A year ago, Century Arms debuted the Canik TP9SFX at the Big 3 East Media event. It was a long slide variant of the popular 9mm Canik TP9. Only they didn’t just stop there. They designed this pistol to race.
The slide is ported to reduce weight and decrease cycle time. It is sporting a Warren Tactical rear sight and fiber optic front. They provide both red and green rods so you can customize your front sight how you see fit.
Optics on handguns is something I am a fan of and the TP9SFX is set up with four optic mounting plates that will allow you to pretty much mount any MRDS on the planet onto the TP9SFX. As you can see below, the case even has a cut out for optics. One issue is that the rear Warren Tactical sight is attached to the optic mount cover plate. So you have to remove the rear sight from the gun in order to run an optic. If you want to have cowitnessing irons, you might be able to run a Leupold Delta Point and their integrated rear sight in conjunction with a tall front sight. I have not tried this so it is only hypothetical.
If you notice above, the plates have holes drilled and tapped into both sides of the optic mounting plates. This is for a factory charging handle that screws into them. Since there are holes on both sides, you can run the charging handle on either side of the gun. Last year at Big 3 East, Century had the charging handle on their demo SFX and I noticed that the charging handle was rather narrow. It concentrates the force on a narrow area on your finger when you pull on the handle making it uncomfortable. I had my friend Keith machine a new handle which is much fatter and more comfortable to pull.
If you look at the photo above, you will notice the extended slide stop and mag release. Extended controls are a staple in competition for anything to go faster. This makes reloads faster. It is easier to release the mag and release the slide and get the gun back into battery. The case has a small box of spare parts and there are different length mag release extensions to customize your race gun.
Along with extended controls, the TP9SFX comes with extended magazines. They are the standard TP9 18rd Mec-Gar magazines but the TP9SFX mags come with Mec-Gar +2rd extensions giving you 20 rd mags. The gun comes with two magazines and while this would mostly likely get you through the majority of any USPSA stage, I would have preferred a third magazine to really round out this package.
In USPSA the TP9SFX could run in Carry Optics division if you kept the charging handle off. Otherwise you could run it in Open Division. With that said, you may need even more capacity. In that case, there are magazine extensions that are already compatible with the TP9 magazine. Magazine extensions for the CZ75 and Grand Power magazines work on the TP9 magazine. I got an extension from my friend Steve and the extended magazine now holds 22rds of 9mm.
To be honest, I am not sure if increasing the magazine an additional 2 rounds is really necessary with regards to stage planning and execution. With either a 22rd mag or a 20rd mag, you will need to reload no matter what in order to complete most USPSA stages. So depending on the stage design only then would the addition of 2 rounds really make a difference.
Probably the most amazing feature of the TP9SFX is the trigger. It is the best factory striker fire trigger I have seen and pulled.
Some might compare the TP9SFX to the new Walther Q5 Match however the SFX trigger reset is much shorter. I dryfired a Q5 Match at a local gun store and the blue trigger felt like it moved twice the distance of the SFX trigger reset. Another aspect of the Walther Q5 match is the woeful magazine capacity for a supposed competition ready pistol. Walther’s magazines only hold 15rds of 9mm. Just using standard TP9 magazines gets you 18rds. Sure you could buy extensions and longer mag springs for the Q5. The Q5 has an MSRP of $849 whereas the TP9SFX is around $500 and it comes with a holster.
The TP9SFX holster works well although I have a small complaint. It cannot stay in the pistol case with the paddle/belt loop installed. Also the paddle does not work well. The protrusions that are supposed to keep the holster from coming out when you draw the pistol are not aggressive enough so I end up threading my belt through the paddle loops.
When I trasnferred the TP9SFX I installed the red dot and quickly zeroed it. That was on a Saturday. Taking a page out of Patrick E. Kelley’s book, the next day I took the TP9SFX out to a USPSA match. Patrick E. Kelley takes stock firearms and tests them out of the box at some form of competition. I managed to place 4th in Carry Optics division with the TP9SFX. Here are some video of that match.
Had a blast with the @centuryarms #caniktp9sfx with @meoptausa #meoptameored some stages were better than others. My best stage is the second clip in this video. It was a hoser stage. Had one Mike but rest were alpha/charlie with a raw time of 9.12secs. My friend had a Mike and did it in 8 secs flat. But he was shooting open and I had a reload. Not bad. I'm loving this gun. @theuspsa @pekelley60 you were right. 👌👍👍👍👍👍😍😍😍
Other than changing the charging handle, increasing capacity and having cowitnessing irons, I think this pistol is perfect. As I said earlier, running the charging handle puts this gun into Open Division, if that is the case then it needs a 170mm long magazine to be competitive against the 2011 29rd magazines. I prefer my pistols to have cowitnessing irons as it is easier to find the dot and allows me to aim in case my red dot battery dies. Other optic ready guns can’t touch the TP9SFX with the abundance of features this pistol has. This pistol is amazing. If you are looking for a new gun for fun check it out. If you are looking to get into the shooting sports, you will be hard pressed to find a factory race gun for $500 or less.
A huge thanks to Century Arms for sending the TP9SFX in for this review.