Coming to the Range: Taurus TCP .380 with Wings

On Taurus' new 738 TCP pistol, small "wings" fold out from the slide to make it easier to operate.

The new 738 TCP Taurus pistol, or “the TCP with wings,” debuted at SHOT Show last year, but never made it to the market. At this year’s SHOT Show, it was reintriduced with beefier, easier to deploy wings on the slide, which will be available soon.

The wings may seem like a gimmick at first glance, just like any addition to a firearm or drastic design change does at first. But the wings do seem to have real applications for some shooters.

The wings located in the rear serrations on the .380 pistol’s tiny slide do not have to be opened, ever, if you so choose. A shooter could leave them closed and forgotten. But if it’s a cold day and you are having difficulty operating the slide with gloved hands, flipping out the wings will solve the problem.

The task of pulling back the slide on tiny .380 pocket pistols can be a difficult and painful endeavor for anyone with small or weak hands, or for someone with arthritis. For such shooters, those little, robust steel wings could be a lifesaver.    When I shot the TCP at SHOT Show’s Media Day at the Range, I quickly noticed that the wings made operating the little slide easier for someone with large hands as well.

Though Taurus doesn’t mention it, the wings can also be used to chamber a load with one hand by hooking one wing on the edge of a pocket, belt, vest, holster or pretty much anything, if necessary, to operate the slide. Because the TCP is the perfect size to carry as a backup gun, that could be a huge advantage if you ever have to use the pistol with an injured hand.

Most importantly, for a tiny gun, the TCP is a great shooter with or without the wings deployed. It’s just another feature on a pistol that can be used or forgotten, and one that you might be wishing you had on other tiny pocket pistols after trying this one.