The Taurus Spectrum

A Colorful Pocket Pal

Here’s a peek at how the colors look. Eventually there’ll be some 20 or so choices. Nifty!

The Spectrum offers some new ideas. The “big screwhead” is actually the
take-down cam. The tiny slide release isn’t intended for manual operation and
you can see how well the pistol is “melted” for comfortable carry.

The array of colors really catches the eye, and of course, it gave the pistol its name. But, don’t be misled, this is not just another little .380. The Spectrum has several very different features. The Spectrum is striker-fired, but unlike some of its big brothers, it’s a true Double-Action-Only.

When not being activated by the trigger, the striker is always in the forward “at rest” position, blocked by an automatic internal safety. There’s no “reset,” just a smooth, continuous DOA pull. The Taurus manual says “7 to 9 lbs.” and my seasoned-shooter’s finger tells me it’s about right.

The Spectrum uses a classic falling-barrel locking system, having two advantages. The felt-recoil is lighter and the slide retraction is easier. The slide locks open on the last shot too. There’s a tiny external latch, but it’s not intended for release. For this, just give the slide a slight rearward pull. This also ensures proper feed from a new load.

The only other external control is the magazine release button. It’s in the usual place, at the lower rear of the trigger guard, and it’s reversible too. While we’re on that side, note the thing above the trigger, looking like a screw with a wide slot. It’s the take-down latch.

Assuming you’ve emptied the chamber and taken out the magazine, you use the rim of a cartridge — or some other non-marring thing — to turn it counter-clockwise until the slot is horizontal. The slide and barrel assembly can then be moved off forward. Detach the recoil spring, lift out the barrel, and that’s it. On reassembly, the latch automatically resets. Neat.

Note the finger-rest magazine.

Field stripping is easy, with minimal bits left to lose! There’s no serrations
on the slide, more of a dished out area to grasp.

Lightweight And Slim

The square-picture sights are part of the slide, with minimal protrusion. For a little hide-away like this, they’re quite adequate. Speaking of hiding it, all of the edges are nicely rounded, and the overall width is only 0.89″. Empty, the Spectrum weighs only 10 oz. So, even with the added weight of cartridges, it’s not a drag on your pocket or belt.

With the weight factor, I thought the felt-recoil might be a little snappy but at the range, it was brisk, but not painful. Ammo included defensive loads from Super Vel, Black Hills and CorBon. At seven and 15 yards, all shots stayed in the middle of the targets. Some of the closer groups were 3.5″ and the farther ones 4.5″ to 5″. For personal defense, quite adequate. With all loads, functioning was perfect.

The Spectrum comes with two magazines, a 6-round with a flat floorplate, and a 7-round with a very nice rest for the small finger. The grip shape has superb ergonomics, with a deep incurve at upper rear. I think this factor helped in reducing the felt-recoil. Also, in the same category, there were the “soft” panels set into the front, sides and back of the grip-frame.

These panels are part of the color-variations giving the Spectrum its name. They are also used in the slide, instead of the usual grasping serrations, in a swooped-in recess, deeper at the rear. I found them to be easily grasped for slide retraction.

For these panels, Taurus went to PolyOne in Avon Lake, Ohio, an international company. Some colors will not be offered, as it was found they affected the polymer formula. Initially, there will be standard versions with panel and frame combinations in white, gray and black. Later, there will be 20 colors available, with special orders costing a bit more.

The first production, like my test pistol, is all in basic black. One variation is offered, the slide in bare matte-stainless. The initial all-black pistols will have an MSRP of $289 — extremely reasonable. Whatever your primary carry, the Spectrum would make a perfect back-up piece.

For more info:
Ph: (305) 624-1115

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