OutdoorHubCanik TP9 Elite Combat 1000+ Round Review
I was first introduced to Canik pistols five or six years ago. It looked like a pretty nice pistol, and felt like one too, but when I saw the price, I dismissed it. I thought it was just a pretty looking gun at a bargain price with bargain performance. Possibly, I thought, it could be a decent stash gun that doesn’t get touched (something I’m not a fan of) except for routine maintenance. Two years after my introduction, the Canik, which began life as a rental pistol, was still alive and kicking with thousands upon thousands of rounds down range and minimal maintenance. Pretty impressive for a sub $400 pistol.
Fast forward to early August of this year (2019) and I’m holding a Canik TP9 Elite combat topped with a Vortex Viper red dot. The first shots I took with this pistol were on a C zone target 64 yards away. I literally pulled the pistol out of the case, loaded a magazine on my tailgate, and shot the first steel target I saw. With one round down range, and one small adjustment to the optic, I was hitting steel with every press of the trigger.
Below are the specs and features of the Canik TP9 Elite Combat (per Canik):
Color: FDE or Black Caliber: 9mm Capacity: 15+1, 18+1 Barrel Length: 4.73” (threaded) Overall Length: 7.88” Height: 5.96” Width:1.46” Barrel designed by Salient Arms International SAI-designed fiber optic front sight in red or green SAI-designed blacked-out rear sight SAI-designed magazine well Enhanced combat trigger Forward slide serrations Ambidextrous slide release 3 different sized magazine catch extensions Striker status indicator Appearance
The TP9 EC looks like a pistol built for business. It’s clearly not a run of the mill department issue pistol, but it’s not so raced out that it’s impractical for field use. I happened to recieve the FDE version which, in my opinion, looks super slick. There are a number of black accented components such as the magazine release and magazine well.
Aesthetically, I think Canik did a great job.
The package includes everything you’ll need to get started except ammo:
Paddle holster 2 magazines (on 15 rounder and one 18 rounder) Speed loader Numerous optics plates Hard case
Everything seems to be of good quality which is kind of a surprise considering the price and the number of items you get. Although the holster appears to be well made, I do not like the design. In fact, I don’t know many serious shooters who would consider an index finger release for a holster. Having been witness to the consequences of an ND from a popular index finger release holster, I would prefer having no retention at all if that was the only alternative.
The trigger is the highlight of this pistol for sure. It is smooth and crisp with a remarkably short reset. I’m not sure of the pull weight of this particular trigger, but I can say that it likely won’t be too heavy for you. If it were possible, I’d swap out all the triggers on all of my pistols (with the obvious exception of my MARS 1911) for the trigger on this Canik.
Nicely done, Canik.
Overall, I liked the ergonomics of the TP9 EC. The slide release was easy to reach and actuate without accidentally locking the slide back. The magazine release was easy to actuate bare handed, and I’m sure it would be easy to actuate with gloves on as well. The corners of the magazine release were nicely rounded and didn’t feel like they’d catch or mar anything.
The one complaint I have about the ergonomics is the grip. It is too short for me. I found that a good portion of my firing hand (about ¾ of an inch or so) extends below the grip. I understand that this pistol is intended as a combat handgun and isn’t a competition gun, so they were likely trying to minimize the form factor as much as possible, which I consider a reasonable approach.
I shot hundreds of rounds out of the TP9 EC over two range sessions running everything from style USPSA stages to slow, precise, fire at distance. In every instance the TP9 EC did quite well and exhibited no significant shortcomings.
I really enjoyed my time with the TP9 EC. I was enamored of the appearance, pleased with the performance, and shocked by the trigger. For a high performance combat pistol that you could snag for about $650, I’m confident you couldn’t do any better than a Canik TP9 EC. Do yourself a favor and put a box of rounds through one. I’d be interested to hear what conclusions you come to.
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