Shoot, strip, reload, repeat

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...

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions told me that the TSG-22 has specific ammunition recommendations, which are 40-grain round nose-high velocity cartridges like CCI Blazer and Mini Mags, and Federal 710 Game-Shock loads. True to form, I grabbed a couple Tactical Solutions magazines and loaded them with whatever I had in my cabinet. Keith was right. Every copper plated medium to high velocity round nosed 40-grain cartridge worked flawlessly. Anything target velocity jammed at least one round per magazine. Winchester 555 cartridges work just fine. Since I can get them at Bass Pro Shops, Brownells and Wal-Mart for pennies a round, practice just got perfect.

The TSG-22 polymer magazine has the same size and shape of the Glock magazine, but one pinches the follower and pulls it down to load it. Since the cartridge base of a .22 LR is rimmed, the feed angle has to be correct every time, lest the rim overlap causes a misfeed. The magazines are sturdy and worked without a hitch. I found I could hold the magazine body in my hand and lower the follower with just my thumb on one side, filling it faster than I can a centerfire version. Like any magazine, I would be cautious about dropping them directly on the lips, and encourage using carpet sections in likely magazine change areas.

Not only is the TSG-22 accurate, with some cartridges this upper is exceptional. When I clearly determined its favorite loads, I shot it rapid fire, stripping and reloading. From the bench I could almost cover my groups with a quarter. It shot point of aim from the installed sights and loosely coincided with my Lasergrip, which I left installed on my Glock for this test.

There are several reasons why sub caliber training is important, but the foremost is trigger time. Since the TSG-22 allows the shooter to use the same holsters, shooting manipulations, techniques and range distances, an agency can literally use this product for regular training and pre-qualification.

What’s the best application for the TSG-22? Force decision making and manipulation drills. I recorded a short video for iPad users to give an idea of the lack of recoil in this product, and to give readers an idea that I need to use the product to practice my draw stroke.

The Firearms Training Unit in our agency did what your agencies do; we used our limited budget to build scenarios as realistically as possible. My favorite was the one we made from fencing, door frames and discarded materials including an old freezer display case. The interior was punctuated with remote controlled pop-up targets.

The range master was able to switch between the kid-with-a-mop and the kid-with-a-gun behind the freezer. The scenario was not a call. The officer was instructed to simply stop by the convenience store for coffee. He would have to go through the doorway and do as he would while getting his coffee. Sometimes he would be presented with a target rich environment, sometimes he walked away without firing a shot. TSG-22 officers can run this scenario dozens of times in its many combinations. Even though I put this one together I nearly shot the kid with the mop, by the way.

In these scenarios, one should occasionally overlay a silhouette target over a second for that hostage shot target practice. Run it with the TSG-22, and then follow up with the duty slide.

What else should the officer do with the TSG-22? Well, in civilian terms, we call it plinking, which is different from training, unless the activity has a specific improvement goal. Get one, get a brick of .22’s and head for the range. Don’t come back with unexpended cartridges.


Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer who teaches administration of justice at Hartnell College in Salinas, California.

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