Taurus 380 Revolver

The new Taurus M380 is a 380 revolver.  Yes, that’s right a wheel gun chambered for the rimless .380 ACP cartridge.

380 revolver

I love the panache of Taurus.  They aren’t afraid to try new things, and they can often start a little stir in the industry.  Who would have thought the original Judge would sell well, much less spawn specialty ammo and a whole series of revolvers based on the idea.

“It’s the neatest little gun you’ve seen in a long time,” said Bob Morrison of Taurus USA.  Morrison appeared on the May 30, 2010 broadcast of Tom Gresham’s GunTalk radio program.

Since then, the revolver has been released and we have all of the specifications on the new handgun.

The Taurus 380 revolver is in the company’s Ultra-Lite line of handguns, and it comes in two finishes:  stainless steel and black.  Otherwise, the two guns appear to be identical.

The guns have bobbed hammers and are double action only.  The hammer is not shrouded.  So, the gun is less likely to hang up on some piece of clothing when being drawn from concealment, but it may not reliably fire from inside a jacket pocket as a concealed hammer gun would.

Taurus M380 revolver

The revolvers use “stellar clips” according to Morrison.  These work like moon clips used with other rimless cartridges.  Revolvers are generally designed to work with cartridges that have a protruding rim.  Semi-auto cartridges frequently do not have protruding rims, and are called “rimless.”  This is not technically accurate, but it gives one a reference on how to distinguish one from the other.  To fire a rimless cartridge like the .380 ACP in a revolver, one can use a thin piece of metal, called a clip, to act as a rim in the revolver’s cylinder.

The Taurus M380 has a 1.75″ barrel that is topped with a fixed ramp front sight.  The rear sight notch is also fixed.

380 revolver for sale

The unloaded weight of the gun is 15.5 ounces, which places it into the same general range as other compact revolvers, such as the J-frame Smith & Wesson handguns.  The grips are made of soft, black rubber and have the Taurus emblem embedded into them.  At the time of this writing, MSRP is $443 for the black finish and $475 for the stainless steel finish.  I would expect to see a 380 revolver for sale (street prices) at about $400-425 depending on finish.

Taurus M380

Does a Taurus M380 make sense to you?  What advantages do you think it holds when compared to a .38 Special revolver?  Let us know what you think in the comments below.

380 ACP revolver

Taurus 380 revolver

About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.

  • cavalier

    While I’m not a fan of Taurus, a smaller-framed would be interesting. Unfortunately Taurus has a record of announcing things that never appear. I’ll be more excited when they reach dealers.

    • Lee

      Held a Taurus 380 revolver at my local gunshop today. Hammerless with a sub 2 inch barrel. Guess they made at least one appear.

  • Speedyfish

    More vaporware? I’m still waiting to see a production model of Charter’s rimless revolver.

  • http://www.GunsHolstersAndGear.com Richard

    Yeah, the Rimless Revolver is still MIA. When I spoke with Charter in April, they were still insisting the CARR would be ready this month (June). We’ll see…


  • Rivrdog

    .380 revolver? Lessee, about every revolver manufacturer made one 100-20 years ago. They were all low-power versions of the 38 S&W. Most were top-breaks, very handy little revolvers. I’ve owned two as curios, but they have little value for defense as the round is barely a man-stopper.

    The .380, when shot out of a revolver, is going to lose enough of it’s speed jumping the gap that it will be no better than those old .38 rimmed cartridges.

    Plus, the .380 is expensive to practice with, currently commanding almost $30/box for the ammo.

    Defense guns are all about projecting as much stopping power as possible out of a small gun. A .380 in a 4″ semi-auto pistol is on the very low edge of having requisite stopping power. Out of a snubby revolver, it will not have enough.

    • DD

      Hmmm. Manstopper? Yeah i always walk away after being shot with a 380.
      I grow weary of hearing everyone say you have to own a 44 just to have defense.
      Any gun even a 22 will do the job for defense because 85% of offenders are detered just by the site of a weapon and im pretty sure the other 15% will haul rear after the first shot of even a bb gun.

      • Chip

        You said it all. I`ve stopped them with a 22 long. One of my former staff killed a man with a 22. The initial hit was in the buttocks. The guy was beating a woman with a 2X4. Many PIs and undercover folks carry smaller caliber weapons.

  • Mike

    Maybe .380 won’t break the gun. I had a Taurus revolver in 9 mm – in the first range session the yoke retaining screw fell out before I got through a 50-round box of ammo. The second range session the transfer bar broke and locked up the action! The gun was sent back to the factory before firing 100 rounds – and they were told to keep it – my local dealer did the legwork and made good on my end.