Tanner's Gun Reviews

   By Mike Coviello (Tanner)
 
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Taurus 738 TCP Problems & Jams

Does Taurus 738 TCP Jam Or Have problems? One of the first things you investigate when buying a new gun is whether the gun has a history of jams or other reliability or safety problems. If you search the internet you will probably find many comments that the Taurus 738 TCP has frequent jams and may be finicky with certain ammunition. This review describes the problems that my friend had with his Taurus TCP.

  
  

Taurus Model 738 TCP

TAURUS TCP REVIEWS
TCP Problems & Jams TCP Extended Mag
Shoot .380 +P Ammo? TCP Pictures
Taurus 380 Pistol
Taurus 380 Pistol
Taurus TCP With Laser
TCP With Laser
Taurus TCP 738
Taurus TCP
Taurus TCP 738 Magazines
TCP Magazines

 

Summary of Taurus 738 TCP Problems

Not a good track record so far. After buying his brand new Taurus 738 TCP, my friend had to polish the ramp to prevent jams, send it back to the factory TWICE to get two new replacement guns in lieu of repairs and replace a broken magazine release.

  1. New Taurus 738 TCP - First Day Of Shooting
    Shot fine with commercial target ammunition. Jammed with reloads and certain defensive hollow-point ammo. Polishing the feed ramp seemed to fix the problem.

  2. After A Few Months Of Shooting His Taurus 738 TCP
    More jams occurred so he sent it back to the factory for inspection and/or repair. Taurus couldn't fix the problem so they sent him a new replacement gun.

  3. After A Few Months Of Shooting His "NEW" Taurus 738 TCP
    When cleaning his gun my friend noticed a crack in the slide rail of the gun. See the below pictures. He sent the gun back to the factory. They sent him a new replacement gun.

  4. After Shooting A Couple Hundred Rounds The Magazine Release Of His Taurus TCP Broke
    Inserting the magazine into the gun caused the plastic magazine release of the Taurus TCP to break. The are sending him a new magazine release. Read more below.

 

 Crack In The Taurus 738 TCP Slide Rail

     

Crack in the slide rail

Crack in the slide rail

Ruger LCP Comparison

 

Discussion of the Taurus 738 TCP Problem

 

Subject: Another Taurus 738 TCP Failure

Tanner,
I have another TCP failure. This one is a structural frame problem. Yesterday I was cleaning guns and decided to strip and lube the TCP after cleaning the ones I use at the range. Upon close examination, I found one of the frame rails that support the slide is cracked! I called Taurus this morning and they are sending FedEx to pick it up tomorrow. I have no idea how long or what kind of an adventure this will be. It appears that the rail subassembly may be a permanent part of the frame, if so, it cannot be repaired and the entire gun will have to be replaced. A few more rounds and the slide might have come off and that could hurt! It will be interesting to see what the Taurus response is going to be.
Carl
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Carl,
Wow and bummer! Good thing you are observant and maintain your guns well. Another person might have just kept shooting the gun till failure. I just looked at the rails on my Ruger LCP and they are also part of the plastic frame structure. Being all black makes it hard to see. Is the crack in the frame rail easy to see or do you really have to look closely? How long is the crack? Which frame rail, left or right? Can you feel the crack if you run your fingernail over it? Their response is probably going to be, yes there is a crack in the rail and here is another gun for you. No further explanation offered. It seems like the Glock 26 Safety lever might come into use faster than expected. I was thinking about this before, but it might not be a bad idea to have a spare back-up pocket gun to have on hand. If I could afford one right now, I would take another look at the little 9mm pocket gun.
Tanner
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Tanner,
The crack is about half the length of the rail on the mag release side of the gun. The rail moves inward as side force is applied. I am very leery of these little guns especially of the light weight variety. I would not think a higher caliber would be a good investment but the higher forces would make it more prone to a failure of its weakest part. I will bring my Walther PPKS 380 next time and see the difference. The problem with it is that because of its construction, it’s too heavy for a pocket gun. I do not think the light weight ones are reliable as a carry gun only as a last effort backup. We must come up with a better solution.
Carl
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Carl,
If I remember correctly, the little 9mm gun was a bit heavier and resembled the design of a Glock. It seemed more like a “real gun”. I agree that the lightweight pocket guns are flimsy in comparison and are more prone to breakage and failure. They seem more like a toy as compared to a real gun. I don’t think there is a better solution though, if we want to carry it in our pockets.
Tanner
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Tanner,
Attached are two photos of the rail failure I took for you before FedEx comes to pick up the TCP. Let me know if you can see the failure OK.
Carl
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Carl,
Thanks for the pics. I tried to brighten the pictures and zoom in, but I can't really see the crack or identify it as a crack. It’s hard taking detail pictures of these black plastic parts. It looks like you are trying to show a bunch of small striations or wear marks on the inside surface immediately below the left rail (viewed from the right side). I also see a long horizontal gouge or deformation that runs all the way to the front edge of the rail. I assume this is the crack. I just compared your picture with a corresponding view of my Ruger LCP. The corresponding surface of my LCP is pristine and looks new. Yours looks really bad. Is my interpretation of the photos correct? Also, can I use the photos and the information and correspondence and add it to my Taurus TCP web page?
Tanner
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Tanner,
Yes use the photos on your website. I do not know why you are having difficulty seeing the crack. They are very high resolution and are crystal clear when I view them. Also the surface with the crack that is visible is not a wear surface.
Carl
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Carl,
For some reason I received your pictures and they were very dark. I don’t know why. I tried to brighten them up the best I could and they came out fine. Here is a picture of my Ruger that I will include on the web page for comparison purposes. I agree that it is not a wear surface but it sure looks messed up. It almost looks as if someone took a rough file or rasp to it. You been filing on your gun?
Tanner
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Tanner,
Our computers may be set to different color reproduction standards because your picture is very light and washed out. The rough mark you see is the result of poor machining by the Brazilians. The slide support rail on the failed side was not properly machined and resulted in a very thin wall between the groove on the outer side and the side you see in the photo. That condition combined with a very sharp 90º corner at the base of the groove causes a high stress concentration thus resulting in failure. The FedEx guy just left with the TCP and said it will be there in the morning.
Carl
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Carl,
Thanks for the explanation.
Tanner

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Taurus TCP 738 Magazine Release Broke

My friend brought his Taurus TCP 738 to the range for some target shooting. He loaded the magazine, inserted it into the gun, aimed and fired. After firing one round the magazine popped out by itself. Along with the magazine came a little piece of plastic. He reinserted the magazine into the pistol but the magazine wouldn't lock into place. The plastic piece turned out to be a broken piece of the magazine release. No more shooting his TCP that day.

 

Why the Taurus TCP 738 Magazine Release Broke

When he inserted his magazine into the Taurus TCP, my friend didn't depress the magazine release button. He just pushed it into the gun. The action of inserting the magazine into the magazine well caused the plastic magazine release to break.

Page 18 of the Taurus TCP Owner's Manual states
"2. Hold the MAGAZINE with one of your hands and with the other one insert the cartridges one at a time, pressing them down and to the rear. Insert the MAGAZINE into the pistol until it is held by the MAGAZINE CATCH. If the MAGAZINE is not correctly inserted into the pistol, it can be dropped when you intend to shoot." It does NOT mention having to depress the magazine release button while inserting the magazine into the well. Research on the internet shows that some owner's of the Taurus TCP, Ruger LCP and the Keltec P-3AT recommend depressing the magazine release button each time you insert the magazine because it is a plastic part that is susceptible to breaking.

Later that day my friend called the Taurus company and told them the problem with the magazine release.
"I called Taurus regarding the magazine release and they said I could send them the TCP or they would send me the part. I asked for the part and I will install it. There is no charge. I will probably not have it by next week."

 

Feedback Comments & Questions

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Taurus 709 "slims" have gone FULL AUTO!

March 27, 2013
Watch out! Several Taurus 709 "slims" have gone FULL AUTO! Dumping the entire mag! Another 9mm (I don't remember th model) shot "doubles". No data on possible recall. Check your sears for defects. Busterandbailey

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Sharp Edges On Taurus 738 Slide Cut Finger

May 29, 2012
I received the Taurus 738 for a Christmas gift. I have been really satisfied with its performance and accuracy for a "pocket pistol." I did, however, discover the razor sharp edges on the end of the slide as it recoils. The problem of having my left hand with thumb exposed to close to the action and it cost me 3 stitches (I readily admit this is my fault). I am contemplating taking it to a smith and having these edges removed. I don't believe this will interfere with the action of the pistol, but I would ask whether you would suggest contacting Taurus first?
Chuck

Response - Chuck,
Sorry for the delay in responding to your message. It doesn't really sound like it is your fault that you got cut. My left thumb rides up pretty close to the slide edge and sometimes rubs against it, but I have never been cut like that by my guns. The edge of the slide shouldn't be sharp enough to cut you like that.

I would suggest that you contact Taurus first. It may save you some money. The will probably tell you to send It back to them for them to fix the
problem or tell you what to do. If it were mine, and I didn't want to be without the gun for a few weeks, I would probably try removing the razor edge with careful application of an emery cloth or fine grit sandpaper (of course be careful not to do any damage). Good luck,
Tanner

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New Taurus Gun Jams

March 7, 2012
I have a new torus gun it jams after 5 shots what do i need to do to get it fixed.
Richard

Response - Richard,
Guns jam for many reasons. You didn't say how it jams or what type of jam. The first thing I would do is to clean, lubricate and inspect it. Then I would try different types of ammunition, preferably round nose, full metal jacket ammo. Then I would try polishing the slide. You could always take it to a gunsmith or send it back to Taurus for repair.
Tanner

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Taurus 738 Not Designed For Plus Ps Or Hollowpoint

August 19, 2011
The Taurus 738 TCP pistol is designed to shoot round ball ammo and not Hollow points, and 95 gr 1000 fps. I have shot a dozen boxes of shells through mine and have not had one single jam. If you buy a handgun, shoot the right ammo and their probably won't be a problem. The Taurus 380 TCP 738 is a great handgun. If you want to shoot Plus Ps then or hotter ammo then what's recommended then buy a heaver frame gun.
Teddy

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Taurus TCP 738 Problems

July 15, 2011
My Tcp 380 seemed really nice. I have not fired it thru winter. I took it to the range, and it would not fire. Pull trigger/no click// Dead. So i took it apart, and there is some debate on when you put latch pin back in during assembly if it should be framed back, as it was when it was dis-assembled, or put pin in as when it looks lined up ? So either way worked, and still no fire. Is spring pin in correct. Yes. At Gun shop we compared it to a display gun. Sent it back to Taurus today thru gun shop. If i had known this trouble would brew. I would of steered clear. My Big Taurus .480 with the warranty enticed me to buy this mini....
Bob

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Taurus TCP 738 FTE Issues

June 23, 2011
Hello, I'm debating between the KelTek P3AT and the Taurus 738. I've read several complaints on the Taurus having FTE issues. However, most of the complaints I read end with dates around 10/2010. Do you know if Taurus has addressed any design issues with the TCP 738? I've new to the handgun realm and need all the guidance I can get. Thanks! Lyn


Response - Lyn,

My friend has a Taurus TCP 738 (I went with a Ruger LCP). During the first few months that he owned it he too had a couple of FTE problems and eventually sent it back to the factory for inspection and/or repair. After waiting over a month for his TCP to be returned he decided to call and find out the status of his gun. If my memory serves me right, they told him that the gun was in their research/design department and that they couldn't find anything wrong with his it and that they were “making” him a new gun. Why they just did not replace his gun with one from stock, we don't know. My friend sees to think that maybe (or hopefully) they were incorporating a design change to fix the problem.

A few weeks later he received his new gun. He has shot over 500 rounds through it with no problems at all. He is now happy with his gun.

The only way to get the real answer to your question would be to contact Taurus yourself.

Another thing to consider when buying your gun is how it fits in your hand and whether you will be using magazine extensions to get a better grip on the gun. Both my friend and I agree that these small pocket guns need them. Be aware that you cannot buy magazine extensions for the Taurus (you will have to make your own).

Good luck in your decision.

Tanner

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MIKE COVIELLO is a former aerospace engineer, now Web Designer/SEO Consultant. Hobbies include shooting zombies & reloading ammunition.