Taurus G3C Review: How Does It Perform?

by Travis Pike

January 14, 2023

25 comments

4.7
(135)

The Taurus G3C was a sneaky one. It premiered quickly without much build-up, no big NRA or SHOT Show reveal. Taurus was just like, bam, here it is. The G3C model builds off the preceding G3, a full-sized pistol released a year prior. The C stands for Compact; notably, the G3C is a shrunken variant of the G3. The Taurus G3C seems to want to keep the theme of producing affordable handguns aimed at shooters on a budget. Is it worth the money? Read our Taurus G3C review and decide for yourself.

Taurus G3C Specs

  • Caliber 9mm Luger
  • Capacity 12+1
  • Height 5.1″
  • Overall Width 1.2″
  • Barrel Length 3.2’’
  • Overall Length 6.3″
  • Front Sight Fixed
  • Rear Sight Adjustable
  • Weight 22 oz

Taurus G3C Background

Many people like to claim Taurus makes good revolvers but bad automatics. In my experience, the opposite is true. Their automatic pistols seem to be much more reliable than their revolvers. The G3C is not a compact handgun variant of the G3 but the successor to the very popular G2C handgun. The G3C features several upgrades over the G2C.

These improvements include front and rear slide serrations, as well as the front and rear sight are steel sights. The trigger is the third generation Taurus trigger and is a flat-faced trigger with a much larger trigger safety.

To me, the most notable improvement for the Taurus G3 handgun seems to be the G3C’s ability to utilize Glock pattern sights and SIG Sauer P226 magazines.

This opens up an existing aftermarket to make upgrades easier.

The Compact design points the gun towards concealed carry. The compact pistol price points appeal to those on a budget. The G3C is far from the smallest gun on the market and does feature a double-stack 12-round magazine (more with extensions). Who doesn’t like more ammunition?

The Taurus G3C fits into an odd category of concealed carry guns size-wise. It’s smaller than your traditional compact, like a CZ P10C or Glock 19, but larger than subcompacts like the Glock 26. It’s a compromise in both directions, but not necessarily a bad one.

The Taurus G3C retains an effective trigger system that’s been around since the old 24/7. This trigger system is a single action, with restrike capability. It could be described as a DA/SA gun, but that doesn’t adequately describe it.

You cannot manually decock the weapon, and the double-action trigger only comes into play if the single action does not fire the weapon. From a practical perspective, I do like this trigger, and it does offer something different than 99% of the striker-fired guns on the market.

Taurus G3C Features

1 Restrike Capable Trigger
2 Flat Faced Trigger
3 Manual Safety
4 All Metal Sights
5 Front and Rear Serrations
6 Standard Picatinny Rail

Taurus G3C Models

Taurus G3C Review – OUR TAKE

Now, it’s time to dive into this review and let you know what I really think about how the Taurus G3C 9mm performs.

The Blessed, and Cursed Grip

As a dude with XL sized hands, I find most compact guns to be a bit small. I can’t stand a hanging pinky, so the G3C’s larger grip is quite comfortable and does provide me a full-handed grip on the gun. That’s the blessing.

Here’s the curse. With a high grip, I get a nasty slide bite. That slide bite translated into my hand, bleeding within 50 rounds. It made testing the gun rather slow and uncomfortable. The good news is once you lose enough skin, you don’t feel it anymore.

The grip texture is very aggressive and separated into panels that cover the entire grip. This includes a bold front and backstrap. When firing, that textured grip provides an easy to hold, and the gun never tries to work its way out of your hand.

The addition of front serrations is excellent. The front serrations are rather short, but the serrations are deep and easy to grip. It makes racking the gun easy enough.

Accuracy

Accuracy is always challenging in a little gun. I found myself developing a flinch, mainly due to the slide bite. I did see acceptable accuracy, though. Even out to 25 yards, I can place rounds consistently into the chest of a bad guy. At 15 yards, I’m making fast and accurate headshots.

I feel like the trigger is the definition of meh. It has a lot of pre-travel for a single action trigger. The single-action travel is just as long as the double-action trigger. It’s merely much lighter than the double-action mode. The trigger has a short reset, but if you don’t pin your trigger, that doesn’t matter. The longer trigger travel does create more of an opportunity to make a mistake before the gun fires.

I do like the sights, especially the rear sight, and appreciate that a budget gun is coming with metal sights. Even Glock doesn’t do that. The only downside is they seem rather small. Also, as I mentioned, the G3C does have aftermarket sight options available from Tru-Glo, and these are Glock pattern.

Based on my tests, accuracy is perfectly usable, especially from a practical standpoint. I can make smaller groups with the P365, but from a practical perspective, the gun will put the lead where you want it.

When shooting fast, the trigger isn’t noticeable. I do feel a shorter overall pull would still be better, but a short reset helps. The gun is easy to hang onto, and recoil is far from punishing. Muzzle rise is noticeable, but within ten yards, you can score 1.5-second failure to stop drills.

Reliability

After many times of going to the range, the G3C ate and ate and ate. After all of that, I had a single issue regarding the magazine failing to feed a round. I had to give the magazine a hearty hit to get the follower to release and the round to rise. I fired 450 rounds with a 150 being Winchester Forged, which is notoriously dry and dirty ammo.

Outside of that one issue with the magazine failing to feed, the gun ran cleanly. Speaking of clean, I did not clean the gun and allowed it to get nice and filthy throughout my testing. A mixture of sweat, gunpowder, and a little blood gave it a lovely natural oil to run with!

Far From Fancy

Overall the gun isn’t fancy. It’s not a tuned 1911 where everything just drips and reeks of quality. It’s a plain Jane semi-automatic, striker-fired pistol that goes bang when you need it to. Lots of the parts feel somewhat plasticky, especially the safety. The safety almost feels like an afterthought, like the safety on an imported Tokarev.

I do think the gun offers quite a bit of value for the price. The street price seems to be hovering around $259.99. The G3C comes with three 12-round magazines and metal sights. It’s a simple gun that keeps the Taurus tradition of affordability.

So, as you can see in this Taurus GC3 review, I think this is a excellent pistol for the price. I wouldn’t give it as great of a grade if say it was over $600. Furthermore, you get 3 magazines with that low of a price and all in all I feel like it was well made for a budget gun. Because of the above statement, I did include it in my list of best handguns under the best budget options – however, you might be surprised to see that it isn’t listed as the #1 budget gun. So, if you’re interested in seeing what beat this Taurus G3C review in budget, or if you are looking for a better option or upgrade in the 9mm department, then check out the best 9mm pistol article here: https://gununiversity.com/best-9mm-pistols/

Taurus G3C Pros and Cons

  • Affordable
  • 3 included magazines
  • Restrike capability
  • Metal sights
  • Painful slide bite
  • Long trigger travel
  • Not as accurate as competitors

Report Card

Shootability

The gun handles well with little recoil and perfectly suitable close-range accuracy. The aggressive grip texture makes it easy to hold onto with a single hand, and easy to get a firm grip when drawing.

A
Reliability

One failure in 500 rounds is not an immediate cause for concern, but I’d want to see the gun run problem-free for the next 500 rounds to upgrade the score.

C
Ergonomics

I shed blood due to the slide bite, and while I have big hands, that’s still an issue. Other than that, the gun is ergonomically sound, the controls are easy to reach and access, and the grip texture is very aggressive.

C
Accuracy

From a small gun perspective, the Taurus G3C is a natural shooter. The sights are a little small, but solid. If the trigger was just a bit better…

B
Value

The G3C includes three magazines, metal sights, and both Glock and SIG compatibility. The G3C is an excellent value at under 300 bucks brand new.

A+

Our Grade

B

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

A

Based on 72 Reviews

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Taurus G3C Ammo

Range Rounds

MagTech-9mm-Ammo

MagTech 9mm 115 GR FMJ Ammo

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Natchez Shooter’s Supply $0.24
Brownells $0.23
Palmetto State Armory $0.34

Best Defense Rounds

Box of Hornady 9mm pistol ammunition

Hornady Critical Defense 115 GR

Marketplace
Cost Per Round
Cabela’s $1.24
Midway USA $1.24

Taurus G3C Starter Pack

So what’s next? Well, if you decide to get the Taurus G3C, you’re going to need to pick up some must-have basics. Here’s our recommendation for what you need to get started.

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box on Amazon or build your own personalized cleaning kit with premium components.
  • Shooting Glasses: All it takes is one piece of rogue hot brass, and you’ll learn the importance of shooting glasses. But not all glasses are built the same. See our recommendations for the Best Shooting Glasses.
  • Hearing Protection: Firing a gun without wearing proper ear pro can be very dangerous and detrimental to your hearing. Find out the best hearing protection for you in our full length review.
  • Storage: Check our our article on the Best Biometric Gun Safes
  • Targets – If you’re wanting a great resource for shooting practice or zeroing your optics on your optics rifle or pistol, download our FREE Sighting in Targets below.

With the basics outta the way, let’s jump into some cool accessories you might want to consider when purchasing your Taurus G3C

Taurus G3C Upgrades and Accessories

There’s a bunch of different options available to accessorize the Taurus G3C. However, if we had to choose only a few options… Here’s our picks.

Taurus G3C Accessories

Streamlight TLR-7 Weapon Light
  • White LED produces 500 lumens
  • IPX7 Waterproof
  • Low Profile
Check Amazon
Pineworld Biometric Gun Safe
  • Reliable Biometric Scanner
  • Sturdy and Well Built
  • Cheaper Than Most Biometrics
Check Amazon
Decibullz Custom Molded Earplugs
  • Great In-Ear option
  • Custom molded – super easy and comfortable
  • NRR: 31
Check Amazon
Taurus G3C 9mm Magazine
  • 17 Round Capacity
  • Steel construction
  • High-tensile steel wire spring
Check Price

Other Compact Pistols of its Class to Check Out

The Taurus is a relatively decent option for those on a budget. If you’re looking for something cheap that goes bang, you’ll be ok. But if you’re look for just a bit more and have some wiggle room in your budget, you might want to consider one of these:

#1 Mossberg MC1SC

Mossberg MC1SC

When Mossberg made their way back into the pistol market, they hit a home run with the MC1sc. It’s got a bunch of super neat features with great reliability. And it’s an amazing value buy. Easily one of Gun University’s favorite budget guns.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics B+
  • Accuracy A-
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

B+

Based on 10 Reviews

Your Grade

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Added To Our Reader’s Score

#2 Springfield Hellcat – 9MM

Springfield Hellcat – 9MM

Another good choice for is the Springfield Hellcat. Granted you are going to pay a bit more for this pistol, but it has the ability to rank right up there with some other favorites like the Sig P365. And plus…it’s optics ready. What more could you want?

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability B
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics A
  • Accuracy A
  • Value A-

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Travis Pike

Reader’s Grade

A

Based on 108 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Gun? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

Loose Rounds

The Taurus G3c compared with the classic Walther PPK/s, the go-to Glock 19, the new FN 503, and a popular $250~ surplus 9mm– the Star BM.

Taurus G3C compared to other ccw guns.

The Taurus G3c, when stacked against one of the most common carry pistols in the country, the 15+1 shot Glock 19, is about an inch shorter and 4-ounces lighter.

While it should be noted that the Glock 26 is closer in size to the new Brazilian budget contender, it can be pointed out that the aforementioned “Baby Glock” runs a smaller 10-round mag as standard. The 3Gc is more akin in size to the new FN 503 or the legacy Walther PPK and Star BM, although it should be pointed out that all three of those are single-stacks.

Comparing the Taurus G3C with other EDC guns.

The elephant in the room…is how the G3c stands when facing off against the new…micro-compact 9mm pistols. On paper, the 18.3-ounce unloaded Springfield Armory Hellcat is slightly smaller… The 17.8-ounce 10+1 Sig Sauer P365 is even more diminutive, with a 5.8-inch overall length. In short, the new Taurus is very close to that…is priced at an MSRP of $305…while the P365 and Hellcat both run at least a couple hundo more.  via Guns.com

How to Care for Your Taurus G3C

Still on the fence about the Taurus G3C? Take a look at this video by Sootch00. He hits the range with his G3C to show you just how well it performs and then demonstrates a how to field strip your Taurus for cleaning and maintenance.

Other Important Resources for Your Taurus G3C

If you’re interested in picking up a Taurus G3C, be sure to check out these resources to make the most of your experience.

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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. As usual, the question with Tauruses (Tauri?) is whether it’ll stand up to a pounding long term. As a multiple Taurus handgun owner, one had to go back to the factory 4 times (hairline fracture in the slide, broken lug nut, broken locking block, rear sight broke off), one had the rear sight break off (I fixed), and one hasn’t had any problems.

    It’ll be interesting to see how durable these are. Until proven over a longer term, I’d not bet my life on one, given there are dozens of proven guns available.

    1. I think we should just decide as a community… I make a motion to adopt Todd’s “Tauri.” Do I hear a second?

      1. Yes. I second (am I allowed to do so?).

        I feel blessed getting to text with the great Ryan Cleckner. I love both podcasts as well as your NSSF videos. Keep it up!

    2. I have fired more than 1300 rounds without any failures. It shoots maybe an inch low but no gun shoots exactly right on the money. I carry this gun this gun with confidence.

    3. I liked my first G3C very much, I upgraded the front sights with a truglo sight.
      I like this gun so much, I bought two.

  2. I have not had much opportunity to shoot mine. I have noticed that the chamber appears to be pretty tight for some factory ammo I have shot but it seems to function fine anyway. Using the trigger I ride the reset when I am shooting it, the trigger reset is actually pretty short travel and pretty light and smooth – better than any stock Glock in my experience. The thumb safety lever is not “plastic,” but is in fact steel. I have shot American Eagle 115 hardball, Norma 108gr JHP, Federal 124gr JHP, and I have yet to try Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P.

    For those who want to take shots at this pistol’s performance, well, “you can,” it is what it is. A pretty good all around shooter that appears to be reliable so far. I suspect it is far better than my initial shooting results.

    1. Preface: I own both a G2 Millenium and the newer G3C.

      I find the G3C to be an accurate short range gun with the following exception: when using the Russian Tulammo steel jacketed 9mm ammo in the G3C (not tried in the G2) I experienced an average of one failure to eject slide jam with each magazine of 12 cartridges. And, not a single failure of any kind using good quality FMJ ammo from  Winchester, Hornady, or Seller & Bellot. So, let shooters beware of Tulammo.

  3. I havei have owned the older millennium pro G2 and the G3c I like the the crisp trigger on the G3c . However,I do not agree with most reviewer about the larger flatterer safetbar Ilike the older narrow one , it doesn’t pinch my finger also I like the new sights.

  4. i have shot this gun for over a year,all different types of ammo including dirty steel ammo and have never had any malfunctions. i would trust it with my life.maybe you just had a faulty mag.giving it a c for reliability isn’t fair. still a good review. semper fi

  5. i’ve had the G3c for over a year. It has been a great gun for the price. Probably have shot over 2k rounds with no issues other than one “finger bite’ from the slide.

    1. First, Travis, thanks to you for serving our country. Especially being a Marine. One of my uncles was a Marine, and landing on Gaudacanal during WWII. Also had a cousin that participated in the Okinawa during WWII. War is hell and you men are a national treasure.

  6. Got my G3C last week, did a complete detailed cleaning (Hoppe #9) lite lubrication Lucas Gun oil, fired 100 rounds Magtech 124 grain FMJ and a combination of 50 rounds
    124 Grn. Federal HST and 147 Grn. Winchester Silvertip, no problems at all. At 15 yards will do the job at 25 yards you better hold your own but you can still hit the target.
    The 3 magazines, that’s another issue, even after cleaning and a wipe down with Teflon (dry) to load those suckers pass the 10th rounds is hell and even with a magazine loader you better eat b-fast firts!! On my honest opinion you can’t go wrong with this gun.

  7. I acquired this gun through a gun raffle. I really like the size and capacity. It comes from the factory with three 12 round mags which is almost unheard of. Taurus also has 15 round mags, but they are out of stock everywhere. I also recently won a GX4 in a raffle and I love that gun too. (Believe it or not, I have won a total of six guns in raffles). I now own four Taurus handguns and have been very pleased with all.
    The G3C will be included in my EDC rotation.

    1. Steve, what is the secret to winning all those guns!? Also, do you find the G3C shooting a bit low left or is that just me?

  8. I bought the G3c because of the way it fit my hand and second the price. It was not real accurate but could have been me. I tend to ride the reset when at the range so I will not complain about the long take up and the up side to this is I can empty a 15 round mag into a 12″ circle in 5 seconds at 10 yards. I wanted to try a red dot so I bought the G3c Toro went to Lakeline and put stainless steel ported target barrel, stainless steel recoil assembly and striker guide all for $129.00. The Toro shoots so well now that I am not in a big hurry to get a red dot. If you get or have a G3c I highly recommend those three upgrades.

  9. A friend just bought one of these at Academy to replace a PT709 Slim as a carry piece. He went there to buy a Sig P365 and was going to sell the PT709 to make a little money back but the salesperson talked up the G3C and the lure of spending less than half as much as he was planning on and getting to keep the Slim was just too alluring. The very first attempt to chamber it (with Armscor 124 grain JHP that he carried in the PT709) locked it up such that it took a hammer to get the slide loose and the round out. I checked it with four different off the shelf rounds and two different ones hit the barrel throat: the Armscor JHP and Wolf steel case 115 grain FMJ. Anything over 1.158″ OAL would not fully chamber (9mm max OAL is 1.169″). The barrel throat has a pronounced raised lip (it almost makes it look like the rifling is an “insert”) in it and I can only assume it was poor finish work or a worn tool as it needs to be reamed at least six or seven thousandths.

    I happened to have a factory Millennium G2 barrel laying around since I’d put a threaded Lakeline in mine and found it to be basically identical to the G3C barrel, as are the magazines. Installed that barrel and everything functions and fires fine with the “problem” ammo, and I told him he could have it. He’s going to see if they will let him just send in the barrel so he’s not without the pistol for two to three months.

  10. New owner of the Taurus G3C. I’m having trouble placing the gun in the “safe position””. I’ve read the manual several times with no success. What am I missi

  11. I love this gun as my home protection and personal carry iv put 1000 rounds through it with no issues I did upgrade the slide spring and striker guide to stainless steel and fiber optic sights to make it even more durable and for the price I am very happy with it.

  12. It is possible to have the first round double action. While gun is disassembled simply load a round in the barrel, reassemble as usual, only do not fully rack the slide. I use this method because the safety is somewhat cheesy.

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