Click pictures for a larger version.
Pistol comes with hard case, manual, one magazine,
extra 9mm barrel & recoil spring.
9mm barrel & recoil spring.
Magazine release (top), slide lock (center), thumb
Beavertail grip safety.
I first had the opportunity to fire a Rock
Island Armory 22 TCM pistol almost two years ago at the 2011
SHOT Show media day, and then was again able to fire one
back in September of this year while at a writer’s event in
Lake Mary, Florida. Each time I have fired the weapon, I have
been more impressed. The concept of the 22 TCM follows that of
the FNH 5.7 (Five-seveN), but the
22 TCM takes it to another level. The TCM cartridge fires a 40
grain jacketed hollowpoint bullet at speeds exceeding 2000
feet-per-second (fps) from the muzzle of a five inch barrel.
Over my chronograph, twelve feet from the muzzle, my actual
results exceeded that speed by another fifty fps using Armscor
The 22 TCM offers several advantages for the
shooter, and also offers superior terminal performance when
compared to conventional common pistol cartridges that are
carried for defense. The 22 TCM has very light recoil, enabling
the shooter to shoot repeat shots on target faster, when
compared to the most common 9x19mm, 40, and 45 caliber
cartridges that are carried for defense. The lighter recoil
allows the pistol to function with a much lighter recoil spring,
enabling shooters with weaker or crippled hands to easily
operate the slide of the 1911-style pistol in which the 22 TCM
is chambered. The Rock Island Armory pistol holds seventeen
cartridges in the magazine for a total loaded capacity of
eighteen of the fast-stepping cartridges, and that payload is
also lighter to carry, compared to carrying that many 9mm or 40
caliber cartridges. Probably the only negative to the TCM
cartridge for defensive use is that it has a brighter muzzle
flash than conventional pistol cartridges, but even that is not
a big concern in a real-world defensive situation. The fact that
the shooter can rapidly put several bullets from the 22 TCM into
his opponent far outweigh any concern over muzzle flash.
The Rock Island Armory 22 TCM is built on
their double-stack magazine frame. While it uses a wide body
magazine, the grip is not excessively large at all, and is easy
to handle, feeling much like a Browning Hi-Power in my hands.
The trigger is easy to reach, and has a superb trigger feel,
releasing crisply at about three and one-half pounds. Perfect.
The magazine release is of the slightly-raised profile, and
drops the empty magazine freely when pressed inward. The
beavertail grip safety is likewise very comfortable, and is
slightly upswept for a positive grasp, guiding the shooter’s
hand into place effortlessly. The manual thumb safety presses
downward to fire, and is single-sided, for a right-handed
shooter. The Rock Island Armory 1911 is made primarily of steel,
and wears a matte black finish, except for the barrel, which is
left in the white. The match trigger is steel, while the
mainspring housing and grips are plastic. The pistol has no
firing pin safety, nor does it have a magazine disconnect
safety. It is designed to be carried with a loaded chamber and
the safety engaged, cocked-and-locked, as should be any 1911
pistol. It is perfectly safe to carry a 1911 in this manner. To
fire, the grip safety must be depressed by the shooter’s
grasp, the safety disengaged, and the trigger pressed. The
sights are made of steel, with the rear being fully adjustable
for windage and elevation correction.
Disassembly follows standard 1911 procedure,
and is easy to do without tools.
Critical dimensions are listed in the chart
below. Weight is listed in ounces. Linear measurements are
listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed as pounds of
resistance. Height includes the sights and magazine base, with
the rear sight set at its intermediate position.
|Weight with Empty
||0.50" to 0.58"
||Black Checkered Plastic
||Adjustable Rear / Post
||Matte Blued Steel
||9mm Barrel & Spring,
|MSRP (as of December 2012)
I fired the Rock Island Armory 1911pistol
with first the 22 TCM barrel and then the 9x19mm barrel
installed. Accuracy was very good. Firing from a hand-held
rested position, I would easily keep a full payload of eighteen
rounds well-centered on the target, with a group measuring under
two and one-half inches at twenty-five yards. Firing fewer
shots, I could manage to get three shots touching at twenty-five
yards, but not every time. I also fired standing offhand at
steel plates from ten to one hundred yards, and most every time
hit the mark. Functioning was flawless throughout the tests.
Every cartridge fed, fired, and ejected perfectly, which speaks
well of both the pistol and the ammunition.
In terminal ballistics, the 22 TCM performed
very well in my tests, exceeding my expectations on penetration
in ballistic gelatin. I fired the TCM into gel at a distance of
twelve feet, and the average penetration slightly exceeded
fourteen inches. As a control, I also fired Atomic Plus P 124
grain bonded ammunition into the gel, and it penetrated fifteen
inches. The jacketed bullets did not come apart or fragment in
the gel, and mushroomed perfectly to about 35 caliber.
One thing that works in favor of cartridges
like this 22 TCM is their ability to defeat hard targets, such
as car bodies and automotive glass. I fired the 22 TCM into a
square tube that is made from 3/16 inch steel. The TCM blew
through the steel easily, leaving 35 caliber holes. A 9mm Plus P
failed to penetrate the same piece of steel. On hard targets,
high velocity penetrates very well, and the 22 TCM would prove
superior to conventional pistol cartridges if shooting through
light cover, such as a steel residential door or a car body.
The Rock Island 22 TCM proved to be a dandy
pistol. It is easy to operate, and easy to fire, with light
recoil and a wonderful trigger. It comes with an extra barrel
that is chambered for the 9x19mm cartridge, for cheap practice
with readily-available ammunition. For 22 TCM ammunition, you
can buy it from your Rock Island dealer, or order it online
directly from Armscor.
To check out the 22 TCM and other Rock Island
Armory firearms and accessories, go to www.armscor.com.
To order a Rock Island Armory pistol online,
go to www.galleryofguns.com.
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Click pictures for a larger version.
Seventeen-round steel magazine works with both the 22
TCM and the 9x19mm cartridges.
22 TCM cartridge (top) compared to 9x19mm (bottom).
22 TCM penetrates mild 3/16" steel plate easily,
while 9mm ball does not.
22 TCM averaged 14 inches of penetration in ballistic
22 TCM 40-grain hollowpoint bullet recovered from