Rock Island Armory .22TCM (Reshoot)

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So my first experience was not totally stellar with the RIA 22 TCM. Enough so that they wanted to know if I would be interested (and willing) in getting another one in for review. I was agreeable to that and they sent me a brand new one, still in the plastic wrap.

I want to go on record and say that my customer service experience with Rock Island Armory is top notch. They appear to really take customer service issues seriously, and go out of their way to work with their customers (and I had read similar kudos across the web).

My problem during the initial review was that I had the springs mixed up, and the spring for the 9mm conversion was installed in the 22 TCM configuration (I’m like 98.23% sure this was the problem). The 22 TCM round did not seat fully in the breech, and when the round went off, the brass fire-formed outside of the breech and subsequently jammed. In all fairness I shot the pistol how it was shipped to me.

The manual indicated that the 9mm used the “heavier” (14 lbs) spring. At a quick glance the “heavier” looking spring (thickness of the wire) was actually the “lighter” spring because it has fewer coils. Confusing, no?

I terminated the original review after a second failure to eject due to the same problem. I had posted a YouTube video demonstrating the FTE and received a couple of comments:

The gun was in battery when fired. If a 1911 is not in full battery, the hammer will not fall. I had so many failure to extracts on my 22 TCM that I shot maybe 8 or 9 rounds then gave up as I had to push the case from the chamber with a rod each time. The secret is Hornady One Shot case lube. Buy a can of this and dump a box of rounds into a shallow box. Spray lightly and allow a minute or 2 to dry. Re box your ammo and you’re good to go. Have not had a single failure to extract since. —geckster109

My response: “I assumed it was out of battery when fired simply because the brass deformed around the area not properly seated.  I’m not sure what else could cause that.”

Extractor needs to be tuned, chamber may need scrub with brass brush and Hoppes #9 bore solvent.  Armscor/ RIA has one of the best factory warranty programs.  Fire at least 4 boxes of ammo through it.  If problem persists, contact Ivan@armscor.net —malgoren

I do think that RIA has good customer service. They are pretty responsive and were on top of trying to get another one in my hands so that I could have a better experience.

You can read the original review at:

http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/01/13/gun-review-rock-island-armory-22tcm9mm-1911/

My Experience This Time

I still had rounds of 22 TCM left (even finding them in Albuquerque is a challenge), so I just used those for the re-review. I fully loaded the magazine with ten rounds, and I didn’t have a single failure to eject and the gun performed flawlessly. I repeated three times, and same result—no problems.

I see why the “fan boys” of the platform like to shoot it. It was very smooth and had very little perceived recoil. The gun itself is well made, and just like the first one, was “butter” smooth when manually cycling the slide. I’m reposting the video I made for one of the commenters during my original review:

The ballistics (assuming you are into such things) on the 22 TCM cartridge are definitely impressive considering the platform–it is definitely a little hotter than a normal pistol round.

I stand by my original conviction that the conversion kit still suffers from a problem. It is too easy to confuse the springs without some external way for marking them. I maintain that Rock Island should mark the springs (via paint or something), as well as update the manual and provide a clear guide explaining how to identify which spring goes with which caliber.

I understand why they ship it as a conversion, but, really, I think the 22 TCM can stand on it’s own. Sell the conversion separately (and mark that 9mm spring heavily), and ship the base pistol as a single caliber.

One other (minor thing) I noticed is that the magazine gets a little challenging to load after seven to eight rounds. Because of how “stubby” the rounds are, when there is a lot of tension on the spring, there is a propensity for the round to tilt forward. I found I had to work the round a little to seat it correctly in the magazine. I imagine that is something that gets better with use, and the use of a speed loader may help provide a better push to create the space. Again, just a minor thing.



Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • Jared Vynn

    If you are looking for ammo try ammosupplywarehouse .com they have plenty of 22tcm at a good price

  • Blake

    “I’m like 98.23% sure this was the problem”

    Isn’t that like the amount of “impurity” in Ivory soap or something?

    &ltgrin&gt

    • Biglou13

      That’s 99 and 44/100 % pure.

  • It might be handy to just paint or Plasti Dip the end of one of the recoil springs with a distinctive color so you can positively identify it. I know that S&W has been doing this with their J-frame rebound springs for nearly two decades to differentiate them from their larger frame counterparts.

    • Sam Schifo

      A simple shot of orange spray paint on one end would work too. If it’s not marked by the factory then that’s the first thing I would do if I picked one of these up.

  • Adm C

    +1 on the marking with orange paint. In fact….I have some in the garage. Keep the 9 barrel with the pistol, who doesn’t like value added? (Cough, extra magazine, cough).

  • Dan

    I like the cartridge but not the 1911 platform. I hope other companies (Glock, Sig) can make 22 TCM guns with modern polymer designs.

    • Giolli Joker

      Armscor/RIA have already developed a Glock conversion shooting the 22TCM9R, with slightly shorter bullet, designed to work in a 9mm handgun.

  • Scott Rhymer

    Shooters Den on San Mateo has plenty of .22TCM, last time i was in, Tom.

    I’ve been pleased with my TCM, which I got on a trade a few months back. Zero issues in the 9mm, I’ve had the occasional FTE on the .22 TCM. Armscor sent me a new extractor, and since, no issues. I agree their customer service is one of the best in the industry.

  • Kevin Craig

    All other things being equal, a spring with fewer coils is heavier, not lighter.

    That’s because the spring is being bent along the length of the wire. The fewer coils, the shorter the wire, and thus stiffer.

  • cleophus1

    I’m excited about the 22 TCM cartridge, but am going to wait for reloading data and paraphernalia to catch up with it before I buy a firearm that chambers it.

  • 360_AD

    I would jump on a M&P conversion in a heart beat if RIA decides to make one.

  • Holden McGroyne

    I understand the idea of marking the springs for easy identification but it is really not needed. You should be able to tell the difference by the amount of force required to rack the slide. The difference between the springs is substantial. I have 2 22tcm pistols and this stands true for both.