Taurus released its new Curve semi-automatic handgun today, branding this new firearm "the gun you wear." It's a novel idea and design: The grip of the handgun is curved to match the contours of the human body. The idea behind the design is to mold the handgun to the person, making it more comfortable to carry, which in turn leads to the self-defense firearm being carried more often.
The slight curve of the grip gave the Curve its distinct profile—and its name.
I traveled to Taurus in Miami, FL, earlier this month to attend the product launch, and wanted to share my first impressions of the newest Taurus.
It's a good idea and a fine concept, and Taurus' first effort toward changing the self-defense paradigm is laudable. Taurus engineers looked "outside the box" for a better mousetrap, as it were, and identified an area where little progress has been made since the introduction of the handgonne itself: Making it more comfortable to carry around all-day, every day. Handguns have become about as small as they can get without being impossible to shoot, so Taurus looked at the next step in making them more comfortable.
The most noticeable component of the Curve is, of course, the actual curvature of the grip. It's not as severe as you might think, with the magazine kept straight (to head off feeding issues). There's a gentle right-handed flair to the grip (company engineers assured us that a left-handed model would be forthcoming) that does offer greater comfort when carried inside-the-waistband.
Coming with two magazines, two security keys and a plastic box, the Curve is well-appointed.
Other components of the curve worth noting are the light and laser combination, manufactured by LaserLyte. Both light and laser come on at the push of a button, although it's more of a smartphone-esque swipe than a straightforward push. The design is such that a quick flick of the finger activates the combination, with the transition from indexing alongside the pistol frame to bringing the trigger finger into action providing the motion needed to activate the laser/light combo.
It's not as easy as it looks or sounds, but after a modicum of practice it can be accomplished in a single swipe. It will take some practice, and you need to work on this with the Curve, as no external sights are provided with the firearm. There's a set of crosshairs on the back of the frame flanking the shrouded hammer, aligned with the barrel, but these are rough reference points, not fine aiming tools.
In shooting the Curve, it shot pretty much how every pocket .380 ACP with a long, tough double-action trigger shoots. The trigger is, by necessity, long and heavy, although not nearly as heavy as other hammer-fired pistols in this category. The Curve won't win any Bullseye competitions, but that's not the intended purpose. In an informal range session using silhouette targets, it was possible to make aimed head shots during even rapid-fire practice.
The engineers were present at the product launch and asked for opinions from the group assembled after we'd had a chance to shoot the new pistol. The majority of comments centered on the sights—some felt that not having sights of any kind was a detriment, and others expressed reluctance to relying solely on a battery-operated device.
On the range, the Curve performed as expected, making the vast majority of rapid-fire shots with ease.
Others, myself included, didn't care for the Sigma 380-style magazine release (two release buttons on either side of the magazine that must be pushed in while the magazine is pinched between two fingers; it's every bit as complicated and non-intuitive as it sounds). One common refrain was the addition of an extended floorplate would make extended shooting sessions far more enjoyable.
The Taurus Curve is an interesting idea, at least in theory. The product brought to market addresses a basic need that has, so far, gone unfilled: A self-defense firearm designed to be comfortable to carry all day long. Shooters looking for their first handgun for concealed carry now have an option that promises to be more comfortable than previously expected. Time will tell if the Curve will resonate with shooters, but for now, look for more coverage of the Curve in a future issue of Shooting Illustrated.
Manufacturer: Taurus USA Caliber: .380 ACP Action: Double Action Only (DAO) Capacity: 6+1 rounds Barrel Length: 2.5 inches Overall Length: 5.18 inches Overall Height: 3.7 inches Overall Width: 1.18 inches (.880-inch grip) Sights: Lights/Laser—integrated LaserLyte system Trigger Pull: 5 to 7 pounds Weight: 10.2 ounces (unloaded) Slide: Carbon Steel Barrel: Stainless Steel Grip: Polymer with Metallic Subframe Safety Devices: Loaded Chamber Indicator; Taurus Security System Accessory: Trigger Protector Holster: Integrated Side Belt Clip Slide Finish: Matte Blue MSRP: $392