Tag Archives: CHL

Of My Time with the GX4

Taurus announced the new micro-compact semi-auto pistol, the GX4, in May, billed as an 11+1 shot 9mm that was roughly the size of a traditional .380 pocket gun that had half the capacity. The specs of the polymer-framed striker-fired handgun– 5.8-inches long with the small backstrap installed, about an inch wide, and 4.4-inches high with the flush-fit magazine inserted– put it in the same boat as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat line.
I’ve been kicking around the new Taurus GX4 over the past couple of months, having run some 500 rounds through it, and have some things to say about it.

The 11+1 shot Taurus GX4 is definitely compact. Micro compact, you could say.

Have $400 and Want a Micro 9 with Change Leftover?

Taurus is looking to take on the big boys with its new micro pistol, which is designed to deliver maximum concealment without sacrificing capacity or ergonomics – the GX4.

Getting the specs out of the way, the 11+1 shot 9mm is the size of popular .380 “pocket guns,” using a 3.06-inch barrel to tape out to a maximum 6.05-inch overall length. The gun is slender, at just over an inch wide, and it is 4.4 inches high at its tallest. The unloaded weight is 18.6 ounces. Fully loaded with 12 rounds of 147-grain JHPs, I found my test gun to hit the scales at 23.9 ounces.

Compared to other recently introduced micro 9s, such as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat, the GX4 is a dead ringer as far as size goes. Plus, its flush-fit mags hold one extra round over the Sig or S&W’s comparable magazine while being on par with the Springer and one less than the Ruger.

However, where the GX4 cleans house is the price: $392. That’s the MSRP, meaning that “actual” prices at your local gun store will probably hover closer to “Three Fiddy.” 

More in my column at Guns.com.

The Micro 9 Race is Heating Up

Every 25 years or so, handguns catch a big developmental wave. For instance, the last one prior to modern times occurred with the “Baby” Glocks of 1994, when the company debuted subcompact 10+1 shot pistols to make the most of the federal assault weapon ban. Those guns proved so successful that Glock now makes a subcompact model in all of their calibers– including the only company that makes a 10mm Auto pocket gun– while others have increasingly tried to imitate, duplicate or one-up the concept.

This brings us to 2018 when Sig Sauer brought their new “micro-compact” P365 to SHOT Show. Even smaller than the Glock G26 but with the same magazine capacity, it was a smash. Since then, Springfield Armory has brought their Hellcat to the market, with much the same concept, as had Taurus with the G3C.

Well, on the same day this week, both Ruger and Smith & Wesson announced their own separate P365/Hellcat/G3C competitors, the MAX-9 and the Shield Plus, respectively.

Ruger’s new MAX-9 Pistol, which, importantly, is optics-ready for under $500.

S&W M&P Shield Plus

Here is a snapshot of who they stack up when it comes to specs:

As for how they compare against each other in real life, the jury is still out on that one.

Glock holster basics

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Fundamental in the carry and use of a modern handgun is an effective holster and we are here to cut through the gimmicks to bring you a few tips on what will work best.

Why a holster?

In the days of the first effective pistols, the single-shot handguns were still too large for practical carry, being relegated to saddle-mounted leather holders on the horses of the cavilers of the day. Bulky and slow to reload, the gunfighter of yesteryear would carry a brace of such guns to ensure a rapid follow-up shot against multiple adversaries. By the 19th Century and the introduction of the revolver, the first recognizable holsters became widespread and the leather-sheathed wheel gun replaced the sword of yesteryear on the belts of gentlemen.

Today, the holster remains a solid standby for the armed citizen and the use of one separates the professional and responsible gun owner from the Hollywood thug. One of the most unsafe things a handgun user can do is carry their pistol or revolver sans holster. Simple carry methods such as stuffing a smaller gun– such as a Glock 43– in a pants pocket, or a larger framed pistol such as a Glock 17 in a waistband, allows the handgun to rotate as the carrier walks and moves.

This “floating” firearm can twist and move away from its original position, making quick deployment harder. Worse, with the trigger exposed, a potentially deadly negligent discharge can result if a foreign object as simple as a shirt tail or jacket pull string works its way into the trigger well. Finally, an unsecured handgun is prone to skitter away at the worst of times, causing embarrassment at the least, and potential criminal charges in some jurisdictions.

More on carry options in my column at Tac-44.com

Shot Placement With 22 EDC Pistols

For those of us that shy away from medium and large frame handguns for our everyday carry, we have our own set of problems. Namely, by choosing a small caliber ‘mouse gun’ we are forced to make our rounds count.

There are several different reasons to carry a small caliber, compact firearm. Some of us, especially if suffering from repetitive
stress injuries, carpal tunnel, arthritis, or just carrying many years around with em, cannot comfortably handle the recoil of a large caliber firearm. In addition, firearm size concerns are another common reason for carrying so called ‘pipsqueak’ .22 caliber pistols. There are an entire line of very small (pocket sized) guns like the NAA Mini-Revolver, various Derringers, and the Beretta Tomcat/Bobcat/Minx series that offer options that go even smaller than a subcompact Baby Glock or LCP. Being smaller, they are able to hide in a much more varied array of clothing choices.

But you have to come correct with your shot placement…

beretta m21 22 edc shot placement
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk.com