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Canik TP9 Elite SC: Turkish 9mm CCW Pistol (Better Than Glock or Sig?)

Canik TP9SFx 9mm. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Canik TP9SFx 9mm. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

America’s relations with Turkey – or Türkiye, as is becoming a more common spelling nowadays – have been on rocky roads during the dictatorial rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Nonetheless, Turkey remains an official NATO member and therefore, on-paper at least, an ally of the United States.

Accordingly, the Turkish small arms industry continues to export its products to the U.S, and now we will take a look at one of those product lines. Say “Merhaba” (“Hello”) to the Turksh Canik TP9 9mm semiautomatic pistol.

Bondian Origins? Canik TP9 Early History & Specifications

If the striker-fired Canik TP9 looks familiar, it should, as the initial production runs of the gun were essentially – though not entirely – clones of the Walther P99, which gained fame as James Bond’s pistol of choice in the 2006 film “Casino Royale” (though still not as famous as Agent 007’s iconic Walther PPK).

The manufacturer, Canik Arms, is headquartered in Istanbul and is an ISO 9001-certified weapons production facility that produces everything from rocket launchers to sniper rifles to parts for the aviation industry; reputable Western aerospace firms such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Airbus all use their components.

There are more variants of the TP9 than you can shake a stick at, so for now Yours Truly will focus on the TP9 Elite SC (“Superior Concealment) variant. This particular version won the 2020 ICA (Industry Choice Awards) Concealed Carry Pistol of the Year award. As Canik USA National Director of Marketing Adam Ruonala proudly announced, “The demand for a reliable, double stacked, concealable handgun, at a price point the blue-collar American could afford without sacrificing quality or comfort was a challenge the Canik team accepted head on. We are proud to say that the TP9 Elite SC is exactly that, a superior handgun… The fact that it was selected over other industry heavyweights as the best of the field in such an innovative year for concealed carry is truly an honor we don’t take lightly!”

Specifications include a double-stacked 12-round or 15-round magazine, a slide width of 1.45 inches, an overall length of 6.7 inches, barrel length of 3.6 inches, and a weight of just 24.78 ounces.

A Bit of Real-World Infamy

Whilst the Walther P99 source gun gained fame by its use by a fictitious hero, the Canik pistol series gained a bit of real-world infamy back in December 2016, when Turkish policeman-turned-assassin Mevlut Mert Altintas used one to snuff out Andrei Karlov, Russia’s then-Ambassador to Turkey.

A Shooting Buddy’s Impressions

My good friend Lisa (using her first name only, lest any anti-gunners attempt to dox her) down in freedom-loving Florida owns a Canik TP9 Elite SC and uses it as one of her CCW pieces. Here’s what she has to say about the gun:

“Even though I haven’t put as many rounds through it as my Smith, the Canik is quickly becoming a favorite. Smooth action, the trigger reset is easy to feel and responds well. The main problem I’ve had pop up is that the slide sometimes doesn’t reset all the way, usually after about 4 or 5 shots. This may be user error on my part, as I tend to relax my wrists too much sometimes while practicing. It hasn’t been a constant struggle, so I’m willing to assume that it is, in fact, user error. In my defense, it was a long day at the range already before I got to this one for practice, so I was most likely tired…The plastic grip is textured in a way that isn’t painful or annoying. Goes from compact to subcompact in an instant.” 

Want Your Own?

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $439.99. Meanwhile, True Gun Value reports that “A CANIK TP9SC pistol is currently worth an average price of $460.70 new and $356.33 used.”

Sportsman Outdoor Superstore has a variety of different Canik models at a price range of $319.99 to $439.99, whilst Cheaper Than Dirt has a price range of $368.84 to $829.99 depending on the number of fancy features (or lack thereof).

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Christian D. Orr has 33 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011.  

Written By

Christian D. Orr is a former Air Force officer, Federal law enforcement officer, and private military contractor (with assignments worked in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Japan, Germany, and the Pentagon).