Sarsilmaz SAR K2 45C Compact .45 ACP Pistol
Virgil Caldwell for TTAG
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Sarsilmaz SAR K2 45C Compact .45 ACP Pistol
Virgil Caldwell for TTAG

Unless it is a type I am already familiar with, I have never ordered a handgun and anxiously awaited its arrival. I have ordered the 1911 and a few Smith & Wesson revolvers — including some I have been disappointed with — but I knew what to expect. When it comes to new issues I have to handle them in the shop to make my mind up to take a chance. That kind of kills internet sales and new guns from Budsgunshop Midway CTD and the rest I suppose.

While I read a review of the original SAR K2 here it hardly registered. The pistol seemed fine, but I was certain the grip would be too large for my average size hands.

I have wanted a high capacity modern .45 for a few years. The GLOCK 21 is a fine pistol; reliable, soft recoiling, and among the most accurate GLOCK handguns…but too big, at least for me. I thought the SIG P227 was the one, but it didn’t really grow on me. And I couldn’t beg or borrow a spare magazine anywhere.

The SAR K2 45c is another matter altogether. When I handled the pistol in a local shop I decided to take a chance on it and and took it home. The grip actually seemed not only to fit my hand, but offer a nice, high hold. SAR seems to have taken the CZ 75 design and added a touch or two from SIG to come up with a handgun that fits my hands somewhat better than a 2 x 4…a definite plus. And yes, I have tried the CZ 97. It’s too big as well.

Sarsilmaz SAR K2 45C Compact .45 ACP Pistol
Virgil Caldwell for TTAG

I am a .45 ACP fan, from the Bond Arms derringer to the Wilson Combat CQB. The cartridge is low pressure meaning low weapon wear. Muzzle signature is only a warm glow when the cartridge is properly loaded. Wound potential is good and there is a wide range of loads available.

The projectile launcher itself is pretty important as well. The Turkish-made SAR guns are usually reliable, if not as nicely finished, and a good value for the price point. The K2 45C pistol is more expensive at about the $500 mark, but still very affordable for a modern handgun.

You tend to get what you pay for and seldom more. At the five hundred dollar mark there are plenty of good, dependable pistols. A few below that mark are OK and most (but not all) that are priced higher are good handguns.

The K2 45C has a stainless steel frame…no plastic here. It’s a compact version of the original full-size K2 pistol. My guess is the balance and handling of the compact verion should be superior, but I have not handled the full-size original.

Sarsilmaz SAR K2 45C Compact .45 ACP Pistol
The SAR K2 45C below a CZ P-01 for size comparison (Virgil Caldwell for TTAG)

The compact version of the K2 is plenty beefy, but just right for the mission. It’s possible, though not easy, to conceal this handgun…if you can conceal a government model .45, SIG P226 or a GLOCK 30 you can hide a K2 45C.

The pistol bears a close resemblance to the CZ 75. The 45C operates in the same manner as the CZ 75 with a few small differences. As an example, the pistol may be carried hammer down with the safety on, which the original CZ doesn’t allow. Cocked and locked carry is possible, but there is no decocker. The hammer must be lowered manually (and therefore very carefully).

The pistol doesn’t use locking lugs but instead butts the barrel hood into the ejection port to lock the barrel. The bottom lockup consists of an angled locking wedge. The K2 45C is a standard locked breech type. This is a double-action-first-shot handgun.

Sarsilmaz SAR K2 45C Compact .45 ACP Pistol
Virgil Caldwell for TTAG

The stocks are thin enough and offer good abrasion. The back strap and front strap are serrated. For a high capacity .45, though, the grip is comfortable, even for my average size hands.

The backstrap features a gentle S-shaped curve and the grip tang is improved over the original CZ. The magazine holds 12 rounds providing a total capacity of 13 with one in the pipe. I load twelve in the magazine and then load the pistol. Twelve seems plenty and there is less wear on the magazine spring. The pistol is supplied with two magazines and there seem to be plenty in the supply chain.

I have no problem with carrying a GLOCK or a cocked and locked 1911 pistol on my belt. The double action first shot pistol puts my mind at ease when on the nightstand and offers a simple motion to fire. Just raise the pistol and pull the trigger.

If you choose to carry the pistol with the frame safety engaged, that’s an additional level of peace of mind for some gun owners. I don’t carry the CZ type cocked and locked simply because the frame geometry isn’t as fast for me as a 1911. I am slower manipulating the safety. The advantage is that during tactical movement you don’t have to de-cock the pistol for safety. Simply flip the safety up and you are good to go while moving or taking cover.

The double action trigger is smooth and free of grit. The single action trigger is very good at 5.1 pounds. Reset is short. I can’t hear as well as I once did, but trigger reset is both sharp and audible. During the first few hundred rounds of shooting the grip frame proved wide enough for real comfort. Coupled with the long grip tang I find a pistol at least as comfortable to fire as a 1911, comparable to the soft-kicking GLOCK 21.

Sarsilmaz SAR K2 45C Compact .45 ACP Pistol
The SAR K2 45C below a Para Ordnance P14. A Para mag fits the SAR, but the SAR mag won’t lock open the P14 on empty. (Virgil Caldwell for TTAG)

I am not certain how much the slide riding inside the frame on reverse rails improves accuracy (if at all), but there is plenty of contact between the slide and the rails in this configuration, true to the CZ design. The design also lowers the bore axis in comparison to other double action first shot pistols.

Sarsilmaz SAR K2 45C Compact .45 ACP Pistol
Virgil Caldwell for TTAG

The dust cover features a rail for mounting accessories. The sights are well designed for both speed and accuracy. The rear sight is fully adjustable, a nice touch. The pistol came out of the box sighted for the six o’clock hold and 230 grain ammunition.

Sarsilmaz SAR K2 45C Compact .45 ACP Pistol
Virgil Caldwell for TTAG

Field stripping is simple enough. Unload the pistol, removing the magazine. Move the slide to the rear enough for witness marks in the slide and frame to line up. Then bump the slide lock out. The slide will then run right off the frame. Lift out the recoil spring and rod and the barrel.

A concern for some will be that since the slide rides low, it’s more difficult to get a good hold and rack it than, say a GLOCK or SIG. That’s something that’s true of all CZ-type design.

As for reliability the K2 45C has cycled through hundreds of different rounds since I bought it without a single failure to feed, chamber, fire or eject. The pistol was lubricated in the beginning and not cleaned until the end of the firing sessions. That isn’t really a lot of ammunition yet, but a bit of a sacrifice in the current situation.

I’ve fed it a good mix of lead SWC bullets, RNL, and jacketed ball ammunition so far. I have a good, but dwindling supply of Black Hills Ammunition 185 grain JHP which I’ve tried as well. It’s faster than the 230 grain JHP. BHA uses the Hornady XTP bullet and has about the same energy. The 185 grain load penetrates and expands about like the 230 grain JHP but recoils less. I like this load a lot.

Sarsilmaz SAR K2 45C Compact .45 ACP Pistol
Virgil Caldwell for TTAG

The SAR K2 45C is fast on target. The double action trigger is smooth enough that I was able to easily get good center hits to 10 yards. The pistol also handles well in rapid fire. The cadence of fire isn’t set by how fast I can pull the trigger, but by how quickly I’m able to get the front sight back in the rear notch and aim gain. The pistol is very controllable.

As for absolute accuracy I was able to fire 2.5 inch five-shot groups at 25 yards with the Black Hills load. In other words, it’s plenty good to go to rely on for carry or home defense use. There are a lot of big bore fans out there and with twelve rounds in the magazine, modest recoil for the caliber and good combat accuracy, the SAR K2 45c is a very viable option.

Specifications: Sarsilmaz SAR K2 45c

Caliber: .45 ACP
Action: Locked breech DA/SA
Magazine capacity: 12 plus 1
Slide and frame: Stainless Steel
Barrel length: 3.8 in.
Weight empty: 35 ounces
Weight loaded: 46 ounces
Width: 1.5 inch
Overall length: 7.8 in.
Average retail: $500

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability * * * * *
It should be reliable as it is based on the proven CZ. So far so good through hundreds of mixed rounds.

Accuracy: * * * *
In combat accuracy, the pistol is excellent for a DA first shot pistol, comparable to any of the type I’ve shot. In absolute benchrest accuracy, it’s in the upper end of middle of the pack. Bot as accurate a SIG but more than good enough for most uses.

Handling and Ergonomics * * * *
One star off because I had to tilt my hand to work the slide lock. I don’t have the longest thumbs, but I can operate the CZ. This pistol is a .45 wide body and this is just a trade-off you’ll have to decide you’re willing to make.

Concealed This * * *
She’s big, but no larger than a Beretta and less so than a GLOCK 21. Definitely not as thin as a 1911.

Overall: * * * *
The CZ design has a legion of fans and for very good reason. For those who like the platform and the ergonomics, but want to own and (possibly) carry something in a caliber that starts with a ‘4’, the SAR K2 45C is an affordable way to do that.



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    • I try to make a distinction between the many relatively secular decent people in Turkey vs. Ergodan and the rest of his religious wingnuts. But it’s not enough to justify spending money there.

    • I suspect it’s all about the Benjamin’s. Maybe it’s my imagination, but I think the ad placement is nearer to the top, and the ad density went up.

    • The new home page (if they did things correctly behind the scenes) should be MUCH more effective at getting TTAG content to rank highly in search engine results, and therefore bring in more visits. That’s probably the single biggest reason for the change.

      Another reason is that they’re probably trying to make the whole thing more friendly for first-time visitors. In the new layout, you can see a LOT more of what TTAG has to offer without having to do a ton of scrolling or using the search box. Probably translates to more page views that way — and this is a pretty standard kind of layout for magazines and news websites, so new visitors ought to feel pretty comfortable with it.

      Anyway, I’m with you in liking the old one better — I was used to it and the chronological blog format is great for those of us who check every day and read ALL the articles — but I do believe the redesign was done for solid reasons.

      Give it some time. They’ll work the kinks out and we’ll get used to it, and then we’ll all hate the NEXT change. 🙂

      • But will they put an emphasis on thr importation of Turkish firearms? It would be like them to backstep on that bit of him control legislation.

    • If you try, you can find lots of things that are not made in China. South Korea in particular can be a great alternative source. My Samsung phone is not made in China, and neither is my turbocharged KIA.

      • Many of the parts for your Samsung phone were made in China, and most of what you buy at WalMart or Amazon is made there. Heck even a lot of GM and other “American” brand cars are made in China and assembled here. Boycotting Turkish firearms while our entire lives are supported by quasi-slave labor in China whose ruling party is still actively scheming to destroy us seems.. bizarre.

        • Everyone breathing makes hypocritical and contradictory decisions on some level..

          The Turks make some damn good guns, but there are lots of options out there. Capitalism is da bomb.

  1. I’ll stick with Made in USA. If I want a CZ design in 45 acp, I’ll buy the real thing, a CZ 97B. The Czech Republic is an ally, not an enemy like Turkey.

      • Sadly the CZ97 leaves much to be desired in terms of capacity. The SAR K2 45 feels slimmer in the hand and has higher capacity. I have been looking for a stainless version but they’re rare as hens teeth. Well made guns at a good price.

        • De Facto, “high capacity” is over rated. As I’ve asked before; “How many times do you plan to miss?”

        • I beg to differ. Provided that terminal ballistics and personal performance with the weapon are roughly equal, higher capacity is always better. That’s one of the reasons why I prefer 9mm for self-defense. Nobody *plans* to miss — but reality says it’s going to happen.

        • I don’t know Gadsen; how many people are in a fiery but mostly peaceful protest? High capacity is standard amongst professionals that have any expectation of using their weapons, so I’ll stick with that. 1911’s and revolvers are range toys and hunting tools, not what I would carry for serious use.

        • De Facto, most professionals carry what they’re issued. I worked where we bought what we carried from an approved list. I carried a 1911. 7 rd mags. Could have carried a Glock 21. Several guys did. A 1911 is not a range toy. Neither is a revolver.

        • I am with Gadsden on capacity. I carry a 17 round capacity APX because it comes with a 17 round magazine not because I think I will need 17 rounds. I care 1 spare mag whether it is 17 rounds for the APX or 6 rounds for my G42 or Nano. The spare is for a magazine failure not for the extended gunfight that will never happen. Kyle Rittenhouse fire 7 rounds in the dread Antifa riot. I can see a LEO getting into a long gunfight but it’s not happening for Joe or Jane citizen

          I think the capacity fetish is about proclaiming your support the 2nd Amendment rather than practicality.

        • I too am less concerned about capacity in a self defense scenario. In order of most to least important I would say

          Availability. (Have a gun).
          Reliability. (It needs to go bang)
          Accuracy. (You need to be able to hit your target)

          Capacity and Caliber. Tied for last place when it really matters, but what we all spend our time debating over……..

      • I know a few Belgians that might disagree with you there, 007. 🙂

        Pilsner Urquell is a darn fine brew, though. I prefer the drier “Bohemian” style pils to their German counterparts.

  2. Thanks for the thorough review.
    If i was going to carry a 45 again, it would be a 1911. Maybe a Shield or Kahr if I wanted to go smaller.

    The basic 1911 is just a good package….slim, balanced well, accurate, with plenty of parts if you ever need them.

  3. Anyone moaning about people buying Turkish guns better swear off all electronics manufactured by the Chicoms, or accept that they are being selective hypocrites.

  4. I am not a fan of .45 ACP handguns with short barrels because they only produce muzzle velocities in the neighborhood of 770 feet-per-second with standard 230 grain bullets.

    My personal standard for self-defense handguns:
    They have to generate muzzle velocities of 900 feet-per-second or greater.

    I do allow an exception for .38 Special snubbies shooting 158 grain semi-wadcutters since those have a very good track record and snubbies are so small and handy (relatively speaking).

    • Not trying to rag on your decisions but Keep in mind muzzle velocity isn’t the total story.

      It just seems to me that online, muzzle velocity has become the new “stopping power” of yore. More muzzle velocity doesn’t always equate with better, or more powerful, or more effective.

      I’ve seen far too many comments that state the following:

      “Round X when hot loaded has the same muzzle velocity as XX magnum, therefore it’s the equivalent of XX magnum in a smaller better package.”

      When in reality none of those things are really true. You have to factor in the actual bullet weight, size, construction, and shape.

      Muzzle energy is a better indicator of effectiveness, but with all these things it’s important to keep in mind this is the effectiveness of the round at the muzzle. Not 25/50/75 yards away.

      But I do agree barrel length is something often overlooked. Certain rounds are more appropriate for shorter barrels then others.

      • Hi Ron,

        No worries — I do not read your comment as ragging on my comment.

        You raise perhaps the most important point regarding short barrels and muzzle velocities well under 800 fps: effectiveness at distance. In this particular case where this handgun with its 3.8 inch barrel would produce a muzzle velocity of about 770 fps, that bullet will slow down to about 750 fps at 25 yards which diminishes its terminal ballistics and hence its effectiveness at stopping an attacker. And at 50 yards, that bullet would be down around 730 fps or so.

        Those slower bullet impact velocities start to become a significant drawback in two regards:
        1) expanding bullets will not expand below some velocity
        2) bullets will not penetrate deeply enough to be effective

        Now, having said all that, a significant factor for self-defense handguns comes down to what threat scenarios you want to prepare yourself to handle. If you are only worried about attacks at contact distance, then a muzzle velocity around 800 feet-per-second (or maybe slightly below) may not be a huge detriment. If you want to have some ability to fend-off attacks from 50 yards away, then a higher muzzle velocity is in order — hence my personal standard of wanting a muzzle velocity of at least 900 fps on my own self-defense handguns.

  5. It never fails…mention a firearm Made In Turkey and it’s a stampede to see who can be the first to use their made in china device to slam Turkey.

    We own firearms made from all over the globe so we may not be popular with those who would rather review Turkey and not review of the Sarsilmaz K2 .45.

    We own 3 Sar9s and they are great firearms once they are properly tweaked. Sar9 ergonomics, construction and pricing is very good. Out of the box you may get one that is better than the next especially in the area of trigger feel which should be properly tweaked anyway. The later serial number Sar9s seem to have an out of the box edge over earlier batches. If you know how to make firearms run and won’t quit until they run right the Sar9 is a good choice. If you are a trigger puller and nothing else buy a Glock.

    The Sarsilmaz K2 .45 should be another out of the box firearm that once tweaked performs much better than expected. The capacity for a .45 is good and the quality is there and the review confirms it. The firearm can’t help where it was born…if that’s a problem.

  6. Nice but it’s the Caliphate conundrum. Turkish I can avoid. China not so much. Phone,TV,puter,microwave,toaster,Comcast crap,Christmas tree just from glancing n my living room. And I held an OK Savage shottie made in China earlier today. Cheap. Don’t get me started on all the cool Turkish shotguns(the Panzer Arms bullpup looks fantastic). Sigh…

    • You can narrow down the China purchases by seeking out South Korean goods that are not made in Chinese factories. They may use Chinese parts, but at least they are not made completely in China.

  7. Buy a 3″ revolver made in America. Better ballistics and balance are counter to the increased capacity and low punch of a .45 out of a short barrel. Easier to carry, too.

  8. Nice gun. Reminds me of my Astra A100 which was also available in .45 ACP as the A75.

    Dan, if you put the site back to the old format I’ll send you a box of .45 hollow points.

  9. Hmm. Well I’d certainly take one of those over a cheap 1911. I do love that CZ action. Kind of ambivalent on the Turkish question there, but I’d be willing to give one a try if I ever get a chance to.

  10. The Turkish political stuff is nonsensical. SAR is a private company, not the Turkish government. Anyway, I own about a half dozen Turkish made guns and all of them have worked and looked great. I have a SAR K2 45 fullsized and it’s a great gun. I got it back when they were like $369, a great bargain. I want an SS compact and regret not grabbing one I came across a while back.

  11. the 75’s spawned a number of clones. if you’re bosporous averse there’s still italia, suisse, israeli et al.
    the compacts are excellent; an alloy frame would be nice.
    and a rami. this election just moved one of those farther away. they were under 500, now they’re over six (used).

    • I just picked up a Rami myself. While it’s tough to pick out a favorite CZ, the Rami takes my Canik C100 mags, my Pre-B mags, my B mags, my Sphinx mags, plus it’s own mags. None of my other CZ or CZ clones are that accepting. Plus, those factory night sights are some of the best 3 dots I’ve ever seen.

  12. The K2 series is one that you just know you will like by looking at the lines of it. I intend to pick one up one day. I’ve had and still have several Turkish pistols and they are extremely well made. The machining is excellent, and they are reliable. They always use mec-gar mags. I couldn’t care less what country made it or what their religion is. I appreciate good design and workmanship.

  13. The reviewer might want to try a Walther PPQ 45. Easy to carry, 12 round capacity and one of the best striker fired triggers on the planet.


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