Firearm: Taurus GX4 (MSRP: $392.42)
We thought the recently released GX4 from Taurus was worth a second look. With so many new gun owners looking for firearms for concealed carry, an affordable option that works well is definitely up for consideration. Taurus’ GX4 brings an eminently concealable size, excellent capacity and quite good trigger to the mix. It offers 11+1-round capacity in a size that, until just a few years ago, was thought to be relegated to only six or seven shots.
Simplicity is the essence of the GX4. A slide-stop lever and a magazine release are the only controls – takedown is accomplished via a takedown pin that requires a screwdriver to turn. Sights are simple white-dot front sight and a serrated, flat-black rear sight, making for an instinctive sight picture. The GX4 is striker fired, and unlike previous polymer-frame pistols from Taurus, uses a traditional trigger with single-action-only operation. A bladed-safety on the trigger helps guard against discharge if dropped, and the trigger face itself is wide and flat.
Serrations to assist in charging the pistol are found both forward and aft, allowing for easier charging or press checks, while the grip is fully textured to anchor the GX4 in the hand. Additionally, two backstrap sizes are offered to better fit the GX4 to the shooter. Two 11-round magazines, both made by MecGar, are provided with each GX4 pistol.
With an MSRP of slightly less than $400, and an “out the door” price that will certainly be somewhat lower (at least in normal times), the GX4 is one of the least expensive micro-9 mm pistols on the market. Since it is one of the newest pistols of this type to be released, it may take some time see how its long-term reliability plays out. So far, none of the GX4s I’ve shot have had any problems whatsoever. For the shooter on a budget looking for a small 9 mm for concealed carry, the Taurus GX4 might be the best bargain out there.
Holster: Galco Scout 3.0 (MSRP: $92)
Because the Taurus GX4 is so new, holster fits are just starting to come to market as we record this episode. Fortunately, Galco offers its excellent Scout 3.0 for the GX4, giving an option for either inside-the-waistband or appendix-style carry. The Scout 3.0 accomplishes this with a simple attachment point with numerous cant options that, with the simple loosening of a screw, allows the holster to be angled at a variety of positions depending on where it is worn.
Best of all? There’s an attachment point on either side of the holster, so it works for both left- and right-handed shooters. Construction is rough-side-out steerhide, with a reinforced mouth to hold the holster open when reholstering. The Scout 3.0 is also tuckable, for times when deep concealment is needed. Just remember to practice completely clearing the cover garment should the holster be tucked in.
Knife: Cold Steel AD-15 Lite (MSRP: $159.99)
While there are any number of items that are important enough for EDC status, from tourniquets to flashlights, spare magazines to med kits or even backup guns, one of the most critical is the pocketknife. Most of us will be fortunate enough to never have to use our EDC pistol, or even pepper spray, but it’s a pretty safe bet that the pocketknife you carry will get used regularly. Possibly daily, or even multiple times a day. Having a solid knife you can depend on makes life easier.Cold Steel’s AD-15 Lite offers a 3 ½ inch, AUS 10A-steel, drop-point blade with a Griv-Ex injection-molded handle. A thumbstud opens the AD-15 Lite, while a unique take on the lock back keeps it open. The pocket clip is reversible for left- or right-side carry, but only in the tip-up position. Weight is 6.2 ounces, and the knife has an overall length of 8 ½ inches open, 5 inches closed.