Three versions of the Taurus 738 TCP, or Taurus Compact Pistol, were introduced at the 2009 SHOT Show in Orlando. The TCP, also known as the model 738, is a .380 ACP pistol clearly aimed at taking market share from the wildy popular Ruger LCP.
The TCP is a very small, thin and lightweight polymer pocket gun. The sights are described by Taurus as “low-profile,” but I would more accurately describe them as almost non-existent. That’s too bad, because this would have been one way the gun could have differentiated itself from the Ruger.
The Taurus TCP has a slide lock, ambidextrous magazine release, and a loaded chamber indicator. A slide stop is not always found on pistols of this size, and an ambi mag release is almost never seen except on larger handguns. These could be important features for anyone looking to pick up a 738 TCP.
The pistol holds six rounds in the magazine, with an additional eight-round magazine available. The extended magazine adds a little length to the grip of the gun, which may make it harder to conceal, but easier to hold on to. The TCP has a 3.3″ barrel and an overall length of 5.19″. That’s pretty small stuff.
I hope you like double action only (DAO) pistols, because that is what you are getting with this handgun. The trigger pull was long and moderately heavy. I would have liked it a lot more with a shorter trigger pull with the same weight. Others may disagree with this assessment since the Taurus 738 TCP is designed to be a pocket gun.
The TCP is the lightest gun that Taurus currently offers, weighing only 10.2 ounces with a blued or stainless steel slide, and a mere nine ounces (!) with a titanium slide. The titanium slide version is so light, you might actually forget you are carrying it. Those weights are unloaded, by the way.
The Taurus TCP will be manufactured here in the United States. Taurus makes most of their guns in Brazil, but small guns like the 738 TCP can be difficult to import. In many ways, it makes sense for the company to invest in manufacturing here in the US. Not all parts have to be made in the USA, and many may be made in Brazil, with the serial numbered part being made in-country.
The Taurus rep on the show floor said pricing would be “around $300″ with the titanium model “about $100 more.” Ultimately, street prices are almost always cheaper, and Taurus handguns tend to be very competitive on price. I would expect this to be a sub-$300 gun at the end of the day. Time will tell.