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canik tp9 elite sc review

Alien Gear Holsters reviews the Canik TP9SF Elite SC

In this Canik TP9 Elite SC review, we'll go over the subcompact - if you can call it that - variant of the wildly popular Canik TP9 striker pistol. In case you're curious...there's a LOT to like about it.

It's a fantastic compact pistol with a LOT of features, much like some other pistols that have come across our desks lately such as the Springfield Hellcat and others.

Canik actually makes some darn good guns that don't cost too terribly much. They run and gun with the best for less, so would this make a great tactically touched-up pistol tractable for toting? You betcha!

Canik TP9 Elite SC Specifications

canik tp9 elite sc

As is customary, we begin this Canik TP9 Elite SC review with the Canik TP9 Elite SC specifications.

Capacity 12+1/15+1 of 9mm Unloaded Weight 24.78 oz MSRP ~$430ish

Bear in mind that Canik USA, the stateside office of Canik firearms, doesn't advertise MSRP; the price is from their former exclusive distributor (and still largest distributor) Century Arms. You might find it elsewhere for more, or you might find it for less.

As you can tell from the specs, it's more like a compact with a shorter grip. The gun has some beef, as it's a bit wider than many other double-stack compacts but not ridiculous, so you could liken it to the VP9SK in that regard...though it's actually bigger than the VP9SK.

But don't be fooled by the specs. Canik absolutely jams this gun with features, so you actually get a wicked amount of stuff with it.

Canik TP9 Elite SC Review

tp9 elite sc review

Let's kick this Canik TP9 Elite SC review off with the good parts.

Canik - pronounced "Jan-ick," as they're a Turkish gun company - absolutely excels in terms of value for money. Their products are very well made, the guns are accurate, reliable and you also get a good bit of kit to go with it.

For instance, I own one of their CZ clones, which are sold through TriStar Sporting Arms. The gun came with two 15-round magazines, a speed loader for said magazines, a cable lock, a patch tool and a bore brush, and all in a plastic case, which some companies that I won't mention (whose names rhyme with Pith and Schmesson, Schmuger, and others) don't even do.

So...what about the TP9 Elite SC?

For one, Canik has obviously equipped it with a lot of name.

The pistol comes with dovetailed sights, with a low-profile combat set with white dot inserts. The slide has fore and aft cocking serrations, with ambidextrous controls. Takedown tabs are ambi, slide stop/release lever is ambi, and the magazine release button can be swapped for left-handed operators.

The polymer frame has a railed forend for use with a compact light or laser. Relief cuts are at the top of the grip for easy indexing of the shooting hand thumb, there's an undercut to the trigger guard, with stipling on the front and back of the grip housing and texturing on the grip panels.

The ergos are clearly Walther-inspired, and the backstrap of the frame allows for a high, tight shooting grip to be easily acquired. The pistol comes with one small and one large palmswell strap, so you can tailor the grip to your liking.

The loaded striker indicator - a red dot at the rear of the slide - is also pure Walther.

The party piece is that the slide comes pre-milled for use with a reflex optic, and the case includes a mounting plate for attaching it. Along with the gun and two magazines - a 12+1 magazine with a pinky extension and a 15+1 extended magazine - the gun also comes with a cleaning kit (bore brush and patch tool) a hardware kit for mounting the optic of your choice, and a polymer holster with IWB/OWB clips for use however you wish.

Another interesting feature is the oversized trigger guard. It's darn big for a gun of this size...but that means you can still run the gun wearing gloves. Now that's a smart touch.

Canik doesn't mention which optics are compatible, but it's pretty clear that only micro red dot optics are. Shield RMSc, possibly the Sig Sauer ROMEO micro and so on are possible candidates, but until Canik gives the official word...we have to rely on assumptions.

The rear sight can be drifted out if desired, or left in for co-witnessing.

The go-pedal is a tabbed striker trigger. As far as they go, it's pretty darn decent. The safety tab is red, and the blade has a very slight curve, so it's halfway between a flat trigger and curved trigger. Takeup has a bit of creep, with a crispy break at the back, along with a positive reset. PPQ good? No, but better than most other plastic pistols.

So that's the good. What about the not so good?

Actually, the one thing that most of us that got hands on with the gun in the Alien Gear Holsters offices mentioned isn't really the drawback it might seem. That sounds strange, and nebulous, doesn't it?

The only thing that seemed to get mentioned as a drawback the slide, which is a real hoss. It's like a lunk of pig iron being balanced on a bit of plastic. Unloaded, the thing is ridiculously top-heavy.

However, that's actually kind of a good thing. You see, Canik tends to actually over-build their striker guns if anything. In other words, the thing is a bit of a tank...but that means it should actually last quite a long time.

That also means this gun is built to shoot. The weight tames recoil and brings the front sight back on target faster.

Those with larger hands are going to find it a little weird, as the bottom of your palm is going to hang off the bottom of the grip, though your fingers have plenty to grab on to; even the extended magazine just has a sleeve on it. It's a little strange, but you could get used to it.

Folks...the "budget" guns are starting to get pretty good. This might be the golden age of pistols. The Canik TP9 Elite SC might be a bit of a lunk, but darned if it doesn't pack in a lot of features and smart touches, especially for the street price. Other names just don't give you as much and make you fork over more...and I'm starting to wonder if they deserve it.

About The Author

Writer sam hoober