Gun Review: Canik ONE Series TP9SF Elite

Canik ONE Series TP9SF Elite

Courtesy Canik

By Matt Magliacane

Features

Canik is known for delivering a lot of bang for the buck. Their ONE Series TP9SF Elite 9mm is no exception, and it may even be the exemplar.

The TP9SF Elite is a striker-fired, single action semi-automatic pistol. The TP9 series borrows heavily from the tried-and-true Walther P99 series. Its 15+1 round capacity places it in the “compact” category alongside the GLOCK 19, Walther P99/PPQ, S&W M&P9 M2.0 Compact, etc.

That said, it is a large pistol and feels substantial in the hand.

Canik ONE Series TP9SF Elite

Courtesy Matt Magliacane

The polymer frame features stippling texture on the sides of the grip serration nubs on the front and back straps. The grip angle is wrist-friendly, and I am able to maintain a full, three-finger grip with my medium-sized hands.

The grip angle is, in my opinion, much improved compared to a GLOCK for comfort and a natural point of aim. There are no finger grooves. The combination of grip angle, length, and texture strike the sweet spot for the price.

The Canik’s grip offers just enough purchase to ensure proper control in adverse conditions while avoiding, for example, the overly abrasive sandpaper texture of some pistols. The dust cover features textured “memory points” for parking your index finger when you aren’t ready to fire.

The square trigger guard features serrations on the front for those who like to rest a weak side finger there. Three Picatinny rail slots lie ahead of the trigger guard for lights, lasers, and chainsaw bayonets.

Canik ONE Series TP9SF Elite

Courtesy Matt Magliacane

Rather than using the ambidextrous paddle magazine release found on other TP9s, H&Ks, and Walthers, the TP9SF Elite mag release is of the standard push-button American variety and can be reversed to the right side for you lefties.

The polymer trigger contains a red blade safety (drop safeties are also present inside). Long, Germanic slide release/lock arms flank both sides for ambidextrous control. I love the shape and position of these levers. While they are easy to actuate to send the slide home, I have yet to accidentally hit them and prevent slide lock-back.

(Note that the TP9SF Elite “S” features an additional trigger block safety that resembles a magazine release paddle.)

Canik ONE Series TP9SF Elite

Courtesy Matt Magliacane

The TP9SF Elite’s show-stopping feature is its trigger. A clear indication of its Walther P99 pedigree, the TP9SF Elite features a smooth, crisp, and light trigger pull with a very short, tactile reset.

There’s no mush, imprecision, or drag as one may experience with other striker fired triggers. Similarly, it lacks the hard wall I have experienced on first-gen M&Ps that tend to throw your shot to the left of target.

The Canik TP9SF Elite’s  trigger has an initial soft take-up that reaches a wall before breaking like a fresh kettle-cooked potato chip. Reset distance is negligible, making rapid follow-up shots a breeze.

It only takes a slight partial rack of the slide to reset the trigger. Try out the trigger on one of these if you ever have the chance. It may well tempt the hammer-fired aficionados among us.

Sitting atop the polymer frame is a Tungsten Cerakote-finished steel slide. It makes for an attractive two-tone finish without the stark contrast of polished stainless against a black frame. Cocking serrations are found forward and aft, and the slide contouring behind the chamber acts as another convenient area to grasp.

The TP9SF Elite is equipped with a set of Warren Tactical sights. The rear sight is an all-black U-notch, and the front is a red fiber optic rod within a black post.

Canik ONE Series TP9SF Elite

Courtesy Matt Magliacane

Those of you who suffer from astigmatism and the imperfect correction granted by toric contact lenses will appreciate the sight picture. For my less-than-stellar eyes, the fiber optic red dot up front seems to cut through the multiple focal planes better than a traditional three-white-dot sight picture.

The front fiber optic pipe is on the small side, trading some brightness for a better view of your target inside the U-notch.

Canik ONE Series TP9SF Elite

Courtesy Canik

The TP9SF Elite packs a 4.2” barrel. Century Arms bills it as “match grade.” I will take their word for it from initial testing with offhand shooting at 20 yards with the aforementioned eyes.

Canik ONE Series TP9SF Elite

Courtesy Matt Magliacane

The barrel features a nicely polished feed ramp. The sturdy, captured recoil spring soaks up the recoil on spicier varieties of 9x19mm.

In the Box

The Canik TP9SF Elite ships with two 15-round magazines, an outside-the-waistband paddle holster with retention release, bore brush and cleaning rod rods, the obligatory trigger lock, changeable back strap, a magazine loader, and extra red and green fiber optic pipes for the front sight – all inside a hard plastic case.

Canik ONE Series TP9SF Elite

Courtesy Matt Magliacane

This would make for a great starter kit, particularly for the price point, providing a new shooter everything he needs except cleaning solvents and ammunition.

The included magazine loader was greatly appreciated in convincing the new double-stack magazines to submit during the initial range session. The holster is sturdy, adjustable for cant, and perfectly suited to open carry or, for those with broad shoulders, concealed carry under a jacket.

A punch is included to change back straps, though I have not found any need to deviate from the stock configuration. The instruction manual is complete with clear color photos, and an additional disassembly instruction card is included (new owners should pay attention to the unique, but easy, slide removal procedure).

On the Range

After an initial field strip, inspection, and dozens of slide racks and dry fires, I took my new TP9SF Elite to an indoor range. I cycled 200 rounds of new Sellier & Bellot 124gr FMJ through the gun and encountered a single malfunction. It was magazine-related.

One of the magazines would only hold 14 rounds instead of 15. Compelling it to accept a fifteenth round, I attempted a full magazine +1 test. It would not cycle the second round after firing and ejecting the first.

Repeating the full magazine +1 test with the second magazine ran without a hitch. No other malfunctions or oddities were encountered. The ejection pattern was uremarkable, with no hot brass down the shirt or in the face (early models suffered weak extraction when end users ran domestic commercial ammunition with the TP9SF Elite’s NATO-spec action spring).

Point of aim required a slight adjustment as the gun was shooting a few inches left out of the box. Lacking tools to loosen and drift the rear sight, I resorted to Kentucky Windage for the duration of the range visit.

First up, a 9” target at 20 yards, standing, and without support – 15/15:

Canik ONE Series TP9SF Elite

Courtesy Matt Magliacane

Next, another 9” target at 25 yards, standing, and without support – 11/15 hits:

Canik ONE Series TP9SF Elite

Courtesy Matt Magliacane

Despite my difficulty obtaining a perfect sight picture thanks to astigmatism, I was thoroughly impressed.

A second outing with a couple of hundred more pills of 115 grain Blazer Brass resulted in no malfunctions of any kind. The “bad” magazine seemed to have its spring break in with the additional use. It happily accepted a full 15 rounds.

I knew I could be taking a gamble in opting for the Canik over ze German perfection that is the tried and true Walther P99AS. The results so far have assuaged my fear that I was ordering a subpar facsimile.

Fit and finish, machining, and performance are all top notch. The price was right, and I didn’t need to shell out extra for usable sights. Value for value, the Canik TP9SF Elite is a clear standout in an increasingly crowded budget plastic fantastic 9mm market.

Specifications: Canik TP9SF Elite

Caliber: 9x19mm
Capacity: 15+1, Two 15-round magazines included
Weight: 28.2oz w/ empty magazine
Barrel Length: 4.2”
Sight Radius: 6.5”
Overall Length: 7.25”
Height: 5.25”
Maximum Width: 1.45”
Sights: Warren Tactical rear black U-notch, front fiber optic
Controls: Ambidextrous slide release/stop; reversible magazine release; no external safety
Price: About $320 retail

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability: * * * * *
Except for one early magazine-induced failure, the TP9SF Elite has been completely reliable. Excellent machining, a factory-polished feed ramp, and a tried-and-true design deliver smooth and predictable feeding, extraction, and ejection. Cerakote on the metal surfaces ensures protection against sweat-induced corrosion for those wishing to carry IWB.

Accuracy: * * * *
Preliminary testing has demonstrated that the TP9SF Elite delivers more than sufficient accuracy for casual, competitive, or defensive use. While this is no custom match-grade handgun, the TP9SF Elite will likely out-shoot its owner. The light, crisp trigger pull allows for a precise first strike and rapid, accurate follow-up shots. There was no need to resort to corrective training or an aftermarket trigger to achieve stellar down-range results off the rack.

Ergonomics: * * * *
While not quite possessing CZ or Walther PPQ ergonomics, the TP9SF Elite is very comfortable in the hand. Controls are large and easy to manipulate. Grip texture, cocking serrations, and textured controls create a great out-of-the-box package that won’t require skateboard tape or aftermarket fixes to ready the handgun for service.

Customization: * * *
While there’s some inherent customization options with the included changeable back straps and fiber optic pipes, the TP9SF Elite can’t hold a candle to the levels of aftermarket support that GLOCK or S&W owners enjoy. Century Arms offers various magazine sizes from other TP9 models, and Warren Tactical (among other brands) offer alternate sighting systems. A factory-milled optical sight cut would have been helpful (now standard on the sub-compact model).

Overall: * * * *
For approximately half the price of its German ancestor, the TP9SF Elite delivers incredible value. The trigger alone separates the TP9SF Elite from its budget-minded competitors, and it will hold up favorably with most factory offerings from the bigger names in the business.

comments

  1. avatar Kahlil says:

    The magazines come loaded in the case? Sweet 😉

  2. avatar 007 says:

    No Turkish gun for me. Coffee? may be.

    1. avatar Greg says:

      Same here, Turkey is not a friend of the US.

      1. avatar 007 says:

        Turkey is still a “third world” county, why would i trust their technology? I would not even buy Chinese made guns.

        1. avatar Timothy says:

          It’s a Turkish company that makes CZ’s OU shotguns. I think they make some Beretta shotties too. As for Chinese guns, please don’t buy them. The lower the demand, the less I have to pay for quality firearms.

      2. avatar MattO says:

        Says who? The mainstream media?

  3. avatar Joel says:

    I shot a similar version of this gun. had a decocker making it a da/sa striker fire. It was a sweet shooting pistol and I liked the safety of the decocker and the second strike capability. Canik sells Good guns.

  4. avatar RedFox says:

    I am proud of how the gun community. I would not buy a Turkey gun. Might as well slap ISIS on the side of it. (I know they have our systems too, regardless. Turkey is a enemy of the USA.

    1. avatar Geoff "Bah, Humbug!" PR says:

      “I am proud of how the gun community. I would not buy a Turkey gun.”

      You’re proud of how the gun community… what?

      Does what? Is what?

      1. avatar Whoopie says:

        Just his incoherent attempt at maligning Turkey (Turkey bad, blah, blah). None of these Turkey trashers have a problem with AK variants, even though the Soviets were a far graver enemy of the US. Frankly I don’t give a damn where the gun comes from, if it’s top quality and the price is right.

  5. avatar Sam Hill says:

    Everyone said it better than me would. Turkey is for eating, Juan Valdez and his donkey is for coffee.

  6. avatar moreadventuresonotherplanets says:

    The original Canik was a copy of the Walther P99. Both are pre-loaded striker fired pistols and like all such weapons including the Glock they have very weak ignition systems. My testing proved this beyond all doubt. Its one of the reasons the U.S. Military chose the Sig P320 over the Glock because the Sig 320 has a full cock striker system.

    The pistol in the above article seems to lack the double action first shot capability and re-strike capability of the original Canik and ditto for the Walther P99. This makes this new model that has no double action pull unsafe to carry and handle.

    My original Watlher P99 (as well as my Wather P88 which was ever tighter) had a very tight chamber which was a concern for ammo that was up to speck such as using handloads. In other words even the slightest pressure ridge from a sized cases would jam the gun up tight. It did not like aluminum or steel case ammo because of this either. I seriously doubt the Canik is built to the German made close tolerances so this pistol many not have the Wathers problems of tolerance that are too tight.

    As one can see in the targets that were fired in this article the accuracy does not even come close to the very good accuracy of the Walther P99.

    I would have considered buying the original Canik tp9 if I was on a budget but not this newer single action gun because it lacks the double action safety feature.

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      ” This makes this new model that has no double action pull unsafe to carry and handle.”

      Going out on a limb here…Keep your booger hook off the bang switch.

      1. avatar moreadventuresonotherplanets says:

        Visit your local graveyard. A lot of Glock owners are there. As well as Morons that tried carrying and handling a revolver at full cock in single action mode. No difference between a pistol like the Glock and a revolver with the hammer cocked back. The low I.Q. people cannot understand this. Darwinism eliminates both of them sooner than later.

        1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

          “…carrying and handling a revolver at full cock in single action mode.”

          Balderdash! Where do you get your “facts”?

          Recently I researched the history of the Demersville Cemetery (a local historical society has compiled a fascinating list of the persons buried there…with a synopsis on each including causes of death). Not a one of the persons interred there passed from carrying or handling a revolver at full cock in single action mode.

          You have zero credibility on any firearm issue.

          I am far from being a Glock fanbois and even I will admit that they are very safe and reliable. Now, if you were to damn the factory sights and “sproingy” trigger then we might have a basis for agreement..

    2. avatar John Smith says:

      “This is my safety”

    3. avatar Neil says:

      Tough road ahead convincing many s police force to give up their Glocks. I prefer other brands for other reasons.

      The Canik is a neat gun, I wish Turkey was a better Ally…

      Lightsaber

  7. avatar grumpster says:

    I don’t think I would ever consider a Canik when pistols like the M&P 2.0 and CZ P10C not much more these days. Warranty support and parts availability would be a possible concern also.

    1. avatar Neil says:

      I simply prefer the pistols you listed. Sigh… Get them on the Cali roster!

  8. avatar Geoff "Bah, Humbug!" PR says:

    Am I the only one rolling my eyes and groaning upon hearing the name of this decidedly low-end of the gun line being called ‘Elite’?

    This kinda smacks of like how that other low-end gun called itself ‘Honor Guard’.

    C’mon, is marketing that difficult a job these days?

    Sheesh…

  9. avatar Specialist38 says:

    But what does Jeremy S. Say about this gun?

  10. avatar Trader says:

    You’re missing a key part of this whole thing in your review. The “One” part of it is that it includes only one magazine and the pistol in the box, hence the price point. I think you’ve confused the review with the regular TP9SF Elite which comes with two mags and some extra crap about $70–80 higher price point.

    1. avatar A_True_American says:

      I believe Trader is correct. The gun being described isn’t the correct gun. The gun only comes with one Mag and no loader for that price point. The more you pay, the more you get with these gun packages. I was getting upset I didn’t get the rest of my gear until Trader pointed out you were incorrect in your description. You can not find the gun you are describing for that price point.
      I don’t care for Turkey either but it is a good gun.

  11. avatar former water walker says:

    Sorry it’s from the caliphate…Honest Outlaw just named the Taurus G3 the 2nd best new gun of 2019. And TFB gave it a glowing review among others. For 250 bucks and 2 magazines. And their headquarter’s just moved to Georgia. There IS a moderately priced Girsan with a built-in red dot I like but sadly also Erdogan-land…Merry CHRISTmas everyone!

  12. avatar Prndll says:

    I can’t see myself ever owning anything from Turkey. It would just make me feel dirty.

  13. avatar Mercutio says:

    Prefer not to support Sultan Yip-yip the First.

  14. I am simply not going to buy a firearm made in Turkey when so many quality handguns are produced here.

  15. avatar Ginder12 says:

    Just buy a Walt her ppq

  16. avatar StuckInIllinois says:

    Well, the Turkey bashers did not disappoint me.

    I’d rather see my exmominlaw sans clothing than buy a Turkish made anything.

  17. avatar EndDangerEd says:

    To all the Turkey Trashers…. Good functional Tech at great prices?? Works. There are dozens of countries that don’t like US either, yet they use the M4’s and fly our helos and jets… The most important part of that equation is putting lead downrange where it’s needed. I’ve been using my Canik TP9SFX for about 5 years… long before the G3 was announced. My CCW is a G2C…. NOT as accurate but much easier to carry. The TP9SFX with a Vortex is everything you could ever need for accuracy and consistent operation. Didn’t have money to waste on other “up-scale” hardware… Quite often the choice you have to make…. and LIVE with. Merry Christmas!!

    1. avatar Rusten D Currie says:

      Truth. It’s a damn good gun. I was a Walther fanatic. Was. I really dig the Canik, I don’t really care where it comes from, only what I can do with it.

  18. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    i have a yardstick that was made in turkiye. sadly, they don’t make them any longer.
    me ol’ lady just inherited a building in istanbul (her old man stowed away to escape to here; loong sturry). only city in the world on two continents.
    that’s enough turkcrap for one family.

  19. avatar Chuck says:

    The Canik is often compared to the Walther P99 and PPQ M2 pistols. It’s not but a facade of either gun. While it has its similarities, accuracy and trigger pull/reset are a shadow of the PPQ’s real trigger. Do yourself a favor, save for a couple of more months and buy the real deal. This is but a fair clone of a much better gun.

  20. avatar Support Terrorist Turkey & buy a Canik says:

    Support Terror & Turkey Terrorist funding & Rape of Women & Children…. buy a junk Canik Terrorist Gun build by Terrorist for Terrorist!

  21. avatar Stinger says:

    As A Taurus and M&P guy I wouldn’t own a Glock or this POS gun, Turkey or no Turkey.

  22. avatar Jeff says:

    Keep in mind that the Turkish government also struggles and fights terrorists as well. Granted, the president changes all the time because of the volatility, they are a NATO country that is a buffer zone to separate western society and the middle east. Because of so, they get the brunt of the conflict with Islamic terrorism.

    It is the same as people from Switzerland saying they won’t buy US made guns because we support terrorism because of the Clintons.

    Also, Canik makes parts for Boeing and Airbus planes, how many are going to start refusing taking flights?

    1. avatar Rusten D Currie says:

      Exactly…

  23. avatar Texshoot says:

    I got one and I put shoot my buddy’s with Kimbers and Glocks ….. it’s just a good pistol for a good price!

  24. avatar Kapuna says:

    I bought a TP9SF Elite LNIB for $250… went to the range and it runs like a top… I have tools made in China that work just fine.. thus, a Canik is just a tool that works…

  25. avatar Stan Robertson says:

    Don’t like it? DON’T BUY ONE!

  26. avatar Rod says:

    I have this Canik TP9SF One series non elite model. Runs damn fine. Often better than my Glock 23 or 17. Blows my Taurus G3 out of the water. Don’t understand all the Turkey hate here. They are our “crappy” but necessary NATO partners who are literally the wall between the middle east and the rest of western society. And outside a few incidents of them being shits because NATO won’t send them aid they made a reliable firearm.

  27. avatar Scoot says:

    Canik TP9SF
    Eat your butter eat your chicken turkey turkey all day and all night
    It’s not where she comes from but does she ride like a monkey
    This pistol shoots Do not get involved in Government brain wash
    People from all over the world are born good. Government ruins us
    Live free own a pistol that works for you

    God decides

  28. avatar Bob says:

    I have a Canik sf9 elite. I am 66 and frankly I find it difficult to rack. I can do it, its just a pain. The recoil spring is very tight on Mine. Canik assures me that it will be easier to rack as it breaks in. I have also seen several videos of this gun having stovepipe problems. Caniks solution to this is a pack of recoil springs, one painted blue on the end with an L on it for lower power, and one red with an H on it for higher power. These were designed to help with the ejection issues. The gun is designed to take 124 grain nato ammo, not the 115 americans usualy use. If I keep having trouble with it, I will sell it and Buy a M&P 2.0 9 MM with a 15 round magazine, expandable to 20. Either that or a Ruger with a hammer. I am one of those that prefer a safety on my gun also and the canik does not have one.

  29. avatar Walther owner whom respects Canik says:

    I have three Walther P99 AS (love ’em!) a Walther PPQ Q4 Steel Frame, and a PPQ M1, along with three HK’s (P30L, P30SK, and VP9). I have sold all my Sig’s 229’s and numerous Sphinx SPD’s for various reasons, and my Styer pistol was a complete failure. My S&W M&P was unmemorable, and a FN pistol I owned was quite good, but not THE ONE for me. Oh, and I hate Glocks.

    You guys that think a Canik is a bad pistol need to shoot one. In fact, Canik is an EXCELLENT pistol, and I have the experience and ownership to know the difference. If Canik was manufactured by a US or German company and sold for $200-300 more than it does, you would all be talking about what a great pistol it is. Who cares who makes it? Do you own anything from CHINA in your home? OF COURSE YOU DO (like 1/2 of everything in your house!). I have an Arsenal SAM7SF, and I could care less that Russian is the fatherland of the AK-47. I am a Walther fanatic, and the Canik is an outstanding brand and makes GREAT pistols. The only thing I would like to see Canik do different is a paddle mag release. Pull your head out and try being unbiased, and you’ll probably like your Glock a little less and the Canik a lot more. Not capable of being objective? Sorry, I cannot help you.

    As for the comment above by Bob… “I am 66 and frankly I find it difficult to rack. I can do it, its just a pain. The recoil spring is very tight on Mine. Canik assures me that it will be easier to rack as it breaks in”… go buy yourself any of the HK P30’s and know that they rack and shoot as easy as anything you will get your hands on, and it is also why I bought my 18 year old daughter a HK P30SK. Cheers.

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