Reviewed: The New Taurus GX4 9MM

In a blistering hot firearms market, Taurus just dropped something new: The GX4 concealed carry 9mm.

Reviewed: The New Taurus GX4 9MM

Taurus USA jumps into the micro-pistol market with the new GX4 semi-automatic, a small but effective 9MM handgun perfect for those customers in need of an all-day carry gun and a handy home defense option. As an FFL retailer with a strong tactical customer base, you will be selling every GX4 that gets shipped your way.

And if you stock a selection of the GX4 accessories that hit the market as the GX4 was being launched? You’ll make many additional sales, beefing up your bottom line and boosting your profit margins.

“Small is very good in the current handgun market,” says Miles Hall, who for more than three decades co-owned and co-operated H&H Shooting Sports in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, one of the top firearm retailers in the Sooner State. “All by itself, the small size of the GX4 is going to attract a lot of customer attention. But make sure your sales staff does its job and that your customers are buying the gun they really need. Returns are time consuming and costly to an FFL.”

The kind of questions you need to ask for a potential GX4 customer start with how a customer plans to use their handguns. Open or concealed carry? Strictly home defense? Or maybe a handy gun for the car or truck? The GX4 checks all of those boxes.

And, if the customer wants to practice concealed carry or already does, what carry method or methods do they use? All of these factors are important in directing a customer to a smaller pistol like the GX4, says Hall, who today is a consultant to FFL retailers, helping them to improve their operations through Hall-N-Hall Consulting. And smaller it certainly is. The GX4 weighs in a at only 18.5 ounces unloaded, sports a barrel just a shade over 3 inches in length and is a skinny 1.08 inches wide. The GX4 will literally fit in the palm of many hands and still boasts a carry capacity of 11+1 rounds of 9MM. There’s even a 13-round magazine available. And the GX4 can use +P 9mm for those who like a self-defense round with a little more zip.

Technically, nearly any handgun can be used for open carry. The GX4 is no exception. But carrying the GX4 openly really doesn’t take advantage of the work Taurus engineers did to make this a nearly snag-free carry gun.

For example — and it’s a great selling point to stress — the GX4 slide and frame meld together almost seamlessly, with the pistol’s controls nearly flush with the frame. Add in the GX4’s small but effective open sights and you have a pistol that’s easy to carry and quick on the draw, and it sports an impressive amount of 9mm firepower.

Maybe a customer needs a handgun for self-defense purposes while in his or her vehicle? The GX4’s size and maneuverability make it a perfect choice for vehicles where space is restricted.

And make sure you tell your customers: the GX4 is an accurate little pistol.

At my shooting range, I used a seven-yard, offhand stance to put the GX4 through its paces. That distance, I figured, was right in the middle of most concealed carry and home defense scenarios and would provide a good indication of the pistol’s capabilities.

I used three brands of 9mm ammunition to test out my GX4: Remington’s High Terminal Performance (HTP) +P firing a 115-grain JHP bullet; Speer Gold Dot loaded with a 124-grain Gold Dot Hollow Point bullet, also a +P load; and Winchester Active Duty launching a 115-grain flat-nosed FMJ.

Accuracy was quite impressive, especially when you consider the GX4 has a barrel all of 3.06-inches in length. The Speer Gold Dot placed six rounds into a 1.08-inch group and the Remington HTP scored a best group of five rounds at 1.30 inches.

Overall, though, the Winchester Active Duty 9mm printed the best groups, including a nice five-round cluster at just .95-inch.

In more than 250 rounds, the GX4 experienced no failures to feed or eject, even when I fired off two full 11-round magazines back to back.

The GX4 comes standard with two 11-round magazines, and a 13-round magazine can be purchased separately. For those retailers located in states with magazine restrictions, Taurus has 10-round models.

Recoil? It was snappy with the +P loads, and about average with the standard range rounds. But even with the two +P loads, the GX4 was still easy to hold and control, thanks in no small part to the very grippy stippling on the grips, as well as the front and back straps.

The GX4 is a striker-fired pistol, so the trigger has some spring to it — literally. But the trigger, which averaged a three-pound trigger pull, was not spongy, and it reset quickly.

Carrying a handgun concealed can be a rather sweaty business, especially during the warm summer months. Given this reality, point out to customers that the GX4’s metal internal parts are nickel plated to further resist rust and corrosion. Likewise, Taurus treated the GX4’s operational control parts to a Teflon™ coating. The lubricity of Teflon allows GX4 components, like the reversible mag release, to operate smoothly, while also resisting wear and corrosion. The steel slide stop has polymer over-molding for added durability, too. 

The GX4’s stainless-steel barrel features a satin black DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) treatment for reduced friction and greater wear and corrosion resistance. For the GX4’s slide finish, Taurus provided gas nitride coating to maximize slide surface hardness — ideal for a pistol used for daily carry and deep concealment due to its wear resistance properties.

The Taurus GX4 is actually built on a stainless frame with a polymer grip, which helps to eliminate flex or deformation when firing, especially when using higher-pressure +P loads. The thin frame provides little to no printing when worn inside the waistband.

Several companies are making holsters for the GX4 already, including Galco, as shown here.
Several companies are making holsters for the GX4 already, including Galco, as shown here.

No need to press-check the GX4 to see if it is loaded. As with all Taurus polymer-framed pistols, the GX4 slide includes a visual loaded chamber indicator. To separate the slide assembly from the frame for cleaning and lubrication, the Taurus GX4 utilizes an easy take-down pin system.

The Taurus GX4 should be a prime mover of additional sales for the retailer, too, and a good number of accessory makers introduced GX4-specific products at the same time the pistol hit the market.

For example, Galco Gunleather launched a large selection of holsters to fit the GX4, timing it with the handgun’s release. These holsters include IWB and OWB models, some of them all leather, others leather and Kydex combinations. Galco even introduced a GX4 ankle holster.

Likewise, Viridian Weapon Technologieslaunched new green and red E-Series laser sights made specifically to fit the GX4. The E-Series laser sights mount to the trigger guard, and the ambidextrous on/off button of the laser sight is positioned directly where the trigger finger falls during the draw. 

Hall suggested that retailers have a GX4 already outfitted with one of the available lasers. He further advised that the stores set aside an area where customers can handle the pistol and see the laser light in action.

“Once customers see that dot on a target, they are sold,” said Hall. “They immediately understand how the laser functions and how easy it will be to use. That’s especially the case for those first-time handgun buyers who are leery of using a firearm.”

Have a carry holster or two on hand, too, Hall advised, to show the concealed carry customer how well the GX4 actually carries and hides on the body.

One big help the FFL retailer should see with the Taurus GX4 is that many customers will come into the stores looking specifically for this pistol. That’s because Taurus is running a very strong advertising and marketing campaign to complement the GX4. This campaign includes print and digital ads, a series of written reviews appearing in numerous print and digital platforms, as well as many video reviews of the pistol. Social media got a big dose of GX4 with the initial launch, and Taurus is pushing out more of this content over the summer and fall. The Taurus GX4 will also get the television treatment, as it will be featured on episodes of Guns & Ammo TV and American Rifleman TV.

Get your sales staff prepped — it should be a busy GX4 summer and fall!


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