Century’s CANIK55 TP-9 Pistol Review

Designed with reliability and ergonomics, the CANIK55 TP-9 pistol is a 19-shot self-defense powerhouse!

A nice touch, especially for such a reasonably priced gun, is the polymer security holster that is supplied. It is adjustable for cant and can be set up for belt or paddle carry.

After the first round is fired and the gun cycles, the second and subsequent trigger pulls are shorter like that of a single action pistol with a bit of take-up for the first half of the arc followed by some stacking before the break. Of course, after firing a round, the decocker can be depressed and the trigger then reverts to double action for the first round of the next string of fire. And if a primer fails to ignite on the first strike, this gun allows a second strike by just pulling the trigger again, which retracts the striker and releases it.

There is yet another feature of the trigger that is interesting. After chambering the first round, the trigger can be pulled through the first half of its arc—very carefully with the gun pointed in a safe direction—and the trigger will rest in its single-action position. With all these variations, this is an extremely versatile trigger.

The heart of any gun is its barrel and the TP-9’s 4-inch one is made of cold hammer forged 32CrMoV12-10 steel with six lands and grooves in a right-hand twist. Incidentally, the gun is rated for +P ammunition. The slide is also forged steel with ten cocking serrations at the rear on each side and a nicely machined top rib running from front to rear with lateral grooves to reduce glare. The decocking plunger has a matching rib. Although the slide is not round like that of a 1911, it has a slight taper at the top with a bit of a radius making it a little more eye appealing than the typical square slide found so often today. The left side of the slide is roll marked with CANIK55 and the right side with TP-9, the serial number and a legend indicating that the gun was imported by Century. What appears to be a blue finish is excellent.


The square front sight is a polymer blade that is staked to the slide while the square notch rear is adjustable for windage and sits in a rectangular slot, not a dovetail. Adjustment is accomplished by turning a small screw located on the right side. Although slight side-to-side movement is discernible, the amount is minimal and unless a precision shot is needed would probably not affect the point of impact significantly at the close ranges most common in self-defense situations. The gun has a three-dot sighting system with dots that will glow quite brightly for low-light use when charged for only a few seconds with a flashlight.

Polymer Body

The polymer frame is nicely formed with no blemishes and clear markings. At the front is a Picatinny-style rail with one cross-groove that accepts a light or laser, and the squared triggerguard is of a generous size that accommodates a gloved trigger finger. It is also slightly undercut to allow a higher grip in an effort to get the bore axis a bit lower in the hand to reduce muzzle rise. The sides of the grip are stippled and sport the Canik55 shark logo while the front strap has subtle finger grooves and horizontal serrations to enhance the shooter’s grip. Another nice feature of the TP-9 is that it is supplied with two backstraps, one for larger and one for smaller hands. The backstrap can be quickly changed with a drift punch and hammer by driving out the retention pin which doubles as a lanyard ring. Clearly marked on the right side are a made-in-Turkey legend and a warning to read the safety manual, while the left side warns that the gun can be fired without a magazine inserted. At the rear of the frame just below the slide in white numbers and letters is the serial number.

The serrations on both sides of the ambidextrous decocking plunger ensure solid activation. The rear sight is adjustable and features two dots that glow when charged with a flashlight.

Besides the decocking plunger and versatile trigger, the only other controls are the slide catch which is wide and checkered making it easy to manipulate, and the magazine release which is square, checkered and when pressed permits magazines to drop freely. Although the magazine release is not ambidextrous, it looks like it can be switched from one side to the other by removing the spring and reversing the release. Additionally, the double stack, steel tube magazines have retention holes on both sides further leading one to believe that the release can be reversed. The magazines are made by MEC-GAR and have polymer followers along with a large polymer floorplate that assured positive seating. Each held 18 rounds and worked flawlessly. Although the magazine well is not beveled, it didn’t seem to make any difference to positive reloads since the double stack magazine configuration which narrows at the top caused the magazine to naturally find its way into the well.

Disassembly is straightforward and simple. After making sure the gun is empty and the magazine is removed, decock the gun and simply pull down on the disassembly catch which is located above the trigger. The slide will move forward a fraction of an inch and then can be removed from the frame by sliding it forward. Next, the captured recoil spring, its polymer guide and the barrel are separated from the slide.

The gun is supplied in a very nice polymer carrying case along with an extra magazine, a cleaning rod, nylon bore brush and the large grip adapter mentioned earlier. Additionally, the gun comes with a polymer retention holster made of thirty percent Polyamide fiber. The holster can be configured for belt carry or by means of a paddle by removing and replacing three screws. This is a nice feature because the new TP-9 owner doesn’t have to go searching for a holster.

The dustcover of the polymer frame features an accessory rail for the attachment of a tactical light, laser aiming device or combo unit.

Range Time

Although the TP-9 cannot be classified as a target pistol, the gun printed groups on average that are considered generally acceptable for a combat handgun. That is not to say that more accuracy is not desirable, but just that for ranges and circumstances most often encountered in a self-defense situation, the accuracy displayed is good enough to score hits if the shooter is up to the task. Even more important in a self-defense gun is reliability, and this gun had no malfunctions of any kind during the entire test.

With a bit of practice and after getting used to the trigger, it was not difficult to record very acceptable and consistent hits in tactical drills. Recoil was manageable and the gun was actually a pleasure to shoot. If you like the versatile trigger action, take a close look at the TP-9. To find out more call 800-527-1252 or visit centuryarms.com.

Load Comments
  • don ellsworth

    i have not took trigger houseing out but have polished ever thing you cam get to an it helps a lot shots anything an is accurate. its now 4lbs. or a litte less on sa—da–9lbs i’m sure if i carried it to gunsmith an he polished rest it would be even better—–love it

  • VP70Z

    Edit to 1st post – apologies- did not see 2nd page – author DOES nicely describe all trigger modes.

  • VP70Z

    The Tp-9 is a near-clone of the Walther P99AS (anti-stress). When first racked, the trigger is fully forward in pre-cocked single action AS mode, requiring a long, but light pull to fire the gun. Until broken in, this trigger mode may (as the author reports) be a bit heavy towards the end of the pull, but it does lighten up considerably after a couple hundred rounds.
    What the author does not mention is that when the gun is in that first AS trigger mode, there is a stopping point halfway through the trigger pull (listen for the “click”) that puts the gun in single action mode. You can leave the trigger at that setting and the TP-9 will operate like a fully single action gun, staying in single action after each shot.
    Then, you can hit the decocker and the gun goes into long, heavy pull Double action for safe carry or easy takedown. But, from DA, all you have to do is nudge the slide back a few milimeters and it resets to that first AS mode. So, the triggers modes can be cycled sequentially – AS to SA to DA back to AS – so you can set the trigger for whatever mode is appropriate at that moment.

  • Rashid

    A great weapon for SD. very reliable and accurate…

  • davie boy

    Love mine great pistol choice,great recoil,shoots whatever you put in it.

    • LA yankee

      I ran into some trouble with 85g lead free bullets when it was brand new. No ftf but had 3 fte on my first outing and one on my second. Only with this ammo everything else ran great

  • any one like canik55 …….for seal

    • don ellsworth

      answer—hell yes

  • My new century arms T9 9 mm shoots a foot low and has no elevation adjustment how can that be fixed anybody know? jokerexmarine@yahoo.com

    • rambo3164

      they gave you three different sites use the smallest one I had the same problem

  • My new century arms T9 9 mm shoots a foot low and has no elevation adjustment how can that be fixed anybody know? jokerexmarine@yahoo.com

    • Steve w

      Shoots a foot low from what distance?

      • rambo2164

        shooting this gun out of the box of foot low is a very common problem I don’t know why they give you 3 sites 2 of them are too tall in the smallest 1 works perfect

        • Custom 1911 or GLOCK

          Is the front sight post shorter than the rear? At close range that would put you low at 10yards etc. a foot low seems like strong hand pulling down more than a “SIGHT” (not SITE) issue. Not that i think a WALTHER knock off is worth it at any price when you can buy a blue program GLOCK for roughly same price and give/keep some money in NEW SYRMNA georgia USA,instead of TURKEY..also for $299 a SCCY made in DAYTONA FL,isnt a bad option which also keeps the money in the USA..IMO, i rather keep the money in the USA,i didnt buy a GLOCK until they came to NEW SYMRNA,GEORGIA.

          • Yo Mama

            Lol… This gun is ON PAR with Glock, Sig, HK, Beretta.. If you choose a SCCY over this then you’re an idiot. =)

    • Steve w

      I have one ordered, it should be here no latter than tomorrow, ill shoot it then and let you know what I think. I just bought it as a car gun after hearing good reviews on it. I have not laid my hands on one yet, but for $365 out the door with tax included I figured why not. The only thing I can think of that would make it shoot a foot low is if you were shooting at long range distances, or you anticipate the recoil and as your pulling the trigger your pushing the nose of the gun down. I have been searching all over for xtra mags for it , but can’t find any anywhere. Do you know if Century is importing magazines to? Good luck with your gun, I hope I’m not buying a lemon. I first saw this on this months SWAT magazine cover, they did a review.

    • Dark sniper

      Yeah mine did the same thing change the front sight to the lower one and its dead on.

  • CrusaderKnight

    Even if they are more expensive,for strategic reasons,it is always better to buy from a friendly western nation.It would not help lonterm to have American and west european gun makers go out of buisness while african and Asian ( excluding taiwan and South korea )countries arms makers flourish.Would king richard the Lionheart buy blades from Saladin? was saladin a Turk and a muslim?

  • Burak ÇAVDAR

    I think somebodies still involving the RELIGIONS to RELATIONSHIPS. Also TURKEY DOES NOT HAVE AN OFFICIALLY RELIGION. So as a TURK and MUSLIM I’am loving all humanbeings and this site is not the place for this kind of discussion. At the and of my word this gun maybe alike any other kind of pistols but none of them indistinctive of others because there is no other way to do pistol barrel, handle, trigger etc. This manifacturer produced a unique pistol and this deserves to be taken. I respect ALL ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS AND PEOPLES AND MANIFACTURERS.

  • CrusaderKnight

    Be careful.We are already making our muslim enemies rich by buying their oil. Now we will buy the Islamists’ firearms,instead of American or European arms.Buy a Walther PPQ. Buy the SIG or Glock or Ruger or Colt.The Walther PPQ can be bought thru Davidson’s Gallery of guns for some 500 bucks.Insead of the muslim Caracal,buy a Steyr pistol.You could even buy a new Remington 1911,through Davidsons for some 600-900 bucks.Buy American,why make our enemies rich.But the Turks aren’t our enemies? They have only been friendly towards the US since after WW2.Remember,to them,we are still INFIDELS.

  • aaron

    its amazing how some will disregard “copies” of overpriced firearms. take a sig 226-a copy from china called an NP 22(nc22x is also sometimes used)this is 1/3rd the cost. it functions flawlessly. also available is a turkish copy of a berretta 92(fs & a1)at 2/3rd the cost. of course some complain about the copies arent perfect. yes, il admit, my np 22(226 copy) has internal machining marks which cannot be seen unless dismantled. this in no way affects function. but i still have hundreds of dollars to buy mags, ammo, another gun, etc. of course I would prefer to have the original if finances allowed(maybe not?) but the copies work just as good.

  • Mike Pries

    This is just a copy of a P99 AS….i prefer the original….

  • ınspector

    Very well made gun. But it seems that the approach
    to clear the trigger bar from sear contact during
    field stripping is based upon cocking and releasing
    the striker against passive striker safety automatically when taking the slide forward off the
    receiver. Solely depending upon the durability of
    an upwardly moving little bolt for dry firing impact
    on every take down process is really questionable.