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:
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.