Range Report: Canik’s Affordable High Tech 9mm

By Wilburn Roberts published on in Firearms, Range Reports, Reviews

In a world awash with mediocre handguns, a pistol with reliability, accuracy, and good features at a fair price is a desirable commodity. The Canik TP9SA exemplifies this concept. The Canik 9mm is manufactured by Samsun Yurt Savunma, a Turkish gun maker. Samsun Yurt Savunma has secured numerous military contracts and their goods are respectable.

Canik TP9sa pistol

The Canik TP9sa has clean lines and a modern profile.

The Canik 55 9mm pistol is similar in outline to the Smith and Wesson SW99 and Walther P99. It is not an exact clone, but clearly, the designer was familiar with the Walther pistol. The Canik 55 is a service size 9mm with a polymer frame and mid size slide with a 4.25-inch barrel. The slide is well machined without visible tool marks. Barrel to slide fit is good. The barrel hood locks into the ejection port in the SIG/Glock fashion.

The cocking serrations allow adequate purchase for manipulation. There is a loaded chamber indicator that rises when the chamber is loaded. The sights offer an adequate sight picture. The sights are the three dot configuration along with a white bar on the rear sight in the seldom seen bar dot configuration. The striker protrudes from a witness hole in the rear of the slide when cocked. The end of the striker is a visible red.

The slide is easily racked. The controls are ergonomic. Shooters with short fingers have no difficulty operating the slide lock. There are finger reliefs on each side of the trigger guard to lessen trigger reach. The front and rear straps feature raised areas for abrasion. The sides of the handle are also roughened. While offering good adhesion none of these surfaces were uncomfortable when firing. A pin at the bottom of the grip strap is removed to allow changing the rear strap.

Canik 55 pistol, case, and accessories

The pistol is delivered with a spare magazine and useful range holster.

The magazine features 17 staggered witness holes and holds 17 rounds of ammunition. The magazine was not difficult to load to full capacity. The magazine release is a Browning-type with a flat button. The pistol field strips more easily than most with spring loaded levers under the ejection port releasing the slide. The frame features a rail for mounting a combat light.

Earlier TP9 pistols were double action first shot handguns. The TP9sa is a single-action handgun. This isn’t a double-action-only like the Glock, it is a single action like the Springfield XD. When the slide is racked, the striker is cocked. There is a firing pin block and a lever set in the trigger to prevent lateral pressure on the trigger from discharging the firearm. The TP9sa trigger action breaks at 5.5 pounds.

The conversion to single action fire brings about an odd feature. The decocker of the TP9 is retained. This decocker served to decock the TP9’s double action first shot trigger. With the TP9sa the action is decocked with a cartridge in the chamber. The chamber is loaded, but the slide must be racked to reset the striker. A newer version of the pistol I have not yet tested eliminates this decocker from the system.

The TP9sa is supplied with a plastic belt holster. Both belt and paddle holster attachments are supplied. Quality is superior to some plastic holsters. It served well as a range holster. The draw required the holster’s latch to be actuated on each draw. The TP9sa’s handle offered good purchase when drawing the pistol.

Canik 55
Overall Length 7.55 inches
Overall Height 5.7 inches
Weight Unloaded 28 ounces
Weight Loaded 33.2 ounces
Barrel Length 4.5 in.
Magazine 18-Rd. Detachable Box

Firing Tests

I have fired the piece extensively with good reliability and acceptable accuracy. For this review, I included four loadings—the Hornady 115-grain Critical Defense, Hornady 135-grain +P FlexLock, HPR 115-grain FMJ, and HPR-124 grain JHP. Reliability was faultless. The pistol’s front sight hangs on the target and control is excellent. The +P load demonstrated greater recoil as expected, but none of the loads were uncomfortable.

I fired the pistol primarily for combat accuracy at man-sized targets at 7 and 10 yards. I also fired the pistol off of the benchrest with care taken to deliver maximum precision. The best group I have yet achieved with this pistol is a 2-inch group at 25 yards, with the average closer to 3 inches with a wide choice of loads over the past six months. The HPR FMJ load was in the 3-inch range, the Hornady 115-grain Critical Defense in the 2.5-inch range. The HPR 124-grain load equaled the Hornady Critical Defense loading.

The Canik 9mm is clearly accurate enough for personal defense, competition, and informal target practice. It is a good buy worth its price.

Do you have any experience with the Canik 9mm? Share it in the comment section.

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Comments (20)

  • greg powell


    I purchased the new canik TP9sf.
    First time at range, fresh out of box, i was shooting 3″ groups at 25yds. I put fifteen mags through it witout cleaning, remember right out of box. Brought it home cleaned it and looked for wear marks. same as Glock wear a little heavy on the right side but that ts the torque. I cleaned it and back to the range down to 2-1/2″ groups. Stitch firing was a little to the right but to be expected. I’m a huge Glock fan own a few. have always carried a GLock, while in law enforcement. I swore by the Glock as a former active duty Marine, i like reliable accurate throw in the mud and fight weapons. The Canik performed so well that it replaced my Glock in my active shooters bag. The Glock’s in the safe. I let a friend try it out. he’s e special ops and has has been in Afgan 21 times as an operator he is also a tactical instructor. He bought one the next day. Nuf said.


  • Fake Niceto Alcala Zamora y Torre


    Please do no insult the Walther P99 by comparing it to a $279 piece of junk made in Turkey.


    If you want to buy junk, buy a Hi-Point. These are the Saturday Night Specials of semi-auto handguns.


    • G-Man


      @ Fake Niceto Alcala Zamora y Torre,

      Spoken like a person that has absolutely no clue what they are talking about. Many Turkish guns these days are on par with other quality European and American gun manufacturers. With just a little research you’d see how embarrassingly wrong you were to refer to this gun as “junk made in Turkey”.

      This gun is manufactured in an ISO 9000 series certified facility. It has passed NATO accuracy standards and even incorporates a machined match-grade barrel. Therefore it can and often is easily compared to the quality of a Walther P99.

      If you actually knew what you were talking about you’d know that Turkey has always been known for its ability to produce excellent firearms quite cheaply. Many of their firearms are rebranded under other names and you’d never have known it. But when not manufacturing for other companies, Turkey’s own brands used to have quality control issues; so every now and then a problem gun would give them a bad reputation.

      The thing is there isn’t a single gun manufacturer out there that can say they haven’t had a quality control issue once or twice. Turkey just seemed to have them more often. But those problems no longer exist for Turkey and have been virtually eliminated due to newer upgrades in manufacturing technologies.

      So that just leaves the flawed thinking in your low-price insinuation. However, you should never use the price of a gun as a quality indicator, because retail pricing has very little to do with quality when dealing with the much lower market costs of raw materials and labor in Turkey. Simply put, they can (and do) produce an exceptionally high quality firearm at extremely low prices.

      In fact, absent the old quality control issues, this has recently allowed Turkish companies to make a new name for themselves in the gun industry. A fact that is becoming so well-known it is fast putting other gun manufacturers on notice and some are running scared.

      So notwithstanding the thousands of satisfied Turkish gun owners or the rave reviews from torture tests published by highly qualified gun professionals, I’m going to have to go ahead and pop-poo your misguided advice in which you tell others to buy a Hi-Point instead.


    • Bob Campbell


      Well said G Man

      The Turks make no junk.

      Excellent quality on not only this handgun but the Tri Star shotguns as well.


    • G-Man


      @ Bob Campbell,

      Thank you sir, for the kind words. And good of you to bring up the Turkish made shotguns, as those too have been part of their effort to produce exceptional quality and value.

      As for the comments made by “Fake Niceto Alcala Zamora y Torre”, I simply cannot allow such snobbery and elitist attitudes to be left unchecked. Such ignorance does a mass disservice to the gun community at large.

      Not only did he demean the fine gun craftsmen of Turkey without warrant, but he did so even after the Turks had spent years going out of their way to clean up their industry and become successful at producing superior quality gun products with consistency.

      Worse is that his unrestrained drivel may have unjustly influenced some of our newer gun enthusiasts that actually seek out blogs such as this to learn from.

      If only this character was better educated before posting, he’d have known about all the quality parts Turkey manufactures for other well-known brands behind the scenes. He probably unwittingly owns a few guns with Turkish made parts and doesn’t even know it.


    • Joel J


      If he knew anything, he would realize that MKEK made the barrels and some internals for the original IWI Jericho (a LEGENDARY CZ platform pistol!), and that Canik’s initial import offering were MKEK CZ75B clones in alloy and steel frame. If the Israeli military trusts this manufacturer to build what are arguably the most important parts of their service pistols, what right does that brand snob have to sully the reputation of some of the best gunsmiths in the world? TriStar shotguns are regularly compared to Berretta, and even make some parts for Berretta.


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