Taurus G3 TORO: Reliable, Budget Friendly, and Optics Ready

— Jason MosherCADRE Dispatch

In the world of optics-ready handguns, we have far more choices today than ever before. But those choices are not always in the affordable category. Price tags vary from suspiciously low to eye-popping high, and the buyer must determine the best deal.

Here’s a hint: when you find that Saturday night special for a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great deals for optic-ready handguns.

Taurus is one of the best examples of a company that offers an affordable product with great quality.

Taurus G3 T.O.R.O 9mm handgun.
The Taurus G3 T.O.R.O is an affordable yet reliable firearm. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Optics-ready handguns tend to retail for a little more than standard handguns. But Taurus kept the price on the G3 T.O.R.O at a minimum, making it nothing short of a steal. The G3 also has some great features, making that price point even more attractive.

Taurus G3 TORO 9mm handgun

The G3 is Taurus’s flagship compact and full-size handgun, and it is a popular choice for concealed carry. From the G3C to the G3 Tactical, they offer more than 32 options in the G3 handgun lineup. One of these options is the G3 T.O.R.O (Taurus Optics Ready Option).

The overall size of the G3 is comparable to a Glock 19, but I would say the G3 feels just a little beefier than a Glock. Features on the G3 T.O.R.O include a fixed front sight, a drift adjustable rear sight, and a 17-round magazine. A manual thumb safety rests just behind the slide release lever for those who prefer one. Taurus uses their own design of plate adaptors, which we will discuss more below.

Taurus G3 T.O.R.O 9mm handgun.
Field stripping the G3 T.O.R.O is similar to a Glock pistol. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

In an interesting twist, the G3 trigger has what Taurus calls a “re-strike capability.” It functions the same as traditional striker-fired pistols but features a “re-strike” capability if you have a light primer strike. You can pull the trigger again and keep going. While it has re-strike capability, it doesn’t have the long, heavy trigger pull of a double action trigger.

A Picatinny rail allows a weapon-mounted light, and the trigger has a built-in trigger safety. Safariland offers the 578 – GLS PRO FIT Holster which works with an optic, but not a light. I have used the GLS holster before and love its locking feature. To unlock and draw the gun from the holster, just grip the gun and press the lever.

Taurus Optics Plate Adaptors

I find it annoying when I buy a new handgun and can’t mount an optic without buying a separate plate. I’ve purchased several guns in the past that were “optics-ready” only to learn I needed an $80-$120 adaptor plate to mount an optic.

So, I was excited to see that Taurus developed an interchangeable mounting plate system. Like Glock, they include multiple plates with the G3.

Taurus G3 T.O.R.O 9mm handgun.
Taurus includes multiple adaptor plates to help mount your favorite handgun optic. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Taurus provides four mounting plates that work with the most popular footprints on the market today.

Another interesting feature of these plates is they don’t need a separate set of screws. Typically, the plate adaptor is held on with two screws, and the optic is held on with two more.

Instead of using screws to mount the plate to the slide, Taurus uses a square notch on each end of the plate that fits onto the slide, keeping it from moving. Two screws go through the optic, plate adaptor, and into the slide. Plate adaptor sizes that come with the G3 TORO include:

  • Plate 1: Doctor/Noblex (Vortex Venom, Buris Fastfire, Sightmark Mini)
  • Plate 2: RMR (Trijicon RMR, Holosun 407c, Swampfox Liberty II)
  • Plate 3: C-More RTS/STS (C-More STS2)
  • Plate 4: RMSc, Delta Point (Bushnell RXS-250, Romeo Zero, Viridian RFX II)
Taurus G3 T.O.R.O 9mm handgun plate adaptor
Taurus uses a system of square notches to ensure the plate does not move on the slide. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

I mounted the Holosun 407c X2 red dot on my G3 T.O.R.O, so I needed plate adaptor number 2. It only took a few seconds to remove the cover and install the plate and optic.

The only thing I would have liked to see differently is a taller set of sights. Since the T..O.R.O is made for a red dot, a set of co-witness iron sights would have been a nice addition. But for the price, I’m not going to complain.

Shooting and field stripping the G3 TORO

On the range, the G3 cycled ammo like a champ. I fired 200 rounds of Sellier & Bellot 115gr ammo. I also fired some Hornady HP ammunition to see how it handled hollow-point ammo.

The trigger has a lot of slack to take up before you feel it start to activate the trigger. Once it does, however, the trigger pull is not bad at all. I recorded a 5.5-pound trigger pull on my Wheelen trigger gauge. Even with the long pull to take up the slack, it’s not a bad trigger once you get used to it.

I will note that I stripped the G3 and oiled it before heading to the range. It came in the box with a lot of grease packed in it, so I wiped it down and applied some synthetic oil.

shooting the Taurus G3 T.O.R.O 9mm handgun.
I fired both FMJ and HP ammunition through the G3 without any issues. [Photo: Jason Mosher]

Overall, the feel of the gun while shooting is great. There is just enough texturing on the sides to keep a good grip on the gun. I also like the thumb indentions they put on the side of the frame for your support hand. This helps keep your thumb securely on the slide of the frame while shooting.  

The slide is just heavy enough there was very little felt recoil, making it easy to stay on target while shooting quickly. The G3 also uses a short double recoil spring to help manage recoil from the 9mm ammo.

Fieldstripping the G3 is about like field stripping a Glock: pull down on the two small takedown levers and pull the slide forward. You will need to pull the trigger as you pull the slide forward so be sure the gun is unloaded and safe.

It doesn’t get more affordable than this

I said in the beginning that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. At $350, the G3 is getting close to sounding like it’s too good to be true. But in this case, it is true and it’s a great deal. You can even find it cheaper than this during sales events or with other discounts. Holsters are easy to find, and 9mm is affordable as well. I won’t call it cheap, but compared to other calibers, it’s not bad.

When you buy the G3, you get a flush-fitting 15-round mag and an extended 17-round magazine. With the quality of the gun, optics plates, and two magazines, it’s hard to find a better deal than this.

Taurus produces multiple sizes of the G3 so you can get the size you are comfortable with. For home defense, concealed carry, or just a great gun for the range, you won’t be disappointed with the Taurus G3 T.O.R.O.  

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