P3AT vs. Tarus TCP

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Tram, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Tram

    Tram New Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    So.. I've been carrying the P-32 and love it, but I'd like to go to the P3AT..

    I popped into a few stores today (which is another thread all by itself.. 3 stores, 3 widely different prices, 3 different attitudes.. $239 to $319.) Anyway, in one store I was able to look at the Tarus TCP..

    Quick thoughts - seemed a little heavier.. Seemed to be higher quality.. I liked the slide lock on it versus the P3AT.. However, I still like the P3AT..

    Just wondering if anyone has been able to shoot the two side by side and how do they compare?
  2. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    TCP is heavier. I've fondled it but not gone all the way. ;>)  The trigger guard is huge so if you have big fingers that might be an advantage. Ruger LCP has a larger trigger guard than the P-3AT too. I think someone wrote up a report of the his-and-hers set of TCPs he bought for himself and his wife in the "Other Guns" section. One worked fine and the other did not as I recall.

    Edited to add link to TCP review in "Other Guns"

  3. diamond

    diamond New Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    The TCP may be a great gun. I have no personal experience with it.

    But from what I have gathered in the time I spend reading online (yes, I take all that with a grain of salt), people seem to like Taurus' revolvers, but say that their pistols have problems and not to stake your life on them.

    A P3AT for $239? And you didn't buy it? :eek: Walk...no RUN back there and grab it quick. And don't look back because they might be chasing you figuring you stole it at that price. :)

    You already own a fine gun with the P32. So, you know the Kel-tec quality and you have a nice forum to come to if you have any questions.

    I personally own and EDC a P3AT. I've had it since April 2010. I love it. As soon as I find some Buffalo Bore JHP's, I'll be even more content for every-day carry.
  4. Tram

    Tram New Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Well, they are out of them at the moment - but that's the going rate.. I ordered 2... :)
  5. diamond

    diamond New Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    Well, they are out of them at the moment - but that's the going rate.. I ordered 2... :)
    At-a-boy. Well done. And 2 of them. Nice! :cool:
  6. Tram

    Tram New Member

    Jun 20, 2010
    One is for my pops.. :) He bought me a Saiga 12 a few weeks ago.. :D
  7. diamond

    diamond New Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    Very nice of you. :)

    Very nice of him. :eek:
  8. kev74

    kev74 New Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Is he looking to adopt? ;D
  9. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009

    I have shot a TCP and here's my take on it vs. the P3AT and here's my take:

    Size - The P3AT is noticeably smaller
    Simplicity - I'd go with the P3AT, I have no faith in the internal lock on the TCP
    Magazine capacity - With the new 9 rd magazine vs. the TCP forthcoming 8 rounder the edge goes to the P3AT
    Finish - The TCP wins, the version I shoot is stainless steel so corrosion is not a big issue
    Controls - The TCP wins, it is ergonomic and it has a steel magazine release vs. plastic for the P3AT, the slide hold open control makes dis assembly easier than the P3AT
    Price - The P3AT wins its about 30 -50 dollars less expensive in my area

    It's my opinion that rapid accurate placement of shots is more important with this power level cartridge than performance (expansion.) I'd have to say that The P3AT and TCP are comparable in accuracy and recoil. That being said I typically carry a P-32, the 32 ACP is still quicker on target for follow on shots than either the P3AT or TCP.

    Best Regards:
  10. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Active Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    I now own one of each. Mind you I just got rid of my LCP two months ago because I didn't need two .380s. What changed, my wife who said she'd never carry a gun that small, bought a new purse. You guessed it; only my P3AT fits in the thing. Yup, you guessed it again; she took my P3AT away from me.

    So, my LGS had a TCP for $275.00. I bought it but haven't shot it yet. I had to send it to Taurus because the barrel was pitted. I got in back in just under 3 weeks with an new unpitted barrel. I hope to get to the range on Friday to finally put some rounds through it and proof it.

    My plan is for my wife to carry the Taurus. I prefer my P3AT hands down. Yes the TCP looks nice but the P3AT fits my hand better. Fortunately, the TCP fits mt wife's hand better. I just hope after she shoots it Friday, she still prefers the TCP over the P3AT. ;)
  11. gordon11

    gordon11 Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    My hands are in pretty rough shape so trigger pull is everything. How does the TCP compare?
  12. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009

    The TCP trigger pull feels slightly lower than most of the the P3AT's I've handled. The P3AT's trigger does seem to get the more it is used though.

    Best Regards:
  13. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Active Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Yeah, the TCP's trigger is light---extremely light, IMHO. I still haven't shot it with live ammo only snap caps so far.
  14. Deuce3

    Deuce3 Member

    May 6, 2008
    I really like the trigger on my TCP although I have to be careful with it after shooting my P-11. I don't have a P3AT so I can't compare it to that.
  15. diamond

    diamond New Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    OK, so I stopped out to my LGS today. They had an LCP (sorry to mention that one), a TCP and an IO Hellcat.

    I must be really bias toward my P3AT because it just fits my hand so much better.

    Here are my observations.

    The LCP is simply a P3AT in a tux. I could really care less about esthetics and I like my drop-free magazine. The LCP just sits there in the gun when you press the mag release button. Plus, I feel that the corners are not as rounded as my P3AT. It bumps and rubs against my hand and fingers.

    Same with the Hellcat. Not comfortable in my hand. It just felt awkward and when I grabbed it out of my left hand, it did not seat itself immediately in my strong hand. The area of the frame right below the slide hit the web of my thumb and first finger. It did not feel natural.

    The TCP was next. Hmmm...it just looked and felt cheap. Sure, the slide won't rust because it was stainless, and they give you 2 mags, instead of Kel-tec's 1 mag. KT needs to join the rest of them out there and anti up an extra mag. The gun just didn't sit comfortably in my hand. The corners were abrupt and uncomfortable.

    I'll stick with my P3AT. It suits me. :)
  16. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009

    I've felt P3AT's from the factory that had comparable triggers, but most are heavier than the TCP. I've met several shooters who prefer the heavier P3AT trigger pull for safety reasons. I still think your biggest safety is located between our ears though.

    Best Wishes:
  17. diamond

    diamond New Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    Don't forget your booger fetcher.
  18. Nylox

    Nylox New Member

    Jul 1, 2010
    Well, here's my experience with both.  I bought a the P3AT at a gun show because the price was too hard to pass up.  The gun looks cheap but fit my needs for a CCW weapon that I would actually be able to carry 24-7.  I did my homework and read through all a lot of forums, reviews, and such.  My findings were that most people who bought this gun had pretty good luck with it.  There was a lot of feedback stating that the p3at needed a break in period and that some malfunctions could be expected within the first 150-200 rounds or so.  My experience was very good with this little pistol.  I have never had a single problem with this little pistol.  Not even during the break in period.  Is has never had a single problem through the 1000+ rounds.  Did I get one of the good ones?  All I can say is that I feel confident this weapon will work when and if needed.

    Now for the 738 TCP:  I was attracted to this one for a few reasons and purchased it without hesitation.  First the trigger pull was surprisingly smooth compared to the p3at, the slide locks open when the mag is empty, it looks a heck of a lot better (SS slide) and has a better overall look, it comes with 2 magazines, and offers a lifetime warranty regardless of ownership.  How could I go wrong?  I purchased the first one for my better half.  It seemed to have a lot less recoil and was actually somewhat pleasant to shoot compared to my p3at.  Heck, I could have shot this all day and not had any problems as compared to my p3at which packs quite a punch and isn't a "pleasure" to shoot.  I was pretty impressed at first and my better half shot the rest of the 1st box of ammo.  Towards the end of the first box (50 rounds) of ammo she motioned for me to come over and take a look at a problem she was having.  She would pull the trigger, the hammer would come all of the way back but never drop.  The trigger had malfunctioned (trigger pivot pin broke) leaving the pistol completely useless.  This was very disappointing since this was a Birthday gift to her and it couldn't make it through 50 rounds of ammo before malfunctioning.  Thank goodness for the lifetime warranty.  I knew this was a new model and there are always bound to be some problems right off the bat.  So we sent the gun in for repair.  I will have to say that Taurus only asked for the serial number and didn't question anything further before approving shipment and repair.  They even pay for the shipping which impressed me.  At this point I was feeling a little bit better and thought perhaps I got one of the "bad ones" for her.  There is always a chance for a component to fail in any machine no matter what it is so I assumed I must have just drawn the short straw on this one.  By the way the turn around on a warranty repair from Taurus is at least 1 month so if it's your primary carry weapon you may want to arm yourself with a sword or a brick in the mean time.

    Now here's where I'm kicking myself:  After the fore mentioned happened, I, (in my brilliance) decided I needed one of these for myself and purchased another one thinking that there couldn't be 2 lemons in a row.  Boy was I wrong.  I couldn't get 3 rounds off in a row without a FTE jam.  (Yes I cleaned and lubricated before using).  This was with 3 different types of ammo and using both magazines.  I was wishfully thinking that maybe it needed some "break in" to work the bugs out but to no avail.  I actually spent quite a bit of time clearing jams just trying to get some rounds through this to make sure it wasn't a break in issue.  I wish now that I hadn't wasted the ammo on this piece.  Towards the end of my futile effort the exact same thing happened to my TCP that happened before where my trigger completely quit working.  (YEP,  The trigger pivot pin was snapped)  I replaced the pivot pin and the trigger worked wonderfully once again but it still fails to eject.

    Now I will say this:  The customer support at Taurus was very good and they will warranty their product and even pay for th shipping and arrange pick up (You will be without for at least a month).  But for a defensive weapon that you plan on carrying, I can't possibly imagine trusting my life or loved ones to one of these after my experience.  Even if I get these back and fire 1000 rounds through each without a hiccup I can't see myself trusting the TCP in a life or death situation.  I realize these little pocket guns are very simple little machines and anything can fail.  But 2 in a row says something in the back of my mind that I can never recover from.

    For me: I carry my P3AT nearly 24-7 for 2 main reasons
    1: IT WORKS EVERY TIME with everything I've put through it.  
    2: It will actually go with me no matter how I'm dressed where I found my other guns sitting at home because it wasn't "convenient".

    Just my 2 cents. Take it or leave it but I wanted to share my experience so far.
  19. diamond

    diamond New Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    Nylox: Thanks for the review.

    One gun dealer told me, "Taurus has the best lifetime warranty in the business...and you're gonna need it!"

    Most people will agree that Taurus wheel guns are good, but that their semi-autos have issues.

    But, my experience was with a Taurus model 605 (.38sp revolver). The firing pin would slip forward on its own if you pointed the revolver downward and jam the cylinder keeping the gun from shooting.

    The firing pin would also drift forward when you dropped the cylinder out to the side to reload the gun. You then could not put the cylinder back in to battery without just slamming it home.

    Put my life in the hands of a Taurus? No thanks.

    Maybe with the TCP being so new, one could expect problems. The trigger pivot pin is obviously one of them, and I'm sure Taurus will address the design flaw. But wait for a couple of years to go by before buying one to let others work out the problems.

    Oh, and Nylox...go buy your wife a P3AT. :)
  20. antiacus

    antiacus New Member

    Jul 18, 2010
    My TCP has a more comfortable grip for my medium sized hands. It's a better fit & finish, prettier, slightly taller, wider, same length. I also like the trigger just a little bit better than my p3at although it's fairly negligible. I like the slide lock on the TCP as well.

    The reason i carry my p3at and not my TCP is because it's small enough to fit in my maxpedition rat-pack on my belt (tcp is 1/2" too tall) and it's way less finicky about ammo and being cleaned. My tcp wants to be cleaned every 50 rds or it starts to have issues.

    For the lack of "refinement" of my p3at i shoot just as well with it, it's smaller, exact same performance as far as felt recoil, and it never fails, regardless of ammo, or cleanliness.

    Easy decision on which gun to carry.