No one had to twist my arm to do the review featured here. This test was just plain fun.
I recently experimented with Tactical Solutions’ TSG–22, .22 Long Rifle Conversion for Glock pistols. I am a fan of sub-caliber training to improve shooting skills. Recently I recently began playing with a Crosman MAR-177, a PCP (Pre-Charged Pneumatic) upper in .177 for an AR-15 lower. It was designed as a serious trainer for service rifle competition and has all of the accuracy and twice the fun for practicing with the service carbine. The TSG-22 is a similar concept for Glock handguns.
The TSG–22 is a complete kit, which replaces the Glock slide assembly. It is a slide, barrel, recoil spring and complete upper operating system for a Glock receiver. As a drop-in solution, it does not require tools, fitting or adjustments for the end user. One simply removes the centerfire slide from the Glock 17, 22, 34, 35 and 37, and replaces it with the TSG-22. The .22 LR magazines have the same form factor and similar operating system as the centerfire version.
The TSG-22 slide has the same fixtures and dimensions as original Glock sights, allowing the law enforcement officer to configure this slide the same as the duty slide. My personal preference is XS Big Dot Sights (you can find this review in LET’s September 2012 issue.)
The barrel on the TSG-22 is heavy, a result of maintaining similar dimensions to the original with a much smaller chamber and caliber. It also has a recessed target crown, which ensures accuracy is protected from abuse. Since it is a .22, the ejector is attached to the barrel using an Allen screw. This ejector should not be removed for any reason, in fact removal will void the warranty. Anyone who shoots .22 LR often will testify that fixtures like ejectors rarely wear out, and this one leans toward the over-engineered side. The TSG-22 can be purchased with a threaded barrel (1/2 inches x 28 TPI), if the agency wishes to train with suppressors on this product.
The recoil shield area, where the base of the cartridge contacts the slide, is part of the firing pin housing, which captures the firing pin, an assembly similar to Glock’s striker assembly. The Tactical Solutions version does a fine job engaging the “cruciform” shaped (trigger bar) Glock firing mechanism. The finish of the inner parts is meticulous.
When reassembling the firing pin housing, I kept losing the firing pin safety spring, which is teeny. I use a protective mat and keep a magnet nearby for just this purpose. Field stripping and routine cleaning is all this product needs during normal use. I recommend that shooters remove the firing pin housing assembly every few maintenance sessions, not every field strip.
The TSG-22 field strips like a Glock slide, except with an additional recoil guide rod fixture. This fixture gives the barrel just a little more clearance for the steep angle of the barrel when pulling it from the slide. This allows for tighter tolerances, which means tighter groups on the range.
Tactical Solutions has several similar products, including an AR-22 conversion, which is a .22 LR complete upper for the AR-15, and a .22 LR conversion for 1911 style handguns. Eventually, I will get a new AR-22LT, the lightweight 22 LR conversion, suitable for plinking and training.
The TSG-22 slide has a nitride coating that gives it the subdued look consistent with Glock products. For a .22 LR product, the durability of this finish is tested a lot more than a centerfire counterpart. After all, a Winchester 555 (.22 LR 555, a bulk pack of 555 rounds 36-grain HP) is about the cheapest afternoon of training in the industry. That’s several times more training one would do on a centerfire gun. My holster use and shooting sessions did not cause any wear to the finish.