5.7X28 VS 22 TCM

What’s the True Difference? 5.7×28 vs 22 TCM

In the world of ammunition, shooters and enthusiasts are constantly seeking the perfect balance between power, accuracy, and versatility. Two contenders that have caught the attention of firearms enthusiasts are the 5.7×28 and the 22 TCM (Tuason Craig MicroMag) rounds. Today, we will dive into the characteristics, strengths, and applications of these two ammunition types, examining their ballistics, history, and suitability for various shooting scenarios. So, let’s buckle up and explore the showdown between 5.7×28 and 22TCM ammo.


Origins of 5.7X28 Ammunition


The history of the 5.7×28 ammunition dates back to the late 1980s when it was developed by FN Herstal, a Belgian firearms manufacturer. The primary motivation behind its creation was to meet the requirements of NATO’s search for a new standard pistol and submachine gun cartridge. The result was the 5.7x28mm cartridge, also known as the SS90.

The development of the 5.7×28 ammo was closely linked to the design of two firearms: the FN P90 submachine gun and the FN Five-seven pistol. Both of these weapons were designed to utilize the new ammunition and were intended for use by military and law enforcement personnel.

The 5.7x28mm cartridge was specifically engineered to address the need for a lightweight, high-velocity round that offered enhanced penetration capabilities against body armor and increased accuracy at extended ranges. Its small, bottlenecked case design allowed for efficient use of propellant and resulted in reduced recoil.

In 1990, FN Herstal introduced the FN P90 submachine gun chambered in 5.7x28mm, which quickly gained attention and became popular among military and law enforcement units around the world. The P90’s compact size, high magazine capacity, and the armor-piercing capabilities of the 5.7×28 ammo made it a formidable choice for close-quarters combat.

Following the success of the P90, FN Herstal developed the FN Five-seven pistol, which was also chambered in 5.7x28mm. The pistol featured a lightweight polymer frame and a high-capacity magazine, making it a versatile sidearm for law enforcement and military applications.

While the initial adoption of the 5.7x28mm cartridge was primarily in military and law enforcement circles, it gradually found its way into the civilian market. FN Herstal released civilian versions of the FN P90 and the FN Five-seven, allowing civilians to own firearms chambered in 5.7×28 and use the corresponding ammunition.

Over time, other firearms manufacturers began producing firearms chambered in 5.7x28mm, further expanding its availability and popularity among civilian shooters. Today, there are various handguns and rifles available on the market chambered in 5.7x28mm, offering shooters a unique combination of high velocity, low recoil, and accurate performance.

FN 5.7X28
FN 5.7X28


Origins of 22 TCM Ammunition


The history of the 22 TCM (Tuason Craig MicroMag) ammunition begins with the collaboration between Fred Craig and Fred Craig Sr. of Armscor/Rock Island Armory (RIA) and master gunsmith Fred Craig Jr. Their goal was to create a high-velocity, small-caliber cartridge that could be fired from a standard 1911-style pistol.

The development of the 22 TCM cartridge started in the early 2000s. The team at Armscor/Rock Island Armory wanted to design a cartridge that combined the advantages of a bottlenecked case with a high-velocity projectile. They wanted to achieve a flat trajectory, minimal recoil, and impressive energy transfer upon impact.

To accomplish this, the team decided to base the new cartridge on the .223 Remington parent case. They modified the dimensions and created a bottleneck shape, resulting in the birth of the 22 TCM cartridge.

The “TCM” in 22 TCM stands for “Tuason Craig MicroMag,” paying homage to the collaboration between the Tuason and Craig families. The name “MicroMag” was chosen to highlight the cartridge’s small size but significant power.

In 2012, Armscor/Rock Island Armory officially unveiled the 22 TCM ammunition and the accompanying 1911 pistol chambered in this caliber. The pistol, known as the RIA 1911-A2, featured a specially designed barrel and slide to accommodate the unique cartridge. The combination of the 22 TCM cartridge and the 1911 platform proved to be a winning combination, offering shooters a high-velocity, small-caliber option.

The 22 TCM cartridge quickly gained attention due to its impressive muzzle velocity and energy. It often exceeds 2,000 feet per second (fps) and delivers significant kinetic energy downrange. The flat trajectory of the 22 TCM, combined with minimal bullet drop at extended distances, makes it suitable for both target shooting and self-defense applications.

Armscor/Rock Island Armory continued to refine and expand the 22 TCM line, introducing various bullet types and weights to cater to different shooting preferences and purposes. They also developed rifles chambered in 22 TCM, further demonstrating the versatility and adaptability of the cartridge.

Since its introduction, the 22 TCM ammunition has garnered a dedicated following among firearms enthusiasts, particularly those who appreciate its high velocity, flat trajectory, and reliable performance. While primarily associated with Armscor/Rock Island Armory firearms, the 22 TCM cartridge has gained recognition in the industry, with other manufacturers exploring its potential and developing firearms chambered in this unique caliber.

Armscor 22 TCM
Armscor 22 TCM


What is The Purpose of the 5.7×28 Cartridge?


The 5.7x28mm cartridge was originally designed with specific purposes in mind for the military. The 5.7x28mm cartridge was developed as a replacement for traditional handgun calibers in certain military and law enforcement applications. It was specifically designed to meet the requirements of NATO forces looking for a lightweight, high-velocity, and armor-piercing round.

The 5.7x28mm cartridge has gained popularity among civilians for personal defense purposes. Its high velocity and armor-piercing capabilities make it an attractive choice for those who prioritize reliable penetration against potential threats.

Due to its high velocity and relatively small bullet diameter, the 5.7x28mm cartridge can be used for varmint hunting, targeting small game such as rabbits, squirrels, and pests. However, it is important to check local hunting regulations to ensure compliance.


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What is The Purpose of The 22 TCM?


When it comes to the 22 TCM round, they’re a couple of main characteristics that people adore the 22 TCM cartridge. The .22 TCM cartridge was designed with sporting applications in mind. It offers high velocity and a flat trajectory, making it suitable for target shooting, plinking, and varmint hunting. Its performance characteristics make it appealing for those who enjoy recreational shooting and engaging small game at extended ranges.

Due to its high velocity and flat trajectory, the .22 TCM cartridge can be used in certain competitive shooting disciplines. It can provide an advantage in events that require quick follow-up shots or shooting at longer distances.

The .22 TCM cartridge can be used for self-defense purposes. It is known for its high velocity, which can provide effective stopping power. However, it’s important to note that the suitability of any cartridge for self-defense depends on various factors, including shot placement, terminal ballistics, and individual circumstances.

The .22 TCM cartridge was developed specifically for the Rock Island Armory TCM series of pistols. Therefore, one of its main purposes is to be used in these firearms. The cartridge offers a unique option for shooters who prefer the TCM pistol platform and seek a high-velocity round.


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What is The Difference Between 5.7×28 & 22 TCM?


Many people have tested and explored the differences in terms of ballistics, performance, applications, and availability, shedding light on the unique characteristics and suitability of each round for various shooting scenarios. By examining these two popular ammunitions key features and specifications, this analysis aims to assist firearm enthusiasts and professionals in making informed decisions when selecting ammunition and which one they should choose.


Ballistics and Performance Comparison 

When comparing the ballistics and performance of the 5.7×28 and 22TCM cartridges, several factors come into play. The 5.7×28 ammunition offers excellent accuracy, especially at close to moderate ranges, thanks to its high velocity and relatively flat trajectory. It excels in armor-piercing capabilities, making it a favorite among law enforcement and military units.

On the other hand, the 22TCM round stands out for its impressive velocity and energy, delivering hard-hitting performance. Its flatter trajectory and minimal bullet drop at extended distances enhance its accuracy for both target shooting and self-defense purposes. While the 22TCM may not possess the same armor-piercing capabilities as the 5.7×28, it offers substantial stopping power with reliable expansion.


Size & Design

5.7x28mm is a bottlenecked centerfire cartridge, meaning the casing has a bottleneck shape. It features a bullet diameter of 5.7mm and a case length of 28mm. .22 TCM on the other hand has a proprietary cartridge developed by Armscor/Rock Island Armory. It has a straight-walled design, similar to many other .22 caliber rounds. The “TCM” stands for “Tuason Craig Micromagnum,” named after its inventors. The bullet diameter is .22 caliber.


Power & Performance 

When comparing the power and performance of the 5.7x28mm and .22 TCM cartridges, there are a few key differences to consider. Both cartridges are known for their high velocities, but the 5.7x28mm typically achieves higher muzzle velocities. The 5.7x28mm can achieve velocities of around 2,000 to 2,350 feet per second (fps), depending on the specific load, barrel length, and firearm platform. The .22 TCM cartridge, on the other hand, can reach velocities of approximately 1,800 to 2,100 fps.

The 5.7x28mm cartridge generally utilizes lighter bullets, typically ranging from 23 to 40 grains. This results in relatively lower bullet energies compared to heavier calibers. The .22 TCM cartridge, on the other hand, features bullets with weights typically between 35 and 40 grains, allowing for slightly higher bullet energies than the 5.7x28mm.

Both cartridges offer flat trajectories, but due to the higher muzzle velocities of the 5.7x28mm, it generally exhibits a flatter trajectory. This flatter trajectory can be advantageous for longer-range shooting, as it reduces bullet drop and makes it easier to engage targets at extended distances.

Due to its lighter bullet weight and higher velocities, the 5.7x28mm cartridge generally produces less felt recoil compared to the .22 TCM. This can make it more manageable for shooters who are sensitive to recoil or prefer a lighter shooting experience.

It’s important to note that the specific performance characteristics of each cartridge can vary depending on the load, barrel length, firearm platform, and other factors. The 5.7x28mm is commonly used in military and law enforcement, while the .22 TCM is geared towards sport shooting and self-defense. Both have great characteristics for what they are manufactured for but it depends if you are specifically needing it for recreation shooting or self-defense.


Should I get 5.7×28 or 22 TCM?


Many debate between which one to get. At the end of the day, The major advantage associated with the 5.7 is its adoption by a number of law enforcement agencies around the world. This kind of support should not be dismissed.

From a performance standpoint, there isn’t material difference between the two. The TCM’s larger case capacity offers additional flexibility, but bullet selection eats into this somewhat. The TCM is a better choice for a reloader and the 5.7 is fine for anyone shooting only factory ammo. So, if you decide to flip a coin, the outcome won’t leave you at a disadvantage.

With both having pros and cons, it really depend what you are looking for. The 22 TCM is great for recreation sport shooting and the 5.7×28 is mainly used for self-defense purposes and law enforcement usage. Either way, you should try both to see for yourself, it doesn’t hurt to see what works best for you.


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Please visit our website , call us at (888) 736-6587 or, you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.




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