One of the most popular questions regarding the Canik TP series is “what’s the difference?” Even at the LGS, some people working behind the counter had difficulty truly explaining the differences between the models. And that’s ok, it’s hard to be knowledgeable about every single firearm out there, myself included. I am by no means a firearms expert, just a novice who enjoys shooting sports. So let’s take a look at the different models available from Canik.

    First, the original TP9 and TP9V2.
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The TP9 model is based off the famed Walther P99. What makes this firearm unique is the DA/SA (double action/single action) capability on a striker fired handgun. Generally reserved for hammer fired firearms, Walther incorporated this into a striker fired. Some people say the Canik is a clone of the P99, not really true though. Parts are not interchangeable. But yes, it does appear to be based on the P99, regardless. And for that matter, the Magnum Research MR9 is based on the Walther P99 as well. In regards to the Magnum Research, Walther actually built the frames and shipped them to the U.S., where MR machined their own barrels, slides, etc. The MR9 isn’t very popular, but received glowing reviews from those who own them. Smith & Wesson also had a joint venture with Walther and produced the SW99 until 2006. As far as I know, this was the only striker fired DA/SA that was offered not only in 9 and 40, but also 45acp.

Getting back to the TP9, the DA/SA gives the shooter a longer trigger pull when the firearm is de-cocked. From what I’ve read, the original TP9 has a stronger trigger pull than the V2. Apparently 10 to 12 pounds, compared to the V2 which is around 8 pounds. After the first round is out, the firearm remains in SA (unless the decocker is pressed) and has a short reset. The trigger pull in SA mode is approximately 4.5 pounds. I have not physically checked this myself, this information is based on other reviews. The DA/SA also has a unique feature in which the TP9 and V2 offer second strike capability. Most of us practice “tap, rack, bang” in the event that a round doesn’t detonate when the striker hits it, but, with the TP9 you can pull the trigger again and see if it will detonate. I personally like having second strike capability, especially at the range. In a combat situation, if I couldn’t “tap, rack, bang”, second strike might be my only hope. (Though I hope to never be in a situation like that to find out) The V2 is said to have a much improved trigger over the original TP9. I’ve only owned V2’s so I can’t say from experience, but I can say the trigger out of the box is better than Glock, M&P and Ruger. It is definitely on par with my Walther P99, in my humble opinion.

For those who are worried about “Glock leg”, and aren’t comfortable with a firearm that does not have a safety, the DA/SA option might be the one for you. The initial heavier trigger pull does take some practice, but also gives those concerned with lighter triggers that the DA makes the gun “somewhat” safer to carry. Though the ultimate safety is between your ears. Follow all gun safety rules and you shouldn’t have a problem. The TP9V2 is available in 9mm and 40 cal (TP40). Barrel length is approximately 4.1 inches and accepts 15, 18 and 20 round mags. Sights are dovetailed and adjustable. Offered only in a black finish here in the U.S.

    Next up is the TP9 SA.
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The TP9SA has a longer slide than the TP9V2, approximately 4.5 inches. Takes the same magazines as the TP9V2 and has a Decocker. However, the Decocker on the SA model renders the gun inoperable when pressed. I have read several speculations as to why Canik put the Decocker on a single action only firearm. They range from some departments in other countries that carry this firearm had it as a requirement, and others speculate they didn’t change out their tooling when they released the SA and the V2. Whatever the case, I don’t know the real reason. The SA model get’s glowing reviews from “experts” (which I am not) and has a very nice trigger. Like other striker fired handguns, it has a blade style trigger that works as a drop safety. It’s not unlike what you would find on a Glock, Walther, Ruger, etc. As far as whether the trigger is actually better on the SA over the V2, I don’t know. They both shoot equally well (for me anyway) and both have a very short audible reset. The Decocker is really a non-issue. Some people say it’s a dis qualifier. But if you have ever spent any time with an SA model, you know you have to intentionally press the Decocker with some force. Keep in mind though, with the SA, you do not have double action. This is a single action only pistol. Thankfully only a very short press check is required to put it back into battery. Some people may feel more comfortable with this option as a nightstand or carry piece. It’s a little too big for me to carry though. The SA models have seen some subtle changes over time. Most recent I’ve seen is the newer production models hitting the shelves have a dovetailed front sight instead of the original pinned sight. This is a nice change since people like to drift their sights and makes it easier to change them out for aftermarket night sights. The TP9 SA is available in 9mm and 40 cal. Offered in desert tan cerakote or a black finish.

    Next up is the SF model.
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The TP9 SF shares the same dimensions as the SA and accepts the same magazines as the V2 and SA. What sets it apart from the SA is really a non-issue, the Decocker. Trigger system is the same single action with the blade style trigger. But yes, no Decocker. This was basically Caniks answer to a non problem. But people freaked out that a gun that is only SA had a Decocker on it. I don’t know the true reason Canik released the SF model, but I do think it made sense to release a firearm that is similar in size as the G17. The SF, like it’s sibling the SA, get’s glowing reviews from the internet “experts”. Youtube is a great resource if you want to watch torture tests on all the firearms Canik has to offer. The sights on the SF model are dovetailed and allow for windage adjustments. Apparently XS Big Dots is coming out with a set of night sights specifically for the SF model. If so, I think that shows the Canik brand is gaining popularity and manufacturers are taking notice. Offered in a cerakote tan or black finish. Available in 9mm.

    Next up is the SF Elite and Elite S.

SF Elite S

(image copyright (copyright Aim Surplus)

The SF Elite and Elite S are the latest offerings from Canik. The Elite is a single action only with a blade style trigger like it’s bigger siblings the SA and SF. Dimensions are closer to a Glock 19 with it’s 4.2 inch barrel. The grip is a bit longer on the Elite model however. The only models released in the U.S. so far are two toned with a Cerakote finish. Some changes to the design include an ambi slide stop, which is great for us lefties, as well as an updated trigger. The magazines provided hold 15 rounds. Out of the box, the firearm comes equipped with Warren fiber optic sights, which are very nice, and has a shorter reach distance to the trigger, compared to the earlier TP models. The Elite is being touted as a conceal carry model, though I never felt comfortable conceal carrying a G19 so it still might be a little big for some of us. That being said, the G19 size has been said to be the best “do it all” size for a handgun. The Elite is available in 9mm.

The Elite S, though I have not seen one yet other than in pictures, has a trigger stop that flips up and locks the trigger in place. Interesting feature and we will see how well it’s received here in the U.S. Other than the trigger stop, appears to be the same as the Elite.

    Next up is the Elite SFX.
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The SFX is considered the premium version of the TP series, sporting a 5.20 inch barrel with lightening cuts, an extended slide stop and magazine release, making it more efficient for competition shooters. The SFX comes with fiber optic sights, and can be fitted with mounted optics. The trigger stroke is said to be shorter, allowing for faster follow up shots. Comes in two tone with a Cerakote finish and accepts 18 and 20 round magazines. Available in 9mm.



Based on the information currently available before it’s release, the TP9DA shares the same dimensions as the TP9V2, but has several improvements.
This info is extracted from the Century Arms 2017 product catalog.
• Comes with industry standard dovetail sight cuts compatible with a variety of aftermarket sights
• Warren Tactical sights with dot front sight
• Match grade barrel
• Top-slide-mounted disassembly button
• Loaded chamber indicator
• Striker status indicator
• Improved DA/SA trigger
• Reversible magazine catch
• MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail
• Comes with two 18 rd. mags., poly holster, paddle/belt attachment, interchangeable backstraps, cleaning rod, brush and a limited lifetime warranty

Most notable in regards to the differences between the V2 and DA would be the left side only decocker, reminiscent of the original Walther P99, as well as the Warren Tactical sights. Additionally, the new trigger, offering the blade type safety when in SA mode vs the V2, which does not provide this. The slide is milled differently as well, removing the anti-glare ridges on the top, as seen on the V2 and SA.



Appears the only real differences between the SF and SFT would be the suppressor ready Warren Tactical sights with fiber optic front sight, and the threaded barrel.
This information extracted from the Century Arms 2017 product catalog.
• Threaded barrel 13.5x1mm LH
• Comes with industry standard dovetail sight cuts compatible with a variety of aftermarket sights
• Warren Tactical suppressor sights with fiber optic front sight
• Match grade barrel
• Loaded chamber indicator
• Striker status indicator
• Improved single action trigger
• Reversible magazine catch
• Cerakote over phosphate
• MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail
• Comes with one 18 rd. and one 20 rd. mag., poly holster, paddle/belt attachment, interchangeable backstraps, cleaning rod, brush and a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty

I originally posted this article on the Canik Discussions Forum.
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9 thoughts on “Differences between the Canik TP9, V2, SA, SF, SF Elite, SFX

  1. I have the tp9sa and love it. My question is will the sf elite accept sa mags? I realize they won’t flush fit but I haven’t been able to determine whether its a g17 mag to a g19 situation… Feel free to email me and thanks in advance.


    1. Yes, the SA mags will fit in the Elite. I do it all the time. I also ordered some mag sleeves from Open Ballistics that fit nicely. That way you don’t have a gap. Here’s a link to this topic on the Canik Fanatik forum. I did a YouTube vid about the mag sleeves, and some discussion on the forum. I’ve heard one or two people say the 18 round mags aren’t locking the slide back on their Elites, but myself and many others do not have that issue. Here’s the link.


      1. I have a Canik Elite, great pistol.
        Also have a PPQ and the CZ P10C. The PPQ and Canik are very similar, but I really like the Canik better. Presently trying to sell the CZ P10C.


  2. Know where I can get replacement base plates for the original tp9? Now have the tp9sf and need thinner base plates for my original tp9 mags. Thanks


  3. I own both the TP9SF ELITE and the Tp9sfx and both are exceptional. I own several Glocks and I prefer my Caniks over the Glocks for many reasons


  4. I just bought my second Canik the first was the SA and now I just picked up the SFX with the Vortex, got rid of my glock 23 and 19. I am really pleased with them and now looking to get my third just can’t make up my mind on which one to get.


    1. Yah, it’s an addiction. I got rid of my Glocks after purchasing Caniks also. They just work better for me. Nothing wrong with Glock, but it comes down to personal preference. If your not on the forum, join us and let us know how your Caniks are performing.


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