May 31, 2016

Rock Island .22 TCM


Just when I thought that I had seen it all, Rock Island Armory has introduced a new round built into the 1911 platform: Introducing the Rock Island .22 TCM handgun round. This thing is crazy. Handgun Magazine recently ran some tests and found that they could get the 45 grain bullet up to a whopping 2,000 fps—now, that is really humming! They also found this handgun to be extremely accurate, even at a hundred yards. That is quite amazing for a handgun.

Rock Island Armory has introduced the TCM 22 VZ full-sized, TCM 22 midsize standard, and the TCM 22 VZ midsize. The full-sized version has a 17+1 capacity and the requisite accessory rails, an ambidextrous safety and dovetailed rear. The best part of this is that this new pistol is the cost—under $800.  This is amazing for a 1911. I have had the chance to shoot a Rock Island Armory 1911 before, and I really liked it. I felt like Rock Island’s quality was good.

The question remains: Do we really need another handgun caliber? Sure, why not? I am wondering what this caliber will be used for? With the muzzle velocity at 2,000 fps , I am concerned about over-penetration. If this round is used for self-defense, then over-penetration is a real cause for concern. The round itself is cased in a cut down .223 casing. From my viewpoint, this thing is basically a rifle cartridge shot out of a handgun.  You cannot shoot handgun steel targets, you must shoot rifle steel.  Now, I do see this new caliber as a fun varmint handgun.  Depending on the cost of the ammo, it will probably be a very fun range gun.

The real issue will be finding ammo for the guns.  As of now, Armscor, the parent company of Rock Island Armory, is the only company making this round.  It will be fun to keep an eye on this pistol, the Rock Island .22 TCM, in the future.


503 Responses to “Rock Island .22 TCM”
  1. What a tremendous article this was! It’s clear that you are passionate about this subject, which is a refreshing change from most authors. I see a lot of authors just putting up quick junk, which is unfortunate. Thank you for bringing this information out, it’s much appreciated!

  2. Jim from Phoenix says:

    I’ll stick with the 5.7×28 in my MPA machine pistol. 3,000 fps velocity.

  3. Tokengimp says:

    I see this and think Savage Striker or Ruger Charger, but imagine Volquartsen might find a way to deliver it accurately too.

  4. JonnyV says:

    1. This is not a “new” cartridge, RIA has been making these for over a year (introduced at 2011 Shot)
    2. As a previous poster points out, this cartridge is no different in concept than other “carbine” cartridges
    3. Bare gelatin tests show an avg of 12-13″ of penetration

  5. Mike Myers says:

    The concept is far from new (see 5.7 spitfire, etc). I think the 22 TCM has a couple of great selling points. For those of us who have small hands, (at least for me) the FN 5.7 was not an option. After handling one, it was just a hair to fat. I prefer my carry gun to feel good (as close to a Browning High Power as possible).

    When your a police officer and you shoot someone, in essence, the government is picking up the bill for your legal cost if/when you get sued. Those not in law enforcement have to worry about not only the bad guy they might have to shoot, but the person behind or downrange of the target. The 22 TCM, if it does exit the target, will probably be far less of a threat than larger calibers. And certainly less of a threat after a miss ricochets down range than a 9, 40, or 45.

    You can get the pistol in single stack or high cap. And I will bet you can call up Barstow and get a new 22TCM barrel for just about any 9mm you have. I believe the recoil spring for the 22 TCM is 7lbs, so a new one might be needed in a Glock or Smith.

  6. Joe A. (Chamberlin) says:

    This is reminiscent of the .224 BOZ experiment: A 10mm Auto necked down to use 5.56 bullets. Always a big fan of these ‘wildcat’ type handgun rounds. But watch out for the armor-piercing handgun ammo debate to quickly appear… P.s. I wonder if you could shoot this round out of your AR-15 in a pinch? LOL (serious headspace issues!)

  7. James H says:

    This round is very interesting. Maybe too much for a pistol and too little for a rifle (or maybe just right for both). Like the .357 mag that went from a pistol round to the lever action rifle platform, this might also crossover from a pistol round to a rifle platform, albeit this would be a semi-auto to rifle unlike the .357 which is a revolver to rifle. It could be a great varmint round and, at the same time depending on the cost (I may be getting ahead of myself), a competition round. The three-gun competition would require only two ammo types, pistol/rifle and shotgun. However, this might be too much velocity for a handgun and comparatively, not enough for a rifle. Do we really need another round that that is trying to fill a niche that doesn’t exist? There are too many variations as it is, but who knows… “build it and they will come”. I like it!

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