February 10, 2022
Rimfire steel target matches are fun to shoot for people of all ages and skill levels, but not everybody wants to spend a fortune to get in the game. Taurus has answered the call for a less expensive rimfire semiauto that’s suitable for match shooting, and based on initial impressions this gun is a winner.
Dubbed the TX22 Competition, this new .22 LR match pistol is a variant of the company’s popular TX22 semiauto pistol that debuted a few years ago. Like the original TX22, the Competition version is a striker-fired, blowback-operated semiauto with a polymer frame and an aluminum slide.
The upper portion of the Competition model’s slide is skeletonized from the ejection port to just behind the front sight. The top of the breech portion of the barrel takes a base plate, and the two included adapters allow the pistol to accept a number of red dot optics, including the Trijicon RMR, Burris FastFire, Sightmark Mini, Leupold DeltaPoint and several other popular models.
The base plates fit on the front portion of the adapter and hold the optic in position, and because the optic is attached to the barrel, it is always held in the same relative position to the bore. This provides more repeatable accuracy than you get with slide-mounted optics.
The Competition has a five-inch, match-grade, steel alloy bull barrel with a threaded muzzle so you can easily mount a suppressor or other muzzle device. The barrel has a matte black oxide finish that blends well with the black oxide finish of the slide. The slide has front and rear slide serrations.
Taurus also has outfitted the pistol with a set of functional iron sights. The front sight post is pinned and can be swapped out with other Taurus sights, and the rear notch sight is screw adjustable.
The TX22’s trigger rivals those found on more expensive models. It has relatively clean, crisp and predictable trigger pull. Pull weight on my sample was 5.8 pounds. Reset is extremely short, less than 0.15 inch, so the gun is capable of blistering-fast follow-ups.
The TX22 Competition, like the original TX22, comes with one of the best grip designs of any .22 available today. Measuring 1.25 inches wide and featuring a prominently rounded backstrap, the grip fills the hand and promotes a consistent high grip for great control. The front of the grip has a generous undercut and a single ridge upon which the middle finger rests.
Mild surface texturing on the grip surface keeps the gun in place. Memory pads are molded into either side of the polymer frame and serve as landing spots for your support-hand thumb and finger when not on the trigger.
Unlike the standard TX22 pistol, all TX2 Competition pistols are currently available only with manual safeties. The design is ambidextrous, and the magazine release button is reversible. There’s a two-slot rail located on the dust cover for mounting lights and lasers if you’re buying this gun as an all-around rimfire. The pistol comes in a plastic hard-sided case with three 16-round (or 10-round, where required by law) magazines and a magazine loader.
The unloaded weight of the TX22 Competition is 23 ounces—much lighter than all-steel target pistols. Recoil isn’t an issue with .22 LR ammo, and the Taurus’ lighter weight makes it easy to shoot offhand for extended periods of time.
I topped the Taurus with the new Burris FastFire 4 red-dot optic, and the gun proved to be quite accurate. With loads it likes the Taurus was capable of five-shot groups around an inch at 25 yards. Interestingly, the gun didn’t seem to require target ammunition to perform at its highest level the way some target guns do.
I put more than 300 rounds through the gun in accuracy testing and various exercises. Very mild ammunition like CCI’s Quiet-22, which leaves the muzzle at around 800 fps, occasionally failed to cycle the slide, but there were no such problems with other ammo. The slide failed to lock back twice, and those two failures occurred while I was shooting off the bench. When firing offhand, the gun performed without any problems.
I like the positioning of the elongated magazine release button, and the slide stop is pronounced enough to be functional. The manual safety didn’t impress me because it’s not intuitive to operate, and I had to rotate the gun significantly to engage the lever.
The magazines worked well and locked securely in place without fuss. It’s worth noting that the magazine spring is rather hefty, and it’s best to compress the spring only far enough to accommodate another cartridge while loading. Compress the spring too much while loading and the cartridge may not align properly.
Despite its name, the TX22 Competition isn’t just for match shooters. In fact, I think this gun will be a big seller among recreational shooters who simply want an affordable, reliable, optics-ready .22. At a suggested retail price of $485, it stacks up very well against other semiauto target .22s.
Taurus TX22 Competition Specification
- Action Type: Striker-fired blowback semiauto rimfire
- Caliber: .22 LR
- Capacity: 16+1, 10+1
- Barrel: 5 in., black oxide finish
- Overall Length: 8.15 in.
- Weight: 23 oz.
- Construction: Black anodized aluminum slide, molded polymer frame
- Trigger: 5.8 lb.
- Sights: Fully adjustable rear, fixed front; optics ready
- Price: $485
- Manufacturer: Taurus, TaurusUSA.com