We all like bargains, but, all too often, bargains follow the adage: “You get what you pay for.” However, once in a while a true bargain comes along.
Canik Superior Firearms has been on my radar for several years. I purchased two Canik pistols that I love to shoot. Now, Canik has stepped up the game with the TP9SFx.
The Canik TP9SFx is an upgraded version of the original TP series of pistols. The original TP series are fine pistols that shoot well. The SFx edition of this pistol line brings enhancements to improve shooter control, a 5.20 inches barrel, and a shorter trigger pull for faster firing rates.
A new optics plate makes the Canik TP9SFx optics ready. The slide weight has been reduced for faster cycling. Add a fiber-optic front sight and a blacked-out rear sight, and you have a pistol that is almost competition-ready out of the box.
Combine all of this into a package that includes a multitude of extras including a match barrel and you have the makings of one superior pistol package. Imagine if you could get all of this plus the extras for less than five hundred dollars. Would you think you have found a bargain?
Canik TP9SFx Specifications and Features
Before we get into the details of my review, let’s look at the specifications and features that are included standard with the factory box. Keep in mind that this is a first-class full-size pistol that can be purchased for under $500 in its basic configuration.
- Weight – 1.83 lbs empty
- Capacity – 20 + 1 rounds
- Cartridge – 9mm Luger
- Action Type – Semi-Automatic
- Polymer Frame
- Overall Length – 8.27 inches
- Height – 5.2 inches
- Width – 1.38 inches
- Barrel – 5.2-inch match grade
- Sight Package – Warren Tactical Sights with red and green fiber optic front sight
- A short reset single-action trigger
- Optics ready with four adapter plate styles included
- Ambidextrous charging handle
- Under barrel accessory Picatinny rail
- Extended slide release
- Loaded chamber indicator
- Reversible magazine catch with different size release buttons
- Changeable grip backstrap options
In addition, with each Canik TP9SFx, you get the new Canik patented retention holster and two 20-round magazines with a magazine loader. I don’t know what you expect for a gun package less than $500, but I see a lot more in the Canik TP9SFx than I expect for this price.
Down to the Details – Does the Canik TP9SFx Deliver?
When it comes to the value of a pistol, the devil is almost always in the details. Where guns are concerned, the whole point is to develop firearms that function reliably, perform accurately, and deliver all this at a value point that makes the purchase make sense.
Looking at the Canik TP9SFx in detail can give us a pretty good indication of how well these guns stack up:
Design and Construction
Canik has a history of above-average design and construction excellence. The ability to look at what makes other brands of guns excel and then incorporate those things into quality firearms sets Canik apart. The TP line of guns has a developed a reputation for paying attention to details with an ability to deliver firearms that more than meet expectations.
The Canik TP9SFx builds on the lessons learned from previous TP models. The TP9SPx steps up the game for competitors in the shooting industry and make Canik a manufacturer to watch.
An Improved Slide
One improvement over the other TP pistols is the slide.
Canik has taken some inspiration from other brands of semi-automatic pistol manufacturers and redesigned the slide. The slide on the TP8SFx has been lightened by porting the slide forward of the ejection port.
The revamped slide design is lighter, which means it can cycle faster since there is less mass involved during the slide operation.
The slide release has been enlarged to make reloads easier and more positive. The back and front serrations on the slide are a bit more aggressive on the Canik TP9SFx, making loading and reloading more secure.
The slide stop is secure and positive, and the oversized release is a great benefit for those of us with large hands.
Canik outfits the Canik TP9SFx with a match-grade barrel that is 5.2 inches in length. This match-grade barrel delivers the goods on the range. Canik claims this is a competition-ready gun out of the box, and I would have to agree. This pistol performs on the range like a champion.
Canik listened well to their customers when it came time to put a new trigger in a new gun. Most of us who shoot TP9 guns such as the TP9DA and the TP9SA find the trigger adequate, but not especially outstanding. The trigger pull is a tad long in single-action mode, and the reset seems to take forever.
The trigger on the Canik TP9SFx is quite an improvement. The take-up is still long but manageable, and the trigger break is crisp and clean. Canik has shortened the reset, which means much faster cycles when shooting. The trigger on this pistol was designed for a much faster response.
The Mag Release
I have always had a complaint about other gun manufacturers’ design of magazine release buttons. For such a critical piece of the puzzle, it seems that many pistol designs aren’t meant for smaller hands or for those who need the release to be positioned for left-handed shooting.
Kudos to Canik for putting an oversized magazine release button where it can be easily operated by shooters with smaller hands. The fact that you can swap the magazine release to the left side for left-handed shooters is a big plus in my book.
Empty magazines drop clear easily without any malfunctions or jams. I simulated both empty magazine drops and jam reductions without any failures or problems. Each round of firing included a magazine change to simulate a competitive shooting situation.
Make no mistake, the Canik TP9SFx is a handful of gun. As such, it needs to have a grip design that allows you to manage these firearms without slipping or over exertion of your hand pressure. In this area, Canik has missed the mark to a certain degree.
The grips are certainly stylish to look at, but the stippling could be more aggressive. Anyone who shoots regularly in hot weather or during matches with heavy physical exertion may experience some slippage on the grip surface. I experienced this trouble during my range time in 90 degree plus heat.
The Canik TP9SFx does come with different sizes of back straps that are relatively easy to change. This feature allows you to customize your pistol grips to a certain degree. However, I would suggest that you apply some type of grip tape to ensure that you have a non-slip surface.
Canik didn’t bother trying to develop sights worthy of a pistol of this quality. Instead, they went to the creator of some of the finest iron sights on the market. Canik chose Warren Tactical Sights with a fiber optic insert in the front sights. Each Canik TP9SFx includes both a red and green fiber optic front sight.
Optics and Mounts
Canik knows that the most popular handgun upgrade is the addition of an optical mount to the slide.
Most shooters opt for red dots as the optical sight of choice for many reasons. The slide on the Canik PT9SFx is optics-ready from the factory. The slide comes with a relief cut on the top of the slide.
Canik makes it even easier to install your favorite optic on your TP9SFx by including four different mounting plates with each firearm. You can mount a variety of optical systems easily, no matter whether your preference is a Leupold delta point pro or RMS shield. Most other manufacturers sell mounting plates as an optional accessory.
The Operating Data
Feeding and Ejection
I won’t get into a lot of detail about the operating data on this firearm. To be honest, I was having so much fun shooting this gun that I forgot to record most of the chronograph information.
Needless to say, this is a gun that is pleasurable to shoot, and I was more than impressed with the way the gun operated.
I shot both steel case 9mm ammo and brass cased. The mix of ammo included ball rounds, jacketed hollow point rounds, and some self-defense rounds that I had laying around my ammo stash. Regardless of what I fed through the gun, the results were the same.
After more than 200 rounds of ammunition down range, I experienced no failures to feed or stoppages in the gun. In short, the gun performed flawlessly no matter what kind of ammo I put in the chamber.
The best test data I gathered came from my self-named “torture test.” I loaded a magazine with various types of ammo in various bullet weights, and from different manufacturers. The gun chewed through this assemblage of odd rounds like it enjoyed the challenge.
The best thing I can say about the accuracy of the Canik TP9SF is that it is capable of more accurate shooting than my abilities. I accept that as I get older my ability to shoot diminishes each year, but I am still no slouch on the range. No matter what loads I put into the magazine, this gun delivered accurate and consistent performance at the target.
At 7 yards, my shot groups were consistently in the 9-ring. When I moved out to 25 yards, I could routinely group shots in the 8-ring with many staying in the 9-ring. I did try a few magazines at 50 yards and was able to keep most of my shots on the black of the silhouette target. Again, I have to emphasize that my capabilities are far outstripped by the capabilities of this pistol.
I don’t think I have a single gun in my inventory that is as easy to handle as the TP9SFx. I must admit that this is a big gun with a relatively long barrel. These two factors alone help tame recoil. The angle of the grip is as comfortable for me as any Glock I shoot. This is an easy gun for smaller people with less grip strength to handle.
I purposely tried to limp wrist this pistol to create a failure to feed or a jam but never did manage to get the gun to experience a stoppage. Less recoil and a dependable action coupled with a gun that cycles faster make re-acquiring the target easier.
After Market Accessories
As Canik pistols grow in popularity, more and more companies are making after-market upgrade accessories. Currently, you can find threaded barrel assemblies, compensator, grip enhancements and a host of other add-ons for your Canik TP9SFx.
Of course, one of the most popular add-ons for a pistol is the addition of a red dot sight. The mounting plates that come with the TP9SFx make mounting your choice of optic easy and fast.
Final Thoughts on the Canik TP9SFx
I am a fan of Canik pistols anyway. Getting the chance to test-fire the Canik TP9SFx just added to my conviction that these are some of the best guns on the market. The price point is an added bonus. For the money, the Canik TP9SF is the best value for a full-sized semi-automatic pistol on the market.
I recommend that you start watching the online gun brokers while you shop. Visit a local gun dealer and see what deals they are willing to make on the Canik. Occasionally, you will find a used one on some of the broker websites.