Armscor 1911-A2 .22 TCM hands-on, first impressions

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We’re doing a different kind of hands-on today. We were invited to Armscor’s sprawling Marikina facility today for an appreciation shoot of sorts, with the promise of firing their latest and greatest weapon system, the .22 TCM. Being a gun-nut and an active airsoft player, it would have been unthinkable to refuse this golden opportunity generously offered by the premier firearms manufacturer in the Philippines. That’s how I found myself driving down to Marikina, excited to see what this unique firearm has to offer.

I met Martin Tuason, Armscor Precision President and we chatted briefly about the .22 TCM. Most shooters discount any round that doesn’t begin with the number 4, but as Martin told me – the .22 TCM is one of the most effective rounds that they’ve ever made. In fact, he was very confident about it, that he made me a little bet – if, for some reason, shooting the .22 TCM round didn’t put a smile in my face later in the day, he was more than happy to buy me dinner later. That little bet got me thinking – just how good is this new weapon system?

First off, let’s talk about the .22 TCM round. This particular round is a high-velocity pistol cartridge that hurtles through the air at about 2100 FPS. To put that in perspective, a typical 9mm round flies through the air at around 1300 FPS and a typical .45 round clocks in at 1000 FPS.

.22 TCM on the left, .45 on the right

That puts the velocity of the .22 TCM round near the velocity of rifle round, which also means that the .22 TCM can reach out farther compared to other pistol rounds.

The .22 TCM Pistol itself doesn’t look revolutionary. In fact, it looks kind of like any old double stacked 1911. This full frame pistol has Novak-style sights and a beavertail grip safety. The pistol is very comfortable to hold and shooting it is a damn pleasure. Just like any 1911, the TCM can be customized – in fact, we saw one that was tricked out with an ambi-safety, magwell and a fiber optic front sight.

One of the hallmarks of the .22 TCM round is that it is a high velocity round. It is also very loud, and exudes a heck of a lot of muzzle flash. It is also has very low felt recoil, which means it allows users to put more accurate follow-up shots downrange quicker. We had the opportunity to shoot Armscor’s other products chambered in various calibers, and we can definitely say that the .22 TCM has the least recoil of all the guns present during the media shoot.

We’d show you the target that we were shooting at earlier today, unfortunately since there were a whole host of other shooters shooting the same target, but we can attest that the .22 TCM’s recoil was soft enough that even rank amateurs like us could put a nice center group in an IPSEC target with rapid fire – something that wouldn’t have been possible with bigger calibers.

Some of you may already be asking: what is the point of the .22 TCM? Well, it’s a weapon system that gives users that extra range that might mean life and death when it comes down to it, along with a soft recoiling round that allows users to place more accurate follow-up shots downrage. We haven’t seen the effects of the .22 TCM on ballistic gelatin ourselves, but Martin Tuason assures us that it’s a very damaging round – moreso than the big boy rounds. Tim Dillon, President and CEO of STI International was present during the media shoot and told us what the effect of the round on a pig carcass was. He said that when the round hit the head of the carcass, there was no exit wound. When the head was dissected, there were no longer any recognizable brain bits – the round had turned the brain into mush. Pretty effective, if you ask me.

The .22 TCM is an impressive weapon system. The soft recoiling round combined with the typical 1911 frame means that both new and old shooters can easily transition and use the weapon system without re-training themselves to a new system. It’s also a pretty fun gun to shoot – it goes without saying that Martin didn’t have to buy me dinner, on account of the huge smile on my face after I walked away from the shooting bay.

The 1911-A2 .22 TCM is now being sold in the country by Armscor, and overseas through Rock Island Armory. The 1911-A2 .22 TCM comes in two versions – a stand-alone .22 TCM pistol, and a version with an included 9mm barrel. The SRP of the .22 TCM is Php 50,000 without the 9mm barrel. With the 9mm barrel the price goes up to Php 60,000. The .22 TCM round retails for Php 31 a piece.