Armscor: 1911s, Ammo, and More!

By CTD Mike published on in Ammunition, Firearms

They Build More 1911s Than Anyone. They Make Ammo in the USA. They Just Introduced an Amazing New Caliber. They Are… Armscor.

ARMSCOR® is on the move. Not content to remain one of the biggest arms producers in Asia, Armscor is coming to America in a big way. CEO Demetrio Tuason believes that the recent American demand for quality firearms and ammunition is here to stay. He recently announced that Arms Corporation of the Philippines is doubling their production capacity for firearms and ammunition this year. His oldest son, Martin Tuason, is the CEO of Armscor Precision International, or API. Intended solely for the U.S. market, this division of Armscor covers two smaller companies: Rock Island Armory and Armscor Cartridge Inc. Why should we care about the corporate structure of this huge company? I’m glad you asked. You are going to be seeing a lot of Rock Island Firearms for sale in the future, and you may have already noticed Armscor USA brand ammo on your local gun store shelves. Where are these products coming from?

New Armscor USA logo

The New Armscor USA Logo.

Rock Island Armory makes their firearms in the Philippines. The plant is located in Marikina City, a suburb of Manila. If this conjures up images of a few villagers moping around a forge in the middle of the jungle, hammering out 1911 slides with hand tools, you need to educate yourself. Marikina City is one of the most modern, cleanest, and richest cities in all of Asia. The Armscor production factory is an ISO 9001-certified compliant facility. Inside, highly trained workers service enormous CNC milling machines pumping out the parts needed to build the 1911 pistols on which Armscor is building their reputation. Armscor received their ISO 9001 certification in 1997. By comparison, Colt got their ISO certification in 2005. Starting to get the picture?

Nickel GI 1911

I usually don’t like nickel-plated pistols, but… wow.

Armscor Tactical Hi Cap

This is not a custom race gun. This is a standard model 51567.

Armscor produces more 1911 style pistols than anyone else. Last year, they sold about 40,000 units in the U.S. and another 35,000 in the Philippines. This year, they are trying to reach 100,000 units for the American market alone. Aside from Rock Island Armory, they also make the STI Spartan 1911, and the entire line of Auto Ordnance 1911s. Rock Island 1911s come in a wide variety of styles. They start with near-exact clones of your standard World War II era Government .45; then branch out into compact and even subcompact versions. Most come in a no-frills grey parkerized finish, but they also do matte and polished nickel plating and two-tone variants. Recently they have added a Tactical line of 1911s that bristle with all of the latest features. They feature integrated Picatinny rails, VZ micarta grips, Novak sights, skeletonized hammers and triggers, high-grip beavertail safeties, and flared magazine wells. A high-capacity version based on the Para Ordnance frame comes in .45 and 9mm flavors, holding 14+1 rounds of .45ACP or 18+1 rounds of 9mm. What else were you looking for?

How about chambering the 1911 in a unique new caliber, designed by custom gunsmith Fred Craig? The Tuason-Craig MicroMagnum stuffs a .223 bullet into a 9mm casing to create a hot little cartridge that gives maximum muzzle velocity with minimum recoil. It is called .22 TCM for short and it throws a 40-grain projectile at around 2,100 feet per second out of a 1911. Similar to FN’s 5.7×28 loading, this “Honey, I shrunk the .223 Remington” concept produces a big fireball at the muzzle of the gun, very little felt recoil, and the power to zip right through steel plates. According to one early review, “It did things to a watermelon that would put a .45 to shame.” All this from a pistol holding 18+1 rounds with very little felt recoil, using ammo that costs about as much as .45ACP. Interested yet? There’s even more. In case you want to shoot cheaper ammo for the day, each .22 TCM 1911 comes with a spare 9mm caliber barrel, and the rear sight on the gun is adjustable to make up for the difference in point of impact down range.

What good is a new caliber if you can’t find it, or if it’s too expensive to shoot anyway? After all, plenty of innovative and potentially useful pistol calibers failed because affordable ammunition was not available.  When was the last time you saw someone at the range shooting a .400 Corbon or a .50GI? Armscor’s .22 TCM won’t have this problem—they just opened a new ammunition manufacturing facility in Stevensville, Montana! Armscor USA ammo now has a new yellow sunburst logo and the motto “Right On Target, Right On The Price”. We have .22 TCM in stock already and it’s just  $21.09 for a box of 50 rounds. That’s almost exactly the same price as brass cased .45ACP and 10mm are going for these days. Cheaper Than Dirt! is going to be carrying the full line of Armscor USA ammo, and right now at my desk I have boxes of the stuff in .45ACP, 9mm, .380ACP, .223 Remington, and .22 Magnum. All of it is beautiful new production ammo with polished casings, uniform crimps, and consistent overall length. Now that I am handloading my own .223 ammo I can really appreciate how nicely made this stuff is. For example, the 55 grain .223 bullets have cannelures, and each casing is properly crimped exactly at the cannelure, just like it is supposed to be. I am happy to note that the .45ACP loadings use large pistol primers– there has been a trend recently to use small pistol primers in .45ACP practice ammo as a cost-cutting measure. For low-cost plinking stuff it doesn’t really matter, but it’s not the correct specification for .45ACP and I’m not personally a fan of doing that.

Armscor Family of Ammo

Armscor .223, .45ACP, and .22 TCM cartridges

The real jewel of all the ammo I have in front of me right now is the .22 Magnum. I don’t own a .22 Mag but looking at this ammo, I want to try it. I have a couple of .22LR guns and I’m used to feeding them with cheapo bulk-pack stuff, so the quality of the Armscor .22 Mag rounds really surprised me. These little cartridges feature beautifully polished casings an “F” headstamp (Armscor makes this ammo for Fiocchi, so why bother creating a different headstamp), and jacketed hollowpoint bullets crimped nicely right at the cannelure. To my eye, they look like an artist’s scale model of a .30 Carbine cartridge. I really want to shoot them and see how accurate they are! Maybe CTD Suzanne will let me borrow her Smith & Wesson .22 Mag revolver.

It’s no secret that ammo costs are going up and availability is becoming an issue. Many people have asked “Why doesn’t anyone built a new ammo plant to help meet demand?” Now Armscor has done just that. Having seen some of their ammunition first hand, I’m excited to announce that Cheaper Than Dirt! is carrying this American-made ammo. I am happy to promise that a steady supply of this new-production, U.S. made ammo will be available at competitive prices for the foreseeable future. Increasing their firearm production rate exponentially, introducing an exciting new caliber, and building ammunition right here in Montana, Armscor is poised to take America by storm.

22 TCM

The brand new .22 TCM cartridge. A 40 grain .223 bullet reaches over 2,000fps from a 1911 pistol.

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The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (26)

  • David

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    I have two full size Rock Island 1911s and they have both been great guns. I am going to get one of the TCMs, just not sure when. I was told by someone at Armscor that they will be producing a Commander length TCM next summer, don’t know whether I want to get a 5″ now or wait.

    Reply

  • Bill from Boomhower, Texas

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    Hey Matt, funny you should ask. Check out the guy in the 3rd post above, he blew the whole ass-end out of his 10mm clip, grip frame, and grips, plus crapped his pants, and posted again. Must have been bad.

    Reply

  • matt

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    I heard their 10mm was failing.Was it corrected,im not sure.Cracked cases.

    Reply

  • Bill from Boomhower, Texas

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    I imagine that ’43 Ithica is a sweet gun Boots. I’m 59, disabled now, and never cared about anything but hunting/plinking all my adult life. But the world today dictates we live prepared for the unthinkable each time we go anywhere. Just last night in fact at the movie theater in Aroura Colorado. Nowadays, I really want a 1911 in .45acp,even though I couldn’t head shoot rabbits at 20yds with one in my youth,I’m willing to give one a try again in defense of myself/family at larger targets perhaps even at shorter range. This is exciting news to me, and I will investigate more on this weapon. Parkerized sounds perfect to me, as I want something I can wear to work in here on the farm, and still function if I have to jump in the truck and go to town after mowing,or sweating all over it. I now wear a Colt Agent, but would like to make it a boot gun as back-up, and go with a 1911 as primary. I would like a cut-down or officer’s model for concealment, and the Colt New Agent with no sights really appealed to me until I found it is double action.
    My sweet16, two wingmasters in .410 and light weight 20, two Rem 788s, and pre,64 model 94s amoung others just sit collecting thick dust anymore, but the dawn of a new era is upon us. You wouldn’t have walked to your deer stand without your rifle, and nowadays you just shouldn’t leave the house without a defensive weapon, and a first-aid trauma kit including kwik-klot. Hopefully, this new gun on the market will fill my niche; we’ll have to find out more about it.

    Reply

  • Boots

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    Interesting ammo concept. I have had range time on the FN 5.7 and it is fun to shoot but I don’t know about it as a carry weapon. I like the 357sig and that is my favorite personal carry weapon. It loads with 12 down and 1 up but I never carry with more than 9 in it. I do have a full mag for back up. The redesigned bullet has become a real contender and I can see how something similiar would be worth trying. Like the 357sig it will need to go thru the process with the users to see what happens with it. I am not changing. I have tried the Rock City 1911 and would rather shoot my 1943 Ithaca 1911. I have others that are off the charts but so was the price. I have had problems with Fiocci ammo, that said I will load up with something else. Others may feel different as I am feeling the years. I believe simple is best and I am not looking for a war, did that once ain’t doing it again if I can help it. If I don’t win in the first few rounds I probably won’t. The 1911 rules the roost.

    Reply

  • advanced weaponry

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    i run a gun shop in florida and bought 10mm fmj from a sup took them home and found that ever round had a fail in the casing didnt realize it till i had my colt 1911 10mm have a mag blow out the bottom leaving the sleave of the mag ejecting the spring and the ramp i would like to hear some feed back i have 100 rounds off brass with cracks on the bev el ……

    Reply

  • advanced weaponry

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    i run a gun shop in florida and bought 10mm fmj from a sup took them home and found that ever round had a fail in the casing didnt realize it till i had my colt 1911 10mm have a mag blow out the bottom leaving the sleave of the mag ejecting the spring and the ramp i would like to hear some feed back i have 100 rounds off brass with cracks on the bev el

    Reply

  • Pnoy

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    If only armscor will also sell their products to be more affordable in their own country! Guns and ammo here cost 3-4 times more then in the US! reason for the high markup? corrupt, greedy customs and government officials wanting their share of everything!!!

    Reply

  • Barry

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    imagine what a .22 in a 9mm or .45 sabot could do, especially w/ taper-bore

    Reply

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