Century Arms Canik TP9 Elite Combat: Pistol Extraordinaire

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Let me say it flat out: The Century Arms Canik TP9 Elite Combat 9mm semi-automatic pistol is the most fully featured combat service-sized handgun that I have handled. The folks at Century say that the TP9 Elite Combat is the most advanced Canik pistol to date — and they are absolutely right!

Designed with the assistance of Salient Arms International, the brand-new Canik TP9 Elite Combat 9mm has every bell and whistle on it that one could ask for (without becoming a glommed-up mess)! Here is a quick overview of the most important features:

  • Proprietary convex thread protector with 13.5x1mm left-hand threads
  • Fluted and nitride-coated match-grade barrel
  • Fiber-optic sight set
  • Aluminum speed funnel magazine well
  • Internal components nitride- or high-wear nickel-coated
  • Flat-face aluminum trigger with a 4.8-pound trigger pull weight
  • Slide, barrel and small steel parts nitride-coated (slide is then coated with cerakote)
  • Optics-ready slide with four adapter plates and charging handle
  • Extended magazine release
  • New retention holster with slide lock release
  • Ambidextrous, easily reached slide release levers
  • Loaded-chamber indicator
  • Red cocking indicator
  • Additional replacement backstrap
  • Molded-in Picatinny rail
  • Included cleaning tools and muzzle cap removal wrench

What About the Canik TP9’s Trigger?

The trigger is sheer genius. As is typical with most polymer pistols these days, the trigger has an integrated passive safety — meaning you don’t have to do anything to activate or deactivate it. Most passive trigger safeties consist of a lever in the center of the trigger that extends beyond the trigger face when the trigger is at rest. What I have found over the years is that sometimes the safety lever can become uncomfortable during prolonged firing of the heavier defensive calibers.

The Canik TP9’s trigger design eliminates the possibility of pain caused by the center safety lever on the trigger face. Like most brilliant developments, the solution is relatively simple. The Canik TP9’s trigger safety lever becomes the trigger!

The trigger safety is a piece of flat, red-anodized, grooved aluminum and is nearly the width of the trigger itself. It acts as a target trigger shoe without being detrimental for combat use and distributes the pressure on the trigger finger over a broader area. There is about a half-inch of total take-up before the process of releasing the striker begins. This makes the trigger very crisp and provides an additional margin of safety.

Canik TP9’s Steel 15-Round Magazines

The Canik TP9 comes with two steel magazines, one for concealment and one with a target extension. Here is the big thing: Both mags are marked to accept 15 rounds, and you can actually load 15 rounds without having to resort to the included loader or short-loading the magazine and carrying less ammo. Now that is impressive in a time when several manufacturers’ magazines don’t load up to fully marked capacity. The magazines drop free easily when the easy-to-reach mag release is activated.

I took the Canik TP9 to the range with SIG Sauer’s Elite 124-grain 9mm FMJ practice and Elite 124-grain V-Crown Defensive ammo. Both loads are rated at 1165 feet-per-second velocity with 374 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Both loads functioned flawlessly, and the sights were well-centered. The red fiber-optic front sight mated well with the plain black serrated rear. (I don’t need the distraction of multiple glowing dots in a dangerous situation.) The excellent ergonomics of the pistol made recoil inconsequential. The TP9’s grip melts naturally into the hand, so there was no need for me to mount the additional backstrap adaptor.

A Word on Shooting Accuracy

I was VERY impressed with the TP9’s accuracy. My first group of 15 shots using the FMJ Elite ammo at 30 feet, two-handed standing, measured 3 inches across. I later loaded up 15 rounds of the V-Crown 9mm ammo and moved up to 21 feet. This time I was able to keep all 15 rounds in a nice 2-inch group.

As many of you know, the gun makers of Turkey are very skilled, producing some excellent firearms at very reasonable prices. The Canik TP9 Elite Combat is no exception and can fill the mission of target pistol, home-defense pistol, suppressed sporting pistol, red-dot optic-sighted pistol and concealed carry handgun. You get a lot of bang for your buck! MSRP is $849.

Century Arms Canik TP9 Elite Combat Manufacturer’s Specs:

Caliber 9mm
Capacity 18+1 rounds
Barrel Length 4.73 inches
Overall Length 7.88 inches
Height 5.96 inches
Width 1.45 inches
Weight (unloaded) 25.8 ounces

 

Sources:

SIG Sauer: SigSauer.com

Century Arms: CenturyArms.com