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Taurus recontours the rules: the innovative .380 curve is distinctly different by design.

Since its November 2014 debut, Taurus' Curve has endured its share of scrutiny, praise and criticism from the firearms industry. Some love the innovative design. Some, not so much. As with many new launches, time will tell whether Taurus enjoys the fruits of the company's design and manufacturing efforts with this peculiar gun. In the meantime, I'm going to give you a literal "hands-on" report of my somewhat long-term experience with the Taurus Curve.

First, a few reminders. The Curve is a niche gun, primarily intended for concealed carry and short-range self-defense scenarios. It ships with two 6-round magazines, giving you the ability to carry 13 rounds of .380 ACP (6+1 and then six more). With a built-in light and laser activated by an external switch, the Curve also offers a chamber-loaded indicator doubling as a barely passable trench sight. You only see the sight when a round is chambered. The Curve also offers its bore axis sighting system--"plus" shaped lines on the back of the slide meant to help you get the gun aimed correctly. Add the gun's size (or lack thereof) and curved frame and its easy-to-hide-self-defense mission becomes clear.

As you know, small guns are easier to hide but, at times, more difficult to manipulate; it is possible for a gun to be too small for its own good. Moreover, adding a curved frame potentially makes matters worse. Or does it?

I've had a Taurus Curve in hand since last year's debut, and I've written about the Curve in other FMG publications. In fact, I'm way overdue to send this gun back to Taurus. After months of shooting it and carrying it concealed, however, I don't want to send it back. In fact, I like it. Granted, it takes a bit of time to get used to it, maybe a bit more than other guns, but I've gotten used to it. The light/laser works great, the carrying options--integral clip, trigger cover, or neither--provide versatility, and the gun shoots reliably and accurately.

My hands border on medium to large size. They don't engulf the Curve but I have to practice how I grip the gun for maximum purchase. When aiming the Curve, its bore axis sighting system looks right back at me and I can just see the loaded chamber indicator/trench sight along the top of the slide. I only use them if the light/laser aren't visible, usually in broad daylight.

When my trigger finger rests outside the triggerguard, it falls nicely on the Curve's light/laser button, found on the right side of the gun. A flick forward and the light/laser turns on (both operate together). Another flick forward and they turn off.

After firing the last round, the Curve's slide stays back. Note how short the slide is and its position relative to the web of your hand. The good: Hardly any chance of getting bitten by the slide. The challenging: Not a lot of slide to grasp when racking to chamber a round from a fresh magazine. And speaking of reloading, the Curve's no-frills design requires you to remove a magazine by grasping the base with your opposite hand and squeezing or pinching it. At that point, it'll pull out nicely. Insert a loaded magazine, pushing it up until it seats with a clear click. Back to the slide. The Curve doesn't offer much real estate for typical hand-over grasping and yanking. It's possible; it's just not as easy as it should be.

A little easier might be the reverse pinch method of freeing the slide to chamber the new round.

For the record, shooting the Curve is easy. My hand easily adapts to the curved stocks and, after a few shots, I hardly notice it. What I do notice is the gun has some bark to it and the web of my hand hurts after 50 or 100 rounds at the range.

The Curve's curves take a bit more getting used to when handling, aiming, and reloading. But it's nothing that can't be overcome with practice. After a short bit, drawing and activating the light/laser becomes second nature.

But the Curve is at its best when it is residing in a front pocket or tucked inside the waistband. In either location--at least for right-handed shooters carrying strong side--the curved frame truly does make carrying better, How so? More comfortable and less obvious. If it prints, it's only a little bit and looks like a wallet or mobile phone.

After having my hands on the Curve and the Curve in my pocket for a few months, it's easy to see why it has found a place in the rotation of carry guns.

180CRVL

MAKER: TAURUS USA 16175 NORTHWEST NOTH AVENUE MIAMI, FL 33011 (305) 624-1115 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM/INDEX

Action type: Double-action-only semi-auto, Caliber: .380 ACP, Capacity: 6+1, Barrel length: 3.5 inches, Overall length: 5.2 inches, Height: 3.7 inches, Width: 1.18 inches, Weight: 10.2 ounces, Finish: Matte blue, Sights: None, Grips: Polymer, Price: $392.42
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Title Annotation:OUT OF THE BOX[TM]
Author:Kakkuri, Mark
Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:Oct 1, 2015
Words:843
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