Canik TP9 Elite Combat- The First 1,000 Rounds
This article is for those who may be interested in purchasing a Canik pistol, or a Trijicon RMR2 red dot optic. I’ve recently covered both of these topics, but this time there is proof through real fire and “testing” if you will on the red dot. I find that private individuals “testing” things is hilarious, when the devices being “tested” are the end results of way more than the individual who has taken this task upon themselves. There has been plenty of wasted time and words on both of these products, but if you’ve not read/watched all of this- rest assured that both products will exceed the shooter.
The TP9SA was first, with that dreaded top decocker. Whatever. It has 2,000 rounds through it of all ammo sorts/types, with zero issues. It rests in a safe most of the time due to my unconventional job. The TP9SFX- the 3 gun variant, has 200 rounds through it, again, zero issues. The gun also remains uncleaned, because I plan on doing other things with it, at some point.The Elite featured for this missive was purchased this past January. I learned at SHOT 2019 that the whole Glock 19 thing wasn’t exactly spot on, but I wanted this one for the trigger. It’s really that simple. Can I upgrade triggers? Yep. Do I do this because it’s what the “cool guys “do? Nope. That’s an argument that’s not germane to topic.
It’s also amusing to note this. Salient Arms and Canik got together on this one. There are parts in the gun via Salient, but to watch the usual suspects online, who exactly did what is subjective based on which self absorbed individual is speaking. The first time I shot it, only 1 magazine, it was a done deal for me. I knew this would be a great gun, and now, with over 1,000 through it, it’s definitely a keeper. Personally, I could care less that “whoever” contributed this, that, and the other thing. Based on the sum of it’s parts, it’s no better/worse than the other 2.
You could also say that today, virtually every offering by every reputable company out there is making products more accurate than the shooter. You can tie yourself in knots over barrel length or whatever, but modern pistols are pretty darn good, right out of the box.There are just those who feel that somehow they are smarter than the makers, and set to work for no real good reason.
Along the way there was flak about my capricious remarks on red dots and pistols. For the past 2 years I’ve been studying which one I’d purchase, and the list started out huge, and pretty much boiled down to 2. A friend recently spent considerable money on 1 with a very established name (starts with L), and it was DOA. He had it long enough to determine this fact, and right back in the mail it went. Yep, that really made me want one, even more.
My list was Holosun 507 c, and Trijicon RMR2. Ultimately, it was Trijicon, all the way. I’ve been using their stuff for nearly 20 years now, and we all know it’s good. To pontificate further on the subject is wasted time. Holosun is not a slouch company, either, just younger, but they are doing great things. You would be wise to consider this company as viable.
Acquiring the dot was to settle a few things for myself. Thanks to my wife, an upcoming birthday, and some much needed vacation time, it all came together. While waiting for the dot to arrive, I got 200 rounds total through the gun, and it was Glock like in this period. In other words, boringly reliable. The rounds used were plain vanilla 115 grain FMJ. The next day was spent closing in on the 1,000 round mark, and here’s where I mixed things up a bit. The next 600 rounds were with that dreaded steel case ammo made by Winchester.
Everybody knows that steel case ammo is part of a conspiracy to make your extractors/ejectors break. The Illuminati invented the stuff. It’s true. If you’re interested in the type, it’s called USA Forged, and it worked just fine. Nothing broke, or bobbled. Also included were old carry rounds that had been pulled down from various pistol mags. The types included some LeHigh Defense, Hornady, Speer, the usual culprits. Again there were no problems.
Here is why I used the steel cased ammo- 1-We covered this already- there is a stigma about steel case. Take care of your stuff, knowing that stuff will wear out, and break. 2-Winchester has had some issues. Yep- just like every major player- there will be issues. 3-These rounds are pretty economical, and that’s a good thing. Plus I know it will piss off the Reloader Guy who creeps around every range in America.F inally, number 4- I’d just picked up nearly 2,000 rounds, so why the hell not?
Along the way the dot showed up, and the weather was pretty cruddy, so shooting was over, and learning the dot began. This is not the best word, as I’ve got literally thousands of hours behind red dots. The pistol red dot, however, not so much, at all. So I spent several hours with an empty gun learning to acquire the dot rapidly. To be fair, I’ve not made a holster for it yet, and the holster that came with it is a decoration that will remain unused. I spent time aiming at outlets, and other items that called for rapid acquisition. In a pinch, I find Dr.Phil quite the stimulus for acquiring sight pictures.
So when the weather broke, all of the required items were in alignment to put rounds 800 through 1000 through the gun. There is a picture from a target that has 77 rounds in one cluster, with 3 rounds descending from the cluster. That was the last group that took things to 1000 rounds. The zeroing of the dot is easy as can be. I used a bean bag rest for bracing, and the pictured target is just a plain vanilla Remington target with a 4 and 3/4 inch diameter, centered on the abdominal area of a TQ22 target to track if shots went way off course. I dialed in at 15 yards, although 10 seems to be best, based on my research. The range table that supported my zeroing endeavors was too heavy to move, so I compromised and went with 15 yards.
2 things worth mentioning at this point. First, if you were to opt to mount a dot on a pistol, some models require you to send the slide away, and have it milled. This can mean that you are limited to exactly 1 dot type. There are plates that can be affixed to the slide that have multiple holes for allowing differing dot types. I possess neither of these, but I’m a guy who likes options. If you’re the same way, realize this- The Elite Combat, and the TP9SFX each come with 4 plates that allow for the following optic types- Docter, Meopta, Insight, Vortex, Trijicon, C-More, Leupold, Shield, and JPoint. Perhaps there are other models/types of pistols that do the same- I’m not sure. This is fairly new ground for me- but might help you make up your mind about these pistols. The second item is this- from my research on this topic, it’s clear that Glock and the RMR have become “standards” for other makers to follow, like it or not.
The RMR is set up, calibration wise, in rifle clicks, so at 10 yards the amount of clicks to equal an inch is far more than if tinkering with a rifle zero. Again, there are multiple videos to watch on the topic, if these words don’t make sense. Which brings us to Sage Dynamics, again. I don’t know the gentleman who puts these videos together, but he does a really good job. Everything is broken down to be easily understood, and he has done testing on (very likely) just about every common red dot on the market from the major players. This source of info might help you make a decision if you’re pondering the purchase of a dot for yourself.
If you own a pistol with the obligatory dot, suppressor height sights, compensator, and all the other trappings, I beg you to watch his video titled” Why slaving the red dot to the irons is wrong”. It will take 11 minutes of your time,and just might be enlightening for you.
After the box drill, it was shoot, reset, shoot, rapidly. After that went well, it was back to 25 yards, but fire was at slower cadence. The sight allowed me to be much more precise at 25 than normal, so YEA! technology.
There is a second photo of a blue head that the wife shot at 10 yards. She has far less trigger time than myself, and fired 4 rounds high. She spotted the red fiber optic front sight,(not the dot) and there you have it. For her the dot was very intuitive, and she liked it. With more rounds and time, I’m sure her skill level will go up exponentially.
So, having said all this- the gun will still not be used defensively, for all of my previously cited druthers from before, but it is a very accurate, fun range gun. The next thing I hope to do is use modified Beretta mags , as well as some 100 yard shooting with it to see how well that turns out.
Take aways from this new piece of equipment (for me) were many. Here are some things worthy of note.
Accuracy is exceptional. This is a great tool for teaching those with lesser experience. It can show the “wobble area” we all have in a dramatic fashion, while simultaneously showing that you can indeed still make good shots while getting good hits. The next challenge personally is holster reps, draw, presentation, and rapid acquisition. While intriguing, my Glock 48 loaded is 5 ounces lighter than this thing, empty. Another challenge will be getting away from “dot hypnosis” and surveying the area of conflict for multiple neer-do-wells.
If you’re not a Canik person, fine. Glocks are subject to all sorts of after market alternatives to mounting dots without milling involved. Perhaps this is true of other brands as well, I’m just not considering other barnds. Options are good, and there are more options all the time. Again, if you’re on the fence, look at Sage Dynamics for testing and honest results and remarks. I can pretty much guarantee you won’t hear the words about “how cool” something looks, unless it’s done from a tongue-in-cheek perspective.This is a fairly expensive venture, so save your money, buy good stuff once, and enjoy yourself. We all have to have fun sometimes. Be advised that there are lots of fake optics out there that look pretty convincing. If something seems too good to be true…it is.
I’ll repeat this, as have countless others- remember that equipment is not a substitute for talent.
Stay Safe, Train Often
Photos by Robert Johnson.