Firearm: Taurus G3XL (MSRP: $342.98)
For a while now, we’ve been noting that Taurus has really been on top of firearm trends. From adding optics-ready pistols to the company’s growing line of G3 handguns to producing its own take on the micro 9mm double-stack pistol in the GX4, Taurus has been extremely reactive to recent handgun trends. The new G3XL pistol we have here today is no exception.
Combining the full-length slide and barrel of the G3 with the grip size of the G3c, the G3XL has a 4-inch barrel. This means it doesn’t require short-barrel-specific ammunition to make the most of modern defensive ammo while still being easy to conceal. It is of course a compromise; the grip barely allows three fingers with the strong hand, and at that only with a floorplate with a slight pinkie extension. Capacity is 12 rounds, only one more than the smaller GX4.
The longer slide and barrel of the G3XL do not significantly impact how the pistol is carried, particularly inside the waistband. In fact, it’s especially advantageous when carried in the appendix position, as the longer barrel and subsequent real estate below the belt line help keep the rig more stable. The reverse setup – full size grip with shorter barrel and slide – can be top heavy, meaning the pistol might rotate on the belt line, increasing the chance of printing. With the short grip and full-size barrel, the G3XL avoids this problem.
Other interesting touches on the G3XL are the sights, which include a single white-dot front sight with a flat-black rear sight. This allows for an instinctive, fast sight picture as the white dot immediately draws the eye to the front sight. Taurus has kept the restrike capability in the G3XL, so if a round fails to ignite, a second pull of the trigger may resolve the problem. Of course, most training will involve immediate-action drills in the event of a failure to fire, but like we say, it’s better to have the capability and not need it… In any case, the G3XL represents exceptional features at a price most can afford.
Holster: Lone Star EDC IWB holster (MSRP: $55)
When it comes to gear, we’ve often lamented that finding holsters for guns that aren’t Glocks, M&Ps or P320s can be difficult. However, in the case of the Taurus G3XL, we actually had the holster in-hand before the pistol! When we posted about the launch of the G3XL, the folks at Lone Star EDC reached out to us with a holster, the company’s IWB offering.
A minimalist, single-sheet Kydex design, the IWB features a single, tuckable plastic belt loop, adjustable retention that also allows addition of a wing if desired and a sweatguard. It’s cut for optics, although there’s not yet a TORO version of the G3XL. I’m sure that’s coming shortly. The IWB is well made, sturdy and quite affordable – all excellent features in a holster and in keeping with the affordability of the G3XL it is designed to carry. It’s also customizable – in addition to the wing that can be added, it can also be ordered in a light-bearing unit and in various colors.
Accessory: Buck Knives Sprint Pro pocketknife (MSRP: $119.99)
Rounding out our kit today is the Buck Knives Sprint Pro pocketknife. Offering a 3 1/8-inch, S30V steel drop-point blade with a flipper opening mechanism, the Sprint Pro comes with attractive burlap micarta scales. A liner lock keeps the blade safely in position, and the knife can easily be opened and closed with one hand. It’s well designed and contoured for efficiency in any cutting task, while still maintaining the craftsmanship for which Buck is known.
A non-reversible pocket clip keeps the blade in a tip-up position, and allows it to ride low in the pocket. Other variations on Buck’s Sprint series include the Select we’ve covered previously, as well as a Pro version with carbon-fiber scales. All Sprint knives are made in the USA, use Buck’s ball-bearing opening system and come with Buck’s “Forever” warranty.