The time has come.
It’s been a long while since I did any competitive shooting, but after running a few courses at the Texas 3-Gun Championships in Texas last April, I started getting the idea that it might not be too late to get back into the sport. At nearly 50 years of age, and with more than my share of medically replaced parts, the thought of running up and down jagged terrain while navigating obstacles and taking out targets at distance seemed like a long shot…but what the hell….I’m not dead yet.
Having been absent from competition for as long as I have been, and having my focus elsewhere, I have to admit that the world of competition guns has passed me by, and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. With any luck, all the running i need to do to get up to speed will help me drop the 40lbs I need to even remotely be considered a “contender”.
All jokes aside, there are 3 things I really need to do. First is get myself back into shape. Since I’m not a fan of the gym, I figure that Step Two will be a great replacement…PRACTICE. The way I see it, nothing will help me prepare my body more than the rigors of training. With that in mind, I am going to set out on a new routine of diet, exercise, and running my own 3-Gun Style course. No clock, no shot timer, no other shooters…Just me, and Step 3…A New Competition Gun.
Over the last few months, I’ve been researching all of my options, trying to find a new pistol that wouldn’t need as much tuning as I would. I wanted to find something full size, light weight, optic ready, ergonomic, and accurate.
When I looked at all of the guns that fit the basic criteria, I found that most of them would, once done adding a decent optic, be well out of my price range. After all, me getting back into competition is more of an experiment at this time than anything else. The last thing I want to do is drop several thousand dollars on a firearm only to find that I don’t have the physical wherewithal to complete my journey. After whittling down my options, and speaking to much more well-informed friends, I settled in on the Canik TP9FSx, 9mm. Yes…A Canik
What I decided on.
When thinking about competitive shooting, many are drawn to manufacturers who’s offerings range well over $2,000. Many people would also dismiss a “bargain” priced gun. That being said, at around $650, this thing is impressive,
First, the TP9SFx feels as if it was molded to fit my larger than normal hands. Having wrapped my mitts around the grip of several pistols, this one just “felt” as if they had my hands in mind. The texturing is aggressive enough to get a good grip, but not so aggressive that it feels uncomfortable. There is also an interchangeable backstrap with a pronounced palm swell in case the straighter backstrap is not to your liking. Also, there is a full pic-rail for running lights, lasers, or a combination.
The controls are not only in perfect reach of my digits, but oversized for easy operation. It takes little to no effort for me to hit the mag release or slide-stop. There is even texturing on the grip frame where someone with my grip technique gains added traction and control.
At the back of the slide, there is a charged striker indicator, and even though miniscule, the extractor doubles as a loaded chamber indicator as it protrudes ever-so-slightly with a round in the chamber. The mag well has a nice taper to it for easier insertion of the magazines, and has a slight recess on both sides to aid in ripping out a stuck magazine if needed.
Now, let’s talk about the sights. The rear is set up with a Blacked Out Warren Sights with a Fiberoptic front post. The rear sights appear to have a bit less space between the uprights, so if you can see the front post, you have less room for error.
While the barrel is not ported, the slide does sport a series of lightening cuts at the front, along with forward serrations for the press checks.
Where is excels.
Now, all of that is great and all, but what makes the Canik TP9SFx a standout is the trigger…..The GLORIOUS TRIGGER.
While we have measured the trigger pull on ours at 5 1/4 lbs, that does NOT tell the story. While being a slightly heavier trigger pull, the geometry of the trigger makes it feel much lighter. It’s about leverage.
Once charged, there is 3/8″ of an inch of take-up until you hit the wall. Then there is about 3/16″ of an inch of creep before it breaks. I know…this in and of itself does not seem “special”…and it’s not. Where this gun shines is on the reset and refire. Once you let off your initial round, the reset is an incredible 3/16” of an inch with ZERO creep and ALL Wall. With every subsequent shot, the trigger almost seems non-existent. It is so effortless to get the next round off that you find your time to target cut in half. Between the shortest reset this side of a good 1911, follow up shots are not only quick, but accurate. We found that our fastest series of double-taps were nearly as close together as taking our time with single shots.
All in all, we found that this pistol, for the $650 price tag is remarkable…truly remarkable. Now, consider that this pistol also comes with a USABLE ISWB Kydex with adjustable retention, 4 optic mounting plates, a maintenance tool kit, cleaning rod and bore brush, and replacement fiberoptic rods, all inside a very handsome hard-shell case….and you have One Hell Of a Great Value.
Now, if I could only get as excited about getting into shape as I am getting this new gun.
At the range for the first shots.
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