Taurus has introduced a new .22 handgun, the TX22. But why? The market is flooded with .22s. Is there really a need for a new .22, especially one Taurus touts as a “full-sized” handgun? Do you think people would want to be caught in a self-defense situation with such a peashooter?

About the TX22

The TX22 is a striker-fired, polymer-frame handgun with an MSRP of $349. Two models are available (the only difference being cartridge capacity). One has a 10-round capacity and the other a 16-round capacity. Otherwise, the specs and magazines with purchase (two, polymer) are identical. The TX22 trigger has a firm wall and a 5-pound trigger thereafter, and the barrel is suppressor-ready.

Weight Height Width Barrel Length Overall Length
17.3 ounces 5.44 inches 1.25 inches 4.1 inches 7.06 inches


Manufacturer photo of a Taurus TX22 semi-automatic pistol chambered in .22 LR.

Is the .22 LR a good self-defense round? Regardless of your predisposition, it just might be. This is the new Taurus TX22 with 10-round magazine. (Photo courtesy of Taurus)

The Hits Keep Coming

  • Nov. 7, 2018 – Walnut Hills, Ohio: Victim shot multiple times in the chest and lives.
  • Oct. 1, 2018 – San Antonio, Texas: Teenager fights for life after being shot multiple times during argument.
  • Sept. 27, 2018 – Cincinnati, Ohio: Mother of two, shot 12 times when a gunman opened fire in a bank, is now back at home.
  • Aug. 14, 2018 – Houston, Texas: Man shot in head on Facebook Live sits up and speaks after four months.

The list goes on, which makes me wonder whether caliber or number of hits is the issue. Ed Head, an instructor at Gunsite Academy, says, “Most people stop fighting quickly after having been shot.” So a .22 LR might do the trick since our core mission is to stop a threat, not to kill someone.

Underpowered and Unreliable

The drawbacks to a .22 LR are well-known — and the TX22 won’t shoot .22 Mag. It’s a lightweight bullet and, even though it will easily penetrate multiple layers of drywall, its effectiveness could be minimized by angle, distance or multiple layers of heavy clothing.

Thus, a .22 is usually relegated to “plinking,” — if you can find a place to do that anymore — to some competitive events and for practice (rimfire rounds are relatively cheap). Of course, the problem with purchasing cheap rounds and expecting them to light up a perp in a critical situation is that cheap rounds may well hang fire or be duds altogether.

One and Done? No Way!

The benefits of a brilliantly loaded .22 LR, if Ed Head is correct, is that the marvelous magazine holds 16 rounds. I’ve seen people who fired a shot and then lowered the barrel so they could look at the target to see where they hit. Wrong! Especially wrong with a .22.

First, you can’t see a tiny hole or drip of blood at 10 yards, and firing a small round means you must pull the trigger until you stop the threat. If someone is coming into your safe zone, the closer he or she gets, the more damage and penetration the rounds will cause. I also believe that a .22 LR will give you more hits faster than a .45 ACP or a .38 Special because of the reduced blast and effort to hold the muzzle on target.

I think a .22 LR just might be an effective weapon for self-defense — small and concealable, with a large-capacity magazine. As for the large size of the TX22, what’s the point?