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