Throughout history, concealed carry has had several connotations—effectively concealed and “just covered,” as when a gunfighter slapped on a duster or long tailcoat and called it good. There have been some innovative efforts to actually conceal handguns, mainly in the holster arena. Belt and inside-the-waistband (IWB) holsters add bulk and discomfort for some, while pocket carry is usually pretty slow and awkward on the draw, leading to many innovations and workarounds.
In the mid to late 1800s, gun carriers were known to stuff revolvers in their waistband, held in place by only a flipped-open loading gate. In fact, the Texas Rangers are credited with using string to make a loop inside their pants to hold handguns in place until needed, an improvement on carry methods where only waistband pressure secured the handgun in place.
With all of the discomfort, snagging and printing irritations, it seems strange that other than de-horning or radiusing the heck out of the handgun, makers have not enthusiastically addressed the problem.
Taurus is billing its new U.S.-made Curve as the “gun you wear,” saying it is “engineered to fit the contours of your body.” The curved frame of the Taurus Curve fits body contours better. I did not ask Taurus exactly how they decided on the name “Curve,” but it definitely fits well. I suspect the curved frame was the impetus for the name, but one has only to pick a Curve up to see there are no angles or sharp edges on this pistol. It’s a pistol built with flowing lines curving to meet one another.
Fast on Target
The Taurus Curve is the culmination of the company’s efforts to correct many common concealed-carry difficulties, including size, weight and printing potential. As a solution, the Taurus Curve’s slide is only 1.18 inches wide, it weighs only 10.2 ounces and all sharp edges on the pistol have been de-horned so any printing will look innocuous.
All too often, concealed carriers try to minimize their pistol’s bulk by choosing .22 LR- or .25 ACP-chambered pistols. The Curve is chambered in .380 ACP, the caliber many feel is the minimum for an effective defensive caliber. A concealed-carry handgun should be quick into action, and the Curve is that. Again, there are no snag points with the edges radiused, the design has fluid curves everywhere (a small portion of the muzzle is swept back to match the curves) and there are no sights on the slide.
Once the Curve is free of the waistband, holster or pocket, there are two choices for aiming. Don’t just point and fire—utilize the pistol’s Bore-Sight System on the rear of the slide (coinciding with the barrel bore) by centering its white cross on the assailant’s torso, or you can activate the frame-mounted LaserLyte white light/red laser, which is activated by pressing a switch fitted flush into the pistol’s frame.
Other potential snag points, including external safeties, slide releases and thumb magazine releases, are all missing on the gun. Taurus is serious about making the Curve concealed-carry friendly; any place you look you’ll find smooth surfaces.
As long as you carry the Curve on your belt, the only reason you would need a holster is personal preference. The Curve arrives with a reversible belt clip that will certainly hold it in place. As an added safety measure, even though a stiff 6.25-pound, double-action-only (DAO) trigger is used on the gun, Taurus includes a polymer trigger protector with a paracord lanyard attached. Slip your belt though the paracord loop and the trigger protector will be yanked off the Curve during the draw.
The Curve can be carried solely using the trigger protector as a holster, though I’m not sure just how the trigger protector could be incorporated into pocket carry without finding a way to secure the lanyard in the pocket.
Using the belt clip and trigger protector, or just the trigger protector for belt carry, results in the trigger protector in the same condition after drawing—dangling from the paracord lanyard and needing to be reinstalled. Reinstallation is the perfect opportunity to accidentally sweep your support hand. Attach the trigger protector with care, snapping it up from the bottom of the frame. Don’t force it on from any other direction.
On every magazine, plastic clips, each flush with the frame, extend upward from the baseplate into the frame. The left one is pressed inward to remove magazines, rather than the traditional thumb or finger magazine-release method. I envision the Curve carried in a pocket in an appropriate holster. Even with a holster in the pocket, thumb-release magazines have been known to pop free from a pistol. But that won’t happen with the Curve.
As mentioned, Taurus did a lot of thinking about the design of the Curve, which in times past would have been called a “belly gun.” Three traits should make the Curve especially attractive to users with less upper body strength. The gun’s locked-breech design should reduce felt recoil as well as reduce the recoil spring weight needed to operate the gun, and its snakeskin cocking serrations on the slide provide a sure gripping surface. Translation: You get less recoil and it’s easier to rack the slide.
Everything about the Curve made me want to spend some time with it at the range. I threw a couple of boxes of full metal jacket (FMJ) ammunition in a bag, along with a few more of my test ammunition, and away we went.
Accuracy testing wasn’t as big of a draw as putting the Curve through its paces doing what the Curve does best—handling bad-breath-distance confrontations. I put quite a few rounds downrange from a variety of positions. I was pleased the recoil was as light as anticipated, and the pistol handled well. I was equally impressed by the accuracy the Curve displayed—shots fired on the move (retreating or laterally) at “too close” targets clustered in the 0-zone of an IDPA target at distances of 5 to 7 yards.
Headshots (preferred, but extremely difficult on moving heads) while standing still succeeded over 75 percent of the time, but that should improve with more time with the heavy trigger. It’s not something I’d want to try in a real situation, at least not without lots more work. But if I needed to try it, I think the Curve could probably do its part.
With my handling familiarization out of the way, I settled down for the accuracy portion of my testing. Surprised does not begin to describe me after the smoke cleared and I saw a tiny group 7 yards away. Time after time, the Curve produced extremely small groups. I had to work the trigger with care, but the Taurus curve has such accuracy in it. Taurus kept saying the Curve was designed with distances of 7 yards and under in mind, and I guess they were right!
My time at the range brought a couple of things to light. Using the belt clip on the Curve puts the pistol too low for me to draw smoothly or quickly. It does, however, locate the Curve perfectly for much more inconspicuous carrying, where you could hopefully get a grip on the pistol surreptitiously. However, using the Taurus trigger protector to simulate one of the mentioned holsters worked very well!
During all of this testing I had two failures to feed—both on the third shot, both from the same magazine, but with different ammunition for each. For a carry pistol, buying as many magazines as possible only makes sense, and it will provide an easy solution for problems in the feed system.
The Taurus Curve was designed for concealed carriers looking for a truly compact pistol in .380 ACP for all-day, everyday carry. The belt clip and laser/light sighting system are unexpected but very appreciated extras, and I found myself liking the Bore-Sight System after some practice on the range. The trigger protector and loaded-chamber indicator are also both good ideas.
For anyone in the market for a compact, accurate, snag-proof pistol, the Taurus Curve would be an ideal choice. After all, that’s what the Taurus team was designing when they started work on the Curve—and that’s what they delivered!
For more information, visit http://www.taurususa.com or call 800-327-3776.