Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Budischowsky TP-70 .22 LR

The Budischowsky TP-70 was the brainchild of German designer Edgar Budischowsky and chambered in .22 Long Rifle and .25 ACP.  It was a recoil operated, double action pistol in which the action is locked by the weight and inertia of the slide and pressure exerted by the recoil spring.  Production began in 1973 and from there the dates and facts get a little fuzzy.  In 1977 the production was taken over by Norton Arms and reports of reliability and quality issues with the Norton versions began to surface. A few years after that Norton arms faded into history and doesn't even rate an entry in the Blue Book of Gun Values.

In evaluating this pistol one needs to remember that in 1973 we did not have the plethora of micro .380 pistols that we enjoy today.  In '73 if you wanted a pocket pistol you were relegated to a .22 or a .25 which was exactly the chamberings which Budischowsky offered.  There were several choices of pocket guns back in the '70's but quality differed.  They were usually ammo sensitive in both chamberings and the powder in the .22 rimfire cartridges did not consistently ignite.  However, the pistols made by Budischowsky had a favorable reputation and when they hit the market they were a novelty being an all stainless steel traditional double action handgun.

Here are the full specs for the little TP-70:

Overall Length
4.65 inches
3.31 inches
.92 inches
2.6 inches
12.3 ounces
7 + 1 (.22 LR)

Originally the Budischowsky came with black checkered plastic grips but the previous owner of this specimen upgraded to either ivory or giraffe bone; I am not exactly sure which there are and have not taken the grip panes off to see if there are any inside markings.  Whatever the grips are they caught my eye as they make this TP-70 a handsome package.  The original owner also applied some skateboard tape to the front strap to get a better hold on the pistol since the grips are very smooth.

And the skateboard tape was applied to the back strap as well.  The sights are fixed and in my research I did not find any mention of there being any dots however, this pistol has had an indentation drilled in the front sight with is filled with a red polymer substance.

The sale of this TP-70 also came with an outside-the-waistband holster.  This pistol was a part of an estate so the broker handling the sale did not have any information on the previous owner but whoever it was certainly took strides to upgrade the little gun and must have carried it as there would otherwise be no reason to put the skateboard tape on the front and back straps.

Let's look at the targets!

I did not have any of my regular favorite .22 LR ammo available so I had to use the three loads that I had on hand.

First up was some 40 grain lead Blazer ammo:

Here's 14 rounds at 15 feet

And 14 rounds at 35 feet

Then I tried some Winchester 36 grain jacketed hollow point

Here's 21 rounds at 21 feet:

And 21 rounds at 35 feet

Lastly, I used some Winchester M-22 40 grain black copper plated round nose ammo

Here's 21 rounds at 21 feet

And five rounds at 35 feet

After five rounds I could tell that the TP-70 did not find this to be an accurate round so I did not waste any more precious .22 ammo at 35 feet.

During the day I shot a little over 200 rounds and experienced 4 light primer shots (all of which fired on the second pull of the trigger) and one failure to extract with the Winchester M-22 ammo.

I also had quite a few pocket holsters in my "holster cabinet" which fit the Budischowsky just fine.


I originally purchased this one from North American Arms back when I had one of their .32 caliber Guardian pistols.

And the one that worked out the best was from Remora.

After disassembling, cleaning and reassembling the TP-70
It became apparent how much time and effort Edgar Budischowsky put into the design and fitting of the TP-70.  All parts move smoothly and fit precisely something I did not see in the Raven .25 and Sterling .22 that I owned back in the '70's.

I need to spend some more time with this pistol to find a round that offers more consistent ignition and good accuracy and then this classy little pistol will be riding in my pocket all summer long.


Greg said...

Nice review. Takes me back to those good old days of the cheap bug fun 22s and 25s before everything became so serious. Wish I had kept a few! !!

lee n. field said...

The Budischowsky (in .25) was the one pocket pistol that Mel Tappan spoke well of in his Survival Guns book.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Where is all the .22 lr standard pressure ammo going? I haven't seen any in Walmart in over a year. It seems strange .22 ammo would pretty much disappear since everything else is readily available.

Cabelas supposedly gets a small quantity from time to time and Sportsmans Guide doesn't even list it anymore. Is it just a consequence of hoarding. Is it just that people are buying several bricks now instead of seveal boxes?

Matt L. DeTectre

Anonymous said...

I bought a .25 TP70 the first year they were out. I have shot same over the years and have never experienced a malfunction. My brother bought one, as did his best friend, and both report similar satisfactory experiences. I would buy ten more if they were available!

Unknown said...

I have one it is difficult to put on safe easy off I never carry chambered so I carry un chambered on safe. if need U chamber discreetly move to off safety first round on double actiin.