that it’s perfect.

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