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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(*Updated*) - Another (Mostly) Reliable TCP 738 380 Auto "D" series

*First update in post 11*

Range Report(s):


Received my new “D” series TCP 738 and took it home for a cleaning. I did a basic strip and clean with Gun Scrubber. Then a little oil and back together. I did nothing with the mag.

Took ‘er to the range and put 106 PMC Bronzes downrange. I had to pull 6 out of the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] box because I had forgotten to test the double-click trigger reset. Looks like mine is more confirmation that the design quirk is still there. I shot number 101, held the trigger back, then let it out slowly. It clicked very early in the trigger release. I then pulled ‘er back. The hammer dropped… nothing. Now she’s dead. Manual rack required to revive ‘er.

The good news is that this happened so early in the trigger release that I believe I would never, naturally have the instinct to pull again knowing that this is a double-action rig.

The gun was 100% with PMC. Well… almost. At one point I had moved to a rest, and... allowed my support hand thumb to hang back in the wrong place. Ouch!

So that round jammed ‘er up real good. But definitely operator error. For the gun’s sake, I hate to even mention it, but had to cop to it.

The following week I picked up some WWB TC (FN) 95s. Before I tried ‘em out, I opened the http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/smithing/40279-tcp-738-reliability-enhancements.html thread in the "Smithing" forums and was surprised to see the issue in the first post regarding the slide lock tab. Bargain or no, the fact that a round has to push its way past this tab is nothing short of baffling. I checked mine and it does have that problem. But rather than fix it first, I wanted to test the WWBs with a stock rig.

I put 93 downrange. I was surprised to find that I did notice a little more perceived recoil as chris9472 had suggested. The round is only about 5% heavier than the PMCs, but I felt the recoil was a bit more than that. I believe the Winchesters are loaded to deliver similar speed with the heavier bullet. Still… not painful. And certainly not anything that wouldn’t be manageable in an adrenaline-fueled, SD situation. I felt there was very little, if any difference in follow-up shot speed. The double action slows you down anyway. It would sure be nice if it were a DA/SA design, but it’s not a deal breaker for what you get.

About halfway through the 100 box I did have one FTE. But this doesn’t seem like something one would experience due to a truncated cone.

I fired another 18 PMCs this trip going back and forth between these and the Winchesters in order to test the recoil. As I mentioned, the WWBs recoil noticeably more, but nothing hyper wild.

For drill I racked and cleared a few times to see what things looked like. This is where I noticed the scratches from the slide lock tab on the bullets. Again… baffling. I WILL be filing mine down also.

Accuracy with both rounds was excellent. Plenty of bulls at 7 and 10 yards and hitting inside the rings at 25. Gotta' keep working on my left handed shots, though.

*EDIT* Almost forgot to mention... mine does like to spit brass every-which-way. Most seems to go over my right shoulder. Some say that's typical. Some say I may need an extractor adjustement. Out of over 200 rounds, I finally took one to the forehead. Left a little mark. Not too thrilled about that. Good thing I wear glasses, I guess. More research needed here, me thinks.


I ended the day feeling that the WWB is my new carry round and I had only brought the one box with me; hence the 93 rounds tested. So for my gun the WWB is now, nearly 99%. I will clean and keep testing.

I like the flat nose of the WWBs along with the 95 over a 90 in the fairly likely event of the bullet encountering bone. tnoutdoors9 got pass-throughs from them, which is to be expected, but he was also using his Bersa Thunder with a 3.5” barrel. He got 955 fps averages. I’m betting we will be in the low 800s or even less with our TCPs.


Brassfetcher shows 16” with these and winter clothing. I do have a HP round in mind for summer, but these are definitely looking like my winter carries.

http://www.brassfetcher.com/380ACP ammunition performance in ballistic gelatin.pdf

When a friend was looking at a CM9 vs a P238, I figured they were so close in size and weight, why go with the weaker round for pocket carry? He picked the Sig. Then his beloved pistol was stolen and he replaced it with the P-3AT. WOW!!! What a difference! A little more research on opinions and I could see that the Kahr would feel like a brick in the pocket compared to these mouseguns. And I would likely find myself leaving it at home or in the glovebox instead of on my person when I find I need it. The TCP, on the other hand, is very comfortable and it goes where I go.

What can I say. With just a whisker more height on the grip, the TCP 738 is more comfortable in my hands than the Kel-Tec or Ruger with only about an ounce more to weigh it down. With a few drops of oil on the mechanism, the trigger is ultra smooth. The slide locks and holds open when empty. And it was 200 bucks with a decent, little, black plastic case. All in all, I find the TCP 738 to be just an incredible value.

I will try and update this thread as I gain more range time...
 

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Congrats and thanks for the great report!
 

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Congrats on a great gun! I love my 738, no issues what so ever.
 

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Your smart, better ta have it with you and be comfortable. 380 aint bad! your 45acp is at home. Good move. I had some FTEx too. I carry IWB(small of back) or "mic" holster/mexican style. Never liked pocket carry.
 

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Congratulations on your new firearm.
 

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Thank you for the great report! I just picked up a new "D" series PT738 last week and have not yet had the chance to fire it. As I usually do, I have racked the slide around 1,000 times to help loosen the springs. Then I was lucky to find some ProMag magazines at Academy Sports and picked up three. I loaded these and cycled them thru the firearm after polishing the feed ramp. When I do not allow the slide to close at total full speed I get FTF's, particularly on the first couple of rounds out of the magazines, ProMag and Taurus. Otherwise it feeds reliably using this method. I have read that opening the feed lips on the magazines slightly can make them feed even better. I noticed that the bullets were scarred where they passed the slide lock tab. That is a poor design, for sure. I'll try and look up that info and file that down, too. I have a PT840 and PT709 and both have worked flawlessly. I hope to get this one to work the same way as the size is perfect.
 

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When I do not allow the slide to close at total full speed I get FTF's, particularly on the first couple of rounds out of the magazines, ProMag and Taurus. Otherwise it feeds reliably using this method.
Yes, these little .380's must be racked vigorously, or you will have issues. That's why I believe last shot hold-open is a must on these guns, and the main reason why I didn't go with the LCP. Who wants to fumble around with these little difficult slides under extreme stress with sweaty hands? Not me!

I noticed that the bullets were scarred where they passed the slide lock tab. That is a poor design, for sure. I'll try and look up that info and file that down, too.
OK... this is obviously an issue with this gun. What is this exactly and why is it a problem? Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not a Gunsmith.
 

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IMHO, i dont mess with mags, maybe reverse the spring, other than that leave stock! I like to wax follower bout 3 times letting dry between coats then buff each coat. I like to smooth spring with 0000 steel wool. Ya might even add frog lube from ebay because it disapates carbon. You can google "frog lube" or watch on youtube.

My local gunsmith had my tcp for some time, but ran 100 rnds thru it friday evening. Iam suppose to pick-up monday. I have been using eel snot which disipates carbon also but ya cant get any now. I want to try frog lube. I shoot reloads, but my projectiles are no lead lube, they are coated with hi-tek-supercoat from downunder. I have lighter loads on all my plinking range ammo. HTS equals no lead or copper fouling because it is not lead or copper. Amazing clean barrels and no smoke like factory FIOCCHI i like.



Sig938,xds45,db9,tcp738,sub2000/40s&w
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
*UPDATE*

Another 50 rounds of WWB for a total round count of over 250. One more FTE/Jam for a total of 2 on the WWB and zero on the PMC.

Two things to consider:

1. I had not had a chance to clean the gun after more than 100 rounds when a bro said, "Let's hit the range." And I kind of wanted to see how it would go.

2. Most importantly... this second FTE happened after the first round fired by my bro, one-handed. Hmmmm. I wasn't thinking a limp-wristing would cause a FTE/Jam with the casing stuck in the chamber, but it's an interesting coincidence.

I have read the entire "enhancements" thread and after close examination, I noted that, in addition to the slide lock tab issue, my extractor doesn't allow the casing to rest smoothly on the breach, but rather at the angle noted in the thread. So I believe it may be prudent to do at least 2 mods (per instructions)...

a. File the slide lock tab
b. File the extractor

I was thinking of giving 'er the ol' "Miami Vacation" before making these "mods," but I see reports of Taurus having no problem honoring the warranty so long as a little buffing and filing is not the cause of the problem(s) you might be sending the gun in for should you find you still need to after the mods. YMMV.
 
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