It is no secret Rock Island Armory (RIA) carved a reputable name producing reliable and affordable 1911s. Lucky for us, we got the chance to shoot their 22 TCM VZ Midsize at the 2014 SHOT Show Industry Day and we weren’t disappointed. In case you’re new to this odd little cartridge, I’ll give you some background. TCM is short for Tuason Craig Magnum. It is a proprietary cartridge developed by Rock Island for use in their 1911 platform handguns. The parent case is actually the .223 Remington. RIA shortened the casing so that the overall length was similar to a 9mm Luger. Originally developed to compete with the FN 5.7x28mm, Rock Island wanted to run the cartridge in a 1911 platform. Out of a 5-inch barrel, the bullet travels at a blazing 2,150 fps! To compare, a 9mm travels around 1,300-1,400 fps. Recoil is much less than the 9mm and the spring to chamber a cartridge takes much less effort. If you have trouble loading a standard 1911, this will make your life much easier.
What is it good for? When you combine the bullet weight and velocity, you get more than enough for a personal defense round. Not only did Rock Island Armory manufacture an insanely accurate cartridge, but they also combined it with the tried and true 1911 platform. Even a novice shooter can ring steel with ease at moderate to long distances with very little training.
As with most quality 1911s, the trigger was excellent and the handling and ergonomics were as expected. The light recoil allows for very fast follow-up shots and we experienced no malfunctions. Rock Island Armory’s TCM series handguns are sure to make a dent in the defensive handgun market. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.