Taurus GX4XL

New Long-Slide Micro 9 Delivers Quality And Value
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“Hmm, good shooting. What is that….a TAURUS??”

My instructor was somewhat non-plussed. Actually, insert something more like shocked, horrified, confused, stunned or whatever other word you’d like to use from your official Handy-Dandy Gun Writer Thesaurus. I’m sure the marketing folks at the venerable Brazilian Bull would likewise feel the same way at my description, but we report things as they actually happened.

Therein lies the incongruity — my instructor notwithstanding, I’m an unabashed Taurus GX 4 T.O.R.O fan. In fact, it’s my everyday carry gun. Seriously. Yes, a gun magazine editor, someone who is blessed with the opportunity to literally have virtually any firearm made in his holster with only a phone call, is carrying a Taurus uber-compact. What’s next? Hillary Clinton buys an AR-15?

Making The Case

Hear me out, doubting Thomas and Thomasina. Yes, even the company knows the “old” Taurus reputation is lurking out there like a machete slasher stalking coeds in a B-movie. However, during the last several years, things have changed dramatically for the South American-owned company. A new plant in the United States, a greater emphasis on engineering and quality control, better customer service and a whole new corporate attitude toward producing price-leading but quality guns have turned the nameplate into something worthy of consideration aside from “price point.”

I’ve now got enough experience with the GX4, including a couple of classes, media events and my annual retired cop LEOSA qualification, I’m fairly certain any warts would have come to the surface. The gun is smaller than my retirement account, holds more rounds of 9mm than you should reasonably need, and after a year of day-in, day-out testing, has functioned nearly flawlessly. My GX4 is wearing a green Holosun optic, and these tired old eyes are now shooting better than they have in years.

And, best of all, the trigger is arguably one of the best on the market for a micro 9mm. In fact, another instructor, after finishing up spouting his standard-issue load of Taurus derision, dry-fired my GX4 and said, “Well, um, I can’t hate that trigger. At all…”


New And Improved

I’m as a happy as a pig wallowing in yesterday’s buffet with my current GX4, but I’m really looking forward to the new longer-slide variant in the GX4XL.

While tiny nines are great for carry, they can be challenging to shoot well. This is one reason many makers, including the big German conglomerate which rhymes with “Spock,” is offering longer slides on some models.

The advantages are many: a longer sight radius enhances accuracy, there is slightly increased velocity and overall weapons manipulation is easier. Counter-intuitively, a longer barrel isn’t difficult to conceal as the majority of “printing” occurs from the butt rather than the muzzle. Thus, you gain all the advantages listed with virtually no penalty — a rare state of affairs in life.

The GX4XL is about a half-inch longer than the standard GX4 and offers a 3.7” versus 3” barrel. It sports all the bells and whistles of the class — drift-adjustable rear sight, flat-face trigger, 11-round capacity in the standard magazine, black nitride slide finish above the polymer frame — along with two removable backstrap options and a DLC-coated stainless barrel.

Nice Price

All of these goodies come at an MSRP of $439 for the standard version and $459 for the T.O.R.O. optic-ready version. If you’re keeping score, that’s nearly $100 below the price of comparable guns. Notice I said “comparable,” in other words, guns of corresponding quality and value. Almost hard to believe, eh? But it’s true.

In the end, the GX4XL is a pistol offering the comparable features and quality of its cohorts in the category but at a price that allows you but buy a considerable amount of practice ammunition. In fact, after a year of ownership, I’ve only found one major drawback with the Taurus GX4 — you always get ‘the look’ from other folks who spent a lot more money for a micro-9 pistol which isn’t notably better.

Trust me — it’s OK. You can smile all the way to the range!



• Caliber: 9mm Luger

• Capacity: 10/11/13 Rounds

• Magazines: 1×11 + 1×13

• Firing System: Striker

• Action Type: Single Action

• Front Sight: Fixed

• Rear Sight: Serrated Drift Adjustable

• Safety: Striker Block; Trigger Safety

• Frame: Stainless Steel Frame Insert and Polymer Grip

• Grip Material: Polymer

• Slide Material: Carbon Steel

• Slide Finish: Gas Nitride Coating

• Barrel Finish: Black DLC Coating

• Barrel Length: 3.7 in.

• Overall Length: 6.43 in.

• Overall Width: 1.08 in.

• Overall Height: 4.40 in.

• Weight: 20 oz.