I want to like the older Cowboy-style revolvers. Who doesn’t? I grew up with a dad who loved westerns, so my first exposure to guns outside of our hunting rifles and shotguns was cowboys slinging six-shooters.
What’s really kept me away from getting seriously into a single action, or cowboy-style guns in general, is the price of ammo; .45 Colt is expensive, .44 Special is expensive. Heck, even .38 Special and .357 Magnum have gotten expensive. Taylor’s & Company’s new TC9 aims to solve that problem.
The TC9, or the TC9 1873 SA if you’re not into the whole brevity thing, is a clone of the Colt Single Action Army revolver. However, there’s some sacrilege to the Taylor’s gun. It doesn’t come in a revolver caliber.
Brace yourself: the TC9 is chambered for 9mm ammunition. No, it’s no .45 Colt, but 9mm is a (for now) reasonably priced round that’s readily available, making not only owning but shooting a cowboy revolver easy and affordable. That gives the TC9 some serious appeal to me, and that’s why I wrote Taylor’s & Company requesting a sample.
Specs and Design
The Taylor’s & Company TC9 comes in 4.75 and 5.5-inch barrel variants. Mine is the longer 5.5-inch barrel. The finish is either blued or a less expensive matte black. The grips can be either checkered wood or black checkered plastic.
The TC9 with a blued finish and nicely checkered wood grips looks really nice. Combined the look with the gun’s heft and you get that cowboy vibe at first sight. The gun looks great and feels fantastic in the hand.
With it’s SAA-correct loading gate, the TC9 doesn’t require moon clips or any of that nonsense. Cartridges are ejected via an ejection rod, so life remains simple. The revolver still holds six rounds, and they drop in with ease. Sometimes you may need to give a round a little push for it to seat fully. The cylinder rotates with very satisfactory positive clicks and an appreciated smoothness.
The TC9 is made by Pietta in Italy and it lacks any kind of transfer bar. True to the original Colt, the firing pin is right there on the hammer. Carrying the TC9 would require you to download by one and carry it on an empty chamber.
At the Range
Not really being a cowboy kinda guy first question was, how does the gun handle ejection? Luckily, it handles it with ease. It punches the rounds out like it has anger issues. Only once did I experience a stuck cartridge, and that required a slightly less-than-lazy hit on the ejection rod to pop it out.
I stay away from steel and aluminum-cased 9mm with a revolver. I’ve learned in the past you get a whole lot of stuck cases with either of them and I’d suggest you do the same.
The TC9 went bang every time the hammer dropped on a parabellum round, and the hammer never failed to lock rearward or drop over hundreds of rounds fired. Just as you’d expect, the revolver goes bang every single time. I fired a variety of ammunition, including Winchester White Box, Atlanta Ammo Match Grade, and a mix of old JHPs from Winchester and SIG.
The TC9’s ergonomics are timeless and simple. The grip is the classic thin design that seemingly fits everyone’s hand. The checkering is nicely done, and the grips feel very good in the hand. The 5.5-inch barrel makes the gun a little front-heavy, but it’s nothing you can’t deal with. Reaching the hammer with your thumb isn’t tough to do, and it makes shooting the gun rapidly quite easy.
My main problem involved learning to shoot a single-action revolver. My hand wants to grip it as high as possible, but that tends to put my hand in the way of the hammer. This is what a lifetime of shooting semi-automatics does to you. Don’t worry…I’ll get over it.
Is It a Straight Shooter?
Part of shooting the TC9 was learning all about the classic single-action design. This meant learning to shoot it accurately. The TC9 comes equipped with the same classic Colt SAA-style sights we are all accustomed to. That means a big front blade with a rear trench.
In fact, at first, I feared that I sucked. Or maybe the gun was inaccurate. I quickly grabbed my P365 to rebuild my confidence. What I learned was the front sight is a bit high. I was grouping okay, but hitting low, even at close ranges.
I began to use the big blade to aim slowly, with more of the blade exposed in the rear sight. Eventually, I found that sweet spot and hit exactly where I was aiming. At 25 yards, I could produce offhand groups in the 3-inch range. My main problem was losing that sweet spot between reloads. It was a bit of a guess at first.
If I owned the gun instead of merely shooting it as a loaner, I’d would file that sight down just a bit, but that’s me.
The TC9’s very light and nicely tuned trigger makes it very easy to shoot straight. The gun is accurate…it’s just tough to shoot accurately, if that makes sense. A file would likely make life easier, but I don’t think Taylor’s & Company would appreciate that.
For my next range session, I brought a paint pen and marked the preferred spot. At that point, I was cooking with gas.
Taming the Beast
Recoil was…a little surprising. When I think 9mm, I think soft-shooter. That’s not to say the TC9’s recoil was harsh, but without a reciprocating slide, you’re catching all of it. It’s not rough or hard to control by any means, just surprising, but still enjoyable. Who doesn’t want at least a little recoil from their cowboy gun
Ultimately the TC9 from Taylor’s & Company is one very fun gun. It’s reliable and frustration-free, and if I could file down that front sight a tad, I think I’d be absolutely satisfied with the little gun. It was a learning experience for me with single-action firearms and one that I enjoyed. Oh, and the ammo is a heckuva lot cheaper than .45 Colt.
Specifications: Taylor’s & Company TC9 1873 SA Revolver
Barrel Length: 5.5 inches (4.75-inch also available)
Overall Length: 11.10 inches
Weight: 2.5 pounds
Capacity: 6 rounds
Sights: Front blade, rear notch
MSRP: $619.77 (blued)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ergonomics * * * * *
The Colt design is positively timeless. Everything is easy to reach and activate. Pulling the hammer back is smooth, loading and unloading are easy, and the grips seem to fit everyone with small to large hands just right.
Accuracy * * * *
I won’t take a point off for the sight issue, as it’s part of the classic Colt design. And I’m learning. A file is needed to zero the front sight. It groups fairly well. Even shooting offhand, the gun is very easy to shoot. The nice, long sight radius and an ultra-light single action trigger pull help a lot, too.
Reliability * * * * *
It goes bang, and bang, and bang. Stuck cases weren’t really a thing. I had one I’d call “stiff.”
Overall * * * * ½
The TC9 is all kinds of fun to shoot. Some guns just bring a certain tactile enjoyment I can’t describe adequately and this is one of them. Like good lever guns, the classic single-action design is just fun to shoot. The TC9 is both reliable and affordable, shoots widely available ammo, and is pretty accurate (when you find the sweet spot).