When Rock Island began making and marketing 22 TCM I thought they were crazy and I can’t be the only one. Anytime a company invents a new round when there isn’t a military or police contract to fulfill it will most likely fail. It’s always a risk one has to take. It’s not just a risk for the company, but for the consumer. A lot of times gun people are weary and cautious and they don’t want to risk ending up with a gun with ammo that’s impossible to find.
The risk involved with creating a new round becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in many ways. So was Rock Island Armory crazy for letting the 22 TCM become a thing? Well maybe, but they did a wonderful job of mitigating the risk by adding about 9mms of commonality. The 22 TCM 1911s are easily converted to 9mm with just a change of the barrel and recoil spring. That way if the 22 TCM proves to be a dud shooters aren’t left with a gat and no gat food.
Today we are looking at is the TCM TAC Ultra Full Size High Capacity Combo. Rock Island may know guns, but they don’t know brevity. For simplicity’s sake, we are not going to call it that. This 22 TCM pistol is a full sized 1911 with a double stack 17 round magazine, a full-length picatinny rail, and a smattering of specialized features. The gun is equipped with ambidextrous safety, a skeletonized hammer, a skeletonized trigger, an extended beavertail, G10 grips, and a massive mag well.
This isn’t John Browning’s 1911, it’s Robocop’s 1911. It’s a thoroughly modern gun in a thoroughly modern caliber. The trigger is an absolute dream. It breaks at about 4 pounds with zero grit or sponge type feeling. The reset is audible, positive and tactile.
We haven’t even talked about sights yet. The Tac Ultra’s sights are rear Novak cut and fitted with adjustable sights. The front sight is a high visibility sight that’s easy to pick up with the eyes. The large picatinny rail is perfect for flashlights and you can mount it at basically any length. The Slide is serrated at the front and rear for easy manipulation.
The 22 TCM On the Range
“Holy Sh!t,” was the first thing I said when I first fired the 22 TCM. It’s a freaking cannon. The muzzle blast is like a dragon breathing fire and it sounds more like a cannon than a 22 caliber round. What’s odd is how little recoil there is versus the muzzle flash and noise. It’s an interesting paradox. Recoil is light, and so is racking the weapon. Looking at the 22 TCM’s specs it could honestly be a solid defensive round. Its performance is similar to the 5.7. Armscor produces jacketed hollow point rounds for easy defensive use. The good news is if you miss you might set them on fire.
Accuracy is also top notch. It’s easy to back off to 35 to 50 yards and ring steel with ease. The sights are thin and don’t obscure even relatively small targets. The Novak style sights are easy to adjust and with a little time behind the gun you’ll figure it out.
It’s easy shooting, accurate, and really a lot of fun. In terms of reliability, I can’t lie when I said I had issues with extraction. Of the 250 rounds, I had 10 failures to extract. I believe this was more ammo related than gun related. The cases expanded and were stuck inside the chamber. I had to run a cleaning rod through the barrel and lightly tap it until the round came out. These rounds were really stuck in there and sometimes light was code for grab that wrench to beat it out.
The 22 TCM is a fast flippin’ round. It’s one of the few rounds fast enough to set off tannerite from a handgun. It reaches a speed of over 2,000 FPS from a 5-inch barrel. The round itself is low recoiling and fun to shoot. It’s a flat shooting round that’s great for long range shooting. (For a pistol anyway.) The rounds are actually 223 cases cut, shrunken and necked down a bit to the 22 caliber projectile.
So the round performs, but how hard is it to find and how expensive is it? Well, you won’t find it in Wal Mart. I did manage to find it at my local gun store. I also found it in Rural King and Bass Pro. Shopping online is easier, and 22 TCM is basically everywhere. Price wise it runs anywhere from 22 cents to 42 cents per round depending on the quantity of course.
The final category we are going to cover is the purpose. What’s the purpose of this gun? It doesn’t fall into really any competition guidelines. The 22 TCM Ultra tac would be a great little hunting handgun for removing pests at close range. Maybe not hunting, but simple pest removable of animals no bigger than a coyote. As a defensive round against animals, it would be great. Living in a rural environment I like carrying a gun while exploring the property. Dispatching venomous snakes, raccoons in the chicken coup or even coyotes who got too big for their britches is well within this gun’s wheelhouse.
The round itself could be an effective defensive round, but with the failures to extract, I’d feel somewhat cautious.Ultimately it’s a just a fun gun in a fun caliber. The 22 TCM Tac Ultra from Rock Island Armory is a blast to shoot. It’s simply fun. Sometimes a gun and a caliber don’t need to be anything but fun.
What About the 9mm?
I’ll address this quickly. As a 9mm this gun is sweet. 1roundsds of 9mm with nothing more than a barrel and recoil swap is great. The gun’s heavy, so recoil is nothing. It shoots like a laser. I have zero reliability issues with 9mm. 9mm is also much cheaper and easier to find. The TAC Ultra combo is a helluva value.
When you consider how well the gun is built, all the extra features and the fact it fires two different calibers you are getting a lot of bang for your buck.
A lot of banggggg.