Pistol: Taurus GX4XL (MSRP: $469.99)
Proving that the company still has its finger on the pulse of the concealed-carry community, Taurus expanded its excellent GX4 line of pistols to include the new GX4XL, a slightly longer version of the popular GX4. The XL version adds about a half-inch to the overall length from the GX4, with most of that coming from the slightly longer barrel. The GX4XL has a 3.7-inch barrel, is 6.43 inches long overall, 4.4 inches tall with the flush-fit magazine and weighs 20 ounces unloaded. Capacity is the same as the GX4: 11 rounds with the flush-fit magazine and 13 rounds with the slightly extended one.
The slight addition in overall length and barrel length from the GX4 to the XL is actually quite beneficial for the concealed carrier. While the smaller GX4 will fit better in a pocket holster, with the addition of a red-dot sight, it’s going to be carried inside the waistband. The longer barrel and slide of the XL give the pistol more leverage below the beltline to reduce the possibility of the rig rotating around the belt. This can happen with handguns with short barrels, as there can be more weight above the belt than below. Having more real estate below the belt keeps the rig more secure and doesn’t hinder concealment.
There’s a twist in the TORO optics-mount system in the GX4 family that we need to point out, and it’s genius. Rather than the standard RMSc footprint, the GX4/GX4XL footprint, while still able to accommodate the RMSc, has two removable pins at the rear to allow a Holosun HS507K red-dot sight. It’s a simple, smart system that makes the optics cut more useful, while still allowing the optic to be mounted directly to the slide. Smart engineering requiring a minimum of effort – we like that!
Overall, the GX4XL gives us another option for concealed carry, which is always a good thing. Whether you opt for the GX4 or the GX4XL will depend on what you’re planning for the pistol: backup or deep concealment use without an optic might be better served by the GX4; if it’s going to be your primary with an optic mounted, the XL might be a better fit. Price is really immaterial – there’s a whopping $50 difference between the non-optic-cut GX4 and the GX4XL TORO we have here.
Holster: N8 Tactical Xecutive holster (MSRP: $39.95)
In keeping with the minimalist-yet-still-very-useful items in today’s kit, we’ve opted for the N8 Tactical Xecutive holster for the GX4XL. It’s a no-nonsense, sturdy, taco-style holster that just plain works. That’s hard to argue with. A single polymer clip makes adding the rig to a belt or taking it off simple, so it’s a great grab-and-go option, it’s cut for optics-bearing pistols and the retention can be adjusted with a screwdriver.
The Xecutive is great as a minimalist holster, but it can also be customized to your liking. Choose between black and gray kydex—that option is free—and after that, you can choose a variety of upgraded components. Belt-clip options vary from pull-the-dot loops to DCC Monoblock, Ulti-Clip and others; hardware color can be varied to your preference; you can even add a Modwing or a foam wedge for better concealment and comfort. Oh, and it’s available for left-handed shooters, too.
Optic: Bushnell RXC-200 red-dot sight (MSRP: $199.99)
Rounding out our minimalist-and-affordable kit is the Bushnell RXC-200 red-dot sight. Since we’ve opted for the GX4XL TORO it made sense to add an optic, and Bushnell’s new compact dot is a great fit. Designed to fit the near-standard Shield footprint, the RXC-200 offers a 6-MOA dot with automatic brightness control that Bushnell claims will run 50,000 hours on a standard CR2032 battery. Now, that’s more than 5 and a half years of life while continuously on, so it’s a little hard to verify on a new optic; however I’ve had the ultra-compact model on my Hellcat Pro for about 7 months now, and it’s still going strong. CR2032 batteries are relatively inexpensive and readily available, so if it’s a concern, change the batteries every year or two.
In addition to the long battery life, the RXC-200 is IPX7-rated for water resistance and impact-tested to MIL-STD-810. Bushnell coats the lens with its proprietary EXO barrier to minimize dust, debris and water accumulation; however, don’t let that fool you—the sight will still collect lint, hair and other reminders of daily life when carried on the belt. Remember to clean your lens! Please note: this is not meant as a knock at the RXC-200 by any means, literally every red dot I’ve ever tested has collected crud while on the belt…