TESTED: Canik TP9SFX Pistol In-Depth and Comparison to Glock 17

A few months ago I competed in a “mostly rifle” match called the Findlay Cup. An unexpected part of this competition was shooting steel with handguns at ranges from about 20 yards all the way out to 100 yards. I used my Glock for this part of the match, and did pretty well. I really had fun shooting steel with the Glock, and that planted the seed: I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d have to get a competition-style pistol before long. I just had to! And that “seed” grew into this story- an in-depth review of the Canik TP9SFX and a comparison to my customized Glock 17. Here we go!

What’s In the Box

The TP9SFX is by far the “most complete turn-key handgun package” I’ve ever owned. A LOT of thought went into the TP9SFX package, this particular SKU being the one that includes the Vortex Viper red dot sight.

Here’s what’s included with this package: (clockwise from pistol)

  • Canik TP9SFX pistol with Vortex Viper red dot sight (includes battery for red dot sight, rubber cover, ready to use)
  • Hard case with cutout foam dividers/retainers for each component/tool, foam divider
  • Two 20-round magazines (18 round magazines with 2 round extensions pre-installed)
  • Magazine loader
  • Paddle holster with adjustable cant angle and removable rubber retention strap
  • Trigger lock
  • Interchangeable backstraps (two total, one pre-installed)
  • Red dot sight mounting plates (4 total, one pre-installed)
    • Plate 01: Docter, Meopta, Insight, Vortex
    • Plate 02: Trijicon
    • Plate 03: C-More
    • Plate 04: Leupold, Shield, J Point
  • Rear iron sight with mount (replaces red dot sight mounting plate)
  • Extra parts and tools (white translucent case) includes:
    • Magazine catch extensions
    • Optics mount screw Allen key
    • Cocking lever
    • Extra roll pin
    • Extra screws
    • Fiber optic inserts for front sight
  • Cleaning tools: brush and patch holder
  • Chamber flag
  • Owner’s manuals and related paperwork
  • Cleaning cloth for red dot sight

What’s really impressive is how Canik designed the case to provide a secure spot for everything listed above. It’s a very compact package for a lot of gear!

Canik TP9SFX Features and Specs

Above: Canik TP9SFX with iron included rear sight installed (click/tap to enlarge)

FEATURES

  • Comes with industry standard dovetail sight cuts that are compatible with a large variety of aftermarket sights (front sight cut: M&P, rear sight cut: Glock 34)
  • Warren Tactical sights with red and green fiber optic front sight
  • Removeable Red Dot cover – Rear sight installed in cover to eliminate interference with certain Red Dot sights
  • Four Red Dot interface plates
  • Match grade barrel
  • Improved single action trigger with claimed 3.5 – 4 lb. pull **See TriggerScan results below in this article
  • Lightening cuts on slide to reduce muzzle rise
  • Forward slide serrations
  • Reversible ambidextrous cocking lever
  • Extended ergonomic slide stop
  • Adjustable length reversible magazine catch
  • Two extra sizes of magazine catch extension (addition to standard magazine catch)
  • Striker status indicator
  • MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail
  • Tungsten grey cerakote over phosphate
  • AFC magazine coating

The TP9SFx comes with two 20 rd. mags., poly holster, paddle/belt attachment, interchangeable backstraps, cleaning rod, brush and a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.

Specs

SKU: 5165449519
UPC: 787450465749
MFR#: HG3774GV-N
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Finish: Tungsten
  • Capacity: 20+1
  • Barrel Length: 5.2”
  • Overall Length: 8.27”
  • Height: 6.125”
  • Width: 1.3”
  • Weight: 1.9 lbs unloaded
  • Optic: Vortex Viper Red Dot
  • Optic Dot Size: 6 MOA
  • Optic Adjustment: 1 MOA
  • Optic Length: 1.8”
  • Country of Origin: Turkey, imported by Century Arms

Canik TP9SFX Technical Evaluation

Canik Barrel Examination

A firearm’s bore and chamber are critical to how the gun will function and how difficult it will be to clean (copper and carbon fouling). But you rarely see these “internals” – let’s take a look at the Canik TP9SFX chamber and bore using the Lyman Borecam, starting with the chamber!

The Canik’s bore shows some machining marks- more than what I observed in the Glock 17’s chamber (see video), but nothing too concerning. Will this cause the chamber to be more difficult to clean? Possibly, but it’s not likely to be noticeable. This type of surface finish would be typical for mid-grade guns, but less frequently found with more expensive firearms.

Next I took a look at the lands and grooves: the rifled portion of the barrel.

It may be a tad difficult to see in the above picture, but the Canik’s button rifled bore looks really good- pretty much on par with the quality of the Glock 17’s barrel (the Glock has polygonal rifling, where this Canik has standard rifling). This barrel shot really well (see accuracy testing and ballistics later in this article) and I expect it to exhibit minimal copper or carbon fouling.

The Canik barrel is very similar to the Glock 17 barrel overall, here they are side-by-side: (click/tap to enlarge)

Here’s the overall barrel length comparison:

  • Glock 17: 4.490″ overall barrel length
  • Canik TP9SFX: 5.200″ overall length (Glock 34 long slide has 5.31″ overall barrel length)

Comparing the lengths of the rifled portions of the barrels:

  • Glock 17: ~3.54″
  • Canik TP9SFX: ~4.250″

That’s a difference of about 0.71″, making the Canik barrel approximately 20% longer in the “business portion” of the bore. Hold that thought, I’ll come back to this later!

It’s very easy to take down the Canik TP9SFX, it’s essentially the same procedure as with the glock, but the takedown tabs are much easier to actuate. Here’s the TP9SFX broken down:

TriggerScan Analysis

The DVORAK Instruments TriggerScan TS-11 is the only tool that gives you the “complete picture” for a particular trigger on a particular firearm. So I had to find out “the complete story” for the Canik TP9SFX trigger by putting it on the TriggerScan. What I found was a little surprising! Here’s the results from a 3-run test: (click/tap to enlarge)

Canik TP9SFX TriggerScan Results

While the Canik TP9SFX trigger is advertised as a “3.5-4.0 lb trigger pull”, I found peak force to be consistently at about 5.3 lb for my Canik TP9SFX. I’ll have to say, it doesn’t really feel that heavy- but numbers don’t lie in this case! One thing of note on the graph is the visible “grit” in the trigger during actuation (force ramp just before peak force surge). You can see it on the graph, but it’s not overly noticeable when you actually pull the trigger- most likely because the peak force actuation is smooth, as evidenced on the graph.

Here’s the metrics from this testing:

  • Peak force: 5.320 lb
  • Travel to actuate: 0.310″
  • Initial take-up: 0.044″
  • Overtravel: .850″

Let’s compare this to two Glock triggers that I tested: (my stock Glock 20, and my customized Glock 17: click/tap to enlarge)

Factory Glock 20 and Customized Glock 17 TriggerScan Results

What’s interesting here is how the Canik TP9SFX pretty much splits the difference between the peak force for a factory Glock trigger, and a Glock with 3.5 lb disconnector and other enhancements. It’s also interesting to note that there’s really no grittiness with the Glock triggers. While I’ve had a few primer ignition issues with the “raced out” trigger on the Glock 17, I don’t expect any issues like that with the Canik TP9SFX factory trigger. I think the Canik TP9SFX trigger is great, but not perfect. I don’t feel the need to do any enhancements based on how I plan to use this pistol…

Accuracy and Ballistics

Above: Canik TP9SFX in Ransom Rest captured at 4,456 FPS with high-speed camera

In any shooting competition it’s helpful (or downright critical) to understand and isolate all of the factors affecting “shots on target”.

The primary factors are:

  1. The human element (the shooter)
  2. The mechanical accuracy of the firearm
  3. The accuracy potential (precision) of the ammunition in a specific firearm

With a Ransom Rest, we can measure (directly, and by the process of elimination) factors 2 and 3 above, leaving the human element as the “remainder” of the error. By deduction, we can approximate the human error outside of the Ransom Rest following the controlled testing.

I decided put the Canik TP9SFX head-to-head with my Glock 17 in the Ransom Rest, and to use three different types of ammunition:

Handloaded 9mm Luger with Hornady 124 grain XTP bullets

For this handloaded ammunition, the following results were observed:

Average Velocity
G17 1093.6
Canik TP9SFX 1121.2
Difference 2.52%

 

Velocity SD
G17 26.2
Canik TP9SFX 25.6
Difference -2.29%

 

Group Size
G17 1.384
Canik TP9SFX 1.993
Difference 44.00%

 

Federal 9mm Luger 115 grain FMJ RN Factory Ammunition

The Federal ammunition produced the best results for accuracy and velocity consistency (SD). Here’s the data:

Average Velocity
G17 1138.5
Canik TP9SFX 1199.6
Difference 5.37%

 

Velocity SD
G17 3.9
Canik TP9SFX 6.2
Difference 58.97%
Group Size
G17 1.602
Canik TP9SFX 1.482
Difference -7.49%

 

Remington UMC 9mm Luger 124 grain FMJ RN Factory Ammunition

The Remington 124 grain UMC ammunition shot well in both guns, here’s the data:

Average Velocity
G17 1114
Canik TP9SFX 1160
Difference 4.13%

 

Velocity SD
G17 16.05
Canik TP9SFX 5
Difference -68.85%

 

Group Size
G17 2.159
Canik TP9SFX 1.6915
Difference -21.65%

Roll-Up Averages

The data above is for two groups fired for each type of ammunition in each gun. Here, I’ve taken all of the shots fired, and averaged all of the data:

Average Velocity (all rounds)
G17 1115.367
Canik TP9SFX 1160.267
Difference 4.03%

 

Velocity SD (all rounds)
G17 15.383
Canik TP9SFX 12.267
Difference -20.26%

 

Group Size (19y, all rounds) 25Y equivalent
G17 1.781 2.344
Canik TP9SFX 1.668 2.195
Difference -6.36% -6.36%

Remember the fact that the Canik barrel is 20% longer in the “business department”? It’s interesting to note here that we see an average of only 4% more velocity. That tells me that most of the energy is used by the time the bullets leaves the Glock 17’s bore. Still, the edge goes to the Canik here as you’d expect. Velocity consistency (Standard Deviation of velocity) is about 20% better with the Canik- and I really wonder if that would change after the Canik has fired 5000+ rounds. Might be an interesting follow-up!

Finally, while the Glock shot the best individual group (0.9″ with Federal 115 grain factory ammo), the Canik shot groups averaging 6.36% tighter compared to the Glock 17. Again, I would wonder how this might change after the Canik has fired thousands of rounds… These pistols are close in terms of results, but the brand new Canik here beat the well-used Glock across the board. It would be interesting to compare a brand new Glock 34 long-slide to the brand new Canik TP9SFX. If only I had unlimited time and resources!

Shooting the Canik TP9SFX, Reliability

So far I have put about 300 rounds through my Canik TP9SFX, and it has functioned 100%. No misfires, jams, magazine issues, or any other issues. I’ve fed hollowpoints, round nose bullets, and flat-point bullets throuh the Canik, and it just “eats them up”.  Shooting the Canik has been awesome- I can’t think of any other way to say it. It’s got great balance, great ergonomics (the pre-installed bacstrap fits my hand perfectly), and most importantly- I can get shots on target easily. The Vortex Viper red dot sight is great- I really feel like I’m setup to shoot competitive style now!

Above: the moment the bullet leaves the barrel, captured with a high-speed camera shooting at 4,456 fps

I’ll note here that I’m new to “action shooting”, and I do hope to compete in a pistol match at some point. That will require some training and instruction, but I know what pistol I’ll be using! The Canik TP9SFX is my tool for the job.

Comparison to my Glock 17

When I shot the video, I decided to compare the Canik TP9SFX to my customized Glock 17. Why? Not because it’s the best comparison I could do, but because it’s the semi-auto handgun that I shoot the most, and is the closest thing in my collection (prior to getting the TP9SFX) to compare the Canik to. I love Glocks, and they work really good for me. I got my Glock 17 from a friend who had modified the trigger (Ghost 3.5lb disconnnector and a bunch of other enhancements), installed an extended slide release, fitted an oversize magazine catch, and upgraded to aftermarket sights. I’ve really enjoyed the Glock 17, but now it’s time to give it a “run for its money”.

Here’s a quick comparison of the two pistols (features and specs):

Canik TP9SFX Glock 17
Street Price $650 with red dot $500.00
Caliber 9mm Luger 9mm Luger
Magazine Capacity 20 rounds 17 rounds
Magazines included 2 3 (gen 5)
Barrel Length 5.20″ 4.49″
Weight without magazine 1.61 lb 1.40 lb
Tigger Pull Weight (peak) 5.3 lb ~7.2 lb
Overall Length 8.03″ 8.27″
Overall width 1.37″ 1.26″
Sights Fiber optic front, iron rear, red dot Standard polymer
Optics mount Four included None
Magazine catch Three sizes included Standard
Slide release Oversize Standard
Lightening cuts Included None
Finish Polymer, Cerakote over phosphate Polymer, standard Glock finish
Cleaning kit Included Included
Holster Included None
Cocking lever Included None
Striker Status Indicator Included None
Safety Trigger-Integrated Trigger-Integrated

For the money, the Canik is hard to beat here!

Conclusion

I am very excited about the Canik TP9SFX- it’s the gun that I’m showing people when they come to visit, and the handgun I’m shooting now on a daily basis. I don’t plan to let go of my Glock 17 any time soon, but I’m sure it will see a lot less trigger time. And now I’m really looking forward to gettting an action shooting pistol range setup, and to make progress towards competing. I can’t wait! Sounds like I need to do some high-volume reloading, more on that in the months to come.

If you want to get your own TP9SFX, you can get a great deal at Palmetto State Armory, click here:

Do you have a Canik TP9SFX? I’d love to hear how you are liking yours, and what you’ve done with it.

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Thanks,
Gavin

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