Canik TP9SF Review: Cheap but worth it?

by Ryan Cleckner

March 22, 2024

27 comments

4.5
(130)

After shooting the Canik TP9SF, it’s hard to find a reason to truly dislike this gun. It’s a quality handgun that fires great and is fun to shoot. The grade-A features, reliability factor, and the budget pricing it comes at are really great. Having spent a lot of time with it, I can confidently share my firsthand thoughts on this gun in this Canik TP9SFX review.

For this review, I used the One Series variant of the Canik TP9SF, which offers the same gun as the standard model but with fewer accessories at an even more attractive price.

[UPDATE] Back in 2020, I initially reviewed the Canik TP9SF. But since then, I’ve put hundreds of rounds through it, and my opinions have shifted slightly. So, here’s my updated Canik TP9SFX review.

Canik TP9SFX Review- Background

As a former special operations sniper, I see the Canik TP9SFX as a testament to Turkish firearm craftsmanship.

Let’s take a step back and look at where it all began. Canik, the company behind the TP9SFX, originally made its mark in the aerospace defense industry before branching out into firearms. The TP9SFX itself is a full-sized 9mm pistol designed specifically for competitive shooting.

The story of Canik dates back to 2009 when they first introduced the TP9 series of pistols. These handguns were initially developed to meet the needs of Turkish Law Enforcement, and they quickly gained recognition for their reliability and performance. In 2012, Canik teamed up with Century Arms to bring their pistols to the American market, kickstarting their journey towards becoming a major player in the firearms industry.

The TP9SFX is a product of this ongoing evolution. It builds upon the foundation laid by the TP9 series, incorporating elements from proven handgun designs. Manufactured in Turkey at an ISO 9001-certified facility, the TP9SFX is a testament to Canik’s dedication to quality and precision. It’s worth noting that Canik doesn’t just make handguns – they also produce rocket launchers, sniper rifles, and even supply parts for the aviation industry.

Over the years, the TP9SFX has been developed and refined, incorporating features and designs inspired by popular models in the market. It stands as a symbol of Canik’s commitment to quality, reliability, and affordability in the firearms market.

Canik TP9SF Specs

  • Host Platform Canik TP9
  • Caliber 9mm
  • Magazines Mec Gar
  • Weight 1.78 lbs
  • Barrel Length 4.46’’
  • Capacity 16 + 1

Canik TP9SF Features Review

CANIK-TP9SF-Features-Gun-University-1
1 Striker Indicator

When the gun is ready to fire, a red bulb indicator is shown that the striker is in the ready position.

2 Canik’s Famous Single Action Trigger

This single action trigger is one of the best triggers you will find on any handgun.

3 MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny Rail

With this Picatinny attached to the front end of the weapon, there is definite room for attachments and customizations.

4 Warren Tactical Sights

The TP9SF comes stock with Warren Tactical sights with a front dot sight.

Canik TP9SF Review: Our Take

I’ll just cut to the chase: This handgun is AWESOME! The Canik TP9SF is my #1 budget-gun recommendation. Want to know a budget handgun that didn’t make the grade? Check out our SCCY 9mm Review – as you’ll see not all budget guns are created equal.

No, I don’t think it can replace higher-end duty-level guns. But… for a budget firearm, the Canik TP9SF can serve as a great option and it punches way above its class.

This means that if I have a choice for a duty gun, I’ll personally pick a Glock, Sig, CZ, or H&K over the Canik. However, if I’m working with a budget or I want a gun that I don’t want to be too worried about abusing (ranch gun, truck gun, etc.) or if someone is is looking for a first gun to just get started and they aren’t quite sure which gun that they’d really like to end up with, then the Canik it is!

The TP9 from Canik Firearms is a striker-fired polymer pistol. It is comfortable enough, the controls work, and it is SUPER reliable. However, where the Canik really shines is with its trigger!

The flat-faced stock trigger on the TP9SF is so good, that I think it is better than options available on higher-end guns. Seriously, out of the box, I think the trigger is as good as, or better than, stock H&K, CZ, and Glock triggers!

Why? Because the design of the trigger allows full forward travel, improving your shooting accuracy by giving you a complete and controlled trigger pull. Plus, it has a built-in over-travel stop that helps you maintain your aim for the next shot by preventing any unnecessary movement after the shot is fired. .

These features together give you very short pre-travel and reset distances for rapid and accurate follow-up shots. Now, the stock trigger on this race gun is great but if you’re looking for a better trigger, you can opt for an aftermarket trigger for the TP9SFX, like the ones from Freedomsmith.

While I was using the Canik TP9SFX at the range, I decided to try something new. Usually, when I reload, I would manually rack the slide to chamber the next round. But this time, I decided to use the slide stop lever to release the slide after inserting a new magazine. It made things much quicker and smoother, getting me ready to shoot again faster. It might not seem like a big deal, but in situations where time matters, every second counts. It was a neat trick I learned that made a big difference.

Now, for all the lefties out there, you’ll love its ambidextrious aspects. They have a reversible magazine release on the Canik TP9SFX. Being able to switch that mag release to the other side of the gun is a total gamechanger for those that shoot left.

Speaking of value, I think the Canik TP9SFX hits the sweet spot. Sure, it may not be able to compete head-to-head with higher-end duty-level guns like Glocks, Sigs, CZs, or H&Ks. But for its price, it’s an absolute steal. The fact that it’s nearly half the price of some of those big-name pistols makes it even more appealing to budget-conscious shooters like me.

What I don’t Like about the Canik TP9SF

My only gripe is that the bore height is a bit tall. I wish it had a lower bore axis like the CZ Shadow for a reduced muzzle rise during rapid fire. The Warren sights are a nice touch but the skinny rear sight makes the slide appear taller (leaner).

My Final Verdict

As you can see, this pistol is reliable, and well designed. It’s got great ergonomics, and many features you wouldn’t expect for a budget gun. So, in the end, I think it is an excellent budget pistol – so much so that I put it in my list of best 9mm pistols with the mark of best budget option.

However, if you’re wanting to improve or upgrade, then check out that article to see which ones are better and why.

Canik TP9SF Review: Pros and Cons

  • Very Reliable
  • Great Trigger
  • Affordable
  • Ergonomic
  • A bit tall in the hand
  • One Series only has one magazine, grip module
  • Ugly

Report Card

RELIABILITY

Flawlessly reliable in our testing

A+
ACCURACY

Duty-gun Accurate

A-
CUSTOMIZATION

No more customizable than any other polymer striker fired handgun

A
ERGONOMICS

Comfortable in the hand, could be nicer

B+
VALUE

Incredible value!

A+
CANIK-TP9SF-FINAL-Gun-University

Our Grade

A

Reviewed by Ryan Cleckner

Reader’s Grade

A

Based on 118 Reviews

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Canik TP9SF Review – FAQs

Are round nose bullets compatible with the Canik TP9SF?

Yes, the Canik TP9SF is compatible with round nose bullets. It’s designed to handle various types of ammunition for reliable performance.

How do I release the magazine on the Canik TP9SF?

To release the magazine on the Canik TP9SF, simply press the magazine release button located near the trigger guard. This allows you to perform quick and efficient magazine changes during your shooting sessions.

Does the Canik TP9SF come with a fiber optic front sight?

Yes, the Canik TP9SF comes equipped with a fiber optic front sight. This feature improves visibility and target acquisition, especially in low-light conditions, improving your overall shooting accuracy and performance.

Is the Canik TP9SF suitable for concealed carry?

While the Canik TP9SF is a full-sized handgun, you may find it suitable for concealed carry depending on your body type and preferred carry method. We recommend trying different holsters and carry positions to find what works best for you, ensuring comfort and concealment while maintaining accessibility for self-defense purposes.

Best Sights for the Canik TP9SF

Putting a top-notch red dot sight on your pistol is becoming more and more popular as time goes by. As a matter of fact, some manufacturers are releasing their newer models to be optics ready–see our Springfield Armory Hellcat review. And while the TP9SF doesn’t come ready for a sight, with a little know-how, you can outfit yours with one of these cool options.

Our Editor’s Choice for optics on the Canik is the Vortex Optics Venom. It comes with a large, clear window and a 3 MOA red dot making for fast and easy targeting. And don’t worry about making adjustments. You can easily make single MOA changes through simple dial functions for both elevation and windage. The Venom is also equipped with 20 different brightness levels, so you’ll be prepared for any situation. CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON

The Ade Advanced Optics Micro is another solid choice for the Canik TP9F. Just like the Vortex, it comes with multiple brightness settings and 1 MOA adjustment dial. The biggest difference between the two is that this comes standard with a 6 MOA red dot.

Check It Out On Amazon

Best Holsters for the Canik TP9SF

If there’s one thing a great competition style pistol absolutely needs, it’s a holster. You need to be on the lookout for something that securely and snugly holds your firearm in place, all the while maintaining a standard degree of comfort. Here are two options to do just that.

Our top pick for a holster for the Canik TP9sf is the We the People Kydex IWB. Its design allows it to fit securely and comfortably inside your waistband. We the People have also addressed a few of the problems of IWB reholstering. They have designed the holster to allow for easier reholstering while maintaining eyes on the threat, a nice feature. CHECK IT OUT ON AMAZON

The We The People Kydex holster is great choice for the Canik TP9F. I like it becasue it adjusts and conceals really well, while at the same time super easy to re-holster. Good choice in my book.

Check It Out On Amazon

Other Duty-Level Pistols of its Class to Check Out

Honestly, if you’re just starting out with duty pistols, the Canik TP9SF is a great choice. It’s an extremely reliable gun at a budget price. However, there are some other options if you’re looking for something a little more high-end (including our favorite gun we’ve ever reviewed). Here are 2 of our favorites:

#1 Sig Sauer P320 X-Five Legion

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  • Shootability A+
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics A+
  • Accuracy A+
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A+

Reader’s Grade

A

Based on 53 Reviews

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We’ve reviewed a ton of guns here…but this one might be our absolute favorite. And I’m not just talking about pistols either. Our favorite ever. As a competition and range pistol, we couldn’t find a single thing wrong with it. This is our current IPSC/3 Competition pistol, and don’t see that changing for a long time…READ MORE

#2 Glock 48

Glock 48

Glock 48

At its core, the Glock 48 is essentially a Glock 19 with a single stack magazine.

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A
  • Reliability B+
  • Ergonmics A
  • Accuracy A+
  • Value A+

Our Grade

A

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 58 Reviews

Your Grade

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Added To Our Reader’s Score

As far as Glocks go, the G19 is by far the most popular option. But there’s one thing that irks us about it…It’s just barely too big for CCW purposes. Wouldn’t it be nice if they just slimmed it down a bit? Well, they did and with a few other minor changes came out with the Glock 48…READ MORE

You can never have too much info about your firearm. That’s why we recommend checking out these handy articles on the Canik–including its user manual.

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About Ryan Cleckner

Ryan is a former special operations sniper (1/75 Ranger) and current firearms attorney, firearms industry executive, university lecturer, and bestselling author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. I am going to be very brief here, but I do hope that this comment is taken very seriously and considered before buying a CANIK weapon.
    As long as the weapon works as it is supposed to then they are Ok. But God help you the day that you need any sort of support your weapon because you will be horribly disappointed. Worst service that I have ever experienced. They are so disorganized and jacked up and unhelpful. I am still waiting, after two weeks of my service order sitting stuck in the shipping dept., for a low pressure recoil spring to me sent to me. My weapon is rather new and fully still under warranty but is currently not serviceable due to this problem. I am blown away by how they could not care any less that my weapon is not working. The call center is in Florida and the shipping dept. is in Vermont. The call center guys don’t have a clue as to when I will receive my part to make to weapon serviceable again. I am freaking utterly disgusted with them and will never ever recommend their product to anyone. You have to back up what you sell with a group of support people that are fanatical about their products and their customer’s satisfaction with that product and they have completely failed. Do not make the same mistake that I made. I unequivocally regret ever buying this CANIK TP9 Elite SC that I have. It is nothing more than a paper weight right now.

    1. Sorry to hear about problems, but its in USA. In Europe customer service is nicer and better because my instructor had same problem. He got replacement in 4 days. Propably difference in our laws. I hope your gun will serve you for years without jamming.

  2. I carried a Glock for my entire Law Enforcement career. Once I retired, I stumbled across Canik at a gun show and loved the trigger feel. It was $300 so I figured why not. It’s now my favorite 9mm by a good bit. In fact, when I have to requalify annually, I always use the Canik, and have shot perfect scores the last two years I’ve been using it, something I never did with the Glock, despite regular training and years of shooting it. The Canik just shoots better for me. I did change the sights for SpeedSights which are great. Otherwise stock. I’ll probably add a SFX with red dot cut at some point just for fun, but the SF is great, and I think would have been a fantastic duty gun, if I had the option to carry one.

  3. I bought the TP9-SFx and love it. The only mod, I made to it, was to the guide rod / recoil spring and the striker spring with a kit from Sprinco – Recoil Management System. Wow, what a difference and I haven’t had any failures or jams. Approx. 2,000 rounds through it. A super value for the money.

  4. Just purchased a TP9SF yesterday and look forward to firing it today at our club range. I’m really impressed by the trigger, better than the Taurus G3 I have and I thought that was a good trigger.

  5. jusr bought the rp9s canik and i love the trigger and sight took it to the range right of the box and feel in love with this gun right away

  6. I just pickup up my TP9 SF Camo
    I love the trigger on this gun .
    Love at ease of shooting accuracy
    And the price 489 bucks for a great piece.

  7. Nice to hear positive comments about a gun I just bought after a 25 round test fire.
    I have shot 10 different 9mm in the last week and love the trigger and how accurate I am able to shoot with a new gun.
    Also has the limited edition camo which I find ever cool.
    My step son who is a cop only likes Glocks which I think their sights suck.
    Every other gun to him is a piece of shit.
    I aim to prove him wrong.
    Can wait to bring home my gun next week

  8. i’m a Glock fan boy, but also own Sigs, CZs, S&Ws, Rugers and, of course, Caniks. The Caniks preform as good, or better, than any of the other guns I have owned. They are incredibly well made, reliable, affordable and, often times, more accurate thanks to that magical trigger.

    Ryan notes he doesn’t think Caniks can replace higher end duty level guns, but he fails to give a single reason why. I’m old enough to remember folks used to say the same thing about Glocks and CZs, and we know how that turned out. Canik has already made tremendous inroads into the competitive shooting market with the SFx, and I think it’s just a matter of time before the general public figures out that Caniks are every bit as well made, accurate and reliable as a Glock, a CZ, or a Sig, regardless of price.

  9. Can you point me in the right direction – “While the TP9SF doesn’t come ready for a sight, with a little know-how, you can outfit yours with one”? Having a hell of a time finding this info.

    1. Aha – that should read “doesn’t come ready for a red-dot sight.” You’ll either need an adapter plate for the rear dovetail or have your slide milled to accept a sight.

    2. Wow Turkish guns sure cause some mental health issues for some folks.If you don’t want one don’t buy one. Turkey is a member of NATO. Austria is not. So are Glocks ok to buy? The government of Turkey is not building the gun so what is your point?I would bet that the folks who say don’t buy a Canik have never even shot one.
      My money my choice. I own 2 Caniks and they put Glock triggers to shame without having to spend $150 or more on a trigger. Walther is the only company who makes a striker fired pistol with a better trigger IMO.

      1. Not only is Turkey one of our NATO Allies, Turkey has the second largest military in NATO after the USA. Unlike most of the other members, they spend more on defense and do not depend on the USA to cover for them. We have had bases in turkey for over 50 years.

        There are some recent political happenings in Turkey (coup attempt) that make many people unsettled. The Turks can say the same thing about recent American political happenings (coup attempt). We do not have to agree on every issue to be valuable in a mutual defense relationship. We are not locked in step hand in hand with any of our NATO Allies. We have differences with all of them.

        I spent over a year in Turkey working in and out of Turkey and Northern Iraq and Kurdistan. The Turkish people are like humans everywhere. Mostly very good folks. The bad guys are like bad guys everywhere, bad guys. The Turkish military is on the best trained, well equipped and professional arms of the 15 or so NATO countries I have worked with. They have a proud military tradition that includes many large scale victories over Russia, Great Britain, France, Italy, Greece and other world powers of their times.

        The NATO Test and Certification program that Canik passed with the highest scores ever recorded was no small feat. Canik blazed through NATO Certifications faster (buy far) than any other company in history. It is not easy to do.

        Canik (Samsun Domestic Defense and Industry Corporation) is a DARPA Class / General Dynamics Class ISO 9001 state of the art defense and high tech industry facility. They make extremely well designed products. They have more foreign contracts than HK, Glock & Walther combined. To jump start domestic small arms development, Canik / Samsun Domestic Defense partnered with FB “Łucznik” Radom of Poland and with Carl Walther GmbH of Germany (another NATO ally we have many, many political issues with).

        The fact that ‘people’ depend on media reports to determine whom one should like or not like and what countries are ‘our friends’ is not real politic. The world is much less black & white than that. The real facts about Canik and Turkey speak for themselves.

        1. Canik is really loved in Poland. Many people recommended it to me as first gun and i agree with them. Nice trigger, accuracy ok and easy to clean. All you need from first gun. As someone who have to learn delicate shooting it is one of best guns.
          I even beat my friend who was shooting Tangfoglio stock 2 durning competition using club owned Canik.

    3. I have a couple Hi Points. I love them. I’m going to look and see if you have any reviews on them . Never had a saftey problem, lifetime no questions asked warranty that follows the gun, fires any ammo, shoots straight, very little kickback, no jams, no issues. Ugly? Maybe to some, I don’t care if someone thinks it’s ugly. Clunky, big, okay spend the money to buy a lighter gun if that’s your thing. Cheap as hell, reliable and completely made in the USA. I like mine.

  10. Yet another great recommendation for Hi-Point, albeit intended as a put down. If this isn’t good enough for “duty,” it’s purchase would support an increasingly hostile Islamic regime and it’s only great as a “throw away” gun, get a Hi-Point! They are made in the US, nearly indestructible, have a lifetime warranty, and you would save a couple hundred bucks…

  11. I own several Canik’s and have had several people buy them. I have taken two class and my daughter (12 at the time) has taken one and for all of them we shot about 900 rounds each. I have never had an issue that I would say is the guns fault. I absolutely love these guns.

        1. The CANIK TP9SF is my second handgun. My first was the very heavy and bulky Star 9mm. Both these FA shoots incredibly well.

          The CANIK is so much more gun, straight out the box for the price tag. My preferred EDC. It eats any ammo brand I feed it.

          I carrying daily with a full 18 round magazine, and the comfort factor is great.

          The CANIK is a great gun, will definitely add more of the same brand to my collection.

      1. Caniks are just Turkish XDs (and unironically their owners have the same personality), if your truly want a throw away gun than get a hipoint, more reliable than Caniks or XDs, and if you want someone else but can’t afford a P226 or HK than get a Glock 19 for $500. Never buy an XD. If you actually look online it will show you the multiple problems with Caniks. Firing pin issues, misdeeds, safety issues after a couple of drops (and test was done by Century Arms, the makers of nothing reliable other than the G3), etc.

          1. Agreed! Just run 125 rounds through my new Canik TP9SF. I now have a Glock 19 gen 3 for sale. The Canik is match grade accurate with nosler 124 grain +p chews a silver dollar sized 18 round group if I do my part at 15 yards.

        1. I have a Canik TP9FSX I have shot easily over 3,000 rounds and I have not had a single issue up to this point. I’ve used it quite a bit without cleaning all the time and it never failed. I’ve never done a drop test and don’t intend to do it ever. I had a H&K P30L (.40) because of how reliable the Canik has been. I sold my H&K and bought me an AR-15. I’m thinking of getting a baby desert eagle. If I can find one.!!!

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