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The Taurus GX4 Carry 9mm Affordable CCW Pistol

The Taurus GX4 series of pistols have become highly popular, and the new Taurus GX4 Carry could be the best iteration yet.

The Taurus GX4 Carry 9mm Affordable CCW Pistol
The Taurus GX4 Carry, the latest compact 9mm carry pistol to be had. The GX4 Carry is an evolution of the GX4, which was already full of excellent details.

When the GX4 appeared back in 2021, it was pretty clear that the new frontier of carry pistols was compact double-stack 9mm pistols that were made into the handiest package possible. And the Taurus GX4 was right there in the mix. Well, they have not ceded any advantage to their competitors, and have kept the GX4 right in the thick of the fray, where the new Carry model of the GX4 line is the latest. First off, the GX4 Carry (like its predecessor, the GX4) is a flat, compact, handy 9mm pistol that feels good in the hand and uses a striker firing system. The sights are fixed, but user-serviceable, so if you want more than the blade-and-notch it ships with, the full panoply of after-market sights is yours for the choosing. The white-dot front sight is held in place, centered in the slide, but the plain black steel rear is drift-adjustable. So, getting it zeroed to your own hands/eyes/grip is not a problem.

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Let’s all sing along: Shootin’ in the rain just shootin’ in the rain... some loads flash more than others, and if you find this a problem you have to do your own testing to see what you can live with.

The slide has cocking serrations fore and aft, and the GX4 Carry is of course T.O.R.O. built, ready for the red dot of your choice. The optics mounting cover plate, which you can remove with just two bolts, uncovers a platform ready for a Holosun K-series or other footprint red-dot sight, no adapter plate needed. Of course, if your favorite optic is something else, then you can make it work, because the GX4 Carry works with six other brands of optics. (Riton, Sightmark, Shield, SIG, Hex, Trijicon, with one, the Trijicon, needing an adapter plate, but Taurus has plenty of those for your use, just ask.) Now, if you are firmly set in the 20th century, and don’t want any of these new-fangled 21st century things, you can pass up the T.O.R.O. model, and get one not-so-machined, and save yourself $35 off the GX4 Carry TORO price. You’ll regret it, trust me.

The slide is made out of alloy steel, which means not stainless, but it is given a nitride finish to darken it, make the surface harder, and to resist corrosion. Inside the slide, the barrel is stainless steel and treated to a DLC finish to match the black of the slide. There is, of course, a loaded chamber indicator. The grip, which most of us will call the frame, is made of a durable polymer, and is well-covered with a non-slip texture that keeps it secure in your hand. The part Taurus calls the frame is a stainless steel chassis inside the grip, and the frame holds the working parts of the pistol with the exception of the magazine release. As the firearm, it bears the serial number, visible through a slot on the rear of the grip. The magazine release is reversible, so lefties have that option, should they wish to swap the button over.

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The GX4 Carry adds (among other things) an accessory rail for your light or laser. A white-dot front sight blade, fixed to the slide. The rear sight, drift-adjustable, is a plain black serrated steel blade. The barrel has an integral feed ramp, and locks into the ejection port of the slide.

The chassis is not meant to be removed from the grip. It isn’t permanently installed, but Taurus is not offering replacement grips for the GX4, Carry or otherwise. There is no good reason to go unhooking everything and removing the chassis, so don’t. The grip also has textured index pads on either side, locations for your trigger finger to rest when it is out of the trigger guard, and there is a slide stop, or release lever, on the left side of the frame. It is rather small, and protected by being inset in the frame, but the current method of dropping the slide on a reload is to “slingshot” the slide back with your off hand, and let it run forward of its own, propelled by the spring.

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The Taurus GX4 Carry, the latest compact 9mm carry pistol to be had. The GX4 Carry is an evolution of the GX4, which was already full of excellent details.

The grip itself is ergonomically shaped, and the join of the trigger guard (which is large enough for a gloved hand) and the frontstrap is lifted, to let your hand get higher. On the back, the GX4 Carry ships with a pair of extra replaceable backstraps, to let you make the grip fit if the one that it comes installed with turns out to not be the best fit for your hand. Set into the frame is the takedown pin, which you need a correctly fitting screwdriver to use. Rotating the pin enables you to take the slide assembly off of the frame, and once the barrel and recoil spring assembly are out of the slide, you have done all you need to do, to effectively clean the gunk of practice and training out of your 
GX4 Carry.

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Takedown is simple: use a slotted screwdriver to turn the takedown bolt a quarter-turn, and dry-fire the GX4 Carry.

The trigger is flat, with a safety blade in the center, and a flat trigger is one of those modern details that have been re-discovered of late. Striker-fired, so the GX4 Carry trigger pull is light and clean enough to be manageable, but not competition-light, which might be a hindrance in a defensive situation. The GX4 Carry barrel is a smidge shorter than three-and-three-quarter inches long, the same length as the GX4XL, and slide to match. Which means you’ll lose a little bit of steam from your 9mm ammo, but that is the price of having such a compact pistol. As the slide and barrel are for a lot of people the hardest aspect of a pistol to carry concealed (comfort and detection-wise) being this short is a good thing.

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To install an optic, first unscrew the bolts holding on the cover plate, remove the plate and...then bolt on your optic (except for the Trijicon, which needs an adapter plate). With a low- enough optic, like this Shield, you can still use your iron sights if the battery dies.

So, with all this goodness already present in the GX4, what makes the GX4 Carry a new and different pistol? First of all, there is the accessory rail on the grip. Previous models of the GX4 did not have an accessory rail, and those who carry and want to manage darkness if they found themselves in it, were, shall we say, left to older tactical lighting methodologies. With the GX4 Carry now featuring a rail, you have options, the three slots on it allow fitting a wide array of light and laser choices onto the grip, and as with the iron sights, the world is your oyster. You will, of course, have to find a new holster for your GX4 Carry, because the extra volume of the rail will preclude fitting it into a holster you may already have for your G4X. Holster makers know this, and it will be soon that many will be offering a G4X Carry option on their holster line.

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The serial number is at the rear of the chassis, visible though a slot in the grip. Once the slide is off, the rest is the same as you’d expect. This is as far as you need to go to clean your GX4 Carry.

The other big thing for the GX4 Carry is the magazine. Taurus made the GX4 Carry just a bit more difficult to carry concealed, by adding a whopping two-thirds of an inch to its overall height compared to the GX4XL. However, what you gain for this is a fifteen-round magazine. You have two more rounds onboard than you’d have in a GX4XL, and four more than the original, standard GX4. The GX4 Carry comes with two of these magazines, and Taurus has more for sale on the web site in a two-pack, or at your local gun shop. Those in non-Free States will have to settle for ten-round magazines, and even give up the option of the 17-round extended GX4 Carry magazines. Such is life. And yes, they will work in a GX4 non-Carry as well, they are longer but not otherwise different. Well, they are different, but not in a way that precludes use in a GX4.

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The Taurus GX4 Carry, with a red dot on board, shot like a house afire. Hornady makes really accurate ammo, and the GX4 Carry really likes Critical Defense. Loaded with Hornady XTP bullets, the Wilson Combat ammunition really delivered. Red dot optics like this Shield make accurate shooting a lot easier.

The bottom of the GX4 Carry grip, and the baseplate of the magazines for it, are cut in such a way that you can get a good grip on the magazine. That means in the case of some horrible malfunction, where the magazine doesn’t fall out of its own weight when desired, you can “grip and rip,” that is, press the magazine button and yank the magazine out with your other hand. Given the reliability this GX4 Carry demonstrated, that will be a rare instance indeed, and most likely caused wither by bad ammo or poor maintenance habits.

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Along with the owner’s manual and lock, the GX4 Carry comes with two magazines and two extra backstraps, to adjust the grip to your hand.

Loading the magazine is easy, and since it is an EDC pistol, I tested it mostly with defensive-oriented ammunition. Still, we all practice with less-horsepower ammo (most of us, anyway) because of the cost of the best defensive loads, so I tried a softy-load 9mm loading, to make sure it worked with “wimpy” ammo. It did, no problem there. I pawed through the optics locker and found the only red dot not already in use, a Shield RMSx, which is a competition-oriented red-dot optic. “Competition?” Yes, the RMSx has a larger viewing area, which for a daily-carry pistol might be a bit bulky, but then again might not be. And since competition shooters like to be noticeable, you can get an RMSx in one of a variety of colors, some of them pretty jarring. Mine is black, thank goodness. And worked like a champ in testing. Now, a pistol this compact and light, with defensive loads is going to have some recoil. And had I been testing it with just the iron sights I would not have been at all surprised if the groups were a tad large, with occasional fliers. Well, put a red dot on top, and all that changes. The GX4 Carry did not quite shoot like it was a Bullseye gun, but it definitely shot above its weight class. And for as light as it was, I found the recoil, while a tad sharp, not at all a problem to control.

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Now, were I using the Taurus GX4 Carry for daily carry I’d look at going with something a bit smaller than the RMSx, which is made for competition. And given the vast array of top-notch defensive ammunition, I would take a cross-section of the available good hollow points and find which of them my one GX4 Carry shot the most accurately. The magazine capacity is everything you’d want in an EDC pistol, and having the spare right from the get-go is good. With the provided magazines, you start the day with 31 rounds of 9mm on your person, and if for some reason a lone spare mag wasn’t enough, Taurus has plenty more on hand. Another magazine gets you up to 46 rounds, which risks a personal-sinking hazard on soft ground.

Taurus GX4 Carry Specs

  • Type: Striker-fired, semi-automatic
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 15+1 rds. 
  • Barrel: 3.7 in. 
  • Overall Length: 6.6 in. 
  • Weight: 21.5 oz. 
  • Finish: Blued steel
  • Grips: N/A
  • Sights: Fixed front & rear
  • Trigger: 5 lbs., 2 oz. 
  • MSRP: $505
  • Contact: Taurus USA



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