Analysis of Taurus 738 problem

At least on TFB, the Taurus 738 TCP has been controversial with my blog post about it generating over 220 comments about it. Many owners have experienced problems. One reader, Nilo, did an analysis of what he thinks is the cause of the last-round hold-open problem.

Nilo says …

> I have purchased this gun and like many I have a few issues with it.

> I did a close analysis of my gun and have come to few conclusions.

> Anyone with basic knowledge of mechanics would probably agree with me that there is a design issue with this gun.

> The issue I have experienced, along with many others, is regarding the slide not locking open after last round. A basic review of the gun and the components that provide this feature showed that this issued is caused by the design of the slide catcher and the magazine follower.

> Once the last round is loaded to the chamber, the stopper is supposed to catch the follower and keep pushing it up against the slide, causing the slide to lock open after the last shot is fired.

> Because Taurus wanted to make a very thin grip on this gun, the magazine had to be thin and the follower doesn’t have enough area to properly hold the slide stopper.

> Photos are better than thousand words, so here we go.

Photos are after the jump …


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • bullzebub

    i can think of a few ways to fix that with just some redesigns to the mag actually …
    also.. the stopper might be to flexible so some harder material could also do alot to fix that.

  • Jim

    I have the 738 and have not seen this problem at all. The slide locks open every time the last round is fired. In fairness I’ve only put 200 rounds through it. All FMJ.

  • Carl

    Looks to me like the problem is more due to the magazine being rounded. A 90 degree corner on the mag and follower would stick out more outside the outline of the bullet.

  • Freiheit

    A complete redesign of the pistol seems a bit extreme. A likely option but hardly the best first option.

    What about a mag follower with a slide stop notch on both sides and then add an extension to the slide stop catch across the front of the mag to another contact pad? I don’t think its a great idea, but it may help.

    Taurus seems to be developing a reputation for making a decent gun at a mid-range price IF you don’t buy the first generation of a design. I’m familiar with the Millenium Pro line, I bought a used 3rd generation. I would have been screwed if it was a 1st or 2nd gen gun, there were similar design faults.

    Overall this puts me off Taurus. I’ve been generally happy with my PT-145, but there have been one or two issues with factory mags.

    Taurus does have a great warranty, but I can’t help but wonder for what they pay in warranty work and reputation if they couldn’t roll that into QA up front. I am not aware of Nilo’s qualifications, but he did some basic observations and found the issue, surely a Taurus engineer saw the same thing.

  • SpudGun

    I believe a lot of the smaller Kahr autos also suffered from the same problem and that most users just switched to an after market magazine that apparently solved the problem over night.

    I’m not the biggest fan of Taurus production techniques or their spotty QC, but if your only problem is the slide stop, you should count yourself lucky.

  • Sian

    I fired about 40 rounds through my boss’s TCP the other day, and I just thought the lack of a slide lock was part of the design.

    It never locked back after the last round with RWS FMJ.

    Maybe I’ll just get a SLIM 740 for deep concealment instead. It won’t fit in a shirt pocket, but really.

  • Bryan S

    You now, a small wedge that retracts into the follower when it is depressed would probably fix that, causing just a new follower to be made.

  • Freiheit

    “I fired about 40 rounds through my boss’s TCP the other day, and I just thought the lack of a slide lock was part of the design.”

    Thats actually not a bad idea for Taurus to “fix” the problem with a quick design revision. Remove the tab from the slide lock and remove the feature from the list of things it does.

  • Sian

    “Thats actually not a bad idea for Taurus to “fix” the problem with a quick design revision. Remove the tab from the slide lock and remove the feature from the list of things it does.”

    To be honest, on a pocket gun, it’s no deal breaker, you aren’t going to expect to combat-reload it anyway.

  • nilo

    I’m not an expert nor have any gunsmith qualifications, so Taurus knew about these issues and decided to release the product anyways.
    I agree that the lock open freature is not a must have on these small guns BUT if you have paid for the feature, you should have it working 100%.
    That actually is my main concern. Because this feature doesn’t work all the time, users can mistakenly assume the mag is empty when actually it is not. This Fail to load issue that is also caused by the same follower/slide stop design, already happened to me and a friend that has the same gun.
    After 5 shots, the last round actually pushes the slide stop notch up and cause the mag to stay open. You think the mag is empty, but you have one last round there. You release the slide and don’t see that last round and think you have an empty chamber, but you pistol is HOT and ready for an acident.
    So be aware and aways visually inspect your chamber to make sure you are safe and don’t trust a feature that is not reliable.

  • Carl

    A pistol is always “hot”.
    See rule #1.

  • SC Mike

    Some friends and I put 150 rounds of Georgia Arms, MagTech, and Sellior and Bellot through yesterday without malfunction. In over 500 rounds I’ve had but one instance of the slide failing to lock after the last round, and that was within the first 50 rounds. So calling it a design flaw seems inaccurate because the design is not at fault, some examples do not function IAW the design.

  • Samuel Bell

    I bought a new .380 Taurus PT 738 and the hammer will not drop when the trigger is pulled. I can see the hammer travel rearward when the trigger is pulled, but will not drop. I took it apart and put it back together, but hammer still will not drop.

    When I called Taurus, they told me to send it back and it would be 4 to 6 weeks before I get it back.

    Any simple suggestions about something I may have overlooked???

  • Ed_G

    All the talk of slide lock problems, but I haven’t seen my problem posted. Purchased my new PT-738 July 30, 2010. Prior to my first test firing scheduled for the following Monday (today) I attempted to disassemble the gun per the instructions. The slide would not lock back when a magazine is removed. In my opinion, it would not lock quite as ‘firmly’ as it should even when a magazine was present. And when locked back when a magazine was present, soon as I hit the magazine release button, the slide would snap back.
    Called Taurus today and gun will be picked up tomorrow by FedEx. They gave me an estimate turnaround of 2 – 3 weeks.

  • SC Mike


    I’m somewhat confused by your description, so I’ll re-state proper TCP functioning here:

    When the mag is removed, you have to push up on the slide catch for the slide to stay back, it will not catch automatically. To release the slide catch, simply pull back on the slide and the slide will close.

    When an emptiy magazine is fully in place, the slide catch is automatically engaged such that the slide will stay back if you pull it back (or if it’s driven back by the last round); you do not have to push up on the slide catch. To release the catch with an empty mag in place, you have to press down on the slide catch. If you pull the slide back again, it will lock in place as long as the empty mag is in place.

    If your TCP is functioning as I’ve described above, nothing is wrong.

  • Ed_G

    Let me restate the problem so it is more clear. The slide will NOT lock back when a magazine is not present. You can pull it back and push up on the slide catch, but the catch will not hold the slide back… the slide snaps closed anyway. It is apparent that there is a defect in the slide lock notch, I think. If an empty magazine is present, the slide will generally lock back although looking closely at the slide catch in the notch it does appear to be barely holding the slide back … not solidly at all… and if you then release the magazine the slide will snap closed. Not at all useful if you intend to insert a freshly loaded magazine with the slide back.
    The gun is presently in its box awaiting FedEx to show up today.

  • SC Mike

    Ed_G –

    Thanks for clarifying.

    That’s peculiar. I think it needs an exorcism…

  • Larry

    Fired my TCP .380 for the first time today. I cleaned it prior to firing. The first mag went through flawlessly, the second jammed on the 3rd round. Got it loose, rechambered and fired. I was using CCI Lawman 95 gr. I now have bought some 95 gr MagTech and will try that. Had a problem getting the gun back together after cleaning, hard to line up parts to get the pin back in. I suppose ease will come with practice. I was impressed with the accuracy considering the low profile sights. I had a toss up between the keltec (which I have a Pll with never a misfire) and the Ruger LCP, I liked the features of the TCP, hope I didn’t make a mistake. I have heard that any semi needs at least 100 rounds to season it.

  • David C

    Samuel – I have the same problem. Bought the 738 yesterday, fired 12 shots beautifully. Today I took it out and the hammer pulls back but will not drop therefore no fire. It is very annoying. Did you or anyone else resolve this ? Pretty bad to buy a gun and have to send it in for service for a month after 1 day and 12 rounds.


  • Ed_G

    What’r you guys complaining about? AT least you got to shoot your 738 first. I didn’t even get to that point.



  • I think Nilo has it nailed.Ive got to tell you I love the TCP I think there are a lot of inovations built right into the gun,internal safety,loaded chamber indicator,and the empty round slide lock.I think that the manufacturing bugs can be ironed out hey just like the tcp.I only hope that taurus listens to Nilo.Way to go



  • David Bowles

    Talked to Taurus and they told me that the magazines and gun have been redesigned and mine needs to go in for revisions. Anyone else heard this from Taurus?

  • Ed_G

    My Taurus has been in waiting service ( see my previous posts above ) for the past couple weeks. I hope that they will address the re-design issue you mentioned since they now have it. Can anyone else offer any further insight on this re-design plan?



  • Hey Dave I just went round and round with Robert the so called Customer Service Manager at Taurus.I sent my gun in for repair for the second time and they sent it back after being repaired,unbelieveable. I found that the receiver is bowed on the left side,the slide release does not work,only if you use two thumbs,I did not check to see if it still did not extract,and after they test fire the gun they do not even spray a little gun scrubber on it to at least half clean it.I have to send it in again to see if they will repair it this time Oh Im having a big problen re inserting the take down pin.More problems I’m disgusted I can’t say anymore,these guys are going to destroy the reputation of a gun that Taurus could have made millions and millions of dollars on.

  • Would like to know if anybody can provide any reason as to why the left side of my polymer reciever is bulging out,not a lot but maybe about 1/16th of an inch. I determined this because the slide is not flush with the polymer lower reciever possibly they installed the frame incorrectly???. it also came back from the factory like this.

    Take down pin is near impossible to put back into the frame,issue has not been addressed by Taurus gunsmith’s either, it came back from the factory like this also ;this points to an incorrectly installed frame.If Taurus dosen’t address these quality control and inspection issues you won’t be able to give these guns away.As of late I have been the subject of humor by my friends they are calling my pistol the PT 738 Taurus Lemon.Commenting get an LCP..I have got to see what the Taurus gunsmith’s do at the factory this time around this is round#3.If they don’t correct the problem’s,I’m going to get rid of the TCP and buy the Ruger LCP,at any rate I’ll keep you up to speed.

  • Would like to know if anybody can provide any reason as to why the left side of my polymer reciever is bulging out,not a lot but maybe about 1/16th of an inch. I determined this because the slide is not flush with the polymer lower reciever possibly they installed the frame incorrectly???. it also came back from the factory like this.

    Take down pin is near impossible to put back into the frame,issue has not been addressed by Taurus gunsmith’s either, it came back from the factory like this also ;this points to an incorrectly installed frame.If Taurus dosen’t address these quality control and inspection issues you won’t be able to give these guns away.As of late I have been the subject of humor by my friends they are calling my pistol the PT 738 Taurus Lemon.Commenting get an LCP..I have got to see what the Taurus gunsmith’s do at the factory this time around this is round#3.If they don’t correct the problem’s,I’m going to get rid of the TCP and buy the Ruger LCP,at any rate I’ll keep you up to speed.Nilo I could use a little bit of insite whats your take on this??

  • SC Mike

    With the slide removed look down into the left side of the frame just behind the takedown pin hole where the slide travels and you’ll see the top of the lever spring that retains the takedown pin. It’s supposed to be held in place on the inner side of the slide but appears to have come unseated, leading to the bulge and difficulties with the takedown pin.

    Using a small screwdriver and very little pressure, push the top of the spring down and in toward the center of the frame until the spring reseats. (You can tell that it’s properly seated when you can’t see the top of it when you look down at the frame.)

    The bulge in the frame itself should begin to disappear by itself, but you could hurry that along by reassembling the pistol and using a spring clamp overlapping the frame and the slide to apply moderate pressure to restore the frame to its original shape.

    I don’t know how common this is but have seen this once in an otherwise properly functioning pistol.

  • Mike I thank you very much,I had no idea what the problem was.When I looked at it I almost fell over, I thought it was a problem with the polymer frame, I could only think>> what next.

    Well Mike at any rate the pistol is back at the factory,because of that and a few other things,I hope they give it a good going over and correct all of those problems but I kinda doubt it.Every time they test fire the pistol they return it dirty not even sprayed with gun scrubber,which tells me they don’t go over it very well.I always thought that if it went to the gunsmith it came back fixed,not so in these instances.I’ll let you know how the third trip to the factory turns out.

    Again Mike thanks very much for that information,Im very relieved.




  • Dave C


    I finally got my 738 back from service that had the hammer that would not release when you pulled the trigger. On the service sheet it said:

    Problem Found Resolution
    Trigger does not release hammer Adjusted
    Jams Replaced

    Not sure what they mean by “Replaced” – what was replaced. It does work now though. Took about 3 weeks to resolve. I’m still a little nervous given the many problems people seem to have with it …


  • Ed_G

    This is an update to my earlier post of August 4. I had sent my new unfired PT-738 in for repair because my slide would not lock back…. I wanted to clean the gun before firing and found this issue.
    The repair process couldn’t be better. Called Taurus, they sent FedEx overnight pickup and the gun was in their hands the next day. They claimed about a 3 week wait . . . . They completed service and returned the gun to me a few days shy of 3 weeks. Unfortunately I was out of state when it was delivered so FedEx sent it back. When I returned I called Taurus and they sent it again. This must have cost them about $100 in overnight FedEx shipping fees and I truly appreciate their doing this.
    Upon receipt I found the slide lock issue correct even though the paper accompanying the gun stated ” no problem found ” and ” adjustment made “.

    Today I took the gun to the range to fire for the first time and
    evaluate it. I fired about 50 rounds of Remington UMC without a hitch. I fired 18 rounds of Winchester FMJ with one failure to feed on the first magazine full. I fired 12 rounds of Independence FMJ with no problems . In my estimation the gun performed flawlessly. The Independence ammo was all over the place. The Remington UMC was pretty good. The Winchester FMJ was outstanding with by far the smallest groups.

    Having previously fired the LCP I must state without reservation I am happy I decided to buy this Taurus. The slide lock is a must have for me and quite frankly for both me and my shooting partner of the day both note the Taurus locked breach gun is much easier and more fun to shoot than the LCP’s blowback design.

    Will schedule another session next week and repeat this process along with adding a couple magazines of defensive rounds.

    Bottom line: I certainly am happy with this gun.

    Ed in Oregon

  • Ed. G I did not have a problem with shipping the fire arm back to the factory ED.The problems arose when it came back from the factory.It came back with more problems then it had left with.This is the third time it has been returned but now I must say that Taurus has addressed all of the issue’s I had sent it in for.It looks like somebody did perform a quality control inspection,and although I have not fired it I am pleased with the way it came back.The problems have been repaired.

    I have always liked this pistol very much.I believe it is the best of the big three Ruger LCP, and the Kel Tec P3AT.along with Taurus PT738.Hopefully the factory has ironed out all of the manufacturing bugs.Now sales will take off.


  • Ed_G

    Sept. 23, 2010: Here is continued saga on my new PT-738.

    Reminder, I just received it back from Taurus for a slide lock problem. They corrected the problem.

    On Sept. 14 I test fired a mixture of three different types of FMJ ammo, firing about 75 rounds total. The gun was flawless! Took it home and cleaned it.

    On Sept. 22 I took it back to the range for further testing. I fired a mixture of four different types of FMJ (totaling 72 rounds ) and the gun was again flawless. At that point I planned on switching to some small tests with defense rounds. I put four Speer GoldDot JHP in a magazine….. the very first one fired sounded ‘funny’ and the case did not eject. I looked and saw the case still setting loosely in the chamber. After removing it I found the edge of the cartridge terribly distorted and expanded. An inspection of the gun did not show any issues. After some discussion with my range partners I decided to fire a single round of Remington UMC ( my general range cartridge ). The same thing occurred with the Remington case failing to eject and once removed found the cartridge horribly expanded and distorted around the rim.

    I used a pretty high power lens to inspect the barrel of my gun but could find no evidence of cracks or anything.

    Called Taurus that afternoon and FedEx will be picking the gun up today. I am also sending them the two damaged cartridge cases.

    If anyone would like to see some good close up pictures of these two casings I can email them to you at your request. I am ed5588 AT newsguy dot com . No one locally can figure this one out.

  • Ed I don’t like the sound of this Ed.It sounds to me like the bore of the pistol has expanded, how I don’t know.What peaked my intrest was the part about the case sitting loosely in the chamber.Possibly bad barrel??Don’t attempt to fire it let the gunsmith’s at Taurus figure it out.I won’t fire plus +P stuff out of mine even though Taurus has not advised to the contrary.Good luck.

  • Ed_G


    Just to be clear, I have not fired any Plus rounds either. Both the Speer GoldDot and the Federal Hydrashok are NOT plus rounds.

    Gun is now at Taurus. We shall see.


  • Ok Ed I’m not sure about using a diet of Plus P+ in the Taurus 738.There is a lot of good ammo out there so plus P is not needed.You mentioned a brand which is very good.I have used that ammo for at least ten years.I am more in favor of Hornady Critical Defense FTX,which looks to be an excellent personel defense ammo.

    On another note Ed I’m curious you mentioned a weird sound when you fired the cartridge.Is it possible that the ammo was defective??? I don’t know could it possibly be an ignited primer and the main charge failed to ignite?? You examined the chamber of the gun to find a cartridge in the chamber that had not expanded.Was the projectile fired??Now I guess I’m getting into what if’s.What you have described sometimes happens to reloaded ammo.the loader runs out of propellent and a bullet is seated with just a primer ergo the weird low noise the bullet is propelled into the barrel but does not exit.I have seen this happen .If this is not the case sending the gun back to Taurus was the best case senerio.

    After mine came back from the factory for the third time ,the factory had given it a good going over.According to the customer service rep,they fired at least twenty four rounds out of it before they sent it back,they replaced the polymer lower frame and the slide.I took it out to the range and fired 50 rounds from it I had one jamm and two lite hits on a cartridgre,not the pistols fault it was the ammo that I was using.I’l have to wait an see if the problems were corrected.

  • Ed_G


    some misunderstanding here, I think. The first round that sounded “funny” did fire. I saw the bullet impact the dirt bank behind my target. What I did note was the the sound was ‘muffled’ … not as loud as it should have been … and just plain noticeably different. That sound difference from a normal ‘bang’ was enough to prompt me to check the chamber…. the brass case was sitting there … loosely. I did not have to pry it out, but only had to turn the gun over and shake it out into my hand. The distorted mouth around the brass opening was frightening in its appearance…. gasses seemed to have forced their way out around the bullet enough to distort the brass…. significantly enlarging the opening wider than the diameter of the bullet.

    Was it a defective bullet? I don’t know, but bear in mind, that was a Speer GoldDot JHP. The very next round I tried was a Remington UMC FMJ … and it did the same thing. It would be extremely coincidental, to say the least, to have two different kinds of bullets from two different manufacturers be defective … in the same weird way.

    Dan, ( and anyone else ) if you’d like to see a good picture of theses two brass cases, send me an email ( its listed at the end of my post a couple posts above. )

  • Based on the foregoing information Ed I would just guess but I’m betting on a defective barrel.Well what ever it is it’s not good.Wish you luck and I hope Taurus comes thru for you.They have got a big add in the American Rifleman Magazine,I guess now they realize that the TPC is going to be there big seller.

  • Bob Vihlidal

    Does anyone else have problems with there 738 not extracting cartridges from the barrel after firing that round? my new 738 won’t extract the spent rounds with any type of consistancy P.S. I’ve got the Kel-tec and a ruger 380 and they work great




  • SC Mike

    Danny, Bob, and All –

    Lots of folks have registered their experience with, including complaints about, the Taurus TCP at the following entry on this blog:

    I’ve posted there several times about my favorable experience with this weapon since I bought mine in February, 2010. In fact, I think I’ve shot more than a couple of 50-round boxes more than I normally would because of the problems reported there. I’ve gone shooting with friends just to send 50 or 100 rounds downrange to discover flaws, without success. In other words, except for one instance where the slide did not remain locked back with the first 50-round box of ammo, I’ve had no FTF, FTE, or failure of any sort in 800 rounds of every brand (Win, Hornady, Georgia Arms, S&B, Blazer [brass and aluminum]) and type (MC, & JHP) I can find.

    Shooting with friends who have another brand of .380 pocket pistol brings forth the remark that the Taurus has the best trigger and points / shoots accurately. None of us can see much sense in buying more than one, so we stick with what we bought, and I’m quite satisfied. I recognize that others have had problems with the TCP, and hope they get satisfaction from Taurus or in getting something in which they have greater confidence.

    Were money no object, I would carry the Rohrbaugh R9.
    I’ve held and drooled over, but not fired, one of these jewels that fires the more potent 9mm round but is the size of the pocket .380s. It’s simply the best pocket semiautomatic:
    But at $1300, it’s way beyond my reach…

  • Thanks for the information Mike.I would agree that the ammo used in the Taurus 738 has a lot to do with the failure’s to extract and failure to feed.I have been putting rounds thry mine at a rate of about 50 rounds every two weeks.I have even fired Tulammo a Russian brand that is just above wolf.It functioned perfectly hopefully the problems are corrected.

    As I have always said I love this pistol.When Taurus gets all of the manufacturing bugs out of it you wont be able to get one.Once they hit the shelves or gun case they will be sold.Danny

  • Bob V

    I’m Bob V from Ft Myers Fl with a few updates on my Taurus 738. First of all I should start by saying that maybe a little background on my experience with firearms would be appropriate just so you know where I’m coming from and to let you know I’m not a complainer about things that should work and don’t. I’m 60 yrs old and have been doing gunsmithing for 42 yrs(not my full time job) I’m retired military and then retired from my own custom furniture business. I shoot at least 2 days a week, every week and I have 3 sons that also shoot with me (not normally at the same time)I was on the Air Force Pistol Team for 8 years and have probably put as many rounds downrange as the next guy, by the way I have also built race guns from the ground up so I do know a little about them, but I’m not claiming to be an expert at anything. Just want you to know that I’m not a novist or newbee at this pistol thing. I’m also far from being a critic on any manufactorer of handguns, I love them all. Nuff said.
    The post I made on the taurus 738 was the firsr post I have ever made on any gun in my life, I’m not a complainer, I usually fix them and shut up about it. My original thought on this little Taurus was to send it back to them and let them fix it because after I examined it and took a few measurments and spent some time functionally checking it out I concluded that there was so many things not right with this gun that the factory would want to know about all the problems and they might even take steps to Quality Control them a little better than they are. The gunsmith in me took over and I fixed the problems myself (notice the “s” on the word problems) Turns out that all my problems were not the extractor at all. All the problems were in the barrel and the barrel chamber(it was badly under cut and short) The fired rounds couldn’t be extracted because they were jamed in a chamber that was to small to begin with. This is a serious problem and not a Ops! how’d that happen type problem. Not even something I looked for at first, but thats why a thourough inspection needed to be done. When I called Taurus to see about shipping the gun back the clown on the phone seemed like he just couldn’t be bothered with talking to me, and when I get that type attitude I just don’t deal with those company’s any more.(maybee he was just having a bad day, I do know that I was on hold a long time before I could talk to someone and that tells me I’m not at all alone with my problems) Anyhow getting back to what I wanted to my problem wasn’t that the gun had so many things wrong with it(there were other things wrong with it too) its that Taurus treats people like crap and they don’t think the public has enough sense to know when somethings wrong with a product. I’ve bought the little Kel-tec, and the little Ruger and although the Kel-tec don’t have a way to lock back the slide, and the Ruger doesn’t stay locked back after the last round in the mag is fired, they are(in my experience) much better people to deal with if you do experience problems with there little 380’s. Taurus’s should be better than that, there made in Brazil and they pay lower wages, have fewer benifits for there people and as American Companies go Ruger and Kel-tec both NORTH AMERICAN companies will get my business from now on. I read an artical in one of the gun mags recently interviewing Taurus’s CEO and he talked about how they were doing all these new things to make the company better and more responsive to the public, who is this guy talking to??? not the public thats for sure. Anyhow thats my 2 cents worth.

  • SC Mike

    Bob V –

    Taurus is based in Brazil and does the bulk of its manufacturing there, but the TCP is made in the US.

  • MIke, and Bob V. I would just like to add that I found a burr on the left hand side of the barrel breech,on my TCP which tells me that maybe Bob V is’nt too far off.The barrel maybe the whole problem for Taurus.I think that they should check there tolerences and see if that may be the problem.Don’t get me wrong Bob I love the gun,but like I have said before they have got to get some quality control in there.When these pistols work right they are great.but I imagine few do comming right from the factory.Danny

  • Ed_G

    Oct. 6 2010:
    Here’s the latest saga from the Central Oregon coast PT738.

    I had sent my PT738 back to Taurus on Sept. 23, ( second time back, but first time for the expanded case problem ). It arrived there on Friday, the 24th. Taurus turned this gun around in 5 business days. I had the gun back in my hands the following Friday.

    The paperwork with the gun said,


    Not very descriptive ! . . . but the barrel appeared new. The one I sent back was filthy after 75 rounds. The gunsmith had also included 3 casings from his test firing to show the problem was gone.

    OCT. 6: After cleaning the gun I went to the gun range to evaluate. I fired my usual mix of FMJ, ( Blazer Brass, Remington UMC, Winchester, and Independence ). All ~ 50 rounds were essentially flawless. I then proceeded to fire a magazine full of Federal Hydra-Shok JHP. All 6 fired flawlessly, too.

    At this point I want to point out if you read my previous post back a few weeks you will see I am following the identical test I did on Sept. 22.

    I then proceeded to load and shoot a magazine of Speer GoldDot JHP.
    THE VERY FIRST ROUND AGAIN SOUNDED FUNNY ! I examined the chamber and there was an un-extracted round sitting there with distorted, expanded brass edge. The very same thing that happened on Sept. 22 when after 75 rounds of other ammo, I had fired my first Speer GoldDot round.

    Well, obviously something broke again in the gun, and quite apparently it is Speer Golddot ammo that is causing that. I will NOT shoot any more Speer GoldDot ammo, period.

    I wrote a descriptive letter to Taurus and pointedly asked the gun smith to address this issue with Speer GoldDot ammo and why is it causing this problem. Speer GoldDot is NOT a Plus Load. It would be interesting to find out if anyone else is having a problem with Speer and Taurus PT-738.

    Gun is scheduled for pickup by FedEx tomorrow. Counting the initial trip out for sale, this will be the 8th time it has flown across the country!

    Ed in Oregon

  • Ed_G

    A correction to a comment I just made above. This will be the 6th trip across the good ole USA for this gun.


  • Ed I have trusted my life to speer gold dot for more than 17 years that is how long it has been duty ammunition.Ifr you fired other btands of ammunition out of the pistol and it functioned it’s got to be the speer gold dot ammo.

  • Ed_G

    Final Followup on my problem.

    I am compelled to post this note that it has been determined that the problem I have been having with my PT738 was ammunition related. The Taurus was never at fault for the past two cases I listed problems. I test fired my Taurus today and found it still flawless with all my FMJ.

    Again, the Taurus has not been at fault with the problems I posted previously outlining a failure to fire properly and expanded brass issues.


  • Ed_G

    Danny, oh, absolutely, it was the Speer GoldDot ammo, for certain. I finally figured out today that the Speer GoldDot in the .380 box was actually .32.

    … duh. I did not remember what my dad always told me …. use great care when handling more than one caliber. A lesson learned.

    I got rid of the Beretta Tomcat earlier this year and thought that I had also disposed of all the ammo. Mishandling at the firing range last year is the only reason I can think of that put .32 in a .380 box.

  • Ed_G

    10/13/2010 shot another 100 rounds today of mixed fmj and some jhp. Flawless except for one slight FTF on the 95th round…. gun was getting pretty dirty.

    On a new note, I would like to comment that the first, and the second time my gun came back from Taurus repair, there were stickers placed on the box which, in part, stated, ” NEW GUN ” and included the date which the gun was in for repair. Furthermore, in speaking to a customer service tech just prior to when I almost sent it back again, the lady stated that according to my repair records I had a “new gun” which to me indicated her records showed some major parts replacements. Taurus gunsmiths may be more prone to parts replacement than diagnostics, maybe?

  • Ok Ed I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.You might be able to confirm that information by checking the serial number.If it is the same,then they did’nt replace the interior frame,but did replace the slide,polymer frame ect.I guess you have to start off from square one and break the gun in again.Just thinking Ed that maybe if Taurus had much more quality control these things would’nt be happening.They can save a lot of money.My pistol is performing very well.I have finally got a box of Hornady Critical Defense ammo,and that will be my personal carry round.Good luck Ed hope everything works out for you.Danny

  • Ed_G

    Danny, to clarify, the serial number is on the polymer frame which, of course, is unlikely to develop any problem. I know they replaced the extractor and other un-named parts ( maybe the barrel ) … it did come back minus the crud after my 75 plus rounds of firing.

    But to be perfectly frank about the Taurus quality control, the only problem I had since I purchased this gun in August was the initial failure of the slide to lock back… and they did fix that in good turn around time. The other issues were of my own making …. the damn gun doesn’t shoot .32 caliber ammo well.

    Yes, I have made a new start with breaking it in having just shot another 100 rounds. I believe the total shot in the potential new barrel is now about 200 , and to repeat, the gun has proven to be quite reliable on a multitude of different ammo. I now consider it a reliable carry piece. Another hundred rounds and it will have truly proven itself, I think.


  • Ok Ed I did not know that the serial numbers were contained in the polymer frame.Ditto I think that now Taurus is using better quality control.I don’t know why they did not do that from the get go. I’m sure they would have saved a bundle of money,and saved on a whole lot of bad publicity that can ruin an inovative product.Good luck Ed.

  • Hey guys I know I haven’t written in a while but now as per the luck of the Irish,which to say is none,a big problem has developed with my Taurus PT738 TCP.This one is to be noted, and if I were you, I would immediately inspect my fire arm to see if the same problem has developed with yours.

    After putting about 600+rounds thru this gun(none of which were either reloads or Plus P Plus ammo) I always clean it after shooting.This time I discovered that the inner aluminium frame rail on the left hand side was cracked and seperated from the frame.I cannot tell you of my surprise when I discovered this.This is number (4) back to the factory today 10/26/10.This time I want to speak to a gunsmith to find out what the hell is happening here.

  • Ed_G

    Huh ! Bummer. I just took a quick look at mine… no problem so far with over 300 rounds. I traded my Beretta TomCat in for this gun because of a propensity for TomCats to have cracked frames. ( Mine did and Beretta replaced the entire gun. ) I did not want to repeat that, plus wanted large calibre anyway so went with the Taurus. Hope this doesn’t happen to mine, but I have not heard any other reports of this with the PT738. There’s not a lot of traffic here on this forum now …. seems to be just you Danny and me.

  • SC Mike

    I’ve shot well over 700 rounds (>800?) of factory ammo (Blazer, Fiocchi, MagTech, GA Arms, Hornady, etc.) with just the one malfunction (failure of the slide to lock back after the last round) on the first box.

    Slide and frame rail still fine, although some of the paint has worn from the rail.

    With winter coming on, I will probably be carrying my S&W .38 Spl snubbie more, the TCP less.

  • Bought my TCP last week have fired Fiocchi fmj 95 gr,CCI Blazer Brass fmj 95 gr. and Speer Gold Dot GDHP 90 gr.
    Have had problems with all of it, rounds not ejecting,failure to feed,slide locking back with 4 or 5 rounds still in mag,on occasion every round will fire and the slide will lock perfectly. Have fired around 150 rounds,Fiocchi 75,Blazer 50, Speer 25 rds.Cleaned the pistol after the first box of Fiocchi,no difference still alot of problems.
    After reading this thread I hope Taurus will correct mine on the first return. Thanks for all the input.
    Jerry O

  • Jerry O send the pistol back to Taurus. I do not think it will be repaired the first time around;mine was not it took about three times, before they got it right. The fourth time the interior frame rail cracked the part failed. not the designe Good Luck Jerry.

  • Thanks Danny will shoot a few rounds in the morning have the luxury of a back yard range,if it mis fires in any way I will call Taurus and send the poor thing back.

  • Brian

    Does anyone find that the 738’s slide release lever is very difficult to operate? My 738 locks open just fine after the last round, but after inserting a new mag, the slide release is held so aggressively by the slide that it’s impossible to operate with one thumb. I can sometimes get it pressed by using both thumbs, but a flesh-damaging amount of force is required. The lever is very small, which compounds the issue.
    The only way to effectively release the slide is to pull the slide back slightly with the off-hand, while working the release lever with the gun hand thumb.
    Maybe I’m spoiled by bigger autos with robust levers that operate single-handedly… but I feel that needing two hands to home the slide kind of defeats the purpose.

  • SC Mike

    On my relatively fault-free TCP (one fault in 700+ rounds) and on other TCPs that I’ve fired, I find that when the slide locks back after I’ve fired the last round from the magazine, I need only depress the mag release button to release the mag, insert a new mag, then simply pull back on the slide and the slide feeds the next round; the pistol is ready to fire. There is no need to depress the release lever because the new loaded mag prevents the mag follower from activating the inner portion of the release lever.

    There is no need to depress the release lever. Try it, I think you’ll find that that works.

  • Brian

    OK, well… yeah. That works, of course. I guess I was just expecting to be able to home the slide with one hand.


  • Ed_G

    Not sure I understood SC Mike’s comment above. On my PT-738 when I fire the last round the slide locks back. I simply eject the empty magazine, shove in another, and use my thumb to release the slide which automatically loads the next round off the top of the fresh magazine. Other than putting in the fresh magazine I only need one hand to hold the gun and release the slide.

  • Tried mine again yesterday with Blazer Brass ran flawless with 4 mags full. Loaded up a couple mags with Gold Dot after 1 or 2 rounds the slide would lock back,after releasing the slide by hand it would fire again then lock back again still with rounds in it. Is Gold Dot the culprit ? Maybe a bad lot or does the TCP plane out hate Gold Dots?

  • By the way I did clean the gun before this trail. Guess I am up to around 200 rds now.

  • Brian

    Ed_G: thanks for the validation. After reading your response, I decided to pursue a fix.
    I disassembled the 738, and using a VERY fine emery stone, I polished the top of the rear corner of the slide catch, right where it bears on the slide notch. I also polished the rear inside face of the slide notch to reduce the friction as much as possible.
    A good cleaning, a drop of oil, and voila!
    I can now drop the slide with the gun-hand thumb! Slide goes home, new round chambers, and life is good.

  • Rudy Lovato


    I recently purchased a Taurus TCP738 which has had problems with the slide not locking open on an empty magazine and other problems such as FTF and FTE. I sent the pistol to Taurus for repair and I just received the pistol back today, took about 2.5 weeks, not bad, anyway, I noticed that they sent me two magazine with my pistol when I only sent one out, after checking the slide operation I noticed it now locks open every time on an empty magazine, I compared these new magazine to the two older additional magazine I have at home and sure enough, Taurus has redesigned the follwer to a more squared off front design which seems to have fixed the problem, however, my old magazines do not lock the slide back what so ever, the new ones work great. I have yet to go to the range to check for other items, but the work order states “case bulding” replaced, “does not extract” replaced, and “jams” replaced, no other description. I called Taurus customer service for more information and the lady on the phone didn’t add much other than they fired 48 rounds through the pistol. I need to post pictures of the new magazines, they work great now.


  • Rudy Lovato

    FYI… I have pictures of the older and newer magazines side by side to show the difference. The new ones seem to work great now, it took me forever to figure what changed and why the new ones worked so much better, once u see the front you will be able to tell… Email me your email address and I can email them to you, not sure if you can post pictures in a comment box.


  • Ed_G


    You left no means for us to find your email address. I would be interested in pictures of your ‘before and after’ magazines.

    Ed email: ed5588 AT newsguy dot com

  • Rudy Lovato

    Sorry Ed, I sent you a few emails with a couple pics, let me know what you think.

  • Ed_G

    Interesting. I had to look quite close, but finally could see the minute difference in the tiny metal tab. I took a look at mine…. if you’ll go back and see my first posts here you’ll see I had a failure of the slide to lock on an empty mag, too. It appears that Taurus had repaired/replaced my magazines too. I never had a single failure to lock back after it was returned to me after the first time I sent it in. Good to know Taurus is handling this matter successfully.

  • Andrew Ewing

    Subscribed. I would love to see photos of the two different magazines.

  • Frank Peterson

    Please send photos to me also as having the same magazine problems. tickntime [at] Thanks

  • To ticntime send your defective magazines back to taurus and they will replace them at no charge.Also be advised that they have redesigned the tcp magazines and they now work well,

  • Now I need to see the pics to determine if mine are the old or new style.

  • jennifer

    taurus please recall your guns! (do you know how much time we have wasted waiting for our guns to get back to us?) hopefully my house doesnt get robbed while im waiting for it. PLEASE RECALL : )

  • SC Mike

    Jennifer –
    I bought my TCP in February 2010, have well over 1,000 rounds through the durn thing, and had but one malfunction, the failure of the slide to stay back after the last round, and that was with the first 50-round box of ball ammo. I’ve fired JHP and ball (metal case round nose) from many manufacturers, to include Georgia Arms, Sellier & Bellot, MagTech (ball and JHP), Winchester, Bitterroot Valley, Hornady, Speer, and Fiocchi. In fact, because of reading the comments on this blog entry and the other TCP blog entry, I spent more that I wanted to on ammo because I was worried, needlessly as it turns out, about the reliability of my favorite carry. It’s as reliable as my S&W .38 Spl, easier to carry, and has two more admittedly less powerful rounds.

    Yesterday a friend and I drove down to his hunt club to zero in the Crimson Trace on his Ruger LCP. He got as frustrated as I did in zeroing the CT I added to my TCP last month, and at one point I handed him my mousegun to see if the problem was him or the gun; he put three rounds right through the bulls eye at 15 yards, so we knew it was the laser that needed further adjustment, and he shortly got that straight.

    But what’s interesting is that the last time he spent some range time with his LCP and this time too, he had the same problem that I’d had firing the durn thang: the magazine would pop out after two or three shots, not the kind of thing you want to have happen in a heated situation. He does prefer the trigger on the Taurus too — it’s just about the best among mouseguns — but has a wife to contend with regarding family finances now that he’s retired. Over a couple or three beers later we tried out some scenarios to justify his sale of the LCP to purchase a TCP, but did not come up with a solid argument

    What works for me is to clean the weapon after each use, lubricating the slide with dabs of Gun Grease fore and aft, spraying a dry lube around the outside of the barrel where the obvious wear from cycling shows, lubricating the inside of the slide retention switch with RemOil or other good CLP, and periodic cleaning and lubrication of the magazines. My year-old TCP has never been back to Taurus. I can see signs of wear and tear on the body’s tangs that guide the slide (that’s where I apply the Gun Grease). The red plastic guides of the magazine show slight signs of wear, but nothing serious.

    It’s your choice to select the TCP or other mousegun for home defense, but were I you, I’d think about a 20 gauge shotgun or a Judge with shotshells for domestic tranquility because at night you’ll only have time to point and click…

  • Merv

    What about the 738 Ti? Has anyone experienced problems?

  • Ron Spiess

    I’ve been fooling around with guns for about 60 years now and the PT738 I just bought is the first NEW gun that I’ve ever had problems with. Mine is on the way to the repair center because the hammer won’t drop when the trigger is pulled all the way to the rear!! UNBELIEVABLE!! The Taurus brochure says that they test fire all their guns but if they managed to get this one to fire without the hammer dropping the tester is named Houdini. Can’t be done!! Truly poor quality (?) control. Don’t think I want to bet my life on this kind of quality. I’ll be carrying my Kahr or TCP. Anyone want to buy a NEW PT 738?

    • charles k

      My Brand new tcp 730 trigger will not drop the hammer….

    • charles k

      My Brand new tcp 738 trigger will not drop the hammer….

    • SC Mike

      Charles K –

      Did you rack the slide? The TCP does not have second-strike capability. Racking the slide partially cocks the hammer. Pulling the trigger brings the hammer back all the way and then releases it to fire the weapon.

      I have 1500+ rounds through mine with but one malfunction on the first magazine, and that was failure of the slide to stay back after the last round.

  • Yeah a lot of quality control problems with the Taurus PT 738 TCP very dissapointing .The Taurus repair policy is the best ive seen from any gun manufacturer. However; if there quality control was half as good as there repair policy you would not have any problems with the TCP.

    Taurus’s big push is on the Taurus Judge revolver series;they seem to have forgotten about the other pistols.Maybe the management should consider the old addage” You never forget a good pistol” “,vice versa you never forget a bad one either”.

    On another note when the pistol has all of the bugs ironed out of it ;it is a great little pocket pistol.It has more features than the others,for a better price.Send it back via Fed Ex Taurus will send the paper work and then see what happenes. Good Luck,also read the blurbs to see the other drawbacks to the pistol.

  • I have owned several mini 380s from Colt Mustang to this Taurus PT738. I don’t recall in over 30 years of LEO experience a problem that I had with this Taurus today. I disassembled the Taurus as directed in the onwer’s manual. I cleaned the gun and went to put it back together. As I pulled the slide to the rear to lock the slide the slide became wedged and locked in place, I mean locked as in it felt like it was welded to the frame. After doing everything I thought could dislodge the slide it had not budged. This after some 2 hours of trying to get the slide to move I had no luck. I finally had to take a rubber mallet and gently tap the barrel back until it popped up into the firing position. At this point I was able to remove the slide off the frame. I can find no explanation for this or why this happened. If anyone else has experienced this please let me know and how you corrected the lockup. Thanks and have a wonderful holiday season for 2011.

    J. Cole

  • MK

    I purchased a PT738, first time fireing I had two problems, fireing pin would not cock properly preventing the gun from firwing the second round, second probledm ejector would not eject the spent shell, jamming the gun with the next round. Called Taurus Inc. reply was cna’t do much about it now, their computers are down and no way of tracking the weapon. Very poor customer support, last Taurus product I will ever buy.