Saturday, August 13, 2011

Small Bullet, Big Hit: The new Armscor .22 TCM

About two months ago at the Bolo Tuason Cup I was able to try out the new .22 TCM bullet developed by ARMSCOR.  The little thing is based on a necked down .223, travels at 2,100 fps and its JHP head weighs only 40 grains. That is a tremendous amount of velocity and performance from such a small cartridge. It is quite exciting to see where this will go in the world of personal defense.

The photo below is a nifty size comparison between the two most common pistol calibers.

The birth of a new caliber and handgun:

The guys from Armscor were demonstrating the bullet with a prototype Rock Island Armory .22 TCM Pistol.  Its basically a double-stack magazine 1911 chambered for the new caliber.  This was definitely one of the early models judging from the low serial number.

While lining up for my turn, I was intimidated by the large muzzle blast coming from the gun. It was also really loud! I don't shy away from big stuff, but hearing it from a handgun gun was a new experience. I even flinched in anticipation before breaking my 1st shot. To my surprise, it had hardly any recoil despite the thunder from each trigger pull.

I love this fire-breathing pistol! There was hardly any kick, and placing 5 rapid-fire shots in the center of a target 10 meters away was really easy. This was a popular attraction at the Level Three IPSC Match and a lot of rounds went downrange.

This is one of the prototypes. Check out the old "Rock Island Armory" logo, and the rough "Armscor" rubber grips.

I found another video showing what it could do to a watermelon. Those things are heavy. Sure they're soft, but blowing it up like that is proof of physics.

I wish we could see lot of ballistic testing for this caliber, particularly in its terminal performance as a defensive round as well as how it will fare over a long distance. Does it tumble when entering a target? Does it expand? How will it deal with layers of denim and bone? Will it smash through a car windshield? We need answers. Another key to success would be the availability of the ammunition. I'm sure the company is working on producing sustainable quantities for this breakthrough caliber as it looks like it was designed to make a significant mark on the industry.

What if they built a rifle or submachine gun chambered in this round? What about a polymer concealed-carry pistol? Can we have a drum magazine? The possibilities are endless!

VS Zombies?  Think of a gun that shoots light as a .22, could hit harder than a .45, and could carry twice the amount of ammo. Accurate head shots are definitely not a problem. I sure hope to see more developments for the .22 TCM!

UPDATE: I've got more info about this bullet's penetrating power over here.

Stay vigilant!


  1. How does it do feeding the 9mm? I've actually been looking for a reasonably priced High Cap 9mm 1911 with target sights and other extras,and this looks like it would fit the bill. The addition of the .22TCM what be the extra benifit for me. I can't find anything on the net yet of how the gun preforms with the 9mm conversion. The price point just for a reliable 9mm reliabe High Cap with the goodies would be worth it to me. Scott from Colorado.

  2. Greetings Scott from Colorado, thank you for stopping by!

    I made a few calls today to ask if I could demo the 9mm conversion kit of the .22 TCM. I found out that they do not sell the TCM pistol with a kit here in the Philippines. They mentioned that our gun laws require an individual license per firearm (or something), so they decided to sell the kit as am entirely separate item.

    Another bummer was that the Armscor ranges in my area do not demo the 9mm kit. I need to schedule it with their main branch w/c is a bit far away from my usual drive. I usually go to the main branch for level 3 IPSC competitive matches, so that is pretty rare. Wish it wasn't so darn far.

    I requested that they send a kit for nearby branches because it would help the community get to know the new pistol better. I'd feed it all sorts of ammo just to see.

    For USA purchases, the thing comes in a two in one package. Awesome. This is made possible by your more "relaxed" (?) gun registration laws.

    We are required to renew each of ours every couple of years or so.

    I hope somebody comes out with a review on some popular blog soon!

    In the meantime, I'll keep at Armscor so they can make this test possible. :-)

  3. Its an awesome cartridge and pistol combo. If the catridge, as I have learned, has a velocity of more than 2000 ft/sec in the 1911 platform, how does it perform, in your opinion, in a rifle?

  4. I'd expect it to do much better in a rifle since a longer barrel can help a lot with the muzzle flash. Wish someone would do more tests on the round to see its effective range.

    I also heard that a more compact pistol configuration is in the works. Wish they'd do an SMG version too!

    1. Cool. Wish that barrel makers will manufacture match barrels for existing 9mm pistols. I have a Beretta 92FS. If the ammo works on the 1911 then I see no reason that it wouldnt work in the 92s.

  5. I suppose it ain't rocket science. Sure hope it catches on and that the buzz around it keeps its momentum.

  6. .224 Boz from the 90s is much more interesting, seems to me...10mm auto necked to .224. Or 5.7 Johnson Spitfire, .30 carbine necked to .22.

  7. Armscor has a .22TCM rifle now, and the mag in the pistol will work in the rifle. BTW, I have chucked a lot of 9mm through my TCM and no issues at all.

    1. Hi Joe! Glad to hear your pistol is working well. I've been following the pistol and haven't seen major issues around the pistol since it was launched.

      For the bolt-action TCM, its getting marketed as a varminting round.

      I also read about another company making a PDW using the caliber. I'm pretty excited about it. Sure hope it takes Glock mags too...