Canik USA took the nation by storm several years ago with the TP9SA 9x19mm pistol. The rock solid handgun was priced to move below $400 and would not quit. Since that time Canik USA has introduced numerous models with many improvements. They have just outdone themselves with the launch of the METE pistol line and the SFT model.
When you open up the FDE colored hard-sided polymer case you will find that it contains not just a pistol, but a host of accessories and features. The SFT pistol is a 9x19mm striker-fired, semi-automatic handgun in a full or duty sized configuration.
The METE SFT has a FDE colored polymer frame and steel slide that is finished with a black Cerakote coating. Atop the slide, steel sights are dovetailed in place. The rear sight has a slightly angled front edge to allow the user to rack the slide one-handed in an emergency. This was a very intelligent touch on their part.
Directly in front of the rear sight is a removable plate to allow the installation of a mini red dot sight. Unlike previous models, where the rear sight was part of the optics plate, the METE SFT’s the rear sight remains when you mount a red dot. This change allows the shooter to have a co-witness both the iron sights and the red dot. The co-witness capability is one of the improvements put into this new pistol.
The trigger functions like every standard striker-fired gun you have tried and it is smooth and crisp. Canik pistols are famous for their superior factory triggers and this new pistol is no exception. I would put the SFT factory trigger up against any other factory striker-fired trigger on the market.
The pistol kit comes with three different backstrap sizes; small, medium, and large. A tool is provided to allow you to change them by removing a single pin.
The METE SFT uses traditional full-sized Canik magazines in 18 round capacity. The kit comes with two standard 18 round mags and one “+2” version with extended base pads for a total of 20 rounds in that magazine. The slide has typical front and rear grip serrations and the frame is textured in all the right places with the M1913 Picatinny accessory rail we have all come to expect.
Canik improved the beavertail grip area, upgraded the trigger guard with a slight undercut, and put an internally beveled mag well on the frame in addition to the external match mag funnel that the user can install if they so choose. There are also holster “grip points” on the left and right of the frame to give a bit of extra purchase and ensure solid seating in whichever holster you decide to go with.
What many American users might not be aware of is that the factory in which Canik pistols are made is not just a gun company. Within that NATO-approved facility, numerous types of military hardware are manufactured and the plant is ISO 9000 certified.
The Canik pistol line is used by military units overseas and as such, the gun must be up to the task when it comes to passing hardcore torture tests. When you take a close look at the back plate on the METE slide you will notice the absence of the usual hole that most every typical striker-fired pistol has on the back plate. This design feature was put in place to eliminate an area where dust and dirt could enter the action.
Canik pistols have met and surpassed tens of thousands of round shooting torture tests. They have been buried in sand, dug up and fired without fail. When you purchase a METE, you are buying a handgun that has already undergone rigorous testing in the field to ensure reliability.
Accessories Available from Canik USA
For those who like to shoot quietly, Canik offers a drop-in threaded barrel that doesn’t require additional gunsmithing. The threads on the barrel are 1/2×28 TPI right hand twist. This is naturally the most popular option for pistol silencers/suppressors in the United States.
For those who really like to shoot and shoot a lot. Canik offers replacement recoil springs, striker assemblies, and other parts. After all, a pistol is a machine. If you run it hard enough, you might have to change out a part or two. This is no different than your motorcycle or your truck. The good news is that the Canik METE is user-friendly and part exchanges can be performed at your workbench.
The Canik pistol line has been out long enough now that not only are there holsters available from Canik USA, but also from numerous other makers as well.
My preferred concealed carry rig is the CrossBreed Holsters Supertuck. With that holster, I can wear the gun comfortably for ten to twelve hours without feeling the need to take it off or adjust it.
All of the above is nice, but the true test is in the field and at the range. During my evaluation period, I fed the METE SFT a wide variety of 9x19mm ammunition. For my testing I used ammo from Black Hills to include their new Honeybadger ammo.
I also used rounds from CCI, Federal, Hornady, Fiochhi, and the Red Army Standard from Century Arms. The cases were polished brass, nickel, and lacquered steel. The projectiles were full metal jacket, jacketed hollow point and Critical Defense bullets from Hornady.
All told, before I sat down to write this, I put somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 rounds though the SFT. Sure, more ammo would have been nice, but have you priced and purchased ammo lately? I deliberately dropped the gun from chest height several times and I even buried it in the sand, dug it up and went straight to shooting.
After applying threadlocker to the base screws and torquing them, I was pleased to find the red dot sitting right on top of the front sight post. The sight is adjustable, however, after clanging a steel half-silhouette target at 25 yards, I felt the dot was right on. After my first session, I installed the medium-sized backstrap and found that it fit my hand the best.
During several range sessions, I used a strong two-handed hold, fired from my right hand and then my left hand only. I engaged targets from close up out to around thirty yards. As long as I did my part, the pistol performed admirably. Not one time did I experience a stoppage or failure to feed. Before I began testing I applied some EDC CLP to the inner slide rails.
Specifications: Canik Mete 9mm Pistol
Overall Length: 7.56 in.
Barrel Length: 5.47 in.
Weight: 27.9 oz.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance * * * * *
Great looking gun. The two-tone finish will please many buyers.
Reliability * * * * *
100% reliable with a variety of ammunition types and bullet styles. Dropped multiple times, buried in sand, zero stoppages or failures.
Ergonomics * * * * *
This is a full-sized pistol so recoil is essentially a non-issue. Three different back strap sizes and a deep grip (beavertail) mean 99% of people should be able to use it.
Customize This * * * * *
Ready to accept a variety of the new mini red dot sights such as RMRcc, Shield Sights micro reflex and Holosun. Drop-in threaded barrels available for suppressors. Will accept any light/laser that will affix to an M1913 Picatinny rail. Dovetailed sights are relatively easy to replace.
Overall * * * * *
This is an extremely well-built, well-designed fighting handgun. The improvements over previous models just add to it. The METE SFT is ready for harder use than most people will ever subject it to. My only wish is that they would have done away with the ridiculously amateurish 3-dot sights, that would have saved me the time of blacking out the rear sight. They could easily charge $200 more for this gun and be justified in doing it.
Paul G. Markel has been a United States Marine, Small Arms & Tactics Instructor, Police Officer and Medical Trainer for some thirty years. Mr. Markel has trained thousands of military, law enforcement, and citizens nationwide in the use of arms. He is the founder and host of the Student of the Gun radio and television show and the author of dozens of books.
You can listen to Paul every week on Student of the Gun Radio. The show can be heard on demand on iTunes, iHeartRadio, or your favorite media player.