CANIK TP9 SFX Review – Best budget competition shooting pistol?

CANIK TP9 SFX Review – Best budget competition shooting pistol?

Keith CRACKSHOT.TV No Comments

Optics Mounting System
Reader Rating0 Votes
Very solid option for competitive shooting on a budget
Things to Improve
Magazines are expensive and hard to find
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CANIK TP9SFX – Built with Competition in mind

The CANIK TP9 SFX is billed as being a premium, competition ready pistol at duty pistol prices. And competition ready it is, the TP9SFX does not disappoint. It’s a straight shooter, reliable, and is incredibly smooth shooting.

Canik TP9SFX
Canik TP9SFX

Canik TP9SFX


A great budget competition focused pistol, perfect for USPSA production matches. This is my goto pistol for shooting production competitions.

What do you look for in a Competitive Shooting Pistol?

Competitive shooting sports, specifically dynamic pistol shooting sports, like United States Practical Shooter’s Association (USPSA) or the International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) primarily focus on fast, accurate shooting at multiple targets. A certain level of accuracy is required, but the goal is not bullseye marksmanship, rather, it is “accurate enough” shots placed at high speed.

For those who are unfamiliar, because scoring is based on a combination of acceptable accuracy (an A-zone hit on the edge of the A-zone box is the equivalent of a dead centered shot in the A-zone, where the A-Zone box is a 6″x11″ rectangle) and speed, the pistols look a whole lot more like traditional duty handguns than pistols that are built specifically for extreme accuracy.

As such, heavy, low recoiling guns with high magazine capacities and super light triggers dominate the sport (namely, race guns, most often custom built 2011s).

The TP9SFX is very accurate
The TP9SFX is very accurate

However, for most of us who are new to the sport, we likely won’t be at a place starting out where we’re able to really outshoot what the gun is capable of. If you’re on a budget, you’re going to want a pistol that can grow with you.

If your goal is to have a high quality pistol that will grow with you until you’re into the sport enough that investing in top of the line gear makes sense, you could do a lot worse than the CANIK TP9SFX.

Price (4.5 out of 5)

The CANIK TP9SFX retails at only $550, putting it at $100 cheaper than the Glock 34. It is the cheapest competition focused pistol that I am aware of on the market that is worth its salt. Given all of its features, there is a lot of bang for the buck here. It only loses half a star as in recent months, full size CZ polymer framed, optics ready handguns have been available for sale in the mid $400s, and while I would choose the TP9SFX over those guns, they are giving the TP9SFX some competition.


Canik TP9SFX


A great budget competition focused pistol, perfect for USPSA production matches. This is my goto pistol for shooting production competitions.

The CANIK TP9SFX Comes with Most of What You Need to Get Started (Value – 5 out of 5)

Let’s start with what comes in the box. Canik is known for providing a lot of goodies with their pistols. Hypothetically CANIK gives you 80% of what you’ll need to get started in competitive shooting, all included with the pistol.

The CANIK TP9SFX Comes with Many Accessories
The CANIK TP9SFX Comes with Many Accessories

My TP9SFX shipped with two 18 round standard capacity magazines with + 3 extensions preinstalled for a generous round count of 21 rounds.

It has a pretty basic OWB holster that works and is safe to operate. The holster is a hard plastic and fully covers the trigger guard which are the main requirements for most shooting sports.

Optional replacement backstraps are nice to help tailor the weapon to your grip.

Mine came with 4 mounting plates making the TP9SFX compatible with a myriad of mainstream pistol mounted red dot options. Mine is currently equipped with a Vortex Venom, making it a great option for USPSA Carry Optics Division.

If you want to compete in the Production division, the TP9SFX has a fiber optic front sight post, with warren tactical rear sight.

The Canik TP9SFX Ships with Warren Tactical Sights
The Canik TP9SFX Ships with Warren Tactical Sights

Ergonomics (5 out of 5)

Side by side you can see how it compares in size next to a glock 34. The TP9SFX is actually very easy to get your hands around and super comfortable to grip. The texturing on the grip is excellent out of box. The pistol’s polymer frame is light weight and very compact considering it’s large capacity. It points very naturally and feels great in my hand. It truthfully would be an option for people with smaller hands. It would make an excellent option for female shooters. This is probably my wife’s favorite 9MM pistol when we go to the range.

The TP9SFX has one of the smoothest trigger pulls on a production pistol
The TP9SFX has one of the smoothest trigger pulls on a production pistol

Aesthetics (5 out of 5)

The pistol itself has a really nice tungsten finish. It’s a really nice looking pistol. I’m a sucker for the aesthetic look of ports cut into slides. The TP9SFX’s ports aren’t over the top and they look quite nice.

Features (5 out of 5)

I’m shocked by the premium features that this pistol has out of box. The slide has some nice premium features. Let’s start with the stock sights. The TP9SFX ships with a Warren tactical fiber optic front sight and a blacked out U-Notch rear sight, ideal for competitive shooting.

There’s no need to change the sights on this pistol out of box, so its ready to go for production competition. The back serrations are grippy and the front serrations are nice for those of us who like to do press checks.

The 5.2 inch barrel is nice and the pistol shoots accurately.

The gun has other premium features that save time during competition, such as automatically engaging the slide after the weapon is reloaded from empty, instantly racking a round. This can shave a split second off of your times during competition, most important for production, which can be the difference between winning or losing a tight match.

That said, the slide stop lever is extended, as is the magazine release, making the controls extremely easy on this pistol. It’s impossible to miss either control. They’re simple and crisp.

The slide features a loaded chamber indicator similar to those of Walther or Springfield which is a really nice feature as its very obvious when the the striker is engaged.

Optics Mounting System (4 out of 5)

The slide has an modular optics plate mounting system where the optic mounts to the plate, and the plate to the slide. It supports all major footprints. This is nice for versatility, but preferentially I prefer direct mount to slide on my pistols, so I’d rather this was cut for just one footprint personally. The mounting plates add a bit of height to where the optic sits.

The rear sight is mounted onto the stock plate so if you decide to mount a red dot, you will lose your rear iron sight.

It’s like a race cut, but this thing was built for competition, not EDC or duty. I have another video that outlines the differences between different slide mount options that may be helpful if you want more details on the pros and cons of this sort of setup.

I take a star off as for most people, they purchase a pistol for self protection. If this is a home defense pistol, you probably don’t want a race cut. You would want to retain the rear sights and have them cowitness as backups for your optic.

The CANIK is sold as sort of a hybrid of high end, competition type features, and duty pistol. If the CANIK was just going for competition, and went all in on this, I would prefer it was directly cut for a single pattern so that mounting could be direct to the slide and sit lower.

The TP9SFX has an optic mount plate system
The TP9SFX has an optic mount plate system, pictured with Vortex Venom

Trigger (4.5 out of 5)

The trigger is very crisp and has a great pull. This is one of the best stock triggers I’ve ever encountered. In my opinion, there’s no compelling reason to upgrade it, unless you prefer a different trigger shoe.

Reliability (5 out of 5)

The pistol runs very well. I’ve never had a single jam with it.

Things to be Improved

With all these premium features, it isn’t difficult to run this gun fast. Because it has so many features packed into the stock configuration, It makes a really affordable and competitive option for production and carry optics divisions for USPSA. However, it isn’t without a few knitpicks.

Limited After Market, Difficult to find Mags for it, Expensive Magazines (2.5 out of 5)

It’s hard to find magazines for this gun. The aftermarket has gotten a little bit better in recent years. Previously, the magazines used to be instantly out of stock everywhere. With this scarcity, they also retail for between $40-50, so they’re a bit more expensive than similar options like the Glock 34. After market magazines don’t work well in it, Pro Mag Industry magazines are awful, so CANIK users are all clamming over a limited supply of factory magazines.

Magazines don’t always hold the slide open (3 out of 5)

I’ve also had issues with after market magazines not holding the slide open when empty. This isn’t really a problem, its more of a problem with the aftermarket magazines. With the stock mags, the hold open usually works. However, I’ve found that if the gun is dirty, while its reliable with shooting, the hold open sometimes doesn’t engage. so this gun likes to be kept clean and oiled to be working at peak performance. This may get better with time as I put more rounds through the gun.


Overall this is an awesome pistol and I have very few complaints about it. The ones that I have are fairly minor. It’s one of my favorites bar none. If you want to be competitive at your local club but don’t want to shell out over a thousand dollars on a high end competition pistol, the CANIK TP9SFX will get you pretty close.

It really punches above its weight class given its affordable price. You won’t be disappointed.


Canik TP9SFX


A great budget competition focused pistol, perfect for USPSA production matches. This is my goto pistol for shooting production competitions.

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