One of the reasons more people don’t get involved in organized action pistol competition is the cost of gear required for each shooting discipline. Last year Canik decided to do something about that and created the SFx Rival, a polymer-framed, striker-fired 9mm semi-auto pistol legal for USPSA, IPSC, IDPA and 3-Gun competition. The gun can be used in Production and Carry Optic divisions and even comes with a holster! Also included is a water-resistant rigid polymer case, two 18-round magazines, various tools and a detachable magazine well funnel. Canik priced this Rival package for just $679.99 and, as you might imagine, it became popular immediately.
Canik SFx Rival-S
But don’t let the price fool you though–this is no beginner’s pistol! Canik Team captain Nils Jonasson used a Rival to best 416 other shooters at the USPSA 2022 Carry Optic Nationals!
Building on the immense popularity of the original Rival, Canik has just introduced the SFx Rival-S; a steel-framed version of the Rival that retains all of the features that made the original such a success but with 31-percent more recoil-absorbing weight! The original polymer framed Rival weighs 29.5 ounces, while the Rival-S (S is for steel, if you haven’t already guessed) tips the scale at 42.7 ounces.
The benefit of having a heavier gun is that it reduces felt recoil and muzzle rise and helps the shooter get back on target more quickly. Canik machines the Rival-S’s frame from a steel forging and it retains all of the original Rival’s excellent ergonomics.
Canik undercuts the frame where it meets the trigger guard so the shooter can get their hand as high as possible on the gun. The closer the hand is to the bore line the less muzzle flip there will be. Shooters can choose from three different backstrap inserts to fit the gun to their hand. The inserts come textured for a secure firing grip and Canik checkers the frame’s front strap for the same reason. Bilateral slide releases exhibit a low profile and facilitate operation from either side of the gun without breaking the firing grip. A reversible magazine release offers solutions for southpaws.
Optic-Ready for Open Divisions & More
Canik dramatically sculpts the Rival’s slide so that the shooter can get a firm grasp, to rack it, wherever their hand lands on the slide. A fully adjustable rear sight sits on a plate on the slide top. The plate, along with the sight assembly can be easily removed by loosening two screws. Canik includes five different optic plates with the Rival-S which can accommodate most popular micro red dots. I used the #2 plate and attached my Trijicon RMR with a 3.25 MOA dot.
I tested the Rival-S at 25-yards for accuracy and fired all groups from a seated rest with the gun’s dust cover resting on a Millett BenchMaster for support. Using Federal’s Syntech 150-grain Action Pistol rounds, which chronographed out of the Rival-S’s 5-inch barrel at 986 feet per second, groups ranged from 1- to 1.5-inch, although I speculate there would have been a number of sub-1-inch groups if the wind hadn’t been gusting to 25 mph.
One of the Rival features that made shooting small groups possible was its crisp 3.5-pound trigger. It also possesses a short and firm reset and that made shooting doubletaps downright easy! I spent part of my afternoon with the Rival-S shooting steel and found the gun to be incredibly soft shooting-because of its steel frame.
If you’ve been looking for an out-of-the-box, race-ready competition gun but haven’t pulled the trigger yet (pun intended) because of the cost, take a long hard look at the Canik SFx Rival-S! With the Dark Side black finish, the gun retails for just $899.99 or with its brightly polished chrome finish $949.99. It’s a gun that can take a shooter from “D” class all the way to Master class. Learn more about the newest Canik at canikusa.com.
Get the Full Story!
We first saw the Rival-S at the recent Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous, and it left us impressed. Read Mike Detty’s full review in the January-February 2023 issue of Tactical Life Magazine. Get your copy today at OutdoorGroupStore.com.