SHOT 2014 — Rock Island TCM 22 VZ Midsize

Shooting the Rock Island Armory TCM 22 VZ Midsize

It is no secret Rock Island Armory (RIA) carved a reputable name producing reliable and affordable 1911s. Lucky for us, we got the chance to shoot their 22 TCM VZ Midsize at the 2014 SHOT Show Industry Day and we weren’t disappointed.

Shooting the Rock Island Armory TCM 22 VZ Midsize
Shooting the Rock Island Armory TCM 22 VZ Midsize

In case you’re new to this odd little cartridge, I’ll give you some background. TCM is short for Tuason Craig Magnum. It is a proprietary cartridge developed by Rock Island for use in their 1911 platform handguns. The parent case is actually the .223 Remington. RIA shortened the casing so that the overall length was similar to a 9mm Luger. Originally developed to compete with the FN 5.7x28mm, Rock Island wanted to run the cartridge in a 1911 platform. Out of a 5-inch barrel, the bullet travels at a blazing 2,150 fps! To compare, a 9mm travels around 1,300-1,400 fps. Recoil is much less than the 9mm and the spring to chamber a cartridge takes much less effort. If you have trouble loading a standard 1911, this will make your life much easier.

What is it good for? When you combine the bullet weight and velocity, you get more than enough for a personal defense round. Not only did Rock Island Armory manufacture an insanely accurate cartridge, but they also combined it with the tried and true 1911 platform. Even a novice shooter can ring steel with ease at moderate to long distances with very little training.

As with most quality 1911s, the trigger was excellent and the handling and ergonomics were as expected. The light recoil allows for very fast follow-up shots and we experienced no malfunctions. Rock Island Armory’s TCM series handguns are sure to make a dent in the defensive handgun market. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Have shot the TCM cartridge? Tell us about your experience in the comment section.

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Comments (7)

  1. How about upping the bullet weight from 40 gr to 50-52 grs. Trade a few hundred FPS for more bullet mass. Even with the soft nosed ammo it doesn’t appear to have much of a mushroom effect when hitting hard surfaces.

    1. I think some folks are missing the point, its not intended as a primary self defense round, its a plinking, small game, varmint, etc. cartridge. Maybe an expensive plinker, but I have not seen any literature from the manufacturer indicating its intended as a primary self defense round. I will say from shooting 30 or so rounds out of a friends pistol, the muzzle blast is ferocious for a round this small. The first time he lit one off next to me I thought someone was firing an SBR AR with a brake on it. The noise and flash alone would rule this out for me as a defensive arm, terminal performance not withstanding. Sure was an awful lot of fun to shoot though, and quite accurate.

  2. I found a good photo on Google Images that has the tcm 22 side by side with a 9mm and .45 acp. I’m NOT buying this silly concept. If I want a self defense pistol, I want a caliber that creates a bigger hole. If I would ever use a .22 caliber for self defense it would be an AR-15 with tactical or varmint tip bullets and much higher velocity than the tcm 22.

    If Rock Island Armory wants to invent a new caliber, why don’t they do something that makes sense. Why don’t they create a .52 ACP 1911!! That would sell MILLIONS. You heard it here first. Maybe I can get a finders fee on that.

  3. Have owned a Rock Island 22 TCM since they first came out over a year ago.
    Impressive volocity and accuracy. After experimenting I have developed a hand load that
    equals that of factory ammo.

  4. Ammo availability / cost will probably be a major issue. I don’t think you could just stroll down to your local Walmart and stock-up.

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