I want to like the older Cowboy-style revolvers. Who doesn’t? I grew up with a dad who loved westerns, so my first exposure to guns outside of our hunting rifles and shotguns was cowboys slinging six-shooters.
What’s really kept me away from getting seriously into a single action, or cowboy-style guns in general, is the price of ammo; .45 Colt is expensive, .44 Special is expensive. Heck, even .38 Special and .357 Magnum have gotten expensive. Taylor’s & Company’s new TC9 aims to solve that problem.
The TC9, or the TC9 1873 SA if you’re not into the whole brevity thing, is a clone of the Colt Single Action Army revolver. However, there’s some sacrilege to the Taylor’s gun. It doesn’t come in a revolver caliber.
Brace yourself: the TC9 is chambered for 9mm ammunition. No, it’s no .45 Colt, but 9mm is a (for now) reasonably priced round that’s readily available, making not only owning but shooting a cowboy revolver easy and affordable. That gives the TC9 some serious appeal to me, and that’s why I wrote Taylor’s & Company requesting a sample.
Specs and Design
The Taylor’s & Company TC9 comes in 4.75 and 5.5-inch barrel variants. Mine is the longer 5.5-inch barrel. The finish is either blued or a less expensive matte black. The grips can be either checkered wood or black checkered plastic.
The TC9 with a blued finish and nicely checkered wood grips looks really nice. Combined the look with the gun’s heft and you get that cowboy vibe at first sight. The gun looks great and feels fantastic in the hand.
With it’s SAA-correct loading gate, the TC9 doesn’t require moon clips or any of that nonsense. Cartridges are ejected via an ejection rod, so life remains simple. The revolver still holds six rounds, and they drop in with ease. Sometimes you may need to give a round a little push for it to seat fully. The cylinder rotates with very satisfactory positive clicks and an appreciated smoothness.
The TC9 is made by Pietta in Italy and it lacks any kind of transfer bar. True to the original Colt, the firing pin is right there on the hammer. Carrying the TC9 would require you to download by one and carry it on an empty chamber.
At the Range
Not really being a cowboy kinda guy first question was, how does the gun handle ejection? Luckily, it handles it with ease. It punches the rounds out like it has anger issues. Only once did I experience a stuck cartridge, and that required a slightly less-than-lazy hit on the ejection rod to pop it out.
I stay away from steel and aluminum-cased 9mm with a revolver. I’ve learned in the past you get a whole lot of stuck cases with either of them and I’d suggest you do the same.
The TC9 went bang every time the hammer dropped on a parabellum round, and the hammer never failed to lock rearward or drop over hundreds of rounds fired. Just as you’d expect, the revolver goes bang every single time. I fired a variety of ammunition, including Winchester White Box, Atlanta Ammo Match Grade, and a mix of old JHPs from Winchester and SIG.
The TC9’s ergonomics are timeless and simple. The grip is the classic thin design that seemingly fits everyone’s hand. The checkering is nicely done, and the grips feel very good in the hand. The 5.5-inch barrel makes the gun a little front-heavy, but it’s nothing you can’t deal with. Reaching the hammer with your thumb isn’t tough to do, and it makes shooting the gun rapidly quite easy.
My main problem involved learning to shoot a single-action revolver. My hand wants to grip it as high as possible, but that tends to put my hand in the way of the hammer. This is what a lifetime of shooting semi-automatics does to you. Don’t worry…I’ll get over it.
Is It a Straight Shooter?
Part of shooting the TC9 was learning all about the classic single-action design. This meant learning to shoot it accurately. The TC9 comes equipped with the same classic Colt SAA-style sights we are all accustomed to. That means a big front blade with a rear trench.
In fact, at first, I feared that I sucked. Or maybe the gun was inaccurate. I quickly grabbed my P365 to rebuild my confidence. What I learned was the front sight is a bit high. I was grouping okay, but hitting low, even at close ranges.
I began to use the big blade to aim slowly, with more of the blade exposed in the rear sight. Eventually, I found that sweet spot and hit exactly where I was aiming. At 25 yards, I could produce offhand groups in the 3-inch range. My main problem was losing that sweet spot between reloads. It was a bit of a guess at first.
If I owned the gun instead of merely shooting it as a loaner, I’d would file that sight down just a bit, but that’s me.
The TC9’s very light and nicely tuned trigger makes it very easy to shoot straight. The gun is accurate…it’s just tough to shoot accurately, if that makes sense. A file would likely make life easier, but I don’t think Taylor’s & Company would appreciate that.
For my next range session, I brought a paint pen and marked the preferred spot. At that point, I was cooking with gas.
Taming the Beast
Recoil was…a little surprising. When I think 9mm, I think soft-shooter. That’s not to say the TC9’s recoil was harsh, but without a reciprocating slide, you’re catching all of it. It’s not rough or hard to control by any means, just surprising, but still enjoyable. Who doesn’t want at least a little recoil from their cowboy gun?
Ultimately the TC9 from Taylor’s & Company is one very fun gun. It’s reliable and frustration-free, and if I could file down that front sight a tad, I think I’d be absolutely satisfied with the little gun. It was a learning experience for me with single-action firearms and one that I enjoyed. Oh, and the ammo is a heckuva lot cheaper than .45 Colt.
Specifications: Taylor’s & Company TC9 1873 SA Revolver
Barrel Length: 5.5 inches (4.75-inch also available)
Overall Length: 11.10 inches
Weight: 2.5 pounds
Capacity: 6 rounds
Sights: Front blade, rear notch
MSRP: $619.77 (blued)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ergonomics * * * * *
The Colt design is positively timeless. Everything is easy to reach and activate. Pulling the hammer back is smooth, loading and unloading are easy, and the grips seem to fit everyone with small to large hands just right.
Accuracy * * * *
I won’t take a point off for the sight issue, as it’s part of the classic Colt design. And I’m learning. A file is needed to zero the front sight. It groups fairly well. Even shooting offhand, the gun is very easy to shoot. The nice, long sight radius and an ultra-light single action trigger pull help a lot, too.
Reliability * * * * *
It goes bang, and bang, and bang. Stuck cases weren’t really a thing. I had one I’d call “stiff.”
Overall * * * * ½
The TC9 is all kinds of fun to shoot. Some guns just bring a certain tactile enjoyment I can’t describe adequately and this is one of them. Like good lever guns, the classic single-action design is just fun to shoot. The TC9 is both reliable and affordable, shoots widely available ammo, and is pretty accurate (when you find the sweet spot).
I’ve never seen that marking on ANY gun!
Valid point. Funky looking ain’t it.
My brother has a Ruger Blackhawk that came equipped with the .357/.38 cylinder and an extra cylinder for 9. Back in the 70’s when he bought it 9 wasn’t nearly as common as it is today. I do not believe that 9 cylinder has ever been installed in that gun.
I’ve always liked the single action revolver and have used a wide variety of them. But I have been trying not to buy anything else. I’ve even gotten some re-homed. At my age you only need 10 or 12 to fill all your needs.
Jethro, that Ruger conversion was on my mind as I read that article. I have three SA. All Colts. Every U.S. citizen should own a SA. Tell you what I’d really like to have. A 5 1/2″ Ruger Bisley .44 mag Super Blackhawk.
No idea if they have any in stock, but Lipsey’s had Ruger make some of the 5 1/2″ .44 Mag. Bisleys… https://ruger.com/products/newModelSuperBlackhawkBisley/specSheets/0877.html
Went to gun near home this last weekend and.found a Ruger Secuity Six 4″ and bought it. Love it.
Gun show!! Haha
so its a 9mm revolver and you’re a closet cowboy?
9mm single action… the quote that comes to mind is, “What’s a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?”
Wearing assless chaps does not make you a cowboy.
And I want one…
If I wasn’t already set up for several revolver calibers with reloading this would be on the fun budget. Probably a great entry point into single action for the consolidated caliber or budget volume shooter that wants bigger than 22lr
There are much better handgun calibers than 9mm, but nothing beats center fire ammo availability like 9mm, full stop.
Someone would have to be a fool and not have at least 1 9mm in their safe…
Last time I stocked up on ammo was before all this covid shortage bs. CA was banning on line ammo sales so I stacked it deep before the cutoff.
At that time 9mm was the most available and cheapest center fire pistol caliber in the country.
I’m in the market for a 9mm pistol caliber carbine with a threaded barrel.
And the 9mm I’ve been buying recently is ball 147 gr., ‘just because’… 🙂
That’s a pretty cool revolver. But I have several 9mm gats. No desire for a 9 revolver. I’ve been looking at getting a 4″ 357. And the wife wants one too…anyone carry a revolver?🙄
anyone carry a revolver?🙄
Yes, yes I do. A S&W 586-8. I’ve plugged the Hilary Hole, added Dave Lauck’s sights, and Badger Custom grips to make it mine. I also changed the kidney shaped thumb piece for the ‘old’ style one. I tend to press up and forward to release the cylinder rather than down and forward as the kidney shaped one would have you do. A Barranti IWB holster and ‘Sidewinder’ speed loader pouches from Simply Rugged. Conceals just as easily as a Commander sized 1911.
My EDC is a Ruger LCR in .357, water-walker. I’m able to extract it quicker than anything else I own, even while sitting in my vehicle, if need be…
My usual EDC is a 3″ Ruger GP100 Wiley Clapp (blue), although I sometimes carry a 4″ stainless GP or occasionally a Beretta 92 Compact INOX. While I don’t feel under armed carrying a puny 9mm with only 14 rounds on tap, I figure the odds of pulling the trigger a 7th time in a gunfight are extremely remote and the revolver has some significant advantages at getting the first six off without a hitch. Probably the biggest advantage is that it won’t get pushed out of battery if you jam it into your attacker’s ribs. My advice is buy one and try it out. If you enjoy shooting it more than your semi-autos, carry it. Also, if you get a GP100 a 10# hammer spring and 8# trigger return spring will do wonders for the trigger pull for about $10.
Me too. Ruger SP101 snubby chambered for .38 Spl. and a 642-2 S&W (also .38 Spl.) for coat pocket carry in the wintertime. I also have recently acquired a Wiley Clapp Sp101 (.375 Mag.) for IWB carry when in alligator country, if I’m lucky enough to get there again. I’m very fond of revolvers, so there are some others as well. But I do carry a 9mm semiauto IWB in warmer weather.
“…anyone carry a revolver?”
LCR 9mm on my ankle occasionally.
I have a Ruger Blackhawk with .45 ACP and .45 Colt cylinders. .45 target ammo is nearly twice the cost of 9mm, but still quite a bit cheaper (almost half the price) than .45 Colt.
I don’t know about that. Just seems wrong. Like a Glock in .45 long colt would be wrong too.
Lol I might actually buy a glock in 45lc
Since 9mm is rimless and you can’t use moon clips with a Single Action Army type revolver how does this pistol retain the cartridges without them sliding around?
Likely the chambers are cut so that the round headspaces on the cartridge mouth.
I should have known that! Then the other issue is that I know there are swing out cylinder versions of revolvers that have the extractor hold on to the rim of a cartridge. What keeps the cartridge from backing out of the cylinder and preventing the cylinder from rotating in this pistol?
Likely close tolerances between the chambers and the frame. What stops any round in a revolver, rimmed or not from backing out?
“Likely the chambers are cut so that the round headspaces on the cartridge mouth.”
Does that require any additional care if reloading for it? As in the case overall length?
I’m guessing here. I never reloaded 9mm. Just .357 and .38 and shotgun shells.
I would guess that you would have to be careful of the oal on a 9×19. But I assume that would be true of 9×19 being loaded for a semi as well.
Straight walled revolver brass in .38 and .357 was much more forgiving as to brass length. I kept my loads mostly light and that brass lasted forever. For defensive ammo I bought a couple of boxes of the latest and greatest factory ammo.
“…any additional care…”
Yes, case length is critical in this single action revolver, and also in double actions if not using moon clips. A mite too short and you’ll get light primer strikes. No roll crimping, and not too much of a taper crimp, or the cartridge mouth may be able to go in past the shoulder in the chamber that is supposed to catch it. If a cartridge happens to make a few laps of firing around the cylinder without being fired, there is a chance of the bullet jumping enough out of the case to jam the cylinder. If the case has not been properly resized, there is a chance it may back out enough, during firing of other cartridges, and get stuck, to jam the cylinder. If any particular cartridge does not easily drop all the way into the cylinder and seat the case mouth against the shoulder in the chamber wall, you are taking a chance on firing it.
All of the above reasons are why I load for my Ruger 30
Carbine Blackhawk using Starline 32-20 cases. They headspace off of the rim, making trim length and crimp much less critical. I don’t know what rimmed case would be suitable for the same with a 9mmP.
PB. 9mm Federal was a rimmed 9mm round sort of like the .45 auto rim. I doubt it’s still being made and have no idea if it would work in this revolver.
It was just 9×19 with a rim.
People keep mentioning the price of ammunition. It’s a revolver and it doesn’t throw your brass to Mexico so you can actually save that brass and load your own ammunition at home instead of buying factory stuff. I haven’t shot any factory ammunition through my centerfire revolvers in… … …. decades.
Precisely. .45 Colt was the first cartridge I reloaded.m And still do. The low pressure of these rounds means that that brass keeps going and going….
I have two Piettas and one Uberti in .45 Colt. The Piettas have better case hardening on the frame, but the hammer is a sprayed on finish. I took them apart and polished the internals and adjusted the cylinder lock as needed. They are very slick. The Uberti was defective on receipt; the cylinder lock did not come up high enough to lock the cylinder. Fortunately it was not hard to repair.
Both the Ubertis and the Piettas have given up on the classic Colt hand spring that dates back to 1849 (a typical failure point) and instead use a plunger mounted in the frame that is removable by removing the grip frame. I have yet to have a plunger spring fail.
Once upon a time the Piettas had transfer bars, but my most recent one, as the reviewe3d revolver, has a fixed hammer. It also has the classic Colt 4 click cocking, while the earlier models and the Uberti only click three times. I believe that all of the Ubertis have “floating” firing pin that lock when the trigger is pulled, but otherwise does not rest on a primer.
These guns are generally well made, but may need some minor adjusting to operate correctly. Once that is accomplished, they are reliable and fit for years of shooting.
Finally, and my opinion, skip the black or brown plastic grips, even if Colts had hard rubber grips once upon a time. If you end up with them, buy after market grips. The walnut ones are much better and balance the guns in your hand better. And they look great with a few extra coats of linseed oil.
The plastique grips are absolutely nasty. They might look like Colt’s old hard rubber grip but they’re definitely not the same. I also like either oil finished wood or one of the naturally oily tropical woods that needs no finish. My favorite is a smooth set of cocobolo grips.
My newest Blackhawks came with nasty plastic and that is seriously the first thing to get rid of.
Ohhhhhh my my my
I like that. Do the same with 10mm and boom
Get one in .45 Colt and load with 35-40 grains of black powder under a 250 gr RNFP lead bullet. All the boom you could ever want. (Although 30 grains is better for accuracy.) That load was supposed to be enough to take down the horse the Native American rode in on.
I have a few 9mm revolvers that don’t need moon clips, they headspace on the case mouth. This would be an ok addition. I have an EMF (Pietta) with two cylinders in 45 Colt/45ACP which is really a good combo. if you still want to shoot 45 cal. ammo. It also doesn’t require moon clips. Only problem with 45 acp is never see any lead factory loads but I can reload for that so it’s a minor thing. They are great fun.
I have been waiting for a review from either you or Jon Taylor. Glad to hear about the (potential) accuracy. I was in the market for 9mm single action (have gone down to three calibers and no desire to add anything) and borrowed a a friend’s Blackhawk convertible. He said that he shot a couple of cylinders of 9mm, swapped the other in, and has never looked back. Good shooter with the rimmed cylinder in, basketball-sized groups in 9mm, so with that being all I planned to shoot, it was a hard pass.
There’s a few things here that cross my mind:
1-Is the barrel .357 or 9mm in actuality?
2-How is the cylinder throating set up e.g. where does the jump take place
3-How does it look on a chrony compared to a similar barre length .357 mag and .38 spl
This would be a fun gun to run cast bullet 9mm through. I’d pretend like it was a rimless .38 S&W Long +P+ 🙂
No transfer bar?
So it would be safe to say that the TC9 is not a gun for Alec Baldwin.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
S&W HAS A 9MM USE MOON CLIPS SA & DA , NEW STYLE AND ADJ SIGHTS
RUGER COWBOY STYLE HAS 9MM N 10MM CYLINDER EXCHANGE OUT
YEP LIKE THE IDEA , JUST LOAD AN SHOOT , BIT SLOWER LOADING , NO BIG DEAL
HOWEVER NO NEED FOR MOON CLIPS …
I WOULD LIKE TO SEE S&W OR RUGER MAKE 380 WITH MOON CLIPS , IN A 2″ BARREL AND WITH HAMMER , SHROUDED ,, WHATEVER … POCKET CARRY … LOW RECOIL …
WONDER IF IN COWBOY STYLE , BUT 380 COST OF AMMO
TAURUS HAS 380 REVOLVER NO HAMMER , ?? BUT IS A TAURUS …
I love and load 45 colt. I’ve always wanted a SAA Colt clone but don’t want to risk my ruger only loads finding their way into the standard pressure cylinder. I think this is a great alternative and I’ll be looking into it.
“But is a Taurus” Whattaya mean “is a Taurus”? I have a 6 inch barrel 357 I use for pig hunting and a Millennium in .45 that I use as a truck gun on long trips. Have never had a problem with either of them or their accuracy.
A “COLT” style SA is easily adapted to using a rimless cartridge, as the cylinder is cut as if it has (6) individual chambers. So a SA “COLT” is ideal for 9mm or .45 ACP. Drawback comes if the barrel is rifled for .38/.357 or 9mm. .38/.357 is typically a .357 bore, but a 9mm is typically .355 bore. However, at one time Colt DA/SA .38 revolvers had .354 bores. Current .45ACP or .45 LC bores are both rifled at .451, so accuracy with either cartridge should be equal. Personally, I would like to see if somebody would make a .327 mag/.30 Super Carry revolver. Both cartridges use a .312 bore, and there are a number of other .32 cartridges that could be used in a .327 cylinder. P.S. Charter Arms claims to have an DA extractor system that works reliably with .380, 9mm, and .45 cartridges, but I have not seen any long-term tests.
I used to do Cowboy Action Shooting (CAS). When you’re competing in CAS, you fill out a card telling them whether you’re shooting .45 Colt or .38 Special.
I wonder what they’d say if at a Cowboy Action Shooting event, you took your pen and added a 3rd box saying “9 mm” or like the engraving on this gun’s barrel says, “9 CAL.”
They’d probably have the CAS Territorial Governor throw you out of the saloon door!
Or maybe not — after all, CAS has gotten used to people shooting Winchester rifles that were made in Japan by Miroku.
The 9mm Luger is only what 3 years ish newer than the .38 Special is? They’re both well over a century old.
Heck a .357 mag was invented decades after the 9mm.
1935? Very little that is actually new about guns these days.
Patton carried a .357 in 1935.
i have a Vaquero in .45 ACP. It goes thump instead of bang and is a lot of fun to bring to the range. I could wish for it to have been .45LC, but ACP is a ton less expensive.
I bought one. It also shoots low. The hammer is not “easy to reach” for people with shorter thumbs (same as most other Peacemakers). The good news is that Pietta is (very soon!) going to come out with a version of the Taylor’s “Running Iron” lowered hammer that is a drop in part for this gun. Another important fact left out of your review is that the 9mm sixguns are not allowed (yet, and probably not ever) in cowboy action shooting matches.
That lowered hammer is great, but for some reason you cannot buy just the hammer and install it on an existing pistol (at least as far as my internet searches show). No idea why that it, perhaps to keep the price of its runnin’ irons up. I have two very slick 45s, one with white (faux ivory) grips and the other with black grips. I call them Yin and Yang. I wold love to retrofit the hammers.
Contact Taylor’s parts department. The Runnin Iron hammers are available for Uberti guns now, coming soon for Pietta guns. They said I could order both. I have an FFL account with them. Don’t know if that’s the difference or not.
Thanks, I’ve been there in years past. I think I may have to visit again soon to see if they carry the Pietta triggers. I am going to leave the Uberti as it is.
CAS requires lead only bullets, not even gas checks. Pietta may be tricky, putting “9” on this barrel’s legend?? Putting P-08 would never pass muster, IMHO.