Consumer Information

Review: SAR 9

SAR 9 Pistol and Magazines

When a design has certain elements of several successful handguns, it may be a good mix of pleasing features or a witch’s brew of poor design.

In this case, the maker got it right.

The SAR 9 9mm pistol illustrated has come together with good features, making it among the most desirable handguns on the market based on reliability, usefulness and economy.

The pistol isn’t cheap, but it is affordable compared to the GLOCK, HK and Walther. Yet it gives up little to these pistols in performance.

I believe it is a head and shoulders above the rest in its price range, or a little out of the price range on the high side. It is that good a design.

The Sarsilmaz SAR 9 is well worth a hard look. It will fill the bill for home defense, personal defense and for informal target shooting.

While there are other handguns offered by SAR, including CZ 75 clones, the SAR 9 is the flagship or foundation of the line. 

SAR 9 9mm Pistol

Features and Specs

The pistol has its origins in a military contract for over 100,000 pistols.

The SAR 9 isn’t a copy or clone of another pistol, but an original, although some of its features are influenced by other handguns.

The slide resembles the GLOCK with a custom carry smoothing job.

The frame is either HK or Walther-like depending on the perspective of the person handling the pistol.

This is a striker-fired polymer-frame pistol, no surprises there. The pistol features an ambidextrous safety. I like that a lot.

Some will ignore the safety and that may work well for experienced shooters, some will prefer to activate the safety when carrying this pistol.

The pistol features a firing-pin block and the usual bifurcated trigger.

There is a lever in the center of the trigger to prevent trigger movement if the pistol is dropped.

There is a bright red insert behind the trigger that cues us in when the trigger is ready to fire and the slide racked.

The slide lock and magazine release are easily manipulated.

The magazines are tapered like all high-capacity 9mm magazines and are quite easy to guide into the magazine well.

The pistol features a modern light rail molded into the frame.

The SAR 9 no only features changeable backstraps, but also changeable side panels, an unexpected feature in a pistol that sells for less than the HK and Walther.

Five pistols on black table

The pistol is delivered in a hard plastic box with an instruction manual, cleaning rod and two 17-round magazines.

The internals of the SAR 9 are similar to the GLOCK, but not identical as may be expected. The addition of the manual safety makes a difference.

The takedown or field-stripping sequence is simple enough and very similar to the GLOCK/Walther type.

As far as I can tell, nothing is interchangeable with any other firearm I am familiar with.

Operation is standard double-action-only, striker-fired — rack the slide and the striker is partially prepped or cocked.

Press the trigger to the rear and the striker is brought back against spring pressure and breaks against the sear spring, firing the pistol.

The slide recoils and resets the striker for subsequent shots. The magazines are devilishly difficult to load to 17 rounds, but just fine to 15 rounds.

The magazine’s springs are certainly stout and will feed with reliability.

While there is something of a shortage imposed by panic buying and demand greater than ever seen in this country, I was able to fire more than 400 cartridges in the pistol over the course of several months.

On the firing line, I liked the three-dot sights.

They are properly regulated for 124-grain loads and fire a bit high with the 147-grain — par for the course.

The trigger is heavier than some at six pounds, but manageable. In drawing from a Falco holster designed for the GLOCK 17, the pistol is fast on target.

The sights and trigger are good choices for most defense uses.

Getting on target, getting a hit, and making a fast center hit and then a follow-up shot at five and seven yards was not difficult. 

Two Pistols In Case

How It Performs

Most of the ammunition expended was the cheapest ball ammo I could find. It included some pretty dirty steel case and other loads.

The pistol never failed to feed, cycle or eject. I fired a magazine of SIG Sauer Elite 124-grain V Crown to test reliability.

The pistol thrives on defense ammunition. The V Crown is a formidable defense loading.

I also used a few rounds of Winchester 147-grain Silvertip to confirm the pistol’s accuracy at a long 25 yards.

Firing from the MTM firing rest, I put five rounds into four inches. The pistol is accurate enough, if not target grade.

At defense range — seven yards — you may make a single ragged hole in the X-ring with the cheapest load.

This is a formidable handgun well worth its price. 

Man Shooting Pistol in Woods
SAR 9Features
Sights:Three-Dot, White Outline
Weight:27 Ounces
Length7.5 Inches
Magazine Capacity17 Rounds

What do you think of the SAR 9? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (24)

  1. I had problem with a SAR rebate…..I purchased 2 pistols
    one for me and one for my girlfriend. FFL registered
    in each name as normal.
    They would not honor one of the Rebates. So I called
    customer service and one guy said he would send me a swag bag
    with tee shirt ,hat and SAR goodies for the problem…
    I waited 5-6 months and nothing…..So I called SAR again,
    talked to a woman,and was I was told no such items were
    available and THEY MADE NO EFFORT to make things right.
    I was an FFL Dealer in the past an NEVER did I have any
    problem with companies ( Remington, Ruger, S&W, Browning, just to name a few) ,
    offering to make the customer happy or sending items to me or any of my customers….
    I own at least 10 of their pistols and have had good luck with them…
    BUT their Customer Service Sucks !!!

  2. A friend said don’t buy it, they are junk. I searched the internet and only found one bad review and literally hundreds saying it was a great gun. The flashlight, holster, cleaning tools and spare magazine along with a case convinced me. Then I found a great price and I could not resist. I have about 300 rounds through it now and it is flawless. A real bonus is the RMRc optic ready mount and available threaded barrel. It is really a case of having a higher end gun for less. I work with high end CNC machine tools and we sell our machines to many gun manufacturers. I have been in many of the leading gun makers factories. I know what I am looking at when it comes to quality. All in all a very good value for the money. I wish it were US made but you would spend a lot more or less gun. Highly recommend.

  3. Just ordered the new sar9 mete platinum I couldn’t refuse the deal, they are going for 499 on every gun site but I found it for 338 bucks!! Now this is the sar mete, check it out online it’s really a beautiful looking firearm, I hope I like it, all reviews say they make a great gun for the money

  4. It must be a “grip thing” but my thumb continuously hits the mag release.

    I had the same issue with my holster. I had to modify it to keep it from dropping the mag.

    Any thoughts? Anyone experiencing similar?

    The release is really sensitive.

  5. For the person who asked where it’s made: it’s made in Turkey by Sarsilmaz, one of the largest gun manufacturers in Turkey. Turkish guns are high quality, high reliability firearms that includes guns made by Canik, Tisa and Girsan. The Girsan Regard is a clone of the Beretta 92 (M9) and the Canik TP9 models are like a combination of Walter and CZ pistols.

  6. Want to keep you in the loop, this is the review if your company I will put in reviews on every web site I can find.

    I bought a b6c from from dunhams 2 weeks ago today, after 50 rounds would not feed a round. Cleaned it oiled it same problem, most times can’t rack a round.

    Almost 2 weeks trying to chase down customer support,. Only way to get some one in the phone is to connect to finance, the rest of them hide behind voicemail.

    Finally got an email from someone named Felix, this morning he told me to return it (at my own expense), absolutely the worst customer service I have ever dealt with. I have know have to pay at least $30.00 more for something that is brand new and should be able to function from the store. Not counting all the frustration and time wasted on this company.

    From my initial 50 rounds I really liked it, after that as I mentioned failure to fee, ok stuff breqks but when it does break I expect the company to stand behind what they sell and to ANSWER THEIR DAMN PHONES. Their favorite excuse is they are busy. Which makes me wonder about the actual quality of what they sell.

    My advice buy a cz-75 or a short barrell 1911 like a commander, little more expensive but no hassles if from bought from a reputable manufacture.

    As for me, I will take it to a local gun smith to have it repaired(I hope). I no longer think this company will do right by me and extremely tired if chasing them down just to get an email. If it cost to much to fix I will give to the sheriff and buy a commander.

    Btw I believe as a layman it is just bad machining that caused this issue.

  7. My New SAR9T I just bought fell apart field stripping it and slide would even come off the gun never even been fire. SAR9T use cheap polymer roll pin falls out gun when pull frame levers down on the gun for field stripping. Once polymer roll pin comes out your SAR9T disables your trigger until put back in gun. So want really cheap made handgun gun fall part can not field strip get SAR9.

  8. Nice handgun! As in some reviews, the trigger pull is a little heavy. Awesome feel in hand, and this thing is accurate!

  9. I bought a SAR 9 several months ago, maybe a year, now and it is one of my favorite handguns. Has become my home defense gun due to reliability and ergonomics. Put a night light on the rail. It’s really a great shooter, especially for under $300. I liked it so well I eventually bought one for a brother and a sister as gifts.

  10. I am very particular in choosing my weapons as a former Marine I like a dependable fire arm. With that being said when I bought my sar 9 I was a bit hesitant not knowing much about it and I’m not a fan of what we call pea shooters. But I do have to say it is a damn good and reliable weapon it shoots very accurate has a pretty good recoil to it it has not jammed at all I have to say I don’t regret buying this weapon wish the trigger had less pressure but over all a great weapon

  11. I bought my SAR9 about 3 weeks ago. First time at range fired 50 rounds a210 yards. All hit at least a foot low. I contacted SAR and they told me gun sights were European. Sent me an Email with the proper sight picture. I returned to the range and fired 20 rounds at 20 feet. All hit 6inches low, even using recommended sight picture. Still waiting for reply from SAR about adjustment of sights.

  12. Shoots great already,first box of 124gr.two 17rd mags ,How many rounds do you need if someone come thru your door with bad intentions .Lock& Load!!!?

  13. I bought this gun with a recommendation from a friend. And though I’m no assassin with perfect aim, this gun is on point. Big for people with small hands.
    But this thing shoots so well even with tula ammo. But why even use it? Accurate Accurate Accurate!
    One of if not my favorite, under 5hun gun..
    also my fall/winter daily carry!

  14. Just purchased this gun and 9mm is one of my least favorite calibers. But how does any gun enthusiast pass up on $249 quality pistol with 2 mags, a holster, and a loader in hard case? Not me!

  15. I’m a rifle guy even though this is my second gun and first striker fire…what a nice ,reliable, fun to shot piece..first sight (after 120 round) love..on target about 96% with 5 kind of ammo including tula still case ammo…I love my cm9 but this one is WOW… AFTER YOU LEARN HOW to disassembly its a piece of cake cleaning and any other gun you should put 400..500 rounds before it breaks in…excellent gun for the price ..even after purchasing it went down 50$ …

  16. Just recently bought me a SAR9. My first firearm purchase. Not a big fan of its tendency to stovepipe but that’s petty insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Love how it takes whatever kind of round you can put through it and the quick field stripping capability is a very big plus. While I understand people’s issue with tight slide and grainy trigger pull it is also an insignificant fairly superficial complaint all in all.
    This firearm is very easy to wield and the extra safety is great for someone who worries about accidents. Never was a fan of this style firearm until this purchase… But I have even given her a name… Nyx…. Thats not something I would do if I wasnt a fan…i am now looking for optics because the iron sights are off about 6″ or so at a range of about 20’… I could adjust the rear sights but addition of a holographic red dot is more up my alley

  17. Just picked mine up yesterday and instantly I knew this was going to be a favorite. It feels so at home in both my hands. I am ambidextrous and shoot equally well with both hands. I literally do not have a hand that I favor. I have Beretta apx’s too and they are just totally awesome.
    If the thumb safety is a little stiff just flip it up and down about twenty times and it will loosen up.
    When you hold this gun it instantly feels like it is an extension of your arm.
    This gun was designed to beat the glock and it has outdone itself. I will be buying more of these in the future. The grip feel really good too….smooth but yet grips well.
    The slide release is tight but I suspect it too will smooth out after a while. Can’t say enough about this sidearm.

  18. really love this gun.i have the sar9st and exactly what was said in review, it is almost impossible to get last 2 rounds in clip. Got a speed loader on the way to see if it helps,but otherwise its a great gun

  19. I work at Gun Counter in a nice store I was able to acquire a 9x Platinum.This is an excellent firearm.The package it came with is more then adequate.The flashlight is bright enough the holster sturdy enough and Double Magazine holder works well.A great package at the price.Looks nice and operation is flawless do far.Trigger is breaking in after 600 rounds getting much smoother.I really sell alot of the Sar 9 and am super confident that my customers will enjoy it.

  20. I feel very fortunate to have acquired one of these during a year of turmoil. This along with a few other choice pistols are very nice. Have not yet had a chance to fire; but the ergonomics are spot on. This is the sort of piece that feels just right the first time you pick it up. I have not doubt it will do the job.

  21. Is the SAR 9 California compliant or will it be California compliant anytime soon thank you very much for the article

  22. I have the sar 2000 and LOVE it. Looks good with chrome slides and black frame.. Only draw back I have is it does not have the rail for mounting options.

  23. I wasn’t totally convinced I liked this firearm on my first range trip. The trigger was a bit scratchy and slide very stiff to rack. The gun just felt a bit awkward in my hand. However I decided to keep trying and changed out the grips to better fit my hands. I took it back to the range a few more times. Each time was a bit better. I’m now really liking this SAR9. The trigger feels so much better and I am on target with each shot. It has handled all types of ammo with no problems at all 100% reliability so far. I would definitely recommend this gun.

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