While the last three Taurus firearms reviewed here have been mostly positive, my history with their products hasn’t always been pretty. I think Taurus is making a much better name for itself with recent releases like the GX-4, but I wanted to look at some of its older firearms.
This time, I chose the PT22. I picked this because I just recently gave their newest .22 caliber pistol, the TX-22, a pretty glowing review.
But did I regret buying the PT22? Yup.
It’s basically a Beretta 21 A Bobcat in looks and a little bit in function, but it doesn’t measure up to the Beretta. The tip-up barrel and slide look cheap at first glance and the frame isn’t doing this thing any favors. The polymer lower looks like cheap plastic. I’m just not into the look of the pistol. Functionally, all the parts of the Bobcat are present here. The only real difference is that Taurus did a better job placing the magazine release. That design choice deserves kudos. The fish scale texturing on the slide is pretty neat too. But overall, it just doesn’t look like something I’d want to shoot.
The PT22 isn’t great but it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever shot. The best way to describe the feeling of shooting the PT22 is just okay. It does the bare minimum in functionality, but what did I expect out of a budget .22? I want my .22s to be fun, but shooting this pistol made my job actually feel like a job. Maybe I’ve spent too much time with Taurus’ newer guns. I’ve certainly been spoiled by Taurus’ recent endeavors in 9mm and .22LR.
Accuracy also leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t expect pinpoint accuracy out of a .22 pistol with a two-inch barrel, but the PT22 doesn’t feel accurate. That’s even more apparent when its big brother, the TX-22, had above average accuracy. It works alright at ten yards or less; just don’t expect much more out of it.
The PT22 also is not reliable. I shouldn’t have to experiment with six different types of ammo just to get a pistol to run without malfunctions. This thing failed without fail in every other magazine. It’s possible that I just ended up with a dud of a pistol, but others shared similar experiences. It really ended up being a huge hassle on the range.
Don’t buy this gun. I don’t care how cheap it is. Taurus has improved its craftsmanship so much and is still priced affordably. You’ll be better off just picking a TX-22 for 70 extra bucks at $299. I can’t recommend the Taurus PT22.
Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense, and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller, and other publications.