Sunday, July 15, 2012

Taurus M380 Makeover

When I was out on the range yesterday, I took along the Taurus M380 mini revolver.  It has been too many weeks since I last shot this little guy.  As always, it was really fun to shoot, but the heavy weight 12+ lb. trigger started getting on my nerves after about 25 rounds down range.  When I initially reviewed the revolver, I mentioned the heavy trigger pull and secretly hoped it would smooth out over time.  Unfortunately, the trigger hasn't improved so I decided that I needed to find out why things were not improving.

Even before I put the first tool to the pistol, I ordered a Wolff Shooter's Pack spring kit for the Taurus 85 series of revolvers.  The kit consists of reduced weight hammer and trigger return springs.  From past experience, I know this is the first step to improving the trigger on any revolver.  I'm not sure if the springs are the right size for the M380, but I'm sure I will know as soon as I get them in hand to compare with the factory springs.  If they won't work I'm out a whopping $7.99.  I've wasted more on less in the past.

Removing the grips was easy.  The side plate also came off a bit too easily as I discovered one of the screws had actually loosened up during shooting.  All 3 side plate screws have boogered up slots, which indicates to me they are soft and the folks doing the assembly at Taurus don't have the correct screwdrivers for the job.  I may replace them before reassembly.  Lifting the side plate, I got a rather unpleasant surprise.  The area with the black circle around it has three pieces of "flash" that were floating around the frame.  I believe there were one or two more, but they ended up in the garbage. 

Looking into the guts of the pistol revealed even more reasons why the trigger feels so gritty.  I'm not sure who's responsible for cleaning up the pistol after bead blasting, but they skipped my pistol.  The entire inside is loaded with blasting media.  It appears that the media has gotten into all the tiny places and pivot points for the hammer and trigger.  I'll get this all flushed out when I swap out the red and green springs with the Wolff replacements.  You can also see where the right side of the trigger is rubbing on the frame when the trigger is pulled so I'll get that buffed up.  You probably can't see it, but the cylinder yoke plunger is also coated with blast media.  Another opportunity to clean stuff up.

I also noticed that the trigger is too long and it bumps up against the trigger guard when the trigger hits max travel.  I didn't take care of it before so now there is a small divot that has worn into the trigger guard.  While I have the trigger out, I'll work on reshaping it so it doesn't rub on the trigger guard.

I'm not in a huge rush to get this done so I'm thinking about sending the trigger, hammer, cylinder release, all screws, and the cylinder off to CCR for matte black Cera-Hide.  I'll have to do more research first because I couldn't logically figure out how to remove the cylinder from the crane assembly.  I was just looking to make sure I had the correct terminology and read that the ejector rod must be unscrewed AND that it is reverse threaded.  Well, now I know why the logical dis assembly I was trying wasn't working.  =)

I also need to find my Flitz.  I know I have some around here and it should be just the ticket for cleaning and buffing up the inside of the frame.  It's been a long time since I took on a project like this, but I'm looking forward to it.  I think it will end up being a lot of work and I hope to have something unique and very nice when I'm done.

I'm sure I could have avoided all this buy purchasing the blue version of the pistol instead of the bead blasted "stainless" model.  Live and learn.

UPDATE  Be sure to check out the latest on the M380.  You can find that HERE.


  1. There's a picture laden thread at on revolver disassembly. They cover removing the cylinder from the crane.

    The internals look very familiar.

    1. Thank you very much. I'll have to set up an account to view the pictures, but I bet this will come in very handy.

  2. Did the Wolff spring kit work out?

    1. I ended up trading for a blue M380 and I'm saving the spring kit upgrade for a Winter project. Should be getting to it soon. I'll post an update on the blog when its done.