Rock Island Arms .22TCM 9R Glock Conversion

A Glock 19 with the RIA .22TCM conversion kit installed.

A Glock 19 with the RIA .22TCM conversion kit installed.

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.

The pieces of the .22TCM Glock conversion kit are not complicated to change.

The pieces of the .22TCM 9R Glock conversion kit are not complicated to change.

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
The vented slide seems to be an RIA design, and significantly reduces the weight of this Glock.

The vented slide seems to be an RIA design, and significantly reduces the weight of this Glock.

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.

DSC01436

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.



Aaron is a life-long firearm enthusiast and hunter. He has been a police officer for nearly 19 years, and currently is a Sergeant in Special Operations. He has served on the department’s SWAT Team for 14 years, with 8 years as the Sniper Team Leader. When not fussing over fractions of inches, and gut-less wonders, he can usually be found sipping from a ridiculously large coffee mug. Aaron is also the editor and main writer at BlueSheepDog.com.


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  • Michael Schmidlin

    Its actuall the 22tcm9r which is the same oal as a 9mm. Where as the 22tcm is a little longer.

    • Giolli Joker

      Perfect, that makes everything easier!

    • Aaron E

      Thanks for the help in clarifying the TCM differences.

  • Rob

    I thought the 22TCM was the length of the 45 ACP? How is this fitting in a 9mm mag?

    • Michael Schmidlin

      The 22tcm is almlst the same oal as a 9mm. But a 38super mag is used. The 22tcm9r is what this article is about.

      • Wasn’t the original name .22 REV? The current designation will cause unnecessary confusion with the existing .22 TCM. I can already picture folks trying to feed the wrong cartridge into their pistols. Hopefully, the .22 TCM9R can’t chamber in a upper-tolerance .22 TCM chamber.

        • Simple: .22 TCM chambers will feed 9R, whereas standard 9mm mags used with the 9R conversion uppers will not house standard TCM cartridges. The confusion will be on store shelves only, if anywhere. Standard TCM is backwards compatible with 9R, as the bolt face and chamber dimensions are identical.

          But I agree, Armscor should have called it the .22 REV, which they almost did. However, that seems to be reserved for some pistol hardware they’re working on.

          • Giolli Joker

            .22 REV would have recalled revolver use. 🙂

          • I did a long post on what REV could stand for before it was officially confirmed. My first guess was “REVolution,” which turned out to be right, but I soon abandoned that and went with “REduced Velocity,” which I still think is better.

        • A thought occurs, you’re right: Some particularly confused folks may actually try to bypass magazine feeding and manually drop a TCM into a 9R chamber. The gun WILL go into battery in this case, and I wonder exactly how much damage (if any) the extra charge would do to the 9R upper. I’ll see if I can’t get an answer from Armscor tomorrow.

          • the ammo addict

            Yes, please do. This is an important consideration. If any damage could result from single feeding a round into the chamber and firing it, I really think a renaming of the new cartridge would be in order.

          • Both carts have the same powder charge, so the margin of error re: pressure failure would be dependent entirely on the extra weight of the TCM bullet (5gn) and seating depth (which may or may not be different to 9R). I’m not sure that would result in catastrophe, but I’ll see if Armscor will clarify this. Owner Martin Tuason is extremely responsive on Facebook.

  • Dilby

    the 22tcm has very little kick. I highly doubt a standard glock will work out of the box with this kit. They had to reduce the mass of the glock slide in order for the round to function correctly. Think of it as having something slightly more than a 22lr kick. Know of many 22lr semi autos that have slides with similar masses of a full sized glock? me either…

    • Dilby

      *I assume* they had to reduce the mass of the slide

    • Michael Schmidlin

      Actually no. A lite recoil spring is the only change. That’s the idea for this kit. New barrel, spring, and guide rod and you’ve basically got a caliber switch as long as your gun is a 9mm.

      • Aaron E

        Correct Michael, the spring and guide rod are RIA made, not the original Glock ones.

      • By my understanding, it’s a whole replacement upper. The price seems indicative of that (you can get an entire 1911 TCM for $400). Even at MSRP, such a price for a barrel, spring, and guide rod alone would be absurd. ESPECIALLY by Armscor’s pricing standards.

        • Michael Schmidlin

          Thanks for the info. I misunderstood that

    • It’s an entire replacement upper. You use the Glock frame and trigger assembly, everything else is Armscor. This is not a barrel/spring swap like the 1911 TCMs are w/ 9mm support.

  • Panzercat

    Honestly, RIA has been making all the right moves for introducing direct competition to the 5.7– They first introduced it on a platform that was an american classic and they’re now eyeing one of the most popular platforms in the world.

    • TCM blows 5.7 out of the water in several important ways:

      1. Faster with legal US loads for same bullet weight of 40gn.
      2. Reloading is easy, encouraged, and won’t automatically void warranty (but a double charge sure will, and void your hand, too).
      3. Swappable to 9mm by simple field strip, barrel/recoil spring swap.
      4. 1/3rd the price of a FiveseveN pistol.
      5. Less expensive ammo.
      6. User serviceable for all parts, which are of the very common 1911 varieties.
      7. TCM conversions will be available, per Armscor at SHOT, for ANY company’s full-size .45 ACP 1911 platform. (Expect technical wizardry re: fixed frame ejector. I expect a cutout/sleeve.)

      • Slvrwrx

        1. SS197SR is slow, but most people are able to easily work up 40gr loads in the 5.7 to equal what the .22TCM does.
        2. Reloads void practically any manufacturers warranty, even from RIA 😉 With that being said, both rounds can be reloaded, but would nod the ease to 22TCM because it lacks the polymer coating the 5.7 has. However the 5.7 can use a wide array of bullet weights and designs, and not hamper case capacity too much 🙂
        5. $18-20 for 22tcm, 18-23 for 5.7 from what I’ve looked up.
        6. Midwest gun works sells many parts for the FSN
        I wouldn’t say the .22 TCM blows it out of the water, as they both have strong points. With that said, I see 22TCM in my future mainly because I can swap the barrels on them for 9mm 😀

        • That’s the biggest point for me, too. Online prices on ammo now are more reasonable, but during the shortage TCM in my area was literally half the price of 5.7.

          Cost of hardware is a huge differentiator, too.

          Re: warranties, there is the standard reloading legalese, but I’ve never known Armscor to deny a claim w/ that excuse (unless the gun was blown apart by a double-charge or squib followup). The lifetime warranty that follows the gun is a big deal, IMO.

          • Slvrwrx

            Re warranties, that’s pretty much how you can surmise FN’s warning. People take it to the extreme since they are the only manufacturer of the brass, but in all seriousness, unless your reload is faulty and esplodes the gun, FN isn’t going to say “OMG your warranty is void because you decided to reload your own, and you need a spare part for something”

          • Agreed. Warranties are mostly about the CS track record. I’d peg Armscor’s CS as the best I’ve ever experienced (between about 10 or so major brands).

  • This cartridge is not .22 TCM, as noted below. It is called .22 TCM 9R, which stands for “9mm Revolution.” It is ballistically inferior to the standard .22 TCM round, designed with a 35gn bullet (TCM is 40gn) to reduce the OAL from .45 ACP dimensions to true 9×19 dimensions. Standard TCM has a muzzle velocity of roughly 2150 FPS (+/- 50FPS) out of a five-inch barrel. This is estimated to be in the 1900-2000 FPS ballpark out of standard full-sized polymer 9mms, of which Armscor intends to support most (XD, M&P, etc.). Glocks Gen1-3 are first out of the gate, with a tentative mid-2015 release. The company will NOT be making the TCM 9R in conversion slides for compact or subcompact handguns with barrels under 3.5 inches because the powder won’t burn completely through that length of delivery.

    I cover all this in depth at my own blog (my username with dot com after it) if you’re interested. Admin here can reprint at will. Most of this has been confirmed by Armscor CEO Martin Tuason himself through various Facebook posts to inquiring minds.

    Also of note is the Armscor .22 REV, which is the company’s own in-house polymer TCM 9R pistol. That is still in heavy (and quiet) R&D, but word is it will be based around Beretta 92 mags, which is excellent news.

    • Blake

      Thanks a lot for shedding light on that. Too bad they couldn’t standardize on a single cartridge design, but I suppose that’s the price you pay for Glock mag compatibility.

      • The larger cart was always designed around big 1911s. The conversion kits for standard .45 ACP models were probably a long term consideration, and .38 Super mags are made in reasonable bulk. I understand the desire for max performance. The 9R seems an offshoot of the TCM rather than its logical conclusion (else I think it would have used a true 9×19 casehead, which it doesn’t). And since TCM 1911s shoot both, having a baby brother is only a benefit. Added value. And up to 250FPS w/ +5gn bullet, no small performance difference.

        • Giolli Joker

          Good news that the 22TCM guns can still shoot the 9R version!

        • Blake

          I hope that the confusion that surrounded .17HMR & .17HM2 doesn’t detract from the 22TCM market. At least in this case the lighter ammo works in both guns.

          In order to ensure long-term success, I think that another ammo mfr will need to start making cheap ammo for the platform, at least the 9R. They should talk to Prvi Partizan :-).

  • Just to clarify when Aaron was at the range he was given the standard 22TCM info. It wasn’t until today we were both told of the 22 TCM 9R.
    To quote the round is just a tiny bit shorter so that you can use your existing Glock mags rather than what many companies do and make you purchase proprietary mags.
    Anyway our apologies for not having the correct info on the new round.

  • lee1001

    Where are these made?

  • the ammo addict

    I believe you are correct about the casings being the same. I examined both very closely at SHOT and that was my conclusion at the time. I didn’t think to ask, but if what you say about standard 1911 TCMs being able to chamber and fire the new round, that is great news! I will experiment with both rounds once I have one of the pistols in my hands.

    • My colleague got confirmation from an Armscor booth attendant that the cartridge dimensions and powder charge are identical between TCM and TCM9R. OAL reduction is reduced entirely by smaller, denser, lighter (35gn) bullet.

      Every indication is that TCM backwards compatibility is a go.

  • Curious Jorge

    Can you slap this thing on a Glock 22 and use a 17 mag?