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Yesterday I fired just over 400 rounds of 9mm. There’s no way I could do this now—at least not comfortably—with a .45 ACP or 10mm. The 9mm is not only much more comfortable to shoot, it’s now proven a highly effective self-defense choice as well.


Our test subject is one of the latest 9mm’s from the excellent gunmakers in Turkey through Century Arms. The Canik TP9 SFx is a polymer-framed, hi-capacity gun of the safety-trigger genre. Although officially advertised as having a 20-round capacity and a 5.2-inch barrel, my official ruler measures the barrel length at 5 inches. And the magazine capacity on my sample is 20 rounds.


Before we look at the specifications of the pistol itself, let us take a look at the extras included with the Canik TP9. Besides the relatively compact lockable plastic case, there’s a molded polymer holster with a removable back flap, allowing for either IWB or OWB. Two magazines with large bumper pads are included along with small and large interchangeable backstraps.


There are also four mounting plates for red-dot/reflex sights, plus the necessary wrenches for removing the rear sight assembly to install them. There’s also a cleaning rod/brush and an easy-to-follow owner’s manual. There are three magazine-release button extensions (small, medium and large) plus a cocking lever—which can be mounted on the right or left side—for easy slide manipulation when a red-dot sight is installed. That’s a lot of goodies to go with one pistol!


Now let’s look at the TP9 itself. The first thing catching my attention was the safety trigger. Normally, safety triggers do a real job on my trigger finger when I’m shooting a lot, so I normally have to tape my finger for protection. The TP9 trigger is very smooth and easy to operate, measures 4-1/4 pounds and at no time gave my trigger finger any grief.

Over the past 30+ years, much has changed, especially our attitude towards 9mm pistols. There are many reasons for this. One is we have a virtually endless supply of excellent 9mm ammunition including a long list of very effective jacketed hollowpoint rounds. Another is the wonderful platforms to discharge them such as the Canik Model TP9 SFx featured here.


However, probably the most compelling reason is the fact we’re now all 30+ years older and those heavy kickin’ sixguns and semi-autos are not something we can handle for long strings nearly as well as we used to!