The Taurus Spectrum 380: What went wrong and will it ever be made right?
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Thread: The Taurus Spectrum 380: What went wrong and will it ever be made right?

  1. #1
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    Question The Taurus Spectrum 380: What went wrong and will it ever be made right?

    I've been thinking about the Taurus Spectrum a lot lately ever since I got my new Ruger LCP. I keep seeing it pop up everywhere, reminding me of how hyped I was for the pistol, how much I wanted one, and how disappointing it was when it was delayed for the better part of a year, only to be released with such a fatal flaw.

    On paper the Taurus Spectrum had all the makings of a runaway success, boasting features which none of the competition had at the time, and many still don't. Simple takedown with no tools required, a manual safety which was neither intrusive nor in the way that could just as easily be ignored, unrivalled ergonomics, a durable/corrosion-resistant finish, and last but certainly not least, second strike capabilities via a true double-action-only trigger.
    The Taurus Spectrum could have taken the market completely by storm, setting a precedent for all new .380 Pocket Pistols to come, and very likely would have received a scaled up 9mm version by now.

    The question is, what went wrong? In my opinion, what went wrong was a rush to meet the market which wasn't even necessary. The Taurus TCP-738 was already well regarded and was widely regarded as a superior Pocket Pistol compared to the Ruger LCP. Sure, Ruger and Smith & Wesson had released new .380 Pocket Pistols of their own in the form of the LCP II and M&P 380, but the TCP-738 seemed to still be selling due to its lower price point.
    Taurus' first mistake was announcing the Spectrum before they had a working prototype. I know that such has become rather par for the course these days, but you'd think that marketing analysts would have discovered by now that hype can be a double-edged sword which is just as likely to cut the one who wields it should they fail to capitalize on it by releasing at its peak. Taurus' announced it too quickly, showed off everything at once, then was left with nothing left to show to maintain hype once it was delayed, causing it to slowly trickle away as prospective buyers sought alternatives.
    If that wasn't enough, it would appear that the time period for which the Spectrum was delayed was insufficient to address the problem, nor would it appear that they tested it thoroughly prior to release given just how quickly it was discovered to have issues with light primer strikes.

    Now the question remains, will it ever be made right? As near as I can figure, the issue of light primer strikes either still plagues the pistol or there are still so many on the market with the issue which haven't been fixed because Taurus never issued a recall. Sure, folks seem to have discovered a workaround in the form of careful ammo selection with softer primers that require less oomph to ignite, but the issue still appears to be far to rampant to write off as mere ammo sensitivity. I know that Taurus USA is still in the process of relocation from their factory in Miami Florida to Georgia, and that the Spectrum has to be manufactured domestically thanks to the infamous Gun Control Act of 1968 rendering it ineligible for import, but there have been many instances of import-banned firearms getting around this issue by having certain parts manufactured abroad then merely being finished/assembled domestically. Case in point, the new Walther PPK(/S) production out of Fort Smith Arkansas is only partially made in the USA, while the slide is made in Ulm Germany, so why couldn't the slide assembly be manufactured in Brazil?
    However, that begs the question of whether Spectrums produced in Brazil (assuming they're even produced/sold in Brazil to begin with) are any more reliable than those produced here in the USA?

    Anyway, I hope that this thread won't offend anyone who currently owns a Spectrum or carries one for self-defense. I honestly still love the Spectrum, hence why I have been thinking of it in the first place prior to purchasing an alternative, because I regret that I had to seek an alternative in the first place.
    In fact, I would love to hear from those of you who have had success with more recently manufactured Spectrums or have otherwise had their older Spectrums fixed by Taurus. So if your Spectrum has proven to be reliable and you feel that the issues with the Spectrum are being corrected, then please post about it below.
    "If you work for a living, why do you kill yourself working?" - Tuco Remírez - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk. - Same

  2. #2
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    Not offended. Bought a Spectrum early on (Feb 12, 2018 ) and have fired over a thousand rounds through it. Only had one fail to eject completely. We've used Federal, Remington, Hornaday, Sellior & Bellot, Fiocchi and Winchester ammo... all brass.
    Taurus M605 357MAG/38SP (POLY/SS)
    Taurus Spectrum 380ACP (BLK/GRY)
    S&W SD9VE 9mm
    Windham Weaponry WW-15 SRC

    Mossberg 535 12ga
    Mossberg MC1sc 9mm

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    Tuco, you saw the two large pachyderms in the room.

    You are correct about the extended period between hype and receipt of product being a major problem. If only Taurus had had product out when the sharks were circling in their frenzy, they may have had more customers.

    Then comes the light primer strike issue, and now you have an issue that puts Taurus Customer Service front and center. How are they handling the situation? Recall? Anything at all?

    Sadly, it is what it is. Taurus dropped the ball on this firearm, and continues to drop the ball. It could have been a savior in their future, but instead it is not.

    I have said this before, and I will say it again: It is a sorry state of affairs at Taurus.
    Desperado's Big Bang Theory:
    The theory that a "big bang" from a handgun, along with a perpetrator receiving a gunshot wound, is the best way to end violent personal or property crimes.

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  5. #4
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    Mine works fine however still carry my TCP more, reason I suspect the bad press for the Spectrum. My opinion on Taurus is they produce far too many models, almost like women clothing world each year change never really working out the bugs in older models. May be a poor comparison but hopefully makes the point.
    Desperado likes this.

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    I on the other hand have had zero problems with the Wife's Spectrum...................
    Runs great, eats what it is feed and is darn accurate for what it is!
    I don't know if it is luck, or the fact I go through a gun as soon as it is purchased and do what I do too them,
    but I have never had an issue with ANY of my Taurus'es, all run absolutely fantastic and I am completely happy with them................
    Wish I had an answer for folks who have had an issue, and I do hope Taurus gets things worked out, but I will continue to
    buy their firearms when I find another one I want.
    Yissnakk and Qwiks draw like this.
    There are "four boxes" that can be employed to resist the downfall of America, the ballot box, the soap box, the jury box and, lastly, the ammo box.

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    I had some problems with my Spectrum, sent it in twice for repair. While it was fixed the last time, they accomplished the fix by seriously over springing the pistol. If over springing is even a word. The recoil spring they installed was too long and impossible to reinstall. The extractor spring practically had the extractor hanging outside of the frame. Locking blocks, breech components were replaced both times it was in for repair. After the last fixes, it ran great and shot well. But... I agree with the well thought out missive above, Taurus had a chance to take the gun community in a different direction, and they blew it. My hopes are they will take the Pittman trigger system and use it for all future new models. That one step will bring lots of business to Taurus, as the trigger in the tx22 is one of the best triggers I have used.
    loudviking and Yissnakk like this.
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    Thanks everyone for all of your posts and for being so civil. It never ceases to amaze me just how relaxed/friendly this forum is compared to others, and believe me when I say that I am not one to toss around praise for the sake of approval.

    Honestly, I considered not posting this thread multiple times as I was writing it because I'm used to other forums in which you absolutely cannot post threads criticizing anything (unless it's a forum in which the popular opinion is negative, that is) even if it is constructive criticism coming from a disappointed fan. There are also a lot of forums in which questions are basically unpermitted, ergo posting a thread like this would be criticized since I don't actually own a Spectrum myself, even though part of the reason why I posted it was to learn if perhaps things had improved behind the scenes.

    It really is a shame just how poorly the situation with the Spectrum has been handled. I can understand why Taurus wouldn't want to issue yet another recall so soon given the obvious negative publicity which would result from it, but it would look much better than doing nothing at all and appearing negligent as a result.
    I really hope that Taurus can turn things around, but when it comes to issues being ignored or otherwise left unacknowledged like this, it looks less than encouraging.
    "If you work for a living, why do you kill yourself working?" - Tuco Remírez - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk. - Same

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    I'm patiently waiting also and still have hope Taurus will refine the Spectrum, but with them selling in the sub-$160 range, I'm not so sure it's ever going to happen. I waited on the S&W Bodyguard and Beretta Pico and they both have been ultra reliable through countless rounds. Best part about waiting is that the street price of both was well under half the cost they were just a year earlier.

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    My PT-738 TCP started having FTE problems almost a year ago. Anticipating a long repair cycle for the 738, I bought a Ruger LCP-II.
    The LCP-II is VERY similar to the 738, but more reliable. A great pocket gun!
    After four months Taurus said they couldn't repair my 738, and offered me a Spectrum as a replacement. I am glad that some Spectrums are good, and the owners like them a lot; but there were too many complaints on this forum from owners that didn't like them. I asked if I could get a G2C instead, and Taurus approved.
    I am very happy with my G2C!

  11. #10
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    IMHO- Taurus makes good products. When management aka-marketing- doesn't interfere with the engineers. if you tell marketing about any feature or future product- they head out to sell it- sight unseen, untested, and unproofed or unproven. Saw that at IBM for years. I have little respect for Taurus management. The fiasco over the Millennium line was embarrassing.
    loudviking and Desperado like this.

 

 
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