Saturday, September 10, 2011

Warm Weather Guns Part IV--The Taurus PT 22 Poly

Since we are heading into the second full week of September and we Minnesotans know that the first snowfall is not far behind I thought I had best finish the Warm Weather Handgun Series.  This last one, the Taurus PT 22 Poly is a honey of a little pistol.  There are two things that will flame up on this right away so let me deal with them:

1.  Average Joe does not recommend carrying a .22 long rifle for self defense.  Although Average Joe realizes that Sirhan Sirhan killed Robert Kennedy with a .22 Iver Johnson Cadet and the Israeli Mossad killed many terrorists with Beretta Model 70's in .22 LR all of these were planned assignations against unprepared, unarmed targets and multiple rounds were fired.  Had any of the above .22 users been faced with multiple targets their expenditure of rounds to incapacitate the first target would probably have left them high and dry.

2. To those who say Taurus makes substandard firearms I can only say "you're wrong".  Yes I am sure that some lemons make their way out of the factory as they do from all manufacturers.  I have had to send two new SIGs and two new Para Ordnance pistols back to the factory for repairs so it happens.

So there, I've said it...Taurus makes great handguns and the PT 22 Poly is certainly a great handgun.

I am going to do something I don't normally do and that is to start with the photos of the targets.  I think they speak volumes about what the PT 22 Poly can do and you will appreciate seeing them first and then going on to the specifications and handling qualities of the pistol.  I would also note that just about everyone that tried this pistol shot it as well as I did and were duly impressed by this handgun.

Here are two representative examples of the what the pistol is capable of at 21 feet:

Here are two at 31 feet:

And here is one at 50 feet:
Even at 50 feet all 8 rounds stayed within the 8 inch circle.

And now, on with the show!

Having owned a Beretta 21 and a stainless steel Taurus PT22 I can tell you I like this pistol well above the other two.  The handling, ergonomics, and accuracy are all top notch.  There is one feature to the PT 22 Poly that is both a pro and con and that is the width.  At 1.1 inches wide it is a little fat for a pocket pistol, although is certainly rides well in the pocket of most pairs of pants when using a proper pocket holster.  The width also has a very positive effect for me in that it puts the pad of my trigger finger right where it should be which helps me squeeze all the accuracy I can out of the little pistol.  When I first held the little polymer Taurus .22 I knew I had to have her and as she was retailing for just a hair over $200 she was a bargain to boot!

Taurus has also updated the profile of the PT 22 Poly by up sweeping the front of the trigger guard to the front of the frame giving it a sleek and dare I say "sexy" appearance.

Here are the rest of the PT 22 Poly's specifications:

Weight: 10.8 oz.
Height: 4.28 inches
Length: 4.98 inches

The PT 22 has an 8 + 1 capacity but unfortunately only comes with one magazine.  The trigger pull is double action only, very smooth, fairly long, but quite manageable at 6.5 pounds according to my Lyman Digital Trigger Pull Scale.

The sights are very small but actually quite usable.  The front sight's precise slant picks of available light making it more visible than such a small sight should be.  I think the targets back that statement up.

There are three controls all located on the left side of the pistol.  First is the slide safety.  It is located at the rear of the slide and is easily operated by the thumb of my shooting hand.  It makes a very positive "click" when you move it on and off and is very unlikely to inadvertently disengage.  The next control is the magazine release button.  It is located just behind and toward the bottom of the trigger guard on the frame and while it is fairly large for a small pistol it protrudes from the frame just about the same distance as the grip hence my hand had to be readjusted so that the thumb was almost at a right angle to the pistol in order to release the magazine.  The third control is the barrel release lever which is located behind the trigger guard toward the top of the frame.  Push the lever forward and the barrel pops up.  This is great for loading the + 1 of the 8 + 1 rounds and is also a very safe way of checking to see if the chamber is loaded or clear.   

I really like this pistol and have carried it a lot in a Remora holster both inside my waistband and inside my pocket.  Because of it's light 10.8 oz. weight it rides well in both places.

If you're looking for a back-up pistol or plinker and you want it to be small both in size and price the Taurus PT 22 Poly should be given a close examination.  I think you'll be happy you did!


Anonymous said...

I have really been interested in theses since they came out. I held one at my LGS the other day and it fit my hand just right. How is the reliability with different types of ammo?


Average Joe said...


It ate up everything I had:
1. American Eagle
3. CCI Stinger
4. Remington Yellow Jacket
5. Aguila Match which I was very interested in since it is a low powered round and will not cycle the action on some pistols including my Beretta 21.

roger said...

I have a Yellow PT22. Has Blued slide. What is interesting is that there is not much to the gun. The poly reciever has the thin metal rails molded into it so the slide rids on them instead of trhe plastic.
Just had to get yellow cause the color is so un-gun like. The grips are nice too.

CRCobb said...

I bought one this weekend. I read this post during my post-purchase rationalization process, and realized that I had read it before buying my PT22. At the last moment I changed my mind and selected the stainless slide. Also, I had chosen the PT22 over some oter small guns.Thanks for the great review and your unconscious (on my part ) assistance.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I had a 94B5 revolver by Taurus, and I was impressed with its quality. I miss being able to shoot .22LR at the range, and since I'm into pocket pistols lately, I figure the PT22 is the perfect choice. I am trying to decide between the metal and poly versions, and I think I'm going to choose the poly. I prefer the design of the trigger guard, and I like the fact that poly can't rust. I don't normally pick stainless barrels, but I'm leaning that way on this gun. Besides, going to the stainless on this pistol is less than $20 difference. Anyway, Average Joe, you have one of the best reviews I've read on this pistol. Gun Blast also has a nice review on their site with similar findings; in other words, this gun is accurate and excellent.

Rod said...

A friend of mine has a PT-22, he is having problems with the rounds jamming at the top of the chamber and not feeding into the chamber. What do you think is going on? Thanks Rod

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the rounds that you are using are not hot enough to fully eject the spent casing.

Duane said...

You did a good job on the review of the Taurus PT22 and it was surprising on some of the areas of the reviews while other areas of the review it wasn't surprising. One complaint I have read on forums about Taurus USA is their delay in answering phones and their lack of providing a email address where customers can communicate with them. The only part of the review I was disappointed with was your opinion on the 22 caliber not being a good self defensive round. I think this is a subject that is and has been repeatedly discussed with every one criticizing one caliber over another and why one caliber is better than another or why a revolver is better than a pistol or vice versa. There are many reasons why people choose a certain weapon and caliber over another that could include particular circumstances, medical conditions, physical disabilities, or even for financial reasons. I think the more important issue is a person has a weapon to give them a chance in protecting themselves regardless of the caliber. What works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another person but it also doesn't mean that either one is wrong for the weapon or caliber of their choice. Statistics say 94% of the time just the displaying of a weapon has stopped a person from becoming a victim of a crime. In the other 6% if a person is not capable of hitting their target it really doesn't matter if they are using a larger caliber weapon.

Anonymous said...

The poly pt22 is an excellent pistol. This little pistol packs a lot of punch.

just lookin said...

Thinking about pickin one up,like the price weight and cap.i wonder what other ammo she can chew if you cant find cci and if hp is a good enough pressure for blowback.

Tadatadum said...

I've had my PT 22 since I became aware of them 20 some years ago. Its ate everything its been fed and been stone reliable for well over 2000 rds.
I pocket carry this when I'm too lazy for anything else, its served me very well for the $149 I believe I dropped on it back then.

Anonymous said...

I have one and really love the way it fits my hand....much better than other compacts or sub compacts....I was considering the Taurus curve to better fit my pocket because the poly is thick....but the overall niceties of the poly make me feel that I have the right one.....better grip, easy to load with pop up barrel, easy to clean, accurate, etc.....

road dog said...

I have a 302 sterling Been trying to dial it in still i would not trust it but it got me to thinking about what you are saying The pt sounds like a good gun But i just cant see trusting a 22 cal when a good 38 or 9mm that you can trust when in need And then a 22lr for backup i think would be the way to go No doubt 22s can do the job But for those who are honest people stay safe and the ones that depend on you sometimes one shot is all you have While 22s are accurate so are 9mm and 45s dont kid yourself one well placed round will stop them in their tracks But cus of you all ill be looking into a pt

Duane said...

I have owned the PT22 and I can tell you that right out of the box I have put 600 rounds through mine. The only times I've had issues with it was when I was using Winchester (white bulk box for Walmart) but when shooting Remington Golden Bullets, CCI, Federal I have shot 600 rounds without any problems or issues. It is small enough for carrying in my pocket and because of the light weight of the PT22 I will carry it over my Taurus M905 revolver (9 mm). The PT22 poly would be a good selection and I would recent it to any one.

Nathan Clark said...

Have the poly pt22 for about 10 days and I can say I am impressed with the little guy. I have lots of handguns but this is my second taurus and bought it because I liked the 85 poly so much that I bought a week before the 22.Put 400 rounds through cci 40 gr standard and Hv works like a champ.

Nathan Clark said...

Good little gun 400 rounds in 10 days cci standard and high velocity.

Anonymous said...

Have Had My Pt 22 since 94 Great Pocket pistol , still a Favorite , fun to shoot, and cheap to shoot ,

Philip Hertzler said...

Just got mine waiting to go out and run a few hundred rounds through it feels great in the hand.

Anonymous said...

I loved my pt22 until I cleaned the mag and the mag spring plate broke. I had the gun 2 years without any problems and I tough I"dclan the mag---big mistake. The cheap tin? Mag bottom spring platelip tat bgoes into the finger rest snapped off. This part s very poory made. Do NOT remove or clean mag r this part brake. Taurus customer service will not replace or sell me another plate. So now I have to buy another mag because a 2 cent tin piece is broke. Taurus has NOT improved their products or customer service.

Cindy Patterson said...

HI ...I just bought the PT-22 Love how it feels in my hand.. The shop let me shoot one just like it so I could feel how it done and I must say it felt nice.. I am a new shooter and was told by the gun shop to ONLY shoot High Velocity bullets in it.. THEN other people told me this was Horse POOP and just use a CCI standard velocity PLEASE someone just tell me which one to but ..Standard is somewhat cheaper and IF it will shoot them that would be nice.. I am a Woman and just need some GOOD TRUE ADVICE ...Thanks

Nathan Clark said...

Cindy you can use both. The gun shop folks have their reasons but if you read the booklet that comes with the PT-22 both are fine. I have 2 pt-22's and they cycle just find with the standard velocity cci ammo. Keeping the little gun clean is the secret to reliability. Good luck and clean clean clean.

Duane said...

Cindy.... I have a PT22 and a PT22 Poly and I have shot Remington Golden Bullets, CCI Mini Mags, and Federal with no jams or misfires. Like Nathan says the most important is to keep it clean.

Unknown said...

Have shot 100+ rounds thru it. Jammed only once, all on cheap target grade 22lr. I will say that the jam was the most stress free and easy jam/no shot by pulling the lever to raise the bore... Great gun for both gun afficienado and gun newbie. I liken it to having a revolver and always knowingif it's loaded or not.

FRANK said...

My wife is trying to manage her anticipating the shot issue with her 38spl. Also small arthritic hands led us to the Pt 22 amazing platform for using 22lr rounds. Yes limited in many ways... Either this round or no carry for my wife... Pay attention to velocity of ammo... Will agravate you if the load is not for this gun... Get the load as called out in manual... We bought two... I will carry mine at church and crowded situations... The 38 split is my carry of choice... I do like the gun very much even though I know it will fall short for some situations.

Rich said...

Bought this for my wife, She had a LCP and hated the recoil + had problems racking the slide
My PT-22 was defective out of the box called Taurus they provided for shipping both ways Came back excellent fired several types of ammo no problems all were 40gr 1200 fps or higher
She loves this gun carries it always She is also way more accurate with this gun

Hog said...

Had problems Tauraus fixed them ,they paid shipping BW ,Wife loves the gun especially tilt barrel ,,She had problems racking the slide on her LCP ,+ she hated it's recoil
Loves her PT22 and carries it always, also shoots this often and can get good shot groupings
We use all 40gr and 1200fps +ammo