Canik: Superior Handguns

— Kat StevensCADRE Dispatch

Although Canik is a relative newcomer to the handgun market — at least when compared to manufacturers with a century or more behind them — they’ve gained quite a fan base.

Canik’s firearms are made to bring carefully designed, quality handguns at a reasonable cost to serious handgunners. The Turkish gun maker has been making a name for themselves in various industries for decades and has been forging a path in the United States with their handguns for around ten years. Canik firearms are 21st-century guns in every respect.

canik handgun
Over the past decade, Canik’s handguns have gained a following. (Photo credit: Canik)

Company History

Canik was founded in the latter part of the 1990s within the aerospace defense industry. On the aerospace side, they gained a solid reputation with well-known companies like Boeing and  Lockheed Martin. It was through their work in that industry that the manufacturer began the engineering and designing process of creating what they hoped would be a superior polymer-framed pistol. Those early Canik handguns were made available to Turkish Law Enforcement for some time before they reached the American market.

The firearm manufacturing side of Canik was founded around 2009. The precise date is hard to pin down, but it was in 2009 that Canik teamed up with Century Arms to begin importing their firearms into the United States. As they say, the rest is firearms history, and the Turkish pistols gained almost immediate popularity.

Where are Canik handguns made?

The manufacturing facility for Canik firearms is located in Samsun, Turkey. The gun maker has a state-of-the-art CNC center and has taken great strides to be at the forefront of firearms manufacturing. In addition to their many advanced technologies, Canik has a 3D machine that’s capable of providing measurements within 1/10,000 millimeters. And while the manufacturer does utilize a vast array of modern technologies they also maintain dial gauges and calipers to support the quality control process.

Over the years Canik has streamlined their system to the point that they’ve gone from producing under 100 handguns a month to as many as one per minute. Some Canik firearms may be manufactured in the United States in the near future, but for now, manufacturing continues to take place in Turkey.

canik tp9 sfx
The Canik TP9 SFx is a competition ready handgun designed for superior overall performance. (Photo credit: Canik)

What Canik Handgun is the best?

The TP9 line of handguns manufactured by Canik is exceedingly popular. It includes a variety of striker-fired pistols chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum.

Within the Canik TP9 family, the TP9 SFx is known for being the premium pistol for target shooting. According to the gun maker, the gun is designed to provide greater control and comfort during live fire and also offers a superior sight picture. The TP9 SFx has a 5.20-inch barrel, an overall length of 8.27 inches, and a height of 6.20 inches. It’s chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum and has a 20 +1 round capacity. Empty, the gun weighs 1.83 pounds.

Features of the Canik TP9 SFx include a premium Canik trigger, match-grade barrel, and extended slide release. This is an optics-ready pistol, meaning it’s ready to have a red dot sight mounted to it with no need to visit a gunsmith.

The gun ships with Warren Tactical iron sights with a red and green fiber optic front sight. Also, it ships with a patented retention holster. And while the TP9 SFx is marketed for target shooting which might imply plinking range use to some, it’s also considered competition-ready right out of the box.

Holstering the TP9 SFx

Safariland offers the 6304 ALS/SLS Tactical Holster for the Canik TP9 SFx. This holster is a drop-leg style traditionally meant for duty use. The holster itself is thermomolded and rugged while the elastic straps are made for comfort and durability. To protect the gun’s finish, the inside of the holster is suede-lined. When the retention mechanisms are deactivated the gun can be drawn using a straight upward drawstroke.

Are Caniks good guns?

canik handguns
The Turkish gun maker designs their guns according to exacting specifications. (Photo credit: Canik)

Canik designs and manufactures their handguns according to strict specifications and tolerances. While they do take measures to keep the guns reasonably priced, they also put a great deal of focus on quality control.

The Turkish handguns are made to perform and last and have proven themselves reliable time and again. Many seasoned gun owners report Canik handguns are some of the best polymer pistols they’ve ever run at that price point.

Does Canik make guns for concealed carry?

subcompact pistol
Canik does offer models sized for concealed carry. (Photo credit: Canik)

Although Canik focuses on full-sized handguns for target shooting and duty use, they do manufacture some models that are concealed carry friendly.

The TP9 Elite SC is a great example and is the first sub-compact pistol the gun maker added to the TP line of handguns. It’s made as a smaller version of the popular full-sized TP9 guns and is designed to be snag-free and easy to conceal.

The Canik TP9 Elite SC has a 3.60-inch barrel, an overall height of 4.60 inches, and an overall length of 6.70 inches. It’s chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum and has either a 12 +1 or 15 +1 capacity depending on the magazine being used.

This pistol offers myriad features that make it fantastic for concealed carry. It has an ambidextrous slide stop, front and rear slide serrations, and a forward accessory rail for aftermarket accessories. The internal components of the gun are coated for increased longevity.

This gun ships with a blackout rear sight and phosphorous front dot sight but also has an optics-ready slide cut. It weighs 1.55 pounds empty and, thanks to its overall design, it’s well suited to deep concealment.

Should you get a Canik handgun?

If you’re in the market for a polymer-framed handgun that’s durable and affordable, Canik is a great option. Their handguns are reliable, tough, and capable of withstanding the rigors of hard use. Thanks to how many of them are optics ready they’re also compatible with the strong trend toward putting red dot optics on handguns.

It’s important to note that if you’re shopping for a new Canik, the models do rotate and get discontinued, so you’ll need to take note of what’s available.

Canik makes handguns that are suited for everything from competition to range use to defensive applications. The company focuses on 9mm which is a proven defensive caliber that’s also easier to find in stock and tends to be budget-friendly in price.

The Turkish gun maker is constantly coming out with new, innovative handguns, and they’re bound to have a pistol that suits your needs. And, as always, you can find a variety of compatible holsters for Canik handguns from Safariland.

Whether you’re carrying for self-defense or a day of shooting steel at the range, the combination of a Canik pistol and Safariland holster is a winning one. Take a closer look at the fantastic quality of these Turkish handguns. We think you’ll be pleased.

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