Burly And Rugged!
By J.B. Wood
Are you tired of polymer frames and plastic sights? Would you like a choice of SA or DA operation, with an external hammer? Then take a look at the TriStar P-100. It’s made in Turkey, in a factory exercising such high precision it has an IS0-9000 rating. And, the suggested retail price is around $500.
Essentially, the P-100 is a variation of the Canik 55, a version of the classic CZ 75, with some important changes. One example is the slide latch, which is here extended to the rear and downward. This puts it within easy reach of the thumb, without changing the hand position. Also, there are forward slide serrations — not at the muzzle, but just forward of the ejection port.
If you are a fan of the 10mm Lite, it is also offered in .40 S&W chambering. My test gun was in regular 9mm. When you first pick it up, the first impression is how solidly it sits in the hand. The all-steel construction brings the empty weight to 37.3 ounces, very near the heft of a GM-1911. It will come as no surprise the felt-recoil, even Plus-P loads, is quite mild.
The TriStar P-100, field-stripped. Note the classic CZ 75 pattern.
It’s made in Turkey in an ISO-9000 rated factory and shows excellent workmanship.
The grip shape is excellent, and on both sides there are shallow recesses at the top for the trigger finger and thumb. A generous overhang at the upper rear prevents hammer-bite. When received, there was a heavy black rubber band half-way down the grip, with the TriStar logo. It can be easily re-positioned, or, if it bothers you, taken off.
The trigger action is selective DA-SA, and the P-100 Double Action uses the classic CZ 75 push-bar, rather than a draw-bar, making it smooth and easy. On single action, the trigger pull of my gun averaged between 5 and 6 pounds, with about a quarter-inch take-up and minimal over-travel. The trigger has a good shape and a smooth surface, with no annoying ridges.
The well-placed manual safety blocks the sear. If you prefer “cocked and locked” carrying, it will do that too. As with most modern pistols, an automatic internal safety blocks the firing pin until the last bit of trigger pull. Happily, there’s no magazine-disconnect safety. A round in the chamber can still be fired if the mag is out.
The slide rails are full-length, internal, and it’s steel-on-steel, a strong arrangement. The locking system is falling-barrel, controlled by a bent-oblong opening in the barrel under-lug. The square-picture sights have three white dots, and the rear one can be drifted laterally. The beautifully-made magazine is from Mec-Gar in Italy, and the 9mm version holds 15 rounds. The release is reversible.
The front underside of the frame has a standard rail, if you want to hang a flashlight or a laser. The front of the trigger-guard is squared and grooved, for those who use that weird version of the two-hand hold. At least, there’s no actual hook which would impede easy re-holstering.
Note the extended slide latch, and the protective over-hangs around the
release and the safety. Knife is Spyderco Para Military 2, a good match
for this full-sized “duty” type pistol.
In addition to the usual lock and cleaning stuff, you get a
spare magazine and a nice loader.
A Bit Of Shooting
When I took the P-100 out to the range, I left the big black rubber-band on the grip. It was comfortable between two fingers and the palm, and did seem to give a more secure hold. I used a variety of loads — CorBon, Hornady, Winchester — with some being Plus-P. All of them worked perfectly. Shooting was standing, two-hand hold.
At 7 yards, the average group was 3.75″. At 15 yards, 5.5″. Please keep in mind this was off-hand, standing, with my semi-aged eyes! No doubt this might be a 2.5″ to 3″ or so gun at 25 from a good rest.
For those who like to have all the numbers, the P-100 is 7″ long, 5″ in height, and 1.35″ in width. The barrel length is 3.7″. As mentioned earlier, the weight is 37.3 ounces. It’s a bit large and heavy for everyday carry, but for home or car, it’s perfect. Think of it as a full-sized military or police auto.
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/index, Ph: (816) 421-1400