In late 2022, Virginia-based Taylor’s & Co. announced the availability of a new revolver inspired by the iconic 1873 Colt Cattleman. But this replica is done with a twist: it’s a 9mm six-shooter. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one for a range test and review.
In addition to novel chambering, the TC9 allows consumers to have their way with style. Two barrel lengths are available; 4.75 inches (as shown in my test model) and 5.5 inches. Each of those models has two grip/finish combinations to choose from. My test gun has blued finish on the barrel and frame with the classic wood Army grip.
The other available finish is color case hardening and a black plastic Navy grip, lending a sleek look regardless of size. Some people prefer the thinner Navy grip. I find the distinction unimportant for 9mm recoil and a gun of this size.
Operation of the TC9 is the same as any traditional single-action revolver. It has the classic Colt four-click hammer function. Pietta, of Italy, created this replica for Taylor’s & Co. It did a great job of adapting components to function well with a non-rimmed cartridge. Unlike many others on the market, this revolver is built to cycle non-rimmed cases from the ground up, and it does it perfectly.
I ran brass and aluminum-cased ammo through it and never once had a problem with an empty case hanging up on ejection, nor was there ever a struggle to seat a round in a chamber. It just works. That may not sound remarkable to those who hold a stereotypical view of revolvers as inherently reliable.
In comparison to semis, 10 years of teaching concealed carry classes has yielded only about 20 percent of students shooting a revolver. Yet, mechanical failures show up in them far more often. Perhaps, it’s unfair that I’m lumping single and double/single-action revolvers together in that statement, as the latter represent the majority of issues, but hey, this has been my experience and it seems worth a mention here.
Accuracy is good, with point of aim equaling point of impact at 5–7 yards. That’s good, since the sights aren’t adjustable. The rear sight is a simple channel cut into the frame. The front sight is plain and fixed. I can imagine the sights might become challenging to see on typical black targets, but this is a cowboy-style, not a bullseye shooter’s, gun.
There were significant differences in performance with different kinds of ammunition. Federal 115-grain aluminum case and Hornady Custom 124-grain drilled as close to one-hole precision as this shooter can muster. Hornady American Gunner 115-grain threw a scattered group on target. Defensive accuracy is acceptable for any of these, but if I were shooting to split a playing card with this gun, I’d sure do a thorough ammo test first to see which one is most consistent.
Every barrel is different, of course. Another TC9 may bear different results than this one did. So, don’t take this as a blanket recommendation for anything other than your own ammo testing with your gun.
Of course, there’ll be traditionalists who scoff at the thought of one of the iconic sidearms of the American west being re-created in 9mm… the same lot apt to scoff at 9mm in general. Being practical-minded, I’m all for shooting more and spending less.
The 9mm chambering is part of what makes the TC9 enjoyable, to my way of thinking. Rather than stress over the price of .45LC, or finding the components to reload it, I can buy 9mm off the shelf at a fraction of the price. Best of all, I can put a lot more rounds downrange before thinking about the financial aspect of doing so.
And then there’s the recoil factor. As my shooter’s elbow rears its head every few months, the 2.3 or 2.4 (depending on barrel length) pounds of TC9 take up 9mm recoil nicely with no stress on my arms. If I were teaching someone to operate a single-action revolver, it’d be a fine choice for recoil reasons also — it has enough to make controlling it a palpable experience, but not enough to put off or fatigue most new shooters.
The TC9 is 10.25 or 11 inches long overall, according to barrel length. It comes packaged in a molded Styrofoam box with a glossy sleeve enveloping it. It’s not fancy, but it’s presentable. In a time when so many people focus on the temporal unboxing experience, I’d rather focus on the hardware inside that’s far more important. And this gun does not disappoint in terms of value.
It has great western style regardless of finish/grip type. It shoots very accurately and is a joy to operate, with consistent and smooth performance. It’s suitable as a range shooter, single-action competition gun, or modern heirloom. Current retail price is $619.77 for the blued versions and $575.74 for the color case hardened TC9s.