Saturday, February 9, 2013

Taurus M380 Makeover Update - Trigger Job

Back in July 2012, I posted an update on the Taurus M380 mini revolver.  This post covered my original plans for the pistol.  I wanted to break it down and make it a two tone revolver by sending several parts off to CCR for matt black refinishing.  Long story short, I called Taurus about the bead blast media left in the pistol when it shipped and that I thought the trigger was far too heavy.  They offered to take a look at the pistol if I would pay to ship it to them.  When I told them the bead blast media left under the side plate was a quality issue, they wouldn't take responsibility.  So the Taurus lifetime warranty is only as good as your willingness to spend $60 or more to ship the pistol back to them for evaluation and there is no guarantee that they will fix anything while they have your pistol.

I ultimately decided to flush the media out myself and trade it in on a blued model.  Even after taking a loss on the trade, I was still better off than paying to ship the original back to Taurus and then sending parts of it off for refinishing.  I had also read up on what it takes to remove the cylinder from the crane and decided that was outside my comfort zone and gun maintenance skill set.

One nice thing about gun folks, we like to share information.  I had a few readers contact me about the Wolff spring kit I had ordered for the M380.  They gave me some great resources to read and also some advice on things they picked up on when they installed the spring kit in their own M380.  Finally, I read through this document before getting started on the spring swap.  It was very helpful.  Taurus Revolver Disassembly Guide

I've been procrastinating about installing the Wolff spring kit for months.  In a way, it worked out for the best because I recently picked up a new camera that allowed me to document the spring swap process in full.  The lighting wasn't great on the bench or at the range, but I thought it worked out ok for a first attempt.

Bottom line on the spring swap upgrade is that for the paltry sum of $8.00 and an hour of your time, you can turn a difficult to shoot revolver with an overweight trigger into a thing of beauty that is a joy to shoot.  In the video I mentioned that the digital trigger pull gauge maxed out at 14 pounds.  It actually has a 12 pound maximum, but I stand by the 14 pound trigger weight estimate since the hammer had not moved even after the trigger had over 12 pounds of force put against it.  After swapping out the springs, the trigger is now about 9.5 pounds.  It's far from smooth through the entire trigger pull, but it's lighter and easier to shoot quickly and accurately.  For a smooth pull, consult with your trusted gunsmith.  Personally, I'm very happy with the pistol now after changing out the springs and installing the boot grips.  I won't be changing anything else.

There is a risk when you do work like this.  If you make the hammer spring too light, the hammer may not hit the firing pin with enough force to reliably detonate the primer.  The primary reason for the trip to the range this afternoon was to verify that the hammer spring wasn't too light to fire my preferred 380 carry rounds.  If you decide to do the spring swap on your M380 it is CRITICAL that you verify your M380 still works reliably with your ammo choices.

If you want to try this on your own M380, here's the spring kit you need to order from Wolff and all their contact information.  I didn't mention it in the video, but don't get rid of your old factory springs.  Just put them back into the factory shipping box in case you need them at a later date.


  1. I did this spring swap and the difference is amazing, I took it out back and shot a few rounds out of it and had a few missfires, turns out the 9# hammer spring wasn't hitting hard enough so I swaped the factory hammer spring back in and is striking fine. It is a bit heavier with the factory hammer spring but with the 6.5# trigger spring it is a lot sweeter to shoot.

  2. Wondering if you have any new info to add 2 years later. I am looking at these revolvers for 2 women's CCW weapons. Any input? Thanks

    1. I think the Kahr CT380 I reviewed earlier this year might be a better option. Check the reviews page.

    2. problem with the Kahr is that it's a pistol not a revolver. Field stripping to clean it would be too much for them. They want something simple. Open the revolver push brush thru. wipe down. Field stripping and even loading a magazine they don't have that much hand strength. For a novice shooter the less complicated the better. I tried getting them to go with a 22 revolver, because of recoil, but they said that was "too small". She has a Millennium but working the slide, trigger, loading magazines, and field strip is just too much for them to enjoy the shooting experience. and if they don't shoot they will not have confidence in a real life shooting experience.

    3. Sorry you had to post this 3x. Due to spammers, I have to approve all comments. I understand your concerns about the care and feeding of a semi-auto. with a world full of 38 revolvers with better triggers, I would go that route. Standard pressure 38 loads shouldn't be overly unpleasant to train with.

  3. I had the same experience as Nick. Swapping the hammer spring caused light strikes, between 60 and 100%. I haven't swapped the old sprint back in yet. Still hoping for some kind of solution, possibly a different transfer bar or perhaps picking a hammer of Taurus 85.