Taurus Spectrum .380 Review: Everything You Need to Know

The Taurus Spectrum is an incredible subcompact semi-automatic handgun, suitable for concealed carry.

This handy little gun is like the perfect mix of old school and modern design. Old school because in the world of modern subcompact 9mms, it is a pistol chambered in .380 ACP. Moreover, it has a double-action-only trigger system, a single stack magazine, and small integrated sights machined into the slide.

However, it also sports some quite modern features. For instance, it is a striker fired gun, and has a sturdy polimer frame. Moreover, perhaps the most eye-catching feature of this handgun, especially for buyers who don’t know much about firearms, is the wide range of colors it comes in.

So, if you are thinking about buying a new subcompact pistol, check out the rest of this review and see if this option is right for you.

Specifications:

Construction:

This is a very well-built gun. Even just by looking at it you can tell that a lot of effort was put into its construction and design. The pistol has a stainless steel slide and a polymer frame. The slide is smooth, rounded and doesn’t have any kind of markings.

The gun has rubber overmolds both in the grip, and the back of the slide, which add to the unique design of the gun and improve its handling as well. On the back of the slide, where you would find serrations on most pistols, it has rubber overmolds, which allow an excellent grip when you are trying to rack the slide.

The rubber on the grip makes the gun more comfortable to use, and easier to handle, especially with sweaty hands.

Size and concealability:

Though there aren’t any specific criteria that make a pistol subcompact, you can be certain that with its small stature, the Taurus Spectrum will always qualify. In fact, Taurus has coined the term “micro pistol” for it.

With the flush magazine, the pistol is 5.4 inches long and 3.82 inches tall, which gives it a very slender profile, and makes it very easy to hide. Even with the extended magazine, you only get about a 0.6-inch increase in height, which does not take away from the pistol’s concealability.

As for the width of the pistol, it might be different depending on where you measure it, since the Spectrum has a lot of curves. However, even at its thickest point, it is hardly an inch (0.98”) thick. This makes it very easy to concealed carry. You could simply put it in your pocket, and it wouldn’t show.

As far as the weight is concerned, the unloaded pistol weighs only 10 ounces. Despite the small size and weight, it is surprisingly controllable and pleasant to shoot.

Trigger:

It features a double action only trigger, which isn’t the best in the world. The trigger pull is 8.25 to 8.5 lbs, and it has a lot of travel to the point that it can feel a little scary the first time you shoot it. However, considering that it isn’t a competition gun, and it is designed for self-defense, you don’t need a very fast trigger. Moreover, once you get used to the trigger, it can be easy to use.

Still, in comparison to other subcompact pistols in the market, the Taurus hasn’t got a really good trigger. But it is a lot more affordable than many competitors in the same class.

Sights:

The pistol sports simple post-and-notch sights. They’re not that special, but get the job done quite well. For a subcompact pistol, designed for engagements in close quarters, the sights are quite decent and help you be accurate. In fact, you can easily get a three-inch group at 15 to 20 yards.

Barrel:

The handgun features a 2.8-inch high-strength barrel chambered in .380 ACP. Since this is a small caliber round, many pistols chambered in it are straight blowback. The Taurus spectrum, however, features a tilting barrel, which helps mitigate the recoil and makes the gun very smooth to shoot.

Magazine:

Two single-stack magazines come standard with this weapon. The first one is a flush magazine that holds six rounds. The second is a seven-round magazine, with an ergonomic extension to improve your grip.

Both magazines are well made and practical. The simple magazine gives the pistol a very small profile, making it very easy to conceal, whereas the design of the extended magazine is also great, as it makes the gun a lot more comfortable to shoot, without compromising too much on size and accessibility. The extension on the magazine has all rounded corners, so it won’t snag on anything on the draw either.

Disassembly and maintenance:

Another positive about this gun is that it is very easy to maintain. Takedown and reassembly is very easy. The gun has a small screw on the right side, which is removed to release the slide. Many people have an issue with the fact that a tool is required to disassemble the gun. However, though the manufacturers do recommend using a flathead screwdriver, you can also easily open the screw with a bullet or a bullet casing. Therefore, as long as you have a round nearby, opening the gun won’t be difficult.

Once you have the pistol disassembled, it’s all about cleansing the gun properly, which is easy enough.

Accuracy:

The gun is a lot more accurate than you would expect it to be. It is a small, concealed carry pistol meant to be hidden very easily. And even though it comes with integrated, non-adjustable sights, it is very accurate, even at 15-20 yards.

It is easy to control and allows you to put multiple rounds on target whether you are doing rapid-fire or shooting at a slower rate.

Overall, it’s quite accurate, even in the hands of a novice shooter. Would you shoot competitively with it? Probably not. But that is not what this tiny pistol was designed for. Considering its intended use and size, this is a very accurate pistol.

Reliability:

Reliability is a key factor in a self-defense weapon. You need to know that the gun will shoot every time you pull the trigger. Well, in that regard, the Taurus Spectrum is also quite good. The pistol is great. Just remember that low quality .380 ACP can sometimes cause problems in the best of guns.

As long as you use good quality ammunition and clean the pistol regularly, it will be very reliable.

Ergonomics:

With its curved design and rubber overmolds, this is an ergonomic gun for its size. The controls are very easy to use, the magazine release works great. However, one concern that many people have is with the slide stop, slide release.

The slide-stop lever is very small, to the point that it can be very difficult to hit even in normal situations. And if you have to reload in a self-defense situation, you are better off just racking the slide manually. However, it’s understandable why the slide stop lever is made this way.

Being a concealable weapon, it is important that it is easy and quick to draw from your holster or pocket. Therefore, the slide stop lever is made small so that it does not snag on anything, and in that regard, it works perfectly.

Style:

Almost everyone who sees this gun would agree that it is good-looking. In fact, it is easily one of the most stylish guns on the market and has a very futuristic appearance.

The frame comes in either black, grey, or white, and the slide is made of stainless steel. However, you also have the choice of a natural matte or a black melonite finish. The overmolds are where the real customization is possible, as they are available in 20 different colors.

However, any unique combination will have to be custom-made. This particular handgun is available in three color combinations. First, a white frame with stainless steel slide and cyan overmolds; second, a grey frame with black slide and mint over molds; and third, a black frame, black slide, and brown overmolds.

Price:

Price is always very important factor when buying a new handgun. Especially if you’re on a tight budget and want something reliable yet affordable. Depending on the colors you choose, you can expect to pay around $300 for this gun. However, the base colors, all black, and black with stainless steel slides are available for less than $230.

So, if you are looking for an ergonomic and reliable sub-compact pistol, then this attractive, inexpensive option ought to be at the top of your list.

Features Overview:

TypeDouble-action, Striker-fired, Tilt-barrel, semi-automatic
Caliber.380 ACP
Barrel2.8 in.
Weight10 oz. (unloaded)
Capacity6 rounds (standard mag), 7 rounds (extended ergonomic mag)
Length, Height, Width5.4/3.8/1.0 inches
SightsIntegrated post and notch sights
SafetyInternal drop safety
Trigger pull8.25, 8.5 lbs
ConstructionStainless steel slide, polymer frame, rubber overmolds

Final Thoughts:

The Taurus Spectrum is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a compact, easily concealed self-defense weapon. It is made well, accurate at modest ranges, and reliable. Though the sights and the trigger aren’t the best, they get the job done. Overall, at its price point, this is truly one of the best guns you can find on the market today.