Congrats and thanks for a very detailed review. I saw this one at my LGS and it really is a small little gun.
This is a discussion on Initial Review: Taurus 783 FS within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've seen several positive blogs/reviews lately of the Taurus 738. Thinking a small pocket pistol would be nice to have, I saw that Kentucky Gun ...
I've seen several positive blogs/reviews lately of the Taurus 738. Thinking a small pocket pistol would be nice to have, I saw that Kentucky Gun Co. had them for $199. Since I live within ~2 hours of there, I decided to take a Saturday morning road trip and buy one. It came heavily oiled, with one magazine and 2 keys for their "Taurus Security System", all in a foam-line plastic box. I also bought a DeSantis "Nemesis" pocket holster. They were completely out of ammunition for it.
The pictures below are next to a standard wallet for size comparison.
I stopped by Walmart and they had three 20-round boxes of Federal Premium Hydra-Shok 90 grain JHP. I bought two boxes, with the intention of putting one through the pistol to verify that they would feed, and using the other box for the carry load. I went straight to the range, and was pleasantly surprised to see that they had a few 50-round boxes of Federal 95 grain TMJ. I bought one box and 30 minutes of range time.
I put the practice ammo through first. I wiped off the excess oil from the outside of the gun and ensured the bore didn't have excessive oil. I "walked" the slide forward to chamber the first round, then dropped the magazine and topped it off for a full load (7+1). I "walked" the slide forward because I know some people do this who are concerned about bullet setback from re-chambering their carry ammo after unloading it for whatever reason. But I've also heard of this causing the pistol to not go fully into battery. Usually you don't find out until you go to shoot it, hopefully not in a critical situation. I wanted to find out how this one handled it. First pull of the trigger ... nothing. After waiting I ejected the first round and fed the next round normally (allowing the slide to "slam" home). I put 25 rounds of the practice ammo through it, always with a full load-out (except for the last one), then one of the boxes of the Hydra Shok through it. Other than the first round, which I attribute to me not chambering properly, I had no failures (fire, feed, or eject). I even mixed the initial round back in with one of the load-outs.
My first shots at 7 yards were a little wild, but I found out that if I, you know, actually shot "properly", (only the pad of my finger on the trigger, smooth trigger pull, don't pull the gun off the target, etc.), it actually shot pretty decently. See pictures below at 7, 10, and 15 yards. All shots were two-handed, isosceles stance, 2-3 seconds apart. The recoil didn't seem to be excessive, but then again I think I'm somewhat of a recoil-junkie so I might not be the best judge of that. Since I was primarily testing accuracy and reliability, I didn't attempt to test how quickly I could recover from each shot and get follow-up rounds on target.
I'm not a trigger expert, but it felt fine to me. There's just a bit of slack to take up before it begins the relatively long pull back to the point it releases the hammer. Taurus lists it as "DAO" (Dual Action Only). Being a revolver guy from a long way back, I consider Dual Action to mean that it will actually pull the hammer back and let it drop each time you pull the trigger. But that's not the case, as I found out on my (one-and-only, and user-caused) failure-to-fire. I tried pulling the trigger again but there was no resistance. You actually have to rack the slide to "semi-cock" it (Taurus's terminology). I wasn't necessarily disappointed by this, as I didn't buy it thinking it had "second strike" capability, but again, to me it's not what I normally think of when I think of "dual action". Of course, with a revolver you'd need to rotate that round back into position again before you could attempt to fire it again. But then again with a revolver, unless that was your last round or you have a bunch of bad rounds, you could just keep pulling the trigger and keep shooting until all of your rounds were expended.
The slide action seemed a bit stiff and gritty to me. After I got it home I took it apart to clean it. One of the reviews I read, the person said he'd scratched the slide while trying to remove the "Disassembly Latch" (takedown pin) with a screwdriver or similar object. I have some plastic tools I bought from iFixit when I had to fix my daughter's iPhone. There's not much room to get behind the head of the pin to pry it out, but these tools worked well and it would probably be pretty tough to scratch the gun with them. I thoroughly cleaned the lower with Gun Scrubber and the rest of the gun with Powder Blast. I then ran a CLP-soaked patch through the bore. I re-oiled everything with Rem Oil and greased the slide rails with Birchwood Casey SNO Universal Gun Grease. When reassembling, I needed three hands to get the barrel to move forward when I pulled the slide to the rear, which you have to do before you insert the takedown pin. I found that inserting the (empty) magazine helped move the barrel forward, and reassembly was a snap after that. The slide action felt pretty good after the clean-and-lube. I went ahead and racked the slide 100 times and if felt even better. I ran about 20 loads of 5 snap caps through it and it functioned and felt fine.
This is a very small and light pistol that fits easily in the front pocket of a pair of pants. It absolutely disappears in the cargo pocket of a pair of shorts. While this is a great place to have it while seated (driving or otherwise), it's probably more tactically sound to have it in the front pocket. I carried it the rest of the weekend in my cargo pocket, and actually forgot it was there for a while. With the DeSantis holster I'm getting some printing in both jeans and khakis (both relaxed fit) when carrying it in the front pocket. Probably not enough worry about, but I want "complete" concealment. I wasn't able to get a picture that shows how it really looks, otherwise I'd show you what I'm seeing. I'm thinking about getting a Remora, left hand with their Sweat Shield, even though I'm right-handed and will carry it in my right pocket. I'm thinking that should cover it up pretty nicely.
While 45 rounds isn't what I'd call wrung-out by any means, with ammo availability as it is at this moment, it's all it's going to get for now. However, at this point I know because of its size and ease of concealment, I'll always have at least this with me whenever I'm not otherwise prohibited from carrying.
P.S. If you found this review useful, please "Like" it. Also, please provide any feedback as to how it could have been more useful. Thanks
Last edited by blanco64; August 19th, 2013 at 06:15 PM.
Congrats and thanks for a very detailed review. I saw this one at my LGS and it really is a small little gun.
You did not clean that pistol before shooting it. Clean out the oil in the barrel and any trash that could have been there?? Shame , Shame. If I understand what you did with the first round ,, you chamber the round and then released the slide? That is hard on extractor.
You will get the hang of assembly and disassembly . Some of use will stone/ file in a bevel on the end of the slide stop pin to aid getting it past the spring as it can be a pain to get started again. Adding a little white ,yellow or orange paint to the front site can help it to stand out and improve accuracy. We have two of them and nether one seem to care what brass ammo they are feed. I don't shoot steel cased ammo. Everything goes bang. Try one hand shooting . Might find your even better. I am. Hard to get two hands wrapped around that little pistol.
Down side of cargo pockets are that a small pistol even in a holster can get a little lost at times. And printing a bit in a front pocket can be as much in your head as anything. Unless your pants are to tighter. hehe. What you see may only show to other CC'ers. Can can up grade your holster if needed to one of the brands that take on the look of a wallet. I like Recluse pocket holsters and used a cut down desantis for many years.
Good review over all.
Thanks for the feedback. This is the first write-up I've attempted, so I'm looking to see where I can improve.
Thanks again for the feedback.
FOLLOWUP: Range Report 8/25/13
Today I put 50 rounds of Winchester 95 grain FMJ's through it. The first 25 rounds were controlled single shots at 7 yards. The next 24 were Mozambique drills. The final round was at 15 yards braced.
I thought I had a failure-to-fire on a second shot after reloading. It turned out I had inadvertently released the magazine when I released the slide after reloading, so it didn't chamber a round when it cycled. I was starting with the slide locked back. After inserting the magazine I was grabbing the slide in a "slingshot" grip to pull the it back to release it from the slide catch and then releasing it. Turns out if I drop my right thumb down about a quarter inch from the thumb rest indentation and grip it tight, the side of the knuckle fits perfectly on the magazine release button. Even though it's flush with the grip, the side of the knuckle is perfectly shaped to release it. This doesn't seem to be a problem if I use an overhand grip, which I should be practicing anyway.
With the short barrel and sight-radius, keeping the rounds on the target takes a lot of concentration on proper shooting techniques. The slightest movement in your hand really throws the aim off. I was able to keep all of the rounds on the silhouette, but nowhere near the accuracy I'm used to shooting. On the plus side, the focus on improving my technique should help improve my accuracy in shooting with my Springfield XDSC.
I'm thinking about starting to reload, so I was chasing my brass. However, it seems the extractor is a little tough on the brass (see pictures below). I'm not sure yet if they're mangled enough to cause any problems.
So far the verdict is: A fun gun to own and an acceptable pocket pistol to have when carrying a larger pistol isn't practical, but not necessarily my first choice in either caliber or capacity, or "applied" accuracy.
I bought one of these several weeks back and from 10 yards I was shooting the eyes out with it. I was shocked! I can only get one and a half fingers on the grip, so the web of my hand takes a beating shooting it. I've been totally amazed at the accuracy of mine being such a tiny gun. Handy little pocket carry piece. I'm only shooting and carrying FMJ.
Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.
That's a very stout extractor claw you have on that pistol. If I were reloading those cases for target shooting/practice, I would go ahead and use them. If I were to reload those for carry loads, I would probably hold out the 4th and 5th cases from the left.
Depending on how thick the extractor claw is, on your weapon, you might be able to take a couple passes with a file on the inside of the extractor claw, and eliminate your issue. Be very careful you don't remove too much material from the inside of the extractor claw, or change the angle of the claw.
Aother option would be to contact Taurus and either get a replacement extractor claw, or get them to take the pistol back and adjust it on their dime.
I have a hard enough time getting my fat fingers into my press when reloading 9mm, I can't imagine how hard, or impractical, it would be to reload .380.
Good luck in your endeavor.
"If you make something idiot proof, someone will make a better idiot."
Check under the extractor for trash that may be force the case's riminto the extractor.
The other problem is two big a hands for to small a handgun!! Big paws and micros guns do cause issues till them fingers learn where they can hangout and can't !! I added a finger extension to my wifes tcp. Daughters is fine stock mags.
Get a piece of old used up inner tube. 1.75" free at a bike shop. custom cut it to cover as much grip as possible for added grip and that helps with control.
Wife CC pistols . note the inner tube on a couple of them.