CANIK’S TOP-TIER BUD­GET PISTOL

FOR THE DOL­LAR-CON­SCIOUS PREP­PER, THE TP9 SF ELITE OFFERS GREAT VALUE AND EX­CEL­LENT PER­FOR­MANCE.

American Survival Guide - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Gar­rett Lu­cas

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.

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