The new Taurus G3 and G3c T.O.R.O. shorten the distance between box and optic

by Rob Reaser

You gotta hand it to the folks at Taurus. This isn’t a company that drives in the slow lane when it comes to new model rollouts. The dust hardly settles on an all-new platform introduction before they initiate option and feature expansions. Their much-acclaimed G3-series 9mm pistols are a perfect example.

The G-series polymer frame, striker-fired handgun has been a hit with EDC fans since the Taurus delivered the Millennium G2 to market in 2013. Hailed for its reliability and pleasing ergonomics, the G2 presented a performance-to-price ratio that defied the expectations of discerning gun enthusiasts and media critics alike.

Then in 2019, Taurus put more weight on the accelerator pedal, introducing the next generation of its polymer frame wonder with the all-new G3 full-size 9mm. With its fresh receiver (keeping intact the many design cues and features that earned the G2 its envious reputation), new trigger system, and more refined slide profile, the G3 answered the call of the compact G2 fans demanding the same ergonomics and performance (and low price point) but in a “big boy” platform.

That the G3 would prove successful in the increasingly crowded polymer frame marketplace was no surprise, and in hindsight, it was no great leap to guess that this pistol would be the harbinger of the next generation of the Millennium G2. Last year, Taurus took that natural step by introducing the G3c—basically, the full-size G3 reduced to a 3.2-inch barrel length compact.

We have enjoyed shooting and carrying both the full-size and compact G-series pistols for the last year and a half. You can read our reviews of the G3 and the G3c for a deeper background of both.

A few weeks ago, we received the inside track on Taurus’ latest G-series pistol line expansion and can report that the accelerator keeps getting closer to the floorboard. For 2021, both the Taurus G3 and G3c enter the optic-compatible lane courtesy of the Taurus Optic Ready Option.

As the name implies, the new G3 T.O.R.O. and G3c T.O.R.O. models come from the factory with a slide system that is ready to accept a red dot optic right out of the box. No need for expensive gunsmith work. The T.O.R.O. system allows the shooter to install the optic of their choice in a couple minutes.

If you aren’t ready for an optic or are one of us who likes to change things up every now and again, the G-series T.O.R.O. pistols are good candidates because the system allows you to shoot without an optic installed and it can accommodate a range of optics should you want to switch red dot models or brands down the road. The choice is yours.

We received an early production G3c for our evaluation, but the T.O.R.O. system is identical to that found on the full-size G3. The slide comes machined with an optic footprint and a cover plate installed at the factory. The gun is ready to roll as-is with the standard front post and drift-adjustable rear sight providing out-of-the-box sight alignment.

On a side note, Taurus recently introduced a new rear sight and dovetail profile to their G-series pistols that allows owners to take advantage of the multiple tritium or fiber-optic sight options available from the aftermarket. This particular profile matches that of the most common night sights.

Back to the T.O.R.O. system. Included with these models is the aforementioned slide cover plate along with four different adapter plates and an assortment of screws. These adapter plates interface the slide with one of the four most common red dot mount patterns currently on the market. Optics that are compatible with the T.O.R.O. system include:

  • Trijicon RMR
  • Noblex-Docter
  • Vortex Venom
  • Burris FastFire
  • Sightmark Mini
  • Holosun HS407C
  • Leupold Delta Point
  • C-More STS2
  • Bushnell RXS-250
  • TRUGLO TRU-TEC Micro

Here’s how it works…

The cover plate provides a clean slide should you wish to run open sights. Two screws secure the plate to the slide and are easily removed with an Allen bit.

The slide cut features indexing bosses that match the various adapter plates. Between these bosses, the mounting screws, and the precision machining, the T.O.R.O. system offers solid mounting for compatible optics.

Match the correct adapter plate for your optic of choice. Each plate has mounting studs configured to the specific optic mount patterns.

Place the correct adapter plate onto the slide.

Install the optic onto the adapter plate and secure with the supplied screws or the original optic screws, depending on the optic brand (be sure to pre-clean the screw threads and screw holes with denatured alcohol to remove any oils and apply a small amount of “blue” Locktite 242 to the screws). The Taurus owner’s manual provides a chart to help you match the screw type to the optic being installed.

And that is all there is to it. As you can see (and as expected), the factory sights will likely not co-witness with your optic. Fortunately, the new rear sight dovetail on the G3 and G3c means you can easily install MOS-height aftermarket front and rear sights onto these pistols, allowing you to use either open sights or the optic.

Whether the mission for your T.O.R.O.-equipped G3 or G3c is personal defense or competition/recreational shooting, a red dot can certainly help tighten up your shots. We tested the G3c T.O.R.O. with a TRUGLO Tru-Tec Micro at 30 feet using three different loads and were pleased with the results. From left to right are five-shot groups from Fiocchi 124-gr. FMJ (1.716 inches), Barnaul 115-gr. FMJ (1.982 inches), and Magtech 115-gr. FMJ (1.634 inches).

For a 3.2-inch barrel compact pistol, we’ll take that performance any day.

Taurus G3 T.O.R.O. Specifications

  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Capacity: 10, 15, or 17 (with extended magazine)
  • Finish: Matte Black / Matte Stainless
  • Grip/Frame: Polymer
  • Firing System: Single Action with Restrike Capability
  • Action Type: Striker
  • Safety: Manual and Trigger Safety, Striker Block, Visual Loaded Chamber Indicator
  • Sights Front: Fixed (White Dot)
  • Sights Rear: Drift Adjustable Serrated Matte Black
  • Slide Material: Carbon Steel
  • Slide Finish: Matte Black
  • Optic-Compatible Steel Cover Plate:  Cover plate, four mounting plates, and hardware
  • Overall Length: 7.30″
  • Overall Width: 1.20″
  • Overall Height: 5.20″
  • Barrel Length: 4.00″
  • Weight: 25 oz. (unloaded)
  • Magazines Included: 2×10, 2×15, or 1×15 and 1×17
  • Packaging Size: 12.5″ x 6″ x 1.75″
  • Packaging Weight: 2.75 lbs.
  • Additional Feature: Picatinny Rail (Mil-STD 1913)
  • MSRP: $408.77

Taurus G3c T.O.R.O. Specifications

  • Caliber: 9mm Luger
  • Capacity: 10 or 12 rounds
  • Finish: Matte Black / Matte Stainless
  • Grip/Frame: Polymer
  • Firing System: Single Action with Restrike Capability
  • Action Type: Striker
  • Safety: Manual and Trigger Safety, Striker Block, Visual Loaded Chamber Indicator
  • Sights Front: Fixed (White Dot)
  • Sights Rear: Drift Adjustable Serrated Matte Black
  • Slide Material: Carbon Steel
  • Slide Finish: Tenifer Matte Black
  • Optic-Compatible Steel Cover Plate:  Cover plate, four mounting plates, and hardware
  • Overall Length: 6.30″
  • Overall Width: 1.20″
  • Overall Height: 5.10″
  • Barrel Length: 3.2″
  • Weight: 22 oz. (unloaded)
  • Magazines Included: 3×12 or 3×10
  • Packaging Size: 9.8″ x 6″ x 1.8″
  • Packaging Weight: 33.20 oz.
  • Additional Feature: Picatinny Rail (Mil-STD 1913)
  • MSRP: $408.77
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