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Canik TP9SF Elite Review

We’re about to give you a Canik TP9SF Elite Review.

The Canik TP9 series of pistols was introduced to the US market in 2012, when they were imported by Century Arms. Canik is a Turkish company.

They are known for making their TP9 series of pistols, which is an indirect copy of the Walther P99, which the patents had run out on. 

The original Walther P99 came with a double-action, single action, striker-fired trigger, and the handgun added a decocker.

This is a departure from the more common single action only system that block and most other striker-fired manufacturers use.

When the Canik TP9 was first introduced to the US market, it had a single-action Striker, but it also featured a decocker. 

So when you would pull the trigger, if you had personally decocked the firearm, it was impossible to fire the pistol.

A lot of people consider that a safety hazard, as you may not be able to fire the gun when you need it most.

Canik installed the decocker to make disassembling of the firearm much easier since the Striker on the gun needs to be disengaged, before disassembling the firearm. 

In the US Market

The only way to disengage it without a decocker was to pull the trigger and Canik wanted to avoid that.

This did not do well on the US market initially.

So Canik introduced a variety of versions with different triggers until they finally got to a normal setup. Which is just a single action only, striker-fired handgun, without any kind of decocker feature on the firearm. 

Canik TP9SF Elite

Canik TP9SF Elite
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The Canik TP9SF Elite is an evolution of the Canik TP9 series.

It was designed to offer something that is a little more refined in their basic budget series at an incredible price.

All the Canik firearms are pricing a more budget-friendly zone, and the Canik TP9SF Elite is no exception coming in at just over $400.

The gun itself includes a lot of features out of the box that we’ll cover later in this review. 

From a distance, the Canik TP9SF Elite appears to have a lot of high-value features, but are those features hiding other issues of the Canik TP9 series?

Or is it just one of the best values that exist in firearms today? 

Canik TP9SF Elite Role and Size

Canik TP9SF Elite is sized similarly to a Glock 19.

So it’s that perfect compromise size, that makes a great gun for concealed carry, as well as a potential mediocre gun for duty use.

I say mediocre, because if you have larger hands, you might have a little bit of trouble getting all your fingers on the firearm, just as you would with a Glock 19.

It makes a great gun for OWB carry, duty use, or range use. You’re not going to see this firearm in any police departments. So I take my endorsement of duty use lightly, but you get the role that the firearm can fill.

Now for concealed carry, you can carry these multiple ways and we’ll go over every option. 

Canik TP9SF Elite

Canik TP9SF Elite
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This handgun is obviously too big to do something like pocket or ankle carry, but it can be great for more traditional means of carry like IWB carrying from three to five o’clock, appendix carry or OWB carry.

IWB Carry

When we’re talking about carrying the Canik TP9SF Elite at the three to four o’clock position the overall size and form factor of the gun is a little thick.

That’s going to be the biggest problem with this firearm.

Canik TP9SF Elite Holster IWB 10

It feels kind of shortened and stumpy. When you’re carrying in that position.

This gun is well over an inch thick, and unless you wear a properly sized shirt, the gun is going to print through the sides.

The grip itself is short, which helps a little bit, but it doesn’t help a ton when it comes to conceal this gun.

The width is going to be your biggest issue for IWB three to five o’clock carry. 

Canik TP9SF Elite appendix carry

Appendix with the Canik TP9SF Elite is quite easy.

The gun is really perfectly sized for it. The width isn’t as big of an issue as it is at the three to four o’clock.

Just due to the way most people’s bodies naturally have a pocket where you normally appendix carry the gun. 

The overall length of the slide is long enough to get enough weight to the firearm, low below the belt line that it’s not going to want to tip out like crazy like short guns, like a Glock 26 would, but the grip itself is also short enough that it’s not going to present issues for printing as long as you have a properly designed Canik TP9SF Elite appendix carry holster. 

OWB concealed carry

OWB carry with the Canik TP9SF Elite is going to be a bit of a chore for the same reason that is for IWB appendix carry.

The gun is just fairly thick for that size and that thickness is going to cause some issues for concealment. It’s certainly sized so you can conceal it. 

If you wear a large enough shirt and have a good properly designed holster that has built in cuts, you can optimize the placement of the gun against your body.

But unless you do those features, this gun is probably going to be a little bit big to carry, without massively printing. 


Canik TP9SF Elite Review: Capacity 

Canik TP9SF Elite comes with a 15 round magazine. Most of the other Canik firearms come with a 17 round magazine.

So the grip is a little bit shorter on the Canik TP9SF Elite, which does make it more friendly for concealed carry. The firearm will take all other Canik TP9 series magazines.

You can find magazines quite affordably at around 25 to $30 for the Canik TP9SF Elite. 

Canik TP9SF Elite

Canik TP9SF Elite
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One thing I will mention is they are hard to find in stock. If you find them in stock, you might want to stock up on the magazines, as they don’t come in stock often.

The magazines themselves are made by Mec-Gar who makes most of the magazines for the large name manufacturers.

Mec-Gar magazines are definitely a solid quality product and magazines are probably the easiest thing to screw up on a pistol so going with Mec-Gar ensured that Canik did not screw that feature up. 


The magazine well in the Canik TP9SF Elite is pretty standard.

There is just the slightest bevel around the edge on all four sides, but it’s not really going to help you if you miss your reload by a couple millimeters.

It is fairly easy to get a magazine in quickly, but if you miss the reload at all, it’s going to penalize you.

So it would be nice to see it had a larger magazine well like the Glock 19 GEN5 MOS does. 

Considering the other features this is a disappointment for the Canik TP9SF Elite Review.

Ergonomics Canik TP9SF Elite Review


The firearm comes with removable back straps so you can switch out to different back straps and change the amount of hump on the back of the grip.

Personally, I find the ones that come on it from the factory to be quite good, but if you want to change it out, there’s always that option. 

Canik TP9SF Elite

Canik TP9SF Elite
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Unfortunately, it does not have the option for you to change the trigger reach on the firearm.

That’s not a great feature if you have larger hands, if you have a larger hand, it’s really great to be able to increase the trigger link of reach on the firearm. 


There is no beavertail on the Canik TP9SF Elite, but there is a nice deep tang and it’s well-rounded on all the edges.

So it’s easy to get a good, comfortable high grip on the firearm. I feel no discomfort when getting that high grip, unlike some guns like the Walther PPQ.

Now the tang is quite deep and there are some downsides to that. 

If you grip your gun at the top of the sight, when drawing from your holster, the web your hand is going to have to fall quite a distance unsupported.

So you might not get a consistent index on the firearm, but if you get a full firing grip before you draw your gun from the holster, this will not be an issue.


Texturing on a Canik TP9SF Elite is mediocre. The texturing on both the front strap and the back strap. Visually look very similar to the texting texturing on the CZ P-10 C, but they’re nothing like it.

Texturing on the Canik TP9SF Elite is much less aggressive than something like the CZ P-10 series. 

There’s light texturing on the grip panels as well.

The texturing does his job well enough. It just doesn’t do it great.

The frame has kind of a cheap feel to it. And the texturing doesn’t help with that. If you shoot a lot and you have calluses built up on your hands, and then the texturing on the Canik TP9SF Elite will likely not be sufficient in your opinion.

But if you’re a new shooter or a shooting that doesn’t shoot that often, you’ll probably find the texturing to be sufficient.

Canik TP9SF Elite

Canik TP9SF Elite
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General Feel 

The general feel of the grip is quite good.

One thing you will notice though, is the polymer feels a little bit cheaper than a lot of other options. But this gun also comes priced cheaper than those other options. 


Canik originally came with just standard run of the mill mass manufactured iron sights.

One of the smart things they did was they’ve added warren sights to almost all the pistols they offer. And the Canik TP9SF Elite is no exception.

The rear sight is a warren tactical new notch rear, and it has a front fiber optic sight. 

The sight picture on this is quite good, and this is arguably the best set of sights that comes on a pistol retailing under $500.

Frankly, the sights on this are better than a lot of guns that cost almost twice as much so they’re my favorite feature for the Canik TP9SF Elite Review.


There aren’t a lot of aftermarket sights often. If you’re looking to add a different set of sights to Canik TP9SF Elite.

Warren does offer a variety of sights for it. If you’re happy with standard night sights, a fiber optic or a blacked-out front. If you’re looking for something like XS Big Dots or Trijicon HDs, you might be out of luck.

Although I do believe XS has some options for this firearm. 

Red Dot Options

Unfortunately, there are no current red dot options for the canik TP9SF Elite, but they do have their SFX series.

Which is their five-inch competition slide series of handguns, and that has an optics mounting system.

So hopefully we’ll see them add something like this, to this gun in the future.

Shoot Better With Mini Red Dots

Check Primary Arms for the Best Deals on In Stock Mini Red Dots

The Canik TP9SF Elite, currently ships with a mechanical loaded chamber indicator that sits on the top of the slide, right behind the hood of the barrel. 

That would interfere with mounting a red dot on the pistol.

A lot of companies do not like to mess with the factory safety features on a pistol, because they consider it a liability. 

Canik TP9SF Elite

Canik TP9SF Elite
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So it might be hard or expensive to have somebody add a dot to your Canik TP9SF Elite.

And frankly, at this price point, you’re going to pay half the cost, the pistol or more to have a dot milled. 


There are no external safeties on the Canik TP9SF Elite, except for the trigger safety.

I don’t really count that as an external safety, but if you do, it’s there. 

Magazine Release

Magazine release on the Canik TP9SF Elite is actually quite nice. It sits only on the left side of the gun, so it’s set up for right-handed shooters.

And it’s easier for me to reach and press the magazine and release them without breaking my grip on the firearm.

The magazine release is also reversible.

So if you’re a left-handed shooter, that’s a nice feature to have. Now when looking at the magazine release itself, it’s a square button with some nice texturing on it.

They’re really nice minute features on this magazine release and it’s one of my favorite details on the firearm. 

Canik TP9SF Elite

Canik TP9SF Elite
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It just really stood out in part due to the fact that the Canik TP9SFx has an absolutely horrible looking magazine release that is completely unrefined.

So seeing how much they improve this design on this gun makes me really happy for the Canik TP9SF Elite Review. 

Canik TP9SF Elite Slide Stop

The slide Stop on the Canik TP9SF Elite is actually ambidextrous and it’s very similar to the design on the Walther PPQ and P99 series of handguns.

The levers are very long and provide ample space for you to reach unless you have very, very short thumbs you’re not going to have any problem using the slide stop on the firearm.

It really is a great design improvement over the Canik TP9SFx which I mentioned earlier. 

Overall Ergonomics

The overall ergonomics of the Canik TP9SF Elite are pretty good. Although I will say the grip and the undercut of the trigger could be improved a little bit.

If you get Glock knuckle, you might have the same thing with this firearm. When trying to get a good solid grip on this firearm, my pinky just barely fits on the grip of the pistol. 

I get slightly less space than with a Glock 19. Which has a similar overall footprint.

So keep that in mind if you have larger hands. I wear a medium to large size glove, and I don’t have issues gripping this handgun, but somebody with slightly larger hands would. 

But overall, the gun feels good in the hand and it’s pretty easy to lock everything in, to have a good grip that gets constant, consistent, leverage over any recoil impulse the firearm may have.


The trigger of the Canik TP9SF Elite Review is the star of the show. You probably hear people talk about how kind of triggers is absolutely fantastic.

It’s in the budget price of the gun and they aren’t wrong.

When you go in to pull the trigger. There’s a decent bit of take-up and that take up actually feels really heavy. 

Canik TP9SF Elite

Canik TP9SF Elite
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This weight is necessary though, because once you get to the wall of the handgun, the break is incredibly crisp and light.

You feel this trigger might even be a little light for concealed carry use. 

Now, I don’t know if I agree with that because of the heavier take-up on this firearm. Sometimes I pull this trigger and when you get to that wall, it’s a definite wall. And I feel like the firearm has a dead trigger, but it’s just because I haven’t hit that wall yet.

That’s how heavy the take-up on the trigger itself is. 


The firearm resets authoritatively right at that wall and it’s easy to run the trigger fast.

Honestly, this might be the best striker fired trigger that I’ve handled from the factory. I’ve reviewed almost every striker fired firearm on the market.

This trigger has to probably be the best just in terms of a gun counter trigger. 

I myself prefer rolling breaks, which this is not, but even as somebody who loves a rolling break, they have to admit to this hard wall trigger feels absolutely amazing. 


There is a small aftermarket for the Canik TP9SF Elite. It’s not huge, but there is enough to get things like magazines, extensions, an upgraded trigger shoe and a couple of different site options.

Beyond that there really isn’t much, but frankly, the way this gun comes set up, you really don’t need more.

Canik TP9SF Elite

Canik TP9SF Elite
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Canik TP9SF Elite Review Maintenance

The Canik TP9SF Elite takes down just like a Glock firearm.

You’ll need to take the magazine out, ensure that the firearm is unloaded by checking the chamber, and then you’ll want to lock the slur back, lock the slide back, check the chamber again, and then pull the trigger to deactivate the striker. 

Then you want to slightly pull back the slide and pull down the take down tabs on the frame from there, the slot of the slide right off, and you can field strip the firearm and clean and lubricate as you wish. 


The overall look of the Canik TP9SF Elite in my opinion is quite good.

The length of the slide and the relatively short grip seem to balance each other out nicely. I really liked the gray cerakote on the slide as it provides a nice contrast with the black frame.

The red trigger safety is also a nice touch, that contrasts well, I guess with the rest of the firearm. But matches with the red fiber optic that comes installed from the factory.

Canik TP9SF Elite

Canik TP9SF Elite
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I have to say, honestly, I’m not a big fan of the way the rest of the Canik TP9 series look, but the Canik TP9SF Elite is a very symmetrical firearm that seems to have its proportions in the right places. 

Canik TP9SF Elite Review Shooting

Shooting the Canik TP9SF Elite is not exactly what you would expect.

The Canik TP9SF Elite has a very heavy slide and thus it’s a pretty snappy firearm that pulls the gun up and recoils quite a bit.

The gun is also slightly oversprung. So it’s just very snappy and frankly not quite as pleasant as you would expect to shoot a firearm.

This gun has a full set of features that make it accessorized better than any other gun out there.

But the recoil impulse itself leaves a little bit to be desired. It’s like Canik spent all their money researching what features will sell people at the gun store counter, but not on the range.

That said, if you’re looking for a gun that you carry out of the box, just the sights it comes with are a great advantage over other options, and might actually allow you to shoot it better. 

Sights are thoroughly underrated when it comes to shooting a firearm effectively for most people.

You can definitely shoot a handgun great with a crude set of sights, but having a nice set of the sights takes a lot of the mental games out of it.

That gives this Canik TP9SF Elite an advantage over many of the firearms out there. 

Place in the Market

If you’re looking for this gun to be a definite Glock killer CZ killer HK killer, et cetera, you’ll probably have to look elsewhere.

That said those guns don’t necessarily kill this one either.

This Canik TP9SF Elite just has a different set of features than those guns. And while it loses some points on the way it actually shoots, it has some other features that make the shooting experience more even with those other options. 

The recoil impulse just isn’t quite as good as I would like it to be.

It’s what you’d expect from a gun at this price point. Closing thoughts. Overall, I really liked the Canik TP9SF Elite. I just wish it was as good of a shooter from my recoil impulse standpoint, as it performs in all other areas.

The gun does feel a little bit cheap, but it’s one of those guns you just have to be impressed with considering the price point. If this was a 700 or $750 gun. 

Canik TP9SF Elite

Canik TP9SF Elite
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I would definitely be complaining about the recoil impulse, but considering MSRP on these guns is $429 and you can often find them on the street for just under 300.

Final Thoughts

There’s not a lot to complain about.

If you’re looking for an awesome full feature firearm that you can pick up out of a box, throw in a good holster, like our Harry’s Holster Singleton and carry it or go to the range. 

Then it’s going to be really hard to beat the Canik TP9SF elite. And one thing I’ll also mention is cheap magazines or affordable magazines for budget guns are not that common.

A lot of times companies will have an affordable firearm and they’ll try to charge 40 or $50 for the magazines. 

Canik was really smart and that they didn’t do that.

So if you’re a high-volume shooter, you can afford to provide all the parts and accessories you need for the Canik. I really enjoyed doing the Canik TP9SF Elite Review and think it will work great for a lot of people.

Let us know your thoughts on the Canik TP9SF.

Related Articles

This is an opinion piece, but I always aim to eliminate bias. Look, we’ve all read them before. Gun reviews that claim to be helpful, but they’re really thinly veiled hit pieces trying to get you to buy something before you’ve even started your research. Or, even worse, a review put together by a content writer who has never even held a gun. 

I’ve trained with some of the best in the business to learn various shooting styles and ideologies to better serve our customers. I’ve purchased guns of all price points, calibers, and action types to build the best products for the market. I want you to walk away knowing you have the information you need to make a sound purchasing decision.

What sights fit Canik TP9SF Elite?

Canik sights fit Canik TP9SF Elite.

Are Canik TP9SF Elite mags double stack?

Canik TP9SF Elite mags are double stack.

Are Canik tp9sf elite sights night sights?

Canik tp9sf elite sights are not night sights. They have a fiber optic front.

Can Canik TP9sfx slide be used on TP9sf elite frame?

You can use a Canik TP9sfx slide be used on a TP9sf elite frame.

19 Replies to “Canik TP9SF Elite Review”

  1. Tim Thurby says:

    Love these in depth reviews, when considering a new purchase

  2. Donald Packard says:

    Always insightful, as usual. I was considering a canik, maybe shop a little after reading this article

  3. I had heard good things about Canik. Some review sites will only tell you the good things about the firearm, but this review was well balanced.

  4. Brian Amback says:

    Thanks ror the in depth review.

  5. Ryan McAdams says:

    Very in-depth. Was looking at canik to maybe replace my glock but it doesn’t seem like they are much different.

  6. Larry Klimper says:

    Personally, I find the recoil is very manageable, in fact, I think it shoots as flat as any pistol with a slightly higher bore axis than a Glock. It darn sure doesn’t have the muzzle flip as a..ahem, Sig (insert your favorite P model here). The trigger is second to none, barring the CZ P10C, and I truly think it’s a tossup in that department. Reset is ridiculously short. Everybody wants to compare every gun to a Glock, and I just don’t get it. If I were to choose a striker fired pistol for EDC, the Canik TP9SF Elite would be at the top of my list. I’m an old school 1911 carrier, but after purchasing the Canik, I may have to broaden my horizons.

    1. Spencer Neff says:

      The guy’s a complainer. He talks a lot about “recoil impulse”. That is an impulse that varies from shooter to shooter and if he doesn’t like his, then he should work on that instead of blaming the gun. I have owned many gun brands and shot pretty much every thing that I haven’t owned. I love all three of the Canik’s that I own and like most everyone else (besides this guy) have very little negative to say about them. He apparently is a fan of Glock and can’t get around that fact to like anything else.

      1. Harrison says:

        No issues with the gun just stating facts. No gun is perfect and every gun has its pros and cons like any other product. Our only goal is to let people know what those are and then they can decide if it’s an issue for them.

      2. Pete Ferrari says:

        I agree. I own 3 Caniks too and I love them all. I like Glocks too but I think the Canik has the edge over them out of the box. You can’t beat these things

  7. John Saunders says:

    Great gun bought new at Academy for 350.00 only question is mine doesn’t have the red insert in the trigger, just wondering if they changed that mine was manufactured in May of 2021

    1. Harrison says:

      No idea. Might just be a supply line issue.

  8. Latamus says:

    You can say what you want. Just spent 3 hours at natl Forrest range here. Fired my Canik TP9 SF Elite side by side with my sons Glock 19. I have to tell you for the price, everything that comes with it, and the Warren sights, I will take the Canik everyday over the glock. Everything his Glock could do the Canik could do just as well. We fired dirty steel case at one point (about 100 rounds each) no miss fires, failures to eject, or jams. My wife’s ruger security 9 jammed with the steel case, but not the Canik. I will say that I believe the Canik is better for someone with a bigger hand to handle and manage the pistol properly (which I have), but that aside, for the money nothing is out preforming the Canik TP9 SF Elite.

    1. Mitch says:

      I just purchased a canik fire arm and I love it it just feels right in my hand not a lot of recoil have put about 50 rounds threw it and hadn’t missed a beat will purchase another one very soon has less recoil the the Glock mini

    2. Vusi Ntuli says:

      I have fired more than 1000 rounds with no problems.TP9sf elite is a great

  9. Ty says:

    I owned a Glock 19 4th Gen. I did not like the trigger on that baby. I paid 750 Canadian Dollars for it and for me to upgrade the trigger to something that might may be as good as the Canik Elite would cosy 250 CAD..minimum. AT 1000 Dollars Glock is hardly worth the money.. Good review Harrison. I think if the recoil is just as bad as Glock 19, then Canik is a definite YES .

  10. Tom says:

    Excellent review. Some of the objections to the gun are subjective, and that’s OK because firearm preference has so much to do with feel and personal comfort. One quibble: The comment that “You won’t find this gun in any police departments” is inaccurate. Many European police departments use the SF Elite, including the Turks, and the Danish military also issues the SF Elite as its standard combat sidearm.

  11. David says:

    Definitely reviewed by a “Glock guy.” No comparison to a Glock. Much better firearm. People will say that being made in Turkey is a bad thing. Glock/Austria, H&K/Germany, Walther, Taurus all not made in America.

  12. Mickey Lee says:

    I love the gun! My 12 year old grandson’s first clip was at 10 yards and he put all but one in a 10 inch paper plate. I was impressed!

  13. Daniel says:

    I bought my first Canik, a TP9SC Elite 2 ½ years ago. Everything I have fed it, from Norma’s 105gr JMP, a couple types of 115gr and the 124gr JHP, up to Federal 147gr 9MS JHP, it ate without any kind of issue. They all fed, fired and ejected. It shoots and it shoots where you aim it. I liked it enough that I bought a TP9SF Elite a little over 2 years ago. It ate everything I fed it, just like the SC did without any kind of issue at all.
    I bought and installed Night Fision night sights on my Caniks. Canik recently low profile slide stops to replace the ones that come on it. I bought a set and installed it on my SC Elite. They look and feel like the ones that come on the METE MC9. The added width on the TP9 Elite series derives from the OEM slide stops that stick out further than I like, but they are manageable for concealment. The low profile slide stops resolve this problem.
    I could not believe the statements you had made concerning the polymer grip module, “One thing you will notice though, is the polymer feels a little bit cheaper than a lot of other options… The frame has kind of a cheap feel to it.” How does the polymer on the Canik TP9 Elites feel cheaper? I will admit that the polymer the composes the module grip mount on the METE MC9 is quite a bit thinner than the ones used on the Elites, but then they were not even making the METE series yet. Therefore I have to totally disagree with your opinion on the quality of the polymer used on the Canik TP9 series.
    I have to point out that you stand alone in your opinion of the Canik trigger. It’s a great trigger. None of the triggers used on striker fired pistols are comparable to that of a Sig Sauer P226, or a 1911. But they are TOP notch for a striker fired pistol.
    I sure don’t consider the trigger on the CZ P10S to be
    You had mentioned Glocks a lot. That is a great pistol to compare the Canik TP9 Elite series with, but the Glock falls short compared to the Canik. Many gunners worship at the Glock altar, but many are now converting to Canik’s. I’ve seen reviews go both ways, either Glock or Canik, but many, many people are surprised by the performance that Caniks deliver. I am not a Glock fan, because they do not fit my hand. Glocks cost a lot more than Caniks. I’ve had absolutely no problem finding magazines in 10, 12, 15, 18 or 20 rounds. You can buy a Canik TP9 SC Elite or SF Elite, put on night sights and buy several magazines for what a Glock would cost you.
    I find the Canik Elites to be fine pistols, and no they do NOT look or feel cheap. They have a great fit and finish. They are well built. They are shooters too.
    Will a Canik hold up to a lot of use? From the Canik website, “These Canik barrels were specifically designed by Canik Engineers to use with your favorite compatible Canik pistol. Every barrel is manufactured of high-quality, barrel grade steel through precision CNC machining in order to provide match grade accuracy and exceptional durability. Under normal use conditions, these barrels can last up to 50,000 rounds. These barrels redefine quality and robustness in handgun barrels.”
    The SF pistol was designed for police and military use and has been approved for NATO and are in use with the Turkish army. Turkey is the 4th largest military in NATO. I have read that their barrels will last 60,000 rounds. For military use, they are fed a steady diet of +P ammo. All of the firing control components are high wear nickel plated which provide smooth and optimum functionality. The slides are coated with Cerakote over nitride and the barrels are nitride covered.
    In the end, Canik TP9 Elite series are a well built, reliable and accurate pistol. They are reasonably priced. If you like Glocks, buy Glocks, but don’t say that Caniks are not a quality gun.

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