Rock Island TCM Range Report


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Fanky
June 16, 2012, 11:12 PM
While on vacation up in Ironwood, Michigan, I stumbled across a gravel pit that the locals shoot at. I brought my new TCM along with me just in case such an opportunity arose.

I wasn't exactly shooting for really tight groups or anything, more of a function shake-down and seeing where it landed on paper. Mine was hitting a few inches to the left consistently, so it looks like I'll be drifting the rear sight a little bit when I get home. Once I figured out where it was hitting, I had no issues busting little pieces of clay pigeons or picking shotgun hulls off of sticks at 10-15 yards.

Overall, I'm really pleased. I put 50 rounds through it, and the TCM handles beautifully. The recoil is very tame, although the muzzle blast is quite impressive. Being a brass hoarder, I was pleasantly surprised to see most of my empties landing in a neat pile about 3 feet to my right. The only issue that I came across is on a few occasions the extractor would fail to pull the empty out of the chamber after firing. I'm hoping it's just an issue with being a new pistol, and it didn't cause any severe hang-ups. Didn't get a chance to send any 9mm down range yet, I forgot to bring the extra mainspring along. I'm hoping to run a few hundred more rounds of both through it in the next few weeks to get a better feel for its long term reliability and performance.

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Wishoot
June 17, 2012, 10:37 AM
Thanks for the report. This is an interesting gun and the TCM is a very interesting caliber. Seems like it may be a less expensive option to the 5.7.

Fanky
June 17, 2012, 10:14 PM
I do believe this is a very viable option to the 5.7. A box of Armscor hollow points is 20 bucks plus shipping, which I think is very reasonable for a brand new cartridge. It's also a smaller overall cartridge, which really helps with the grip frame size on the TCM. It feels just like any normal double stack 1911 I've handled before. The real bonus is the option to shoot 9mm with a simple barrel and spring swap. It really was a key selling point when I decided on buying a TCM. It really offers a lot of firepower in a handgun sized package with the .22 TCM cartridge, and a very affordable plinker with the 9mm swap.

wally
June 17, 2012, 10:23 PM
Seems like it may be a less expensive option to the 5.7

Not really


A box of Armscor hollow points is 20 bucks plus shipping,

A box of FN5.7 Vmax is about $21 + shipping.


Unless Armscor gets other makers to chamber it, I give it little chance. FN is a large enough Military-Industrial-Complex player they can keep the 5.7 alive as an ego boost or niche product where full auto is allowed.

OTOH since the Armscor round seems to fit in 9mm sized frames, it shouldn't be too hard to get other makers to pick it up if their licensing terms are reasonable.

2wheels
June 18, 2012, 09:46 AM
Unless Armscor gets other makers to chamber it, I give it little chance. FN is a large enough Military-Industrial-Complex player they can keep the 5.7 alive as an ego boost or niche product where full auto is allowed.

OTOH since the Armscor round seems to fit in 9mm sized frames, it shouldn't be too hard to get other makers to pick it up if their licensing terms are reasonable.

If other companies pick up .22TCM and start producing handguns in that caliber, with a little luck I can easily see it outstripping 5.7mm in popularity here in the states. 5.7mm has been around for a while and is still limited to one handgun, .22TCM is brand new but I think it has some potential if the market gives us a few different platform choices and brings the cost of ammo down a little.

We'll just have to wait and see, I personally wouldn't mind picking one of these guns up.

Fishbed77
June 18, 2012, 12:40 PM
Not to sound too negative, but what exactly is the point of the .22TCM round, if 9mm is already much cheaper to begin with?

bannockburn
June 18, 2012, 01:40 PM
Does anybody know for sure what the 22TCM cartridge is derived from; is it a shortened .223 case or a stretched and necked-down 9mm. case? There seems to be conflicting information out there concerning this, including whether or not in order to convert it to 9mm. you need to have a different extractor installed. Some owners say yes their gun came with another extractor, others say they did not receive one and have had no problems with using 9mm. ammo doing only the barrel and recoil spring swap.

FoMoGo
June 18, 2012, 01:47 PM
Shortened and necked down .223.


Jim

TG13
June 18, 2012, 03:09 PM
it's a 9mm case necked down with a .223 bullet..

2wheels
June 18, 2012, 03:37 PM
Not to sound too negative, but what exactly is the point of the .22TCM round, if 9mm is already much cheaper to begin with?
I think it's supposed to give some competition to the 5.7mm market. A really fast .22 caliber bullet coming out of a handgun.

FoMoGo
June 18, 2012, 04:15 PM
it's a 9mm case necked down with a .223 bullet..
Care to explain the serious difference in case length?
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WeLzM-LUA1M/TkYaHX9Sn0I/AAAAAAAAATo/MbYhCfa69Nw/s1600/.22+tcm+comparison.jpg


Jim

flyskater
June 18, 2012, 04:56 PM
I researched in the 22 tcm before I got a pistol chambered in 5.7.

The 22 tcm uses a short bullet compared to a various lengths for the 5.7.
Also FN has a military and police influence worldwide as opposed to RIA.

The tokarev is what the 5.7 and the tokarev should have been. I am still dreaming of the day when they will make a modern gun chambered in 7.6x25.

firesky101
June 18, 2012, 07:54 PM
All the sources I can find say it is a necked down 9mm of some sort. But... when I look at the cartridges forget the case length, the extraction grooves lead me to believe it is based off the .223 rem.

fatcat4620
June 18, 2012, 10:09 PM
All they need is for barsto or lone wolf to make a glock drop in barrel.

Fanky
June 18, 2012, 11:47 PM
I don't know if there's any real reason for it's existence other than just to be a competitor to the 5.7, but if they make reloading dies and data available soon, it's definitely a fun cartridge to shoot. I've also heard mixed opinions on having to swap out extractors when switching over to 9mm. Mine came with the additional extractor, but I think I'm going to see how it functions with the TCM extractor for research purposes.

FIVETWOSEVEN
June 18, 2012, 11:52 PM
and is still limited to one handgun

Actually there are 3 handguns other than the FiveseveN last I checked.

2wheels
June 19, 2012, 08:50 AM
Actually there are 3 handguns other than the FiveseveN last I checked.
I'm aware of that ugly MPA gun that barely qualifies as a pistol (and that's why I didn't mention it), what are these two other handguns you're referring to?

smitty704
June 19, 2012, 08:53 AM
I have to say, I've never even heard of a TCM cartridge. Funky looking. Pretty interesting through. Thanks for posting.

TG13
June 19, 2012, 09:32 AM
i read the same thing.. that it was a 9mm necked down for the .223 bullet..

apparently, it is not.. i am corrected..

FIVETWOSEVEN
June 19, 2012, 10:26 AM
I'm aware of that ugly MPA gun that barely qualifies as a pistol (and that's why I didn't mention it), what are these two other handguns you're referring to?

The MPA is a large pistol but it's still a 100% a pistol, I don't see how it barely qualifies.

http://www.excelarms.com/newproducts.html

These guys make two pistols and two carbines chambered for the round. Savage also makes a bolt action in the caliber. Don't forget the 57 uppers for AR 15s.

i read the same thing.. that it was a 9mm necked down for the .223 bullet..

apparently, it is not.. i am corrected..

Looks to me that they based it off the 9mm case and just made it longer. Could it be a .38 Super necked down?

2wheels
June 19, 2012, 11:13 AM
The MPA is a large pistol but it's still a 100% a pistol, I don't see how it barely qualifies.

http://www.excelarms.com/newproducts.html

These guys make two pistols and two carbines chambered for the round. Savage also makes a bolt action in the caliber. Don't forget the 57 uppers for AR 15s.

Two minor companies making pistols that couldn't be uglier if they tried? Something tells me I won't be seeing many of these at the range, or even in gunstores. I'll be more impressed when a serious player in the firearms industry comes out with a 5.7mm chambered handgun, and I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Just glancing through the press I've seen on .22TCM, it makes me wonder if you could have your Glock/XD/M&P/Sig/etc. shooting this caliber with as little as a conversion barrel and different recoil spring, possibly new mags. We don't know yet, but I think there is the potential for a lot more real choices.

Certaindeaf
June 19, 2012, 12:33 PM
Seems like it'd make a fair coyote gun. If they designed the cartridge such that more than just a barrel swap is needed, they screwed up.
Wouldn't mind one for a Hi-Power maybe, were that the case.

Girodin
June 19, 2012, 03:38 PM
I haven't looked at the TCM with any kind of seriousness, nor have I compared it closely to the 5.7. That said, if it is truly viable to have it be a relatively simple barrel/spring/and even extractor swap into existing 9mm guns, and it seems it is, that would be a major advantage vis-a-vis the 5.7. I have a PS90 and I have shot the five seven pistol a fair amount and I must be honest that I am not totally enamored with that gun and it is really the only viable handgun option in 5.7. I have no interest in "handguns" that are based off guns designed to really have shoulder stocks to be usable. Nor do I want a foot long gun that holds 9 rounds and is made by some company most people have never heard of.

I'd also be much more inclined to buy a barrel, springs and an extractor to try the cartridge out than I would be to drop $1k on a five seven. I agree what this cartridge desperately needs is a glock conversion barrel.

firesky101
June 19, 2012, 03:51 PM
Fanky,
Any way you could get this chronographed? I am looking at the numbers, and Armscor is claiming about 150fps faster from their pistol than the 5.7 is getting out of a PS90 with 40gr projectiles. 2100fps vs. 1950fps, I might just have to get me one of these. Looks like a handloaders dream if we could get dies and load up some v-maxes.

FoMoGo
June 19, 2012, 05:29 PM
If you load Vmax, you will have to seat them deep... eating up space in the cartridge.
SUPPOSEDLY, you should swap out extractors when you swap barrels and springs... leading to more evidence that the 9 and TCM are not related.
However reports are that now swapping the extractor has not been an issue.
Unless they release dies, I dont see the round taking off.


Jim

bannockburn
June 19, 2012, 05:56 PM
Years ago Jeff Cooper worked on a project experimenting with a Super 9 cartridge using a Commander sized gun. What they finally ended up doing was using cut-down .223 brass to contain the pressure that was being created from pushing for such higher velocities. One of the problems they encountered was trying to develop an extractor that would work with the .223 brass.

CmdrSlander
June 19, 2012, 05:59 PM
Folks forget that Armscor sells a great deal of firearms to the latin american market. In that part of the world military calibers like the 5.7x28mm are often banned for civilian use. Hence the .22 TCM does in fact have a market with virtually no competition in the civilian arena, just not in the US perhaps.

Fanky
June 19, 2012, 07:55 PM
I don't own a chronograph myself, but I'm sure if I poke around enough at the range and let a few of the guys give it a whirl, I can procure the use of one to do some testing.

Fanky
June 22, 2012, 06:12 PM
Well, I got out to the range again with the TCM again the other day. It ran flawlessly with TCM, but when I switched over to the 9mm barrel and spring, it fell on its face. I was getting jams galore and failure to feeds with White Box 9mm. It hung up bad enough a few times to peel jacketing off of the rounds. I don't quite know what the issue is, but I'll try a few more different brands and my own loads before jumping to conclusions. Just for the record, on the rounds that did cycle, the TCM extractor functioned perfectly with 9mm.

wally
June 22, 2012, 08:11 PM
It ran flawlessly with TCM, but when I switched over to the 9mm barrel and spring, it fell on its face. I was getting jams galore and failure to feeds with White Box 9mm

First I'd try it with the 9mm barrel, recoil spring, and extractor. I doubt they'd ship it if it wasn't really needed. The 1911 is a "controlled feed" design so the case needs to slip under the extractor to feed.

If that fails give RIA a call, their customer support is pretty good.

NG VI
June 22, 2012, 08:29 PM
If the .223 rim is a little smaller and deeper recessed from the outer border of the case, I can see how the extractor could have a hard time with larger rimmed, shallower recessed 9mm brass.

B!ngo
June 22, 2012, 09:07 PM
I was going to buy a 5.7 setup (FiveSeven handgun and PS90) but decided that the ammo pricing, effectiveness of the round and diversity of gun offerings was just not sufficiently compelling to warrant FNH's pricing.
This OTOH is very interesting. Lower priced ammo, reasonably priced handgun, conversion capability to the round on which I ended up standardizing (9x19 for handgun and basic carbine).
I'm sure it will be a while before it is permitted on the CA handgun list. Perhaps by then there will be yet lower priced ammo, the kinks will be worked out of the gun, and there will be carbines and 9mm conversion kits for other handguns.
B

Fanky
June 23, 2012, 02:45 AM
I've been thinking it was the extractor causing my headaches, but it would run flawlessly with a partially filled magazine, but choked on anything over ten rounds in the mag. I'm not an expert on the 1911's operation, but could the extra spring pressure from a more fully loaded magazine be the culprit as well?

NG VI
June 23, 2012, 05:15 PM
Might could have the wrong recoil spring in it?

mr.trooper
June 23, 2012, 09:37 PM
I'm a 5.7 owner ...

I STILL think the TCM is cool. I'm gad to see that it isn't vaporware - this is the first time I've seen any reports of a real gun in a consumers hand.

No, the ammunition isn't any cheaper than FN 5.7 cartridges... but the gun itself is less expensive, and you can swap barrels to 9mm - which is good, because TCM ammo is not available at the majority of outdoor and sporting goods stores like the 5.7 is.

On the other hand, the TCM is designed to use shorter bullets with a rounded ogive ... that DOES limit you as to what bullets you can use in reloading spent casings. The 5.7 will shoot 55gr military FMJs (and many others) just fine.

Its 6 of one, and 1/2 dozen of the other. TCM is a viable options because it can shoot 9mm, and because the initial buy in price is lower ... but at this point the 5.7 still has all of the market share.

THANKS to Fanky for posting his review!

nearmiss
September 8, 2012, 05:30 PM
All the sources I can find say it is a necked down 9mm of some sort. But... when I look at the cartridges forget the case length, the extraction grooves lead me to believe it is based off the .223 rem.
Necked down .223. Here's the story of the development of the cartridge and gun.
http://atomitronx.com/products.html

ColoradoFreedom
September 9, 2012, 06:30 PM
To the guys that have the 22 TCM.. can you explain swapping out the extractor? I have the gun and am attempting to swap over to 9mm. Barrel and spring are easy, but the extractor seems to get hung up. Most 1911 videos I see have the extractor coming right out. On the DVD that comes with the 22TCM, they don't cover the extractor swap.

bigfatdave
September 9, 2012, 09:36 PM
my extractor needed some help for the last bit

I'm going to assume you got the FP cover plate off, found the FP/spring, and are trying to get the .22tcm extractor OUT, correct me if I'm wrong

At that point, I had to hook on to the rear of the extractor and pull gently while pushing the claw towards the hole in the breechface gently. (I think I used a dental pick for the pull and one of the 1-3" pieces of bamboo chopstick for the push)
I think it is a symptom of not being a .45 - the breechface is a lot more crowded on a 9mm, so the extractor cutout isn't as wide, maybe?

Installing the 9x19 extractor needed a little fiddling as well.

Oh, a tip for anyone worried about confusing the extractors - I used a piece of copper to scribe "9" and "22" on the rear of the extractors ... it could be done with a soft piece of brass as well (like a .22LR casing)

===

I shoot the 9x19 barrel a LOT more than the .22tcm barrel, for obvious cost reasons ... the .22tcm kit is neatly wrapped up and deposited in the plastic box from some CCI mini-mags, it was the perfect size&shape to slip in the safe

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