The Rimfire Report: The PT22 – Taurus’ 22LR Pocket Rocket

Hello and welcome back to another Edition of The Rimfire Report! This ongoing weekly series is all about the rimfire firearm world and its many different types of guns, ammunition, and history! Recently we’ve been looking at a lot of modern releases like the Bergara BMR and B14R, even the Taurus PT22 and there is another brand new 22LR semi-auto pistol that will be hitting the market soon! So in light of all the new stuff coming out, I wanted to take a gander back at one of the neatest, and maybe most useless types of handguns on the market – pocket-sized 22LR pistols, and in particular the Taurus PT22. The Taurus PT22 is a pocket-sized semi-automatic pistol that offers a compact and lightweight design, making it an ideal choice for concealed carry and personal protection – if you believe that 22LR is suitable for your needs in that department. Today, we will delve into the specifications and features of the Taurus PT22, discuss the suitability of the .22 LR cartridge for self-defense, share insights from range experiences, and ultimately figure out where it stands compared to similar firearms in its class.

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The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 – Taurus’ 22LR Pocket Rocket

Specs/Features

With a barrel length of 2.75 inches and an overall length of 5.1 inches, the PT22 pistol is tiny in terms of compactness. Weighing approximately 11 ounces, it is easily concealable and comfortable to carry for extended periods in a pocket holster. The polymer frame and textured synthetic grips enhance control, allowing for a firm and secure hold during firing with the grip being fairly “fat” so that people with larger hands can still hold it comfortably.

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

Similar to the Beretta 21A Bobact, the PT22 features a long and heavy double-action trigger pull in addition to a manual safety, a tilting barrel design, and a sub-ten-round magazine capacity. One key difference between these two very similar handguns is that the Taurus is a Double Action Only design whereas the Beretta 21A Bobact is technically a DA/SA design with a much more pleasant single-action trigger pull which is a boon to accuracy with tiny pocket-sized pistols like these.

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

Another key difference between these two similar handguns is that the Taurus features a typical button-style magazine release instead of the Beretta 21A’s weird side button release that requires you to completely change your grip in order to perform a magazine change. Another small advantage I think the Taurus design has over the Bobcat is the magazine’s inclusion of a pinky extension which helps a lot with maintaining a solid grip.

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

Range Experience

In terms of reliability, the Taurus PT22 is about as good as the Beretta 21A Bobcat. While it doesn’t have the fun threaded barrel features that allow you to shoot suppressed, the tiny little handgun can keep up with quick double taps with a pretty decent variety of ammunition. I’ve shot everything from cheap Federal Automatch to CCI Mini-Mags and even some of Federal’s Self-Defense Oriented PUNCH ammo and it all runs great through the PT22. Lighter loads like CCI Standard don’t perform quite as reliably, but with that being said, ignition has never been the problem with this gun, rather goofy magazine issues or rounds missing the feed ramp and getting jammed up between the slide and the breach.

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

The PT22 demonstrates commendable accuracy within typical self-defense distances – especially considering its simple sights. The compact grip and shorter sight radius may present some challenges when attempting precise shots, especially for individuals with larger hands since the trigger pull is both long and quite heavy at about 8 lbs. When the gun does malfunction, or you’re charging the pistol from a fresh magazine, things can be quite difficult as the slide is unforgivingly heavy to manipulate and is also quite small making it hard to get a grip on even with the “fish-scale” style serrations at the rear. However, the intention with the tip-up barrel is that the first round is going to be loaded directly into the chamber by the user.

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

The most typical malfunction I ran into had to do with some of the less “spicy” ammo we shot out of the PT22. Most of those spent casings just flat-out refused to exit the chamber and the subsequent failed extraction would jam up the whole gun. A neat feature the PT22 and the Beretta 21A share is an independently tilting barrel. This makes clearing malfunctions, or simply adding an additional round to a freshly loaded mag much easier, and quite safe. Since the barrel is more or less fixed during the firing procedure, this ensures that if you ever manage to find someone to replace your factory barrel with a threaded one, you’ll have no difference in reliability.

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

Conclusion – Worth Buying?

The PT22 is another entry in the 22LR pocket pistol genre that I think works just fine but ultimately offers nothing special or unique over the other offerings in its class. While it’s worlds ahead of the infamous Jennings J22 in terms of reliability, it lacks the capacity and the features that later iterations of the semi-auto 22LR pocket pistol concept would include like drop-free magazines, threaded barrels, and better sights.

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

Taurus doesn’t appear to be manufacturing these handguns anymore but you can typically find them online for about $200 if you’re curious about one or just a collector of odd rimfire guns like I am. I wouldn’t ever recommend one of these for self-defense as while the ignition is reliable, clearing a malfunction with one of these guns is far too time-consuming and divorced from modern practice and I think there are better options on the market if you’re dead set on carrying a 22LR semi-auto pistol for self-defense.

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

If I had to sum it up with one thought, I think the Taurus PT22 is just the Poor Man’s Beretta 21A. It costs about half the price, looks about half as nice, and comes with about half of the features. I’d be interested to hear about your experiences with the Taurus PT22 rimfire pistol. Thanks as always for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report and we’ll see you all next week!

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

The Rimfire Report: The PT22 - Taurus' 22LR Pocket Rocket

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