Easy to operate, lightweight, practically invisible, and so comfortable you’ll forget it’s there—that’s the secret to this personal defender
by Yok Re
Most carry concealed practitioners have evolved since they first started carrying a defensive pistol. Many of us began by carrying not the most practical handgun for concealment, but the one we figured would be best suited for personal defense. Inevitably, that meant a medium-frame pistol in 9mm or larger caliber.
Then, reality hit home on two fronts.
First, most medium-frame pistols are rarely comfortable to carry all day even with a top-notch, ergonomic holster, and they are difficult to conceal unless you’re wearing a loose overshirt or jacket.
Second, real life isn’t like the Wild West or an action flick. Twenty and 30 yard engagements, shooting around barricades…those are the exceptions rather than the norms in a personal defense scenario. Closer distances in the zero- to seven-yard range are the more likely distances a person will engage an assailant.
With these realizations, the evolving CCW practitioner often moves toward a lighter pistol—one that is smaller, easier to carry, less visible in lightweight street clothes, yet can neutralize a threat within the “typical” danger zone of under four or five yards.
The downside of carrying diminutive pistols, however, is that they can be more challenging to draw from concealment due to their smaller size, holster configuration, and their propensity to snag on clothing or for your fingers to stumble in your clothing as you grip and draw.
Recognizing these several issues, the engineers at Taurus set about to develop a new handgun that solved the common problems with carry concealed weapons—carrying the weapon comfortably and concealed—while acknowledging the close-quarter nature of most defensive engagements. The result was the Taurus Curve®, an innovative, out-of-the box concept that, quite frankly, has no peer in the shooting industry.
The Curve is a subcompact, small-frame semi-automatic pistol chambered in .380 Auto. It has several features that set it apart from other compact carry handguns, but none more notable than its curved frame. This frame follows your body’s contour so that it hugs tight and discreetly. The ergonomic profile not only makes for a comfortable carry, the form-following frame minimizes and, for some wearers, eliminates printing so that no one can see you’re carrying.
Another thing you’ll notice about the Curve is that there are no sharp edges or corners. The black polymer frame is smoothly contoured to further enhance comfort and to eliminate snagging on draw. This monolithic frame construction also provided engineers an opportunity to add a couple of features that, by themselves, are rarely offered in competing subcompacts, and are never offered together. Built into the front of the pistol are dual LEDs for low-light illumination and a laser for day or nighttime aiming.
Aside from its shape, one of the most obvious distinctions between the Curve and other handguns is the lack of a front and rear sight. Because of its close-quarter application, and to ensure a no-snag profile, the Curve uses a bore-axis sighting system. This is simply a crosshair pattern built into the back of the receiver that aligns with the bore axis. You center the crosshair on your target and fire. Shooting with both eyes open (which you should do in any case) and aligning the sight with your dominant eye allows you to see both the target and the line of sight simultaneously. As you can imagine, this is not a sighting system for extended-range shooting, but for typical defensive engagement ranges it will allow you to hit center mass on your threat.
A holster is not needed to carry the Curve. There is a built-in waistband clip that lets you carry the gun IWB or in your pocket. Trigger protection comes with an included trigger shield that snaps over the trigger guard. To this is secured a lanyard that you can tie to your belt or belt loop. The trigger stays covered while the Curve is “holstered,” but upon draw, the lanyard pulls the trigger cover off so you can quickly engage the trigger.
We were understandably unsure what to expect when we first shot the Curve on the range. Surprisingly, the unique profile did not feel strange or awkward in our hand. The bore-axis sighting system took a couple of mags to get used to, but it wasn’t long before sight picture alignment came naturally. The big challenge was getting used to the trigger pull. Not only does the Curve have a long-travel trigger (probably as an added safety consideration), the action is double-action only, requiring the trigger to be fully extended and then pulled back for each successive shot.
After running through several mags of .380 Auto, we became comfortable with the Curve’s unconventional design. Magazine swaps are a deliberate, two-hand operation, but nothing you can’t get used to. As for accuracy, we won’t win any 20-yard competitions with this one, but that’s not what the Curve was designed for. As a highly concealable, highly comfortable, and highly effective close-range defensive pistol, this is one subcompact that gets our nod.
TAURUS CURVE SPECIFICATIONS
Model #: 180CRVL
Finish: matte blue
Caliber: .380 Auto
Capacity: 6 +1
Weight: 10.2 oz.
Barrel Length: 2.7 in.
Height: 3.7 in.
Width: 1.18 in.
Length: 5.2 in.
Safety: magazine disconnect, loaded chamber indicator
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