Taurus TCP 380 Failure to Feed


R J Boston
June 14, 2012, 02:02 PM
A few months ago I purchased a new Taurus 380 TCP pistol to use as my carry gun. I was impressed with the appearance of this gun. Its light weight, matt black polymer frame, weighs in at only 10.2 ounces, and the guns 6+1 round capacity is nice also. an extra clip comes along with the gun.

It seemed to be the perfect little carry pistol for me. However, today at the range, the gun failed to feed. I tried using different ammo, but still had the same problem. It did work a little better when the magazine was loaded with only a few shells. I even tried using another magazine-still it FTF.

Someone at the range said they have heard of the Taurus TCP 380ís doing this. I am frustrated.

Any other Taurus 380 TCP owners out there have any similar problems? If so, what can be done to resolve the issue, short of returning it to Taurus for repair?

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June 14, 2012, 02:35 PM
It seems the small autos are very sensitive about the mag lips. Try and slowly work the slide while watching the bullet stripping off the top of the stack, and watch the bullet enter the chamber. Does it strike the feed ramp horizontally?
Does the bullet strike the top of the barrel on its way in?
Do both magazines exhibit the same behavior?
hope this helps

June 14, 2012, 03:18 PM
True... if the bullet strikes the top of the barrel, or flips up vertically, bend the front of the mag lips down a little. Chances are, this is the problem.

June 14, 2012, 07:46 PM
Maybe try to break it in some more. I have one with somewhere close to 1000k rounds and no failures. I liked it so much i bought another (I did end up selling that one to a relative. No issues with it either, just came to realize I did not need 2).

Mine has become my everyday defense gun. I have shot quite a few pocket 380s and IMHO the TCP has the best trigger and is the most accurate. Add the fact that it is $199 NIB and has a slide lock and it is hard to beat

June 14, 2012, 08:29 PM
This doesn't help, as it is too late now. But Taurus quality is so spotty. I'd recommend to you not to buy another.

June 14, 2012, 08:59 PM
This doesn't help, as it is too late now. But Taurus quality is so spotty. I'd recommend to you not to buy another.
My 2 have been "spot" on ;)

June 14, 2012, 09:13 PM
Mine has been 100% okay. I would buy another Taurus in spite of the nay-sayers.

June 15, 2012, 10:04 AM
I purchased one and had a few FTF's initially but after a break in period of maybe a couple hundred rounds the thing works flawlessly. Like others here I do believe that it is an outstanding buy. I do own 3 Taurus handguns and love them all.

June 15, 2012, 10:32 AM
I had feeding problems with one of the two magazines mine came with. Taurus immediately replaced the magazine and it has been perfect since.

IMO the TPC is a real sleeper and is a better shooter than any of the other pocket 380s in it's price range.

June 17, 2012, 10:17 PM
IMO the TPC is a real sleeper and is a better shooter than any of the other pocket 380s in it's price range.

I don't think there is anything else in its price range -- Saw and ad in the paper today a gun shop in Katy is selling them for $180.

Mine's not given me a lick of trouble. I use either 102 gr Golden sabers or the old surplus 95gr JSP "Santa Barbara" Spanish police surplus ammo I managed to score a couple of cases of about 10 years ago.

OTOH it took almost 500 rounds and a lot of futzing around to get my SIG P238 running right, so cost is not directly proportional to "quality" received.

June 18, 2012, 06:17 PM
Like already mentioned, the magazine may need tweaking to get the ammo angle correct in its relationship with the feed ramp. Taurus auto-loaders are not the only guns to have this issue and I have tweaked magazines for other makes through the years.

Since the Taurus TCP has a plastic mag follower about all you can do is tweak the mag's feed lips a bit. In my TCP it works best with the ammo aimed up a bit like seen in the magazine on the right.

These are TCP 732 magazines and the TCP 738 mags are almost the same. This is just a visual to help out.


June 18, 2012, 06:20 PM
This doesn't help, as it is too late now. But Taurus quality is so spotty. I'd recommend to you not to buy another.

Instead of helpful, that comment is helpless. :rolleyes:

R J Boston
June 19, 2012, 02:52 PM

That's interesting. Exactly how did you achieve this? I may give it a try before returning the gun for repair. It may save me a lot of time.

June 19, 2012, 04:33 PM
To adjust the ammo angle in the TCP magazine you have to adjust the feed lips. The feed lips are the small curved portion at the top of the magazine that hold the cartridge in position (If looking from behind or in front of the mag). You can straighten the curve slightly at the forward portion of the feed lips with some small pliers, but you have to be gentle and only move metal a tiny bit. Then load up a full magazine and see if the angle of the top round has changed. You can wrap the pliers jaws in masking tape or electrical tape to reduce the chance of marring the metal of the mag.

You also mentioned that your TCP worked better when only a few rounds were loaded in the magazines. Maybe the follower is caught up on storage goo left in the magazine, or there is a burr in the magazine. Take apart your magazines and clean them out, clean off the spring, check the follower, and check the mag internally.

I usually use a pistol cleaning rod with a oiled cleaning patch to swab out magazines when new or when dirty from firing. Also, use a oiled cleaning patch to wipe off the mag spring by wrapping the patch around the wire of the spring and sliding it around all the coils. While the magazine is apart, make sure the follower slides up and down easily. You can use the spring mounted in the follower to guide it in and out to check.

If your gun is new, sometimes new magazines have to "break in" which can mean a few things. In the TCPs case, the mag spring is a smaller "diameter" than the mag body and will bunch up on itself. A clean, lightly oiled mag body and spring help the spring compress and extend easier by letting the spring and follower slide instead of binding.

Hopefully this helps. :)

June 19, 2012, 10:37 PM
Mine has been flawless through abut 300 rounds so far. I didn't see it mentioned in your post, so I'll ask these questions:
1. Was the gun disassembled, cleaned, and lubed since you got it? Taurus guns are packed in heavy grease meant to protect them, not lube.
2. Is this your first range visit with the gun?
3. What type ammo were you using? Ball? Hollow-point?
There have been some good recommendations about the mags, something I would not have thought of as I have not had the issue. Many reported failures of Taurus guns seem to be related to not breaking down and cleaning prior to shooting, and some .380's have feed issues due to the small guns and sharp angles of the feed ramps. I hope some of the suggestions on here help as I think you will be happy with this gun once you have these issues ironed out. BTW, I have over 2 dozen Taurus guns and they all work perfectly.

July 1, 2012, 12:03 AM
I just bought a TCP last week. So far only about 50 rounds through, which I know is no test, a mix of HP and ball. I had several FTF with the first several mags, plus tons of FTF just hand cyling the gun. I hadn't had a chance to clean it yet, so I did today, just a quick cleaning.
After cleaning it, I haven't had a single FTF shooting or hand cycling. I know its not many rounds yet, but it seems there might be something to this cleaning thing after all.

July 1, 2012, 01:33 PM
Definitely give it a good cleaning and relube it. I couldn't believe how much packing grease was in mine when I bought it. No problems with mine after several hundred rounds.

July 1, 2012, 02:53 PM
I had one for a while. Out of about 250 rounds I had at least 10 times where the spent casing did not extract properly. Taurus seems to be hit or miss on the QC so they have many more issues than they should.

I sold mine to someone else making sure to disclose all issues I had. He sent it back to Taurus. They replaced the magazine and did a few other things. He ended up putting it up for sale himself.

Send it to Taurus and they may be able to help you. I would never consider using it as a carry gun now though. If you are still set on .380 sell it and get one of the other brands that are more reliable.

Jim NE
July 1, 2012, 11:33 PM
A lady at my training class had the same pistol (brand new) and the same problems. She attributed it to a break in period, and I agreed, but it sounds like yours started up all the sudden after working OK.

Did it work OK before, or is this the first you've shot it? If it's the first time you've shot it, it's break in. Taurus' smaller guns may be more prone to this. My PT-22 took 500 rounds to break in, now it works flawlessly.

But 500 rounds of .380 is a lot more money than 500 rounds of .22.

The less expensive guns like Taurus are really fine, in my experience, but they occasionally don't polish things off like they may with expensive guns. Try chambering rounds and cycling them thru by racking the slide. If they hang up, polish or dremel LIGHTLY until things work smoothly.

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