I am an unrepentant fan of the Canik TP9 family of pistols. I bought my first copy back in 2012. There was a cavorting dolphin on the side. The thing looked like a Walther P99 had a baby with a brick. I still enjoy shooting it.
Today’s most recent offerings are both uber-svelte and sexy-cool. They include a feature set that eclipses the big-name guns. The new TP9 METE takes combat pistols to a previously unexplored space.
The crew of the International Space Station was shocked when the hatch to the supposedly unmanned SpaceX Dragon resupply capsule opened, and Duke Sterling floated in behind his signature disarming grin. The ISS crew consisted of three experienced cosmonauts and Mission Specialist Dag Nilsen from Norway.
“Forgive my unexpected visit,” Sterling said in unaccented Russian. “Unfortunate international circumstances dictate I impose upon you briefly.” Mission Specialist Nilsen heard the words in Norwegian.
One of the cosmonauts was the preternaturally gorgeous Svetlana Fedorov, formerly principal dancer at the Bolshoi. She subsequently earned a PhD in astrophysics while simultaneously raising her twin nephews orphaned in a tragic catfish noodling accident. Her two male comrades were hardened Spetsnaz veterans.
Sterling quickly settled into the routine of ISS life. He dominated the Russian card game of P’yanitsa despite never before having played. Forty-eight hours later, the four scientists counted Sterling among their dearest friends.
On day three, Sterling glanced at his watch and said, “I must be going. Thank you for your hospitality.” Before anyone could react, he was in his EVA suit, a sleek armored case connected to his waist via an aluminum carabiner.
Svetlana leaned toward him and whispered, “Am I pregnant?”
Sterling could always tell. Though he had not physically touched her, Svetlana Fedorov would not be the first woman to find herself with child simply from being in the same room with Duke Sterling. Smiling sweetly, Sterling said, “Nyet.”
In one practiced movement, Sterling was in the airlock. He glanced at his watch a final time, waved at his new friends and exited the ISS. When the moment was right, he pushed off vigorously toward earth.
Two hours and 27 minutes later, Sterling deployed his parachute. A quarter-hour after that, he touched down noiselessly in total darkness on the horse track of the Ryongson Residence north of Pyongyang, North Korea. Sterling removed his space helmet and soaked up the silence. Despite having just HALO’d into North Korea from the International Space Station, his heart rate loitered in the high 50s.
Sterling’s dark camouflage fatigues rendered him invisible in the darkness. He popped open the case and ran his fingers over its contents in the darkness. In 30 seconds, he had his Canik TP9 SFx METE fully assembled. He slipped the sinister weapon into its custom fit-and-lock retention holster before stowing his spacesuit, parachute and dunnage behind the stable. He then activated his NVGs and pressed toward the foreboding enormity of the main edifice. It was showtime.
Avoiding the North Korean guards was not a challenge. Sterling had both an otherworldly proximity sense and an uncanny ability to blend in with foliage, furniture and household decor. In moments, he stood poised outside the Supreme Leader’s master bedroom. With grim determination, Sterling readied his Canik, flipped up his goggles and pressed through the door.
The rotund North Korean despot sat at a massive ornate table. In one hand, he held an adorable squirming beagle puppy. In the other, he grasped a dental tool. Shock and surprise registered on his moon-like face. Without a moment’s hesitation, the highly trained CIA Special Activities Division operative raised his customized Canik handgun and shot the short fat man three times in the chest.
He was answered by a shower of sparks and the acrid smell of burned electrical components. Kim fell heavily out of his chair, his gaze disconjugate and his limbs writhing wormlike. So, Kim Jong-un actually was a robot. Sterling had long suspected.
Sterling dropped the abused puppy into his cargo pocket and made his way next door to the suite of Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un’s psychotic nutjob sister. He used his simply breathtaking romantic powers to convince the 33-year-old under-tyrant to fetch him a helicopter. Ninety minutes later, he landed the North Korean Mi-24 Hind gunship at Camp Humphries in South Korea to great fanfare. At the same instant, Kim Yo-jong was also pondering her pregnancy status. Sterling had not touched her, either.
Sterling retired to the BOQ’s at Humphries with his new dog. He cleared and stowed his Canik before curling up with the grateful little beagle. Another day, another despot.
METE is a Turkish given name. It means, “brave,” “valiant” or “hero.” The word is pronounced “Met-ay.” METE is actually a deformed variation of Mo-du, which is a version of the classic Mongol honorific Baghatur. The literal translation of METE into English would be “freaking awesome.”
Using the basic yet superlative TP9 chassis as a foundation, the skunk works at Canik accumulated literally everything anyone might possibly need to optimize a combat handgun. The case mine came in is adequate to survive atmospheric re-entry. We reviewed both the TP9 SFT and the TP9 SFx. Amazingly the MSRP for each kit is $519.99 and $574.99, respectively.
All TP9 pistols include a fiber-reinforced polymer frame with interchangeable backstraps and a Picatinny rail on the dust cover. The slide release is replicated perfectly on both sides. The magazine catch is readily reversible and sports various-sized buttons for a custom fit. There is a loaded chamber indicator and a striker status button, both of which are accessible by feel in hard dark.
The fire controls are nickel plated for a beautiful trigger experience. The base finish is Tenifer. The slides are further Cerakoted as well. The ample trigger guard is oversized to accommodate gloves. This all comes standard.
The TP9 METE guns include an optics-ready slide with several mounting plates for common red dots. The superb steel 3-dot sights are designed to co-witness with a red dot. The rear sight is angled for one-handed charging should life truly go sideways. The integral magwell is flared for fast mag changes
The full meal deal is fairly incredible. The gun includes a superlative fit-and-lock Kydex holster. This rig is reversible for either IWB or OWB carry. There are two magazines. One packs 18 rounds, while the other carries 20. There is an applique flared magwell adaptor that secures with an Allen screw.
These guys really did think of everything. The pushpins are all dimpled for easy disassembly. Each pistol comes with the most adorable little tool kit that looks like a miniaturized version of the pistol. This rig includes the fasteners for your red dot as well as a bit driver and accessories. There is also a premium OTIS cleaning kit. The package includes a rugged punch and sundry support kit as well.
I tricked my guns out with factory extended threaded barrels that are a drop-in fit. Shield RMSc red dots and custom rechargeable OLIGHT tactical lights round out the package. Century offers holsters for the gun/light combination as well.
Decisions, Decisions …
The TP9 SFT sports an unthreaded 4.46″ barrel. The SFx version comes with a longer 5.2″ tube and a slide extended to match. The slides on both guns are serrated both front and rear. That of the SFx is also skeletonized up front for lighter weight, faster lock times and general cool points.
The polymer frames are interchangeable. The trigger guards are as aggressively undercut as physics and geometry might allow. This equals superb recoil control, minimal muzzle flip and faster follow-up shots.
The SFT is the standard bedside concealed carry service pistol. It packs like any other high-end duty pistol, only better. The plethora of included accessories just mean there’s substantially less to buy when it comes time to trick the gun out for service.
The SFx is a holy melding between a defensive pistol and a race gun. The extended snout helps tame the chaos, while the added mass keeps the sights on target. Both guns run like a toddler after a Twinkie.
My SFx METE performs like a tuned target gun. However, a defensive pistol isn’t much good if you can’t keep it handy. I tricked out my TP9 SFx METE longslide with its Shield RMRcc sight and got it arranged in the included IWB holster underneath my surgical scrubs.
The resulting package is undeniably bulky. However, I gutted through 12 hours at the clinic and 43 sick people, with none of them realizing I was armed. I also got home without any undue back strain.
Should life go sideways at home, at work, in North Korea or aboard the International Space Station, you really won’t find a better