(Ed. Note: This article was originally written before the new Taurus Spectrum was announced. The new pine of pistols was officially launched at the SHOT Show, and up to date information and photos can be found on my SHOT Show news page here.)
Ready for the new year? Taurus is with the colorful new Spectrum pistol.
These new .380 ACP pistols have not yet been officially announced. However, the Taurus Spectrum appears to be the real deal and will be on display at the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas.
Here’s what we’ve been able to learn so far…
The Spectrum is a new subcompact pistol designed around the .380 ACP cartridge. But, let’s not bury the lede. These new handguns are a real eye catcher.
One of the most distinctive features of the new guns is the color variations that are available. Both black and white frames will be available with a variety of color inserts to add a vibrant personality to the pistols. Additionally, slide colors of black and stainless will also be available giving a shooter a wide palette from which to draw when selecting his or her own pistol.
How many different color combinations will be available at launch remains to be seen, though I have sources that indicate “more than 10” are likely.
Insert colors, also called accents, will include:
- teal blue
- FDE (flat dark earth)
I have not been able to confirm if the color inserts will be swappable by users. While I think this would be a great feature, I also suspect that it would be difficult to accomplish such a system on a gun this small.
A fancy gun without practical features is nothing more than a range toy. It does not appear that Taurus built a toy, but instead a viable handgun for self defense.
The Spectrum is a subcompact pistol in the same size category as the Ruger LCP and the Kel-Tec P-3AT. Unloaded, these guns weigh a hair over 10 ounces and carry 6 rounds in a flush fitting magazine. A slightly extended magazine gives you an additional round and a little more surface area to grip.
It is my understanding that Taurus will ship these pistols with two magazines: one of each capacity.
There are low profile, fixed sights. As this gun is heavily biased toward concealment, you do not get large sights on this gun. However, I’ve found that even small sights can be useful for carefully aimed shooting.
Taurus built a loaded chamber indicator and an internal lock into these guns. While many people have expressed concerns about the internal locks used on Smith & Wesson revolvers, I am unaware of any documented problems with the Taurus locks.
No, these will not be California compliant.
The above image shows the new trademark that Taurus applied for when it developed these handguns. October 25, 2016 is the filing date for the trademark.
There is no word yet on the fate of the Taurus 738 TCP. The TCP is a similarly sized .380 ACP pistol though more angular and slightly larger than the Spectrum. Time will tell if Taurus keeps both guns in its catalog or phases the TCP out.
|magazine capacity||6 rounds (flush), 7 rounds (extended)|
|action||semi-automatic, double action only|
|weight||10.2 oz (unloaded)|
Regular readers will likely know that I have been critical of some Taurus designs in the past. Guns like the View seem to be more flash than gas while other, more practical guns like the Taurus 709 have shown significant performance issues in testing.
That said, I like the look of these guns. I’ve opined that styling of guns will be of growing importance in the coming years, and I expect the company that connects with the market in this way stands to make a healthy profit.
Taurus experienced some troubled times in the recent years, both in the US and in Brazil. Quality control with its products has been a large concern for me, but I am cautiously optimistic that the company is undertaking the needed reforms to establish itself as a reliable arms manufacturer.
If you combine reliability with the styling of these new guns, Taurus might just have a hit on its hands.