1911 Canik handguns

Annual Gun Buy is Almost Here!

It’s almost time for my annual bonus. Every year, I get 1-2 firearms.

Shot Show 2023 exhibited a lot of promising guns this year!

Rock Island Armory (RIA) has released two new firearms – the BBR 3.10 1911 in 9mm and the LI380.

The BBR 3.10 still looks as if the grip was an afterthought. I’m not sure I’d like this gun even as a range toy. Yeah, the gun should be more manageable in 9mm (versus the 45ACP of the original 1911). This gun looks good but isn’t for me.

The LI380 is almost certainly a rebadged (or licensed copy) of the Bersa Thunder 380. I already have one of those, a Plus model.

I frequent the r/1911 subreddit group. Someone asked about a particular 1911 and posted a picture of the Fusion Firearms 1911 Riptide Carry. It is a Commander-sized (4.25″) 1911 that is bob-tailed and chambered in 10mm, 45ACP, or 9mm. It is blued with nice wood grip panels. It is made by a gunsmith that used to work at Dan Wesson. The gun goes for $800-$900. It looks NICE. I’m considering this gun in 9mm.

I’m also looking at the newly press-released Canik Mete MC9, which is a micro-compact polymer handgun that is very similar but smaller than the TP9 Elite SC. It usese the same mags as all of the other Canik handguns. I’m definitely getting this firearm, as it’s MSRP is $439 and I can use my Elite SC mags with it.

There’s also the Springfield Armory Prodigy DS, which is not only a double-stacked 1911, but is a legit 2011 (the grip being modular, which is typical of all 2011s). If I obtain this firearm, it will be the version that comes with the Hex Dragonfly optic. This firearm is in the $1500 range.

There’s also the EAA/Girsan 2311, a new 2011 offering and this handgun starts at $999! It is optics-ready, is a true 2011 (grip is modular), will come in 10mm, 9mm, and 45ACP, and will come in four barrel lengths. I’m leaning toward this firearm in 9mm.

There’s also the Dan Wesson TCP, which is a single stacked 1911 but is, well, a Dan Wesson. It has a rail and has a tri-topped slide. It has a gold bead front sight, too. These can be found in the $1500 range. I’m leaning towards the 9mm version of this handgun.

I’m also eyeing the Bul Armory SAS II 3.5″ Ultralight 1911, which can be found in the $1400 range.

What’s currently decided is that I’m getting the aforementioned Canik Mete MC9. I’m not sure which 1911 I’m going to get yet. It’s a toss up between the Bul Armory SAS II Ultralight, the Springfield Armory Prodigy DS with optic, the EAA/Girsan 2311, or the Dan Wesson TCP 9mm. I really really want a 2011 variant, so I suppose the Dan Wesson is out. Of the 2011 variants, the EAA will be unproven since it is their first offering, so I suppose that gun is factored out based on that fact. Of the Bul Armory and the Springfield Armory Prodigy DS, the Prodigy DS has been having reliability issues, so, I could factor out that gun from the choices, which leaves the Bul Armory as the most likely handgun of choice!

Now, if I get the Bul Armory, holsters will be problematic, as I’ve spent close to $200 on holsters for Commander-sized 2011s the past two months. Well, if I’m buying a $1500+ gun, another $100 for a good holster (Tenicor) is a drop in the bucket, IMO, so I guess I can either see if the SAS II will fit in my 4.25″ Tenicor holsters first, or just straight-up order a new one. We’ll see.

UPDATE: I’d decided on the SAS II but then started focusing on the sights – I don’t really care for them, especially since the rear sight has to be removed to use an optic. That’s a huge turn-off. I’ve also seen at least one review that complains that the SAS II UL is so light that it feels snappy. That could be a problem, as well. The Prodigy 4.25″ is better in that regard, but I’m betting the SAS II TAC doesn’t have the same aforementioned issue with the rear sight. Then I started thinking about the EAA Witness 2311 – it will come in 4 barrel lengths and is optics-ready, which means they’ll be selling a 3.5″ variant (no idea how small, but it’ll be in the 3″ range). They said all 9mm 2311s will carry 17 rounds, so I won’t be losing any ammo capacity if I go the EAA route. So, as of 1/28, I’m leaning toward the EAA Witness 2311, or Bul Armory SAS II TAC, or the Prodigy DS 4.25″.

UPDATE 2: Well, shit. There isn’t much info provided on the Witness 2311, but I looked at the press release page and saw that there’s at least two slide versions: with and without optics cuts. Also, the optics-ready version will remove the rear sight when using an optic. WTF is up with that trend? I’m at a loss on which to choose. I’ll probably wait a bit for EAA to add the Witness 2311 to their product list, since I know NOTHING about that firearm. For example, what’s it’s weight? It’s not going to be lighter than the SAS II Ultralight, that’s for sure (my guess is that it’ll weigh close to 2 lb).

UPDATE 3: While waiting for the annual bonus to be released, I’ve been conducting research on my potential choices. I continue to see complaints of the SAS II Ultralight being snappy, and since I hate snappy guns, I think I’m going to put the choice of Bul Armory aside. This sucks because recoil perception differs from person to person – I may find that I can handing the SAS II fine, but I’m not willing to risk getting one only to be disappointed. I’m now focused on the Alpha Foxtrot S15 1911 (not a true 2011-spec gun – it’s a doublestacked 1911) or the Dan Wesson TCP, in that order. Following those two choices is the Fusion Firearms Riptide C. Why did the EAA Witness 2311 get bumped down? I have yet to see anything from EAA on the gun, other than what they showed during Shot Show 2023 and the pre-release details of that gun that they released back in December. So, as of 2/12, it’s the Alpha Foxtrot S15 as the gun of choice, unless I find any information that disqualifies it, then it will be the Dan Wesson TCP in 9mm.

UPDATE 4 (LOL): I’ve just discovered that the EAA Witness 2311 will be released to consumers in April 2023. So, with that being said, the Witness is back in the hunt. I’m thinking I’ll just stay with the Alpha Foxtrot, and get the Witness next year. Or, get the Witness this year and wait for the Alpha Foxtrot next year. I could get both in one shot but if I’m going to do that, I may as well get a Staccato 2011, but I’m not buying a $2K+ handgun…I can afford it but spending that much money on any handgun is fucking ridiculous, in my opinion.

7.62 x 39 AK AK-47 AK-P Arsenal Canik PSA SAM7UF-85 TP9 Elite TP9 Elite Subcompact

AK Range Day!

Today’s range day was deemed AK range day!

I took out the Arsenal SAM7UF and PSA AK-P. The former is a milled rifle that I’ve owned 2-3 years but never shot until today. The latter is an AK pistol that I bought 3-4 years ago and have been shooting off and on.

Both are dreams to shoot. I’ve no range footage because I hate recording when shooting long guns (my mounting point doesn’t agree with the rifle shooting position).

I shot the SAM7UF first. I thought it would be hard on my shoulder but it was rather mild, especially considering that the folding stock’s makeup is usually something that folks complain about. It’s supposedly not easy to shoot, but the stock didn’t bother me (I’ve the rails covered with paracord).

I thought the recoil would bother my shoulder with that stock but much of the recoil never made it to my body. The milled rifle is heavy and the heft absorbed much of the recoil.

I shot out to 25 yards. I wasn’t hitting point of aim but I think it’s because the rifle may be zero’d to 100 yards. I need to study the method of zeroing AKs. When I do, I’ll revisit the range with the SAM7 and zero the gun (on the 25 yard range, since I’ll have a difficult time seeing further than that).

The gun has some blast, too. It seems it has more blast than my other long AK (a bastardized AK-63D from Classic Firearms). I shot 30 rounds before I switched to the PSA AK-P.

The PSA AK-P is a flamethrower but I already knew that. I didn’t feel like squinting trying to hit 25 yard targets so I moved the target closer, to half that distance.

I’ve a red dot sight for this firearm but I removed it when I last took it out, as I hated it. I’m decently accurate with the iron sights, so I shot 30 rounds at one of those target papers that have 5 targets on it. all but maybe 4-5 landed on paper (because the targets on the edge of the paper don’t leave much room for error and I was doing a lot of quasi double-tapping). The groupings were pretty tight for the rate of fire I used. I also shot while standing. A picture is below.

12 yards, standing w/ irons…

The gun bucks and throws fire. Additionally, it got HOT! I burned myself once and had to wrap it up in rags before I put it in it’s case so it wouldn’t melt the inside foam. Also, keep in mind that this is a pistol and the brace is HARD on a shoulder with the kick of an AK pistol. I also tend to pull the gun in really tight while gripping the mag. I’ll be bruised tomorrow.

Lastly, I always try to shoot my carry gun when I’m visiting the range, so I shot some defensive ammo from the Canik TP9 Elite SC. This ammo is something new to me, but I bought a batch of it from my range 2 nights ago, since it was on sale at 19.99 for a box of 50. The make and model is Federal 115-gr Hi-Shok JHP. I bought 250 rounds of it, not knowing if it was good or not but liking the sub-$20/box price. I later researched the ammo and found that the ammo is GOOD and that law enforcement uses it. I’d assumed that since the box was white and since the ammo wasn’t being sold in 20-round boxes, it was range ammo. It is not. So, tonight I bought 100 more rounds of it just to shoot with tonight. It shot well, without hiccups, and without feed or extraction issues. I may end up trying to buy it in bulk but my research shows that when looking for it online, the low price is 0.49/round, which is a bit high compared to what I found at my range. My range will carry it until it runs out and won’t let me buy in bulk anymore (the person that sold it to me apparently shouldn’t have let me buy so much without shooting – I bought it after my shooting session).

Right now, I’m right at 482 rounds shot through the TP9 ESC. Expect that number to go quickly as I continue to practice with it.

The AK-P currently has 370 rounds through it. I could shoot it more but for some reason, shooting that gun indoors gets old quickly (it has tremendous blast). I looked at the internals (trunion, bolt, and bolt carrier) and the parts aren’t beat up (this model is a GF3). Most AK snobs hate US-made AK, and think they’re sub-par. If I have any issues, it’ll be something like fire-pin issues, or something stuck in the firing pin channel (primer metal), or maybe a loose firing pin retaining pin (which probably won’t be an issue, as I’ve checked it and it is not loose at all). I will probably buy another firing pin, in case the OEM one breaks.

The SAM7UF only has 30 rounds through it but I’ll try to shoot it more, now that it’s no longer virgin.

Canik subcompact TP9 Elite

Alert! Found some TP9 Sub-compact mags!

I’ve found a website that currently have the TP9 Elite SC mags in stock.

Note that they’re 10-round mags, though, but you can easily alter those mags to accept 12 rounds. They have the pink extension base plate.

I just ordered two of them. I’ve also checked the reputation of the website. They’re legit.

UPDATE (11/15/2021): I’ve a tracking number and they should ship either today or tomorrow!

UPDATE (11/18/2021): Wow! They’ve arrived! 2 days ahead of schedule!

Canik subcompact TP9 Elite

Was Finally Able to Obtain a TP9 Elite SC Magazine

Three weeks ago, I got a notice that Grabagun had TP9 Elite SC magazines back in stock, but I didn’t see the notice until 3 hours after it was posted – when I logged in to purchase some, they were again no longer in stock.

Last week, I got another notice and saw it within 20 minutes of receiving the e-mail. When I logged in to purchase, I saw they were still in stock, but when I tried to purchase two of them, the system would error out with an obscure message. After investigating and testing, I found that Grabagun only had one magazine left. Either all but one had sold within 20 minutes or Grabagun only got a few restocked. I ended up purchasing that one magazine.

A few things:

The mag was $37.69. Shipping was $5.42. With tax, the order was $44 and some change. That’s quite a bit for one magazine.

Also, the mag was a 10-round magazine with a flush mag plate. I’d wanted 12- or 15-round mags, but since I hadn’t seen any in stock going on six months, a 10-round magazine is better than no mag at all.

I also saw a post on the Canik reddit page that someone had bought a 10-round mag and had ground down the nubs that limit it, regaining the 2 extra rounds. I’d planned to do the same if I had to buy 10-round mags.

I received the magazine today.

Pictures are below. The 12-round mag with the pinky extension is depicted on the left, while the 10-round mag with the flat base plate is on the right. Notice the indented areas on the 10-round mag. That is what is limiting the magazine to a maximum of 10 rounds.

I was able to use a dremel to grind down the bumps that limit the capacity of the magazine. I then tested the magazine by loading it with snap caps. I was able to load 12 of them (max).

For those that might shun such a modification, the magazine already has ammo witness holes, as well at mag catch holes, as well as two round holes along it’s spine. Grinding the limiters isn’t going to cause any type of feed issue if you’ve not left irregularities after you’ve removed those bumps. I also really just wanted extra mags for range use. As I use the mag at the range, if I’ve not noticed any issues with using it after I’ve modified it, I’ll probably decide to use it for carry as well.

Canik TP9 Elite

Where Can I Find Canik TP9 Elite SC Magazines?

Where the hell are they? I need a few.

No, I don’t want extended mags from other Caniks, as I’m not going to be trying to carry 20-round mag sticks for this handgun.

I need to train with the 12- and 15 round mags. The mags that came with the firearm are holding SD ammo at the moment. I require more of those size mags so that I can train with them without having to empty my only two mags when I’m at the range.

Every day, I’ve been looking for mags online and can’t see any. Well, I’m lying. While 98% of the places that normally carry them are out of stock, the 2% that have them in stock are priced at $45-$50 (or may be showing as in stock but actually aren’t in stock).

I’m also looking for 10-round Canik TP9 Elite SC mags, as I’ve heard that you can alter them to hold 12 rounds – these are also out of stock at all the sites I’ve seen thus far.

I’m about to try Canik TP9 Elite Compact mags (they typically hold 15 rounds), but I’d also need to be able to find mag sleeves for them, or base plates that act similar to sleeves.

100-gr 2.0 9mm Alien Gear Canik Cloak Tuck frangible Hevi Shot holster N8 Tactical subcompact TP9 Elite

More Testing – holsters for the TP9 Elite Subcompact

So, I received the holster shell for the Canik TP9 Elite SC on Saturday.  

I installed it on my Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 holster base, although I hat to mess around with the mounting screws and bushings to customize the fit.  As well, I used blue thread locker on the screws.  I’ve been carrying the handgun in this holster half the day.  It carries well with this holster.  It doesn’t protect from the grip texture, though, but I installed rubber Talon Grip tape on the grips on Saturday, as well, so the texture doesn’t beat up my skin.

I’ve yet to give the N8 Tactical holster a try.  Maybe soon.

Also, I want to give the holster that came with the handgun another try, soon, too.

I found that I’ve another box of Hevi Shot 100-gr frangible 9mm ammo.  I shot most of a box (of 50) from the TP9 SC.  I think I may attempt to use this ammo as SD/HD ammo.  It shoots flat and doesn’t jam the handgun.


I’ve been giving the Alien Gear holster a try, carrying it around the house.  It carries well but the included Canik holster works surprisingly well.  I still do not know which I’ll use.  I suppose I can use all three over a long time span and report on my findings.  So, with that being said, I’ll be carrying with the Alien Gear first!

Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 with TP9 Elite SC shell
TP9 Elite SC in the included holster provided by Canik
TP9 Elite SC in the N8 Tactical OT2 holster
Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 with TP9 Elite, IWB
Alien Gear Canik N8 Tactical subcompact TP9 Elite XD45 XD9

Canik TP9 Elite SC – Several items on the way

I revisited the range a few weeks ago with the Canik TP9 Elite SC again, using different ammo.  I used some light for caliber ammo (90-grain 9mm), as well as some 124- and 147-grain, hoping that one of those would lessen the recoil.

While I love the handgun, it is snappy as hell.  Keep in mind, I’ve been carrying a Springfield Armory XD45 Mod 2 subcompact the past 2 years, so when I say the TP9 SC is snappy, I’m not joking. And, prior to carrying that handgun, I was carrying the XD9 Mod 2 subcompact, which I also shoot well.

I’m not sure why I can shoot the XD45 without worrying about snap while I can shoot the XD9 and XD45 without issue.  It could be that the XDs have great grip texturing while the TP9 SC’s grip texturing isn’t quite as robust.

I’m going to attempt to carry the TP9 SC.  I’ve ordered some rubber Talon Grips for it.  I’ve also swapped out the backstrap for the large one.  I’m hoping that the backstrap alone will help me get a better purchase on the grip so that I can better control the muzzle flip.  The Talon Grips will certainly help with that, too.  I’m not sure when the Talon Grips will be delivered but hopefully I’ll have them within the next 7 days.  While I’m waiting for them to arrive, I’ll visit the range and work on grip control with this handgun.

I also ordered a N8 Tactical OT2 IWB holster.  I didn’t purchase a kydex holster, as I wanted a holster that would protect me from the grip’s texturing…it was rubbing me raw when I was test-carrying the handgun around the house.  I can also order an Alien Gear shell for the TP9 SC (I’ve several Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 holsters), but I’ll do that if I find I don’t like the N8 Tactical holster.

Update (12/27/2021): I’ve been using the N8 Tactical holster as my primary holster, mainly because it keeps the grip texture from my skin.  I sometimes use the OEM holster and sometimes use the Alien Gear hybrid holster, as well, but the go-to holster is the N8 Tactical holster.

Canik Elite holster N82 Tactical subcompact trigger weight

I Measure the Canik TP9 Elite Subcompact’s Trigger and Searching for Holsters !

If you weren’t aware that I recently bought a Canik TP9 Elite Subcompact, I posted about it.

I took the liberty of checking the weight of my Elite Subcompact’s trigger, but I already know that it’s going to be outstanding, as it’s well-known that TP9s typically have great triggers.

I did an average of 5 pulls.

The five pulls:

4 lb 0.5 oz

3 lb 15.4 oz

4 lb 2.9 oz

3 lb 13.4 oz

4 lb 1.5 oz

The average of the above is 4 lb 0.3 oz.

Aside, I’ve been trying to find a good holster for this handgun.  There’s lots out there but I’ve not found what I’m looking for.  I do not want to get an Alien Gear, but not particularly looking for kydex either.  It would actually be nice if someone made a kydex version of the holster that came with the handgun.  I may order an N82 Tactical holster for now, until I decide on a nice holster.

Canik Clark Brothers subcompact TP9 Elite Virginia Warrenton

My Thoughts on My Recently Purchased Canik TP9 Elite Subcompact

Yes, this is now a thing.  It feels good enough to replace my XD45 Mod 2 as my daily carry.  I’m tempted to use the holster that’s included with it (it’s configured by default to use as OWB, but I’ve rotated the clips so that I can use the holster as IWB) but when testing it, the grip rubs my skin, so I’d have to wear undershirts when using this holster.  I’d looked at N8 Tactical but they don’t have a Pro model hostler for this specific handgun.

I’ll probably visit the range some time this week so that I can get some rounds through the gun (mandatory for me, before I can consider carrying it).  Fortunately, I’ve a bit of 9mm ammo stashed away.  I may even consider using a red dot optic on it, since it has an RMR slide cut.

 I may also decide to sell my two TP9SAs and use the funds from selling those to obtain an SF Elite (looked at one of those yesterday at the LGS).

By the way, if you’re in Northern Virginia around Manassas or Gainesville, visit Clark Brothers.  They’re a good LGS.

UPDATE:  I’ve visited the range with the new Canik.  I’ve a post range visit video here:

bar Canik Canik Fanatik excessive wear RMA spring TP9SA trigger

TP9SA Trigger, Trigger Bar, Firing Pin Block, and Springs Replaced!

I recently published the following post – Issue with one of my TP9SAs (or maybe both).

I sent the tan TP9SA back the week of April 15 in the hopes that Century Arms (the importer of Caniks) would replace some worn parts on the firearm.

I received the gun back today (28 April).

Per the work ticket that they provided when returning the firearm, the gunsmith noticed the trigger parts were “worn/poor” and replaced the trigger, trigger bar, firing pin block, and upgraded the springs.

They also checked headspace, mag catch fitment, ejector functionality, and test-fired 18 rounds (presumably to check the trigger work they performed).

Just dry-firing it, there’s a night/day difference with the trigger. The new trigger spring is still different from what’s in the black one, but at least they fixed the tan handgun’s worn parts. The trigger bar where the trigger spring attaches is flat, vs the original part having nooks at the top portion. It no longer feels that the trigger bar is dragging on another part when pulling the trigger.

I was on the fence on sending the gun back to them, after reading of complaints here and on the FB groups. They were very engaged with the process of me reaching out to them, them sending me info on how to file a claim, them receiving the firearm and working on it in a timely fashion, and them sending me back the firearm (in a real gun box that was discreetly packaged). The gun is also clean (they stated they cleaned it after the test firing). I’ve no complaints at all…I received outstanding service.

I guess I’ll need to visit the range with this firearm soon.