Firearm: Taurus G3C TORO (MSRP: $408.77)
Taurus released the G3c just a short while ago, and followed up in 2021 with an optics-ready version the company calls the TORO—Taurus Optics-Ready Option. The pistol itself is the same G3c we’ve covered previously on “I Carry” and offers the same 12-round capacity, 3.2-inch barrel and 22-ounce weight as the non-optics-compatible version. Controls are the same, with the bladed-safety trigger, slide stop and manual thumb safety all located in the same place on the TORO as on the standard G3C.
Taurus can be forgiven for the attempt at a clever name with the play on Toro, because the system the company has put in place is equally clever. Four plates covering the majority of red-dot footprints along with matching screws are included, along with a handy guide in the manual. There’s a molded projection on the top of the slide that keeps the plate in place, while two sets of holes on the slide mean only one pair of screws is needed to secure the sight to the pistol. Rather than needing to attach the plate to the slide, then the optic to the plate, the TORO system allows two screws to attach the optic directly to the slide. We’re a fan of easier mounting for optics.
With a red-dot optic installed, the shorter barrel of the G3C and its attendant shorter sight radius are no longer possible areas where aiming errors might occur. Provided short-barrel-specific ammunition is used, the G3C will perform just as well as its full size G3 sibling. This is a significant advantage to having a red-dot sight on a pistol, as the shorter sight radius that comes with a carry-friendly pistol often makes precise aiming more difficult.
The Taurus G3C TORO really drives home two related points. First, red-dot sights have truly become mainstream. For a company like Taurus dedicated to affordable products to invest time and R&D to produce optics-ready handguns, the market for red-dot-equipped pistols is certainly mature. Second, it shows that Taurus is not only following the market closely, but making smart moves to stay competitive in that market. Both of these points are positive and bring more choices, which is always a good thing.
Holster: DeSantis Veiled Partner (MSRP: $59.99)
The holster we’ve chosen to go with the Taurus G3C TORO is the DeSantis Veiled Partner, an outside-the-waistband option in the company’s Pegasus line of Kydex holsters. The Veiled Partner is designed to wrap the holster around the body to minimize printing, and can be adjusted for ride height as well as cant. It’s available for right- or left-handed shooters for a wide variety of firearms, including those with optics like the TORO.
While outside-the-waistband holsters are the most difficult to conceal, they tend to offer the greatest comfort. There’s no need to search for pants a size larger than you need to account for the holster inside, and designs like the Veiled Partner spread the gun’s weight out over a larger area. Obviously, cover garments will need to cover the entire rig, even when lifting arms up, but with a little planning ahead of time it’s not hard to conceal outside-the-waistband gear.
Optic: Swampfox Kingslayer (MSRP: $219.99)
Rounding out our affordable carry kit today is the Swampfox Optics Kingslayer red-dot optic. The Kingslayer is available as a 3-MOA dot or a 65-MOA circle/ 3-MOA dot reticle. The unit features a side-loading battery tray, simple operation and uses the RMR footprint to attach to handgun slides. It even comes with a low-profile 1913 Mil-Std. mount should you wish to put it on a shotgun or carbine.
We’ve had a chance to test the Kingslayer for a roundup article on affordable red-dot sights, and it performed well. Approximately 300 rounds were fired through a pistol with the Kingslayer attached, between zeroing the sight, testing and confirming zero at the conclusion. At no point in testing did the sight lose zero or suffer any electronics-related issues. It’s a solid piece of gear you can pick up for around $200 or less.