Concealed Carry

I Trust My Life to Taurus

Taurus 738 TCP pistol left side

December 6, 2012, I left the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin after a productive meeting with clients. The hour was late—about 11:30 p.m. Walking to my Jeep Patriot, I noticed an odd sound as I walked to the driver-side door. My feet were crunching on the pavement, yet there was no snow or ice to be found. It looked like there was a great deal of glass on the ground, and there was—from my front windows!

Dress shirt and Taurus TCP laying on a bed.
Well dressed means being well armed.
I am immediately called the police and, while speaking to them over my Bluetooth earpiece, noticed a man standing approximately 100 feet away holding my laptop bag with my auto GPS unit hanging out of one of his pockets. I quickly (without thinking) walked over and demanded he return my goods.

A heated verbal discussion ensued. I informed him that I had the police dispatcher phone, they were on their way, and he needed to drop my things and leave. He did. I bent over and picked up my bag with my laptop (containing dozens of articles, client’s proprietary information, and thousands of personal photos and videos) assuming, incorrectly, that we were done.

As I straightened, I noticed something he was holding his hand at his side and something was in it. It was a gun. He did not point it at me, but he looked at me, cocked his head a little, and implied a threat with his eyes.

“I don’t want trouble,” I said, while casually reaching up to place my right hand in my mid-jacket pocket. “Let it go and leave.” It was then that a woman, standing about five feet away, realized what was going on and screamed.

With his attention directed elsewhere momentarily, my TCP came to hand and out of the pocket. I now had the drop on him, and commanded him not to move. I advised him to stay calm, but affirmed I would shoot if he raised his weapon. Other people began shouting, and he calmly turned from me and ran. Fortunately, for all involved as well as my wife and children, I did not shoot. And in spite of my obvious tactical errors in this situation, neither did I get shot.

I firmly believe the reason I was in a position to protect myself was due to the ease of carry, comfort, dependability, and confidence I had in the accuracy of my daily carry weapon—my Taurus TCP.

Dress shirt and Taurus TCP laying on a bed.
Well dressed means being well armed.
I was first introduced to this gun at the annual SHOT show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Two things that impressed me most about it was it’s compact size and uncanny accuracy for such a compact weapon. From 2 to 10 yards, I can regularly place six shots into the center mass on a body-size target, whether firing slowly or rapidly.

The other was the TCP’s significantly lighter weight than any of my previous carry weapons. While I do my best to dress tactically, I often find myself with khakis, dress pants, or often a suit and tie in my daily role as an executive sales representative. Even in my lightest-weight, best-fitting suit, the TCP goes completely unnoticed in a pocket or ankle holster. It will also ride in the pocket of a lightweight jacket without dragging that side of the jacket down.

I am a firm believer that having the element of surprise in your favor will win most confrontations. The Taurus TCP .380 allows me to carry completely unnoticed. Perhaps the best the best thing I can say about the TCP to people looking for a lightweight, accurate, compact carry weapon is the price.

The TCP has a price point that begins well under $250—even the nicest, stainless steel “dressed up” versions barely breaking that mark. Given the degree of accuracy and dependability found at such a low price point, you may want to do as I did and buy two!

Have you shot the the Taurus 738 TCP? What were some of the tactical mistakes the author made in his admission? Share your responses in the comment section.

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Comments (86)

    1. I moderate very few. You can repost, and I will send a response to your email if there is something I cannot post. ~Dave Dolbee

  1. I once worked at a major LEO firing range. It was used by dozens of agencies including state, county and large cities / small towns. Millions of rounds a year were fired between hundreds of LE officers. Not one of the agencies represented would allow their officers to carry a Taurus. The list of authorized weapons included Glock, S&W, Colt, Sig, HK. Ruger and a couple of others [both semi automatic and wheel guns]
    … but no Taurus. With several years of having seen millions of rounds fired, my observation was that the Armourers worked on Glock malfunctions the least. About the only time the Glocks got attention was to install nightsights and to change the 12 pound triggers to a 5.5. That is why I chose to carry a Glock full time. Retired, I carry a G27 every day.

  2. I agree that Taurus is a much lesser quality firearm, and the so called customer service leaves a lot to be desired, tha bad part hear is that a new shooter buys their guns thinking what great deal only to be screwed in the end, you get what you pay for, there is no way around this, there are too many excellent firearm company’s out there with great products and fine customer service to settle for unreliable firearms…IMHO…

  3. Y’all can keep your Taurus if you want but I wont trust my life to one. I have owned two now. The first a pt24/7 in .45 back when they were the “gun of the year”. It lasted 50 rounds before it started sticking rounds on the feed ramp every single shot. I sent it back to Taurus 3 times over a year. Each time it took 3 months to get it back and each time it returned with the exact same issue. I eventually figured out that the magazine did not lock far enough up into the grip. I figured it out when I realized that when shooting two handed if I placed my off hand under the mag and pressed up it worked fine. No pressure on the bottom of the mag and it was a jam-o-matic. I provided this info to Taurus for the last return to the factory and they still failed to fix the gun. After owning the gun for a year and only having it in my possession for a couple of months I sold it to someone I did not like at a loss. They call it a lifetime warranty because it takes a lifetime to get the gun back not because they fix it for life. The retarded integral safety lock also stripped out the first time I tried to use it with minimal pressure applied. Luckily it was in the off position or it would have rendered the gun non functional. I hear all the fan boys say things like “they purchased a beretta factory” and “they have really improved over the last few years”. Well the proof is in the pudding and there are plenty of folks out there with first hand knowledge who will disagree with you. My assessment of Taurus is that they are hit and miss with their QC and their reliability and when it comes to something that may be used to save my life or that of my family I demand top quality customer service period. My advice is to find out for yourself and do not put much faith in the word of some internet warrior.

  4. I really think ‘ol “ace” should change is name to “lucky” (Yes, pun intended). I would have shot as soon as I had the chance.

  5. I have a 738 TCP along with a 380 bodyguard and kimber micro. Where I like the kinber I hate the bodyguard I love the 738 TCP it’s by far the lightest smallest and possibly the most accurate. It fits in my hand well and fires reliably. The bodyguard is almost as bad as a high point. It downright hurts to fire and is very inaccurate. In fact I’ve fired $99 guns that were better. I also have a Taurus PT111 (Millenium G2) I love it as well. It fits in my hand is accurate and fires reliably. It holds up to my sig and h&k and is 10x better then any of my S&W’s. Is it the same fit and finish of a sig h&k or kimber no but for around $200 you can’t beat either one of them. It fits my hand and has a way better feel then any glock. I will buy anything Taurus now. As will most knowledgeable users. I frequent a tactical store that is frequented by all sorts of special teams and people paid by the government (dod,doj,etc) to carry weapons. They know there stuff I went in there with my PT111 looking for some accessories. They loved it the guy behind of the counter was showing it to everyone. They all wanted to know where to get one. They used to sell it but can’t ever get stock. You will find this often the cast with the PT111 and to a lesser extent the 738. If you see either one for $220 or less buy it you will not be sorry.

    1. @ Jeff,

      Yeah, the Millennium PT111 G2 was really hard to get for a while. I heard it was because Taurus lowered all their prices across the board mid last year. I sure would like to know where you’ve seen it for around $200 though. I’m seeing prices closer to $260-$300. Just curious given this will probably be my next purchase to add to my collection.

      I have not yet had the opportunity to hold the PT111, but the design sure looks as though it will be as comfortable as you’ve described. I have never really cared for the feel of my Glock either, but I know it is reliable and it is what I use on duty.

      I’m going to have to disagree with your comparison of the S&W Bodyguard 380 to Hi-Point. I just picked one up (Bodyguard ) a couple of months ago and am quite pleased with all aspects, from feel – to action – to accuracy. I really like it so far.

      I have always qualified expert marksman in my career, so maybe it is my personal handling technique. But I also wonder if balance could make the difference. S&W sells this BG-380 in varying configurations which may either include or exclude a safety, a Crimson Trace laser sight, and 2 different magazines (finger groove or flat butt plate).

      Mine is the full meal-deal with all the above, so maybe the balance is different than yours which is giving us different experiences? Just a thought worth considering.

  6. Taurus has a lifetime warranty on everything they make and I have had all kinds of pistols in the last 40 years. Very seldom does a manufacturer nowdays make unreliable guns, Now with the internet all of a sudden we have all these critics who assume expert rank because they have had a bad experience with a product from a particular manufacturer, so they deem all the products of said are junk. Many of the bad complaints I see come from people who want race gun performance from a pocket pistol – they blame the gun for everything and declare that brand is trash. Experience tells me that many failure to feed and stove-pipe jams are because of the shooter and not the weapon. Of course these people can’t conceive of themselves as a source of the problem, so they blame the firearm. I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have been handed a serviceable firearm and been told that it does not feed or it jams, so I go to the test chamber and run an entire magazine with absolutely no problems. Many times I even try to create a jam by letting my finger ride the slide enough to slow it down slightly, and seldom have I had that cause a jam. Most people who complain about jams in these small guns do not hold them firmly enough so it has something to recoil against. I have seen Browning Hi Powers jam simply by not having the firing hand wrist held firm.

    I don’t put much stock in tales of guns being poor quality nowdays. The competition is too tough now for gunmakers to put junk on the market. As far as Taurus pistols go, I have owned a few and still do, and they are as good as any polymer frame gun made by anyone. Forgive me for not agreeing with the critics, but I made my living working on firearms and I think I know what I am talking about. Sure, there have been even big name manufacturers who have released faulty products to the market, for instance the Remington model 51, but I don’t think anyone out there is going to declare the brand Remington is substandard because of it.

    The critics are many and harsh, to the point of being vicious and over the top, but the fact is no manufacturer would stay in business very long if they routinely turned out garbage. In my experience, there are few individual guns that are so poorly made that they cannot be made reliable. I bought an Auto Ordnance 1911A1 in the 1990’s that did not function with any ammo, ball or otherwise when I bought it. It turned out to be a magazine problem. I did not think that Auto Ordnance made junk because of that. I simply reformed the feed lips on the offending magazine and it ran perfectly no matter what I fed it after that.

    Taurus is a firearms company like many others, and to declare them and their products substandard is like saying your car is a piece of junk because it will not start with a dead battery. All man made objects fail. Part of being a gun owner is shooting it enough to discover flaws and diagnose them – then remedy them BEFORE you depend on them for your life or someone elses. Doing otherwise is negligent.

  7. You are a lucky guy – without regard to the brand of gun that you choose to carry. We’ve both made big mistakes in bad situations: I turned my back on a cougar; you turned your back on a criminal. We’ve both come close to being nominated for the Darwin Awards 🙂

    1. The ironic thing here is that not only am I trained in firearms- I am a 20 year, 2nd degree black belt that has had extensive training in awareness and confrontational situations.
      Very. Stupid. Move.

      Fortunately, I regained my wits quickly and did NOT have to shoot him.
      He was caught later by the police and I identified him.
      As a further testament to failed leadership and policing, he got 8.5 years.

  8. The gun being financially affordable is not what makes Taurus a bad brand. The fact that they sell you guns that can only handle a few rounds before they break does make them a bad brand in this industry. Especially when my families life might depend on it working properly

    1. The Taurus rep for bad pistols died out long ago mate. Their PT111 is a best seller with great reviews, and the above pistol is in the same category. There customer service has dramatically improved. Not everyone can afford a GLOCK, Springfield etc. So the Taurus niche is there.

    2. “There customer service has dramatically improved.”

      Compared to what???

      They produced millions of guns, over several models, that have been proven to misfire with safety on and dropped, so no finger near the trigger. People have been injured because of it. These guns have misfired on LEO’s under the same condition (one in the pipe, safety on and dropped).

      I sent my PT145 Gen 1 into them, in the beginning of August of 2015, after seeing the report right here in “The Shooter’s Log” … Here I am OVER A YEAR and still waiting for their “dramatically improved” customer service to kick in. I am by NO MEANS an anomaly, it is the norm.

      They have gotten very good at lying to customers. I was first told that they could not repair my gun and they would replace it with a 24/7 Gen2, then 8 months later I’m told that I may get previously “unrepairable” gun back and not a brand new gun…Either way it will be AT LEAST another 3 – 6 months AFTER July 18th when the Judge finalizes the Class Action Law suit. Oh and they have no way of telling exactly where I am on the list of repairs/replacements. No idea how many people are in front of me.

      After the Judge signed it on July 22nd there was 30 days to file an appeal…who do you think filed that appeal locking up the process even more????

      Add to this, the Manufacturer TAURUS knew about the problem and DID NOTHING TO FIX IT…just kept making UNSAFE firearms.

      So Mr./Mrs./Ms. Buurga, I don’t know if you work for Taurus, own stock in Taurus or are on a different plain of existance than the rest of the world, but Taurus Customer Service is at best non-existant. My recomendation is if you work for them you may want to start looking for another job, if you own stock sell it now or hope whomever buys them out gives you more than a penney on the dollar. If neither of the above are true you should look at FB, YouTube and a few other sites like this and see how many people are in the same boat as me. You may find a reality check!

      SteveTheGunsmith. Where I agree with many of your statements in this case Taurus has knowingly produced millions of UNSAFE firearms. It has been proven in real life and in court. The Class Action Lawsuit fell against them and has proven that Taurus is culpable for injuries sustained as a result of their neglagent practices in product production and lack of action to quality control issues. Are there some safe Taurus firearms? Probably, but just like I won’t purchase a car from a manufacturer with a poor safety record I will not purchase a gun from a company that KNEW the gun was flawed and unsafe and continued production anyway.

      In defference to your vast experience and knowledge that is admittedly well above my own on this subject, I feel confident in my decision. My personal experience with said manufacturer has shown me that they are not to be trusted. So, NO I will NEVER trust a Taurus firearm ever again. Yes, as soon as I get whatever it is they end up sending me I will trade it against a Glock 30s, Sig P250 compact, or maybe a Springfield XDM or a 1911 Compact. It will cost me more, but knowing that I have a proven SAFE firearm with a company that has a proven track record of quality and SERVICE, is worth the price.

      Yep I’ve only had one Taurus, and Yes the one gun I had was potentially UNSAFE. That is ONE too many. There customer service is NON-EXISTANT. Then they lie to me…Strike three they are out…

    3. Preach it brother. Taurus customer service is a joke and so is anyone that thinks their pistols are up to snuff with regards to quality and reliability as they should be. Lots of fanboys out there that buy cheap and then dont like to admit they chose poorly. Im not saying every gun they turn out is junk. Im saying they have off and on quality control and the odds of getting a lemon off the line are far higher with a Taurus than they are with other more reputable manufacturers. Ive dealt with their idea of quality and customer service in the recent past and if they call that improved I feel sorry for anyone who purchased a gun from them prior to the so called improvement. Their guns really are not that much cheaper than more reputable manufacturers now a days either. One can pick up an LC or bodyguard for not much more and in larger calibers their are also better options for around the same price.

    4. CAM, I agree with you all around. I bought a Taurus TCP because it fit my hand best, had the features I wanted. About half the time it fired, the other half the hammer didn’t drop. Sent it back to Taurus at my expense, and they adjusted the trigger bar. OK, seems to work now, but I spent $43 on shipping which brings the price up to a whole different class. And yes, other respected manufacturers can muck up too – Ruger is not that great, although everyone raves about them. I had 2 that had to be sent back to the factory twice each just to shoot at all. Thing oughta go bang at least!

  9. I have several pistols including the Walther PPS which gets rave reviews nearly everywhere. I love the ergonomics of the gun and the phosphoric sights are awesome. However, I have had 4 failures with it in about 300 or fewer rounds fired (stovepipe, and FTE). I also have a Taurus Millenium G2 which has great ergo’s as well, and holds 12 rds in a pretty small pkg. I have had a total of 3 failures with it in 400+ rds fired. And yes I do clean them judiciously. Point is, no gun if failure free, I have even had 3 failures in my “perfect” Glock 19, so you need to be able to clear a failure quickly no matter what you are carrying!! I don’t assume buying ANY brand is going to completely eliminate all failures. I still think all 3 of these are good CCW choices.

  10. Spend $20 more and get a ultra dependable Ruger LCP. Put a Crimson Trace laser guard on it, load it with Hornady Critical Defense ……. and you will have a pocket rocket you can truely trust your life to.

    1. Got one. Hate the trigger, and the sites are terrible. But for what it’s intended, my LCP works just fine. If I ever have to use it, I probably won’t notice the trigger, and probably won’t be doing a lot of bulls eye aiming with it. If I did get into a situation where I could take cover and perhaps aim a little better the laser allows me to be accurate enough to hit center mass at 25 yds or so. The laser also squares up the print of the gun in my front pocket, making it look more like a wallet and less like a pistol. I’ve shot around 500 rounds, both fmj’s and hollow point ammo and it has been 100% reliable.

      I chose the lcp because of it’s size and concealability at work. I would definitely lose my job if they knew I carried a gun at work. Now though, I almost always have it in my front pocket, in a holster, of course.

    2. The Ruger LCP is another great firearm, as is one of my new favorites, the Glock 42.
      I have shot both and find the Glock to be more accurate than the Ruger, but only slightly.

      Again, the main point of this article is that this is a very affordable and highly accurate little gun.

  11. After carrying a popular but budget-minded .380 sub (AMT Backup-II) for a number of years, I finally upgraded to the Baretta BU9 Nano 9mm. My old .380 would not chamber hollow points, and had a tendency to FTE/FTF after three or four rounds.
    The Baretta has shot flawlessly for hundreds of rounds of everything I can shove into it. It fits great IWB with my Barsoni holster, and carrying an extra mag in the Barsoni clip pouch is as easy as carrying a sheathed pocket knife.
    I feel foolish for letting a few hundred dollars decide which weapon to carry. Semi autos can be tricky. If I couldn’t afford a high quality semi, I would opt for a revolver whose design allows for economy without jeopardizing reliability. I’ve not heard much good about the Taurus’ reliability of late, which influenced my decision to buy a used Winchester 94 Trapper .357 over a new Taurus lever gun. If budget is a factor, I’d also consider a good used semi checked over by a gunsmith and put through its paces at the range.

  12. This is a great realistic story that is the way things are more likely to go down in the heat of a situation. Perhaps we could sit here all day and pick apart what was done right or wrong, however no situation is perfect and almost always they are by luck, preparedness, experience and some divine intervention that gives you that split second edge like in this case. The fact that you were carrying and were more prepared than what a lot of other folks would have been makes you a positive surviving statistic, so there is no reason or room for me to pick apart what you did. You are simply here to talk about it because you did it right and were successful. And to help you boast about your choice of weaponry; I too have multiple Taurus compact models, my fav’s are the TCP 738 and the little brother model TCP 732, which I love to death. I also invested in a PT 709 Slim for other situations. They all shoot awesome and I agree with you 100 % on the accuracy, especially that of the TCP 738.

  13. Mistakes? Using a budget Brazilian gun as any type of defense situation…. I’ve had one literally just fall apart in my hand.

  14. You were lucky. You should have been a good witness and video’d the dude from your location by the car. making audible description of the perp. When you decided to confront him (an entirely natural and AMERICAN response), you should have already had your hand on your pistol in your pocket. When he complied with your demand to put your stuff nicely on the ground, you should have continued to focus on HIS HANDS and his posture until he was completely out of sight. He produced the gun when you started pawing into your stuff before he even had left, because you Assumed he was going to do as you requested (Leave). He had the drop on you, and was likely going to escalte the situation robbing you of your personal items wallet, perhaps even carjack you. You did good to be able to get your hand back on your gun. You now know, or should have learned immediately when you realized that he had not left and instead produced a gun, that Action Beats Reaction Every Single Time. When the woman screamed, you should have immediately side-stepped off the “X” while shooting him. While you were talking to him and telling him not to raise the weapon, he could have done so and shot you before you even processed the information. (You were still actually expecting him to do what you are telling him based on his previous response????) The woman screaming saved your life. He elected to run away. He has likely not been caught. He remembers you. Do you remember him? Would you recognize him? Do you even carry a spare magazine to reload? Lot of questions. Again, I am glad you were lucky and survived. I would seriouslyconsider upgrading my EDC pistola to a Walther PPS Gen I or a Glock 43, carried in a pocket holster with at least 1 reload. I like the Walther PPS because there are factory 8-round magazines to carry as spares, and the 6 or 7-round magazines keep the pistola small enough for pocket carry, esp. w/ 7 -rd. magazine in Dockers, 5.11, or Vertx pants.
    .

  15. The JERKS who degrade guns that fail, after shooting HUNDREDS of rounds – know NOTHING about self defense scenarios. Odds are, that you will NEVER – need to draw your EDC, let alone fire it. Ask the cops who have been on the streets for DECADES, if they’ve ever had to fire even a single round in self defense – 99% will say they have NOT.

    You will KNOW after firing two magazines, if your gun is RELIABLE and if you can shoot it WELL enough to protect your life. The rule of thumb for self defense has always been THREE shots, in THREE seconds, within THREE feet. You would have a VERY hard time convincing a jury that it was “self defense,” if you shot someone beyond that distance, and with more that than three rounds.

    Always use the HIGHEST quality ammo. And work on TECHNIQUE, rather than wasting thousands of rounds on paper targets. And only carry a gun over which you have 100% CONTROL. Remember that the aim of “self defense” is not to KILL, but to stop an attack, and / or ESCAPE.

    1. Guess I am a jerk, Dave. I will never carry a Taurus anything other than perhaps their Beretta 92 knockoffs.They, at least, have stood the test of time. As for all of their other pistolas, none are as reliable as a S&W, Ruger, or Colt revolver, or Glock, Walther, Beretta or Colt auto or any of the USA 1911s. I have had Taurus’ PT1911 fail to fire repeatedly while carried as a local PD’s FI/RO, so went back to a stock Colt S80 that always went “Bang” when demoing drils. Glocks always worked, too.

      Your post epitomizes the sad reality that most of the gun buyers out there think that they can just buy a gun, fire a few rounds downrange, drop it into their pocket, purse, or holster, and think they are GTG. That’s about as good as carrying a rabbit’s foot and means they really consider the gun as a talisman that will ward of evil and danger. They need to run their pistola at least a few hundred rounds for familiarization and practice, drawing from their mode of carry and gradually, to engaging multiple targets. Saying a pistol is GTG after firing 2 magazines through it is ludicrous.. You are very close to reality when you say that most interpersonal defense situations in the civilian world happen inside 3 yards. People should train to obtain proficiency in marksmanship first, then incorporate movement while drawing/blocking attacker’s blows/ moving off-axis to the attack, etc. and applying those Learned marksmanship skllls (Front Sight on center mass, Press) during movement toward cover/safety, escape. But stopping at 3 rounds? You shoot until the Threat ceases to be a Threat.. In other words, keep shooting until the background to your front sight changes then start looking to re-acquire,the threat and start looking for his friends. If it only takes 1, fine, some perps may need more “convincing”, so we train to keep shooting until the attacker ceases movement and/or dropped his weapon and ceased movement toward you -especially if he is armed with a knife.

      You are more likely to die from a knife attack than being shot.

    2. A gun is carried for the worst-case scenario, not the “odds are” scenario. Otherwise we’d just carry it unloaded to save weight or not carry one at all. If your gun can’t keep shooting through a few hundred rounds of powder residue, how is it supposed to hold up to the dust, lint, and other debris that it will inevitably encounter by nature of daily carry?

      Quality ammo and good technique are very important, but neither will be of any value if your pistol doesn’t fire when you need it most.

    3. Wow Dave, doesn’t sound like you are a cop. If you were, you would know that all of those cops that have never fired a round in self defense have fired, not hundreds, but thousands of rounds in PRACTICE and with the gun (or guns) that they carry! They started in the academy and continued throughout their careers. How do I know? I was an officer for 39 years and a police firearms instructor for most of it.

      Your ideas in the second paragraph bewilder me. Shooting two magazines only tells you that it goes that many rounds without a malfunction, nothing about reliability. The only rule of “3” that I have ever heard about was taught to me by Jeff Cooper; two to the body and if the suspect doesn’t cease action, then a third to the head. In my one and only shooting, I shot the guy at 5 ft (not 3 ft that you mandate). I shot him twice and he ceased so didn’t need the third. Didn’t need the jury though, the county attorney ruled it justifiable. Oh, by the way, speaking of rules and distance, have you ever heard of the 21 ft rule? Very famous rule in cop and self-defense circles.

      You are right on about using high quality ammo but then technique comes from “wasting” those thousands of rounds on paper targets.

    4. Dave, you’re absolutely correct. The aim of self-defense is to get you out of a bad situation. After a military career spanning 36 years in ‘SpecOps’ and ‘NSW’, and then working for a very large “Sheriffs Dept.” and in private security, only one time did I find myself in a situation where I had to draw a handgun. And that one time I had an old Taurus Mod-10 .38 Special. It was a good deterrent! My EDC now is a Taurus TCP-380 and quite often I carry a Kel-Tec .32 ACP in a “wallet holster” in my back pocket as my backup. At the short distances generally encountered in most situations, I have found both these weapons to be more than adequate and neither has failed me yet. I keep them loaded with XTP ammunition for most any situation. The worst pistol failure I have ever had was with a very well made .45 ACP (rather expensive) that was put out of commission in one shot after a buffer cracked! Anything can happen with any firearm, so be prepared!

    5. Guess I’m a jerk. Anyone that knows anything about guns knows 200 rounds is barely breaking in the firearm. Plus you want to be extremely familiar with your EDC. Yes odds are extremely low that you will ever need to draw your EDC but when you do and it doesn’t fire tell me how much you will recommend that gun manufacturer.

  16. I don’t like to trash guns but I can’t find anything nice to say about the tcp. First off if you are going to carry a gun every where you go we all know it can be uncomfortable sometimes I am willing to put up with that for 1 reason I know my gun will fire every time I pull the trigger. That can’t be said for the tcp my wife got one because it was pink and matched her purse it was ok the first few times at the range but about a year later I took it with me to be sure it was shooting good and it stove piped every 2nd or 3rd shot sent it back to Taurus they replaced about everything we got it back worked fine for 100 rds or so than started again and yes I tried all types of ammo. I called a friend that had one and he mentioned he had had the same problems. At that point I bought her a glock 42 not pink but it is a glock it always fires no matter what and shoots much straighter. I personally like a 45 but after my experience I would never trust my our any of my family members life’s on a taurus tcp

    1. Yes, with their new “M” series they developed for the FBI. The difference is that Glock will remedy the problem, and Make it right with anyone that purchased one.

    2. The recall is for the new “17M” model that had only been sold in small numbers to a single police department. A few of the pistols had the same issue, so all of them were recalled as a precaution.

      Pretty much any firearm manufacturer you can name has had at least one recall in the past few decades. Some are more severe than others – slam fires or “kabooms” are obviously much worse than a safety not engaging, and major reliability issues would be somewhere in the middle. What matters most is how the manufacturer handles the recall and how the firearms perform once repaired/replaced.

  17. Well done, although you were very lucky, this guy wasn’t as bad ass as he may have made himself out to be, the fact that you had the wisdom to get a carry licence and have your gun with you was what kept you alive, just having a gun can defuse a situation in a nano second, it has for me in past years, and no one got hurt in the process, and as for your gun, if it’s what you like like then that’s what counts, at close range a 380 can be potent….

  18. This pistol is my first handgun. I am new to shooting but frankly the size and price of the TCP is what drove me to make it my first handgun. I’ve put over 300 rounds through it with maybe two jams which quickly cleared. That said, I realized a jam in a self-defense situation could be fatal. I do get tired of reading all the trash talking about Taurus on-line, however. Just because they are aiming at a lower market end doesn’t necessarily mean their products are no good. All the above notwithstanding, my second handgun is, however, going to be a S&W .38 revolver.

    1. The vast majority of failure to feed issues are from limp wrist / a bad grip….. not the weapon. Any weapon is better than no weapon. A single jagged hollow point bullet to the lung / heart area that collapses one of the bad guy’s lungs will tend to take his mind off his evil intentions. Extremity shots sometimes aren’t even felt by people amped up on adrenaline. I was once shot in the upper arm and didn’t know it…. except for the fact my thumb, index and middle finger no longer worked due to a damaged nerve. The gun shot itself didn’t hurt at all untill about 3 hours later at the hospital. That is why you read of a number of police shootings where several officers may fire dozens of rounds between themselves to down a armed bad guy. You have to strike a major nerve bundle, artery or organ.

  19. Looks good, inexpensive, but unreliable.
    I bought a Taurus 380 and the first time I took it to the range it would not fire after a couple of rounds. It was returned to Taurus for repair. After the repair, it would still not fire. Was told that the ammo I was using was the problem. I tried about five different types of ammo but it still would not fire. It was returned to the factory for repair a second time and when I got it back the same thing happened.

    1. Had a little striker fired .380, DA. only a few years back. Can’t recall the name, but got it as a full time carry to replace my much heavier 1911. Soon found out that it was ‘picky’ as hell about the ammo it liked. Jammed, or stove-piped nearly every other shot with anything but Winchester. Sold it to a friend, after warning him about it’s peculiarities. Hour or so, he called me saying he had broke his new pistol. Drove over to see him. Sure enough, the pistol was jammed so tight, I had to disassemble it and drive the unfired round out with a steel rod. Seems he had fired all the Winchester I had given to him with the purchase and had used UMC .380 that he had laying around. Found out by measuring that all .380 ammo is not created equally. There were only about a micron difference in Winchester and UMC case width, but it was enough to cause feeding and ejecting issues. Perhaps, the Taurus TCP has similar issues.

  20. This for Dennis and Jennifer!
    Dennis, do you live with your Mom?
    Jennifer, I only skimmed the posting. But, I don’t remember race, color,
    or creed being mentioned about either victim or thief!
    Dennis get real.
    Jennifer. Well sounds like the pot calling the kettle black
    Winning hearts and minds (2 best places to shoot someone) ooorah.

  21. I don’t think anyone should put down a gun maker it is all personal choice like a Chevy to a ford to a Kia get what you like your the one paying the bills and the one that has to feel good about it.
    And a 380 well again your choice. You are the one that lives with your choices. Good job of protecting yourself and your property.

  22. Own a black anodized .380 TCP and find it to be affordable, reliable and easy to conceal. It is a bare bones alternative to other higher priced firearms. Never had a hickup, even when firing the cheapest and dirtiest Russian ammunition. I hope that Taurus brings back the venerable .32 Caliber handgun they once sold. It too, is a great self-defense round. I definitely recommend the Taurus .380 TCP.

  23. After just seeing and handling the abomination known as the “Taurus Curve”, I have ZERO confidence in any Taurus compact. The TCP would need to flawlessly load, fire and eject any round I fed it for at least 100 rounds before I’d ever consider buying. Unfortunately, “test drives” don’t happen with guns, so I’ll stick with my Ruger LCP. I’m glad your situation ended without a major incident or consequences though.

  24. Amazing the thief was so inept and that you survived. Your errors should have gotten you killed. You don’t need a gun, you aren’t prepared to use the one you have. You could carry a squirt gun and accomplish the same thing. Learn situational awareness and just carry pepper spray–you don’t have the mental preparation to use a gun or survive.

  25. Unfortunately the biggest mistake is trusting your life to a Taurus TCP. I made the same mistake and carried mine for 2 years. I had only put about 200 rounds through it at the range (this was not a range gun, strictly self defense). After carrying it daily the firearm daily for 2 years and had not shot the firearm for about a year, I was took it to the range only to find out that it would not discharge. I sent the gun back to Taurus and they sent it back about 2 weeks later with a long list of parts they replaced (basically everything but the frame and slide itself). Needless to say the gun was sold back to the store I purchased it from the next day and I’ll never own another Taurus.

    1. I bought my wife an older model 85 .38 revolver from Taurus. It still looked brand new. I was hooked onto Taurus’ lifetime warranty. One evening I got the revolver out of my pocket holster when confronted with a presumed threat from a wild animal. The animal backed down after I slowly walked backwards, still with gun on point. After the animal left, I holstered the Taurus and went home. When I got home, I took out the holster and took the snub nosed revolver out. The thumb latch was still inside the pocket holster, but the thumb screw was missing. I called up gunsmiths who told me Taurus wouldn’t supply the part for them. Taurus was willing to repair the gun if they still had the screw in circulation and only if I paid over $100 non refundable to ship the gun to them. They wouldn’t ship one little screw to me, saying people were installing parts incorrectly and causing accidents. My friend told me I should of put locktite on that screw when I first got the Taurus. I’ve had a Model 15 Smith and Wesson revolver for years that the thumb screw still has never backed out. I wound up selling the Model 85 back to the original store for a petty $50. I was done with Taurus the moment their lifetime warranty involved over $100 to replace a screw.

    1. Given that the “poor man” was caught red-handed with stolen goods and brandished a firearm when confronted about the theft, I sincerely hope your post is intentional satire.

  26. Tactical suggestions: approach bad guy with gun in hand and on target. Shout loudly at him and remind him of why you are point your gun at him. This is great for bystander information and later testimony (if needed). Be close enough to get off quick well placed shots, but not so close the bad guy can rush you before you get shots off. Understand 2 things: action is always faster than reaction and hand gun bullets are rarely an instant kill. You could potentially put in a mag and not instantly stop a bad guy from harming you, though he will likely die eventually, but never as fast as you would like. Situation will dictate, but do you want to be having to hold a phone while holding a gun on target on an armed bad guy while talking to the bad guy while talking to the dispatcher on the 911 call? My advise is take care of the scene first, then call 911 immediately. Glad you didn’t get hurt and you were carrying when you absolutely needed it.

  27. Having worked in a gun shop as a part timer I was always amazed at how many people come in wanting to know what is the cheapest gun we have. When I ask them it’s intended purpose it always boils down to “and self defense.” I’ve had the Ruger LCP and wasn’t afraid to use it, but it is a pain. I would prefer the Glock 42 and Sig 238 and own and shoot both. Lifetime warranties are great, as long you don’t need it during a shooting incident. Whatever a person chooses, it must feel good to them and be reliable. My wifes Sig 238 is pretty and shiny, I don’t care as long as she likes to shoot it and is pretty darn good.

  28. I carried a 380 Walther ppk’s, back from 1973- 1992. The only reason we carried a 380 back then, was circumstance. There were no small 9mm pistoles. If there were we all would have carried one.
    It was either a 38 snubby, or a 380. Now there are 9mm pistols that are lighter and smaller than ever before.
    Like my Kahr PM9 at around 16 ozs, so it makes no sense anymore to take a 380 along when you can take a 9mm that is twice as potent.
    Between the 50% of all shots being missed completely, and the 3 or so hit’s it will take with a 380 to drop a guy, it just makes more sense to carry the largest round you can manage.
    I have nothing against a 380 as a backup gun, or a spare ,”to arm someone else” but not as a primary gun. With 7 rounds you have enough for 1 person, unless you are a crack shot who can hit head shots while both of you are moving and shooting.
    It’s easy to say you feel adequately armed until you aren’t.

  29. Awesome story; had same happen to me but at ATM. Guy had a knife, I pulled out my Sig 938 from Desantis hip holster and gave him a choice! “Do you want to live, or try to take this $100?” He of coarse turned and ran. Glad I didn’t have to pull the trigger but was ready if I had to. This compact 9mm is the best little handgun I have owned. I have the little taurus 22 pocket gun but wanted something with a larger caliber and my Sig fills the ticket. I had carried the Glock 26 (9mm) and 27 (40cal) for years but wanted something smaller and don’t care for 380 only because of the price of ammo is ridiculous compared to 9mm.So if anyone wants an excellent compact 9mm the Sig 938 is the cadillac of compacts!

    1. My family is into Sig’s. My wife, two sons, two daughters in law and I all have varying versions of the 238 as edc. I also have the 938 as my primary edc with the 7 rd extended mag, and avsparev7 rd extended mag. The 238 acts as my New York reload backup. I carry the 238 with the extended 7 rd mag. (Plus my wife’s 7 + 1 carry 238.) I feel 15 rds of 9 mm and 14 rds of 380 acp are enough for most situations to get me and mine out of the danger zone. Have not had any ftf/fte’s with any of our sig’s with over 500 rds fired through each one. As someone said, practice situational awareness and never take your eye off the adversary.

    2. For anyone wondering why I carry so much, I believe in the adage , No one in a firefight ever said “i wish I had less ammo.”

  30. I bought a Taurus 738 as a backup gun. It is light and accurate and my hands are big enough to where I can carry it concealed in my palm, if necessary. The only problem I have had is with after market magazines. The release button is so sensitive that the magazines release while firing. I don’t have that problem with the magazine included with the gun.

  31. I’ll pass on the 380. I’ve seen it have a hard time getting through a single piece of plywood from only a few yards away. I will stick with 9mm as many guns arent much bigger than their .380 acp counterparts.

  32. I’ve carried a TCP daily for over a year now, and its been great. As far as shooting, I’ve got about 400 rounds through it, and I haven’t had any issues. I compared the TCP to my Ruger LCP and the TCP is clearly a better weapon. Better trigger, better accuracy, and easier to control, due to the larger grip.

  33. I have the TCP 732 & TCP 738. They stopped making the .32 acp. Both of these pistols fire SPOT ON. I also have the Taurus Judge Public Defender Poly and love it. I ordered the 24/7 G2 Compact .45 acp Stainless over 6 months ago and was just told by Kimberly in Customer Service that they have NO plans on manufacturing this pistol now. What a shame. They finally got it right on this .45 acp, but will not make anymore. I went ahead and bought a Glock 30s to fill my need for a compact .45. I hope in the future they decide to start making them again.

  34. Colt makes a fine little .380 also, the Mustang XSP. It’s SA and you can get an extended mag for it. What like about it is that it only weighs 14 ounces and I firmly believe that if it’s too heavy you won’t carry it every day. The only drawback is that the rail that they put on it does not fit ANY lasers. It seems to be 20mm and not the standard measurements and no one makes a trigger guard laser for it.

    1. Kahr cm9 is another great pocket pistol I carry daily I had a Taurus TCP only reason I sold it had got laid off from work went to buy another one they had the cm9 almost same size an weight but in 9mm but personally never had a problem with either feeling like it would not do the job but hard to beat Taurus’s lifetime warranty

  35. Tarus has made and does make very good weapons. I have owned more than a few and was always impressed with them. Too, the .380 ACP got a bad rap as an under powered cartridge, years ago, like the .25 auto. As a cop on a small, university town P.D., (many years ago), I have carried both as ‘off-duty’ and ‘back-up’ weapons and never felt under-armed. I have heard all of the ‘horror stories’ of .380 and .25’s bouncing off of heavy jackets and such, I say B.S. Many European P.D.s carried and used pistols chambered the .380, know as the 9mm Kurtz, with great effect.

    1. DA, I personally investigated a shooting while a cop in Pomona, CA where a biker shot another in the head with a .380. The bullet hit slightly off center, about an inch and a half above his right eyebrow. The bullet deflected upward, between the skull and the scalp and exited the skin about two inches above the occipital bun. The victim was conscious and alert, and walking around raising a stink about being shot by his drinking buddy.
      What I’m saying is, do NOT overrate the .380 either. Any bullet, correctly placed, can be lethal. Any bullet, incorrectly placed, can make your situation worse. PRACTICE with your chosen sidearm, and stay safe!

  36. Beretta seems to be an often overlooked, viable choice for sub compact carry. The PX4 Storm Sub Compact & the Nano, both offer a very good pistol choice at a midrange price point. Plus, they are chambered in 9mm, which I prefer to the .380 acp. I believe Berettas’ reputation speaks for itself.

  37. I have a TCP 380 and really have no issue with it feeding whatsoever. The only feeding issues I’ve had were with aftermarket magazines that were initially rough on the inside, after running about 50 rounds through them they were fine. My only issue is the mag release button, it sticks out too much causing the magazines to be released in my pocket. I love the function and trigger on this gun and Indont think I would trade it for any of the LCP’s I’ve fired to this point.

  38. I recently traded mine in. It was accurate, the trigger is better than a stock Roger LCP, BUT the mag release was in a bad spot and easily activated. It’s a bad deal to draw, fire and the mag falls out. On these micro carry pistols, I would prefer a European bottom magazine catch.

  39. TCP is a model name,like “Combat Magnum”,”Official Police”, ETC. It would be interesting to know how many shooters know what “ACP” means in a cartridge designation. Manufacturers like to cut off the full name of cartridges that began in a competitors house. Example The actual name of the .38 Spl is .38 S&W Special. Everyone but Smith and Wesson cuts the “S&W” part out! Likewise it’s .45 Automatic COLT pistol – better to “hide” that by saying .45ACP.

    1. @ James Slick,

      Interestingly I posted an answer regarding the TCP question about 15 hours ahead of you (click the link below). Coincidentally I too brought up ACP in my answer. You know what they say, about great minds thinking alike and all.

      http://dev-migrationctd6.pantheonsite.io/trust-life-taurus/comment-page-1/#comment-336810

      Also future tip – click the red “Reply” link directly under the person you’re responding to and your post will be indented and land directly under theirs so it flows better for other readers.

    2. I actually was expounding on what you said. Apparently hitting “reply” directly from the email Doesn’t put it under the comment one is replying too. A flaw in my email software!?!

  40. Hmmm… My experience with the TCP has not been as great as yours. I have two, but have had three. The first was sent back to Taurus 4 times for serious malfunctions before Taurus became enlightened enough to replace it. That was the second; the third someone gave to me.

    Neither of the two TCP’s I still retain will function through 2 full mags of training/target ammo without 1-2 instances of failing to feed properly. In fairness, they do seem to feed with self-defense ammo.

    I should also state that, contrary to accepted standards and logic related to preparedness, I’ve not fired a great deal of self-defense ammo in either of the guns (2-3 mags each) because I resent spending money on ammo to shoot in firearms I don’t trust anyway.

    That first TCP, the one replaced by Taurus, had the type of failure/malfunction that could get a person killed who depended on it. I stress, it was not a simple failure-to-feed, failure-to-eject, or failure-to-fire mishap. Fortunately, it happened at the range, not in some critical situation, but it happened suddenly, without warning, and it rendered the gun inoperable. I lost any sense of trust I had in a Taurus TCP.

    I’m thrilled your experience went as well as it did, but given the details you relate you could have achieved the same results using a gun with a broken firing pin. We will never know, thankfully, what would have happened had you needed to fire your weapon, so your experience does nothing to reassure me on the security offered by a TCP.

    1. @ William M. Quirk,

      As far as I know TCP is an acronym exclusively coined by Taurus and stands for “Taurus Compact Pistol”. Some people claim it stands for “Total Concealment Pistol”. Regardless, TCP has no other application anywhere else in the gun market outside of Taurus.

      The exclusive TCP acronym branding by Taurus should also never be confused with more wide-spread and universally applied acronyms such as ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), which designates a specific bullet cartridge designed originally for Colt, but in use by many other manufacturers and calibers today.

      Coincidentally the Taurus TCP model 738 also uses ammo specifically chambered in a .380 ACP. As such, the full designation of this weapon is – Taurus 738 TCP chambered in .380 ACP.

  41. Not a fan of .380s. my very first carry weapon was a cheap .380. Purchased at a pawn shop right after 9/11. I thought it would suffice and it was better than nothing. It just didn’t have much ummmph. I practiced alot and could hit what I aimed at up to about 10 or 15 yards. But no penetration.
    Guess it would be OK for some folks, as I said, better than nothing. Would be a great back up or truck gun or backpack piece. I just never recommend anything less than 9mm at minimum,38 special or higher and +P ammo.
    Nothing at all against Taurus,as they are well built, accurate, dependable, and best of all affordable! Just my thoughts on ANY .380!

    1. 20 years ago I had the same ideas, But with modern ammunition, the .380 is a viable defense round. Hell in the 1980s I heard that the .38Spl and 9mm Para were “weak” I certainly DO NOT feel under gunned with modern .38Spl +P hollowpoints. The ammo has improved faster than the actual guns!

  42. Just a couple of months ago this gun made my shortlist of 3 confirmed most reliable pocket 380 pistols. I was shopping for a new backup to my Glock and it came down to this, a Khar 380, and the pricier S&W Bodyguard 380.

    The relatively new pocket pistol market has now been around long enough to offer up better and more reliable data on just which of these small pistols have emerged as the true winner in real-world dependability testing – hence the 3 guns which made my final shortlist.

    Aside from proven outstanding performance, reliability and dependability, all 3 of these guns have slides which lock to the rear – which was one of my criteria with my next purchase. Ultimately the S&W Bodyguard (BG380) earned my hard earned dollars; but not for any performance reasons – instead it was for discount pricing combined with extra features.

    Even though the S&W Bodyguard (BG380) should have cost more, it was able to edge out the other 2 guns with extras such as the built-in Crimson Trace aiming laser, 2 magazines included, and a case. But what sealed the deal was the significantly reduced cost from special discounts offered by my dual-career status in both the military reserves and as a civilian law enforcement officer.

    This allowed me to purchase the gun tax free on a military base while also getting the S&W law enforcement discount on top of an additional 30%-off sale that was running at the time. I simply couldn’t pass the BG380 up. Otherwise any of the guns I’ve mentioned make for a very dependable buy.

  43. If it works for you, use it. We all have our preferences, favorite brands and models, and guns we trust. In the end, as long as the gun is reliable and you can shoot it accurately, the brand and model are less important than some people would make them out to be.

  44. I’ve been considering a compact (and I mean compact) carry pistol in .380. I have to be honest, Taurus really wasn’t on my “radar”, As in the back of my (admittedly dense) head, Taurus= Big Revolver (Judge,Raging Bull…) This article put the TCP firmly on my “radar”!

    1. I recently bought a Ruger LCP Custom (red trigger). At $229, I couldn’t resist. I found this gun easy to shoot and accurate, and so far functions flawlessly. It is maybe a little “snappy”, as some reviewers say, but even with only 2 fingers of my large hands on the grip, had no problem with control. Comes with a pocket holster and I literally forget I have it on me.

  45. I bought a Taurus TCP and Guns & Ammo tested three of each of the brands, and found the Taurus TCP the most reliable of them all. I have found the same. It is accurate, reliable and I prefer it over the other really small pistols I, or my sons, have.

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