.22 TCM / .9MM Rock Island 1911By Action Arms
Fred Craig wanted to design an American cartridge that could offer excellent muzzle energy and light recoil, and combine it with the one true American pistol platform….then ultimately end up with a very unique and modern high capacity combat pistol.
Second, he had economics in mind because in his opinion the firearm industry is heading quickly toward less industrial metal use. One day the idea of shooting a .45 acp will seem a bit ridiculous… when it costs lets say $1 or more per shot. Those days are quickly approaching and he decided why not get out there with a new cartridge that will offer the market an answer to that dilemma.
For the past several years he has been working as a design consultant…developing new firearms for S&W and for a company called Armscor of the Philippines (Rock Island). The relationship with Armscor led him to design several new products for them, and to spend the majority of the past few years in the Philippines getting them into production.
Since Armscor is also a large manufacturer of ammunition, (most people don’t realize that) there is a huge amount of resources at hand. Craig originally started out smaller with a .30 Carbine case and a 9mm-platform pistol. This netted the performance similar to a 5.7×28, which a lot of you are familiar with. Although this was good, I wanted more out of the cartridge so I ended up working with a .223 Rem case. The key to the cartridge is our proprietary bullet design. This short truncated head allows for maximum case length, thus more powder and a bigger BANG! So, the cartridge case in all practical sense is a short .223 Rem. The magic comes with the bullet head design, and finally with the development of a recoil system that can handle the cartridge properly.
After six months of development, he perfected what he now refers to as the Micro-Mag pistol. The frame is basically a high capacity para-ordnance style lower with some weight taken out of it. The Rock Island pistols come with an additional .9mm barrel and recoil spring, making the pistol extremely versatile. The pistol can utilize the same magazines for both cartridges allowing 17 rounds in .22TCM and 18 rounds of .9mm.