The Poor Man’s Glock

Do you want a new defense pistol that looks and performs similar to a Glock, S&W M&P, or Springfield XD, but those brands’ price points are too high? Are you looking for a “beater” pistol that you don’t have to baby while practicing at the range, hiking in the woods, or stashing under the seat in your car? What if I said that a pistol exists that some would choose over a Glock, it’s $125 less expensive, and has advantages over a Glock?

Now do I have your attention?

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The Canik TP9SA in FDE. It’s also available in black. $375.

The pistol I’m talking about is the Canik TP9SA, and it’s the hottest pistol since the HK VP9 was introduced last year, but it’s half the price. Honestly, I’m not doing this pistol any favors with the title of this post because it’s an honest to goodness combat pistol. If you’re concerned about function, click this link to the manufacturer’s website and look at the compelling number of testimonials and videos below the description. A very nice review of the pistol by hickok45 can be seen here.

Here’s a list of features that make this pistol special for its price point:

  • 18+1 9mm capacity
  • Hammer-Forged, 4.5″ barrel
  • Steel, 3-dot sights
  • Interchangeable back straps
  • Two MecGar 18-rd. magazines (MecGar!!!)
  • Poly holster included, albeit somewhat cheap, but it’s included!

I mean seriously…when you look at those descriptions you’d think we’re talking about an HK or Sig Sauer. I’m not putting the TP9SA in the same class as those pistols by any means, but you have to admit that it’s impressive.

You will find a wide range of prices for the TP9, just know that the “SA” designation is the Gen2 upgrade.  A TP9 will sell for $50-75 less than the TP9SA. The SA refers to the single-action trigger which is a big improvement over the original TP9’s heavier and longer pull trigger.

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Side-by-side comparison of the TP9SA with the G19.

Gripes? Well, this pistol shoots high for some, and that’s seen in the hickok45 video linked above. However, for defense purposes inside of 10 yards, that won’t make one bit of difference. After all, this pistol isn’t mean for target shooting. Some may not like that the pistol is made in Turkey, but I have no problems with that. My Winchester SXP Defender shotgun was made in Turkey, and I love it. Last, the TP9SA has a de-cocker in front of the rear sights on top of the slide that some loathe. For the most part, reviewers don’t seem to mind it. It’s purpose is to help prevent a negligent discharge while field-stripping.

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Here’s what’s included with the TP9SA. Note the BLACKHAWK!-like Serpa holster.

Would I personally buy a TP9SA over a Glock 19 or Glock 17 if I had the choice? No. Would I hesitate to buy the TP9SA for personal or home defense if a Glock were out of my price range? No.

Remember, you would have to invest another $100 over the Gen3 G19 to get comparable features: $30 more for a Gen4 Glock with interchangeable back straps, $35 to install 3-dot steel sights, and $35 for a comparable holster.

If you’re looking for a great defense pistol on the cheap, the Canik TP9SA may be your pistol.