Canik ONE Series: Serious Bang for Your Buck

The nicely sculpted grip that makes reaching the trigger easy with either hand.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to do a review of the Canik ONE Series TP9SF pistols. I had handled Canik pistols a couple of years ago at the SHOT show and have a couple of friends that shoot them but was a bit skeptical of how the Century Arms imports were going to perform; after all, they have an MSRP below $325, how good of a gun should you expect at that price point?

The Canik ONE Series offerings are a limited time, limited quantity availability of two single-action striker-fired pistol models from the Turkish manufacturer. The ONE Series offering is the same TP9SF and TP9SF Elite guns Canik typically offers but packaged to make them even more affordable than normal. 

Paradigm Shift: a Fundamental Change in Underlying Assumptions

It’s only natural to be skeptical of things we’re not really familiar with, and those made in places we’re not informed about. So, who knows anything about how things are made in Turkey? Are you wasting your money or getting a great value for your dollar?

We like name brands like Colt, Smith & Wesson, Sig, and Glock. Who is Canik? Where did they come from? What have they done? They’ve been around a few years in the US but still aren’t that widely known. 

Fiber optic sight, dual cocking serrations, and extended ambition slide release make a good first impression

So, the Canik TP9SF pistols come from a relatively unknown manufacturer, from a country most shooters aren’t familiar with, and imported by a company that is best known for importing surplus firearms; that’s a few hurdles to get over in order to reach widespread acceptance in the US firearms market.

However, I can remember when an unheard-of company called Glock first hit the market and everyone was leery of the new plastic gun; now it’s an industry standard, and who knew anything about Austria back then. I’m not saying a Canik is revolutionary like Glock was then, just that you never know where or when a quality gun is going to turn up.

I can also remember when imported products from Japan were thought to be cheap junk. Now Honda and Toyota vehicles are world leaders in that market, and Korean Samsung TV’s now blow away the US makers.

Polymer and metal parts all had excellent fit and finish.

Change is constant and new manufacturers making quality products enter the market all the time. Canik has been around for years and is making changes to adapt to the market.

They are an ISO certified manufacturer and their products are used by military and police forces of several nations around the world, we just haven’t seen them that much here, and these are definitely not surplus grade firearms.

The TP9 product line was originally based off of the Walther P99 design and has been modified from there to get to the current TP9SF and TP9SF Elite that are reviewed here. 

ONE Series

Dropping some of their usual accessories allows Canik to bring the price of these guns to what should be a widely popular price for a duty, home defense, or plinking pistol.

The pistols come with one magazine, Warren Tactical sights, one additional replaceable backstrap, all in a hard-sided plastic case. The full-sized ONE Series TP9SF has an MSRP of only $299.99 and the Elite comes in at an MSRP of $324.99.

Loaded chamber indicator and Cocking status can be seen easily on both models.

Both models have a Nitride slide and barrel finish for protection and long wear. The Warren Tactical sights are a definite upgrade from the standard sights found on many other higher priced pistols. The Elite comes with a fiber optic front sight while the full-size sports a white dot.

The slide of the Elite model has front and rear cocking serrations while the full-size TP9SF only has rear serrations. Both models have nicely machined sculpting of the slide profiles to slim them up and reduce a bit of weight. Loaded chamber indicators and striker cocked indicators are also standard features of both ONE Series offerings.

An interesting observation was that the full-size only weighed 1/8th of an ounce more than the smaller Elite, with a shorter grip, slide, and barrel I expected a greater difference. Upon closer inspection, I found that the full-size actually had additional milling inside the slide to bring the slide weight down.

Front and rear areas of the slide had internal machining to reduce weight. Internal and external machining was smooth and well finished.

The TP9SF is a full-sized duty gun with an 18+1 capacity while the Elite is a smaller version sporting a 15+1 capacity. Magazines are often the source of many malfunctions when shooting handguns. The magazines for the Canik pistols are manufactured by Mec-Gar, one of the most trusted sources for factory mags in the world. 

The metal magazines dropped free from the frame during all testing.

The grips of both guns are comfortable and feature a nicely under-cut trigger guard for a high controllable grip. The front and backstrap have a larger and more aggressive patterned surface while the side grip panels are like a coarse sandpaper texture.

Forward of the trigger guard is a Picatinny rail for mounting lights and lasers as needed for those low light encounters.

The frames of both models have adequate grip length to get a full, secure grip to control recoil. The top of the frame just below the rear of the slide is a little wider where the web of the hand sits than most polymer-framed guns. I’m undecided if that helps distribute recoil better (more surface area), it’s a bit wide for small hands, or just feels different than what I am used too. It didn’t seem to adversely affect performance, but it was noticeable.

Warren sights are dovetailed in and locked in place with a set screw.

The single-action triggers had minimal take-up and overtravel making them easy to shoot well. What I liked best about the trigger was the very positive reset, you could feel and hear exactly where the trigger was reset when letting it out and then start the next trigger press.

The Elite model had a better trigger of the two guns with an outstanding average weight of 4.27 Lbs. Though the full-sized guns 4.74 Lb. trigger was still much better than the liability averse industry average triggers.

Another additional upgrade the Elite has over the other model is an extended Ambi slide release, allowing easy manipulation regardless of which hand you operate with.

The marketing for Canik pushes its 60,000 round NATO endurance testing and match-grade barrels, claiming 3” groups at 25 yards. That isn’t bullseye grade accuracy but it is certainly sufficient for a duty or defensive gun. 

Well, enough teardown and data points, it was time to get some bullets downrange and see how these bargain guns really shoot.

Groups this good mean the ONE Series guns are certainly accurate enough for practical shooting sports.

Range Performance

Well, as they say at Accuracy 1st, “the bullet doesn’t lie”, performance for me is what’s important. It doesn’t matter what some app or the internet says it comes down to what it will do in a shooter’s hands.

I wasn’t testing it as a match gun so I opted for a distance of 15 yards for shooting some groups off of a bag at the bullseyes on a VTAC target. I fired 5 shot groups with ammunition from Hornady, Speer, and CCI with bullet weights of 115, 124, 135, and 147 grains; you never know what a gun is going to like or dislike.

Groups tended to be a little high but were consistently good.

Average group size for the four bullet weights from the TP9FS was 1.9”, with the best single group coming from the Hornady 135 grain LE Training ammunition at 1.23”. It seems the match-grade barrel claims are true and accuracy expectations were easily attainable.

The shorter sight radius of the Elite didn’t manage quite as good a single group but the fiber-optic sight and lighter trigger did manage to shoot an awesome average group size of 1.43”, with the best group of 1.33”.

Warren sights present a unique sight picture but worked remarkably well.

Pushing for some speed and shooting on steel was a breeze and with the positive reset and good triggers. Both guns were fun to shoot on the plate rack and speed across BC zone targets. The guns continued to show the same level of accuracy as I backed out and shot the silhouettes walking back to 50 yards.

Barrel Length4.464.19
Weight (no mag)28.428.3 oz
TriggerSingle ActionSingle Action
ActionStriker FiredStriker Fired

I definitely favored the Elite for the speed and distance shooting due to its fiber-optic sight and better trigger. I initially thought the Warren Tactical rear sight might prove a little coarse for precision and distance shooting but the bullet doesn’t lie. The groups were great and the 50-yard shots were ringing steel at will, this sight combo was a winner.

Then the fun began. It was time to just shoot and put these two bargain-priced guns to some additional functional testing to see if they were as reliable as advertised, up to this point they had worked flawlessly but let’s try a few hundred more rounds.

The large easy to reach magazine release is reversible to set the gun up for left-handed shooters.

I shot 10 different types of ammunition ranging from Hornady 100 grain Critical Defense Lite’s to 147 grain Speer Lawman. I tested 3 types of hollow points, some round nose, truncated cones, just a full assortment to see what it would feed and what it wouldn’t. 

Well, neither gun ever failed in any way. They fed, shot, and ejected everything I put in a magazine from Lite’s to +P, to the military ball they ate it all. I never even added any additional oil and shot several hundred rounds through each and they just kept running.

Bottom Line

The ONE Series TP9SF and Elite is all they claim; accurate, reliable and chocked full of features that far exceed the less than $325 MSRP. These are fantastic guns that perform above their price that will change your assumptions of how much gun you can get for your money. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be a serious understatement.

They come with sights that are far above industry standard entry sights, come with a top-quality magazine, have Nitride treated metal surfaces, Ambi slide release and reversible magazine release, a pic rail for a light, were 100% reliable and very accurate. What more could you ask of a duty or home defense gun?

The full-sized 18 round magazine fits in the Elite as well adding a few more rounds for business or fun.

Pardon the pun, but that’s a lot of bang for the buck….. so, what are you waiting on? Remember this is a limited time offer, don’t miss it.

For more information visit Canik website.

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About the author: Jeff Cramblit is a world-class competitive shooter having won medals at both the 2012 IPSC World Shotgun Championship in Hungary and more recently the 2017 IPSC World Rifle Championship in Russia. He is passionate about shooting sports and the outdoors. He has followed that passion for over 30 years, hunting and competing in practical pistol, 3gun, precision rifle and sporting clays matches. Jeff is intimately familiar with the shooting industry – competitor, instructor, RO, range master, match director. Among his training credits include NRA Instructor, AR-15 armorer, FBI Rifle Instructor, and Officer Low Light Survival Instructor. As a sponsored shooter, Jeff has represented notable industry names such as: Benelli, 5.11 Tactical, Bushnell, Blackhawk, DoubleStar, and Hornady. He has been featured on several of Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery episodes and on a Downrange TV series. Jeff’s current endeavors cover a broad spectrum and he can be found anywhere from local matches helping and encouraging new shooters as they develop their own love of the sport, to the dove field with his friends, a charity sporting clays shoot, backpack hunting public land in Montana, or the winners podium of a major championship.

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • MILTON WILLIAMS March 30, 2020, 11:24 pm

    need magazines for tp9sf

  • Mark Tevis January 13, 2020, 4:00 am

    I bought a canik 2 years ago and I never ever had one thing go wrong with it I love it I’m going to get a Elite…no BS exc. Gun ..

    Shot on…HOORAH

  • Dan Barnes January 6, 2020, 5:35 pm

    “Who is Canik?” Where have you been? These pistols are not new, and they are amazing… and can give any other a run for their money. I question any “experienced shooter” that acts like this is not a first class firearm, and hasn’t heard about them……. I am amazed at these comments. try one and find out!!!

  • KO January 6, 2020, 11:26 am

    I have an SFX that is way better than me, and I love it. The trigger(safety?) catches a bit if your trigger pull is not straight back, so it quickly cured that bad habit. I let a buddy shoot it who has everything under the sun including high end customs built for 3-gun, and he immediately put one on order. If you can get over the politics of buying from a state with a partially “muslim extremist” population, I highly recommend it. Makes me wonder if Canik is a mfg hero there, or a target, for selling to the US.

  • G January 6, 2020, 9:51 am

    I picked up a used TP9SF Elite on a trade deal and it has become my favorite pistol. Ive had it a few years and have never had any malfunction with it. The trigger is the best of all my striker pistols and it is probably the most accurate out of all of my pistols including the custom.

  • Loughsun August 6, 2019, 2:33 am

    I have a Canik TP9V2 and my younger brother and nephew both own the TP9SA. We have owned these weapons for going on 5 years now. And not one of them has had a hiccup. And yes in that 5 years each has had thousands of rounds run through it.
    Nope not a popular name and just like the writer of the article stated “I can remember when an unheard-of company called Glock first hit the market” my old diehard USMC uncle and older brother were both telling me that a Glock couldn’t be worth a nickel. “Dang things got too much plastic in it!” Now my brother carries one everyday on the job and for EDC. And my well he died like all diehards eventually do (never owning a Glock) in his case.
    Don’t be a diehard and die without the sublime satisfaction of spending under than $500. and acquiring a quality, dependable, and accurate pistol. Therefore, just step up and purchase the Canik would you please?

  • Mike Cornett August 5, 2019, 9:03 pm

    Yes. The word is getting out. Canik pistols are the best quality you can get for your buck.
    I have had my Canik Stingray-C for several years. It is a CZ 75 Clone
    I would tell people to grab these pistols while you can.
    The price is just to good. And the quality if amazing.

  • NRSNick09 August 5, 2019, 7:42 pm

    I’ve had the V2 and the Elite for some time now, and I’ll take them over m Glocks OR the P320 I have. I hate to say it but I shoot the Elite far better than the 320. The sights and trigger are muh better,as well as a better ergonomic with the grip. I instruct so I normally keep my opinions to myself lest the fan boys freak out should I say the least slightly off color verbage about any of their favorites.

  • Mr Shifter August 5, 2019, 7:35 pm

    The only people that I’ve ever come across that had any negativities about the Canik TP9 series (and there are many) are the ones who haven’t shot one, or have some hair up their butt about purchasing a Turkish product. I have the SA, SF, SFX and the Elite and they are fantastic…..will purchase a couple more in the future. They have a slew to pick from. I have other Turkish weapons from various companies and I cannot complain about a single one…..and guess who makes Winchester shotguns…….Turks ….oh my!!!!

  • Evan Sigmund August 5, 2019, 5:47 pm

    I bought a Canik, TP9 V2.. A good while back..Had no problems.. mostly Home defence but some C carry also. Got it with 2 15 rd clips, brush, use Browning BXP 147g..

  • Jake August 5, 2019, 1:57 pm

    In the Des Moines Iowa area Caniks have a cult like following and are extremely popular. I was hoping the author would mention whether or not the TP9SFx 20 round mags would work with these. I assume they would but it would be nice to know for sure.
    As it is sort of a Walther 99 knockoff, I took a Canik 20 round mag and it works in the Walther PPQ Q5.

    • Tony Massucci January 6, 2020, 7:05 am

      Yes, all the TP9 series mags will work. Of course the 20 rounds d mag does stick out a little. However, the 15 round Elite mag is too short to lock into the TP9SFX. Also all the holsters that come with the Caniks can also be used with any of the TP9 series guns. I own 6 Caniks, over 40K rounds, no issues. These guns run & run.

  • KMacK August 5, 2019, 1:56 pm

    This looks like a great buy, but I live in California. Yeah, the magazine ban was tossed but it’s still in effect while it’s being appealed. My question: Is there a ten-round mag available for this or am I out of luck?

    • Tayton Duncan August 5, 2019, 7:21 pm

      Just spend 6 bucks on some of these instead of buying new mags

      • Nathan January 6, 2020, 7:45 am

        6 bucks on some of what?

  • Jim August 5, 2019, 1:08 pm

    I am VERY INTERESTED in looking at the TP9SF does anyone know of a dealer in the 98023 zip code area❓❓❓

    • S.H. Blannelberry August 5, 2019, 1:10 pm

      Search GunsAmerica.

  • Methadras August 5, 2019, 12:51 pm

    Too bad I can’t get any of these in CA.

  • Lloyd Dumas August 5, 2019, 12:38 pm

    I’ll pass as I am the old fart that will never put plastic above cold hard made in America steel. I also like changing the grips on my guns from time to time, makes me think I bought a new gun.

    • Bill Carpenter August 5, 2019, 6:13 pm

      I feel the same way Lloyd . There is nothing like cold steel and hardwood grips.

  • Pat August 5, 2019, 11:55 am

    Have a TP9 elite, everyone I let shoot it either bought one or is strongly considering it

  • PHIL August 5, 2019, 11:21 am

    I was going to buy the Taurus G2-C but I have changed my mind….I will buy this instead

  • Denis Hingley August 5, 2019, 10:25 am

    Please list dealers near zip 34639.

  • patrick August 5, 2019, 10:19 am

    The Canik is a very under rated weapon. For the money spent i don’t think you could do better. Call them entry level guns or what ever but i have not had any flaws with mine yet. I stay with 115 grain bullets and it is a blast. I would recommend Canik to anyone and being cheap now is just a plus.

  • Gary August 5, 2019, 10:11 am

    I had a Canik years ago, great trigger and construction. Sold it due to lack of a meaningful safety.

  • sky buster August 5, 2019, 9:59 am

    I’ve had two Canik’s in the past year. Both were well worth the money. The only
    problems I experienced were failure to eject. This was cured by a lighter weight
    recoil spring that Canik provided. Trigger quality is above average and accuracy
    is good. Both mine were SFx models.

  • Zupglick August 5, 2019, 9:45 am

    It looks to be a good gun for the price, but I think I will pay a little more for US made hardware.

    • Jim August 5, 2019, 11:06 am

      To bad, you are missing out, on a fantastic deal on a great handgun. As a Gunsmith I picked up on them a couple of years ago and purchased the Elite S and the FSX models, my experience has been the same as Jeff\’s. I have handguns from all of the American manufacturers and most of the popular foreign ones and these are my two favorites.

  • Guillermo Encinas August 5, 2019, 9:39 am

    Any suggested dealers selling these guns?

  • Terry L Constance August 5, 2019, 7:45 am

    Nice job Jeff.
    Didn’t know about this mfg.

    • Rogue7 August 5, 2019, 10:19 am

      Have you been living in a cave somewhere? Sheesh!

      • Sam August 6, 2019, 10:43 pm

        Hey, I never heard of them. There are too many foreign manufacturers too keep up with them all. I appreciate articles like this to let me hear about quality ones. I don’t live in a cave, but I can if I need to.

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