CANIK’S TOP-TIER BUDGET PISTOL
FOR THE DOLLAR-CONSCIOUS PREPPER, THE TP9 SF ELITE OFFERS GREAT VALUE AND EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE.
Great value and excellent performance for the cost-conscious prepper
Over the years, I have found that preppers and survivalists have an affinity for certain things. Those items include knives, flashlights, watches and firearms. There are others of course, but these items seem to get the most attention— especially firearms. You never know when you might need to fend off the masses or the next horde of Zeds, right?
In our zeal to stock the very best in our inventories, it’s easy to get caught up in the fever of the latest and greatest firearm or the top-tier offering we salivate over in gun magazines.
However, if anything, part of being a prepper is being immensely practical.
That practicality tells us that a dollar saved in one category is a dollar that can be spent in another. While guns and knives are “sexy,” stocking up on hygiene products, first aid items, clothing and other sundries is just as important. This requires us to temper our enthusiasm with objectivity when it comes to selecting the right firearm for our own use or for other members of the family.
This brings us to the Canik TP9 SF Elite. A sexy, little number itself, the TP9 SF Elite offers a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to picking a pistol out of the display case and putting it in the collection at home. Not only does the TP9 SF Elite offer a lot for the money, it outperforms some of the very best on the market.
NOT ONLY DOES THE TP9 SF ELITE OFFER A LOT FOR THE MONEY, IT OUTPERFORMS SOME OF THE VERY BEST ON THE MARKET.
MEETING THE ELITE
Canik has stormed the marketplace in the last couple of years with its TP series of pistols that have drawn quite a bit of attention. One of its most recent introductions is the TP9 SF Elite. The Elite model is a shorter version of the TP9 SF, and it includes a few enhancements that were made along the way.
Its main draw is its overall size, which makes it more concealable than the TP9 SF. Instead of 18 rounds, the Elite model only carries 15. It weighs in at 25.12 ounces with an empty magazine and has a height of 5.27 inches. The overall length of the TP9 SF Elite is 7.28 inches, and it comes standard with a 4.19-inch barrel.
Some of the aforementioned enhancements over the other TP models include a Warren fiber-optic front sight, an ambidextrous slide stop/release and an improved trigger safety. Its new frame design provides for a shorter trigger reach, which makes the pistol point more naturally and more comfortable to shoot.
Other features of the Canik TP9 SF Elite include checkering on the front of the trigger guard, a Picatinny rail for the addition of accessories and
a tungsten Cerakote finish. Rounding out the package is the reversible magazine release to benefit left-handed shooters.
Yes, the Elite model is a striker-fired pistol, but Canik pulled out all the stops when it comes to performance with this pistol. One outstanding attribute is the trigger pull. Smoothly breaking at just 4.55 pounds, the Elite’s trigger has to be felt to be believed. Never mind the price; it’s as good as, if not better than, any other striker-fired pistol on the market.
Another excellent aspect of the pistol is the extremely short reset that allows the user to engage with follow-up shots more rapidly. If that’s not enough, The Elite model offers exceptional ergonomics with just-right texturing that’s neither too slick nor too aggressive. Throw in a recessed undercut behind the trigger, which provides a high purchase on the pistol for control, and you’ve got a real fighting weapon on your hands.
FOR THE PREPPER
So, what’s the big deal with this pistol? There are plenty of other excellent pistols that are similar on the market, right?
Canik offers this package for an
MSRP of just $459.99. From a prepper standpoint, that’s money saved for other things or an inexpensive way to buy two or three to standardize within the family. This is an advantage because of the interchangeability of spare parts and magazines.
The Canik comes with a nice carry case, two Mec-gar magazines—some of the best on the market—and a serviceable holster than can act as a paddle holster. Alternatively, you can slip your belt through it for a more secure hold.
Since I tried out the last Elite model, Canik has changed the holster from the Serpaesque model it first started shipping with the pistol. Now, it’s a plain Kydex holster with a security strap that runs over top of the pistol and snaps to the face of the holster. My personal preference would be a thumb break, but this holster will work quite well for those pinching pennies.
Because of its more-compact size, it works well in concealed-carry mode or as a duty-style weapon. With its tungsten-gray Cerakote finish, a little neglect isn’t going to make this weapon go to seed, and the ergonomics provide a secure purchase high up on the grip to better control recoil.
It has a simple manual of arms, and there’s little complexity to its operation. It’s an ideal weapon to teach the fundamentals of shooting to family members, and it has all the right features for serious combat, including cocking serrations on both the front and rear of the slide.
FOR THE PREPPER LOOKING TO SAVE MONEY FOR OTHER PURCHASES, BUT WHO STILL NEEDS A QUALITY COMBAT PISTOL, THE ELITE MODEL REALLY IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS …
Given Canik’s price point and its exceptional performance, prepper-minded individuals receive tremendous value without compromising accuracy or reliability. In fact, all facets of the pistol add up to a sum greater than all of its parts, which was borne out in our trials.
WRINGING OUT THE ELITE
Because of its low price point, it’s easy to get lulled into the trap of thinking the TP9 SF Elite has some problems under the hood that might make the wary a bit paranoid.
That just isn’t the case. The Elite model I received for this review is the second sample I have tried and reviewed, and both models performed at the top of their class.
In fact, for this second go-around, I had four other 9mm pistols (some of which cost significantly more) at the range during one session, and the Canik was the only one that had no failures of any kind that day. Even the high-end models experienced a malfunction or two. The Canik is built extremely well and can shoot whatever you put through it—and end up asking for more.
For this review, I had on hand a couple of different brands of ammunition, including SIG Elite V-crown and Federal Premium I had used before to good effect. But I decided to add a few more, just to spice things up; these included additional loads from Speer and Wilson (see the accompanying table on page 107).
Much like last time, the 147-grain SIG V-crown Elite turned in the best group out of all the loads by coming in at just 1 inch, with a best average group size as well: 1.48 inches. Worth mentioning, because they were just a few hundredths of an inch apart, was the 124-grain SIG’S performance, with an average of 1.54 inches for five-shot groups.
All the attributes of the Canik—from the light and smooth trigger pull and the excellent ergonomics—combined with the precise Warren sights to produce an excellent shooting platform. The fiberoptic front sight, in particular, helped with more-precise aiming.
That said, I felt the sights were a bit narrow for my eyes in a defensive situation, despite the precision they provided for slow aimed fire. However, there are those who are comfortable and fine with the narrower sight window for combat work. If that’s you, more power to you. That just makes the package complete, out of the box, for those with better eyesight than mine.
With the other 9mm pistols I had on the range, the trigger on the TP9 SF Elite was the best by far. It was nice to be able to compare all of them on site to get a good feel for the trigger pull. The only pistols I’ve tried in the past with an equally great trigger include the Walther PPQ and the CZ P-10 C. Even so, I’d still need to try them all, side by side, to really sort out the best of the bunch.
GIVEN THE CANIK’S PRICE POINT AND ITS EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE, PREPPER-MINDED INDIVIDUALS RECEIVE TREMENDOUS VALUE WITHOUT COMPROMISING ACCURACY OR RELIABILITY.
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
“You get what you pay for” is the adage most of us have abided by throughout our time on Earth, but that’s just not the case with Canik’s recent offering. It is made in Turkey. With an MSRP of just $459.99, many people would be happy to get a somewhat decent pistol for that price, let alone such a high-quality offering.
The TP9 SF Elite blows away expectations with how much it offers for the money; and, as mentioned, it hangs in there with the very best striker-fired pistols on the market, regardless of their price.
For the prepper looking to save money for other purchases, but who still needs a quality combat pistol, the Elite model really is as good as it gets, from my experience.
If you’re in the market for a quality pistol that won’t bust your budget, or you’re looking to add a few to the family’s arsenal, the Canik TP9 SF Elite will be a good fit for you and your family, and it will offer much more than you bargained for.
The Warren rear sights on the TP9 SF Elite provide very precise aiming capabilities.
Right: Even though it’s designed more for concealed carry, the TP9 SF Elite comes complete with a Picatinny rail for the attachment of accessories.
Below: Despite its smaller form factor, the Canik TP9 SF Elite is dressed in the latest design attributes, making it a formidable defensive weapon.
All controls and attributes of the TP9 SF Elite blend together to form an excellent concealed-carry weapon. Far right: The rear of the TP9 SF Elite model includes striations to reduce glare and a cocked striker indicator for additional safety.