The Canik TP9 Family: Top Tier Pistols for the Working Man


The optics mount on the TP9SFx can be fitted with this cool extended charging peg for super-fast reloads.

The Canik TP9 is actually an extensive family of handguns ranging from
subcompact concealed carry heaters all the way up to long-slide, tricked-out
race guns with everything in between. Quality is superlative throughout.

Century Arms is the gun company for the Common Man. I’ve honestly lost count of the number of cool black Century guns I have bought over the years. Their weapons are rugged, dependable and reasonably priced. Century’s superb Canik TP9 handguns represent the hands-down best value in the gun world today.

Taylor Freelance lets you thoroughly pimp out your TP9 and simultaneously
transform it into a teddy bear on the range. The added mass all but negates perceived recoil.

The Canik TP9SFx is the race gun. The extended slide and barrel tame recoil,
while the ample 20-round box magazine will have you shooting about forever between reloads.

The Real World

Travis Beckett and his wife Jenny were struggling. Their first child Ashley was a preemie. They had intended to put Ashley in day care so Jenny could go back to work. However, as Travis had learned in his previous life as an Army Ranger, the plan never survives first contact with the enemy. Ashley needed attention only a mom could provide.

Travis therefore worked two jobs. One offered health insurance. The second let them eat. Jenny kept a meticulous house, but the ratty apartment was all they could afford. The young couple kept to themselves, but one fateful night, life intervened.

It began with yet another police-involved shooting. The riot grew like some kind of metastasizing cancer until nearby businesses were in flames. Jenny held Ashley close as the fires flickered across the front windows. Travis put his girls in the tub and retrieved his TP9, tucking the spare magazine into his back pocket. Pulling up a chair behind his front door, he sat quietly in the darkness. The riot would likely spend itself by morning. However, if trouble came knocking, Travis would blow it straight to hell.

Left: The first Canik TP9 was a proper approximation of the Walther P99.

Ballistic Philosophy

Ours is a weird old world that gets weirder daily. In the face of such rampant manifest chaos, it’s not just the well-to-do who need self-protection. Quite the contrary, it is typically those of modest means who know the most genuine peril. Not just everybody can afford a $600 defensive handgun. The Canik TP9 is the answer.

The first Canik TP9 pistol was introduced in 2012 and was a near clone of the Walther P99. The action was a striker-fired SA/DA with a pushbutton decocker atop the slide. Those first Canik sported, I’m not making this up, a cavorting dolphin on the grip. Cold hammer-forged barrels were formed from 32CrMoV12-10 steel and there were interchangeable backstraps. They were every bit the equals of the P99 they aped at a literal fraction of the price.

I picked up one of those very first copies. I’ve never had a stoppage and the pistol shoots nice and straight. I cannot find fault with it.
Each standard gun comes with two 18-round magazines, a nice polymer holster with both a belt slide and pancake mount, and cleaning gear. Stuff that would cost you extra elsewhere comes standard with the TP9. And yet it still sells for a c-note or two less than its name-brand competition.

The Canik TP9SA is a thoroughly modern SA/DA combat
pistol available in either black or FDE.

The Canik TP9SF Elite-S is the mid-sized concealed carry version of the TP9.

The red tab is the blade safety built into the trigger. The bilateral lever underneath
is a nifty separate manual safety system not found on the larger TP9 guns.

Steel Warren combat sights are the sorts you’d be expected to pay extra for on lesser guns.

Family Portrait

Today’s TP9DA offers that original DA/SA trigger along with the slide-mounted decocker. The initial long trigger pull brings added safety, while the subsequent crisper sort provides better precision. The Browning-inspired recoil-operated action is common throughout.

The TP9DA is indeed a great combat handgun at a great price. However, the American shooting public has developed an undeniable enthusiasm for the GLOCK-style striker-fired trigger. The TP9SA scratches that itch.

The TP9SA features a slightly longer frame and slide along with a blade safety in the trigger face. Finishes can be either black or FDE. The manual decocker remains perched atop the slide, but it is now used to lower the striker safely for disassembly.

The TP9SF retains the elongated slide and barrel of the SA but includes an improved single-action trigger with nickel-coated component parts. In this configuration, the mechanism went full-GLOCK. Keep your finger off the trigger, and the gun is on safe. Put your finger inside the trigger guard, and the gun goes hot. The dirty little secret is that between the Canik and the GLOCK, the TP9SF has the nicer trigger.

Canik TP9 guns come standard with a top-quality polymer retention holster.

Next Level

The slide and barrel of the TP9SFx race gun are stretched out a bit. There are lightening cuts for lighter weight, faster lockup and just plain cool points. The TP9SFx front sight includes a fiber optic insert and the rear of the slide is cut to accept a micro red dot. TP9SFx magazines pack a whopping 20 rounds onboard. The TP9SFx can be had from the factory with a Vortex Viper red dot.

The TP9SF Elite is the mid-sized gun akin to the GLOCK 19. The TP9SF Elite has all the same awesome stuff as the rest of the TP9 line along with a 15-round magazine. The TP9SF Elite-S also sports a cool manual safety easily manipulated with the trigger finger.

The TP9 Elite Combat Executive is the same gun thoroughly customized. That means fiber optic sights, a fluted gold PVD-coated match-grade threaded barrel and an aluminum speed funnel magwell. The flat-faced trigger sports a precise 4.8-lb. pull weight. Magazines are the standard 15-round sort with extended baseplates for a total capacity of 18.

The TP9SC is the subcompact deep carry version with one stubby 12-round magazine as well as one longer 15-round sort. This allows the operator to configure the gun for the circumstances and the mission. The TP9SC still has all the bells and whistles but rides comfortably underneath a pair of shorts and a T-shirt.

If you can’t find the gun you need in the TP9 family, you are just too picky. With an MSRP as low as $359, the TP9 is the military-grade combat pistol that is within financial reach of normal folk. You can spend way more on a combat handgun, but you could also just put your money in a tidy pile and set fire to it. The TP9 is epic iron at any price.

For more info:

The Canik TP9 Elite Combat Executive has literally all the
bells and whistles. It is snazzy-looking to boot.

Taylor Freelance:

Making a Great Gun Even Greater

It was inevitable the Canik TP9 would eventually catch the eye of those firearms artisans who craft aftermarket mechanical enhancements. Taylor Freelance is the DaVinci of gun accessories. Their media are aluminum, steel and brass. Their product is ballistic art.

Polymer-framed pistols are designed to be lightweight. For a carry gun, that’s the point. However, mass times velocity in one direction will always equal mass times velocity in the other direction. That’s not just a good idea. That’s the law. Taylor Freelance produces applique accessories that add some proper mass to your competition Canik and look awesome doing it.

Their snap-on extended magazine bases offer a prodigious four extra rounds. It is easy to load to a full 22-round capacity without a loader. The brass checkered backstrap and flared magwell add an aggregate 6 oz. to the weapon. No kidding, the end result feels like you’re running the gun off a tripod.

Thusly configured the extra weight gobbles up recoil and provides the perfect interface between weapon and flesh. It will absolutely ruin you to your flimsy lightweight pistols. For competition and home defense, Taylor Freelance rules.

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