Taurus G4 T.O.R.O. -
A Pocketful of
Optics-Ready Power

4

With the flush-base 11-round magazine installed,
Tom could fit half a pinkie on the grip.

It’s time. Like scopes on rifles, optics on pistols are here to stay. It was only a matter of time, technology and durability improvements before red dot sights on even compact carry guns became mainstream.

The Taurus GX4 T.O.R.O. takes the double-stack GX4 platform a step forward by making it optics ready out of the box.

The GX4 T.O.R.O. is cut for an optic and includes a cover plate if you don’t use one.
Tom tested this pistol with a Holosun HE407K-GR X2 6 MOA green dot sight.

Optics Ready

There’s a guy I know who may or may not be the not-very-retired Special Projects Editor around here, who jokingly refers to pistols equipped with red dot sights as “having TVs on top.” He’ll be happy to know he can watch all his favorite programs on the GX4 T.O.R.O. also. I can’t definitively say whether this one tunes in to HeeHaw and Green Acres, but I’ll certainly find out and let him know.

The GX4 T.O.R.O. (that’s Taurus Optic Ready Option) features a pre-cut slide sized for the new crop of micro red dots. These smaller footprint models, compatible with the GX4, include the Shield RMSc, Holosun HS507K and HS407K, Sightmark Mini Shot A-Spec M3, Hex Wasp GE5077-MIC-RET, SIG RomeoZero, Riton 3 Tactix MPRD2 and Trijicon RMRcc Red Dot. Mounting a Trijicon RMRcc does require an optional adapter. If you choose to use this GX4 without an optic, just install the included flush-mount cover plate on the slide and the pistol looks and acts like the standard GX4 model.

With the 13-round magazine installed, Tom could easily fit all
fingers on the grip for improved control.

Just The Facts

The GX4 T.O.R.O. is a subcompact, double-stack 9mm pistol, ideal for carry. It ships with two magazines, an 11-rounder and an extended 13-rounder, so depending on which you install, you’ll get 12 or 14 rounds of 9mm ready to go in a package about the same size as the classic snubbie revolver. Amazing. That’s almost three New York reloads of snubbies in one package of just 6.05×4.4×1.08″ wide. Unloaded weight comes in at 18.5 oz.

The magazines are steel-bodied and use bright yellow followers. The two are identical except for the extended base on the 13-round version. There are witness holes for rounds four through 11. There is a cutout area at the base of the grip allowing you to rip out a stuck mag if needed, but mine have so far dropped freely on hitting the magazine release button. Oh, one more thing. The company does offer 10-round configurations for those of you who live under the iron-fisted rule of Republiks.

The grip texture is like a moderate stippling pattern all around the grip itself — somewhat like a kinder, gentler skateboard tape. You’ll also notice two small textured areas above the trigger guard area. They make great reminders of where to rest your trigger finger when not shooting.

Trigger

This striker-fired pistol has a defensive/carry trigger. I measure it consistently at 61/4 lbs. You’ll get 1/8″ of light, low-grit take-up followed by another 1/8″ of constant pressure before it breaks. I couldn’t detect any stacking at all, nor could I feel any significant overtravel. While a tad heavier than I would prefer, it’s just fine out of the box for its intended purpose.

The reset is obvious — you’ll feel and hear it after about 1/8″ of forward travel.

I’ll also note the trigger itself is wide across its face, as is the interior trigger leaf serving as an extra layer of safety. Unless you depress the leaf, the trigger won’t move. The leaf has a vertical serration texture, presumably to reduce slipping. I liked the feel of the trigger overall and the extra face width helps manage the slightly higher pull weight.

The Holosun fit directly in the milled-out notch, so the standard
included sights co-witnessed through the bottom of the optic window just fine.

Let There Be Sights

The sights on the GX4 T.O.R.O. are solid out of the box. The front is a white dot while the rear is all black with serration to cut glare. Here’s even better news. If you’re picky about specific sights, you’ll be happy to hear the mounting system for front and rear are “industry standard.” That’s code for … the same mounting system as used by a big gun company rhyming with “block.”

This is a big deal, and I heartily thank Taurus for using this system, because lots of aftermarket sight companies make all sorts of outstanding sight upgrades that will fit this pistol. There’s nothing proprietary about sight cuts, or at least there shouldn’t be, so I think it’s great news companies are starting to standardize.

The Federal Syntech Action Pistol 150-grain loads shot plenty well from the GX4.
It seemed to like the polymer-coated projectiles as the Syntech Defense load shot well also.

Care And Feeding

There’s a nifty feature for takedown and field stripping. Rather than clutter up the already compact surface of the gun with more controls, you’ll notice an inset flathead “screw” on the right side of the frame, just forward of the trigger. That’s the takedown “lever.” Using a flathead screwdriver or some other handy object like a dime, turn the bar almost 180° counterclockwise. This releases the slide from the frame. You will need to press the trigger during the process, so exercise all normal caution. As field stripping is an administrative function, I am fine with this tradeoff and appreciate the lack of extra gear on the frame. So, unlike most semi-autos, the GX4 T.O.R.O. has only two movable controls on its frame, not counting the trigger — the magazine release button and the slide lock.

Once you remove the slide, things will look familiar. The recoil spring is a dual captive design, so no flying parts to worry about. You’ll also notice the interior steel “infrastructure” or chassis is longer than you might expect. This is another deliberate feature intended to add strength to the polymer frame and control flex during firing.

Tom tested the GX4 with five different types of premium ammo
ranging in weight from 100 to 150 grains.

Shooting And Handling

The 13-round magazine — really the 11-rounder with a two-round extension — comfortably fits my size large hands. I can easily get all firing and support hand fingers on the frontstrap of the pistol without any undue crowding. When I install the more compact flush-base 11-round magazine, I get a two and a half finger grip. Half of my pinkie is on the front strap and the lower half hangs in space. I did find I preferred shooting with the half pinkie on the front. When I curled it under, I didn’t have as much control and the whole grip was less natural and less comfortable.

The texture is like a moderate skateboard tape. Aggressive enough for a
solid grip, but it won’t tear up the body or holster during daily carry.

Accuracy

I tested this GX4 with five-shot groups from 15 yards using a Ransom Multi-Caliber rest using five different types of ammo.

Federal’s Syntech 150-grain action pistol won the day with a grouping of 1.57″. The Syntech Defense 138-grain load was next up with 1.62″. I guess this pistol likes the polymer bullet jackets. Other loads tested included Federal HST 124-grain (2.08″), Norma MHP 108-grain (2.75″) and Black Hills HoneyBadger 100-grain (3.2″).

The steel body magazines are identical except for the two-round extension.

Closing Arguments

Over the past few years, Taurus has re-focused their efforts on producing solid guns at attractive price points. This one certainly fits that bill too. It ran like a champ, digesting whatever ammo I ran through it. If you need a pocketful of power, give it a look.

For more info:
TaurusUSA.com,
FederalPremium.com,
Black-Hills.com,
Norma-Ammunition.com

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