Taurus TX22

a .22 in 9mm clothing
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The Taurus TX22 looks the part of a defensive 9mm pistol and that’s the
whole idea — but inside lurks the heart of a .22 LR!

I “get” this gun, I really do. It’s a .22 looking, feeling and working like a medium-sized centerfire competition or carry gun. Training and familiarity means this makes perfect sense. Most of our training .22’s feel and look like Lugers or are tiny little versions of something else. All of them have magazines loading by holding down a little spring tab with your thumb while feeding ammo through the top.

If you’ve taught or attended the NRA Basic Pistol classes or other new shooter classes, you know what I mean. It’s a big step from handling and shooting the .22’s to the 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACPs we hope they’ll carry. That’s not the case with the TX22. It even disassembles like a typical 9mm carry gun.

The gun features a single-action-only striker-fire system with a 5-lb. trigger pull with a short trigger reset, both tactile and audible. Proprietary grip texturing ensures a secure grip. When combined with the optimized slide weight for minimal recoil, all this provides extremely fast follow-up shots. The chassis is polymer, the slide is anodized aluminum, the barrel length is 4.1" and the gun weighs 17.3 oz. empty

The Taurus TX22 looks like many other polymer 9mm handguns — except it’s a .22, handling like a nine!

Ground-Up Design

The pistol comes with bright white three-dot sights, big, easy-to-see and adjustable for both windage and elevation by a flat-blade screw. Sight adjustment instructions are in the manual. Everything about the gun is designed for comfort and ease of use. In fact, the company wants shooters of all levels to enjoy shooting this gun. As such, Taurus considered safety for new shooters, while remembering experienced shooters.
The one I have came with an optional ambidextrous manual safety that can be left off if you don’t want it. All TX22 pistols also have a hidden trigger safety preventing unintentional rear movement of the trigger. This new design eliminates the conventional safety blade protruding from the trigger. It also comes with a firing pin block keeping the pin from striking the round unless the trigger is pulled.

The new Taurus has a slide with cocking serrations front and rear, a Picatinny rail on the dust cover, standard slide lock, safety and magazine release. The magazine release is easily reversible by the user too. The slide lock, however, is not ambidextrous. My gun came with two 16-round magazines. You can get one with 10-round magazines if you live in one of those states legislated by clueless individuals who think this somehow makes a difference.

Let’s talk a little more about the training use for the TX22. It’s the magazine I’m primarily talking about. You load the TX22 magazine like you do a typical 9mm, by pushing down on the follower to load the first round, then on the previous round for loading the rest of the magazine until it’s full. Then you pop the magazine in the grip, rack the slide and you’re in business.

There are realistic .22 conversion kits for GLOCKs, SIGs and 1911’s, but the Taurus will sell for something less than $300 (MSRP is $349) ready to go. To match this with a kit conversion, you’ll spend $500 to $600 or more on the gun and another $200 on the kit.

I’ve previously used realistic pellet guns to get a person ready for shooting a centerfire handgun. I can really see an advantage in using this little jewel for the same purpose. An airgun is an airgun and a “real” gun is a real gun. The difference can be huge so starting with the “real” gun can make good sense.

Taurus sees it as a competition-ready pistol, citing the grip, trigger and accuracy. Looking at it from this perspective there are a couple of things standing out. The trigger guard is undercut at the back, enabling a high grip on the frame. The grip is further enhanced by a small bump on the front strap more-or-less forcing your middle finger into position under the trigger guard — ensuring a good grip is both fast and natural. The reach to the trigger is perfect. The actual trigger is surrounded by a blade pivoting on a pin beneath the chassis, a unique design guaranteeing a smooth, effortless trigger pull with a rapid reset.

Take down is fast and anyone familiar with poly-type pistol take-down is right at home.

Shooting Thoughts

I almost overlooked the threaded adapter for a suppressor, but when I found it tucked into its own little hole in the box, I put it on the gun, along with a TAC 65 suppressor from Tactical Innovations before going to the range. I gathered up several boxes of assorted ammo from CCI, Winchester, Remington, Norma and Armscor to see if the TX22 was ammo-sensitive for reliability and/or accuracy.

I started off shooting CCI’s 45-gr. Suppressor, subsonic hollow point ammo. My shots were grouped, but slightly high when compared to the point of aim. Just a couple of clicks on the sight adjustment screw to lower the rear sight took care of the issue. From then on, regardless of the ammo being used, with or without the suppressor, the gun shot to point of aim. Shot groupings were indicative of a competition-ready pistol. I didn’t have a rest, so my not-so-steady hands figured into the results. The more I shot the TX22, the more I enjoyed it. I look forward to a day of popping soda cans and spinning target plates when I can get a day in the country.

A threaded suppressor adapter comes with the package. Easy on the ears
and just as accurate with or without the can.

Bold, white 3-dot sights provide an advantage in training or competition.
The rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation.

A Teacher’s Gun

It’s funny how an instructor’s mind starts fathoming possibilities when introduced to a new gun offering some unique features. I was thinking about some of my former students who struggled with accuracy, and how I might get them shooting this gun until they got the basics down, then transitioning them back to their 9mm carry gun. We can start off with quiet ammo and eliminate flinching. When that’s no longer an issue, a load of CCI Mini Mag will introduce a pop almost as loud as a 9mm, but with no recoil. Once we’ve licked any kind of flinching, those big white dots on the sights can help the shooters struggling with sight picture and sight alignment to put those to rest as well. Trigger pull problems? This is one of the best triggers I’ve found to work on eliminating any tendency to jerk, push or pull the trigger during trigger operation.

I could envision setting up a firing line of five or six students who have never fired a handgun, using TX22’s to introduce them to the basics of pistol operation. Whatever they would learn using this gun would easily transfer to defensive caliber handguns as they progress through their training. Good move, Taurus.

As for competition, it will be interesting to see how the Taurus shooters do when coming up against shooters who are using custom competition race guns. If this happens as Taurus predicts, it will make the TX22 even more in demand. I predict it’s going to make its way into our lives as one of the top guns to own if you’re a fan of fun .22’s — or are serious about learning or teaching. Taurus’ reasonable pricing strategy makes it even more likely to be a fan favorite.

For more info: www.taurususa.com,/, Ph: (800) 624-1115

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