You’ve likely heard of the Taurus G2C which is a very popular gun on the US market due to its large number of features for a very low budget price. The Taurus G3 is a continuation of the Taurus G2C lineup. Taurus designed the G3 to fit more of a duty gun/large carry gun roll.
Previously Taurus had not had any current duty gun size offerings on the market. Considering the success of the Taurus G2C, many people were eyeing the Taurus G3 as a powerhouse in the gun market when it was finally released. Taurus’s last duty gun size offering was the Taurus 24-7, which did not have a good reputation for reliability and did not do that well on the market.
It’s unclear as of right now whether Taurus meant for this gun to be a budget offering for foreign police departments or if it was designed primarily for the US market. It’s very unlikely that any police department or agency on the US market would adopt the Taurus G3 just due to the budget price and Glock, Sig, and Smith and Wesson offering such great and solid options at similar prices when bought in large law enforcement quantities.
Taurus manufactures the gun in Brazil like they do most of their other offerings despite having a new US factory.
The Taurus G3 is a 15-round gun with a flush fit magazine and its size somewhere between a Glock 17 and Glock 19. It includes an additional 17 round mag that includes a sleeve on the bottom to prevent over-insertion and to make your grip more natural if your grip extends past the grip of the gun with the 15-round magazine.
A company called Promag does make aftermarket extended mags for this gun or for the G2C series that will fit the Taurus G3 but I would be wary before purchasing them, due to Promag’s questionable reliability. The Taurus G3 has a slightly beveled mag well that is pretty typical for a gun in this class. It is by no means difficult to reload the magazine into the Taurus G3, but at the same time, you’re not going to get any aid inserting the magazine into a massive mag well that a gun like the Glock gen 5 MOS has.
Ergonomically the Taurus G3 is a very comfortable gun for the price point. There are a few areas that someone could complain about such as the undercut under the grip. This gun will definitely give you a Glock knuckle if you shoot it enough. Maybe it becomes Taurus knuckle since you’re shooting at Taurus.
There are no replaceable backstrap options on this gun, so the size of the grip you get is the size of the grip you get with no option to change it. The good news is, the grip itself is quite well rounded so it feels good in the hand and the area around the tang of the grip underneath the back of the slide is very well rounded and comfortable.
So shooters with large to small hands will not have any issue with this gun. There are guns out there like the Walther PPQ that can be uncomfortable in that area for some shooters and impact the knuckle of their thumb. But you will not have this issue with the Taurus G3.
The frame of the Taurus G3 is fairly slick, but there is intermittent texturing on the front strap, the back strap, and then two places on each side panel of the gun.
The texturing itself feels fairly aggressive. And I have a feeling if you shot this gun a lot over time it would wear out, but for the round counts and use most shooters will use this weapon for it will be more than sufficient and it offers a very good texture and allows you to get a very solid grip on the gun.
The frame itself has two index points that sit in front of the takedown levers and they’ll give you a good place to index your shooting finger when you’re gripping the gun. And you could also potentially index your thumb there as well although it might mess up your support hand grip.
Overall, the grip of this gun is quite good for a gun at this price point. It won’t leave you walking away impressed compared to some of the most ergonomic options out there but it does feel good in the hand. If you can grip a Glock 19 the Taurus G3 will give you enough space to grip the gun and then some.
This gun has a much higher bore axis than say a Glock 19 and just due to the design you do not get as much length as other guns of this size from the bottom of the trigger undercut to the bottom of the grip. So, one thing you’re going to want to take into account is a slightly smaller gun like a Glock 19 will give you the same amount of grip. This gun is similar to the Sig P320 series in that aspect.
The sights on the Taurus G3 are nothing special. They are just basic plastic sights. The front attaches via a screw from the inside of the slide similar to a Glock design and the rear sight is dovetailed in and also attaches via a screw. It looks like it’s adjustable via windage on the rear via a set screw in the middle of the site. These site cuts are proprietary Taurus site cuts, so you won’t be able to take advantage of options from other companies like Glock or Sig. When Taurus designed the Taurus G3c that added Glock sight cuts and it would have been nice if they had done the same thing with the G3.
The sights themselves are hard plastic and frankly, at first glance, you really can’t tell the difference between metal and plastic sights. But I took my pocket knife and just scraped it slightly and they are definitely plastic. It’s a standard three-dot sight that is frankly what you would expect on a gun at this price point.
I wouldn’t say, I’m disappointed in the sights, but I would like to see some metal sights in place of these plastic ones because a gun at this price point is not going to allow you to justify adding aftermarket sights.
At this time there is no provision to mount a red dot on the Taurus G3. But unlike its predecessor the Taurus G2C, the Taurus G3 does not have a loaded chamber indicator built into the rear of the slide. It does have an index hole that could be called a loaded chamber indicator, but there is no physical loaded chamber indicator on the rear of the slide. So, it would be much easier to mill for a red dot than the older Taurus variants.
Rumor has it that Taurus is working on an optics compatible version of the Taurus G3. And when I was at a shot show in 2020, I did see one of the Taurus G3 or G2C guns with a milled and red dot. That gun was in a display case and not on the public floor. It was also limited-edition Taurus guns and guns that look like they were made up completely for marketing purposes.
The Taurus G3 features a right hand only thumb safety that sits on the left side of the gun’s frame much like the Taurus G2C. It sits in roughly the same position as a colt 1911 safety. If you want you can ride your thumb on top of the safety after disengaging it. The safety itself is a little low profile for my taste. I do wish it had an ambi option as I think that would make it more friendly to the person carrying the gun. The gun does feature a drop safety at the front, so I wouldn’t have an issue carrying this gun with the safety lever off. But I would always practice using it as if the safety lever were on.
If you’re a left-handed shooter I would not suggest using this gun for carrying or home defense or any type of defensive situation just due to that safety. I don’t have enough faith that the safety could not be pushed back on. It does feel fairly secure but it would not be that hard to re-engage the safety making your weapon inoperable and making it hard to get the safety off in a life-or-death scenario.
The magazine release on the Taurus G3 is easy for me to reach at six foot tall with average size hands. But if you’re smaller than that you might have issues reaching the magazine release without breaking the grip; which is pretty standard on most firearms of this size.
The magazine release itself is fairly sharp on the edges and not the most comfortable in the world. But again, remember we’re looking at a $250 firearm. For $250 I don’t think you can expect much more and the magazine does release very positively when you press. The mag release is a little smaller than I’d like but if it were a little bit larger it would be easier to press and I feel those sharp edges wouldn’t come into play as much.
The slide stop/slide release on the Taurus G3 is very similar to the safety on the Taurus G3 and that is low profile and really only set up for right-handed shooters as a right-handed shooter. Even with the safety in the way the safety is so low profile that I can still reach the slide stop with my thumb over the safety. Most other shooters will be able to do the same thing even with smaller hands.
Now if you’re a left-handed shooter this will not work for you at all and you’ll have to rack the slide. It’s too far back that you will not be able to use your trigger finger to press it down as you may on some guns. It doesn’t take a lot of pressure to drop the slide on the Taurus G3 using the slide release. It’s fairly well designed. It has a good angle. And if you want to lock the slide back it’s also fairly easy to get up under it to press it up when you’re pulling the slide to the rear to lock it into the notch.
CZ Shadow 2
CALIBER: 9mm Luger
MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 15+1/17+1
BARREL: 4 in.
OAL/HEIGHT/WIDTH: 7.28/5.2/1.2 in.
WEIGHT: 25 oz.
CONSTRUCTION: Steel slide, Polymer frame
SIGHTS: Plastic 3 Dot
TRIGGER: Striker Fired with Restrike Capability
SAFETIES: manual thumb
MANUFACTURER: Taurus USA
Overall, the ergonomics of the gun are quite good for the price point. Everything I’m taking into account with this gun always goes back to the price point. If this were a $500 gun, I’m not sure I would be that happy with it. But at the sub $300 price point you really can’t beat the overall package that it offers.
The gun feels good in the hand. All the controls are easy to reach if you’re a right-handed shooter. I do wish the gun was more ambi and I think I would feel better carrying the gun if it had at least at a minimum ambi safety.
Ergonomics of the slide are fine as well; it has front and rear cocking serrations. The front cocking serrations are deep enough to be effective and you can get a good grip on the gun, but I wish they extended more to the rear just to give you more space where you could potentially grab the front of the slide without having to get as close to the muzzle of the gun.
Now the rear serrations take the same shape and form as the front serrations, but they offer a little more traction as they extend further up the slide. And these serrations aren’t great or fantastic but they work well enough and I don’t think you’ll have any problem using them in any environment.
The trigger on the G3C is very similar to its predecessor the Taurus G2C in that it has a restrike capability. So, this gun is a striker-fired trigger that is technically a double-action single-action trigger. But there is no decocking mechanism on the gun. So, you’re pretty much always going to run the trigger in single-action-only mode.
The re-strike double-action portion of the trigger is very handy for dry fire. But there are some potential downsides to it as well. Personally, I think it’s just a more complicated trigger system that really isn’t needed. I think the re-strike capability is a dubious marketing ploy on Taurus’s part. The chance of you having a round of ammo that the primer does not ignite on the first round is very low in a centerfire pistol. If this were a rimfire pistol that would be a great feature, but in a centerfire, it’s very unlikely.
Now let’s take a look at the trigger pull itself. So, if you’re carrying the gun with the safety on or with the safety off, but a round chambered you’re going to feel some light springy take up as you disengage the drop safety on the trigger itself. The weight of the trigger is slowly going to build and then you’ll get to a wall. Once you get to that wall, you’re going to feel just a little bit of creep and then a really springy and plasticky feeling break. The break is fairly like this so it’s not a bad trigger it just doesn’t feel like most other guns will. It’s going to feel somewhat similar to a lighter trigger on a staple gun.
Now from the reset, it has a fairly light reset and it resets to just slightly in front of that wall. And then once you hit the wall you have just the slightest bit of creep without plastic heat break again; just a basic trigger. Now I will go over the restrike trigger just since it’s there as a feature.
The restrike trigger has a heavy springy feel till you get to an area where you start to feel a little bit of creep towards the end of the motion of the trigger. Then once you fill that creep, you’re going to feel even more creep before the trigger finally breaks. It’s a really creepy break to the rear. But at the same time, this trigger is not as heavy as you would expect for a double-action trigger. It’s nowhere near as heavy as what you would expect to feel on a CZ 75, a Beretta, a Sig, or any other standard double action single action hammer-fired gun.
As far as maintaining the gun it’s quite easy to fill strip the gun takes down just like a Glock with a takedown lever on each side or takedown bar that sits right above the middle of the trigger guard. You just pull down each side of that lever and the slide comes right off as long as the striker has been decocked.
So, you will have to pull the trigger to disassemble this gun. It breaks down into a slide barrel captured recoil spring in the frame so you can easily clean off all those components and then re-lube them for use.
Aesthetically this gun is not bad in my opinion it looks more attractive than the compact Taurus G2C series. Part of the reason is just the scale of the gun. With the width of the gun, everything seems more proportional to this gun. Everything looks very proportional. The safety is not out of place, the trigger is fine and overall, the gun just doesn’t look bad.
Now I will say depending on the color you get in the gun might affect the aesthetics of it. I personally have the gray frame with a black slide and I think that works very well. I think the black version is also attractive and the stainless-steel slides they offer in some frame colors can also be attractive. Overall, this is one of the more attractive guns that Taurus makes in their budget line.
The stippling or the texturing on the frame goes really well and just kind of fits the overall flair of the gun. It doesn’t look high-end by any means, but it doesn’t look cheap either. This looks like a solid mid-end offering from an aesthetic standpoint.