I recently picked up a Taurus 38s at the local gunshow. They had it at a good price, and it had the ammo and trigger types I was looking for, but I must admit it was somewhat of a impulse buy.
I had spent some time looking at different types of pistols. I started looking with the different types of ammo, as that is something that can be decided easier with just charts on paper and does not require as many trips to the shooting range. The two main cartridges I found at first was the 9mm and the .45 ACP. Both of these are easy to come by (the range rents them), however I found that I really do not like the amount of recoil that these produce. After some further research I found the 38 Super cartridge. Some internet forums had proponents of this type of ammunition touting its lower recoil to foot-pounds of pressure ratio.
A quote from here:
The Super .38 was developed in a joint venture between Colt and the law enforcement officials during the turbulent late 1920s in the United States. Criminals such as John Dillinger, Lester Gillis (Baby Face Nelson), Clyde Barrow, and Bonnie Parker stole and/or modified their weapons to the extent that police of the day were woefully outgunned when confronted by such gangsters. The Super .38 was devised (as was the .357 Magnum over at Smith & Wstarted looking with the different types of ammo, as that is something that can be decided easier with just charts on paper and does not require as many trips to the shooting range. The two main cartridges I found at first was the 9mm and the .45 ACP. Both of these are easy to come by (the range rents them), however I found that I really do not like the amount of recoil that these produce. After some further research I found the 38 Super cartridge. Some internet forums had proponents of this type of ammunition touting its lower recoil to foot-pounds of pressure ratio.
A quote from here:
The Super .38 was developed in a joint venture between Colt and the law enforcement officials during the turbulent late 1920s in the United States. Criminals such as John Dillinger, Lester Gillis (Baby Face Nelson), Clyde Barrow, and Bonnie Parker stole and/or modified their weapons to the extent that police of the day were woefully outgunned when confronted by such gangsters. The Super .38 was devised (as was the .357 Magnum over at Smith & Wesson in 1935) to give law enforcement officers a sidearm which would deliver a projectile capable of penetrating the steel bodywork of the automobiles of the era. At the time of its introduction, the Super .38 was the â€œmost powerful handgunâ€ in the world. The agents of the U.S. Justice Departmentâ€™s Division of Investigation (later changed to the F.B.I. in 1935) clamored to get the new pistol, as did their adversaries on the other side of the law. Itâ€™s not hard to figure out why!
Most police of the day carried .38 Special revolvers, firing a 158 gr. round nose lead bullet at around 750 feet per second. The Super .38 of the time delivered a 130 gr. full metal jacketed bullet at a muzzle velocity approaching 1,300 feet per second. The new cartridge was even able to defeat crude bullet-proof vests available at that time. Cops and criminals alike were impressed by those statistics, and the Colts chambered for the new round were bought (and stolen) like hotcakes.
â€œIn 1974 the industry added the +P headstamp to the 38 Super to further distinguish it from the lower pressure 38 Auto. Most current ammunition manufacturers label ammunition for the Super as 38 Super +P. The .38 Super offers higher bullet velocities than the 9mm Luger in factory cartridges. Greater case capacity allows for more powder and higher velocities at lower pressures. Also, because most .38 Super firearms were designed for the larger 45 ACP, .38 Super guns tend to be strong enough for heavier loads.
The .38 Super has made a huge comeback in IPSCand USPSA sports shooting, particularly when equipped with a compensator, because it meets the minimum power factor to be considered as a Major charge, while having more manageable recoil than .45 ACP.â€
The second thing I was looking for in a pistol was the trigger. I had rented several Glocks from the range, and despite them saying “Double action only” trigger on the box, they are single action guns (source). I really did not like the non-linear pull of the trigger, and combined with the fact that there is no way to do-cock the gun when it’s chambered I decided against this type of trigger.
I decided instead on a “Double Action/Single Action” trigger type. This type of trigger has a harder pull (like a Glock) on the first shot if the pistol is chambered and decocked, but then goes to a very light pull on the second and all subsequent shots.
With this particular gun, pulling the slide back when the magazine is loaded will both chamber the first round and cock the hammer. This means that even the first shot has a very light trigger pull if the gun is loaded and cocked like a glock would be. Here is what the back of the pistol looks like when cocked:
This pistol allows the hammer to be decocked using a lever on the side of the pistol if desired. In the decocked position, the gun can be chambered but then requires additional force on the trigger to fire it. This configuration also provides more drop-safety as the hammer is forward in the decocked position. Unlike a single-action only gun though, the gun can be fired using only the trigger from this position with some extra force on the trigger.
The gun came in a cardboard box with 2 10 round magazines, a cleaning brush, and a cable-type gun lock. It did not come with a carrying case, and the instruction manual is one of those one-size-fits all ones that describes Taurus’ entire pistol lineup. The manual was good enough to figure out how to take it apart for cleaning though.
After cleaning, I took it to the range. The recoil was very manageable and I did not experience any trouble with it. I’ve only put about 100 rounds through it so far though, so I don’t have enough information to say how it will handle in the long run. I can say that this pistol is much more accurate then its user. Dispite my shortcomings I was about to make some decent holes in paper. This was shot at 20 feet on a target with a 2 inch diameter center target circle.
Here are a few more pictures, just because they look cool
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