Legendary trainer Clint Smith says carrying concealed handguns is "comforting, not comfortable". Today's holster makers might disagree, but Smith's right. Guns are hunks of metal with plenty of angles. Even when "melted" to soften edges, they're far less malleable than our bodies.
Small handguns aren't any different from their larger kin. Polymer frames and diminutive size notwithstanding, there's no give to them. When pushed into something - car seat, pair of pants or flesh- they're not what's going to give.
With the possible exception of the USFA Zip 22 (www.zipfactory.com) there have been few major deviations from the proven basic configurations for handguns in a very long time. And the Zip 22 is definitely not designed for concealed carry.
But does a radical departure from traditional thinking really require a radical departure from the accepted "look" of a handgun?
Taurus doesn't think so.
And they're betting the new gun they're announcing in today's news section will prove them right. They call it the CURVE . And they're betting this new little .380 ACP will be far more attractive to you than their numerous competitors, proving their tagline "the gun you wear".
Here's the radical departure in the new CURVE (top) the grip (bottom) is well, curved. Taurus photos with permission
They're betting you'll buy it for comfort.
And that's where some of you may have -apologies to Clint Eastwood - trouble with the curve.
The grip on Taurus' new "mouse gun" is curved
The gun's designers tell me the soft, but distinct curvature is a compelling-enough reason to give the Curve a try.
Especially if you're tired of being poked, prodded or printed by your current carry gun.
Two weeks ago I got a first-hand look at their production-ready guns. Non-working prototypes were shown nearly three years ago, but the finished guns are decided improvements. The most noticeable change is a softening of the gun's edges. The softening a custom gunmaker gets when "melting" the edges of factory guns eliminate annoyingly sharp edges that not only poke, but seem to hang the gun up -often at the worst possible times..
At first, it's softened edges make the Curve appear "comfortable", but the absence of obvious sights didn't make it look "comforting". It actually has a sighting system, but it's a crosshair system on the back of the gun explained to me as a basic bore-axis sight system.
Because the Curve sits very low on the hand - that crosshair system supposedly makes it possible to point and shoot -using the crosshair on the back to hit to the approximate center of the target.
I didn't "get it". And I'm not going to try and explain it. A new shooter will probably find it makes perfect sense. But I have hard-coded bad habits.
Besides...the Curve comes with a built-in light/laser combination from LaserLyte. And the integrated combo does not stick outside the gun's softly rectangular shape.
On the range shooters had no problem putting hits on the laser-generated targets. Shooting at 7 yards, hits were quick and accurate-once you figured out the feeling of the curved grip. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photo
When shooting at computer-generated projected targets the LaserLyte combo worked, although the white-light did cause some washing-out on the computer-generated images. But as you can see in the photos, the laser did enable fast- and accurate - hits on the targets at ranges beyond the ideal range of tiny guns: point-blank.
I had trouble getting initial rounds on target because I seemed to constantly be moving my hand trying to get the vertical feeling I am accustomed to. Small changes in alignment make big differences with very small guns.a
Manipulating the LaserLyte switch also gave me some problems. At first, I turned on the light/laser; then cocked the pistol. Several times, cocking turned them off and I was fumbling around trying to get them turned back on.
Reversing the order prevented my accidentally turning off the light/laser. Despite my basic fumbling around, it wouldn't be a problem in a carry situation. The Curve would already be cocked and ready- I'd only have to switch on the light/laser. But a grip switch might simplify the process.
Personal problems addressed, the gun shot accurately for more than 100 rounds in pretty short order. There were no mis-feeds and while it heated up- as you'd expect- it didn't throw rounds.
It will be easy to tell if your dealer has the Curve in stock. The new orange color is designed to stand out in a crowd. And the box is- you guessed it- curved.
The Curve comes with a couple of features that may have you scratching your head.
The first: an odd-looking trigger cover -with a lanyard. The second: a clip ike a pocket knife. Together they're Taurus' answer to what they call a problem with all holsters: a compact pistol - wrapped in a holster- quickly morphs into something less than compact shape.
With very few exceptions, pocket holsters work best in bigger, baggier pockets.
Carrying any gun loose in a pocket is a bad idea. But Taurus' requests for "new" holsters only brought "variations on a tried-and-true theme".
So they looked at eliminating the need for holsters.
The belt clip and trigger guard do that if
you're open to the idea of fastening the trigger guard lanyard to your belt. Fastened that way, you can either clip the gun inside your pants or just drop it into a pocket. A quick -FIRM - yank then pops off the trigger guard and the gun's ready to go from the pocket or clipped to the belt.
It worked for me, but took some getting accustomed to.
Is the Curve a precision pistol? No.
But we were shooting Curves at ranges beyond what you'd normally anticipate from a gun designed for last-ditch personal-defense situations. "Backup guns" are exactly that- intended to be used "up close and personal" - certainly at no more than six to ten feet.
That's the reason I have no problem with the absence of top-mounted sights - and like the laser/light combo. My handguns all have sights, but I wouldn't reply on them in "fluid situations". From a tiny, but potent North American Arms .22 Magnum to my full-sized M&P pro in 9mm or Wilson Combat CQB in .45ACP, they all have lasers. For me, lasers work. And I'm not going to draw any gun unless it's an emergency situation. Even then, I'll be headed away from the action if possible.
Capable of carrying 6 + 1 rounds and weighing only10.2 ounces and packing an equally small MSRP of $392 -with light/laser combo and no reason for a holster (unless you want one) the Curve is one of those interesting backup guns you might want to consider for personal protection.
TAURUS CURVE SPECS
Model: Taurus Curve
Caliber: .380 ACP
Action: Double Action Only (DAO)
Capacity: 6+1 rounds
Barrel Length: 2.5 in
Overall Length: 5.18 in
Overall Height: 3.7 in
Overall Width: 1.18 in (0.88 in grip)
Lights/Laser: Integrated LaserLyte® System
Trigger Pull: 5-7 pounds
Weight: 10.2 ounces (unloaded)
Materials: 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