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Taylor's & Company 9mm Single-Action Revolver Review

A single-action revolver in .45 Colt can get expensive to run, but the Taylor's & Company TC9 is all the fun but with affordable 9mm ammo.

Taylor's & Company 9mm Single-Action Revolver Review

The TC9 is a serious working gun that is cheap to feed. 

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The TC9 1873 Single Action is an Information Age take on the classic Peacemaker that won the West. Featuring Sam Colt’s inimitable human-friendly architecture combined with the uber-popular 9mm Parabellum chambering, the TC9 is a soft-shooting cowboy pistol that is pure unfiltered recreation on the range. The TC9 is the ultimate utility wheelgun.

Some Men are Just Born Bad…

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This no-frills leather cowboy rig from Triple K, bought on impulse at a nearby box store, turned out to be a prescient investment.

John King Fisher was born in October 1853 in Collin County, Texas, to Jobe and Lucinda Fisher. He was raised as King Fisher. Given the proximity of his name to that of the familiar aquatic bird, this was likely a bit awkward in Second Grade. As was not atypical back then, his mom Lucinda died when the young man was only two, and Jobe remarried. King’s stepmother also passed away in fairly short order, so the kid was raised by his paternal grandmother. Fisher was a restless young man. Handsome and popular with the ladies, the boy was fairly irascible. In short order, he fell in with the wrong crowd. In 1871, at age 17, Fisher was arrested for horse theft. This was quite the big deal at the time. He was sentenced to two years in prison but was released early due to his relative youth.

King Fisher found work as a cowboy in south Texas and discovered that he was good at it. The Mexican border was a lawless violent place, with armed cross-border raids staged from both sides. In the absence of much formal authority, most justice was meted out by the ad hoc armed posse. Fisher had a natural gift with a gun, and his skills were subsequently in great demand. Sensing opportunity, Fisher began running with a criminal gang that supported itself via hit-and-run sorties into Mexico to steal and loot. Such ne’er-do-wells invariably make for poor business partners. In a subsequent dispute over how to divide their ill-gotten proceeds, one gangster slapped leather. However, Fisher was faster—much faster. He drew his ivory-gripped Colts and killed the man along with another two of his erstwhile comrades. In the bloody aftermath, Fisher took command of the motley band of cutthroats.

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The simplest grips available on the TC9 are basic black rubber. The trigger on the TC9 is about as simple as it gets. The hammer features a fixed firing pin just like the originals.

Fisher dressed like a dandy and held to a weird code. He made it a point not to attack Texans or those in their employ. However, the man did slaughter him some Mexicans. Along the way his reputation as a gunman of exceptional acumen spread both far and wide. Though period gunslingers used a variety of handguns, it was the Colt Single Action Army that equipped the gunman of distinction. That same venerable Peacemaker also found its way into countless western movies and TV shows. (MovieStillsDB.com) Fisher typically carried a pair of Colt Single Action Army revolvers. Once in 1878, a simple conversation between Fisher and four Mexican vaqueros evolved into an argument. Fisher’s prime disagreement was with two of the cowboys. The other pair simply sat atop a nearby fence and peacefully watched the proceedings.

When things got out of hand, Fisher snatched up a branding iron and brained one of the men. The man’s comrade reached for his gun, but Fisher beat him to it. In one sweeping motion, Fisher shot and killed the armed man before pivoting around and blasting the other two spectators off of the fence as well. King Fisher occupied himself for the next six years alternately as an outlaw and a lawman. Along the way he married and sired four daughters. When he was interviewed by Carey McWilliams, a popular reporter of the day, he was asked how many men he had killed. He answered, “Thirty-seven, not counting Mexicans.” Alas, the profession of professional gunman has a lousy retirement plan. King Fisher eventually got involved in a throwdown in a San Antonio theater that led to his gory demise. The undertaker later counted thirteen separate bullet wounds. King Fisher was buried with his trusted Colt revolvers, though they were later recovered when his body was moved from his ranch to the Pioneer Cemetery at Uvalde, Texas. At the time of his violent death, Fisher was only thirty years old.

The Curious Phenomenon of the Old West

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The cowboy ethos pervades our national DNA. No mat- ter your age, origins, race, or gender, every proper American at some point dreams of being a gunslinger.

Gents, Please send me one of your Nickel plated .45 Caliber revolvers. It is for my own use, and for that reason, I would like to have a little Extra pains taken with it. I am willing to pay the Extra for Extra work. Make it very easy on the trigger, and have the front Sight a little higher and thicker than the ordinary pistol of this Kind. Put on a gutta percha handle, and send it as soon as possible. Have the barrel about the same length that the ejecting rod is. Truly yours, W.B. Masterson        

This was a letter W.B. “Bat” Masterson penned on Opera House Saloon letterhead in Dodge City, Kansas, on July 14, 1885, to Colt Firearms requesting a new personalized handgun. Masterson was a simply legendary gunman. However, he was just one of many of his era to stake their lives on the reliability, accuracy, and downrange effectiveness of the 1873 Colt Single Action Army revolver, also known as the Peacemaker. Along the way, these men and others like them had a curious effect on American culture. As is so often the case, reality differed markedly from what the movies and history books might have us believe. Old West gunfights were often frenetic horrible things that left hard men screaming for their mothers before bleeding out. However, Hollywood glamorized the dusty cowboy pistol duel in countless treatments on screens both large and small. Along the way, young Americans developed an insatiable urge to emulate the Old West cowboy. Despite the etymology of the name, it never really was about the cows. It was actually always about the guns. The apex predator among myriad Old West smoke poles was the Colt Peacemaker.

Little Has Changed

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When each of my kids was in college they typically came home on weekends with a flock of school chums in tow. At times there were as many as twelve. A big part of that was free laundry and my wife’s superlative grub. However, another part of that equation came from me. We live way out in the sticks, and I can safely shoot off my back porch. Combine that with a lifetime’s worth of exotic firearms and you have the chemical formula for an epic, memorable weekend of safely metered chaos. Those kids burned through a truly astronomical volume of ammunition.

The machineguns invariably kicked off the party. Most normal folks have never even touched an actual automatic weapon. I accumulated mine back before they got so insanely expensive. Under controlled circumstances little will put a grin on the face of the firearms neophyte faster than 30 rounds through a pistol-caliber SMG. However, as the afternoon turned into The stutterguns had the sex appeal, to be sure. However, they inexplicably lacked staying power. By the time the light began to dim and everyone grew weary it was inevitably the cheap Italian-made copy of Colonel Colt’s classic sixgun that was still barking. I still cringe when I think back to those college kids shoving those big fat .45 Long Colt cast lead slugs into that big fat cylinder. It is rare that you can find .45LC factory ammo for less than a buck a round. A dozen burly college guys can burn through an enormous number of those things while waiting for dinner to be served. Then I tripped over the Taylor’s TC9 in 9mm Parabellum. This is the classic Colt Peacemaker you can actually afford to shoot.

The Peacemaker for the Information Age

Imported and marketed by Taylor’s and Company, the TC9 is built in Italy by Pietta. I have fired a handful of these Italian-made Old West replicas and have found them all to be of great quality. The TC9 is available in a variety of configurations. Frames can be blued or case hardened. Grips can be had formed from either checkered hardwood or more traditional black rubber. Taylor’s offers the basic pistol in ten different calibers and several finishes. In its 9mm guise, you get to choose from among a 3.5-inch tube, a 4.75-inch barrel that ends at the ejector rod housing, or the slightly longer 5.5-inch version. I picked the case hardened 5.5-inch variant because it was cheapest and best replicated the current production Colt.

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The TC9 (top) is a proper rendition of the expensive and rare Colt Peacemaker (bottom).

What really sets this particular TC9 single action pistol apart is its chambering. It’s not like 9mm Parabellum is actually new. Georg Luger first thought it up in 1901. The venerable .38 Special is only three years older. However, compared to the more traditional .45 Long Colt, today’s 9mm Para offers something elusive and intoxicating. The 9mm, particularly in this platform, is hugely more affordable. That is due to an economy of scale. 9mm Para is the most popular centerfire pistol cartridge on the planet. Ammo manufacturers churn the compact little round out by the billions each annum. Bullet options range from otherwise uninspired FMJ through exotic machined copper solids up to bonded expanding hollowpoints that incorporate more raw technology than the space shuttle. Where .45LC can set you back more than fifty bucks a box, bulk 9mm Para is going for a bit north of $200 per case. In a gun that only packs six and must be manually cycled, that one kiloround will last a good long while.

Recommended


A cursory study will show that the .45 Long Colt is a rimmed straight-walled cartridge of conventional design. In a Colt revolver, the .45LC drops in place to be secured by its ample rimmed head. By contrast, the 9mm Para is a rimless design optimized for use in autoloading weapons. In this case, the 9mm headspaces on the case mouth. That becomes a problem in wheelguns with star-shaped ejectors. However, Colonel Colt’s classic pistol uses an ejector rod that really doesn’t care much about how you headspace it. The 9mm Para TC9 runs like a lawyer after money.

Trigger Time

The morphology of the TC9 is predictably Colt. The loading gate is on the right and is both fast and intuitive. Like the originals, the trigger is little more than a piece of stiff bent wire. The massive hammer seems akin to some poorly-scaled antler perched atop the frame. The grip is so mundane and otherwise unadorned as to seem uninspired. However, you mix all that stuff together and you get pure unfiltered magic. There is just something about the sensual, almost feminine curve to the classic Colt Peacemaker grip that fits my hand perfectly. Moreso than any contoured Information Age plastic pistol, the butt of the Peacemaker just drops into my sweaty mitts like it was made to be there. The interface between grip and frame on the TC9 is perhaps slightly more stark than that of the comparable Colt, but the Colt costs literally three times as much. That’s an awful lot of money for that spiffy little horse on the side.

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The TC9 from Taylor’s and Company is a reason- ably priced version of the classic Colt Peacemaker chambered in 9mm Parabellum.

The TC9 is heavy, appreciably heavier than a comparable Colt in .45LC. This is intuitive if you think about it. Both the 9mm and .45LC guns occupy the same volume. However, more steel is removed from both the barrel and cylinder to accommodate those big thumb-sized rounds than is the case with the smaller 9mm. This makes the smaller caliber gun weigh more than the larger caliber sort. Recoil is a non-event. The Peacemaker in .45LC is pleasant though manly. The same gun in 9mm Para is simply delightful. Shooting this thing really is addictive. There is just enough chaos to let you know you are running a serious gun without being the slightest bit unpleasant. The TC9 uses a fixed firing pin like the originals. You’ll want to leave an empty chamber under the hammer while packing the gun. However, once you find your stride, you can still burn through ammo at a prodigious clip. I wish to pieces I had owned this thing back when the kids were in college. Were that the case, perhaps I’d actually be able to retire someday.

The TC9 shoots predictably straight with whatever you feed it. However, the sights are a big fixed front blade and a groove cut in the top strap. What you get out of the box is what you’re stuck with. Short of some laborious bending and grinding, there’s no adjusting the sights. My gun shoots about three inches low at 50 feet but seems monotonously consistent. While a century and a half of mechanical evolution has brought us quantum advances in combat handgun technology, the classic Colt Peacemaker would remain a viable defensive tool even today. The esteemed pistolero Jeff Cooper actually killed his first Japanese soldier with a Peacemaker while fighting in the South Pacific during World War 2. He felt at the time that autoloading handguns were insufficiently reliable for serious social work. His opinion obviously evolved over time, but you still cannot beat the simple Colt single action for reliability.

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The fixed sights mean the gun shoots however it was assembled at the factory, but it does group nicely. These clusters were fired off of a sandbag rest at 50 feet.

In fact, I was recently corresponding with my buddy Dave Fortier (Executive Editor) on this very subject. Dave observed that he had recently perused a book penned by a British officer in the immediate aftermath of World War 1 entitled How to Fight with a Handgun. Dave observed that this experienced combat vet had based his course of fire on common scenarios encountered in the trenches. An example might be a figure suddenly appearing from a dug-out as you were clearing a confined space. Lessons included such stuff as reloading a Webley .455 Revolver and how to correctly hold and fire a handgun. The interesting bit, however, was that the author had been heavily influenced by tales of the American West. Americans of that era were considered the experts when it came to fighting with a handgun due to the Indian Wars and, of course, the Western Gunfighters. Dave explained that this guy espoused using a Western-style drop leg rig for his service revolver and had one custom made. All of that was at least indirectly inspired by Colonel Colt’s extraordinary Peacemaker.

Ruminations

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The Taylor's & Company TC9 9mm single action revolver is the cowboy gun for the working man. Affordable to both acquire and feed while remaining accurate, reliable, and cool, the TC9 lets you experience a little bit of that Old West magic even if your day job has you pushing paper, scribbling on a white board, or stamping out disease. Tailor the load for the mission, and the TC9 becomes the ultimate utility weapon. Ball ammo is for fun, while high tech hollowpoints are for serious social applications. You can even stoke the thing with shot capsules and take out varmints like snakes, rats, and other vermin at close range. Additionally, plop the TC9 into a drop leg western carry rig and get ready to channel your inner John Wayne. Something you can do, even on a budget, with a holster and belt rig from WileysGuns.com. Some complete rigs as low as 60 bucks – and the belts hold the ammo just like in the movies! I’ve never done any cowboy action shooting myself, but it is amazing how we modern day Americans still chase that weird visceral thing that connects us to our frontier heritage of centuries past. The allure of a rugged world without so many rules resonates now more than ever before. It seems that, in our hearts, all proper Americans really do want to be cowboys.

Taylor's & Company TC9 Specs

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Barrel Length: 5.5 in. 
  • Overall Length: 11.1 in. 
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs. 
  • Capacity: 6 rds. 
  • Finish: Case Hardened Frame/Blued barrel and Cylinder
  • Sights: Fixed blade front/ Groove rear
  • Grips: Black Plastic, checkered
  • MSRP: $575
  • Contact: Taylor's & Company

If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.




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