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!