Modern Personal Defense Weapon Calibers 013: The .22 TCM and .22 TCM 9R

    Left to right: 9x19mm Parabellum, .38 Super, .22 TCM, 5.56x45mm NATO, 5.7x28mm SS197.

    It has been a little while since we visited the subject of modern personal defense weapon calibers, so to start it off again we’ll be taking a look at a new high velocity round that is only a few years old: Armscor’s .22 TCM. This round was reportedly developed by Fred Craig as a high velocity caliber for the 1911 platform, and picked up by Philippine company Armscor. Originally called the “.22 Mini Mag”, the .22 TCM (Tuason-Craig Magnum, after Craig and Armscor’s president) is designed to fit inside the magazine well of a 1911 and function from .38 Super 1911 magazines. Although a pistol round, the .22 TCM is based off the .223 Remington case, shortened by about three quarters of an inch. Thanks to the thick web of its parent case, the .22 TCM is capable of handling high pressures of 40,000 PSI. A version with a shortened projectile, the .22 TCM 9R, is compatible with shorter 9mm magazines for weapons like the Glock 17.

    On to the ballistics:

    Note: “5.56x25mmRF” is .22 WMR. A while back I decided all the labels on these graphs would use a standardized metric format, for some reason. It hasn’t caused an ambiguous situation until now, and by the time I caught it on this one, the graphs were already done. Sorry!

    The .22 TCM does precisely what its designer intended: It offers a round that produces high muzzle velocities but that is compatible with the 1911 platform. The round is limited, however, by its very modest ballistic shape. Despite its weight of 40 grains, the .22 TCM’s bullet has a low ballistic coefficient of about 0.116 G1 (equivalent to about 0.050-0.060 G7), meaning it sheds its velocity rapidly. Therefore, the .22 TCM is probably best considered a pistol round only, best suited for ranges below 50 meters or so.

    In terms of weight, the .22 TCM is a bit heavier than its primary rival, the 5.7x28mm FN, at 8 grams.

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]