Wednesday, June 17, 2009
June 2009 - Iver Johnson TP22
There is not a lot of information available about individual models of firearms that Iver Johnson manufactured. Iver Johnson started out in 1871 as Johnson Bye & Co., in 1883 the name of the company was changed to Iver Johnson & Co. and in 1891 the name was changed again to Iver Johnson's Arms & Cycle Works. Iver Johnson produced firearms under various names and owners form 1871 until 1993. The TP22 pistol was added to the company’s line after their move to Jacksonville, Arkansas in 1982 and last manufactured in 1990. In 1993 when operations ceased, Iver Johnson was owned by American Military Arms Corp. (AMAC). Iver Johnson gained a reputation over the years for producing low cost, sturdy, reliable firearms. It is said that many LEO’s (Law Enforcement Officers) used the TP22 as a BUG (Back-Up Gun).
I borrowed this .22 LR from a friend of mine. It’s a sleek, Walther PPK looking pistol with a heavy metal feel to it. Fully loaded, this little “mouse gun” is 15.3 oz and feels nice in the hand, although the grip is too short for comfort. It is a SA/DA (Single action/Dual Action) with a thumb hammer-block safety. The magazine release is on the bottom by the magazine. Parts are almost impossible to find, although you can still find these guns new on auction sites for around $200.
Shooting the Iver Johnson TP22 is easy and pretty accurate, considering the caliber and overall size of the gun. I had a good 2 inch grouping at 7 yards although I found myself aiming a little high and right in order to hit center. Angela tried this pistol and shot about the same as with our Walther P22. We never had a failure shooting through many refills of its 7 round magazine full of Federal value ammo.
Disassembly was an experience and something new. The trigger guard pulls down in order to release the slide. Holding the trigger guard out, you pull the slide back past the trigger, tip it up and then slide it off the barrel. There is a spring and guide bushing around the barrel, which is attached to the frame. Reassembly requires sliding it back in reverse order while keeping that trigger guard out of the way.
The Bad: This gun does have its evil side. The beavertail on this gun is so small that it is VERY easy to get your hand higher than the slide level. You have to take the time to position your hand below that level or suffer a cut … like Sharon did. It was a very small cut (more of a nick, really) and everything is fine. I coached Angela on that hand position before letting her fire it.
Summary: A nice little .22 for its time and still a good gun. I would probably choose a mousey .380 of equal size and weight over a .22 to carry, though. It is a fun, sleek looking gun for the range or plinking.