With the unprecedented shortage of handguns, long guns and ammunition (bound to get even worse under the new administration), certain opportunities might arise for you in terms of expanding your gun-ownership horizons. If you’re looking for a new everyday carry (EDC) gun, the 9mm Taurus G3c is an EDC pistol that you should strongly consider.

About Taurus USA

Taurus USA is not the same company that it was 20 to 30 years ago. Headquartered now in Bainbridge, Georgia, Taurus is a company that innovates with new products and designs. It doesn’t fall back to introducing its own versions of existing guns. More importantly, issues involving quality and reliability vanished long ago, allowing it to compete with the “big boys.” This also means the low price point is a cause for celebration, not a red flag concerning quality.

Taurus G3c 9mm Compact Pistol

What Is Tenifer?

The G3c is the compact version of the G3 and is available in two variants. One ships with three 10-round magazines, and the other with three 12-round magazines. No, that’s not a misprint. They both come with three magazines! I was shipped the 12-round for testing.

Before I get into the Taurus G3c’s details, I want to point out that it is a Tenifer-finished handgun with a matte black coating. This is a big deal. Tenifer is a special corrosion-resistance process applied to the barrel and slide of the G3c. Tenifer penetrates down into the steel. It is not just an exterior finish. If you see wear on the exterior finish, it doesn’t mean the Tenifer is gone. It’s still there providing corrosion resistance.

Glock introduced Tenifer to the shooting world with its first pistol, the Glock 17. Tenifer was used on all subsequent models. In 2010, Glock quietly dumped Tenifer as a metal surface treatment in favor of the Melonite treatment process. I never had rust on any Glock treated with Tenifer.

Taurus G3c Specifications & Features

MSRP: $305.54
Caliber: 9mm
Magazine capacity: 12 (as tested)
Frame size: Compact
Action type: Striker-fired, single-action with restrike capability
Barrel length: 3.2 inches
Height: 5.1 inches
Width: 1.2 inches
Weight: 22 ounces
Sights: Plain black, drift-adjustable rear/white-dot front
Safeties: Trigger lever and manual slide locking thumb safety/loaded-chamber indicator
Frame: Polymer with molded-in accessory rail

The polymer grip has a stippled finished applied on all sides. The 12-round blued steel magazines have a finger rest extension on the base. They drop freely and smoothly. The magazine release button is on the left side along with the slide release and the 1911-style manual safety, which locks the slide when applied. Dual Glock-style takedown latches make disassembly easy. Note that the trigger must be pulled at the end of the disassembly process to release the slide from the frame.

The trigger operation is unique for a pistol of this type due to its repeat-strike capability. When the first round is chambered, it pre-cocks the trigger. The trigger will travel through a half-inch of take-up before engaging. Call this extra insurance against accidental discharge. The repeat strikes are different. There is only a quarter of an inch of travel before the trigger begins to engage.

Taurus G3c 9mm Compact Pistol

The Taurus G3c at the Range

The G3c was the perfect candidate for testing SIG Sauer’s 365 FMJ/Elite Performance 115-grain 9mm ammo due to its 22-ounce light weight. While 365 ammo was designed for SIG’s micro P365 pistol, it is perfect for any compact or micro gun. Muzzle velocity is 1,050 feet per second, with 282 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

I was able to load the magazines to their full 12-round capacity without a loading tool. The slide was easy to operate, and there was no problem chambering the first round. I fired the G3c from a distance of 20 feet.

I really like the one-dot sight setup. Nothing to confuse the brain. The trigger pull from the pre-cocked mode was about 5.5 to 6 pounds in weight and released with reasonable crispness.

I was able to keep the groups tight, and the 365s shot to the point of aim with a dead-center hold. My best five-shot group measured 1 inch across, with all five rounds landing in a single ragged hole. Functioning was flawless. Recoil was easily controlled and not at all unpleasant. The 365 ammo is also available in a V-Crown hollow-point format.


The Taurus G3c is a fine little pistol — accurate, easy to carry and control with a 12+1 capacity, and at an unbelievably low price. My area gun shop has them for $299.

About Scott W. Wagner

After working undercover in narcotics and liquor investigations, Scott W. Wagner settled down to be a criminal justice professor and police academy commander. He was also a SWAT team member, sniper and assistant team leader before his current position as patrol sergeant with the Village of Baltimore, Ohio, Police Department. Scott is a police firearms instructor certified to train revolver, semi-automatic pistol, shotgun, semi- and fully automatic patrol rifle, and submachine gun.