Time to fess up… you judge a gun by its cover. We jump all over a nice looking gun before we know how well it functions. What is the normal reaction to a Hi-Point? “It’s ugly.” I really admire a gun manufacturer who pays attention to the aesthetic design of its guns. Taurus hit the bullseye with the modern-looking Taurus 738 TCP by making a pocket pistol that is not only pleasant to the eyes, but functions reliably and accurately. The Taurus 738 TCP is perfect for women, conceal carry, a back-up gun and especially for the price—just to add to your collection.
Upon first notice, the Taurus 738 TCP has precise contoured lines in the slide and frame. However, this little .380 ACP pocket pistol has features specific to conceal carry, such as its rounded triggerguard and molded-in fixed sights. Little details such as these makes it easy to draw from you pocket snag- and worry-free.
The controls on the gun are minimal. There are no external safeties and only two buttons—a slide release and a magazine release.
Working just as well as other .380s, the Taurus boasts extra features you will not find on higher-priced concealed carry pistols. Taurus; 738 locks the slide open when empty and features a loaded chamber indicator to the 738 TCP.
When you pick up the Taurus 738 TCP, you immediately notice its weight—or lack there of. Without a magazine, the 738 weighs only 10.2 ounces. The grip on the Taurus is small. When gripping the gun, the end of the grip reaches about the middle of my palm. The Pearce grip extension will give you a bit more real estate to grab. I love how the Taurus 738 TCP feels in my hand; the weight and size make it comfortable to not only hold but conceal well.
That is my favorite thing about the 738—its concealability. You do not have to change your wardrobe around carrying it. Especially important to women, the ease and comfort of carrying a gun without having to change or adapt from what you normally wear, means a lot.
As with all small handguns with short barrels—the 738’s barrel is 2.84 inches—the gun is going to snap when you shoot it. Surprisingly, the 738’s kick is less than its bite. To soften the recoil, Hogue’s Handall Jr. rubber grip helps with the sting.
When you compare all the pocket .380s, in my opinion, there is not much difference in trigger pulls. These little power houses have longer trigger pulls than full-sized double-action polymer pistols such as Glock, Springfield XD or S&W M&P. Taurus customer service tells me the trigger pull on the 738 TCP is 10 to 12 pounds, but when shooting it doesn’t feel that heavy. If you shoot revolvers, the trigger pull on the 738 will be no surprise. If you aren’t used to shooting revolvers, the trigger pull on the Taurus will just take getting used to. The more you practice with your 738, the more you will know when the trigger is going to break.
The Taurus 738 TCP is accurate out to 10 yards, which is about where you want to train for self-defense purposes. Shots are consistent in groups relative to the hot spot in the chest area. Frankly, that is all I’m concerned with in the performance of a concealed carry handgun. Don’t push this gun beyond its performance capabilities. That just sets yourself up for disappoint. The Taurus 738 TCP is a gun you buy for concealed carry and self-defense. There is no reason to push it beyond its limits.
The fixed molded-in sights are basic, also low profile and snag-free. Other small .380s have rudimentary sights at best, so I consider the 738 TCP’s sights as a slight upgrade. Other pocket .380 pistols’ sights are hard to use and can create problems when drawing from a holster.
Two features of the Taurus 738 help put this gun on the top of my list—it can be carried safely with a round in the chamber and Taurus’ unlimited lifetime repair policy.
The Taurus 738 makes an excellent Christmas present, especially if budget is a concern. Don’t forget to throw in an extra magazine and some self-defense ammunition.
Specifications and Features:
- .380 ACP caliber
- 2.84″ barrel
- 6-round magazine
- Double action only
- Compact polymer frame
- Blued steel slide finish
- Fixed sights
- Checkered polymer grip
- 10.2 oz