Rifleman Review: Taurus Spectrum

posted on November 4, 2020

Taurus, like many other companies over the past couple of years, has developed a sub-compact semi-automatic handgun geared specifically for concealed carry and personal defense: the Spectrum. The Taurus Spectrum is a small, polymer-frame, semi-automatic handgun chambered in .380 ACP. Its smaller profile and caliber put it in the same category as other modern “pocket guns” like the Ruger LCP.

The sub-compact Taurus Spectrum size demonstration.
The sub-compact Taurus Spectrum size demonstration.


Because the Taurus Spectrum is specifically designed for concealed-carry use, the external shape and edges have a smooth profile to reduce the chances of snags and allow for an easy draw. The Spectrum is 3.84” in height and 5.4” in length. The narrow frame allows for discreet carry, while the grip shape provides a comfortable fit to the user’s hands. Due to its small size and narrow frame, the Taurus Spectrum weighs in at 10 oz.

The Taurus Spectrum disassembled.
The Taurus Spectrum disassembled.


Chambered for .380 ACP, the Spectrum feeds from a single-stack magazine. The standard flush-fit magazine has a capacity of 6 rounds while the pinky extension magazine has a capacity of 7 rounds. The Spectrum features a double-action-only trigger, which lacks a safety tab, with a trigger pull that is between 7 to 9 lbs.

A view of the left side of the Taurus Spectrum with the magazine release and slide catch visible.
A view of the left side of the Taurus Spectrum with the magazine release and slide catch visible.


The Spectrum uses a tilting lock action with a 2.8” barrel. The iron sights are small and subdued to prevent snagging on clothing or a holster. While there is no external safety, there is an internal safety mechanism and a key-activated trigger lock built in. A slide catch is located on the left side of the frame, which is flush with the side to also reduce the possibility of snagging on clothing or unintentional activation.

The Taurus Spectrum's slide, frame and polymer inserts are available in several different color combinations, hence its name.
The Taurus Spectrum's slide, frame and polymer inserts are available in several different color combinations, hence its name.


The Spectrum also uses a button magazine release which is reversible for left or right handed use. The slide, backstrap and grip feature textured polymer inserts for improved grip and handling. These polymer inserts are available in a wide range of color options along with the frame and slide, hence the name Spectrum.      

For more information on the Taurus Spectrum .380 ACP sub-compact handgun, visit taurususa.com.

To watch complete segments of past episodes of American Rifleman TV, go to americanrifleman.org/artv. For all-new episodes of ARTV, tune in Wednesday nights to Outdoor Channel 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST.

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