I Carry: Taurus GX4XL Pistol in a JM Custom Kydex Holster

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Firearm: Taurus GX4XL T.O.R.O. (MSRP: $468.99)

The concealed-carry world is interesting. For the longest time, the smallest guns available were five-shot revolvers and micro-380 ACP semi-autos. Sure, there were a handful of very small 9 mm pistols like the Kahr CM9 and the Rohrbaugh R9, but for the most part, KelTec’s P32 and P3AT and Smith & Wesson’s J-frame revolver were the small-gun choices. In the early 20-teens, firearms like the Smith & Wesson Shield brought small, single-stack 9 mm handguns into the mainstream, and the paradigm changed again with the SIG Sauer P365 later that decade. Now, it seems like those small, double-stack micro 9 mm pistols are getting bigger.

Such as it is with the Taurus GX4XL. Initially released as the GX4, Taurus’s entry in the micro-9 mm double-stack world had all the standard trimmings: 11 rounds in the magazine, small and light enough to fit in a pocket, bladed-safety trigger, etc. So, naturally, they made it bigger with the launch of the XL model, which kept the same relative grip size and capacity as the GX4, but added about a half-inch to the overall length. Since this model is the T.O.R.O. variant that accepts electro-optics, it’s going to be carried on a belt anyways, so the extra bit of slide and barrel actually help with concealment, lessening the likelihood of the pistol rotating on the beltline.

There are two interesting tidbits about the Taurus GX4 line of pistols. First is that T.O.R.O. optics-mounting system, which is cut for both RMSc- and Holosun K-footprint optics. There are two small pins that fit into the rearward holes for RMSc-footprint optics and are left out for sights with the K-footprint. This means both styles sit low on the slide and may not even require suppressor-height sights. The second piece is that the GX4 pistols do not require a pull of the trigger for field-stripping, but instead make use of a small, slotted screw that is turned 90 degrees to allow the slide to come off the frame. Having to pull the trigger to disassemble some pistols can be a source of discomfort for some, and the GX4 neatly sidesteps the issue.

With the GX4XL, you get all the benefits of the new GX4 operating system with a slightly longer barrel and slide. Since this is almost certainly going to be carried inside the waistband, the extra half-inch isn’t going to change concealability, but it can add a slight bump in velocity. Also, the extra length means that those who prefer iron sights have a longer sight radius. In any case, the Taurus GX4XL is just a little bit more to like over the GX4, which is already a more impressive pistol than its affordable price would suggest.

Holster: JM Custom Kydex Quick Ship AIWB Wing Claw 2.5 holster (MSRP: $75)

As we’ve mentioned before, one of the problems encountered when choosing a handgun that’s not a Glock, M&P or SIG Sauer is the availability of holsters. Whether it’s the surging popularity of Taurus or just smart business, the folks at JM Custom Kydex have been producing more holsters for guns like the Taurus GX4XL, and we have the company’s Quick Ship AIWB Wing Claw 2.5 Holster for that very reason. JM Custom Kydex is well known for high-quality holsters at reasonable prices, and is an excellent match for the GX4XL.

Constructed of a single sheet of kydex in a taco-style configuration, the AIWB Wing Claw 2.5 has, as the name suggests, a Wing Claw that helps tuck the holster into the body for maximum concealment when worn in the appendix position. Available for a wide number of handguns, the AIWB Wing Claw 2.5 is quite customizable, despite being labeled as a “Quick Ship” holster that will be ready in only 5 to 10 business days. Color, belt-attachment method, red-dot cut and more can be configured at the time of order, with certain additions adding slightly to the cost. We’ve used a number of JM Custom Kydex holsters for a wide variety of handguns and found the company’s holsters to be very well made and quite durable.

Optic: C&H Precision Weapons EDC RMSC red-dot sight (MSRP: $249.95)

Since the Taurus GX4XL we have in today’s kit has the T.O.R.O. option, we’ve selected one of the new red-dot sights from C&H Precision Weapons to round out today’s kit. C&H Precision Weapons has been manufacturing optics-mounting plates for numerous handgun platforms for a number of years, and recently started producing its own line of affordable optics for pistols. The EDC RMSC sight is, as the name suggests, set up for smaller pistols like the GX4 series and obviously uses the standard RMSc footprint.

Features abound on the EDC RMSC, like 10 brightness levels that include two night-vision compatible settings, motion-control that turns off power after 5 minutes of inactivity and restores power when motion is sensed, aluminum body and IPX7 rating for water resistance. The EDC RMSC features easy installation, a side-mounted battery tray for a CR1632 battery and a 3-MOA red dot reticle. Other versions of the EDC RMSC offer a combination reticle that also has a 34-MOA circle around the 3-MOA dot for those who prefer that arrangement.

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