Review Of The SAR 9 by Alien Gear Holsters
In this SAR 9 review, we'll go over this seemingly left-field striker gun.
You might see these online, or at your local gun store, and wonder if this gun - which does not have a big-name brand on the slide - is just as good as the ones that do.
It's well worth the look.
SAR And The SAR 9
The SAR 9 is a full-size striker pistol made by Sarsilmaz, a Turkish gun company. If you haven't heard of them, it's sort of too bad; Sarsilmaz has been in the business for some time and they know their trade.
Sarsilmaz, located in Düzce, was founded in 1880, and is currently the largest small arms maker in Turkey. Their factory is NATO-certified for the manufacturing of firearms, which is not an easy accreditation for a gunmaker to earn. Products have to be made to rather strict guidelines and pass rather stern function tests, meaning that any NATO-approved firearm is typically made to run until the cows come home.
So is Canik, the company that makes the TP9 series of pistols such as the TP9 Elite SC that we reviewed recently. Some people poo poo Turkish firearms, but Sarsilmaz and Canik aren't kidding around when it comes to build quality.
NATO put the gun through the ringer, including a 90,000-round firing test as well as abuse and function tests, and the SAR 9 put up with the beating just as well as pistols by manufacturers that typically dominate the space. In other words, they make tough pistols.
As it happens, SAR is also the chief supplier of sidearms to the Turkish military and much of the Turkish police force.
But we're here for the SAR 9. We begin with the specifications:
|Barrel length||4.4 inches|
|Overall length||7.5 inches|
|Capacity||17+1 of 9mm*|
A few notes, though. Sarsilmaz has set up their own stateside company to import and sell their guns, which is SAR USA. Formerly, the guns were imported by EAA and a few others.
According to the parent company, the capacity is 15+1. According to SAR USA, it's 17+1. According to the other reviews we've found, the magazine is marked for 15 rounds...but you can get two more rounds in it.
So there's that to be aware of. Also, SAR USA doesn't advertise prices, but most of the sites we found the gun for sale on seemed to be around the $300 to $370 range, with plenty being available at the lower end. You could probably find it for less with some hunting.
SAR 9 Review
Overall, the gist of the typical SAR 9 review - including this one! - is that it's a solid working class gun. And we'd tend to concur. So let's take a tour.
Obviously, it's a bit on the big side. Could you conceal it? Sure. Could you make it easier on yourself with a smaller pistol, such as a S&W M&P9 Shield EZ? Yeah.
The SAR 9 looks like a Glock 19 slide on top of a Walther PPQ or H&K VP9, and it has that PPQ/VP9 feel to it, as the grip and palmswell are very comfortable to hold. The beavertail of the frame allows for a high, tight grip, along with a generous undercut of the trigger guard and modest finger grooves.
It has swappable backstraps, with three coming with the pistol along with swappable side panels.
The slide has fore and aft cocking serrations, with a dovetailed set of combat-style white dot sights. The frame features an Picatinny-style rail for accessories.
Controls are a left-side-only slide release/stop lever, and ambidextrous safety levers and takedown tabs. It's not really lefty-friendly due to the absence of a right-side slide stop release. The barrel has the typical link, and it does have a nested dual captive recoil spring as is typical these days.
The trigger, the typical tabbed affair, is decently crisp, with a positive and short reset. The best? No, but better than is found on some other duty-size striker guns with bigger names on the slide.
Most shooters are going to find it plenty controllable and decently accurate.
Overall, it's the standard striker pistol. Does it have a party piece to talk about?
Mostly? It's ergonomics and performance for the price.
Again, you can find this pistol for about $300 online. In fact, finding it for less is not difficult. At all. And for $300 or less, you just WILL NOT find a pistol with the same quality of ergonomics or build quality for the same price.
Myself and some other AGH personnel met up with the SAR USA crew at the 2019 SHOT Show. We got to see the full range of their pistol offerings, including the B6 pistols as well as their steel-frame pistols, which have been around but haven't yet been added to the SAR USA lineup, which includes SAR revolvers. Sarsilmaz is not kidding around, and their guns are of incredible quality given the price point.
If you're curious, definitely give them a look. It'll be worth your while.