While at the Industry Day at the Range I happened upon Century Arms, and I’m very glad I did. Century Arms is a major importer of firearms, and was showcasing their recently branded Canik TP9 SA 9mm handgun. The TP9 SA is a striker-fired single action only pistol, made in Turkey by Samsun Yurt Savunma Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.
Shooting it on the range was the biggest surprise of all for me. I carry a Glock daily, and have also shot the S&W M&P many times. I like each of those firearms for different reasons. I wasn’t expecting anything particularly great, however the TP9 SA was incredibly fun to shoot. Recoil was not at all snappy, and was perhaps one of the easiest and smoothest firing 9mm handguns I’ve ever shot. The grip ergonomics really molded to my medium sized hands, and grip texture was just right to secure the gun during recoil while not chewing at my palms.
Trigger pull was smooth and crisp without any noticeable creep, and once fired the positive reset was quick without a long let off. Accuracy was remarkably good for a pistol priced below $400, with rounds hitting in about a 2 inch grouping at 15 yards. I’m pretty sure with a little more familiarity I could lower that grouping.
The TP9 SA has several unique features that separate it from the earlier Canik TP9. Century Arms is marketing the TP9 SA as the “next evolution” in the TP series, and it appears the TP9 SA has made some major improvements towards that end.
Having a redesigned trigger, the TP9 SA produces smooth and consistent trigger pulls. The new TP9 SA trigger features a 2-part trigger like a Glock or S&W M&P, where the trigger safety extends out in front of the actual trigger preventing discharge if the handgun is dropped. Once the trigger safety is depressed into the slot on the trigger, the safety mechanism is released allowing the trigger to complete its pull firing the pistol.
This pistol is labelled a single action pistol because pulling the trigger only releases the striker to fire the handgun, instead of a dual cocking and release action like other strike-fired handguns. The trigger guard is extended forward allowing the shooter to more easily operate the TP9 SA while wearing gloves.
A great feature of the TP9 SA assembly is the striker decocker, with an easy to use activation lever on the top of the slide near the rear sight. By removing the magazine and round from the chamber, the shooter simply presses down on the decocker lever, which releases the striker from engagement, even if the striker was previously set. The shooter can then pull the two slide release levers down, located on either side of the receiver in front of the trigger guard, and remove the slide. There is no need to pull the trigger to release the set striker for disassembly, and the process was very easy.
Feedback from users of the previous Canik TP9 have led to upgraded grip panels. The panels involve more aggressive raised polymer studs on the front and rear of the grip, with a low profile rough texture grip on each side panel. The finger grooves have been removed, but there is an indentation at the top of the grip to provide a nice rest for the shooting hand thumb. There is a Picatinny rail section on the bottom of the receiver in front of the trigger guard, allowing for the addition of pistol lights or lasers.
The Century Arms Canik TP9 SA specifications:
- Caliber – 9mm only for now (possibly .40 S&W in the future)
- Overall Length – 7.5 inches
- Barrel Length – 4.47 inches
- Weight – 1.3 pounds (unloaded)
- Receiver – Polymer – choice of black or tan
- Slide – Cold hammer forged, with Cerakote finish
- Loaded chamber indicator
- Sights – 3-dot steel
- Capacity – 18+1
- Included Accessories – Hard back case, (2) 18-round Mec-Gar steel magazines, Polymer holster, Belt and Paddle holster attachments, (2) interchangeable back-straps, Cleaning rod, Bore brush
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- MSRP – $399.95
Though I only fired a couple of magazines worth of ammunition while at the range, my first impressions are very positive for the Century Arms Canik TP9 SA. It will be interesting to see as more in-depth reviews come out detailing the durability of this handgun, but for all that you get this one is definitely worth watching in my opinion.