.38 TPC – Taurus Makes a Pistol Cartridge

Imagine being the average Brazillian. Under the last President, your gun rights were expanded. Brazil is a beautiful country, but the criminal elements are sometimes violent and well-armed. Being able to defend your home and your family is likely a priority. Before you know it, your people elect a literal criminal, a money launderer, a terrorist sympathizer, a racist, and a corrupt politician who, like most criminals, abhor gun ownership. After passing numerous gun laws, the average Brazillian can no longer own a 9mm handgun, so Taurus responds and offers you the .38 TPC. 

The Lula Government took office, and almost immediately, a series of gun laws were passed. The laws reduced the number of guns one can own, reduced the length of a gun license, and banned calibers like 9x19mm. There is no grandfather clause, and you either find a way to sell it or face confiscation. This forced most Brazilians to give up the most popular guns on the market and use less powerful options in .380 ACP and maybe .32 ACP. 

In response, Taurus created a cartridge known as the .38 TPC, specifically aimed at the civilian market in Brazil. TPC stands for Taurus Pistol Cartridge. The .38 TPC is designed to skirt the current law and remain legal for civilian self-defense needs. 

Why the .38 TPC 

The .38 TPC is designed to try and replicate the 9mm as closely as it can without violating the law. Taurus pushed some boundaries and bent some rules but left them unbroken. The .398 TPC does use a 9.02 mm projectile and an 18mm case. The 9mm Makarov famously used an 18mm case, but the 9mm Mak is a bit closer to .380 ACP. The .38 TPC sits next to 9mm. Think of the .38 TPC as a 9mm -P and not as .380 ACP +P. 

The cartridge uses the same 124-grain 9mm projectile as 9×19, which means reloading wouldn’t be difficult. It delivers about 90% of the power of the 9mm Luger cartridge and is 40% more powerful than the .380 ACP. The .38 TPC reportedly has a max chamber pressure of 35,000 PSI, which is the same as that of most standard 9mm loads. 

According to Taurus Brazil, they have created a bonded JHP that can reach 14 inches in ballistic gel with 40% expansion and zero mass loss. That’s a capable defensive option that can penetrate as needed, with the advantage of expansion if it works as claimed. 

Using a slightly less powerful cartridge results in less recoil, which is always good. Taurus can likely easily convert its 9mm guns to .38 TPC without any significant investment. 

The .38 TPC Guns

Speaking of guns, Taurus plans to release both the G2C and the GX4 in .38 TPC in Brazil. The G2C is one of Taurus’ most successful firearms in Brazil and the United States, making it an easy seller. I find the GX4 more interesting. Taurus builds the G2C in Brazil, but they build the GX4 in Bainbridge, Georgia. Taurus will be exporting the GX4 into Brazil. 

Why is that interesting? Well, it’s usually the other way around. Typically, Taurus imports weapons from Brazil into America. This Uno reverse might be the first time it’s gone the other way. According to some Brazilian websites, the Taurus brand sells over 300 thousand firearms a year in Brazil, so the .38 TPC might be a winner there. 

Brazil isn’t the only country with silly bans on ammo, and those countries might also adopt the .38 TPC for civilian firearm sales. I don’t think we’ll see any of these guns in the States, but I’d love to have one cartridge for my collection. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.