When Taurus introduced their new Spectrum pistol to the firearms world, the hordes of industry reps, gun media and buyers were instantly drawn to the wide gamut – spectrum, if you will – of colors the pocket pistol would be available in.
Variations of the Spectrum come wrapped in cool blue hues paired with pearly white and satin steel, moody purple, aggressive red, vibrant green and pastel pink, as well as more traditional firearm finishes such as blacks, grays and the practically tactical flat dark earth.
The veritable rainbow of shades and combinations position the .380 ACP compact as a aesthetically appealing option for first-time buyers, younger would-be owners seeking a respite from the standard militaristic drabness of many commercial options, or ladies wanting to match their new purse gun to, well, their purse.
But despite all the discussion and hype around Taurus’ new colorful carry gun, perhaps the pistol’s ergonomics have taken a backseat to the aesthetics. In reality, those ergonomics, not the palette, make the Spectrum a great consideration for concealed carry.
For starters, the whole gun looks smooth, reminiscent of the waves rolling into South Beach not far from the company’s Miami headquarters (proudly and fittingly advertised toward the front of the frame.) While it looks sleek and modern, the lack of edges is designed to prevent snags when drawing from concealment. The last thing you want is trying to quickly deploy your carry gun in a crisis and getting it stuck in your jeans.
Those colorful grip panels aren’t just festively shaded – the Spectrum features proprietary soft-touch polymers to provide improved grip purchase and retention, even in wet conditions. Without argument, this is one of the most important factors to consider in choosing a carry gun.
Danger doesn’t wait for a dry, sunny day to strike, and the user may be forced to draw and use their firearm in less-than-picnic weather conditions. The Spectrum’s grip panels are comfortable, and ensure the pistol won’t slip or slide around in the user’s hand.
Taurus designed the grip of the Spectrum to fit naturally into the human hand, achieved through ergonomic contouring and the inclusion of an extended magazine that gives a little more surface area to adequately grip the small pistol.
Rather than use traditional-style slide serrations, Taurus instead integrated some stylish curved indentations that make it easy to grasp and rack the slide. Much like the frame, the slide also features soft-touch panels at the rear, a perfect contact point for reliable racking that diminishes the likelihood of short strokes.
The trigger clocks in between 7 and 9 pounds, acceptable for a carry pistol and typical for striker-fired guns. A double-action only gun, Taurus included their exclusive non-energized striker with no pre-cock or pre-load applied, so the sear never contacts the striker.
Keeping the theme of safety and ease of use in mind, the Spectrum needs only one turn of a take-down pin to separate the slide from the frame -- the user does not need to pull the trigger first to take the gun down (though should always ensure the pistol is unloaded before performing any maintenance.)
(Photo courtesy/The Truth About Guns)
Like many micro-compacts, the Spectrum runs the .380 ACP round, and comes with two 6- or 7-round magazines. It’s definitely a small gun designed for deep concealment, with an overall width of only 0.89 inches, overall length of 5.40 inches and unloaded weight of just 10 ounces.
Macho gear heads and firearms purists may balk at the splashy, vibrant tones of some of the Spectrum’s color options, but Taurus is simply responding to the tastes of a growing base of gun owners experiencing shifts in buyer demographics. The real artistry here isn’t the color, but the thought that went into combining jazzy looks with legitimate ergonomic engineering, and producing a gun as effective as it is attractive.