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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My Story. Traded a Hi-Point 380 ($75 allowed - had added one extra MAG, had case also) in at Smoky Mtn Gun&Ammo for a TAURUS 380 end of Dec 2018 cause they were on sale then at $169.99 plus a $35 Rebate (now the guns are seen for $129.99 or even $119,99).

Summary: (I wrote this in a reply to a U-Tube Poster regarding his Spectrum).

Like you (referring to the poster on U-Tube), I like the look, feel, and shooting (when it is OK) but at same time I don't have much use for a 380 (AMMO Prices, etc.). I went with it cause thought might want to Pocket Carry sometime and did not have a use for the Hi_point 380 (too clunky to carry and AMMO to expensive to target shoot).


PROBLEMS with the Spectrum (NOTE: Resolved now it appears).

First shoot, I estimate 40% of rounds took 2, 3, or 4 trigger pulls to fire (as well as some feed problems like yours where bullet jammed into feed ramp - not so much extract or eject problems you have). TAURUS took it back (paid shipping also) and seemed to have fixed the Fail to Fire problem - I shot 68 rounds the day I got it back, but still had two Fail to Fire.


Then couple shoots later (maybe another 30 rounds a few days later), it started locking back while shooting. It took me a couple more shoots (days later) to realize that the Lock Back Lever was moving up and catching the slide (no spring tension to hold LBL down). TAURUS took it back (paid shipping also). It came came back and has worked good since. I don't think I have had any failures except one fail to feed - bullet wedged on ramp (more on that later).

The second trip to TAURUS - It appeared they had installed a new recoil spring (stiffer and very hard to install it and the rod when reassembling - I actually use a 22 cleaning rod fed thru the front into the spring to keep it straight while pushing the rod fwd to where it needs to be).

It also appeared they installed a new striker at least parts of it (spring) is different color than before.

As I said - all worked OK except the one fail to feed (bullet wedged at base of ramp, actually the bullet contacts the wedge below the center point of the bullet - seems should load). So, sort of like you modifying the bottom of the Feed Ramp, but I went a bit more extreme. I modified the bottom of the fed ramp by thinning it and actually making it a bit "U" shaped (very slight 'U") VS straight across. Maybe help understand if I say - looking down at the ramp from top of barrel, see slight "U".

I probably have ran 100 or maybe 200 thru it since with no failures. That includes some aluminum case, and some flat nose (stuff I bought from a friend that sold his 380). Anyway, lately I am satisfied with the gun and find it fun to shoot.

Biggest problem now is that it is a 380 and AMMO is more expensive than 9MM by $0.05 or $0.10 a round (shoot 100 rounds, talking $5 or $10 - Ain't worth it to practice). And, I am not sure I want to mess with pocket carry -- trade it when AMMO is gone (Maybe trade, doubt get more than $50 out of it).
 

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I don't have a Spectrum (never liked the looks of it) but I do have several other Taurus .380's. I purchased a bunch of .380 ammo from Cabelas when they were phasing out the Herters line for $9.55 per 50ct box (.19 per round). Those prices included sales tax (shipping was free). There can be some cheap .380 ammo out there from time to time but it takes patience. The worst part about it is not wanting to buy in bulk when you haven't run that brand through at least once.

If I could only get $50 out of a gun, I'd keep it, even if I never purchased ammo for it again. I can't imagine ever selling a gun I purchased without thinking some day I would regret it. If one of my Tauruses ever breaks down, I will reluctantly exchange it for the replacement-of-the-day, but I'll still be wishing I hadn't parted with it.

(Of course, both you and my wife might want to say I'm a hoarder).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sad thing that got me started with 380s (the HI-Point) to try a 380 was price of $129.99 or was it $119.99 for gun, and $8.99 for box of 50 rounds of 380 AMMO at FLoyd's Golf and Guns in Sevierville, TN. I decided $8,99 was cheap as most 9MM I buy, so might as well buy the gun.

BTW, it was Browning AMMO (Brass 95gm FMJ), add sales tax of course (near 9% here). I might add Floyd's often has pretty good AMMO Prices ($7.99 to $8.99 for 9MM, have bought some 22LR (Remington Thunderbolt and Blazer for $12.99 for 500 rounds - usually $14.99).

I had some of the $8.99 380 left over when I traded the Hi-Point for the Spectrum. Floyd later ran out of the $8.99 and set a new supply out (same brand) for $12.99. JUST GUESSING, but I think they erroneously priced the first batch. :confused:

I did pick up 5 or 6 boxes to start with and maybe 2 or 3 more later (for the Hi-Point 380). Beyond that the best I have done was a 300 round order on Target Web Site (not the Target Stores). I don't remember the price, but thought it was better than the $12.99 plus tax per 50 rounds.

So, not often beat the $12.99 for 50 rounds (add say $1.20 tax). Be about $0.28 a round (380s not worth it --rather shoot 9MM at $0.17 a round or $0.20 per round). Get more practice with your carry gun or just target shoot if that is whet you do.

I do like this little 380 (fun since it shoots) and might keep it if can buy AMMO reasonable. Recent bought 5 boxes (50 rounds each) at $10 a box from a friend that got rid of his 380 (no tax on that, so $0.20 per round). About same as 9mm.

As far as keeping a gun that I don't use, one that is new for $119 or $129 plus tax and background check, I just as soon sell it for $50 as to let it set. I don't collect guns, rather use $50 to buy AMMO or a different gun. To Each His Own on keeping or selling.
 

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I used to have a Taurus PT-738 TCP that shot .380. It was a good little pocket-carry gun. Then it started to have failure to eject (FTE) problems. I sent it back to Taurus, and they said that they couldn't fix it. They offered me a new Spectrum as a replacement, but I didn't like what I had read about the Spectrum on this forum. I asked if I could get a G2C instead, and Taurus approved.
I did get a Ruger LCP-II to replace the 738 as a pocket pistol. It's almost exactly the same, but has much better reliablilty.
Then this last February, I picked up a Bersa Thunder 380. It's a clone of James Bond's Walther. My wife likes that gun.
Other than those two, most of my handguns are 9mm.
 

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Heard to many bad things about the Spectrum that I never had any interest in buying one. Just my opinion.
 

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Two words; start reloading.
ahh yep!--IF you have the time to do it!
380-9 MM -38 Super runs me right about 6.00-6.25 per box for FMJ loads, self defense ammo is about 10 Bucks or so a box of 50, depends if its regular JHP or all copper.
and you can load them closer to SAAMI pressure like the cartridge was designed to operate on.
 

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Reloading for me is part of the sport, prefer my ammo over commercial, I can reload for recoil and accuracy. Far too many unreliable commercial ammo out there in my opinion.
I've got it backwards

I shoot, to support my reloading habit.

:D
 

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I have two G-42's in my even dozen pocket 380's all the rest are different makes and models including a Spectrum. I have shot my Spectrum enough to trust mine to work. I like it, but I love my Springfield 911 (Three times the price, I should) and it is hard to beat the LCP II. My Son EDC's a J-Frame or a Spectrum, mostly the Spectrum, he has shot his a lot.
I don't shoot a lot of 380, but not because of cost. With most guns it just becomes painful after several magazines. Pain does not cause me fun. I pay about 21 cents a round currently for 100 Gr flat nose FMJ from LAX Ammo, yes that's 4 cents a round higher than 155 Gr 9 MM FMJ. Let's do the math on say 200 rounds $8 more. I can afford that as little as I shoot.
I also shoot a lot of 40 and less, but more than 380, of 357 Sig and 10 MM.
I'll try to shoot the Spectrum more just to get a higher round count, but right now I am happy enough with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not much to add about my Spectrum except that it has been reliable after received it back from it's second trip to TAURUS for repairs.
I repeat a bit on the repair history:
1) Fail to Fire out the box after cleaning before use required multiple trigger pulls to fire a round (2 to 4 attempts). That was fixed that when it was returned the first time based on 68 rounds of use.
2) Next time at the range had Lock Back While Shooting, noted the Lock Back lever did not have any spring tension holding it down in the non-lock back position (assume it was bouncing up during recoil and catching the slide). The gun came back with a new Recoil Spring (not sure what that was about), and also noticed the striker had been modified based on the color of the components (red to blue), and apparently fixed the spring on the Lock Back Lever as it has tension holding it down now.

Anyway, the gun has worked since return the second repair cycle.

PS: I did modify the Feed Ramp bottom edge by filing a slight "u" shape vs a straight across edge. That to correct a couple of Fail to Feeds I have had where the nose of the bullet (below the point of the bullet) wedged into the lower edge of the feed ramp. I repeat that the bullet below the point of the bullet was lodged into the feed ramp lower edge (actually can see a slight gouge in the bullet).

One would think that a bullet making contact with the feed ramp below the point of it's nose would feed on UP the ramp and likely into the barrel. I thought a less flat straight sharp square edge on the feed ramp would help the bullet go on up into the barrel. So, I cut a slight "U" shape into the lower edge of the ramp (describe that - looking down at the ramp from the top, see a slight "U" shape).

I like shooting the gun, like the feel vs other small guns, and I am pretty accurate (for me) with it despite the trigger pull (double action and a bit scratchy before the break point).

BTW, the trigger pull seems to be less scratchy than when new. I did put a tiny bit of gun oil in the striker, and I suspect it has worn smoother from use.

I am still not a 380 fan, mostly because of extra cost of AMMO. Typically $0.04 /$0.05 or more per round than say 9MM. That is $4 / $5 or more on a 100 rounds and irks me every time I shoot a box or two. However, at $129.99 (typical prices now), if you want a 380, I recommend it. The Lifetime Warranty and apparently TAURUS is giving service is a PLUS as well.
 

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I see no use for a gun with that many issues. I do shoot and carry 380, I probably have a dozen pistols in that caliber. A Ruger LCP can be had for a little more than a Spectrum, and since the LCP II came out you can get a used one dirt cheap. Heck, I once bought a pink one for 190 bucks, with 8 mags included! Sold the gun and kept 7 mags.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Still seems 380 is $0.05 to $0.07 per round higher than 9MM - 100 rounds is $5 or $7. Sad, cause I like shooting this little 380 (I do, I just limit shooting it).

Posted these pictures under a topic regarding Recoil Spring Installation. There is talk of more coils on some springs. The last repair TAURUS did on mine (for a broken Lock Back Lever Spring), they also replaced the Recoil Spring and a change to the Striker (had repairs to striker before due to Fail to fire). All been good now - runs good.

Anyway, the new Recoil Spring seemed harder to install and some thought some springs have more coils. Mine has 18 which seems 17 or 18 is minimum seen.
IMG_20191014_221617321_LI (2).jpg

Might as well show Grip paint Job -- don't recommend as paint wears or gets dirty (repainted it a few days ago and shot it once since then). It was black with grey grips before. At least it is different than any other Spectrum and I like the look.
IMG_20191014_222643975.jpg
 

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Might as well show Grip paint Job -- don't recommend as paint wears or gets dirty (repainted it a few days ago and shot it once since then). It was black with grey grips before. At least it is different than any other Spectrum and I like the look.
View attachment 449035

I don't know...before long, we might see Taurus offering that color combination. Your combination is pretty striking.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I would not recommend the Spectrum for various reasons: I don't care much for 380s (VS a 9MM), partly because AMMO cost is typically 5 to 7 cents more per round for 380; It still has some failures (more on that below) despite the fact it has been very reliable since the 2nd fix by TAURUS and my slight modification of the Feed Ramp. All those problems and repairs are discussed above and I will not expand on it here (except to say that TAURUS Customer Service was satisfactory).

I will say, I like the feel of the gun for a small (pocket Carry gun) and it is fun to shoot, and I am pretty accurate with it (considering it is me shooting and I primarily use it as a point Aim Shoot gun.

As I said, it has been very reliable since the second repairs, EXCEPT the last time at the range visits.

Don't remember any problems this range visit, Jan 22, 2020

DSCN9529.jpg

Then this on Feb 12, 2020. Tried to show that the Fail To Feed was due to the Bullet being wedged between the Slide and the Feed Ramp with the bullet making contact with the feed ramp at a point just above the center of the bullet (picture not real clear - so I marked the bullet point).

No way it would slide on up the ramp. As a matter of fact it is so tightly wedged between the slide and the ramp that the MAG will not release. You have to pull the slide back and lock it to relieve the pressure to release the MAG. It is like the bullets comes out of the MAG to horizontal and hits the Feed Ramp.

NOTE: the mid I did to the edge of the Feed Ramp was to allow bullets that hit below center point to go on up the ramp (and I have not had that failure since that Mod).


DSCN9726.jpg

DSCN9728.jpg

As far as shooting - not my best, but OK.

DSCN9730.jpg
 

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I'd thought that I read all the Spectrum threads before buying one but don't recall reading this one. Anyway, it appears that the problem is by design as I had to reshape the bottom of the feed ramp on mine also. I'm surprised that Taurus hadn't discovered this problem at some point and made a change themselves. I can't even imagine how much they've spent for shipping back and forth under warranty to fix problem Spectrums.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'd thought that I read all the Spectrum threads before buying one but don't recall reading this one. Anyway, it appears that the problem is by design as I had to reshape the bottom of the feed ramp on mine also. I'm surprised that Taurus hadn't discovered this problem at some point and made a change themselves. I can't even imagine how much they've spent for shipping back and forth under warranty to fix problem Spectrums.
I imagine cost them a lot. The Feed Problem shows up on some U-Tube presentations and I think one guy had it on the nose: The bullet comes out of the MAG too "Horizontal", that is not sloped enough to let the bottom of the projectile hit the ramp at an angle.

I wonder if there is a fix, seems would have to change the design completely, maybe just change the angle of the bullets in the Mag.

I have had some Fail To Feed where the bullet actually wedged into the feed ramp at a point below the center of the projectile. I think that problem has been corrected on my gun by modification of the bottom of the feed ramp from a straight line to a slight "U". That makes it easier for the bullet to feed on up the ramp.

Course that will not stop a Fail To Feed when the projectile hits the feed ramp above the center of the projectile (as it did in the pictures above). Actually, that is the first time that happened since the second time I got the gun back from Taurus and did my modification of the feed ramp with the "U". Their repairs BTW were not related to that issue but to Fail To Fire (1st return) and a broken Lock Back Lever Spring (2nd return).

The gun has been very reliable (until the recent Fail To Fire and this Fail to Feed). Anyway, not reliable enough to want it for a carry gun, and AMMO is too expensive for just fun or target shooting. That said, I do like shooting it. I think when my supply of AMMO is gone, so will the Spectrum 380 be gone and Never Another 380 for me (stick to 22s and 9MMs).
 
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