Gun Review: Sarsilmaz SAR 9

SAR 9

Gun manufacturers are in love with the Walther PPQ M2. Remington’s RP9 is basically a photocopy, offering the same ergonomics and overall design. Heckler & Koch may hate you but they love the M2; the HK VP9 bears more than a passing resemblance to PPQ. The Sarsilmaz SAR 9 falls into the same category of top-heavy, striker-fired handguns. But at least there are some design choices that on the surface which make the SAR 9 more interesting.

Sarsilmaz SAR 9

Picking up the SAR 9 for the first time, the ergonomics are spot-on. While the SAR 9’s finger grooves are GLOCKish, they’re understated and smooth in the great Waltherian tradition. The Turk’s grip provides just the right balance of purchase and comfort, semi-customizable with a replaceable backstrap.

Also appreciated: the grooves at the base of the grip. Even though the SAR 9’s magazine drops free at the press of a button, the grooves are great for malfunction clearing. You can rip a mag out of the gun in partial seconds.

Less well designed: the SAR 9’s frame-mounted safety.

Sarsilmaz SAR 9

When it comes to preventing a negligent discharge, frame-mounted safeties are an extra protection, welcomed by many. When it comes to armed self-defense, shooters need to be able to switch off a frame-mounted safety quickly and efficiently. Instinctively. Imagine being attacked by a large person with a machete; an angry pile of carbon advancing towards you that needs to assume room temperature ASAP. Now imagine fumbling with your handgun’s safety.

This SAR 9’s safety’s slim profile makes the gun great for sliding in and out of holsters. The low-profile switch also makes it extremely difficult to apply enough pressure to switch it on or off. If I had to guess, I’d say It takes roughly half the weight of a fully loaded 747 to move the safety from the “safe” to “fire” position. In short, when you really need to disengage the SAR 9’s safety it will be nearly impossible to move.

The SAR 9’s recalcitrant frame-mounted safety pretty much excludes the gun from competition consideration. Typically, competitors must engage the safety when discarding the handgun for another firearm. On a GLOCK or GLOCK-like handgun with a trigger safety, competitors simply put the gun down. The SAR 9’s safety would lead to a solid thirty seconds of fumbling at the dump box. No bueno.

What’s up with that? Federal law requires certain safety features on imported handguns.To satisfy these requirements, Turkey’s sole official supplier to the police and military slapped a safety on an otherwise striker fired-only handgun with the expectation that no one would ever actually flip it on. And yet, here we are.

Sarsilmaz SAR 9

The SAR 9 uses a typical split trigger striker-fired design. The trigger functions as it should, with a reasonably clean break and a Walther-like quick reset. But it feels like a cheap imitation of a good trigger — wobbly, gritty, and generally displeasing. It’s the GoBots to GLOCK’s Transformers: a poorly made imitation that feels flimsy and rough on the edges.

Speaking of poorly made items with holes in the quality control process that rival the plot holes in terrible movies

Sarsilmaz SAR 9

The gun ships with a set of three dot sights. Well, two dots and what appears to be a sperm.

Some quality control issues I can overlook. In this case I literally can’t — I’m forced to see SAR’s lack of quality control every time I fire the gun. Gritty triggers and extra flashing on internal components I can understand. There’s no excuse for shipping a gun with defective sights.

If extremely obvious problems can fall through the cracks, I start to question what else might have slipped through.

Sarsilmaz SAR 9

The SAR 9 takes down just like a GLOCK (and every other non-GLOCK GLOCK). That said, the takedown levers on either side of the SAR 9’s frame are easier to manipulate than Gaston’s gear. So there is that.

target

Out on the range the gun performs admirably. The trigger feels a bit gritty, but otherwise it’s acceptable. The pistol actually shoots rather soft for firearms of its size and weight in my opinion — I was able to get the gun back on target quickly and without a whole lot of effort. Accuracy is good, and the gun feeds reliably using both steel and brass ammunition. The one note I will put here is that Blazer steel cased ammunition has an interesting quirk in this gun where the spent cases will tend to fly directly into your face. So be warned, and wear your eye protection.

Sarsilmaz SAR 9

Overall the SAR 9 is a good not great gun, further hobbled by a safety switch that needs immediate rectification. If the Turkish import was priced in the Hi-Point price range, fair enough. At an MSRP of $449, with less troubled firearms like the Remington RP9 retailing for $170, it’s a non-starter. These days there’s not enough room in the market for a poorly made firearm, at any price.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sarsilmaz SAR 9

  • Finish: Blued steel
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Trigger: Striker fired
  • Magazine Capacity: 17
  • Sights: Fixed three(ish) dot
  • MSRP: $449

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Fit and Finish *
Gritty, wobbly, and with some extra paint thrown in on the sights for no additional charge.

Function * * * *
It works fine.

Accuracy * * * *
It works fine.

Overall Rating *
Over twice as expensive as a better quality firearm and shipping with a mandatory, yet almost unusable safety. This doesn’t sound like a winning combination to me.

comments

  1. avatar Mmmtacos says:

    Looks like a poor man’s VP9.

    Also look for their ST-9, a poor man’s Walther P99 and their ST-10, a poor man’s USP albeit with a metal frame which is kind of neat. I think y’all even reviewed that one and liked it…

    1. avatar TheUnspoken says:

      Yeah the grips have the current HK “Batman” look but slide looks more Walter like to me. Doesn’t sound like a winner though, might as well go VP9, PPQ, or glock, m&p, CZ, Steyr, etc or even tp9sa.

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    I have never fired a Sar. But it sure gets a lot of love on FB. It’s a no go for me supporting a Muslim dictatorship…

  3. avatar WI Patriot says:

    Looking more and more like Hi-Points everyday…

  4. avatar Setarip says:

    Looks like they even copied HK’s grip inserts. I wonder if that’s a patent infringement (I think HK has a patent for the grip). For that price of $449, why wouldn’t you just get a Glock or a VP9?

    1. avatar OMIe says:

      There is so many ignorant gullible Americans lose in society this is a fact…
      Turkiye is NATO ally country .Make sure you write somewhere corner into your little brain ( Remember Cuba crisis, Korean war, Incirlik air base..)
      Some nations cannot digest that Turkish economy getting stronger every day Lockheed Martin has plant in Turkiye making YES all the JSF planes and satellite defense systems as well as other projects
      Some of your narrow-minded comments will not tackle it down Turkish goals.
      For the Turkish guns, they are the BEST guns and seriously treat the major brand name guns in the market. Customers look three things price, dependable and accuracy and all the Turkish guns offer more than that.
      So if you looking all the quality you should NOT buy just try out these guns then you will understand and make decisions whatever fits you best.

  5. avatar J.T. says:

    “Federal law requires certain safety features on imported handguns.To satisfy these requirements, Turkey’s sole official supplier to the police and military slapped a safety on an otherwise striker fired-only handgun with the expectation that no one would ever actually flip it on.”

    It seems like every other manufacture doesn’t need to add an extra safety. The trigger tab should satisfy that requirement.

  6. avatar GS650G says:

    I’ll take my PPQ out and fire the real thing instead of a knockoff.

  7. avatar JoeBaja says:

    Kinda dirty pool comparing street price to msrp – though the Remy does have a $100 rebate. CDNN sells the SARGUN for the same money as the RP9 pre-rebate. Bummer about the QC on this one though. I have K2-45 and an ST-10 and they are both flawless. But a safety that isn’t unconscious to operate is a nonstarter.

  8. avatar PeterK says:

    Wow. Yeah that gun at that price is… not enticing.

  9. avatar Higgs says:

    I have looked at the SAR product line for a while. There bp6 line looks better than some of there other products, but that’s a low bar. When handling they just feel off compared to many other guns.

    Frankly if I am buying a Turkish handgun I will get something from Canik. I own a tp9 any have fired several of their Cz clones. All are solid guns a decent prices.

    1. avatar Joel says:

      Caniks are good pistols. I’ve shot a few as well.

  10. avatar Defens says:

    It’s interesting that the one you reviewed has a manual safety. In this month’s Firearms News (issue 25) there’s a full page ad for this handgun on the inside front cover – same specs and MSRP, this photo doesn’t show a safety.

    I somewhat question the assertion that the thumb safety was required to meet import requirements. I bought a Girsan MC-28 last year around this time – striker-fired M&P Turkish clone, basically. It shoots great, and doesn’t have a thumb safety, either.

  11. avatar joetast says:

    Steel gets rusty, plastic cracks. ” Didn’t grandpa have any guns?” Dad says ” Well he did, but they were plastic “

  12. avatar charles martel says:

    support the jihadist country of Turkey

  13. avatar Big Al says:

    Steel-cased Blazer??? Last I looked, they were either aluminum or brass cased.? Not into Turk/Russian/Chinese guns and/or ammo.

    1. avatar Matt o says:

      Yes! I too wish to know more about this mythical ammo!

  14. avatar Mark D says:

    Sperm!

  15. avatar Jeremy J says:

    If a ppq/vp9/m&p/glock had an orgy this is what you would get. Sars innovation seems to be copying every mainstream handgun made. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but I typically go for the real thing. I would like to see someone do a 5000 round review on this gun

  16. avatar DrRJP says:

    First of all the RP9 like its Remington predecessors, is a piece of junk.

    Secondly, call me old-fashioned, but I cannot, in good conscience, buy a weapon made by a repressive, West-hating Islamic dictatorship whose leader envisions himself as the next Caliph of a revived Ottoman Empire.

    There are too many guns made here in America and by our allies than to help finance our enemies.

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