The Performance Center TCR22 Rifle

When a lot of you see the Performance Center TCR22, one of the first thoughts that may come to mind is “Oh great, another 10/22 clone!”.  I was certainly not immune from thinking this when I saw this rifle for the first time at SHOT Show, but I’ve learned you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, the TCR22 does it right by mixing in some great features that you have to pay extra for from other brands.

Rifle Breakdown

The Performance Center offers two trim levels of the TCR22, one has a black Hogue stock with a stainless finish version and this model with its laminated stock and matte black finish. The laminated thumbhole stock is from Altamont Company, a prolific OEM provider to stocks and grips that most shooters have never heard of. Now, I’ve never really enjoyed shooting thumbhole stocks in the traditional sense, instead, I keep my thumb along the outside of the stock for better trigger control. The contour of the Altamont stock makes using this technique feel very natural so that my finger falls perfectly on the trigger.  

The swoop just above the pistol grip was just right for my hand as you’ll see below.

Many rimfire stocks also have a drop at the comb that is optimized for iron sights but thankfully the comb height on this stock is perfect for use with a scope. The sloped side of the cheekpiece is reminiscent of a Monte Carlo-type stock so it’s very comfortable as you get behind the glass. 

Shooting for groups at 50 yards.

Nestled into the stock is a receiver machined from 6061-T6 aluminum and anodized in a flat black finish that matches the barrel almost perfectly. 

The 0 MOA scope mounting rail is integral to the receiver, which means that it can never come loose and it is almost guaranteed to be straight and true with the receiver. 
The fluted 20” barrel is like other .920” button rifled rimfire barrels but with a minor difference, it features a 1:15” twist rate. The barrel is threaded ½-28 so that you can install a suppressor out of the box but a thread protector is provided if you don’t want to use any muzzle devices.
The barrel is free floated up until the pressure pad at the very front of the barrel channel.

When the receiver is removed from the stock the first thing that is immediately noticeable is the notch in the side of the action. This notch corresponds to a lever on the 10-round magazine that operates the last round bolt hold open feature. 

Standard 10/22 magazines will work in the TCR22, however, they will not activate the bolt hold-open feature.

Around the back of the action, there is an extra hole that seems to be out of place until you go to clean the barrel for the first time. That hole is in line with the bore so that you can use a one-piece cleaning rod to clean from the breech end, instead of trying to do it from the muzzle end where you could damage the crown.   

All of the great features that have been packed into this rifle are somewhat let down by one thing though, the trigger pull weight. Out of the box, the average trigger pull came in at a stout 4 lbs. 12 oz. with some significant creep and grittiness to it. That being said, I do appreciate that the trigger pack included an auto-bolt release, which makes releasing the bolt from the locked position a snap. Enlarged controls for the safety button and magazine release are also standard here.

The TCR22 trigger assembly closely resembles a standard 10/22 trigger, with the exception of the apparatus to help operate the bolt hold-open feature.
Model: 12085
Action: Semi-Auto
Caliber: .22LR
Magazine Capacity: 10 Rounds
Barrel Length: 20”
Twist Rate: 1:15”
Threaded: Yes, ½-28
Weight: 7 lbs. 0.6 oz.
Overall Length: 38.5”
Length of Pull: 14.0”
MSRP: $616

Magazines and Ammunition

Rimfire rifles can be notoriously picky when it comes to ammunition and what works well in one rifle isn’t guaranteed to do so in another. With that in mind, I bought a diverse mix of options to use in this review that included both plinking and match grade varieties of ammunition from SK, Federal, CCI, and Aguila. I felt that the quantity of ammunition and diverse mix would give me the best chance to test the overall accuracy and reliability of the rifle. Although not formally tested for accuracy I did use some Winchester bulk box target ammunition that utilized a 36 gr hollow point copper plated bullet. Otherwise, the rest of the ammunition used some form of a 40 gr. lead round nose bullet. 

The TCR22 comes with a 10-round rotary magazine that is similar to the standard 10/22 magazine but with one noticeable difference. A lever on the side of the magazine needs to be depressed in order to load the first round.  After the first round is loaded though, the rest of the rounds can be loaded just as you would any other 10/22-style magazine.

It was a little awkward trying to load the magazine at first but once I figured it out I was able to load the magazines with very little extra effort.
The TCR22 magazines have a clear end plate so you can see how many rounds you have in the magazine.

Range Time!

My first range trip was not as productive as I had hoped it would be due to some pretty strong winds that were blowing across the range that day. If the target wasn’t getting blown over then dust devils were getting kicked up in the shooting bay but I pressed on and tried to at least get a feel for the rifle. I ended up shooting only two types of ammunition and at just shy of 50 yards, the CCI Mini-Mags showed the rifle had some real potential with a 50 round average group size of 1.31″. The Winchester bulk box ammunition shot about how you would expect $.04/round ammo to shoot with a single 10-shot group coming in at 2” center to center. It was still good fodder for ringing the pistol plates that were still in bay and having some fun doing things that didn’t demand a lot of accuracy.

The next range trip went much better and I was able to test the accuracy of seven different types of ammunition from the 50-yard bench. The rifle really showed off its accuracy chops from the more stable position and put up some very respectable groups for a factory semi-auto .22LR rifle. 

More than half of the ammunition types shot through the rifle put up 20-round aggregate group averages of less than 1″.
Ammunition Bullet Avg. Best Velocity
SK Standard Plus 40 gr. LRN .66″ .34″ 1063 fps
SK Long Range 40 gr. LRN .70″ .50″ 1088 fps
Federal Gold Medal
Match
40 gr. LRN .72″ .63″ 1088 fps
Aguila Super Extra 40 gr. CPRN .81″ .56″ 1216 fps
SK Biathlon 40 gr. LRN .95″ .56″ 1072 fps
CCI MiniMag 40 gr. CPRN 1.03″ * 1.00″ 1211 fps
Federal Auto Match 40 gr. LRN 1.27″ .94″ 1204 fps
Aguila .22 Target 40 gr. LRN 1.33″ .94″ 1014 fps

Looking over the targets I have to say that I was pretty impressed, the accuracy on display out of the box was more than sufficient for most anything you’d use a .22 rifle for.

Federal Gold Medal Match, SK Long Range, and SK Standard+ performed very well for an out of the box target rifle. I can’t help but think how much better these groups would’ve been with a lighter trigger.

Towards the end of the day, I had the good fortune of having the range almost all to myself so I used the opportunity to stretch the TCR22’s legs out to the 200- and 300-yard steel plates. I grabbed the box of Federal Auto Match because all I really wanted to do was ring some steel for fun out at those distances rather than do any serious accuracy testing. At both ranges, the smallest steel plate is an 8 ½” wide diamond and at 200 yards the TCR22 made consistently hitting this plate a cakewalk. Going out further to the 300-yard plate the scope ran out of elevation at 12 mils, just 0.7 mils shy of what I needed so I used the excellent EBR-2C reticle in the scope to hold over the rest. I suspect that inconsistencies in the velocity of the ammunition caused some rounds to go a few inches high or low of the plate but I was still able to connect about 50% of the time on that 8 ½” diamond.   Considering that the Auto Match was one of the poorer performing options that I tested, I think that its hit ratio at that distance is pretty good for the target size. 

Observations

I shot approximately 600 rounds through this rifle over the course of testing and honestly not each and every round was perfect, as sometimes happens with .22’s. In all, I had eight incidents that were, I believe, the result of the ammunition quality rather than the rifle itself. Winchester bulk box hollow points exhibited the most issues with four failures to feed on the last round. This was an issue I couldn’t replicate with any other type of ammunition using the same mag or when using a different magazine. The other incidents were two failures to fire and one failure to eject with Federal Auto Match and one failure to fire with SK Biathlon at the 300-yard range. Other than those few incidents the rifle was trouble-free and a joy to shoot.

Final Thoughts

I believe the Performance Center TCR22 to be one of the best bangs for the buck in terms of semi-auto .22’s that is currently out on the market. Of course, that trigger pull weight would be something I’d have to remedy but luckily it appears there are trigger spring kits available to help improve the trigger feel considerable. These options are pretty inexpensive and easy to install at home without having to buy a whole new trigger pack or send it off for work. The Performance Center TCR22 has the right features and quality to make it a great option for a .22 trainer, use at NRL22 matches, or to take it varmint hunting. Don’t let the MSRP scare you off either, I’ve seen them for just over $500 at some dealers, which makes this rifle a heck of a deal in my opinion.

For more information about the Performance Center TCR22 visit: website.

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About the author: Ian Kenney Ian is a lifelong firearms enthusiast and veteran of the Global War on Terror. For over a decade, he has been actively competing in precision rifle and action shooting competitions. Ian has also contributed to multiple online publications, covering general firearms topics, precision rifles, and helping to improve the skills of shooters.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Archangel December 23, 2019, 8:21 pm

    Let’s see. we can replace the trigger, the bolt release is an easy fix and i can drill a hole in the back of the receiver, so it’s nice, but not $600+ nice!

  • Todd December 23, 2019, 12:13 pm

    That access hole in the receiver for a full pull-through cleaning without trying to get my fingers into the receiver to thread on attachments is brilliant.

    That stock?
    Straight to the firewood!

    Todd.

  • Ed August 3, 2019, 1:58 pm

    Disappointing that a gun from the performance center needs trigger work.

  • KCsmith July 22, 2019, 10:33 pm

    I don’t think the performance center versions have iron sights or threaded barrels, two features I usually would like to have on a 22 plinker.

    I bought a std version tcr22 a few weeks ago for about $250 out the door, based exclusively on its very impressive out of the box accuracy.

    • Ian K July 23, 2019, 11:51 am

      The Performance Center TCR22 has a threaded barrel.

  • Karl Vanhooten July 22, 2019, 5:46 pm

    Still a fancy 10/22, but the breech cleaning is a real plus. But…it’s not a CZ, and especially not an Anschutz. OK if one wants to stay in the sub-$500 range for plinking; less so for competition. Why was there no testing with common competition ammo like Lapua, RWS 50, or Eley Tenex?

    • Ian K July 23, 2019, 11:57 am

      I’m out of pocket when it comes to ammunition and those are not readily available in my area.

  • Charles A Tennesen July 22, 2019, 5:37 pm

    So what it’s not like there aren’t a few dozen 22’s on the market that are equal or better.

  • Gary Smith July 22, 2019, 1:16 pm

    What scope were you using for this test?

    • Ian K July 22, 2019, 3:59 pm

      I’m using a Vortex Diamondback Tactical 4-16X44 in UTG Pro rings.

      • KCsmith July 22, 2019, 10:43 pm

        That scope deserves better rings. Cheap Leopold riflemans or vortex hunters would suffice for under $20.

        • Ian MacDonald November 29, 2019, 4:36 pm

          What a stupid comment, as if the rings had any bearing on the groups…

  • Sam J July 22, 2019, 1:14 pm

    Dollars to doughnuts an $89 Marlin 60 at your local pawn shop is more accurate “out of the barrel” (you know, the barrel they put all the sub $100 rifles in) than this piece. Primarily due to its being based on the 10/22, which is the least accurate .22LR you could buy in the last 10 years.

    Also the ammo failures…out of supposedly “match” grade .22LR – which is a pure myth to begin with – not surprising.

    And who uses round nose CCI Mini-Mags anyway?? It’s the 36 grain hollow-point Mini-Mags you want. Never had failure in 15 years of using them. Also, due to their packaging, you won’t find a more consistently accurate .22LR anywhere, at any price. It’s just the way things are. Embrace it.

    • KCsmith July 22, 2019, 10:28 pm

      You know squat about ammunition or firearms.

  • John Severson July 22, 2019, 12:21 pm

    I’ve observed one of these in Appleseed clinics, seems like an improved 10-22. The young man using it qualified Rifleman, so the rifles will do.
    I like the auto bolt release, one of the first things I change on a 10-22.
    The magazines are an obvious improvement as well. The only downside is the TCR22 mags aren’t as available as standard 10-22 mags.
    The rear sight adjustment on the peep sight model is not as easy as one with clicks, but doable if one is careful.
    If one is in the market for a 10-22, the TCR22 is worth a look as it has some features not easily (or at all)
    available for a 10-22.

    • KCsmith July 22, 2019, 10:29 pm

      10/22 magazines still work flawlessly in the tcr22 but they don’t have the bolt hole open feature of the factory magazines.

    • KCsmith July 22, 2019, 10:39 pm

      btw, so will 10/22 triggers, barrels, stocks, fcg’s, etc.

      It’s like they made a Ruger actual!y worth owning.

  • W Radford July 22, 2019, 12:19 pm

    Had a chance to shoot one of these rifles a week ago. I was IMPRESSED. There’s a lot to like in this rifle. Comes threaded for a suppressor (22 rimfire is the best suppressed), has a machined in rail, and I really like the cleaning hole and last round bolt hold open feature. And the iron sights were very nice as well. Our particular rifle was a package deal with case, sling, Red Dot Sight, Magpul stock from Bass Pro. Nice combo package.
    Initially we had a minor problem with the last round not wanting to feed. When you removed the magazine the partially loaded round was far enough forward that it would allow the follower to return to the empty position. This necessitated some fiddling to get that round out. After testing with 4 different types of ammo and using the factory mag, a Ruger mag, and a BX-25 mag, the problem went away. Seems to be a case of the first ammo not having enough energy to fully cycle the action on the last round. With CCI SV and Mini-mag, Remington HP, and some older Federal HV, it ran without problems and cycled through the entire magazine.
    So, imagine that, a semi-auto firearm that is somewhat picky about the ammo it likes. Not like we’ve never seen that before. Did not have the chance to shoot for groups yet, but if this gun is like all the other T/C products I have owned over the years, I’m confident an ammo selection will be found that shines in the rifle.
    If I owned this gun I would put a Kidd trigger kit in it and never look back. The stock trigger is decent enough for the everyday shooter, but I think it would be an even better shooter with a great trigger in it.
    Were I in the market for a semi-auto 22 rifle I would be all over this gnm for the quality, features, and price point.

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