Rock Island Armory 22 TCM & 10mm
by Shepard Humphries
OK, here is the thing, I am not sure. Rock Island Armory (RIA) has a reputation for producing guns that are not high on the quality scale. I was surprised when master Armorer Andy Ward and HCW founder Lynn Sherwood reported to me how much they enjoyed shooting RIA’s 22 TCM at the Shot Show Industry Day in 2015. We did not buy one last year, because $800 is a bit much for a gun that does not have a reputation for longevity.
At Shot Show Industry Day 2016, I had to find out for myself so I visited the RIA/Armscor range bay with a fellow reverend David Bott. We tested their 22 TCM & a 10mm.
A couple things stood out, first being the impressive burst of flame, the second being the low recoil and the third being the fit & finish.
Wow, how impressive! When I fired this gun, it sounded and looked like I have just set off a 50 Wyoming Express! Check out the slo-mo video below!
I was amazed after seeing the muzzle flash and hearing the loud bang that this pistol had such little recoil! “How did that much flame and noise come out of something I barely felt?” -Shepard Humphries
Fit & Finish
OK, we have to have this difficult conversation. These guns are manufactured by inexpensive labor in the Philippines. This is not to say that they are bad, or that Filipino workers are not good, as a matter of fact they are probably superior to spoiled US union workers in many regards. Like “made in China” products though, frequently the quality is lacking.
I let the slide close, and attempted to ratted it laterally on the frame. Yep, it had that standard low tolerance wobble both left and right and at a 45 degree angle. What does this mean? Well, it means the accuracy will likely be less than a tight-fit STI or other high end handgun. This is not the end of the world though, and while this would not be the gun of choice for a millionaire USPSA competitor, it might be just perfect for the casual shooter who wants to have a great time!
I have requested of RIA a 1911 22TCM for testing. If they are up to the challenge, I intend to beat it up, coach over 1,000 people shooting it in the summer of 2016, and return it to them “well used!” If you would like to be updated on my Final Verdict, please send an email to me, and I will let you know when I have completed my torturous testing!
Update: I received feedback from a loyal RIA customer, their experience has been excellent! The above is based on my short experience at Shot Show, the following is from a Texas shooter:
What do the good folks at Wiki have to say?
.22 Tuason Craig Micromagnum
The 22TCM (.22 Tuason Craig Micromagnum) is a proprietary bottle-necked cartridge developed by Fred Craig and Rock Island Armory. Before the cartridge was commercialized, it was called the 22 Micro-Mag. Standard factory loads are 40-grain jacketed soft hollow point. Armscor has announced a new round the 22TCM9R which will be the same case as the 22TCM but have an overall length of the 9×19mm round. The company plans to release this round in summer of 2015 with a Glock 22TCM9R conversion slide to allow the 22TCM to fit in a 9mm length magazine, hence the “9R” designation. The 22TCM9R will in fact still be a 39 grain bullet but will be a fully jacketed hollow point instead.
The 22TCM is based on the 5.56×45mm NATO case, shortened so that the shoulder is at approximately the same length as a.38 Super cartridge. The cartridge is designed to feed from a Para-Ordnance-style double-column .38 Super magazine. Currently only Rock Island Armory catalogs firearms chambered in 22TCM: a 1911 style semi-auto pistol (also available with optional additional 9mm barrel and recoil spring), and a bolt-action rifle (which reportedly can use the same magazines as the pistols); and only Armscor (the parent company of Rock Island Armory) manufactures ammunition.
At Shot Show 2015 in Las Vegas a new company, Modern Weapon Systems introduced the first PDW, pistol, short-race-style carbine and SMG chambered in 22TCM named “ION”, which will release early 2016. The gun will fire both 22TCM and the new 22TCM9R and will use a proprietary magazine with 35-round capacity. They have also announced an AR-15 conversion kit that will work with their 35-round magazine to be released early 2016 and a dedicated AR-15 lower for those who wish to build a 22TCM AR-15, also in development is a Boberg Conversion kit for the 22TCM9R 39gr bullet to be fired from the Boberg XR9-S 9mm frame pistols.