Pocket pistols are all the rage these days, and Taurus has no shortage of such offerings in its expansive line. The companyâ€™s alloy-framed PT-22 has long been one of its most popular palm-size guns, but the folks at Taurus thought it was time to give the classic pocket pistol a facelift. Its new polymer-framed 22PLY is the result of those efforts.
Like its predecessor, the 22PLY (and the .25 ACP 25PLY) is a blowback-operated, double-action-only design with a tip-up barrel that allows users to chamber a round without operating the slide. Dropping a cartridge directly into the barrel is easier and safer than racking the slide, which makes the 22PLY ideal for smaller-statured shooters. That tip-up design is, perhaps, the number-one reason the design has been so successful for so long.
The palm-size 22PLY is roughly the same size as the original, but its lines have been updated to give it a sleeker, more modern look. The frontstrap has three finger grooves, and the grip is contoured for a trimmer, more ergonomic feel.
An integral beavertail allows a higher grip and prevents slide- and hammer bite. The recontoured, rounded triggerguard looks slick and is more snag-resistant than its predecessorâ€™s hooked guard. Another benefit of that polymer frame is a gun that comes in at a feathery 10.8 ounces.
The polymer pistolâ€™s DAO trigger breaks at a smooth-as-glass nine pounds, 15 ounces. The pull is great, but I wish Taurus would have shortened the trigger reach a bit when it revamped the pistol. I have small hands, and itâ€™s difficult for me to maintain a good firing grip and work the trigger.
Other controls include a conventional push-button magazine release just aft of the triggerguard; the barrel release, which is located above the magazine release; and a frame-mounted thumb safety on the left side. Additional safety devices include the key-activated Taurus Security System in the backstrap and a magazine disconnect that prevents the pistol from firing without a magazine. The mag holds eight rounds and has a polymer extension that serves as a pinkie perch.
Further adding to the 22PLYâ€™s more modern appearance is a cool reverse-fish-scale treatment at the back of the slide in place of conventional grasping grooves. The notched rear sight is milled as part of the steel slide, and the front sight is an integral part of the pistolâ€™s stubby 2.33-inch barrel.
Working a DAO pistol is simple for even the least experienced among us, but the tip-up barrel makes it even easier. I have never owned a gun with a tip-up barrel, but after a couple of plinking sessions with it at the ranch, I became a believer. My wife is pretty tiny, and she usually has trouble charging even compact autos, but she had no trouble at all with the 22PLY.
On the range, the tiny Taurus continued to impress, running without issue for more than 200 rounds and shooting pretty much to point of aim at seven and 10 yards with 40-grain loads from Federal, CCI and Winchester.
On the subject of ammunition, Taurus recommends 40-grain bullets at a muzzle velocity of 1,280 fps for the 22PLY. My favorite load, CCIâ€™s 32-grain Stinger with a muzzle velocity of 1,640 fps, exceeds that by a long shot. It worked in my gun, but your own results may vary. Were I to carry this gun for defense, Iâ€™d stick with a standard 40-grain load rather than risking reliability to gain a little extra oomph.
Because of its compact size and crude sights, I didnâ€™t do any formal accuracy testing with the 22PLY. However, I had no trouble punching fist-size groups with it out to 10 yards. Groups opened up a bit at 15 yards, and more still at 25, but I could keep most of my shots on MGMâ€™s reduced-size IDPA target at 25 yards.
What more could you ask from a mouse gun that fits in the palm of your hand?