Category Archives: Glocks

The hot new 22 TCM round, what is it and why would you want it?

Introduced just a few years ago with little press and fanfare, the .22 Tuason Craig Micromagnum cartridge is fast taking the world by storm with chamberings available for 1911, AR-15 and Glock platforms. Why the buzz on a .22 caliber round? Well, about that…

RIA rock island 22 TCMOrigins of the cartridge

First off, this is absolutely not a .22 rimfire of any kind.

American custom gunsmith Fred Craig designed the .22 TCM. Craig, using the moniker “22 micro-mag” cut down a .223 Remington rifle case from 45 to 26mm, added a 40-grain .224-caliber bullet to the top, and called it a day. This wildcat gave supersonic performance (2100fps) which imparted something on the order of 400 ft./lbs. of energy downrange in a 5.56x26mm bottlenecked centerfire cartridge with ballistics similar to the 5.7x28mm FN cartridge. If it sounds like a mini-5.56 round, you are correct. Mini enough to fit in a pistol sized handgun as a matter of fact.

9mm (left) and 22 TCM compared.

9mm (left) and 22 TCM compared.

Craig shopped his design to Armscor in the Philippines, the same mega-company that makes RIA, STI, Auto Ordnance and other 1911 style pistols for both local consumption and export. With some minor tweaks, the round became the .22 Tuason Craig Micro magnum with the Tuason part belonging to the head of Armscor. Most users report a very mild recoil, something on the order of a low-powered 9mm, that is offset by a large muzzle flash, which has earned it as reputation as a “Flame Thrower.”

Ballistics tests of the .22TCM

This hot and spicy round, introduced in 2012, is gaining a number of platforms to use it.

TCM 1911s

armscor ria tcmArmscor is currently offering a no less than nine 1911-style TCM series pistols, all Rock Island Armory marked guns. These range from single stack magazine models like the Ultra MS Tactical with a full-length guide rod and 10-shot magazine to the Standard series with a 17-shot double stack mag. The neat thing about these offerings is that they typically come with a 9x19mm parabellum (Luger) barrel that can be swapped out and used for lower cost practice.


The guys over at Modern Weapons Systems have been burning lean muscle tissue into the night for the past several months coming up with a TCM AR platform that uses a 35-round stick magazine. Dubbed the ION system, they had several on hand at last month’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas and have been chronicling the development and testing of these interesting offshoots on their social media account.

mws ion
If a more traditional varmint and small game hunting rifle is wanted, Rock Island Armory is also pushing their new series of bolt-action mid-range rifles in the same caliber. While they ship with a 5-round mag standard, they will accept the same pistol mags as their 1911 TCMs.


TCM Glocks

Don’t get too excited just yet, Glock isn’t making a .22TCM. However Armscor/RIA did unveil at SHOT a TCM 9R (shortened a few millimeters to fit a 9mm sized weapon) chambered conversion kit that will fit Gen 1, 2 and 3, G17 and G22 Glocks. The kit, which just replaces the top half of the gun (slide, barrel, spring, rod), is set to start shipping later this summer for about $399.

“We think this is the start of something big,” said President and CEO of Armscor / Rock Island Armory, Martin Tuason in a statement obtained by University of Guns.

“The enthusiasm we’ve seen around the TCM has only grown over time as new shooters discover what it can do. Imagine giving anybody that owns a popular 9mm pistol the same ability to experience the blazing performance of our favorite cartridge, we’re on our way to making that dream a reality,” said Tuason.

Moreover, we are inclined to believe him.

Going for some quiet time: 5 Suppressors for your Glock

No matter whether you call them “cans,” “silencers,” or what, since 2011 legal suppressor ownership across the country has more than doubled from just under over a quarter million to more than 571,000 today. Legal in 39 states, Glock owners from coast to coast exploring the use of these devices.

Why suppress a Glock anyway?

First off, forget Hollywood. If you watch enough action films, you have probably seen the movie hit man come in, zap a couple rounds off, and take out the mark quietly and effortlessly– just like magic. Well, that’s all it is, movie magic. First off, there is no such thing as a true ‘silencer’. All these devices do is muffle or suppress the sound signature caused by gas escaping at the muzzle of a gun when it is fired.

These suppressors are beneficial for hunters, target shooters, and the like as they reduce muzzle flash, improve accuracy (more on this later) and eliminate the need for hearing protection on the range to a large degree. In short, legal suppressors are not the evil silencers of movie hit men. They are, instead, a safety device to help you enjoy your sport.

asa_edu_map_100414There are also hunting applications. According to the American Suppressor Association, 34 states allow the use of a suppressor to take game and/or nuisance animals. Of those, a number also allow handguns as approved firearms for hunting. This means for instance that your Glock 21, equipped with the proper (and legal) “can” on the end of a threaded barrel, can be used to take wild hogs in certain states. When hunting with suppressors you have the advantage of preserving your hearing without having to wear ear-pro. Should you be going after such wily critters as those old hogs, this can be very beneficial.

What kinds of hoops are involved in getting a suppressor?

Introduced in the 1900s these devices were sold for peanuts back then to allow shooters to practice without waking the neighbors on a Saturday morning. Then in 1934, they were, largely without reason, lumped in with machineguns and short barreled rifles/shotguns under the National Firearms Act (NFA), which regulated these seemingly innocent devices as Title II firearms. In most European countries, it’s perfectly legal to buy and sell suppressors over the counter and they can’t figure out what are hang up is with them over here.

There are hundreds of Class 3 dealers around the country.

To get your suppressor you have to go through the NFA process, which involves filling out your ATF Form 4, adding pictures and fingerprints, getting a signature from your local chief of police or sheriff (CLEO) and sending it all in with a check for $200. If you use a gun trust (which are as cheap as $99) instead of trying to get one as an individual, you can skip the CLEO requirement. The fastest way of submitting it is with your dealer uploading an eForm, for which current turnaround time is about four months. Paper forms mailed in the old-fashioned way get your tax stamp back to you in about twice that time.

Great simplified video from Silencerco, done in a 1950s theme, but with pretty accurate info.

While you wait for your tax stamp, shop around for threaded barrels for your G-ride as you will need one.

Typically screw on cans are the best way to go and they can be had for anywhere from $500-$900. Here are a few of the better suggestions.

AAC Evolution

Glock 17 with AAC Evolution

Glock 17 with AAC Evolution

Boasting what is billed as the ASAP system by maker Advanced Armament Corp, the Evolution series suppressor is a favorite with Glock users who want to go quiet. According to AAC, “The ASAP system is a recoil boosting mechanism which ensures reliable pistol operation, allows for zero-shift adjustment, provides for modularity to support multiple weapons platforms, and aids in making the Evolution one of the most efficient silencers in the world.” Weighing in at 9.7-ounces and 7.73-inches overall, it’s also as small as some 22LR suppressors. MSRP $650. Only downside is that its 9mm only.


Should you want to play with the bigger .40S&W and .45ACP calibers, AAC also markets their Ti-Rant system in at least four different versions that go up to those bores in both long and previously military-only “Short” versions. Utilizing the same ASAP system as their Evolution cans, these reliable alternatives can go down to just 5.07-inches overall. MSRP $795-850.


gentec tundra glock
Gemtech, one of the most recognized names in the suppressor game, has long marketed their Tundra series dry suppressors. Weighing in at 8.5-ounces with an overall length of just 7.2-inches, these cans come in a wide array of threading options including 1/2-28, or 1/2-36 Thread or M13.5×1-LH Thread. MSRP is an affordable $750.

The company also just introduced their new GM-45 and GM-9 series suppressors with an innovative G-Core baffle system and an attractive $595 price tag.

SWR9 (Silencerco Octane)

Glock 17 with Octane mounted Photo Flickr

Glock 17 with Octane mounted Photo Flickr

Silencerco has been marketing this series for years and they are one of the bets options out there. Using a CTA internal baffle stack that snaps together for easy cleaning and positive reassembly, they also come with interchangeable pistons with the 12.10-ounce .45ACP version also able to fire calibers down to 9mm and .22LR so you can have one can to rule them all. You can also with a svelte 9mm and lower option that is about an inch shorter and an ounce lighter. MSRP is $849.

No matter which option you choose, be sure to get a modern suppressor that is disassemble for cleaning. While there are some old-school options out there that use wipes, that have to be replaced every 50-shots or so, a good baffle-type can should last you for thousands of shots if maintained properly.


silencerco osprey_silencer_9mm_19mar_01Another entry from Silencerco is the slab-sided Osprey series. In a departure from traditional can-style designs, this very boxy suppressor uses its eccentric design (meaning the bore doesn’t run down the true center of the muffler) to give the gasses more room to move. According to the company, “The Osprey contains approximately 30 percent more internal volume than a traditional round tube silencer at the same length, but does so without obscuring the shooter’s sight picture or adding excessive width and length.”

Available in 9, 40 and .45, they also have the same sort of piston system as the Octane series and run the same cost ($849)

No matter what your choice, everyone enjoys a little peace— through quiet firepower.

Glock or 1911, who wins?

Yes, we did it; we opened up that age-old debate that has raged for the past quarter-century, which is a better platform: the modern safety action Glock or the classic and time tested 1911?

Well, we are glad you asked.

The 1911

John Moses Browning began dozens of designs over the course of a fascinating life. It is proper to say he was the Thomas Edison of the gun world– only that could be giving Edison too much credit. One of JMB’s best-known and most remembered mechanical constructs was the Model 1911 pistol that Colt Firearms began producing in the year that carries its name. Single-action with a nice, long sight radius, the gun is accurate and has proven its worth in conflicts the world over– still seeing extensive active service today with military and law enforcement, albeit in a more modern versions than when it was first introduced.

The Colt 1991, today's modern basic 1911

The Colt 1991, today’s modern basic 1911

The basic 1911-style pistol still made by Colt Firearms Co is the Model 1991. This gun is the direct descendant of the long line of Browning-series guns. As such, it’s instantly recognizable with its ling trigger, flat mainspring housing, and distinctive profile. Updated over time, it has a lowered ejection port, high-profile sights (rather than the old narrow style military sights) and a solid aluminum trigger. They run on a MSRP for 2014 at $974 with the blued carbon steel construction and wood diamond grips.

The Glock

Herr Gaston Glock, a mechanical engineer with a pure talent for shrewd business, threw away the gun designs of his day and started with a blank sheet of paper in the 1970s to design the perfect handgun. His perfected prototype was one of the first to make extensive (and successful) use of polymer materials for the frame, keeping steel for the slide, barrel and inner rails among others. This sliced off weight and cost, while producing a simple gun that required few tools to perform repairs and only consisted of a legendary 33-parts. Fighting an uphill battle against being a ‘plastic gun’ and ‘not made here,’ Glock is today every bit a household name as much as Colt.

The Gen 4 Glock 21

The Gen 4 Glock 21

To be clear, a match-up between these two platforms for the sake of argument should be in the same caliber: 45ACP. While there are no doubt a number of 9mm Luger chambered M1911 models, and of course this comparison is apples to oranges to begin with, to try and level the playing field let’s just stick with .45ACP.

This gives us the Glock 21. This gun today is in its 4th Generation of design. While Glock doesn’t list the MSRP on its website, there are a few price lists floating around that put it at about $598.

Comparing the two side by side

Let’s see how the two guns stack up according to the specs:

glock 21 1911

Well, as you can see, for two guns that you think would be so different, they actually spec out very close to being the same. Although the Glock, being polymer, is lighter on average, once the gun is loaded, the weights are just a quarter pound apart. Length and width-wise, although the Colt is considered one of the longest pistols on the market, its just a quarter inch longer than the Glock while the Austrian gun, long derided for being ‘thick’ is actually about the same width at its widest point. Of course, on the Colt the slide is much slimmer, at under an inch, which for many is a benefit. Still, when you break out the ruler and scales, these guns are about the same.

This brings us to the elephant in the room that is magazine capacity. The Glock is a double-stack mag gun, which means it brings 13 rounds to the party. The Colt, a 103-year old design, is single stack and always has been. Standard flush-fit mags for the 1911 these days hold 7-8 rounds. No matter how you slice it, the Glock carries more slugs to the bash than the Colt. Sure there are double stack 1911s (Para, etc.) but that’s a completely different deal. And yes, we know you can get extended mags for the Colt, but they make extended mags for the G21 as well, so that’s a moot point.

1911 and glock

Now we turn to construction. The Colt is a modernized design from an era in which everything was made of steel. As such, by and large it’s either made from forged, cast, or bar stock steel with a few minor MIM parts thrown in for good measure. This gives the gun a solid ‘feel’ and puts a smile on the face of anyone who detests polymer. The Glock on the other hand, is about as polymer as you can get (which means its also about $400 cheaper). Now nothing against polymer, it can’t rust, is durable, and as long as you keep it away from big dogs or heat higher than 300 degrees or so, will last for centuries. Therefore, this category is up to the individual’s taste.

In comparing actions, these guns are wildly different. The single action toggle barrel design of the Colt includes a barrel bushing and take down pin, all of which can be confusing to inexperienced gun owners trying to clean their pistol. The Glock on the other hand, can be field stripped by even a newcomer to the shooting world fairly easily and without the problem of a errant recoil spring flying across the room. Triggers, while taking the same amount of force, also are completely different while each having cheerleaders and detractors on both sides.

It can be argued by some that the Colt, with its passive beavertail grip safety and active slide-locking frame safety lever, is safer than the Glock, which has neither. However, Glock owners are quick to point out that their gun is safer to carry while loaded when compared to the cocked-and-locked practice of the 1911-style pistols.

Each gun has a gun body of aftermarket parts and those who know how to fix them, although the Colt literally has thousands of grip options due to its replaceable panels, which is a feature the Glock cannot replicate.

While the Glock is cheaper than the Colt, clones such as Rock Island and others can be had for as little as $399, but arguably are of a slightly different construction standard. Still, this negates the cost factor.

Overall, other than the magazine thing and personal preference, these guns are a pretty good match.

Hell, we say call it a draw and get one of each.

glock 21 compared to 1911