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Old March 9, 2010, 01:46 PM   #1
AirForce2
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Taurus TCP First Look

Went to sportsmans wearhouse 3/5 to compare the Taurus & LCP and buy one or the other and went with the Taurus for now. Never seen it before and right off the batt I racked the empty slide back & it would not lock open (in store before I bought). I thought that was odd since this is a feature that LCP doesn't have and upon further investigation noticed the Taurus mag follower has a small metal strip half ass molded into the plastic and the metal piece actually pushes up on the mag release by design. On the first gun it appears the empty mag/follower is not contacting the slide stop and may just need slide stop to be tweeked further into the middle or the mag was twisted. I thougt this was odd since I've had good success for 10 years shooting USPSA open & stock class competition & on the 1st Air Force Action Pistol team 1996-1998 on 1911's primarily STI that had plastic followers. Anyway I asked for another one of the rack and it didn't lock back either most of the time by hand, jeeeez, so now I'm confident this is a hit or miss out of the box problem. I mulled it over and figured I usually don't carry and extra mag anyway (like most people w/baby guns) and could live with it since the price was only $269 w/2 mags, and belt gun purse. Had him bring me a new unwrapped and it works for now by hand and will see if good at range soon.
-I noticed with a full mag in and open the slide, the slide lock ledge sits really close to the bullet heads. If I have any concern this will hamper feeding, I'll cut the ledge off.
-I felt the side of the barrel feed ramp was super skinny and had flared out spot on outside edges of ramp (kinda bulged) about halfway up on both sides and on the bottom of the feed ramp, not sure what this was from and smoothed the bulges out. I also polished all the edges all around the feed hole and put a very slight chamfer around the edges.
-The grip seems a little more fitting than the LCP and purchased a hoque sleeve ($7) about 2 inches long with one finger groove grip and put it on upside down and trimmed the bottom so wouldn't interfere with mag and wow, it really filled out the sides of the taurus grip since the flat side plastic grips on taurus & ruger doesn't really fill up the sides of hand very well and gave me a finger groove as well. If you get the TCP or the LCP I highly suggest you get this hogue sleeve and try it. You can just cut the rubber grip with scissors and mold it minor around the mag release on each side and cut about 1/4 inch off the bottom so mag change is not hindered. I don't remember the model number but the package shows a sleeve w/one finger knub and the whole thing is about 2 inches long (don't forget to put it on upside down or the finger groove will not fit in right place.) I think you'll like it if it stays on.
-The bottom of the trigger guard has a sharp edge on both sides and should have been rounded and bites into the finger under my trigger finger when gripped. It's plastic and just dremmeled it round and fine sanded and it's as comfy as the LCP now which I'll appreciate if I fire the buffalo bore.
-The loaded chamber indicator to me is a potential area to cause feed issues since it has a small sharp square edge that sticks into the extractor area, but it may work fine, but likely will round the edges on top & bottom.
-The slide pin that holds the slide & frame together does suck to get in by hand since it's totally round and flat on bottom and must go into a none round hole due to the detent rod. I may try to angle only a tiny small portion of the pin edge to help this (don't round off the whole thing or it will not fit tight into the round other side of the frame tight and could cause issues).
-Trigger pull is definitely smoother and lighter double action than the LCP.
-Since everybody's hoarding ammo, I couldn't find any cheap ammo and I'll repost when I can get some name brand ball ammo and test fire and the buffalo bore that I had to buy just to have bullets for now.
-Overall I've owned 4 taurus guns including this one and they are not without issues but for the money and only occasional issues so far I'll see after this TCP. I've had a taurus .38 that timing went bad on and binding up during cycling, a taurus PT40 that broke the extractor, and a taurus ultralite .38 that was my primary concealed no problems and wanted something lighter/smaller that I would be more prone to carry all the time. I know several people who have CC permits and don't carry half the time because they own big heavy autos that they can't/won't conceal during summer months or in slacks & shirt tucked in unless that have a jacket or large untucked shirt, some even carry less rounds to save weight so I feel the lack of power is a trade off. Everyone says hey that bad guy will just eat up those .380's and keep coming. Try it on your friends and see. I doubt most bad guys are gonna get shot at 10 yds with a .380 and just look at you and scoff "you didn't just shoot me with a .380 did ya"
-Overall I think the guns looks nice, for sure not what I'd consider the best in form fit & function compared to some, but the range will tell. I luckily found a 100 rd box of 90 gr winchester ball and will try to test it this week and also a few of the buffalo bore 95 gr FM flat nose, which hand cycling sucks already and will likely use the buffalo bore jacketed hollow points for better reliability.
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Old March 10, 2010, 01:53 AM   #2
AirForce2
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Taurus TCP Range Test

Overall I'm happy with this gun and here are my observations and opinions. Your's may differ and I'm not trying to say good or bad here.

-75 rds of winchester 95 gr FMJ flat nose and 12 rds buffalo bore 95 gr FMJ flat nose

-no failure to feed or extract but did have several hit me in the forehead, got home & looked like I'd been in a cat fight w/4 black marks and a small bloody cut, oh well.

-Accuracy at 10 yds no problem keeping a 3 inch baseball group. Good accuracy up to 15, but at 25 yds of 4 rds aimed at center high chest, 2 rds missed just left off the body about crotch high and 2 hit right above belt line but left. The group was not bad but the gun shot lower & left more than I'd like. Test your setup at 25yds so you know what to expect. This gun shoots about one inch left and 1 inch low for me and I'm a bad mo fo with a pistol. Since I think under quick shot duress most righties will shoot low & left anyway, this will just make it worse. I hate fixed sights.

-For each shot is double action, it's one of the lightest & smoothest triggers you'll get.

-recoil on double taps at 7-10 yds is fine with regular ammo but buffalo bore, good luck with that. I've done a lot of double taps in my days and started off competition with a full load dan wesson 6 inch 44 mag and could beat people that shot 38's & 357's but the buffalo bore humbled me on the accurate quick 2nd shot double tap.

-Had several times (70% plus) with 2 mags the slide locked open before the last round fed. This is due to the mag follower hitting the slide lock ledge as the last round pops up to the feed lips. I could see the bullets were always hitting the slide stop each time they pop up to the feed lips anyway since the stop sticks way out. I cut most of this ledge off and will use the manual lock if needed. Now I know why some tiny guns don't have the slide lock back after last round. Even though the gun locked open after the last round, I could never get to the last round and it made my gun a 5 shot versus 6. The slide lock is kinda hard to use any since there's no meat on the button.

-Not a big fan of the chamber loaded indicator and feel it can contribute to failure to feeds because it sits about halfway up the extractor groove, has sharp 90 degree edges and did have problems firmly hand cycling, but no issue during live fire.

This is an all the time carry gun to me even better than my taurus 85 ultralite. Not bad for the price, but does have a few items that taurus QA should have caught and done a little better at in a few design areas. Not bad for a special purpose gun.
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Old March 11, 2010, 11:36 AM   #3
AirForce2
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magazine locks open on 5th round

After shooting another 50 more rds yesterday, I thought that if any of you have the problem of slide locking open after the 5th round, you may just be able to use needle nose pliers and bend the slide lock ledge that the follower pushes up against slightly upward instead of grinding half of the ledge off which may fix your problem and still allow full use. I found another guy reported the same problem. I also angle filed the "ejector" slightly to the right and a little more upward and I had no hits to the head yesterday, but they eject so fast I really couln't see where they were going.

I also tried to shoot at 17 yds again for my best accuracy and this seems to be the max range at least for me and these winchester 95 gr FMJ FP's. I could keep all the hits in the upper body but very scattered. Seemed to do better aiming at high chest versus middle.

The hogue grip I use is called the Jr model in case any of you want to shop for it. It does make the gun fit the hand better.

I've grown to really like the way the stainless model looks.
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Old March 11, 2010, 01:25 PM   #4
Sturmgewehre
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Hey, I shoot pins with my little LCP. They're deadly accurate!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6-mVdXaMx0
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Old March 11, 2010, 02:52 PM   #5
Bart Noir
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StG, those were hollow plastic bowling pins, right????

Please say 'yes' or all my ideas of energy and momentum will require a careful revisit.

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Old March 11, 2010, 02:57 PM   #6
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USAF guy, I also have been impressed with the trigger pull on the TCP. If I was fixin' to replace my KelTec I would be considering that Taurus, although I am not happy about the idea of having premature slide-lock.

Is the mag release made of metal? On the KT it is plastic and can wear out. I have to be careful to keep it depressed while the metal magazine is moving into or out of the gun.

I started to disagree with you enthusiasim for that rubber grip sleeve. That would hinder my pulling it out of a jeans pocket, I thought. But now I think that you can wrap your hand around the grip so that the sticky rubber doesn't catch at the inside of the pocket. Is that how you do it?

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Old March 11, 2010, 03:23 PM   #7
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AirForce2, that's the best, most detailed report I've seen yet on the Taurus TCP. Many thanks. I've been looking at it and the Diamondback.
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Old March 11, 2010, 05:27 PM   #8
Sturmgewehre
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Quote:
StG, those were hollow plastic bowling pins, right????

Please say 'yes' or all my ideas of energy and momentum will require a careful revisit.

Bart Noir
Nope! Those were wooden core, full blown, real deal, taken from the dumpster bowling pins from the local alley. I was shooting Mag Tech .380 ball. I was surprised with how much authority the little .380 leveled those pins too.
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Old March 11, 2010, 08:02 PM   #9
AirForce2
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hogue grip

The slide lock is hard steel. The Hougue grip should only be a problem if you're at the country bar with real tight wrangler's and yes, it would not be as big of issue if you put your hand around the grip before pulling from the pocket. I think it's still smaller & easier that the rubber grip on a snubby .38 revolver.
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Old March 11, 2010, 08:10 PM   #10
AirForce2
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take down pin

I also forgot to post since it was hard to reassemble the pin during reassembly that I did a slight grind & polish off about 1/16 inch a small spot on the corner of the slide to frame take down pin and it's much easier to install when putting the gun back together, just line up that one spot with the retaining spring. It does seem hard at times to pop out of the gun though and there's nothing you can or want to do to this because it can pop out of the gun while shooting. Just have to use a small flathead screwdriver and force it to pop out and most guns have a lever to flip between a high & low spot so you don't have to do this.
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Old March 11, 2010, 08:30 PM   #11
Bart Noir
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Airforce, the KT suggests using the cartridge rim to pry out the pin on that model. But it also has small parts that come off the frame when the slide comes off. Don't want to loose those, no you don't.

And I am curious. Does the Taurus have a metal mag release?

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Old March 12, 2010, 12:45 PM   #12
AirForce2
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Mag Release

I'm not sure if the internal is metal but the button is plastic. I'll double check.
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Old March 16, 2010, 10:28 AM   #13
AirForce2
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tcp mag release

it is metal, thought it was plastic but luckily it's metal
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Old March 16, 2010, 11:39 AM   #14
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I have had nothing but success from my TCP. The only thing I don't like about it are the sights. However, its the standard for these types of guns. They aren't range guns. I guess I need to paint the front sight.

Things that I like about it over the competition are the trigger and the accuracy. The trigger is very smooth IMO and I can shoot really well with this little gun. It doesn't seem to be ammo specific. I have shot Speer, Buffalo Bore, American Eagle, Blazer, WWB, and MFS. It would not fire the MFS brand bc the primers are too hard. The LCP had the same issue. I am staying away from that ammo. All the rest have been flawless.

It now lives in my pocket in a #1 Blackhawk pocket holster loaded with Speer Gold Dots.
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Old March 16, 2010, 03:54 PM   #15
AirForce2
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Correction on my range accuracy

My orig 2 posts on the range results were a hair off
-I stated at 10 yds got a baseball size group. That was actually at 7 yds and at 10 yds I had more like a softball group. I still feel accuracy may be acceptable at 15-17 yds and maybe even 25 yds but I need to try some diff ammo, which I can't get easily so it may be some time.

Kinda funny on yo tube some guys were filming their backyard test likely promoting for somebody and had the same exact problem with the mag staying open a few times with one round in the mag and like any good promoter, they said it was because the gun was new and needed a break in of 200 rds.
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Old March 16, 2010, 06:13 PM   #16
JflexXxa
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738

the tcp looks nice, feels nice, perfect summer carry size. but for the 380 ammo costs and bad guy stop im looking more at the 709 slim with the glock-like trigger and the 9mm ammo i can shot and shot. more weight added and a lot bigger but believe i can hide adn carry 24/7 with that choice. i wouldnt however mind the 738 after the 709 purchase because it IS an awsome size the pocket it and not worry of any show. good revied airforce.
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Old March 24, 2010, 09:34 PM   #17
liemha
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Slide lock back after 5th round

AF, can you take picture of the part where you have to fix the mag so that it feed the 6th round, I have the same problem where my TCP lock back after the 5th round. I was going to call Taurus to have them fix the problem but I don't really want to send in my pistol and wait 3-4 weeks to get it back.
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Old June 2, 2010, 01:22 PM   #18
AirForce2
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slide stop premature lock

I think you have 2 options:

1) grind the slide stop ledge off so only a small nub sticks out and can't hit the bullets as they pop upward to the top of the magazine

2)with the slide stop engaged and open look into the top of the gun with an empty mag inserted and you will see the small 1/8 by 1/8 flat ledge sticking from left to right almost even or slightly into the feed ramp area as viewed from the top. You should see the empty mag follower touch the edge of the slide stop ledge I'm referring to. Slightly bend the ledge upward to see if this prevents the bullet from hitting the slide stop ledge, but still allowing the empty follower ledge to engage the slide stop pressure upward enough to open when mag is empty
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Old June 22, 2010, 08:17 PM   #19
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I haven't tested this on the firing line yet, but it seems to work extremely well while hand-cycling the weapon with snap-caps. Where this weapon used to catch open almost always on the last round, with this modification I can not reproduce the malfunction of the last round feed failure.

Magazines are relatively easy to replace if you mess this up. I really don't recommend grinding on the weapon itself unless you really know what you are doing. Make sure you dip the piece in cool water between removal of material, remember that there is a metal piece mounted inside a plastic one that you really don't want to melt. I used a dremel tool with a metal grinding bit.

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Old March 11, 2013, 10:50 AM   #20
AirForce2
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TCP Update

The tauus TCP is still my primary carry weapon and Buffalo Bore is my carry ammo. I only shoot it a few times a year (just don't have time to shoot as much anymore). I feel comfy carrying it and still feel it's a good gun for the price. I saw blued ones at sportmans just last week for $199. I encourage new shooters or potential concealed carry folks to think about a few things for carry. A friend at work didn't take my advice and bought an springfield xdm .40 and now he's shopping for another carry gun due to the weight for carry.

-what gun is light enough that will not make me leave the gun in the car, leave it at home, annoy me, rip a hole thru my pocket, allow all attire, good for all seasons. In short "I can & will carry all the time"

-can I carry a 10 oz gun and shoot it well enough to be confident and accurate with slight trade off of full length grip, little more recoil but always be armed or will I carry the 20+ oz gun and then determine it's too heavy and makes my pants fall off, hurts my side, back, stomach, doesn't stay concealed, shifts my jacket to one side, or leave in the car to be stolen, to heavy for my purse, takes up to much room. Your carry gun should not take lots of planning or seen as an annoyance or task. Many can carry the larger heavier pistols concealed but everyone has different tastes, attire, and thoughts, just make sure your choice is "reliable and a tool you always will carry".
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Old March 11, 2013, 11:47 AM   #21
kahrguy
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A carried a model 85 for many years and bought a 22 version for cheap practice. Did not buy another taurus till I desided to get a TCP after wanting something smaller for when my 9mm was to much,

I read all the reviews of the micro 380s and settled on a TCP380fs the cheapy of the bunch. Cost 185 bucks at lgs. Wet the slide down well with clp and heat lamped it for a couple days. before shooting. Thats my rust proofing trick. At the range it ran threw thru a few hundred rounds of what ever i could get. PMC hated to rack it the first round but fired fine. Even shot some of 6 brands of HP ammo. Good little gun with what I think is the best DA trigger pull out there.

Then my youngest daughter claimed it as one of her CC pistols.

My wife bought hersel one after sonning mine.a. my daughters tcp and ended up buy'n herself one. She bought the tcp380SS model and it was 250 dollars at our lgs. It shoot as well as the first one with not a single issue. I did buy a few extra mags for them and tested them too. Also diamond stoned off a corner of the assembly pins to aid re-assembly after cleaning.

I do tend to add a piece of old inner tube to most of my light weight pistol to help with control. TCP's included.

So I am back to my cm9 for now for pocket carry. Not sure if I will buy another tcp as I still have one more daughter that may try to claim it.
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Old June 15, 2013, 02:52 AM   #22
AirForce2
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My 2nd TCP

Bought another TCP in blue finish since it was on $199 at sportsmans just to have another one since my stainless TCP carry one with my feed ramp job and a few mods thought another would be good to keep in the cookie jar.

Well this one sure was cut different than my first one. This one would even remotely feed the buffalo bore HP's or flat points right out of the box. I couldn't even hand cycle fast or hit the slide. This one needed a "major" feed ramp recut & polish just to hand cycle somewhat. Must have been some tweek on the machine cutter or something. Like a box of chocolates.
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Old June 15, 2013, 07:43 AM   #23
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AirForce2 What is the letter in the serial number of your TCP's. Are both a C series or are they different. There may be a D by now.

I do tend to do a high polish on any pistols feed ramp I have. Part of my standard prepping of any pistol. I also use diamond files to soften any sharp edges I can find where moving parts can cut or hang up internaly. Slide to rail and internal parts that run together get some polishing no matter the make or cost of the firearm.

I know reading some handgun owners reviews some bullet profiles can cause a slide hold open to trip early. I just have not found them yet in our tcps or my kahrs that others have run in to . I do avoid some brands of ammo all together. Too many problems with some lower end brands cheap ammo lines.
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Old June 16, 2013, 01:13 AM   #24
Yung.gunr
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The only ammo that mine has had issues with is the stupid cheap Tulammo. It has 100% successfully fed everything else. That's surprising for me.....
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Old June 16, 2013, 05:17 AM   #25
Brit
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Never a fan of .380, no real reason, sticking to one pistol caliber made sense, 9mm. The 709 Slim Taurus I bought, a while ago, has been flawless.
Fit and finish, real nice.
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