Taurus GX4

12 Rounds of Micro Pocket Power

The GX4 offers plenty of carry power in a micro pocket-sized package.

There’s a new pocket pistol in town and, hold on to your shorts, it’s … affordable! We get lots of letters asking why we don’t cover more guns mere mortals can afford, so here you go. The new Taurus GX4 micro 9mm pistol offers big performance with a modest price tag.

GX4 Tour

The GX4 is a subcompact, micro really, 9mm pistol. It’s sized like many .380 ACPs but offers plenty of 9mm get up and go. In its 6.05 x 4.4 x 1.08″ wide package you’ll get a magazine full of 11 rounds. Add one in the chamber and you’re looking at two sixguns in your pocket. All of that houses a 3.06″ barrel.

As a polymer pistol with steel slide, it’s light to carry at just 18.5 oz. unloaded. When you field strip the GX4 you’ll notice a hidden benefit on the inside. The chassis on this pistol is a full-length stainless-steel framework that prevents flex under fire and provides structural integrity for the polymer grip. By full length, I don’t mean the chassis extends to the muzzle; it doesn’t. But the chassis and rail segments are continuous from the front of the trigger guard to the rear of the frame.

The GX4 ships with two 11-round magazines. They’re steel bodied, helping them drop freely on magazine release activation. There are rear witness holes for rounds 4 through 11, so you can easily see your load status. You’ll also note the bottom of the magazines have a scallop cutout in case you need to rip out a magazine in the event of a serious jam. While the magazines in the box are flat-based, you can order an option 11-rounder with a pinky extension and an extended 13-rounder. Ten-round configurations are available for those living under the iron-fisted rule of Republiks.

Presumably to save frame real estate on this micro pistol, there’s no takedown lever visible. On the right side, you will see a flathead screw slot on a pin about the diameter of a pea. Rotate that 1/4 turn and you can press the trigger while easing the slide off the muzzle end. Yes, you do have to press the trigger to field strip the GX4. Personally, I think this is an overblown issue as there are a dozen other situations where you need to verify loaded status and muzzle direction before doing something or other.

The Taurus GX4 packs 11 rounds into its two included flat-base magazines.
Add one in the chamber for two sixguns of carry capacity.


The GX4 has what I would describe as moderate texturing around the grip area. Technically, it presents a random stippling pattern on all four sides of the grip. However, the stippling depth is relatively shallow, so it’s more reminiscent of a finer sandpaper type surface, not tall spikes, ridges, or other random shapes. There are two small stippled areas on the frame above the trigger guard. These are nifty places to rest your right- or left-hand trigger finger when not shooting.

One can’t defy physics, so you’ll find the GX4, like any gun of the size and weight, is a bit jumpy when using full pressure self-defense ammo. With my large (not extra-large) hands, I can get part of my pinky on the grip. However, I found it more comfortable to shoot with two fingers on the grip and my pinky curled underneath. That worked out just fine, and I didn’t have any problem controlling the gun, especially when making good use of my support hand.

The trigger is pretty good out of the box. There’s a very short and relatively smooth take up stage of maybe 1/8″ followed by constant pressure to a break. Using a trigger scale, I measured the break at 6.25 lbs. It’s a tad heavier than I would like in a perfect world, but as a pocket-friendly pistol I can’t really complain about a little extra safety margin in this department. I did not have any trouble managing the trigger on the range — it didn’t affect my ability to shoot accurately.

If you like to shoot the reset, you’ll be able to do this with the Taurus GX4. I wouldn’t describe the reset as audibly or tactilely obnoxious, but you can feel it and to a lesser degree hear it. The trigger shoe itself is flat and wide, as is the safety leaf in its center. You will note vertical serrations in the leaf itself.

The pistol as a whole is designed to be carry friendly. The grip is well rounded and there are no sharp corners to be found. The frame dust cover is beveled and the slide up top is subtly beveled in the opposite direction. Even the muzzle area, frame and slide, are beveled from the front end to ease re-holstering. The whole rig will just melt into an IWB holster.

The sights are GLOCK-cut compatible, so there’s a universe of possibilities.
However, Tom liked the factory sights just fine.


There’s a new term making its way through the industry — “standard industry cut.” As there’s a good chance you don’t yet know what that means — I didn’t — it’s a standard term for “GLOCK compatible” dovetail sight cuts.

That’s a smart move on the part of the Taurus. There are so many aftermarket sights on the market right now to fit GLOCK pistols you will have a plethora of choice should you want to upgrade the factory sights. Don’t get me wrong, the sights that come on the GX4 are just fine. There is a standard white dot up front. It mounts through the slide with a small screw like a GLOCK. The rear sight is blacked out with horizontal separations to reduce glare and features a square notch. There is no pressing need to upgrade the sights on this gun unless you want something more colorful like a fiber-optic or night compatible like a Tritium filled version.

Federal Syntech Defense is a fragmenting lead-core, synthetic jacket load
with a deep penetrating base. It shot into 1.08" from 15 yards.

Does it Shoot?

I tested the Taurus GX4 with three types of 9mm ammunition. Given the subcompact form factor of this pistol, two-finger grip and short sight radius, I elected to shoot the “formal” stuff from 15 yards. Seemed appropriate. I also set up a Competition Electronics ProChrono DLX 15 feet downrange to check velocities while I was at it. If you don’t yet have a chrony, do check this one out. It’s an outstanding piece of gear. The Bluetooth connection to a phone app makes range use easy — no pencils and paper — everything is recorded and calculated seven ways from Sunday on your smartphone.

Federal Syntech Defense borrows technology from the colorful Syntech practice, training and match lines with its lead projectiles coated with polymer material. These blue rounds are pure hollowpoints designed to break into four pieces when impacting organic targets. Three petals branch off into 6″ deep tracks while the base core will penetrate a total of 12 to 18″. I’ve tested these 138-grain rounds in gelatin, and they do exactly that. Over the chrony, the Syntech Defense loads averaged 1,017.3 fps. From 15 yards, a five-shot group measured a peachy 1.08″. That’ll do!

Federal Punch is a more affordable premium self-defense round built as a traditional jacketed hollowpoint. Without the engineering needed to optimize over the FBI test protocol which is less relevant to home and defense situations (shooting through wood, steel and auto glass for example), Federal has produced an HST-like round more affordable for us mere mortals. Don’t get me wrong, Punch will penetrate all those test protocol objects, it’s just not optimized for the weird situations. This load clocked in at 1,065.7 fps and produced a stellar 0.82″ five-shot group from 15 yards.

Black Hills HoneyBadger is designed to be an “always works” offering, as the design doesn’t rely on expansion at all. The solid copper projectile will always penetrate and deliver its fight-stopping performance through a unique “drill bit-like” design. Light for caliber, the 100-grain gnashing badgers left the GX4 at 1,175.7 fps and printed a 0.98″ group.

Range tests: Check. This subcompact shoots just fine, thank you very much.

Closing Arguments

The Taurus GX4 is one handy little pistol. I always try to look for the unique attributes defining the value of a new gun. In my view, this one boils down to 12 rounds of pocket-sized power. Yes, it’ll make a stellar pocket pistol given its size and shape. The inclusion of standard (GLOCK-compatible) sights is a huge plus in my book. Hat’s off to Taurus for making a customer-centric decision benefitting the consumer. I wish more manufacturers would standardize on sight compatibility. With an MSRP of just $392.42 it will be hard to go wrong with this one.

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

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