Rock Island Armory Introduces First Production .22 TCM Firearm

The .22 TCM is a funky cartridge. It’s designed from a necked down piece of 9mm Parabellum brass to take a .223 caliber bullet (the same bullet used in 5.56x45mm NATO rifles) and fire from a handgun. We first saw this caliber at SHOT, but now it seems that Rock Island Armory (who I seem to recall are owned by Armscor, developer of the .22 TCM round) is making a 1911 that fires this oddball cartridge. American Rifleman had the scoop, and claims the gun will be available with a 9mm conversion barrel. Make the jump for a video from GunsForSale.com about the cartridge…

[h/t American Rifleman]

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

73 Responses to Rock Island Armory Introduces First Production .22 TCM Firearm

  1. avatarHunter S. says:

    Is it Rock Island Armory or Springfield Armory?

    • Rock Island Armory. As the title says. And has always said. And if you think any different my friend Eric Holder will back me up.

    • avatarJerry Grilmey says:

      The article is WRONG. Take this article down please. All of this was written before the author even saw the gun. It is purely conjecture and rumor. They didn’t even get the ammo right. The 22 tcm is a cut down 223/556 round. NOT a 9mm round.

      • avatarJess says:

        Your comment is WRONG. Take your comment down please. The 22TCM uses its own proprietary brass. The rim is not the same as the 223/556, and it is longer than the 9mm.

  2. avatarDrew says:

    2100 fps with a 40 grain bullet. 18+1 capacity. I can’t find anything on twist rate. I wonder if O.A.L./twist will be an issue with 55+ grain bullets but if you could get a 62 gr. moving at 1800 fps or so that would be pretty cool.

    • avatarmatt says:

      If you want an odd ball high velocity pistol cartridge take a look at 40 Super. 135gr 40cal @ 2000fps. I can fit 17 in a 140mm magazine.

  3. avatarJoe nobody says:

    The email notification said springfield armory I think,thats where the confusion came from.

  4. avatarDave J says:

    Interesting, I wonder how long before brass and dies are available? Looks like it would be a nice little round out of TC Encore/contender barrels too.

  5. avatarMatt W says:

    Looks like a mini .224 BOZ

  6. avatarAPBTFan says:

    A long slide version would be pretty sweet.

  7. avatarSteve Hull says:

    So this is basically a FiveseveN in a 1911 chassis.

    • avatarDerek says:

      That was my thought. What exactly is the difference?

      • avatarfmunk says:

        Higher velocity than commercially available 5.7 ammo. Lots of common parts with other 1911s. Comes with a 9mm barrel.

        Based on those three points, it’s a far better value than the FN pistol at more than twice the cost.

  8. avatarBob H says:

    According to the Jan-Feb American Handgunner Magazine:
    SRP is $720.
    18 rounds in 22 TCM
    17 rounds in 9mm
    2 magazines (same magazine used for both calibers)
    9mm conversion kit included (about 1 minute for the conversion, just change barrel and recoil spring).
    Averages 2,000fps with 40gr vs 5.7′s 1650fps 40gr.
    Armscor is offering $20/50 rounds or $350/1,000 rounds
    “They will be offering reloading dies and components in the future.”
    Accuracy under 2″ at 25 yards with 22TCM.
    trigger pull 4.75pounds
    all steel 38 oz unloaded
    Available from Rock Island Armory dealers and Armscor Precision in Nevada.
    Custom guns and custom ammo available from Fred Craig, Atomitronix in Pahrump Nevada.

  9. avatarLC Judas says:

    Reading the purported specs on this cartridge I’m thinking its going to get the same hollowpoint only neuter in the factory ammunition the 5.7x28mm got. Either way, I love necked down cartridges and the amped ballistics you usually can squeeze out of them.

    Plus it looks pretty and is a good excuse for a 1911 guy to own something like a 5.7mm since the original cartridge sat in a striker fired polymer pistol.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      Handloaded with a 40gr. Hornady V-Max it would be a terror at the range and in the field. I’ve used that bullet in both my .223 and .22-250 handloads and its a real gem of a bullet.

  10. avatarStephen H says:

    I have to wonder if the ATF isn’t eventually going to have something to say about this. Haven’t they recently cracked down on one or more of the 57×28 mm manufacturers? With this kind of purported velocity, won’t these rounds pretty much be guaranteed to fit the definition of “armor piercing”? Not sure what 62 gr performance would be like, but if it’s respectable, then there’s the added factor of being able to load the steel cored SS109. I’m sure such a configuration would be very frowned upon.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      Elite Ammunition got raided by atf and lost inventory, including 5.7×28 ammo, purportedly because the projectiles they used were solid brass and fell under the armor piercing category in relation to pistol ammo. They seem to have a problem with any homogeneous projectile although they say solid copper bullets are ok for handguns. FN makes a sporting round that uses what looks like a polymer-tipped bullet that isn’t’ leo only’ as far as I know. Once a smaller caliber reaches certain velocities its pretty much gonna defeat soft body armor. Since Kevlar’s efficiency is proportional to the surface area of the projectile a .22 with a sharp point has fewer fibers to defeat.

      Loading SS109 projectiles in the 5.7 is a very interesting question. I wonder if the atf considers potential handloading possibilities in their rulings.

      • avatarmatt says:

        The ATF doesnt seem to consider reloading when making their rulings. 308 AP is banned, but 30-06 M2 AP is ok.

  11. avatarTom says:

    Whatever happened to the Remington .221 Fireball? Is this more or less the same thing?

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      The Fireball is still kicking. Factory ammo is still available and off the top of my head both CZ and Remington still make bolt actions for it. Interestingly, Remington necked it down to .17 caliber a few years ago. The .221 was purely a sporting cartridge chambered in mostly single-shot pistols and bolt action rifles which is probably why it wasn’t targeted by atf. I only remember seeing it factory loaded with soft or hollow points. There may have been a FMJ load for pelt hunters.

  12. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    This whole exercise appears to be a solution in search of a problem.

    • avatarPatrick says:

      With an attitude like that towards ammo development we might as well have just stuck with .44-40 and .30WCF huh? I mean everything else is jsut an answer in serch of a problem right? Who needs to experiment with differnt loads, and do unconventional things?

  13. avatarKoop says:

    Interesting. The same market this is for ought to consider the CZ-52 as well.

  14. avatarJGlanton says:

    There are videos of ‘splodin melons using the TCM in the Phillipines:

  15. avatarArms Dealer says:

    Having shot the 22 TCM pistol back in May, I can say it was a lot of fun. There was very little felt recoil and no appreciable muzzle flip. It was also very accurate, even in the hands of novice shooters. From a marketing prospective, it’s a neat package with the widebody 1911 frame, a 9mm slide assembly, and employing the same magazines for both cartridges.

    Fred Craig designed and developed the 22 TCM in the course of his design consulting work with Armscor. Rock Island Armory is a division of Armscor. Their US operations are based in Nevada.

  16. avatarEric S. says:

    I’m not a crazy 1911 guy, but those wide grips on them always look so funky and out of place. I know it can be useful, though.

  17. avatarian smith says:

    thats a kid shooting in the other video! sweet!

  18. avatarVotorrio M. says:

    IF this odd gun cost $720.00, why not buy a RIA 1911 Hi-cap 9mm pistol at around $430.00?

    Then, get a Armscor 22 TCM barrel. It think it won’t cost $ 290.00 would it?

  19. avatarMicrogunner says:

    Just received mine yesterday.
    Along with a 9mm barrel and 12lb recoil spring you must also install the 9mm extractor (included) when you convert to 9mm.
    The 9mm extractor must be fitted. Took about an hour.
    No .22TCM ammo was available so no fun, yet.

    • Where did you order/buy it from? I’ve been looking for the last 2 months and can’t find this gun anywhere. Thanks

      • avatarMicrogunner says:

        We’re an FFL dealer and I ordered it from RSR Group (FFL sales only). I lucked out, they had 15 in stock, I ordered one and a couple hours later they were all gone.

    • avatarTerrell Austin says:

      Cheaper then Dirt sent out an email this AM thhat hhad the 22 TCM ammo for sale if you cannot get local

  20. avatarEMCO says:

    I’m a little confused. An article in the current “American Handgunner” describes the TCM as a shortened, necked down .223, not a 9mm (page 47). This makes sense if the extractor has to be changed out with the 9mm barrel. My only question is will California legal clips be available for this thing? Unless you are in law enforcement you aint gonna get this here with hi cap mags. Which would be too bad as I can see where this thing is going to be a real sweet shooter. Plus as a defensive hand gun, the hydrostatic shock from this is going to be dramatic. No more huge recoil to deal with to put an attacker in the mood to leave you alone.

    • avatarMicrogunner says:

      I spoke with the cartridge designer Fred Craig and he confirmed that the .22TCM is indeed a shortened .223, hence the requirement to change the extractor as you stated.

    • avatarWhatEMCOSaid says:

      It as been many years since the passing and sunset of the ’94 “feel good” Clinton gun parts ban. May be it is time for shooters, even the ones in continuing ban state, to quit using liberal gun language such as “hi-cap” magazines. If the pistol was designed for an 18 round magazine, it is a standard size magazine. My guess is you will have to wait until ban states are deemed worthy.

      • avatarJake says:

        Seriously, watching gun folk use grabber language so regularly is infuriating.

      • avatarAmir Mortal says:

        So just a reminder to those of you who are history challenged:Ronald Reagan actually signed much of California’s most obnoxious gun control bills, and endorsed the ’94 AWB, as did GHWB and Gingrich. Giuliani in NY pushed for stronger gun control all during his time there, and Bloomberg continues this. Romney is also quite the gun grabber. Paul Helmke of Brady fame is a long-time registered republican voter. And GWB opposed the Heller decision, even going so far as filing an opposing Amicus with the SCOTUS, as did the NRA. John Lott is actually a Democrat.Do some actual research before you use terms such as “liberal language” on these topics, please. You do yourself and others a disservice by doing otherwise. Repeating lies does not make them true. Don’t let the talk radio and TV pundits constant repetition of disinformation confuse you.That said, interesting cartridge. The idea seems similar to the 7.62×25 Tok.

        • avatarNoel says:

          It is “liberal”, and just because Republican politicians have been on the wrong side of 2nd ammendement issues doesn’t negate that. They were “liberal” in that regard. You’re kind of back-door promoting dems, like they are better by implication, knowing full well they’d love to have us stripped down to single shot rimfires with 30″ barrels if we’re lucky. For shame for such intellectual dishonesty, it’s the evilest kind of deceit!

        • avatarJason Tardo says:

          I no longer trust either mainstream political party to guard our 2nd amendment rights, only the libertarians seem interested in the Constitution anymore at all.

    • avatarRoy says:

      Magazine …not CLIP

  21. avatarGlenn says:

    Good point, Amir. Republican definitely does not automatically equal conservative. Also, unfortunately, somebody being a social conservative is usually enough get somebody the conservative label, regardless of how fiscally or politically liberal his views are. Both Bushes are social conservatives, but big government fiscal liberals. Had GWB not had the luxury of contrasting and comparing the policies, successes and failures of Regan with those of GHWB, I seriously doubt if he would have pushed for tax cuts during his presidency. Case in point: GWB’s response to the current economic crisis was exactly the same as BHO’s. Gun grabbing and its cryptic language is a politically liberal idea, and not all liberals are democrats.

  22. avatarbrandon bryant says:

    This is a response page to the 22. TCM, not a political podium. Gun rights are very important, and going away quick. But, this is not the time or the place. The gun is pretty solid, and it is an affordable option to the F.N. five seven. I looked at one yesterday for $600.00 at my gun shop. It was the package with the 9mm. barrel and spring. No need to swap extrator, Its still a 9mm. caseing necked down. My gun store had ten boxes of black hills 40 grain ammo for $23.00 for a box of 50.

    • avatarMicrogunner says:

      Mine came with a seperate extractor in the box for conversion to 9mm.
      The .22TCM is not based on the 9×19 but rather on the .223, which is slightly smaller in diameter than the 9mm. Hence the need to change the extractor when converting to 9mm.
      The .22TCM brass is much longer than 9×19 brass as well.

    • avatarNoel says:

      Yeah, but the name of the forum is “the truth about guns”, to me that implies wading through the political/legal thorns involving misrepresented truths, as well as technical info.

      That price for ammo does sound reasonable comared to 5.7, right? May be a good option for the damn monopoly FNH has! If only these held a neat 20 rounds in the clip though, that’s enough to sway me more towards the FN, not to mention the extended 30 rounders. (People in mag limited states or counties, fight it, it’s the lamest un-American type of legislation that seems to be accepted way too easily.)

  23. avatarLarry Pitts says:

    Looked at one today and from what gunshop owner told me, is now based on 9mm cartridge. Heard this also from someone that talked to round designer. It started out based on the .223 but I guessed they changed it. interesting idea, specially with the 9mm barrel included.

    • avatarMicrogunner says:

      Someone’s telling you stories. I own one and it’s definitely not a necked down 9mm. If they had changed the donor brass mid stream they would’ve had to change the name or there’d be two differenent cartridges on the market with the same name???
      I personally spoke with Fred Craig and was told it’s a shortened .223.

  24. avatarevan marks says:

    mine didnt come with seperate extractor and has never failed with 9mm ammo,have any of you actually taken measurements ? if so what are they

  25. avatarMichael says:

    How about a Glock in 22TCM??????

  26. avatarDante de Ramos says:

    .22 TCM bullet fired at a watermelon from 10 meters completely demolishes the watermelon and blows it to a million pieces. scary to think what it will do to a human target.

  27. avatarA. Tuglaks says:

    Just passed through the forum. I’m fairly new with guns, I own a Micro-Mag, it is chambered for 9mm and TCM .22. I did check with Armscor and TCM 22 is a necked down 9mm -that’s what I’ve been told by the person at Armscor here in the Philippines where I live.
    I am no expert and just sharing my experience with the gun and what I was told by the personnel at the shop. Some credible sources may say it is a necked down .223 but I guess it’s not -at least that’s what I’ve been told by the guy that works for Armscor. The idea of it “may” be coming from shortening a .223 round but it is not a shortened .223. No need for change of extractor, the guy at Armscor recommended the Micro-Mag to me bec. I am new w/ guns and I want a gun that I can convert caliber/s so that my child/wife can use it for fun shooting without having to be too technical about the parts.
    I did test the round in a chrono when I broke-in the firearm at P.B Dionisio firing range, the average is 2000fps -one shot even reached about 2500fps and lowest was at 1900fps -vs. the .22LR fired from another gun that I don’t know what model it is w/c only averaged at about 1000fps more or less.
    Muzzle flash is -for lack of better terms, “nice” at least for me, it’s like a fire breathing dragon. Recoil is pretty much like any .22 and me as a newbie, can shoot about half inch groups in 10yards that I can’t do in my .45.
    By the way, here in the Philippines we (civilians) are only limited to small arms caliber -all pistol calibers up to .500, shotguns and the only rifle a regular civilian can get is a .22. I don’t think they would shorten a .223 and call it TCM .22 as… I guess that will still make it what they call here high power rifle round… so I guess it’s better to neck down a 9mm (w/c Armscor readily produce the brass/case and would be easier to modify/neck down), just my opinion though. It may still be diff. here -Armscor, from there -Rock Island. The first time I saw the round from afar I actually thought it’s a SIG .357 until the guy picks it up and said “here’s your .22 when you convert it”.
    No flames and pls. don’t hate me for my post, just sharing. We all share the same interests on the same topic here.

    • avatarMicrogunner says:

      A. Tuglaks,
      Stand a .22TCM cartridge next to a 9mm cartridge and you’ll see that the .22TCM brass is much longer than the 9mm brass, so, unless they’re stretching the 9mm brass it couldn’t be the parent case for the .22TCM.

  28. avatarSteve says:

    Neat, reminds me of the 7.62 Tokarev can’t wait to get a hold of one.

    • avatarhenry g. says:

      I was just thinking that. I have the .22TCM and the 7.26×25. I LOVE the 7.62 tokerov! have not shot the TCM yet but I am sure I’ll love it.

  29. avatarmarcial says:

    San ba pwede buy ng .22 tcm barrel

  30. avatarm@ko says:

    been to sm manila for gunshow entrance is 100 pesos, im looking for a 22tcm pistol.. its pricetag is 42,000 pesos or us$1000 that is the gun show price and its normal price is 51,000 pesos 0r us$1,214 with its .22 cal barrel… why is that it cost much here in the philippines the fact that armscor is company base here in the philippines?

  31. avatarchuck conrad says:

    I almost took the bait for this pistol.
    I checked everywhere to get info on this new round. There is NO ballistics on this 22 TCM cartridge anywhere– that tells you all you need to know!!
    What legitimate ammo maker hides the ballistics of their new round? ?

    • avatarDudley Cates says:

      Just passing through the forum. Use this information at you own risk, I am simply sharing my R&D and nothing more. I am a child of the 60′s and come from muscle car era. I am one who has to touch and not content with just looking. I bought a 22 TCM and absolutely love it. I made my own dies by cutting down a set of 221 fireball dies and counter reaming to make a neck sizer, and likewise with the seater. I cut down .223 brass to 1.075. Anneal about 3/8″ of cut off case. Run all the way to shellholder in a 22 jet sizer die without the decap rod. Now run case in the modifed 221 fireball die to form neck and shoulder. Now trim to 1.025 and thin neck to 12-15 thousands. I use a cast bullet from a Lyman 225107 mould which was designed for the 22 jet (perfect length for slow twist). This is what I used for loading data and it performs flawlessly and is very accurate. Modified Lake city brass, 9.1 grains of Accurate #7, Winchester small rifle primer. 37 grain cast bullet w/gas check, seat midway to middle of front driving band. This works for me untill dies and loading data come along.

    • avatarDudley Cates says:

      Every firearm manufacurer does this for about the first year or two. First they dedicate their manufacturing to make ammunition to recover their set up costs, Happened with the 17 fireball (same as the 17 Mach II). All components and equipment show up sometime later. With this being said, a little tenacity, good ole “Yanke know how”, and knowlegable folks, this can be side stepped until the production goodies come along. Most of the good ole’ widcats of yesterday were invented in small shops and garages before computers were ever a thought.

  32. avatarWilliam Killion says:

    I work at a reputable gun store. We base our success on knowledge, experience, and customer service. We have access to EVERYTHING (NFA, Class III, etc.). We were among the first to receive 22TCM pistols and I took the second one from our vast inventory. I can state without reservation; the 22TCM is not a necked down 9mm. You can measure the case length difference with a tape measure for God’s sake! That being said; this is a very neat concept. Fast , flat-shooting, and very low recoil. However; it is without a doubt one of the loudest pistols I’ve ever fired. And the muzzle flash is also quite impressive. I’ve not carried it hunting yet but I think the results will be similar to the 17HMR. If you hunt for the table, wait for the head shot. Probably won’t be much rabbit left from a body hit. I’m just sayin’.

  33. avatarkinny says:

    I don’t think 55 gr FMJ , V Max, etc will work the Rock Island Armory Pistol.
    The factory bullet is specially made for the 1911 style frame.
    The bullet is short, stubby, almost round tip keeps the over all length within 1911 style magazines length. (not to mention avoiding feeding problems)
    The V Max, fmj would not fit in the magazine without being seated so deep causing high pressure.
    However … it would be interesting in a single shot or other firearm not limited to magazine length.
    Most of the other bullets mentioned above are boat tails ….. I don’t think the boat tail benifits kick in until around 200 yards or more.
    Just My Opinion :-)
    Be Safe —-
    I’m sure ya could make the others work but I don’t think you’d get much better performance.

  34. avatarjustin says:

    its not a necked down 9mm but a necked down .223. the bullet profiles are similar but the .223 has a case head diameter of .378″ (which is what is used) and the 9mm has a diameter of .394″. the cartridge uses a 9mm magazine but is actually a .223 rem case. The cartridge uses smaller .223 bullets because the larger ones are too long and reduce powder capacity and render the bullet too slow to be effective.

  35. avatarAanrman says:

    Couldn’t use 9mm brass to neck down as it’s not long enough to make the 22 TCM overall case length. Thy might of tried to neck down a 9mm Largo case which is longer than a 9MM Luger case, but still it may not of been long enough either. I read today that Armscor/RIA has stopped making the 9mm/22TCM packages and just making the 22TCM only pistol from now on. Maybe they’ll sell you a 9mm barrel and extractor? 22 TCM is about $34+/50 rds. if you can find any!

  36. avatarJim Newman says:

    I bought a new RIA 22 TCM and it has been back to RIA for failure to eject (defective barrel) and now I got it back and it is having failure to feed problems. Not a reliable gun…very disappointed

  37. avatarMaverick says:

    I bought the first one I found and have shot it a lot. Really good pistol. Hard hitting, great penetration, no problems. It is now my go to gun. My Glock 22 and Springfield XDS 45 sit at home.

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