The Taurus G3XL is one of the latest offerings in the market of double-stack 9mm concealed carry pistols. While the pistol isn’t as slim as the Glock 48 or as refined as the SIG P365XL, it’s extremely affordable and still reliable enough for concealed carry on a budget. Taurus made the correct decision to step away from its own proprietary sights and the G3X and the G3XL now offer Glock sight compatibility. This allows you much wider access to a variety of OEM and aftermarket options for sight augmentation including dovetail mounts for red dot optics, night sights for low light shooting, and sometimes even just more aesthetic-looking sights. Tyrant Designs sent me out a pair of their new Two-Piece Glock aluminum sights so I thought it might be fun to replace the factory Taurus G3XL sights with the Tyrant Designs Glock sights to see how well the two products could be melded together and to see if Taurus’ claims of Glock sight compatibility measured up.
TFB Review: Upgrading the Taurus G3XL with Tyrant Designs Glock Sights
- Caliber: 9mm Luger
- Capacity: 12 Rounds
- Magazines: 2
- Firing System: Striker
- Action Type: Single Action with Restrike
- Front Sight: Fixed Steel
- Rear Sight: Drift Adjustable
- Safety: striker block, trigger safety, loaded chamber indicator
- Frame Size: Compact
- Grip Material: Polymer
- Slide Material: Steel Alloy
- Slide Finish: Tenifer Matte Black
- Overall Length: 7.28 in.
- Overall Width: 1.20 in.
- Overall Height: 5.10 in.
- Improved comfort whether stationary or mobile
- Glare-free daytime shooting
- Clean and clear nighttime shooting
- Heightened accuracy and shot range
- Increased target visibility
- Made from 7075 series aluminum
Replacing the sights on the G3XL is a pretty similar affair to replacing the sights on a Glock pistol. You first should clear the gun, make sure your work area is free from ammunition then take the slide off of the gun so you can more easily drift out the rear sight and also have access to the screw for the front sight post.
The rear factory sight that the G3XL uses is a slim and low profile design featuring very small horizontal serrations that are supposed to cut down on glare. The rear sights on the G3XL are pretty easy to remove when compared to other pistol rear sights and I didn’t have much trouble at all drifting them out using a punch and a small hammer. I covered the business end of the punch with some masking tape so that I wouldn’t damage the finish on the sights or pistol’s slide.
I found that the rear sight was perhaps a tiny bit loose when compared to the factory sight but I think this isn’t entirely the fault of Tyrant Designs and their CNC machined sights which are almost always very precise. Instead, I think this has more to do with the G3XL’s rear dovetail perhaps being slightly out of spec. I think this is the case because the factory sights came out pretty easily like I said before. However, I added in a bit of Loctite thread locker tape inside of the dovetail and drifted the new sights to the correct location over the tape which made them very secure.
One minor but very important difference between factory Glock sights and Taurus sights is that Glock sights use a 3/16 socket head screw that has a very slim head meaning you’ll need a specialized Glock sight tool to add or remove the front sight post. Taurus on the other hand uses a 5/16″ hex bit head screw which makes removing and replacing the sights much easier. Since this is the case, I opted to use the hardware from the Taurus sight instead of the one that came with the Tyrant Designs sights and this worked out just fine as the threads were the same pitch and the screws roughly the same length. I also added a bit of thread locker tape to the hardware just in case.
After the Replacement
One thing you’ll note above is that the sights are in fact two pieces. Not just in the respect that there is a front and rear sight, but the front sight is also two pieces featuring a polymer inner white insert with a machined aluminum post that attaches to the hardware through the slide. This indicates to me that you’ll be able to buy the different colored or tritium inserts separately from Tyrant Designs and have easier access to a wider variety of front sight posts depending on what type of shooting you’re planning to do. I think this is a neat feature although I don’t know exactly how useful it’d be to me since I mostly shoot red dots these days and only use iron sights as backup sights.
I don’t often bring the G3XL to the range but I do actually use it for one specific purpose at home and it’s something that the G3XL and the rest of the G3 lineup do better than any other striker-fired pistol on the market – it works great with the Mantis Laser Academy training system because of its re-strike capability. This makes it perfect for getting in a lot of reps with the Mantis laser training system and you’re also not limited in your practice by having to re-rack the slide every single time.
Now the Tyrant Designs sights aren’t just an aesthetic upgrade. The “dot” on the front sight is noticeably bigger than the standard factory dot that the G3XL comes with and this allows for faster and more precise sight alignment due to the trapezoidal configuration of the “dot” that matches up with a similar shape cut into the rears.
As a final note, the rears on the Tyrant Design’s two-piece sights have a pretty aggressive angle on them that extends past the rear of the top of the pistol’s slide. For me, this caused some occasional snagging on clothing when drawing from concealment, so I think these sights are probably better suited to just range practice, and since I use the G3XL for indoor dry fire practice with the Mantis Laser Academy system, I didn’t feel pressured to put the factory sights back on the gun.
I don’t think I’ve actually heard of anyone replacing their factory Taurus sights with aftermarket sights before so I was morbidly curious to see how well that actually works out in reality. As it turns out, I think that Taurus pistols have a slight dimensional difference in their dovetail cuts than OEM Glock pistols but it could also be that my G3XL was slightly out of spec since its factory sights came out just as easily. Nothing that a clever person can’t fix with a little thinking and $3 worth of thread locker tape.
The sights don’t really offer me anything other than a bigger front dot and maybe slightly better sight alignment. While it’s cool that you can swap out the insert on the front sight post, I don’t really know of anyone currently doing this but it might be useful down the road if you’re planning on customizing your pistol with lots of aftermarket parts and want a front sight to match the rest of your flashy hardware. It would certainly be cool if Tyrant Designs offered a tritium insert for the front sight and I think that would be an upgrade worth buying to increase your low light visibility for concealed carry applications.
In conclusion, I think these aftermarket sights from Tyrant Designs are built well but have a limited amount of uses that aren’t simply dressing up your pistol for a gilded party. For a price of $69.95, you’re really just paying for a luxury appearance upgrade rather than a functional one over the factory sights which do just fine. However, that being said, I’ve enjoyed using them on the Taurus G3XL which has so far been a great host for them after a bit of extra fitting done on my part. What I’m looking forward to down the road from Tyrant Designs are their upcoming Glock compatible tritium night sights. When those come out, we’ll see how they hold up to other aftermarket night sights already on the market!