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Taurus TCP: The Mouse Gun That Roared


“In a surveillance video released by the police department, [Samuel] Williams, who is seated at a computer in the corner of the café, is seen standing up and pulling out a .380-caliber handgun shortly after the two men are apparently seen storming into the café and swinging a bat at something off screen,” ABC News reports (in their own clunky way). We now know that Mr. Williams was wielding a two-tone Taurus TCP. The mouse gun got it done. That said, a quick troll of the firearms forums reveals that the incident has done nothing to pacify gun owners fighting the ongoing not to say eternal caliber wars. While no one is displeased with the incident’s end result, the question remains: is a .380 “enough gun” for armed self-defense? Clock commentator Blitzkrieg’s take over at . . .

Use a sufficient caliber and they may never do it again.. as I have belabored here repeatedly .380 is a backup caliber. And he better get some training cause it might be fun to shoot them in the buttocks but it’s WAY bad tactics

While we hash that one out, Taurus is doing nothing to promote the TCP in light of its successful, well-publicized deployment. Nor do any of our gun dealer friends report a sudden rush of OFWGs looking for a $352 (msrp) 10.2-ounce 738 Taurus TCP. But it’s safe to say that Mr. Williams’ defensive gun use will do nothing to diminish the TCP’s appeal and much to enhance it.

Meanwhile, here’s an interesting conundrum . . .

Mr. Williams won’t take any heat for it, but it looks like the septuagenarian fired five shots in total, two at the fleeing thugs. That’s a not-so-clear violation of Florida’s law regarding lethal force. Mercifully, none of those “extra” rounds caused any collateral damage.

Might the outcome have been different if Williams had been using a gun with a more potent round (i.e. firing a bigger bullet that would have traveled further with more force)? Again, it doesn’t look like he emptied his mouse gun, but if he did, would he have kept shooting with a gun with even greater capacity?

Something to think about.


  1. avatar jkp says:

    Don’t quite understand why TTAG’s commentariat seems to be pushing the idea that Williams’ use of force exceeded what was legally permissible, given that:

    (a) The bad guy still retained his handgun, and was in a position to inflict harm with it,
    (b) No charges are apparently being filed, and
    (c) The people offering this assessment are not, to my knowledge, attorneys who practice law in the State of Florida.

  2. avatar cannew says:

    I see NO problem at all chasing and firing til the bad guys were out the door and gone. Military style tactic overwhealm and do not relent. Had he gone out the door and put two into the bad guys had they dropped there, then yes that is problem. A lot of self defense footage shows good guys continuing to fire once BG start to beat feet. Not sure why this is even coming into question.

  3. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    the requirement for deadly force requires a reasonable belief or fear of imminent bodily injury. As those thugs were still consumming oxygen and one had a weapon himself, I find it difficult for a jury to conclude that excessive force was used. Moreover, given the video and the manner within which these thugs were herding people together and waving their own weapon around, if the prosecutor did bring a case, I susepct he or she would be voted out of office in the next election.

    1. avatar "lee n. field" says:

      “As those thugs were still consumming oxygen and one had a weapon himself, I find it difficult for a jury to conclude that excessive force was used. Moreover, given the video and the manner within which these thugs were herding people together and waving their own weapon around”

      Both had weapons. One a firearm, one a bat.

  4. avatar jwm says:

    once more into the caliber wars. years ago i saw a study done that stated er docs and coroners could not look at a bullet wound caused by a handgun round and with any certainty tell you what caliber was used unless they recovered the bullet in the body. that held true for rounds from the 22 to the 45. knock down power in a handgun is a myth. the bullet has to hit a vital spot and even then you’re not guaranteed an instant stop.

    1. avatar Testa Sterone says:

      I have to agree with you on this one. I carry concealed with a Taurus TCP 738, .380 cal as well but in solid black, and loaded with Hornady Critical Defense hollow points. My CC range training taught me to put 2 rounds center body mass and then one in the head if the cretin is still on his feet. With my laser sight, all of those shots are totally possible but I would have limited myself to the two center body mass. However, with only 6 rounds in the mag (as far as I know the 8 round mags are not yet available) and one chambered that would easily dispense the two bad guys. However, make sure there are only two bad guys to fend off. Three or more and you are cutting it too close for comfort unless you are carrying that extra mag which is not always possible with other essential garbage that shows up in your pockets like keys, change, wallets, maybe a cell phone and a pocket knife. I use an inside the pants holster, for total concealed carry, but it will not permit an extra mag which I am desperately trying to fix at this time. If you have a solution, let me know.

      1. avatar Mark says:

        I carry a TCP as well. And in a solution to your problem,I carry a Blackhawk#2 inside the pants holster. I cut the stitching on the leather strip going across the holster. And then I slipped another loaded mag in the strip like a sleeve. With the bottom of the mag up,so it doesn’t fall out.

        It works perfectly,and now I’m armed with 13 rds. of 380 hollow-points!

      2. avatar Ron Dilliner says:

        Appropriate dress for 90 percent of my activities, I converted to cargo pants and shorts. If one so chooses, he/she may carry around an entire armory in that garb. Works great for me…and considerably better form than mistakenly attempting to slide an extra mag through a store’s card reader, heh-heh.

    2. avatar pat says:

      None of this is true. Larger, more powerful rounds do far greater permanent damage. Also, high energy rounds like the 357 create a temporary stretch cavity that (striking near a nerve center) will incapacitate the BG for a period of time (like getting hit in the ribs with a baton) so the good guy can take control of the situation…..with many BG’s still alive (you dont have to kill…too stop a threat).

      1. avatar Phil Elliott says:

        A fellow Officer shot a bad guy with a gun 3 times in the upper left chest with a .357, 125 gr. hp. A different Officer shot him once with a .38 unknown bullet, entered right nipple and traversed the chest. Guy dropped that gun and went for another, shot 3 more times with a .357, at this time Officers is empty, other Officer has jammed gun, went for cover and a reload, and radio call for more help. Guy expired from loss of blood, DRT. So .357 is not a miracle round, NO pistol round is!

  5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Given that one of the criminals is already back out in public (because a judge set the bail so low), I am starting to consider the validity of the argument that a larger caliber which would have permanently stopped the criminals was in order. That said, the armed citizen is 71 years old and he very well may not have the strength and control to handle a larger caliber. I recently steered my father, who is in his 70s, to the .380 caliber because there are times (when arthritis rears its ugly head) that he would be unsafe handling a larger caliber.

    But hey, it is a good enough caliber for James Bond 007 so it has to be good enough for the rest of us, right?

    1. avatar Lance says:

      I dunno.. I fired a friends Ruger LCP this weekend, in .380. That little bugger is more of a handful than my 9mm XD was, or my current .45 1911. Granted, my hands are pretty large & I had a hard time even getting the trigger actuated all the way without contorting my hand and loosening my grip. I wouldn’t carry anything that small as a primary. Backup maybe, and hope to hell I don’t need to resort to it.

    2. avatar jkp says:

      Hardly. Cmdr. Bond used a Walther PPK chambered in 7.65mm (.32 to you and me,) “with a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window.”

      1. avatar Devin says:

        And before that it was a .25 Beretta

  6. avatar Joseph says:

    Hello everyone,

    This might sound stupid but does the state of Florida consider the use of a .380 cal. fire arm to be deadly force? Even though he fired, what, 5 rounds and both robbers where shot neither of them died, is that correct? I would guess that most of the police officers in Florida that carry back up pistols are using .380’s, besides everyone knows that unless your lucky or fire 10+ rounds into the target a .380 isn’t lethal.

    We all know that it doesn’t matter what cal. a person is caring to shoot at the range, can’s, bottles, or at other people all of them are deadly. If anyone thinks different they need to go back to fire arm safety school till it sinks in. I think what Mr. William’s did was the right thing to do. I am saddened that he was the only one who responded to the threat and was caring, if anyone else there that was, even off duty police, are cowards. We need to step up and Praise this man for doing the right thing and if need be shout louder and longer then those who would condemn him. We know that the law in this country is made by self serving, corrupt, greedy, and religious men and women who are by choice under educated and scared of being something other then sheep or cattle.

    Best of luck to all the brothers and sister that will stand next Mr. Williams and follow suit if the time ever comes to be the one to do the Right thing and is strong enough to stand proud. For we all know the next time this happens the strong person will take a lot of flack from those who are scared of guns plus those who have an agenda to strip us of our rights to enslave use to their will and design. We must stand together and help strengthen others who will do the Right Thing.

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      I will put two rounds to your chest and one to your head and let me know how that feels with “just” a .380. Unless your crazed or pumped up on drugs or alcohol (a possible scenario, but less probable), your feeling it. One of the perps even comments in of the stories posted by the media that he felt his leg go away and lost feeling in it.

      Lethal or not, it did its job and we have seen similar stories with a simple 22lr. The point is, being able to defend yourself. With a few extra holes, hopefully this was a teaching moment.

      1. avatar Testa Sterone says:

        And use the Hornady Critical Defense, .380 hollow points to cut through the extra clothing these thugs seem to wear. The “hoodies” don’tcha know!!! I don’t care what caliber you are carrying, anything from the business end of a pistol is to be considered “deadly”…

        1. avatar Shoot'em says:

          Ummm…hollowpoints have no advantage in “cutting through extra clothes”….multiple layers decrease penetration and can clog the bullet itself with material decreasing the effectiveness of the round. If you are looking for “pure” penetration then load up some FMJ….or do like I do in my PT709…2 Speer Gold Dot….followed by 2 rounds of FMJ and then 3 more Gold Dots…

  7. avatar ST says:

    ****Might the outcome have been different if Williams had been using a gun with a more potent round (i.e. firing a bigger bullet that would have traveled further with more force)? Again, it doesn’t look like he emptied his mouse gun, but if he did, would he have kept shooting with a gun with even greater capacity?****

    No. Stopping power is an internet forum commando myth. The only proven way to stop a man or woman from attacking is a shot to the spine or brain. Everything else is gambling, regardless of how big the bullet is. Even if one of the crooks in the video was shot in the heart, he’d have a minute of pumped blood remaining to shoot back. I don’t know about you guys, but a minute is plenty of time for me to empty a semi auto , reload, and do it again .

    1. avatar Agitator says:

      “Even if one of the crooks in the video was shot in the heart, he’d have a minute of pumped blood remaining to shoot back.”

      Talk about internet forum commando.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        No, he’s right, at least to a certain degree. Absent a cns shot causing inability of motor function, a body can continue to operate after an otherwise lethal wound until the blood pressure in the brain drops to the point that unconsciousness ensues. A French doctor established that a beheaded prisoner actually retained some level of consciousness for up to thirty seconds after decaptiation. There have been more than a few great white hunters mauled to death by charging lions and water buffalo after invariably fatal heart shots. I read somewhere about a gunslinger who said, “Go ahead and take your shot. I’ll still have my ten seconds and that will be enough.” Plenty of ultimately fatal wounds (femoral artery, pelvic arteries, for example) require time to disable the target. I’m sure you’ve read plenty of articles talking about the amount of time it takes to bleed out after various wounds–in fact, many people survive bullet wounds because they receive medical treatment before they bleed out.

        1. avatar Testa Sterone says:

          Very true!

    2. avatar pat says:

      Incorrect. High energy rounds like the 357 can incapacitate a BG by hitting near a Nerve center while creating a temporary (stretch) cavity or pressure wave. Its like getting hit in the gut by a baton. Larger, more powerful rounds also give you a better chance of hitting vital areas with their increased permanent (crush) cavities.
      Dont be stupid and carry a 22short because it has so little recoil.

      1. avatar JJ says:

        You seem fixated on the .357… this article is about the TCP, a nice POCKET CARRY pistol… most can’t afford a S&W Airlite .357 Mag, and the recoil is horrendous… no, that is not wimping out, that realistically means follow up shots are slow… that said, if one wants a pocket rocket with more power, the Kahr CM9 is a good choice… and look into Magsafe, Underwood Extreme Defense and DRT ammo… lots of wound cavity action.

  8. avatar YEPPERS says:

    I wish he killed those black scumbags…19 years old and already robbing internet cafe’s? Seriously, they should be eradicated. As for the .380 debate, I bet Mr. Williams is wishing he had a bigger caliber now.

    1. avatar Not Too Eloquent says:

      No, I bet Mr. Williams is pretty happy with his equipment and performance right now. He took care of his Wife and himself just fine. Don’t put your concept of an ideal carry scenario onto everbody else’s situation. Mr. Williams was carrying with what he was comfortable with and so does everyone else. Everything worked out just peachy with his .380.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Not Too Eloquent: No, I bet Mr. Williams is pretty happy with his equipment and performance right now… Everything worked out just peachy with his .380.

        And he has the added benefit of not having to know he killed somebody. Internet tough-guy postings aside, that would be a major after-the-fact psychological burden for many people. There are some that theorized that he is ex-military, but I believe stuff that’s done “in the shit” is different from a situation like this, and has different long-term effects.

        In a similar situation, would I hold back because I was concerned about the psychological aftereffects? No. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be relieved you don’t have to live through them.

  9. avatar Stant says:

    .380 did the job, nothing else needs be said.

    1. avatar Bill Zade says:

      Okay, admittedly I don’t comment on boards like this very often, and for good reason. I will start with my background as I am sure there are a few that are going to wonder. I am a soldier and a former Marine, combat veteran of both services and still serving as an Army infantryman. In regards to killing capacity of the .380, personally I think it is a great compromise and both my wife and I carry pistols in this caliber. The dirty little secret is simply this: No-one ever “rises” to the occasion, and almost always revert back to the extent of the most recent training. It stAnds thAt whatever a person practices with the most he will do best with, even a .22 or a .380 acp. With that being said, there are rounds that are better at killing a man than others, but none of that matters if one cannot effectively put bullets where they NEED to go when it matters. Personally, I don’t like the 9mm or 5.56x45mm, I have seen both repeatedly fail when it mattered. Given the option, slow and heavy works best, this is why heavy .380 rounds properly placed .380 rounds tend to be more lethal than 9mm rounds of similar construction and placement. More important than caliber is placement, and those that practice under truly horrible conditions will always be better off than those relying on horsepower alone. For reference I highly reccomend that anyone who plans on carrying for defense against the wolves of the world read On Killing by LtCol. David Grossman. Having unfortunately having been in the situation where I have killed, I would consider this a must read. No matter what you carry, practice like your life and those around you depend on it, for one day they just might.

  10. avatar tdiinva says:

    According to the Army studies the bigger the mass of the bullet the more damage you do. So if Mr. Williams shot the perps in the same place with a 45 they would have had more serious injuries. However, as I have argued over and over again almost all the bad guys we will face will run at the sight of gun let alone after getting shot at. They do not live by the “leave no man behind” military code. Their buddy goes down and they will do nothing to help him. The security camera video once again confirms this. The bottom line is that caliber really doesn’t matter to a armed citizen. Given this fact, 380 might be the ideal caliber for self defense. Big enough to kill some one quickly if your shot placement is right and small enough so that an over zealous prosecuter can not use the argument that you chose your weapon just so you could kill someone. Since the Zimmerman affair I have considered carrying my SIG 1911-22 instead of my 45 to short circuit the “you chose the 45 because of its famous killing power” line of attack.

    I am surprised that nobody pointed out how the Florida SYG law helps Mr. Williams stay of jail. If you live in a duty to retreat state like Virginia, were in an identical situation a you a back door to escape you could prosecuted for your counterattack. There are prosecutors in VA who would have charged him for his action.

    1. avatar Greg Camp says:

      If you’re talking about the Thompson-LaGarde tests, I recall reading in the reports that the one caliber that killed a bull in the least time was 7.65 Luger. The conclusion, if you can call it that, was that no one knows for sure, but the Brass wants a .45, so we’ll vote for a .45.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        No, I am talking about the tests done in late 1980’s to support the lethality numbers in the Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual. These new tests confirmed the results from Thompson-LeGarde tests and were done after the military adopted the Beretta. The 45 is a more lethal round. The lethality indices are developed based on the severity of the wound and the time delay to treatment.

  11. avatar Will says:

    The .380 did its job. The BG’s antics were suppressed and they chose to bail. (And later, one of them cried about it to the press.)

    It’s sad that the BGs had to be of a minority. Unfortunately there’s a lot of them that grow up under a victim attitude and take it out on the white guy. I applaud those who don’t take to that attitude while wishing there were more of them like that. (Even one is too many.) It’s also sad when they bring religious things into their speech and yet do things like this that go against the very religion they bring up. (Gender, race, or ethnicity is irrelevant in that aspect.)

    Any caliber can kill. Even a pellet or BB gun can kill under the right circumstances (and they’re considered more of a toy than a real gun.) You can diss lower calibers all you want, it won’t change that.

  12. avatar PCnotPC says:

    The .380 in your hand beats the .45 left at home.

  13. avatar Mark N. says:

    For home defense, where ranges may be longer and concealment is not an issue, a larger caliber something I would use. But for the street, where the most likely encounter will be at fifteen feet or less, the .380 is more than sufficient in firepower, easily concealable, and quickly employed. I would think that most BGs will have no idea what caliber your gun is when you open fire and will choose to stick around because you only have a pea shooter.

  14. avatar Greg Camp says:

    Oy! the caliber wars. He stopped what could have been a bloodbath. In legal terms, that’s what he’s allowed to do. Williams carries a .380. Is it because that’s all he can manage? Is it because he likes how it feels? How it fits in his pocket? What I do know is that he’s not someone that anybody ought to pick a fight with.

  15. avatar cal says:

    If using a pistol, expect to shoot at least twice – regardless of caliber.
    Remember this?

  16. avatar "lee n. field" says:

    “Again, it doesn’t look like he emptied his mouse gun, but if he did, would he have kept shooting with a gun with even greater capacity?”

    The TCP comes with two magazines.

  17. avatar Ken Wilkinson says:

    All the BS aside,
    He “got her done”

  18. avatar bill says:

    Everything else aside he followed the number one rule of a gun fight. Have a gun.

    That said I have one of these and really like it. have yet to make it not go bang when you pull trigger.

  19. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Not Too Eloquent: I am surprised that nobody pointed out how the Florida SYG law helps Mr. Williams stay [out] of jail. If you live in a duty to retreat state like Virginia, were in an identical situation a you [had] a back door to escape you could prosecuted for your counterattack. There are prosecutors in VA who would have charged him for his action.

    I think this is important, and bears repeating, so I’m going to do it. The SYG is instrumental in situations like this, because a common situation before SYG laws was “arrest everyone and let the courts sort it out.” Mr. Williams slept at home that night because of the SYG law.

  20. avatar Jackie_Boy says:

    He’s lucky, the TCP has an issue that still has not been corrected that could potentially make the gun inoperable. If you do not allow the trigger to fully reset after firing a round, the gun will not fire again.

    1. avatar Shank says:

      Every semi-auto pistol I know of requires a full reset of the trigger to fire another round. This was a guy who had not just bought the gun and stuck it in his pocket, he obviously had practiced with it.
      I also don’t care what caliber you use, you start poking holes in the bad guys 99% of the time they will cut and run.

      1. avatar pat says:

        Heck, you simply brandish the thing and its game over for the BG’s plans.

  21. avatar Doug says:

    I own the TCP738 and are fully aware of the supposed “issue” with the trigger reset. And I have been able to duplicate the “issue” when dry firing the gun, but in live fire I believe you’d have to really TRY to make it fail to reset. It’s not something that that just happens. I like the little gun and, depending on my attire of the day, carry it in the front pocket of my cargo shorts or IWB holster. Never had a FTF or a FTE since I’ve owned it now for over a year. It goes “bang” every time it’s tried. I carry it with complete confidence.

  22. avatar R.Wade Johnson II. says:

    Well this small what could be seen as a FLAW to some, could in fact be a BLESSING IN DISGUISE!!!! I have seen too many times those folks that are so very unfamiliar with firearms shoot a semi-Auto pistol then turn right around and point it too the handler with their finger on the trigger and unknowingly shoot someone vibe use they are simply unfamiliar with a semi-Auto. Hand gun!! So like I said this could be looked at as a flaw or possibly a lifesaver!!!!

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