Firearm: Taurus GX4 (MSRP: $392.42)
You know, when I included the G3C TORO from Taurus in an “I Carry” episode not all that long ago, I mentioned that it was a smart, savvy move on the company’s part. It showed that Taurus was paying attention to trends and reacting quickly and efficiently to offer suitable handguns for red-dot optics, as that trend was and still is red-hot. I had no idea, just a couple months ago, just how on top of things Taurus is, as the company’s latest release is the GX4, a micro-compact, double-stack 9 mm pistol to add to the growing list of offerings.
Pistols that just a few years ago would have been single-stack, 6- or 7-round capacity handguns are now offering 10- or 11 rounds in the same size. The GX4 is no different, offering a standard, flush-fit 11-round magazine in a pistol weighing 18.5 ounces and measuring 5.8 inches in overall length. Barrel length is 3.06 inches, height is 4.4 inches and the GX4 is a slim 1.08 inches wide. Sights are well done, with a white-dot front sight and a black, serrated-face rear sight presenting a picture that fosters rapid acquisition.
A departure from other Taurus triggers, the GX4 trigger is flat-faced and does not offer second-strike capability. The GX4 is designed to be comfortable to shoot, which is a tall order considering its small size – there’s just not that much pistol to hold onto, here. Two magazines come standard, both are 11-round capacity and are made by MecGar. There’s a slight recess in the grip that allows magazines to be stripped from the pistol should they not drop free, a thoughtful design feature aimed squarely at the concealed-carry market.
On the plus side for the GX4 compared to its competition? Well, the inevitable price-point, of course. Also, it comes with interchangeable backstraps to help better fit it to the shooter’s hand. On the down side, though, is the lack of an optics cut as well as extended-floorplate magazines. Neither of these are deal-breakers, of course, and both are likely areas for improvement or update down the road. All in all, Taurus has a solid pistol in the GX4, and one that’s adding to a rapidly expanding market. As we like to say here on “I Carry,” though, more options is a good thing.
Holster: CrossBreed Reckoning IWB (MSRP: $66.95)
Since the GX4 was released only a short time ago – and was kept a pretty tight secret – holster fits are on the thin side at the time of this episode. Many new fits are launching seemingly daily, and CrossBreed has been at the forefront of holster offerings for this new pistol. We’re featuring one of the company’s newer designs today, the Reckoning, as it allows a wide variety of attachment options. Now, with a pistol the size of the GX4, you’re almost certainly going to carry it inside the waistband, but with the adaptability of the Reckoning, a different set of attachment clips and you can carry it outside the waistband as well.
In either case, the Reckoning features CrossBreed’s familiar hybrid design, with a leather backer piece that goes against the body and a Kydex shell molded to the specific handgun. In the IWB configuration, the metal SnapLok clips allow the holster to be tucked in, where the cover garment can actually be tucked into pants over the holstered pistol. This allows for deep concealment, for which the GX4 is ideal, but at the expense of the draw stroke – it’s going to take more work to get the cover garment out of the way before the pistol can be retrieved. It’s a tradeoff, like much in concealed carry tends to be. I prefer not to use the tuckable feature, although I have on occasion when I really need the utmost in discretion.
Knife: Cold Steel Mini Recon 1 (MSRP: $79.99)
Most people think of machetes, kukris, bowies, spears and other exotic bladed weapons when the Cold Steel name is brought up, but the company has a wide variety of folding knives perfect for daily carry. Today we’ve got the Mini Recon 1, a 4-inch-long folder with a 3-inch, AUS 10A steel, clip-point blade for consideration. This knife features a spine lock to keep the blade open, glass-reinforced nylon handles and a reversible pocket clip, although only in tip-up configuration.
While the Mini Recon 1 we have today has a clip-point blade, there are models available with either tanto or spear point blades as well. And, as the “Mini” implies, there’s a larger Recon available with a 4-inch blade, as well as a Micro version with a 2-inch blade. All feature the same lockback safety and nylon scales, but with overall lengths and weights to match the different sizes. Again, options.