Canik TP9 Elite. What is it, you ask, and why should you care? Well, it’s a handgun. Glad ya ask and glad ya care. Paul Peterson is going to explain in this Canik TP9 Elite Review. (Specifically, the TP9 SC model.)
TP9 Elite SC Overview & Specs
Paul Peterson, Guns.com
The TP9 Elite SC might not come from a high and mighty name, but it certainly has some things to offer that you wouldn’t expect in a budget-friendly, Turkish-made pistol. Let’s start with the specs.
Canik TP9 Elite SC for Sale
The first place to go for a Canik TP9 Elite SC for sale is, of course, Guns.com. They are available in other places too.
You can order one online, just remember it’ll have to go through your FFL dealer.
Where to Find It
You’ll be able to get an acceptable red dot sight at all of these locations, and probably any internal components that need replaced (or upgraded) as well.
Canik’s 9mm TP9 line of firearms borrowed generously from the Walther P99, and it shows with even the newer TP9 Elite SC still resembling the Walther. The gun offers a flush magazine with a standard capacity of 12+1, pinky extension optional, or 15+1 magazine with an extended baseplate included.
This gun came to me used and with a few extra goodies, including a light, holster, and custom baseplate extensions. However, I did my testing and shooting without them. The sights and trigger came stock.
Length: 6.7 inches
Barrel Length: 3.6 inches
Height: 4.6 inches
Width: 1.45 inches
Weight: 1.54 pounds
Trigger Pull: 4.6 pounds
Slide & Sights
The gun boasts ambi, extended slide releases, and a reversible magazine release. There are also slanted front and rear slide serrations. The tapered slide has serrations only covering part of the slide. I found them positive but not overly aggressive at the rear and more than effective for press checks at the front.
The metal sights are not tritium-style night sights but rather a blacked-out rear with a phosphorous front dot. The rear uses a square notch, hosts anti-glare cuts, and has a forward slope to assist with one-handed slide racking in case forced to use something like your belt. I’ll talk more about the phosphorous front dot later, but the dot is large and white when not charged.
This gun is red-dot ready and provides direct mounting of the optic to the slide, which accepts Shield SMS/RMS footprint optics. In addition to direct mounting, Canik boasts that you will have “true” co-witness with the sights. I assume this co-witness means the stock sights but cannot yet confirm. The front has a Picatinny rail for your lights and lasers.
Lastly, there is stippling on the side panels and raised dots on the front and rear of the grip. Overall, I found this locked into the hand nicely. I’d say it’s a cross between a Glock 19 and Sig P320 texture pattern. It’s more slippery than my Sig P320 but less so than my Glock 19 Gen 4 with sweaty hands.
Range Day: Accuracy & Reliability
For me, the range is where this gun and other Caniks I have fired shine the most as out-of-the-box performers. However, remember that these are budget-friendly guns. So far, they’ve proven to be very reliable and accurate shooters without needing babying or excessive upgrades.
I’m only at around 250 rounds through the TP9 Elite SC with no issues to report yet. I’m also past 5,000 with my older TP9SA. It was one of my favorite plinking guns before ammo prices went haywire. Yes, the TP9SA is the only version with a decocking button that makes it a no-go for carry or duty as a single-action-only gun. But the trigger was quite nice. The gun also ate everything from bulks of lacquered steel-case ammo and budget reloads to Federal and Winchester ball to Hornady Critical defense and Sig Sauer Elite Performance.
Failures & Successes
I can only recollect one failure and one shooter-induced failure with that TP9SA. The first was a failure to fire, which came from a box of cheap reloads I had pulled from the trunk of my car in minus-20-degree weather. The primer did not ignite. Before anyone takes that as a sign of the gun’s quality, it also did not ignite in subsequent testing with my G19.
The second failure was from another shooter firing the pistol with a limp wrist. In that case, I watched them allow their hand to recoil back and the slide caught the spent casing in a mid-flight stovepipe. It was impressive bad luck, really. Still, there’s some wear on the finish now, but I’ve come to think of the gun as a tank.
Canik TP9 Elite
Final Range Day Thoughts
The carry-sized TP9 Elite SC still felt good in the hand, and I could get a full grip with the extended mags. I did almost all my shooting, however, with the 12-rounders. It did not feel overly snappy or uncomfortable with my pinky creeping off the grip. This is just one opinion, but I felt like I shot this subcompact better than most of my full-size guns right out of the box. I also shot it better than just about any subcompact or smaller I’ve ever shot that was still in its factory condition.
I believe a lot of that comes down to the trigger and ergonomics of the gun. The grip is closer to 18 degrees like a 1911 instead 22 degrees like a Glock, so I felt it pointed more naturally in my hands. But the trigger was likely the real winner. It has a smooth take-up that is more like light resistance, letting you know as you are pulling that it is mush. The wall is clear, and there is just a hint of creep you barely notice before a crisp break. The reset is also positive and short, making those follow-up shots so much easier.
Simplicity & Extras
Another thing about Canik’s TP9s is the extras that make life just a little bit simple. My test gun came from the Guns.com Certified Used collection. It still had the extra backstraps, a Canik IWB/OWB holster, an extra mag, a magazine extension plate, and some other goodies tucked in a nice hard case. Beyond that, Canik TP9-series pistols are all incredibly simple to takedown and maintain. In this way, they are much like a Glock but with more generous, user-friendly takedown levers.
But as a used gun, it also came with a rechargeable Olight PL-Mini 2 Valkyrie pistol light, a nice Close Quarters Carry Kydex inside-the-waistband holster and two TF aluminum magazine extensions. All were nice perks that sometimes come with used guns.
Areas of Improvement for the TP9 Elite SC
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all 100 percent sunshine and roses. While the metal phosphate sights were better than those offered by some competitors, I do wish they would be tritium-based sights. The phosphorus front will glow a nice, bright green for quite a while with just a quick hit from your flashlight. It works, but if you were to leave it in your holster and forget, it might come out as little more than a white dot.
The TP9 Elite SC also comes with only two mags, something I would like to see go away. Three mags with the pistol sets the user up with what they need for most things, including training courses that often require them. Granted, at least Canik’s TP9s come with nice Mec-Gar mags.
My last gripe is the extended and somewhat beefy slide release controls. They make this more tactical than a carry gun by beefing up the width of the pistol. I can also see them eventually preventing the slide from locking back while shooting if you ride them with your support-hand thumb.
Final Thoughts: How Does It Stack Up?
I don’t generally like to give overly stellar remarks on a gun, especially after just 250 rounds fired. So, I might be a bit biased here given my history with Canik firearms. But honestly, I’m tempted to buy this gun after testing to keep putting it through its paces. It is worth noting that prices on some of the Canik guns have been rising over the years as they gain a reputation. At the same time, they continued to improve their guns and add new features for different shooters’ needs.
However, as my last thought, I would certainly carry this pistol with as much confidence as my stock G19 or Sig Sauer P320 with a bit more testing, and I would likely eventually shoot it better. However, I generally don’t carry with a pistol light and would likely drop that item.
TP9 Elite SC
“The TP9 Elite SC (with its 3.60-inch barrel) it the little brother to the Canik TP9SF Elite. It was developed to be the first sub-compact version of the TP Series of pistols. The Elite SC offers the same features as the standard TP9 models, while designed to be snag-free for better concealment and a faster draw. It offers the following features in a sub-compact pistol: comes pre-equipped with double stack magazines, front serrations on the slide, day/night sight options with the capability of co-witnessing with Micro Red-Dots. Concealed carry holster and spare magazine with finger rest is standard in the package; we also include a magazine loader for ease of use.” Canik USA
Learn more about the Canik TP9 Elite
- Check out a Canik factory tour.
- Learn about Canik’s Industry Choice Award.
- Canik TP9 manufacturer’s page.
- Read up on the city.
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