When Taurus introduced the polymer-framed, striker-fired .22 LR TX22 pistol, it proved popular. It was inevitable that competition-oriented models would follow, and the latest is the TX22 Competition Steel Challenge Ready (MSRP: $589.32, taurususa.com).
While quite similar, the Taurus TX22 Competition SCR differs slightly from the TX22 Competition model that I previously tested. Both are built on the full-size TX22 polymer frame with an aluminum slide, steel alloy barrel and a striker-fired action. The controls are the same, with ambidextrous thumb safeties, a left-side magazine release and slide-stop lever. Overall height is 5.44 inches, with a maximum width of 1.25 inches. The 5.25-inch barrel is threaded 1/2x28 to accept accessories and includes a removable cap. Low-profile adjustable iron sights are in a three-white-dot pattern, and reflex sight mounting is easy. The sight mounts are located on the rear of the nontilting barrel, and adapter plates allow for a number of different models to be installed. The differences are that the SCR sports a custom bull barrel and feed ramp, along with a Tandemkross Eagle Talon Extractor, and more importantly, a Tandemkross Game Changer Pro Squared compensator. The upgrades increase the SCR’s weight to 25.84 ounces and overall length to 9.37 inches.
The Taurus TX22 Competition SCR ships in a hard-plastic foam-lined fitted case with three 16-round magazines, the compensator, magazine loading tool, reflex sight mounting plates and the ubiquitous trigger lock.
On the Range
After taking the gun out of the box, I ran my usual dry patch down the bore and applied lube to the obvious bearing points. The comp was not installed, instead tucked into a compartment in the padded foam case. I chose not to install it for the initial test session.
For ammo, I chose three standard velocity loads that worked well in my Steel Challenge pistol: CCI Green Tag, Lapua Pistol King and SK Standard Plus. I also wanted to see what effect the comp might have with high-speed loads, so I included Remington Thunderbolt and Winchester’s Power-Point. The latter was a new load to me and I happened to find a 300-round box at Walmart. I use high-speed loads for rifle, but not handguns, since the increased muzzle rise is not welcome when trying to ring five plates in under three seconds like in Steel Challenge.
Loading the three 16-round magazines was a bit tedious. The right- and left-side buttons that depress the magazine spring are quite small and not easy to manipulate. Taurus provides a magazine loading tool. It took me a minute to figure it out, but the proper loading procedure turned out to be installing the loader on the top of the mag with the thumb depressing to the rear. Depressing that dropped the follower slightly and allowed a round to be slipped into the mag, but not fully seated. With the round in that position, the thumb depress was released and the round then pushed back into proper position. It was slow, but it worked. Two of the magazines took the full 16 rounds, while one only accepted 15. Next, I slipped a piece of masking tape onto the bottom of each magazine and numbered them.
I started with the iron sights and the CCI load, zeroing quickly from my 25-yard bench rest. Then, I checked the point of impact with the remaining four rounds. They were more than close enough. I was particularly interested in the muzzle rise on the two high speed loads. It was what I expected it to be, and more than I wanted.
I then made multiple mag reloads with the different loads and ran them at a line of empty beverage cans at the base of my berm. It’s not scientific, but in addition to being fun, it helped me get used to the handling qualities of the gun.
With that “get acquainted” period done, I removed the muzzle cap and installed the comp. The manual was a bit vague, but there was a thin washer that look like it went on first, followed by the rubber O-ring and then the comp. I have Tandemkross comps on two of my long guns and I love that O-ring. It keeps them solidly set without shifting or loosening. I then pulled the Trijicon SRO reflex sight from my .22 LR match pistol and installed it on the SCR. It took only seconds with the plate system, and it was back to my range to zero the gun with the optic.
I was surprised with the lack of muzzle rise from the Remington and Winchester high-speed loads, as I did not think there would be enough gas pressure from a .22 LR to make a difference. But I was wrong. The muzzle rise was noticeably less than without the comp, and the five-MOA dot on the Trijicon SRO didn’t seem to rise much more than it did with standard velocity loads in my match pistol.
Accuracy testing was next, and the accompanying table will show more than enough for Steel Challenge competition.
My club’s weekly six-stage match was next, so I field stripped the gun for a thorough cleaning and lube. The takedown procedure is simple and it took just minutes. I had refrained from measuring the trigger pull until I had some rounds through the gun to break things in. After reassembly, trigger pull measured 5.1 pounds on my digital gauge, with a bit of take-up and a crisp break. That is pretty standard for a pistol in this price range, but no doubt it can be reduced by a skilled pistolsmith.
I decided to use the Winchester Power-Point for the match. I wanted to see if my initial impression of the muzzle rise would play out over the 150-plus round match.
At the match, the lack of muzzle rise with the comp was noticeable. When zipping through the five plates, the gun stayed as flat as my match pistol with standard velocity loads. It would seem that the Tandemkross compensator does its job well.
By this time there were almost 600 rounds of mixed ammo through the gun and there had been just three malfunctions. All were all tip-up jams with the Winchester load, and all from the one magazine that only took 15 rounds. I’d be inclined to blame the mag.
Given the accuracy and performance (with the possible exception of one magazine), the Taurus TX22 Competition SCR does look to be truly Steel Challenge ready. And the affordable price leaves you a few bucks for trigger work if desired.