Growing up in the Midwest, I didn’t have a lot of choices in “compact” anything. And there were few choices in handguns and ammunition for everyday carry (EDC). Now, we are spoiled by the bounty in the compact gun market, and there has never been a better time for effective, defensive-oriented ammunition to choose from. So, what is an enterprising firearms maker to do in order to stand out in today’s EDC market? Why, this is America. They are going to offer more choices.
That’s what Taurus has done by creating a new and ultra-compact .380. It’s a pistol that’s not only EDC ready, but you can have one in almost any color combination. Meet the Spectrum.
Partners in Development
Taurus’ Spectrum will appear like a diversion from ordinary compact pistols for the selectable sport coats of many colors. (More on the color decision later.) However, the Spectrum is more than a colorful carry gun. It’s actually crafted to be a great EDC gun.
The stainless-steel slide has been shaped to eliminate almost every sharp edge in an effort to produce a sleek look that compliments a person’s preference in style. The slide is not just rounded but sculpted, and the contours are just not for cosmetic value.
Consider the swoopy curve on each side of the slide that guides one’s fingers to find the texture that another pistol would call “cocking serrations.” On the Spectrum, however, this textured area at the back of the slide is a unique inset panel made of an imprinted soft-touch synthetic. The synthetic elastomer was developed in conjunction with PolyOne, the leader in formulating thermoplastic compounds for all industries. The result is a material that seems to grab your fingertips, which helps to make racking the slide on the Spectrum easier than other .380-caliber pistols. These panels on the slide and frame are overmolded.
What also makes racking the Spectrum’s slide easy is the locked breech. By going with a locked-breech design, Taurus engineers could work around a lighter recoil spring. Since all it must do is deliver enough slide energy to strip off the magazine’s next round to be fed, working the slide to load the Spectrum is also easy on the hands. If you’re someone who might not have the hand strength to work the recoil spring on other blowback .380s, give the Taurus Spectrum a try the next time you visit a store’s gun counter. Typically, a locked-breech pistol like this will also seem softer in felt recoil than a blowback-operated one.