Brazil’s Answer to the Glock 19 Gun: Meet the Taurus G3

Brazil’s Answer to the Glock 19 Gun: Meet the Taurus G3

Kyle Mizokami


An expert tells us what he thinks–and if it can take out the legendary Glock 19.

High capacity nine millimeter pistols were first introduced to the public as service pistols. Built for military and police without regard for size, service pistols were full-sized handguns that prioritized recoil reduction and magazine capacity over concealability. Over the years a compromise has evolved, resulting in a pistol mixing all three features. The Glock 19 is cited as the ideal compromise, and Taurus’ G3 pistol very much runs in that vein–but at a substantially lower cost.

The Glock 17 handgun was originally designed for the Austrian armed forces and then exported to civilian markets worldwide. The Glock 17 is a reliable handgun that, while lightweight, still has enough heft to absorb the modest recoil of the nine millimeter round. This makes it an excellent gun for conscript armies, where soldiers may not have a background in firearms. It also features a large, seventeen round magazine allowing soldiers to carry more rounds on their person.

The Glock 17 did well in the American commercial market but many buyers clamored for a handgun with a shorter barrel and slightly shorter magazine, resulting in the Glock 19. This defined the “sweet spot” for many compact nine millimeter handguns, and Brazil’s Taurus steps into that spot with the G3 pistol.

Forjas Taurus, or Taurus, was established in Brazil in 1939 as a tool and die manufacturing company. The company produced its first pistol, the 38101SO, in 1941, and began exporting pistols to the United States in 1968. Briefly controlled by Smith & Wesson, the Brazilian company broke with its American parent in 1977–but not before absorbing many handgun technologies. The company became adept at producing clones of Smith & Wesson style .38 caliber revolvers, and by the 1980s was copying firearms such as the Beretta 92.

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