Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Taurus TCP 738 .380 ACP

OK, you might be looking at this and thinking "Hey Joe, in case you haven't noticed it's the middle of winter.  Why are you reviewing a .380 pocket pistol?"  The answer my friend is blowing in the cold wind:  you want to buy it now so that you have several months to practice with it and become proficient before shorts and sandals season is upon us.  Also, you can start carrying it now as a back-up gun.  I believe it was the late, great NYPD gun fighter Jim Cirillo who said "If you need one gun, you probably need two" and this makes a dandy second gun.

Let's delve into the specifications.  With the Taurus 738 TCP here's what you get:

  • A 6 + 1 round capacity
  • A weight of 10.2 ounces
  • A 2.84 inch barrel
  • An overall length of 5.25 inches
  • A height of 3.25 inches 
  • A width of .8 inches
  • A smooth double action with a trigger pull of 4.8 pounds.
  • Very small fixed sights
Let's start with the sights.  They are very small but they get the job done.  This is not a long distance shooter although at 40 feet it gave me a large grouping that would all be center mass hits.

The front sight blade is angled so that the ambient light shines on it making it a light gray in contrast to the darker rear sights.

There is a nice curvature to the back strap which makes the pistol sit well in your hand and puts the web of your hand underneath the rear of the slide which helps you keep control of the little pistol during recoil.

The magazine and slide releases are very flat.  They are easy to operate while helping to keep the overall package as flat as it can be.  The slim design along with the 10.2 ounces in weight make this pistol very easy to carry all day long in your pant's pocket.  You'll also note that I have opted for two accessories to improve the pistol's shootablilty.  The first is the Pearce finger extension that easily slides onto the 738's magazine.  It still does not allow me to get three fingers on the grip but I can get two on it which makes the pistol more comfortable and accurate to shoot.  The second accessory is a Pachmayr grip glove which gives me a better purchase on the grips and makes accurate follow-up shots faster. 

So, let's take a look at the targets:

Here's 7 rounds of Hornady Critical Defense 90 grain FTX ammo shot at 21 feet.

Here's 13 rounds of Mag Tech 90 FMJ ammo shot at 21 feet.

Here's 17 rounds of Mag Tech ammo shot at 30 feet.

And here's 20 rounds of Mag Tech ammunition fired at 40 feet.  Certainly a larger group but they all would have been solid hits.

When I went to the gun shop looking for a pocket carry micro .380 ACP I was looking for three qualities: light weight, value for my money, and a good trigger pull. There were plenty of micro .380's on display but the smooth 4.8 pound trigger pull on the 738 TCP along with it's lower price sold me.  It's not too early to think of what you might want to carry in the Spring and Summer and I would urge you to take a look at the Taurus 738 TCP.


Al said...

Price aside the Kahr 380 seems also like a good bet - good review as usual and I like the thinking planning ahead that is

Al said...

Price aside the Kahr 380 is on my list- I had the P238 but I believe the DAO is a better way to go in pocket carry

Anonymous said...

Knowing that you and the Gun Nation boys are not fans of Taurus in general, your validation of the TCP as a valid budget friendly option has sold me. Thanks Joe!

Anonymous said...

Honestly buying one this gun was the biggest waste of money next to paying taxes.this gun given me nothing but problems. I have yet to shoot an entire box without it jamming. I sent it back to Taurus to have them fix the problem (great customer service). but the problem was still there when i got it back just not as bad. I do love the size of this gun and i have a wonderful ccw pocket case for it but would by no means ever trust it with my life or ever rely upon it for self defense.Sorry for the bad review but it is what it is.

Papa said...

Just bought 2 of these a couple of weeks ago, one for my wife and one for myself. Had 2 Dead Primers with cheap gunshow ammo but no jams while shooting 4 brands of ammo. It doesn't like to feed the first round of Hornady defense ammo - because of the rough pointed tips I think - but a rap on the slide and it goes in. Never failed to feed while firing almost 200 rounds. It's our every day carry and/or backup to our 40S&Ws now.

MeMyselfAndEye said...

I own two TCPs. Great guns. absolutely flawless operation so far.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I bought a CZ P07 Duty you reviewed and now one of these Taurus pistols.
Maybe I should just look at your listing and go from there for my next purchase :)

KCM said...

I have enjoyed the site's review as well as those from present owners.
I will go to my local gun shop in the next day or two to see how it feels. I've been looking for a .380 for quite a while and the reviews on the Taurus on this site as well as others recently have me optimistic that I may have found my pocket pistol.

Thanks for your review.


Anonymous said...

Watch your grip has to be firm to allow proper slide action,no limp wrist

Unknown said...

I think the Taurus .380 is a decent gun. Shoots a little off and I had to paint marks on the aim pointers to see where I'm aiming. Has a great kick, but discharged the casings backwards, therefore hitting me in the forehead a couple times. I do like the size as I can carry it in my purse in a small handbag and if I need to use it in sure it will get the job done. Good handgun for the price.

Unknown said...

Try an an American made magazine. The Brazilian made mags have a bad rep for failure to feeds.