Taurus TX22 Compact
Taurus joined the ranks of companie sproducing real-sized pistols with the Taurus TX22 Compact. By "real-sized" I mean pistols sized to that of a standard handguns rather than scaled down for .22lr. While the smaller guns may be excellent for small-handed folks, learning and training with them does not necessairly replicate the manual of arms that a 9mm would. Additionally, larger-handed shooters like myself can find the shurnken-gun 22s to be a bit crampt. With the TX22 Compact we get a pisol that looks and feels a bit like a standard "compact" 9mm pstols.
Taurus is known for being affordable, so an afforable gun that uses affordable ammo sounds like a no-brainer. Of course the challenge with .22lr semi-autos is making them run reliably. Though we didn't review the original Taurus TX22, but wors is it's very reliable and "will eat anything". It amuses me at times to hear reviewers say that after trying two, maybe three types of ammunition, and typically all the same grain weight.
The challenge with making semi-auto pistols chambered in .22lr reliable comes from the caliber itself. There's not a lof of energy to cycle the weight of the slide against a stiff spring, but a spring that's not strong enough might not strip the next (often imperfect) round off the top of the magazine and shove it into the chamber. The solution comes from making the slide as light as possible, typically out of aluminum.
For the TX22 Compcat Taurus respectfully shaped the slide much like you'd expect to find on a pistol of a lrager caliber. This design makes the TX22 Compact handle more like a "real pistol", but also meant more weight should be shed for reliability. Especially if the owner wants to mount a red dot. Enter the "speed holes"! Luckily, holes in the slide have already become socially acceptable on other pistols. On the TX22 Compact it might however be just what was needed to make it reliable.
Another interesting feature of the TX22 Compact is experienced during take-down. As you'll see in the Tabletop Video, the TX22 Compact field strips about like a standard Browning Action and yet it's blowback-operated. A nifty trick of engineering means that takedown habits learned on most other pistols can apply to the TX22 Compact, and the opposite as well. Yet another point that makes this pistol a great choice for learning, or for those who don't want to have to remember multiple takedown procedures.
Specifications (item and UPC numbers included because Taurus has a LOT of variants)
ITEM NUMBER: 1-TX22131
CALIBER: 22 LR
CAPACITY: 13 Rounds
FRONT SIGHT: Fixed (White dot)
REAR SIGHT: Drift Adjustable Serrated
MAGAZINES INCLUDED: 2
ACTION TYPE: SAO
FRAME SIZE: Compact
BARREL LENGTH: 3.60 In.
OVERALL LENGTH: 6.70 In.
OVERALL HEIGHT: 4.90 In.
OVERALL WIDTH: 1.25 In.
OVERALL WEIGHT: 16.50 Oz. (Unloaded)
TWIST RATE: 1:10
FRAME MATERIAL: Polymer
FRAME FINISH: Black
SLIDE MATERIAL: Aluminum
SLIDE FINISH: Hard Anodized Black
BARREL MATERIAL: Alloy Steel
BARREL FINISH: Matte Black
SAFETY: Manual Safety, Striker Block, Trigger Safety
Pricing as of 26MAR23
As low as $274.99 around the web
$319.99 at Palmetto State Armory
Suspecting an interesting range session I packed up our .22lr kit unsure of how it might go. I know the internet swears the TX22 is a reliable platform, but with what ammo and how much lubrication? In keeping things GBGuns style we ran the TX22 Compact straight out of the box and did not add an optic so the gun could be tested as it comes. Another peeve of mine is seeing a review of a modified firearm. Unless I replicate those modifications the such a review is pointless. The review protocol is what we've come to be known for. Unfortunately Teya couldn't make it to the range that day, so she'll have to do a "Teya's Quick Take" video sometime in the future.
Cold Shots: Truly the first rounds through the gun.
Full Magazine +1: Not all guns perform well when "fully stuffed".
What's For Dinner™: A test to see what ammunition the gun will eat. Does the gun feed the round from slide lock, will it cycle and feed another round of the same type, does the slide lock to the rear on empty, and is there any notable point of impact change with different loads.
For this gun we used the following ammunition:
Pricing as of 26MAR23
36gr Remington Golden Bullet (bulk) $104.99 / 1,400 at Sportsman's Guide
36gr CCI Mini-Mag "Choot Em!"
38gr American Eagle $40.84 / 400 at Sportman's Guide
40gr Aguila Super Extra (copper plated) $3.49 / 50 at Bronwell's
??gr Remington Yellow Jacket
??gr Remington Viper
??gr SK Semi-Auto Rifle $8.24 / 50 at Brownell's
??gr SK Long Range Match
40gr Aguila Interceptor
40gr Aguila Super Extra (exposed lead) $2.94 / 50 at Sportsman's Guide
40gr CCI Mini-Mag SCHP $7.68 / 50 at Global Ordnance
40gr CCI Mini-Mag (standard)
20gr Aguila Super Colibri $8.99 / 50 at Primary Arms
60gr Aguila SSS Super Subsonic $5.99 / 50 at Brownell's
Sights & Trigger Control: Our usual 6" spinner target would be too heavy for .22lr to move, so instead I tried out a novelty target.
Practical Accuracy: Five shots from a distance of seven yards at a one inch target. This isn't so much about printing a tight group as it is a culmination of our shooting experience and time for us to collect thoughts prior to making a conclusion.
After Shots: Final impressions
You can watch the process in the Shooting Impressions video below:
Ammunition seen in our Shooting Impressions video was made possible by our Patrons and supporters of our ammunition savings account through Ammo Squared. Additional, on-demand ammunition through True Shot Gun Club.
The What's For Dinner™ test included some bonus loads because I was having such a good time with the TX22 Compact and it was eating everything! The only thing that didn't cycle was the extremely-light-weight 20gr rounds that I don't expect to cycle anything, but even at that they were fun in the TX22 Compact.
I did struggle for accuracy. My eyes weren't having the best day, but it could have been the gun, or it could have been the ammo. It could also be that when the holes you're punching in paper are that small it's a lot harder to make them connect! We'll definitely be hitting the range again with the TX22 Compact, and now that I know the gun runs we'll add a red dot to make aiming a little easier for tired eye and newer shooters alike.
.22lr is a great round for plinking, learning to shoot, and generally having a good time at the range without high ammo cost, recoil, or rediculous percussion. Some even turn to it as a defense option. While .22lr is certain not up there on the list of rounds I'd recommend for self defense, the fact remains that few people want to get shot with anything and it could be argued that a bee swarm of 22lr pellets on target is better than aseveral misses of a bigger round. Shoot what you can shoot well. The mest way to get better is to practice and aside from dryfire, it doesn't get any cheaper or easier to practice than .22lr.