III. Firearm Information by Type

C. Semi-Automatic Pistols

2. Models and Manufacturers

u. Taurus

1. Taurus Model PT-22
by Julian Macassey (bongo!julian@netcom.com)

This pistol is a copy of the small Beretta M21. It is made in the U.S. by Taurus. It is a semi-auto pistol chambered for the 22 Long Rifle cartridge. The magazine holds 10 rounds. Extra magazines are available either via gun shows and gun stores or direct from Taurus.

The gun has a "tilt up barrel". This is a different design than the usual "Browning" design with a slide and a barrel held in by the slide. On the left side of the gun is a lever. Hitting this lever causes the barrel to pop up. This is all that is needed for cleaning or to put a round in the chamber to carry with a full mag and one up the spout.

The gun has a conventional safety. It is double action only. Every pull of the trigger cocks the action and fires. There is a magazine safety in the gun. This means the trigger can not be pulled unless there is a magazine in the gun. It can be an empty magazine. The gun has no hammer spur, so it can not be cocked by bringing back the hammer. The gun is cocked and fired with a single pull of the trigger.

The barrel is 68mm long. There is very slight rifling in the barrel.

The gun fits well in the hand and unlike many small semi-auto pistols seems to have the slide come back above the web between forefinger and thumb. The grips look like mahogany - obviously some similar hard wood. They seem rough hewn, as if they were made by a boy scout for a merit badge. The rest of the gun is well finished and black Parkerised.

For its size the gun is fairly accurate.

The gun has one drawback. The action does not have a cartridge extractor. It depends on blowback recoil to remove the spent cartridge. So if you manually cycle the action, it will not extract the cartridge in the chamber. It will try and feed another cartridge on top of the cartridge already there. This means if there is a missfire, or you wish to clear the action, you have to release the barrel and winkle the cartridge out, then rack the slide to put another round in the chamber. Also if in a moment of stress you rack the slide to make sure you have one up the spout, you will just jam the gun. Most actions in that scenario will just dump out the round in the chamber and slip in a fresh one. Knowing this idiosyncrasy, you can train for it.

The gun, being small, is easily cleaned with any solvent and a Q-Tip (Cotton Bud).

This gun is a "pocket pistol", it will fit nicely inside a jacket pocket or a woman's hand bag. As it is small, it will also carry well on an ankle holster. Most gun shops carry nylon belt holsters to carry this size of gun. For extended carry, to reduce wear and tear on the gun a simple holster can be made for handbag use.

Taurus International Manufacturing
16175, North West Forty-Ninth Avenue
Florida 33014
Phone: +1 305.624.1115