AUTHOR’S NOTE: While at the range on Monday, the RIA representative I talked to did not point out an important change for the Glock conversion kit. In order for the .22TCM cartridge to fit standard Glock 9mm magazines, the engineers had to shorten the cartridge ever so slightly, hence the 9R designation. I was unaware of that change until Tuesday and apologize for any confusion. Phil was in contact with an RIA representative who couldn’t provide an exact measurement for the shorter casing, but advised that the difference was very minimal – in the thousandths of an inch. The article has been updated to reflect the new information.
While at the Industry Day at the Range I had the chance to stop in and see what was new at Rock Island Arms (RIA). In addition to several new firearm offerings, I was very intrigued to see a Glock 17 sitting on the table. Come to find out the RIA team has developed a .22TCM 9R conversion kit to fit into one of the most popular handguns on the planet.
As most of you know, a few years ago Fred Craig of RIA introduced the 22 TCM cartridge. Based upon the .223 cartridge, the new .22TCM 9R casing is necked down to roughly the length of the 9x19mm case. The benefits of the cartridge is the ability to fire .22 caliber bullets at speeds of over 1800 ft/sec, increasing accuracy and ballistic performance in flight. In addition, the increased speed produces around 312 ft/lbs of energy, nearly double the impact energy of most .22LR bullets.
The .22TCM 9R Glock conversion kit consists of easy drop-in replacement parts for Generation 1-3 Glock 17 or 19 handguns. The parts will not work in a Gen 4 Glock 17 or 19 due to the enlarged redesign of the recoil spring assembly retainer hole. If these kits become popular I’m sure RIA will make a kit for Gen 4 Glocks. The replacement parts include:
- .22TCM 9R barrel
- .22TCM 9R guide rod
- .22TCM 9R recoil spring.
- MSRP – $400.00
Simply replace the existing parts with the RIA .22TCM 9R parts and you’re ready to shoot. Since the .22TCM cartridge measurements are so similar to the 9mm, using standard Glock 9mm magazines will work just fine. Notice that the .22TCM 9R barrel has an enlarged bell-shaped muzzle. This accommodates the difference in chambering between the .22TCM 9R and 9mm, while still allowing a proper fit at the barrel housing port on the muzzle end of the slide.
You’ll notice that the initial presentation of this conversion kit does not have a captive recoil spring. This presented several embarrassing moments as RIA employees or media attempted to put the Glock back together with the loose spring. RIA staff made a strong comment that they would be requesting a captive recoil spring from R&D for the final versions due to be available mid year.
Until now the .22TCM could only be fired through Rock Island Armory firearms. Having previously shot the .22TCM I found the round to be very accurate and easy to shoot. Despite the increased powder charge, recoil was insignificant. The biggest drawback was the very limited supply of firearms to shoot the round, and the limited market for ammunition. Perhaps the .22TCM 9R conversion kit will open up the market to an interesting cartridge.
A question that Glock fans are probably asking is, “Will using this conversion kit void any Glock warranties”. I did not get a definitive answer, but without a formal agreement of RIA with Glock I’m pretty sure the shooter will be on their own.