Taurus pistols play a major role in my life as a gunwriter/firearms instructor/hobbyist collector. The first semi-auto pistol I owned was a Taurus, a Millennium Pro. Although not labeled as such, it would be the G1 that G2, G3, and G4 are based upon. The G2 is still in the catalog and while it’s nice to get upgrades, the G2 is still a fine piece of hardware. The stated objective of the Taurus G3 was to take the features of its very popular Millennium G2 series and morph them into a larger gun with more capacity.
My G2 is usually in the console of my wife’s Yukon, but we still take it on range trips from time to time. It’s close in size to single-stack nines such as the Ruger LC9, S&W Shield, and Springfield XDS, but it’s a double-stack gun with a 13-round capacity. With the G3, Taurus is offering more — a better grip, longer sight radius, 2–4 more rounds and an improved trigger.
Taurus G3 Design
When Taurus officials were considering the G3, they put forth ideas regarding the design to a group of writers, soliciting their input. The Taurus designers appeared to have paid a lot of attention to the input from this group, as the ones I’ve talked to are very pleased with the final outcome. It starts with what Taurus calls a palm swell that forces the shooting hand high on the grip.
Complementing the shape of the grip are textured panels on the sides, front strap, and backstrap that help the shooter maintain a secure grip, even with sweaty palms. To aid in the grip arrangement, thumb shelves are integrated into the frame on either side of the grip. Taurus Memory Pads, which have been around since the PT 24/7 I bought 15 years ago, are located on both sides to accommodate left and right-hand shooters.
The Memory Pads offer a natural location for indexing the trigger finger when not actively engaging the target. The slide is tapered in front for easy holstering and snag-free operation around clothing. Front and rear serrations are designed for a no-slip grip when operating the slide. The sights are the familiar three white dot arrangement with an adjustable rear sight.
The trigger exhibits a smooth take-up with a crisp 6-pound break, and a short reset that is both audible and tactile. It’s easily one of the best triggers you’ll find on a handgun at any price. Since it is a striker-fired pistol, it becomes a single-action as soon as a round is chambered. However, unique to Taurus striker-fired pistols is Taurus’ second-strike capability. If the gun doesn’t fire when the trigger is pulled, the shooter can reset and pull the trigger again to restrike the primer.
The G3 has several safety systems. First is the trigger safety which is designed to prevent the trigger from being pulled unless the shooter’s finger is firmly positioned over the trigger shoe and the trigger safety is pressed. A striker block prevents the striker from moving forward until the trigger is pulled rearward. An optional manual safety lever just above the thumb rest adds to the safety systems when installed.
A loaded chamber view port lets the shooter know whether a round is chambered, though it’s tiny and only works in bright light. I hope Taurus engineers take note of this and open it a bit more on future versions of this fine gun. It’s a gun designed for personal defense as well as fun. The G3 wouldn’t be such without the Picatinny MIL-STD-1913 accessory rail that it has up front (where it belongs).
The G3’s stout polymer frame is topped by a choice of carbon steel or stainless-steel slides. The matte black slide is subjected to an oxi-nitrocarburizing process that creates a strong, case-hardened surface. G3 barrels are made of stainless steel, are 4 inches in length, and rifled using a broach cut process. The recoil system utilizes a steel guide rod and spring assembly with the spring specially tuned to deliver an easy recoil pulse.
For cleaning, Taurus has chosen the familiar method of disassembly which consists of two tabs just ahead of, and above, the trigger. The tabs must be pulled and held down, while the trigger is pulled to allow the slide to move forward off the rails. Everything about the cleaning and reassembly is familiar and easy. Of course, common sense and good safety procedures dictate the gun must be unloaded prior to beginning any disassembly process.
When the G3 hit the streets, a phrase I heard uttered from time to time was, “You can buy two of these for the cost of one G19 or M&P.” I did just that myself, my first one being black, and a second one was added when the gray color became available. Honestly, it’s a great gun to have around for any number of uses including everyday carry.
Accuracy and Handling
I’ve shot my G3s a lot, as have other members of my family. We’re always satisfied with the reliability and accuracy. During my latest range outing, I was able to produce the 2-inch grouping shown in the photos accompanying this article. That target was shot freehand from 10 yards and is typical of what the gun can do.
I’ve added a Flexible Slide Rack Assist by ClipDraw to one of my G3s. This inexpensive little gadget is installed by replacing the slide rear cover plate with one that accommodates bolting on the flexible loop that is used for racking the slide. If you have arthritis, or hand weakness for any other reason, here’s a solution that works as well as anything I’ve tried. Simply put your finger in the loop and pull to rack the slide. ClipDraw has these to fit a few popular guns, and I’ve outfitted several of mine.
This is a gun that weighs 25 ounces, is less than 8 inches long and just a little over 5 inches high. With a width of 1.25 inches and a capacity of 15 or 17 rounds, it’s the perfect size for many of us when it comes to a carry gun. It’s accurate, reliable, and backed by a lifetime guarantee. I don’t believe you would ever regret adding one of these to your arsenal, even it if it’s an arsenal of one.