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GUNS Magazine February 2013 Digital Edition - Page 36
Double Duty or the past two decades we have seen the development of super big-bore cartridges well above the .44 Magnum in muzzle energy culminating with the .500 S&W Magnum. A halfcentury ago we were at the opposite end of the spectrum, that is developing, or it may be more correct to say trying to develop, high-velocity varmint cartridges for use in revolvers. Both the .22 Jet and the .256 Winchester promised much, but delivered little. The .256 Winchester was never offered in a revolver but only in the single-shot Ruger Hawkeye and the Marlin Levermatic rifle. The .22 Jet was offered in a sixgun but simply did not work in a revolver with full-power loads. However the 21st century version of the high-velocity .22 handgun cartridge is now available as the .22 TCM and this one works. It works because, thanks to gunsmith Frederick Craig, Armscor, and Rock Island Armory teaming up, this hot little cartridge is chambered in a high-capacity 1911. F John Taffin Would you believe a 40-grain bullet at 2,050 fps from a 5" barrel? There certainly must be a better adjective than “sizzling” to hang on this but I can’t think of one. This .22 Works! The .22 Jet was chambered in the Smith & Wesson Model 53 revolver and therein was the problem. Revolver chambers work best with straight walled or slightly tapered cartridges. The Jet was not just bottlenecked it was actually milk-bottle shaped with a .357 Magnum case necked down to .22. The problem was set back, that is to say when a cartridge was fired it slammed back against the recoil shield with such force it jammed up the cylinder which could not be rotated to fire the next cartridge. What works against the revolver works for a semi-automatic. When the .22 TCM cartridge is fired its rearward motion forces the slide back which ejects the fired cartridge and then comes forward to feed a new cartridge into the chamber. With the .22 TCM chambered in the Rock Island Armory 1911-A2 this works flawlessly. The Rock Island Armory MicroMag Model 1911-A2 .22 TCM is a standard 1911 with a high-capacity magazine listed as holding holding 18 rounds. I say listed as my fingers got tired after inserting 14 rounds which is plenty for me. However, this is not all this 1911 delivers as it is a most versatile pistol. I have several sixguns with auxiliary cylinders allowing the use of multiple cartridges such as the Ruger SingleSix in .22 LR and .22 Magnum, the Colt New Frontier in .44 Special and .44-40, and the Freedom Arms Model 83 chambered in .454 with extra cylinders in .45 Colt, .45 ACP, and .45 Winchester Magnum. All of these have one thing in common and that is no matter what cartridge is used the barrel diameter remains the same. Not so with the RIA .22 TCM. The .22 TCM is based on a shortened and necked down .223 cartridge; that makes it the same basic case size as a standard 9mm. Revolvers are not normally easy to change barrel wise; semi-automatics are. The .22 TCM and the 9mm use the same magazines and it is only necessary to change the barrel and recoil spring, a process that takes about 1 minute. The .22 version uses a 7-pound recoil spring while the 9mm requires a stiffer 12-pound recoil spring. In either case, with either cartridge, functioning was flawless except for the fact With the 9mm barrel, the TCM becomes a high capacity self-defense pistol. These targets were fired with wide variety of 9mm Luger ammo. 36 W W W. G U N S M AG A Z I N E . C O M • F E B R UA RY 2 0 1 3