Taurus G3c T.O.R.O. Compact Optics-Ready 9mm Semi-Auto Pistol

by Boge Quinn

photography by Boge Quinn

April 30th, 2021

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Extremely well-textured grip.



Accessory rail.





Manual safety lever (top & center), visual loaded chamber indicator (bottom).













Recently, we shooters have seen a sea change in the design of Concealed-Carry (CCW) 9mm semi-auto pistols. The SIG P365, Springfield Hellcat, and Ruger MAX-9 have ushered in the next step in the evolution of compact 9mm pistols. These new-generation 9mm CCW pistols are in many ways similar to the 9mm pocket pistols previously on the market and extremely popular with many shooters (myself included, as I have carried the excellent Kahr CM9 Tungsten pistol for several years). The new pistol designs primarily distance themselves from the earlier pistols in two ways: first (and, to me, most importantly), the magazine capacity of the new designs has been increased to 10-12 rounds rather than the earlier pistols' 6-7 round limit, with no corresponding increase in the size of the pistol; and second, the new designs cater to the growing preference among shooters for optically-sighted pistols. Now Taurus USA has entered this arena with their own offering: the all-new G3c pistol, equipped with the T.O.R.O. option (Taurus Optics Ready Option) - and it does not disappoint.

The compact G3c, along with its full-sized sister, the G3, represents Taurus' latest generation of striker-fired 9mm pistols. The larger G3 sports a 17-round capacity, while the smaller G3c features a 12-round magazine capacity (or 10-round, for those unfortunate enough to live in various "People's Republics" across the USA) in a pistol small enough for easy pocket carry. The G3/G3c pistols are striker-fired, 100% reliable, very safe, designed to safely use +P ammunition, and attractively priced.

The slide is alloy steel, finished in Tenifer Matte Black, which is a tough and nice-looking finish. The slide features serrations fore and aft,  the muzzle end of the slide is attractively tapered to allow ease of holstering, and the breech end of the lowered ejection port is also tapered as an aid to ejection and handling. 

The frame, as on many modern semi-auto pistols, is made from lightweight and durable polymer. The front, rear, and sides of the grip are very nicely textured, just enough to provide a positive hold on the pistol without abrading the shooter's hand. An integral thumb rest is molded into each side of the frame above the grip, as are integral trigger finger indexing points above the front of the hooked trigger guard on each side. A short section of accessory rail is provided forward of the trigger guard for mounting a laser or light. The magazine release is reversible for left-handed shooters, if desired; my brother Jeff, who was a Southpaw, actually preferred to operate a right-hand magazine release using his left trigger finger.

The 3.2" barrel is stainless steel, fully-supported with an integral feed ramp. The barrel hood features a visual loaded-chamber indicator.

The safety features of the G3/G3c are numerous. In addition to the aforementioned loaded-chamber indicator, there is an internal striker block, an automatic trigger safety, and a manual safety lever that blocks the trigger and slide from movement. The manual safety operates in a familiar manner - up for SAFE, down for FIRE - and is located right where it should be, falling naturally under the thumb of a right-handed shooter. There is no ambidextrous safety lever for left-handed shooters, which is fine with me; the automatic safeties are more than enough, thus I choose to ignore the manual safety entirely. Thankfully, there is no Magazine Disconnect, so the pistol can be fired with the magazine removed.

The trigger on my G3c was exemplary, breaking smoothly and cleanly at an average 3 pounds, 12.2 ounces on my Lyman Electronic Digital Trigger Pull Gauge. Trigger reach is 2.65 inches, which should prove comfortable for nearly all shooters. Trigger takeup is a mere 1/16", trigger travel is 1/2", and there is no discernible overtravel. The polymer trigger itself is very comfortable, with an enhanced wider trigger and safety lever.

The G3c's sights are simple but excellent, and thankfully, made of steel. The rear sight is dovetail-mounted, drift adjustable for windage, and tapered so as to not gouge holster or flesh; it is plain black with horizontal serrations to eliminate glare. The front sight is a fixed post, with a white dot that stands out wonderfully against the non-glare plain rear sight; this sight configuration naturally draws the eye to the front sight,  and the sight picture is very easy to acquire. First-shot accuracy was excellent, and follow-up shots were quick and effortless, thanks to both the sight design and the superb ergonomics of the pistol.

Field-stripping the G3/G3c is a snap, and will be second nature to anyone familiar with the Glock takedown system. After removing the magazine, and making double-sure that the chamber is empty, ease the slide back 1/8" or so until the barrel hood drops from its recess in the ejection port, pull down on the disassembly latch, ease the slide forward, pull the trigger, and slip the slide off the frame. The recoil spring/guide assembly and barrel can now be removed for cleaning and maintenance. To reassemble, simply replace the barrel and recoil spring/guide assembly in the slide, and slip the slide back onto the frame. The whole process takes seconds, and is accomplished without any tools. As always, take a few minutes to read the provided instruction manual before using the pistol; you might find answers to question you didn't know you had.

With the growing popularity of optically-sighted CCW pistols nowadays, what sets the G3/G3c T.O.R.O. apart from the standard G3/G3c line of pistols is the T.O.R.O. (Taurus Optics Ready Option), which is designed to accommodate the growing number of shooters who wish to equip their pistol with an optical dot sight. The T.O.R.O. system features a removable cover plate just forward of the rear sight, with four interchangeable mounting plates that accommodate a wide variety of optical sights. It is a seamless system that works extremely well.

Specifications - Taurus G3c T.O.R.O. Compact Optics-Ready 9mm Semi-Auto Pistol

Caliber 9mm Luger (9x19, 9mm Parabellum)
Slide Alloy Steel, Tenifer Matte Black Finish
Frame Polymer
Firing System Striker, Single-Action with Restrike Capability
Barrel Length 3.2 inches
Overall Length 6.3 inches
Overall Height 5.1 inches
Overall Width 1.2 inches
Weight, Unloaded 22 ounces
Trigger Pull 3 pounds, 12.2 ounces
Trigger Reach 2.65 inches
Trigger Travel 0.5 inch
Safety Manual Thumb Safety, Trigger Safety, Striker Block, Visual Loaded-Chamber Indicator
Sights Fixed White Dot Front, Drift-Adjustable Serrated Rear, Optics-Ready
Magazine Disconnect NO
Magazines Supplied 3
MSRP as of April 2021 $408.77 US

As my preferred mode of carry is in the pocket, I will not be carrying my G3c with an optic on a regular basis, but the ability to quickly and easily mount an optic with no cost (and corresponding wait time) of having the slide custom-milled for an optical sight is a very nice option to have. I did mount a Trijicon RM08G Reflex sight on my G3c, and it worked wonderfully. The RM08G is my favorite mini-reflex sight; it is extremely rugged, dual-illuminated, always on, and never needs batteries. Trijicon's Dual Illumination feature consists of Tritium reticle illumination, coupled with a fiber optic bar for enhancement. This dual illumination system results in a sight that automatically adjusts for varying light conditions; in low-light conditions, the Tritium reticle is the perfect intensity, without being too bright, and in bright-light conditions, the fiber optic bar augments the brightness automatically. I also like the triangular-shaped reticle on the RM08G, as it can be sighted in with the aiming point at the top of the triangle for greater precision than a typical dot reticle. The RM08G currently retails for $577.00 US - as my brother Jeff used to say, "That ain't cheap, but the Best never is". I have been a great fan of Trijicon's sighting systems for many years, and I highly recommend them.

I recently had a holster sent to me from an outfit I had not heard of before, SkinTight Holsters (www.ccwbreakaways.com). The SkinTight Holster is a really neat design, consisting of a thin shell of Kydex, folded like a clamshell and molded to fit many small/medium frame pistols, and wrapped in a thin sheet of Neoprene / Spandex. I have never been a fan of Kydex, but the SkinTight Holster is an extremely simple and ingenious design. The Neoprene / Spandex wrap allows the folded Kydex shell to flex enough to securely hold the pistol, and it also allows the holster to grab the inside of a vest, jacket, or pants pocket to keep the holster in place. The Neoprene / Spandex wrap is closed on the bottom, so it wraps the holster on three sides, and there is a sight track molded into the Kydex along the long axis. The holster's design is ambidextrous, and there is an index bump molded into either side of the Kydex underneath the Neoprene / Spandex wrap; this allows a full grip to be taken on the pistol so that the trigger finger will be in the proper position alongside the frame, and not touching the trigger, on the draw. The holster adds almost no weight or bulk to the pistol, carries the pistol securely, is very quick to use, does not move around in the pocket, and stays in the pocket when the pistol is drawn. The SkinTight Holster will fit a variety of pistols; I have used it with this Taurus G3c and my Ruger MAX-9, and it works wonderfully with either. The SkinTight Holster is a very ingenious, patent-pending design, and retails for only $24.99.

The Taurus G3c compact 9mm pistol is a worthy addition to the latest generation of full-capacity, optics-ready 9mm carry pistols. It proved to be 100% reliable with a variety of ammunition types I tried in it, which is the most important aspect of a pistol made to preserve the lives of the shooter and his/her loved ones. Add to this reliability practical accuracy, ergonomics, compact size, magazine capacity, and the ability to easily add optical sights, all at a very reasonable $408.77 MSRP, and what you end up with is a real winner from the folks at Taurus USA.

View Taurus USA's entire product line at: www.taurususa.com.

To find a Taurus dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at Lipsey's: www.lipseys.com.

To order Taurus products Online, click on the GUN GENIE at Davidson's Galery of Guns: www.galleryofguns.com.

Order Ammo Online at Lucky Gunner: www.luckygunner.com.

Lyman Products: www.lymanproducts.com.

Trijicon Optics: www.trijicon.com.

CCW Breakaways "SkinTight Holster": www.ccwbreakaways.com.

Double Tap Ammo: www.doubletapammo.com.

Buffalo Bore Ammo: www.buffalobore.com.

Federal Premium Ammo: www.federalpremium.com.

Boge Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.



G3c Toro comes with four optics mounting plates, three magazines (Author's came with two), cable lock, and owner's manual.







Taurus T.O.R.O. (Taurus Optics Ready Option).




Trijicon RM08G Reflex Sight.



SkinTight Holster from www.ccwbreakaways.com.



G3c T.O.R.O. proved to be 100% reliable with several different ammunition types tried. Pictured are some of Author's favorites.



G3c T.O.R.O. strips to its basic components in seconds, without tools.