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Taurus PLY-22

Product Tests

Taurus International MFG, Inc. USA  
16175 NW 49 Avenue.
Miami, FL 33014
Customer Service
Phone: (305) 624-1115
Fax: (305) 624-1126

Over the years, I have owned, carried and shot a good many hand guns of all types and calibers. Some, I liked with when I first saw them and held them in my hands. Others have grown on me over time and with use.

Many years ago I had a fondness for short-barreled revolvers and frankly I still like them very much. Probably my favorites have been those in .38 special because they were light, for the most part, easily carried, accurate and had moderate recoil.

I’ve also owned a number of small pistols. I’ve had those in most of the more traditional calibers, .22, .25, .32, .380 and of course more recently 9mm. I “got along” well with most with the exception of a little .25 auto that used to cut the web of my right hand whenever I fired it. It was easy to carry but that unwanted feature finally stopped me from carrying it, plus I just never had much confidence in a .25 auto cartridge.

When I first heard about the new Taurus PLY-22 pistol, I was interested because of its very light weight and high capacity, 9 rounds total, and the fact that it was small enough to easily carry in a variety of ways. A gun does me absolutely no good if I don’t have it available! If it’s light and small, I’m much more apt to carry it than if it’s not.

I like the appearance of this little gun. The polymer frame is a flat black, with matte finish stainless barrel and slide. The barrel is of the “tip up” variety and makes loading or unloading a round in the chamber very easy and quick. The slide has a reverse fish scale treatment which makes gripping it very easy if you prefer to load it more conventionally.

The sights are about what you’d expect on a gun this size, a front ramp type and notched rear sight. It is not meant to be a target pistol and these sights work very well for the purpose intended.

The magazine release, safety and tip up barrel lever are made for a right hand shooter. All work well and are easy to manipulate. An outstanding feature of this gun is that although it fits easily into the palm of my hand, it holds 9 rounds of .22 long rifle ammo. While the .22 may not be considered too formidable, 9 rounds makes it much more impressive in the amount of lead that can be thrown in just a few seconds. Most of you are familiar enough with what a .22 can and can’t do, so I won’t spend a lot of time on the ballistics but I will say that this gun loaded with 9 rounds of long rifle hollow points, gives me a feeling of security that I would not have without it in my pocket. As a backup gun or even as a primary gun that you will have with you when you need it, it’s a very good choice.

Speaking of carrying this gun, you may want to simply drop it in a pocket but I’ve found that one of the widely available pocket holsters really helps to keep the gun oriented correctly. I picked up a pocket holster made by Blackhawk, a Size 1, and it works very well with the PLY-22.

My PLY-22 fully loaded with 9 rounds of .22 long rifle shells weighs 12.2 oz. and is hardly noticeable in my pocket. By comparison, two of my favorite carry guns, a S&W 342PD and my old  S&W Model 60, again fully loaded with 5 rounds of  .38 special ammo, weigh in at 13.1 oz. and  23.3 oz. respectively. The weight of my Model 60 has meant that it has spent less time with me over the years. The 342PD took its place several years ago.

The old saw that, "The best gun in the world is the one that you have in your hand when you need it", is still true. Better to have a 9 shot .22 long rifle pistol in your hand when you need it than to have a .45 ACP in the gun safe! If a lightweight gun means that you’ll carry it more often, then it can be the best gun in the world.

Okay, so the PLY-22 is light, handy and holds 9 rounds of ammo, how does it shoot? To answer that question I took it to the range along with several boxes of various makes of .22 long rifle ammo.

My standard test range for any handgun is 7 yards. That’s the range that most shootings have taken place over the years and 21 feet will also cover the distance in most rooms in most homes.

For the purpose of this test, I used a standard 18" x 18" body mass target and I placed a 3" red dot at the center for an aiming point. at approximately 5' from the ground.

The magazine spring on this gun is pretty stiff and it does take a little effort to load those 8 rounds. I have no objection to this because I want reliable feeding into the chamber. A little more effort loading the magazine is fine, when it means I don't have to worry about the gun going "bang" when I pull the trigger.

The tip up barrel really comes in handy. It's very easy to tip up that barrel and load a round into the chamber and the same can be said for safely unloading it. It is possible of course to insert a loaded magazine and pull back the slide to chamber a round and the reverse fish scale serrations help to get a real grip on it for that purpose.  

With 9 rounds loaded, I decided just to fire the first rounds as rapidly as possible to make sure everything would cycle in a rapid fire situation. I put 3 magazines through the little gun with no failures.

Now to see how it would print on my body mass target. I used a 2-hand hold on the gun and fired 4 rounds at the red dot. Then I fired the remaining 5 rounds. DAO guns can be a little tricky because the trigger pull can be pretty stiff and it's easy to pull off the target. Not so with the PLY-22.

When I inspected the target, I found all 9 rounds had hit within a 4" spread and were all pretty well centered on the dot. For me, that's pretty good shooting.

I repeated that 5 more times, using several different brands of .22 long rifle ammo that I had on hand, with very similar results. Frankly, I found very little difference in the performance of any of the shells. They all printed about the same spot and I'd be happy with any of them in this gun.

Since my initial evaluation, I've been carrying the PLY-22 as I roam around our property and I hardly notice that it's in my pocket. The design does not allow it to catch on anything and with the pocket holster, it's always properly aligned so that I can easily withdraw it and have it at the ready.

The magazine has also become a little easier to load and the DAO trigger has improved, although it was very good initially.

Complaints? None really. My gun came in a very handy plastic case that works well for transport and the instruction manual was comprehensive. I would have liked another magazine to have on hand or in case the original one is damaged in some way.

I've never liked a "magazine safety" feature on pistols and the PLY-22 has this feature. With a manual safety and the "key" safety that's on this gun, I feel it's a bit redundant but I can live with it.

I've been very impressed with the latest offerings from Taurus. They make good guns. The quality is very high, they are priced right and they just work, time after time. Taurus has really been listening to the consumer and bringing us what we need as shooters in the 21st Century.

If you're looking for a pocket gun, I'd recommend that you consider the PLY-22. For me, it's a keeper.

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