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Canik55 TP-9

By - Last updated: Saturday, July 7, 2012 - Save & Share - 31 Comments

Handgun review photo: the Canik55 TP-9 from the right.
Editor’s Rating

Rating: 8.0.
Users’ Rating (Click a star to rate this gun.)
Rating: 6.6. From 176 votes.
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Summary: Paul Markel’s review of and rating for the Canik55 TP-9 pistol, including a description, range report, photos, pricing, specs and user ratings. (Click here to see all of Markel’s handgun reviews.)

Editor’s Handgun Review

Video of TP-9
In this YouTube video (click here), the author shoots the TP-9.
Recently I was introduced to the TP-9 semiauto pistol manufactured by Canik55 in Turkey. The TP-9’s silhouette looks familiar because the gun is based on the Smith & Wesson SW99, which was based on the Walther P99. Century Arms is importing it into the United States, and I obtained one for a test/eval.

The Details
The TP-9 employs a double-action striker-fired mechanism with a de-cocking button located on the top rear of the slide. When a round is chambered, the striker is cocked (you can see it at the rear of the slide). Depressing the de-cock button with either the right or left thumb returns the trigger to a short double-action trigger stroke.

The TP-9 chambers the 9mm pistol cartridge. Two 17-round magazines come with each pistol, bringing the loaded capacity 18 rounds. A 4″ barrel guides the projectiles to the target. Overall, the pistol measures 7.1″ long with an empty weight of 1.42 lbs.

Like the SW99 and P99, the frame is polymer and the slide steel. The rear sight is adjustable. Two interchangeable backstraps are included—small and large. To change the backstrap from one to another, you tap out a roll pin with an appropriately sized punch.

Range Time
For my practice and testing sessions, I fired a 9mm ball load from Century Arms and a 124-grain load from HPR Ammunition. The HPR ammo was loaded with XTP controlled-expansion bullets. While the trigger did feel a bit stiff when dry-firing the gun, during live fire I didn’t really notice it.

Definition: Fire Extinguisher Gun
A firearm kept loaded and ready in a place where all the adults in the household can access it in an emergency.

Step number one: slow fire the pistol using a two-hand hold. I found the sights were right on from the factory. All bullets impacted tightly together from 10 yards.

The next phase: fire the pistol single handed with my right and left hands. I encountered no stoppages during this phase.

Slow-firing the Century 9mm ammunition and the HPR load showed the TP-9 pistol was indeed capable of reliable accuracy. From a practical distance of 15 yards, six rounds of the ball load averaged 2.5″ groups, and the HPR load averaged 1.87″ groups.

With the slow-fire chores out of the way, I decided to heat the gun up. I loaded both magazines to capacity and began rapid-fire drills on multiple targets. Within moments the ground was littered with empty brass. The gun ran like a champ.

I was impressed by the trigger reset and the ease with which I was able to put multiple shots on target. The gun sat very well in my hands and indexed naturally on target. Even during moving drills I was able to keep the pistol locked in on the target without difficulty.

Before sitting down to write this review, I took the TP-9 pistol to the range on three separate occasions. The combined ammo count ran somewhere in the 500–600 round range. During that time, I didn’t encounter any stoppages. The gun started out lubricated, but I didn’t disassemble it during the test period for cleaning. For my last session, I drove the gun as hard as I could and was pleased with its performance.

The TP-9 proved accurate.

Parting Thoughts
To my way of thinking, the TP-9 is a whole lot of gun for the price. It’s a gun most anyone can afford to buy and shoot regularly, and it might also be a good candidate for a house or fire extinguisher gun.


Paul G. Markel became a United States Marine in 1987 and served his nation honorably during peace time and at war. Among the many hats he has worn in his career, Markel has been a police officer, professional bodyguard, firearms instructor and gun writer. Markel is the creative director and host of “Student of the Gun,” a weekly television show airing on the Sportsman Channel ( Visit his Web site at

The Specs

Caliber Capacity BBL OAL Width Height Weight
9mm 17+1 4″ 7.1″ 1.37″ 5.7″ 1.42 lbs., empty

MSRP: $440

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The author sends rounds downrange with the TP-9.

31 thoughts on “Canik55 TP-9

  1. Walter Geno

    Your site would not accept my 1 star rating. I can’t believe that your X-marine and other professions rated this very poor pistol so highly. I served 6 years in the Army and 28 years with the Vermont State Police. I purchased my first gun when I was ten years old and have been a collector and shooter since, and I say that the Canik55, 9mm pistol is a piece of junk. At 7 yards it won’t hold better than a 6″ pattern. At 15-25 yds, forget accuracy. The slide release is sliver thin, nothing to put a thumb on. The trigger is something a novice would ridicule. It is similar to what one would find in a cereal box. the travel is extremely long before it catches, then more travel until the trigger is nearly contecting the rear of the trigger guard, ofter requiring one to change the trigger finger position. If I was handed 3-4 new guns I might agree with your rater. Second thought, not even that would do it. Don’t mislead people, the gun is like Chinese junk.

  2. Jed Henson

    Hi Walter. Thanks for your feedback!

    Yes, for some reason the ratings stars in the Comments field have stopped working correctly. But you can still leave a 1-star rating: Just click on the star you want under Users’ Ratings at the top of the article.

  3. David

    Mine has performed great,no problems at all. Sucks ammo up n spits it out,very accurately. I’d recommend it to any one.I will not give my history of how awesome I am,but will say this is a great shooting,accurate 9mm.

  4. Ballou

    Walter for all your “experience”, not once did you give any details about the performance of the pistol other than your inability to shoot tight groups. Did the pistol FTF or FTE? Did the slide come off while shooting? Did the magazine drop to the ground while you were missing the target? Did anything break? Then it seems that this cereal box prize is at least durable, reliable, and able to fire rounds. Based upon your opinion, I will probably buy a few more. One in green, one in chrome, and probably a titanium one. Thanks Walter.
    PS. You should never have to change your trigger finger position when firing, even if the trigger goes all the way to the trigger guard. You must have been a supply clerk in the Army.

  5. tony

    It’s made in Turkey, Walter. Or, at least that what is stamped on mine. To get a gun like this , with a holster, case and spare mag for the price is incredible. At $299, it beats the snot out of the competition.
    The group size you were describing just indicates you need a refresher course. With adjustable sights, you should have been able to get some consistent shots. I really can’t read this and believe that you gave this a good looking at. Does it still have a dolphin or Turkey grip?

  6. Scott Gardner

    I thought it represented pretty good value. To be fair the first time I took it out I didn’t get very good accuracy with it. However after getting used to the trigger pull,and shooting about 200 rounds through it, and installing a Crimson Trace rail master laser on it, my shots started going in the same hole at 25 feet (Bowling pin range). The trigger pull is very Glock like, but I expected that. I have put about 300 rounds through it, and its 100 % reliable

  7. John Kirkpatrick

    Having thought on this pistol for a couple of months, I finally broke down and bought one. What sold me on it was the DA/SA Double Strike capability and the feel of the gun in the hand.
    Initial shooting at 7 yards presented 1.5″ groups using CCI Brass 115g FMJ range ammo.
    Moving back to 10 yards initially saw the grouping move out to 2.25″ and then tighten up as I became more accustomed to the trigger. The balance of the pistol is excellent.
    At 15-yards I had no problem maintaining a group of 2.5″ with several ‘same-hole’ shots.
    After 300 rounds of ammo, no malfunctions have occurred and accuracy is superb for such a bargain priced pistol. Very happy with the purchase and the quality.
    One caveat, the owners manual makes several mentions of Tritium sights, they are not tritium sights, unless they are malfunctioning. Comparison with another pistol purchased by a club member shows also that it does not have these advertised sights. No problem as they will be changed to Fiber Optic sights at first opportunity.
    Walter, the problem with your ever-widening groups is probably directly related to the shifting of the trigger finger during operation.

  8. BTB

    Bought one of these from Centerfire Systems, who always like doing business with. This gun OD green, looks really nice and comes with great Surpa holster. However, I took mine straight out of the box and shot 150 rds of TULA brass max and experienced more fail to ejects and fail to feeds than I could count. So, I cleaned it real good and lubed the slid just a tad. Then shot 50rds of a mix of Federal and Blazzer, with no malfunctions. However, after another cleaning, I shot 18 rds of PPU (Privi Partisan) and it started malfunctioning every third shot or so. Then 18 Blazzer, with no problems. I really like this gun, but I dont like a finicky one. My HK P30 shoots whatever I put in it. However, I havnt tried the TULA in it. Im gonna hold on to this TP9, since otherwise, it is a very likable gun. Especially, because it is the easiest to take down and clean, which I really like as well as a decent shooter. It may be the tight tolerances or the extractor, but I believe it will be something easily remedied.

  9. turbo dave

    This review gives the impression that the TP9 has a double action trigger. In fact, it is a clone of the Walther “anti-stress” DA/SA trigger. Rack it, it’s in AS mode (anti-stress). AS mode puts the trigger fully forward requiring a long but very light pull of about 5 lbs. About halfway through the AS pull, the trigger will click at the spot where the Single Action mode engages. The shooter may stop pulling at the click, and the trigger will rest and remain in SA mode. If the decocker is pressed, the gun will go to Double Action; resetting the trigger fully forward and now requiring a 10 lb pull to fire. From DA, the shooter can nudge the slide back a few milimeters, and the gun resets to AS mode again. It’s an ingenious system that lets you sequentially cycle through the modes, thus letting you carry in whichever mode is suitable at that moment. Also, the TP9 has a chrome lined barrel like an AK47. That means it can shoot anything; brass, steel, aluminum, +p, reloads, remans… But, it also has tight tolerances, so it will take a number of rounds before it runs perfectly with any ammo in any condition.

  10. PoohBear

    Well the most important thing is when you pull the trigger… goes bang. My TP9 I recently picked up does just that. Good groups at 5, 7, and 15 yards today. Not a Glock, or Springfield, but it’s fun to shoot. I pity the fool that breaks in my house….just sayin’. The mags on my indicate 18, but only hold 17…..if you need more than that your screwed anyway.

  11. Toby Tough

    Well after reading all the reviews I could find,most of them were very positive towards the TP 9.So I went and picked one up today. Gotta say I am very satisfied so far with it. Shot about 60 rounds through it with no mishaps. The action worked great and the accuracy right out of the box was dead on at 15 yards. 8 out of 10 shots in the bullseye. The other two were my fault. I’m sure 1000 rounds down the road it will perform great.For under 350 bucks and 9mm ammo being pretty affordable versus my 45 you can’t go wrong. I’d recommend this gun to anyone on a budget who needs a little home defense.

  12. MrDanB

    Just picked this Canik 55 TP9 up today. I was actually looking for a backup 9mm to my Glock 17. I almost bought a M&P, but then I saw this Turkish made pistol in the case. It was sitting in-between a Sig and the M&P. It looked like the other $600 guns all around it. I held it in my hands and instantly liked the feel. It has extra checkering and light finger grooves which provide ample grip. The SA/DA striker system truly is a welcomed feature. The fit and finish of the gun is very good. I was surprised by the extra goodies that came with it: tactical blow molded holster with security button release, extra mag, smaller backstrap (removal=appropriate sized punch to remove a roll pin…), and fitted sturdy case! Blew a few hundred rounds of PMC 115g through it at the range. Grouping was as good as I usually see with my Glock 17, but not quite as good as I can achieve with my customized S&W model 59. I am NOT a professional gun guru or instructor, just a blue collar Joe who appreciates the awesome deal I just got in this TP9! I highly recommend it to anyone in the market for a new 9mm for EDC or just honing their shooting skills…

  13. Tyler Hands

    quick question, how was the long term reliability? What round count did malfunctions become evident?

  14. Ken

    I’m looking to buy the above mentioned Canik sting ray but I guess everyone thought I was unknowing. I saw such a model so if by now anyone came across one let me know. I can’t find a listing…perhaps I was being had….thanks

  15. GunDick

    Black. At range: Fiocchi 115 fired about every other round, randomly. Magtech 115, Winchester 124, Blazer Brass 115, Lawman 115, American Eagle 124 would not load into battery at all from either magazine. Fiocchi and single rounds (insert, close slide, fire) fired beautifully, accurately. Controls worked as expected, easy to clean, assemble/disassemble. Have ordered 2 extra mags, will try them when arrive. If no go also, will attempt RMA and warranty thru dealer.

  16. Storminnorman

    This gun came new with 3 mags and a lot of goodies in the box…however, I log range time 3 days a week putting 1000s of rounds thru all my pistols. This canik is garbage….failure to feed with 4 different kinds of ammo using 3 different mags. Also not very accurate….thought it was me maybe not used to it but drilled my targets with everything else all day. The spent casings also hit me it the face upon ejecting on numerous occasions. Poor poor rating. Gun sucks ass….I’d rather have a hi point

  17. ArmyJeff

    Storminnirman, I find it very odd, after watching at least ten YouTube videos of folks firing the TP9 that NOBODY was hit in the face with spent casings. Ever. How do you explain that discrepancy? As well as the fact that there are dozens of reviews and comments on reviews where folks have cycled many different brands of ammo through the weapon with no trouble. How do you explain that discrepancy?

  18. stascom

    Terrible gun, indeed. Couldn’t get through more than 3 magazines because of FTF and FTE on almost every single round (2 different run-of-the-mill factory loads found at your local store). Spent casings are bulged at the bottom. Got blasted with powder in the face. Haven’t shot it since for concern of this pile of crap exploding in my hands. Sounds and looks like a great deal. But it is not. The holster is a nice knock-off. But finish is rough, just like the pistol.

  19. mattb

    First of I do believe that this is a good gun for the money.. But I have had some problems with it… I have around 200 rounds through it …and it still ejects the rounds at my face and it also has had some failures to eject and stove pipes.. Does anyone else have this problems and have you been able to fix them… I really want to love this thing..

  20. don

    had mine for a year love it top notch gun–tight fit every where–but in walters mind–eats all ammo even what my s&w rejects–accurate sa is great–would buy another an probly will

  21. Richard Overall

    Very good gun in general, like the topside decocker. Fits my hand well, included grip options, holsters, loader make a good value for the price. Accurate, easy to take down/reassemble. Trigger pull is around 6.6lbs, a tad heavy, but smoothe. Issue: most rounds failed to go into battery on my gun, notches on rounds’ rims. Mags worked. Found burrs around firing pin port, preventing round’s rim from seating on the bolt face/ejector. Sent to Century. It fired any 9mm ammo I fed it manually one round at a time. 2 months, say they have shipped it back (12/18/2014) with work on bolt face, ramp and chamber. If proves “fixed”, this is a very nice gun, but admit I like my FNS-9 and VP-9 a bit better. UM3 optic mount works on all three.

  22. Adam

    So, the pistol itself seems like a (no pun intended) hit or miss. It seems that, from reading the review as well as all of the comments that the results are pretty much split right down the middle with good or bad and when the TP-9 works, it works well and when it doesn’t it doesn’t at all. Best of luck to all who had lemons. I’ll stick with my bersa for a value gun.

  23. Rik from Alaska

    This is a great value… I have put around 1500 rounds through this pistol so far with no issues, just keep it clean and it will fire any brand of ammo…

  24. Aaron S

    I really enjoy this hand gun. I don’t know why it stirs up such anger with some of the other people that have commented? Easy to use. Fun to shoot. The only mild criticism I have is that it has a bit of a long trigger pull. A buddy of mine has the origonal ( Walther PP9), I have fired it and it does have a smoother and shorter trigger pull but it has a greater kick. I think it is because the slide is lighter than the Canik.

  25. J, Kametz

    This is my first 9MM so I don’t have anything to compare it too. I fired 350 Blazer 115gr FMJ thru it and it failed to feed only once. Was never hit with any brass while firing the weapon. Outside temperature was 24 degrees F and windy. I didn’t like the front sight too thin, rear sight too fuzzy. Maybe I need glasses. At 7 yards I could only hit the target 50% of the time after engaging the decocker with a 10lb trigger pull. Was there a problem with the ammo or was it me? Will try and have the trigger worked on and new sights. Will try 124gr FMJ. If I can hit the target 100% after more practice then I’ll consider this weapon a good value for the price.

  26. Randy

    Walter Walter Walter you trying to rate this gun a 1 tells us all we need to know. I bought 2. 1 in Titanium 1 in OD Green. Bottom line is they are accurate guns with some great features for the price paid. Highly recommend.

  27. Trent

    Yes there are better more accurate guns out there. How much you want to spend? How accurate do you want it to be? This gun feels great in the hand. Goes bang every time with every ammo I’ve tried. My target ammo is generally cheap and the gun hasn’t bat an eye at it. Handles my Hornady self defense loads equally as well. Gun is way more accurate than my old eyes are. Been shooting various guns for almost 40 years. Most guns only as good as their operator is. Most FTF and FTE have to do with improper grip and loose stance. Great gun at a great price. 1911 and Glock crowd just stuck up and jealous!!!!

  28. Rob

    The Canik 55 cant hold a candle to the Walther p99 or similar pistols, I thought I got a deal and till I shot it and traded mine off after a box of ammo, do your self a favor and spend a little more $$$ and get the higher quality brand name like Walther, Heckler & Koch instead of a clone made in Turkey.

  29. Jeff Kametz

    My first post was January 22, 2015. Now I’ve had this 9MM for about 8 months with 600 rounds down the barrel. Only one failure to fire and digests all brands of 9MM. My only regret are the sights. The way it is set up I can’t use the front blade aligned with the rear sight. Instead, looking through the rear sight, I have to use the ramp located 2 3/4 inches rearward from the front of the barrel as my front sight to hit a target at 7 yards, otherwise it shoots way low. Reflecting back, I guess I purchased this TP-9 for the accessories that came with this piece. I wouldn’t rate this weapon as a good buy. Going to look and shoot a Glock before purchasing.

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