Century Arms Canik TP9 SA

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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.

The impressive starter kit by Century Arms includes the TP9 SA, hard back case, 2 Mec-Gar steel magazines, a Canik holster with belt and paddle attachments, cleaning rod, bore brush and, magazine loader for under $400.

The impressive starter kit by Century Arms includes the TP9 SA, hard back case, 2 Mec-Gar steel magazines, a Canik holster with belt and paddle attachments, bore brush and, magazine loader for under $400.

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.

The TP9 SA grip combines both aggressive studs and rough texture, but in a way that is not uncomfortable to shoot.

The TP9 SA grip combines both aggressive studs and rough texture, but in a way that is not uncomfortable to shoot.

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.

The TP9 SA trigger with extended trigger safety.

The TP9 SA trigger with extended trigger safety.

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.

One of the best safety features is the striker decocker which activates by pressing down on the two buttons on the top of the slide near the rear sight.

The striker decocker safety feature activates by pressing down on the lever on the top of the slide near the rear sight.

Pulling down the two slide release levers allows the slide to be removed from the receiver for disassembly.

Pulling down the two slide release levers allows the slide to be removed from the receiver for disassembly.

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
The TP9 SA loaded chamber indicator sticks out of a hole on the back of the slide and is colored red.

The TP9 SA loaded chamber indicator sticks out of a hole on the back of the slide and is colored red.

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.

 

 



Aaron is a life-long firearm enthusiast and hunter. He has been a police officer for nearly 19 years, and currently is a Sergeant in Special Operations. He has served on the department’s SWAT Team for 14 years, with 8 years as the Sniper Team Leader. When not fussing over fractions of inches, and gut-less wonders, he can usually be found sipping from a ridiculously large coffee mug. Aaron is also the editor and main writer at BlueSheepDog.com.


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  • andrey kireev

    That is a feature packed powerhouse (in 9mm)

  • thedonn007

    It looks like a Walther P99 clone.

    • mig1nc

      It pretty much is. P99/PPQ clone. I’m somewhat shocked there isn’t one mention of the Walther name in the article.

      • ColonelColt

        The original was a much closer clone of the P99 but the new SA is a totally different handgun and, in my opinion, has a much better trigger pull than the Walther. I know that’s hard to believe but having shot the new SA extensively, and a number of P99s, the TP9 SA has moved beyond being called a “Walther clone”.

      • Aaron E

        I started to mention the “similarities” to the Walther, but I think there are enough differences to review this pistol on its own merits without fueling the fire on any “clone” arguments.

    • patrickiv

      It’s no secret that the earlier TP9 was a near-exact clone of the Walther P99, with the only significant change being the ambi decocker. This new version looks like a PPQ clone. I’d still like to have one though.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Presumably you meant, ‘AFTER removing the magazine and round from the chamber…’
    Also, can the pistol be fired after releasing the striker?

    • dave

      If so, theres no reason to bypass a trigger pull

      • ColonelColt

        Many police departments and other organizations are extremely cautious about having anyone pull a trigger at any time.

        • dave

          I get that. But if that feature releases the striker onto a primer, then it is a trigger ipso facto

          • ColonelColt

            The decocker plate moves down to block the striker from moving forward just before it releases it. There’s also the striker block that needs to be deactivated by the trigger, just as in a Glock, that would need to be bypassed as well.

          • dave

            That’ll do.

    • Aaron E

      No, you can’t fire the pistol after releasing the striker without re-cocking the gun. And yes, my grammar was poor – I meant to say the weapon needed to be unloaded to accomplish the break down.

      • AE

        Safely

      • Pete Sheppard

        Thanks, Aaron. The release button is a good way to unload the striker for disassembly, but I can also see that it could be a deadly problem if accidentally pushed in a defensive situation.

    • Dragonudo

      Only by slightly pulling back the slide to re-cock it!!!

  • john huscio

    Ehh, if I’m gonna get a gun made in that part of the world, I’ll just wait for the new caracals to come on the market, probably at or near the Same pricepoint………but I’ll probably sidestep both and just get a P320………

  • Pete Sheppard

    Thanks. 🙂 That’s what I was thinking; just wanted to make sure.

  • Twogungod

    This is basically a P99. Which is also a great gun.

  • They had some neat color combinations on display. Too bad the blue one isn’t slated for sale in North America. From handling several of them I would say if they are reliable, they’ll be a great value for the money.