Rama: Of Bugs and the TCM-A A +A
Monday, June 4, 2012
NOT too long ago, I lamented to two shooters how meaningful it would be for a majority of the city’s gun owners if competition organizers would come up with a BUG match.
Most registered gun owners in Cebu carry their guns for self protection. They have little interest in competitive shooting. And they will never develop any interest in competitive shooting if matches are designed to exclude the very firearms that these people have – Back-Up Guns.
It makes sense, right?
At any rate, I wrote about the idea and got positive feedback. Dr. Tyrone Mercader, president of Kamagong Gun Club, vowed to host the match, and some range and safety officers, including my friend Richard Tan, volunteered to officiate.
Warming my heart even more was the gesture of Mr. Vir Gaerlan (email@example.com), a shooter, Stage Five reader, and National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor who founded the Vantage Shooting Guidance and published a book on gun safety and marksmanship.
Flying to and from Cebu ever since he retired from his post at the US Federal Reserve Bank several years ago, Mr. Gaerlan recently dropped by Kamagong Gun Club and submitted a course of fire he designed for our envisioned BUG match.
With things starting to fall into place – Mr. Gaerlan’s course design being the last
element needed so that the financial aspect of the preparation can start – I am more hopeful than ever been that this match will become a reality.
TCM. Our two-part review on Armscor’s .22 TCM generated a lot of feedback from gunners.
Some expressed excited by the prospect of having a seemingly powerful yet sweet-shooting handgun while others showed reservation because the TCM has not yet earned “street credentials” and that it might go the way of another wildcat round, the .22 Remington Jet, that at one point was popular here.
Both issues are very valid.
Indeed, if Armscor’s intention with the .22 TCM is to market it as a defensive gun-and-ammo combo, it has to be ready to answer questions relating to ballistics performance.
And if the company expects people to buy the gun, people have to be assured that the factory will continue producing ammunition for it, unlike the Remington Jet cartridge following the demise of the Smith and Wesson Model 53 revolver.
Armscor’s Joel Concepcion shared that the tech-guys in their plant in Parang, Marikina are now looking to produce a commander-sized version of its TCM handgun, part of a progressive roll-out program to satisfy demand both in the Philippines and the US market.
That being the case, then I don’t think people should worry Armscor ceasing to produce the TCM round anytime soon.
Creds. When I tested the .22 TCM at Kamagong Gun Club, I used it against a rack of six-inch steel plates at 20 yards. The dents it left on each of the inch-thick plates – deeper than one from any other handgun cartridge I’ve fired – convinces that the TCM has much by way of velocity.
But velocity isn’t the be-all and end-all of things. A bullet can be fast-moving yet be ineffective. This happens when it fails to dump its energy at the point of impact and, like red-hot knife on butter, rips its way instead through the mass it is supposed to obliterate.
The good thing is the M193, the 5.56-mm military version of the ammunition that became the base for the .22 TCM, has proven itself in several wars to be a very effective round. The M193 is fast moving and fragments then yaws on impact, causing catastrophic crush cavities.
Earning “street credentials” nowadays no longer involves the macabre. Measured methods carried out in controlled environments are more than sufficient to approximate if not determine how a cartridge performs.
Armscor which, incidentally, also manufacturers M193 ammunition, will come a step closer to satisfying the skeptics if it can sponsor tests that determines if the TCM exhibits a level of performance comparable to that of the mother cartridge.
I know it will certainly satisfy me.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 04, 2012.