The handgun market seems to be awash with a ton of compact and micro-compact pistols at our fingertips. It can be overwhelming to new and experienced shooters alike. The companies connected to some of these guns are almost household names. One name that has become even more common is Canik. While the name was originally greeted with a “Who?”, they have quickly gotten the attention of the gun community. The new Canik METE MC9 becomes the most recent reason why.
Canik Firearms is a Turkish firearm company that was founded in 1997. Canik started in the aerospace industry but quickly expanded into defense and firearms after securing partnerships with companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. They came into the U.S. market in 2012 and as they say, the rest is history. While their full-size guns have garnered much acclaim, this year they are adding a new micro-compact to the lineup. Making its debut at the 2023 SHOT Show is the new Canik METE MC9.
Testing the Canik METE MC9 Pistol
Without question, the MC9 is aimed at the concealed carry market. Canik has seen the demand for this gun but took their time in order to make sure it was not an “and also” gun in the market. In fact, the development of this gun took three years from concept to production. One of the main thrusts of development was the desire to have the gun fit a variety of hand sizes. They have accomplished this by having three different magazine configurations. They include a standard 1 magazine with a flush base plate for ultimate concealability. Next, they include a small base pad for that mag that has a slightly extended front to act as a pinky rest. The last step up is their 15-round magazine with an extended base plate. This mag offers quite a bit of extra real estate for bigger hands.
Following the trend of glass-ready guns, the MC9 comes as an optics-ready package with 100-percent co-witness capability. The gun is cut with a Shield RMS footprint to fit a variety of optics. The MC9 is a small pistol with an overall length of 6.1 inches, a width of just 1.12 inches, and a height of 4.52 inches (with a magazine). The barrel is only 3.18 inches, and it has an unloaded weight of a mere 21.2 ounces. While some people may say that “extras” that come with a gun are not important, they are lying. This is an area where Canik shines.
Each METE MC9 comes in a hard case and includes two magazines, an inside-the-waistband holster, three-sized backstraps, a tool kit and punch, speed loader, pinky rest, and a cleaning kit. I also feel compelled to mention that the tool kit is actually a micro-sized Canik pistol model complete with a driver head and individual screwdriver bits stored inside. Laugh if you like, I thought it was pretty ingenious. Initially, the pistol will come in black, flat dark earth, and two-tone black/FDE
Impressive Carry Gun Traits
My initial impressions at the recent Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous of the MC9 were positive. The aesthetics of the gun are nice with clean lines and obvious attention to detail. Fit on the pistol is also very solid with absolutely zero rattle or play. This is an important note because, in some people’s minds, they may see these as “cheap” guns. While the price point is consumer friendly, I can assure you that the fit on these guns is equal to and superior in some cases to domestic guns. The trigger on the MC9 breaks consistently at just over five pounds with a one-half inch of initial trigger travel. While not in my superior category, it is certainly a good trigger and will serve shooters well.
The texture on the gun is good and is set on four sides of the grip. It is not overly aggressive yet provides good purchase against the skin. Another feature I like is the accessory rail on the front of the gun. The number of people carrying guns with lights has grown, and Canik made that possible on the MC9.
After soaking all of this in I was anxious to get the new MC9 on the range. I ran a mix of ball and personal protection ammo to confirm the MC9’s ability to eat about anything. The three flavors I ran were Hornandy 115 gr FTX Critical Defense, Federal 124 gr Personal Defense Hydra Shok, and Ammo Inc 155gr ball. My first impressions of the gun were that it was definitely built with solid Canik DNA. The small gun with the 15+1 capacity makes it a real-world fighter. This is a significant amount of ammunition in such a small platform.
Defensive Trigger Setup
As I mentioned earlier the trigger on the gun I received measured out at 5.25 pounds of pressure on break. This is well within the defensive carry range. It is the actual feel and action of the trigger that stands out. Once the initial slack is out, the gun has a very consistent and smooth pressure wall before it breaks.
The grip was also good on the range. Being a micro-compact gun running 9mm ammunition, the grip is important. Canik has struck a great balance with the new grip, and I found it comfortable yet solid enough for me to run the gun at pace. I believe this grip, combined with the trigger, allowed me to shoot solid groups at speed with the MC9. I expected significantly more muzzle flip but did not experience any while running all three ammo brands.
Most of my shooting took place in the 3- to 15-yard range, as that is where this gun is designed to fight. I did however do a bit of a walk back and was easily able to ring a 10-inch piece of steel at 50 yards. Not a real-world application obviously, but I wanted to see just how good the trigger was, and the ringing steel answered that question.
Simple Sight Configuration
The gun I had was fit with a white dot front and blacked-out rear sights. I personally prefer this sight configuration because of its simplicity. I have found the three-dot configuration to be a bit busy in my sight process and a black rear sight makes it easier and faster for me to get on target.
While this is a gun review, I would be negligent if I didn’t mention the holster that Canik includes in the box. My experience with holsters that come with guns has been less than stelar. In fact, most of them end up in my locker or donated to friends. This is not the case with the Canik holster. It is a decent IWB rig that works well with the MC9. It has two belt loops and is medium thickness. I carried this rig for a week and found it to be comfortable and easy to draw from. While it shouldn’t be the primary reason you buy this gun, it sure as heck is a great add-on.
Overall, I give the Canik METE MC9 two thumbs up. It continues the Canik theme of getting much more than you pay for. The gun performed well for me on the range and would work in the concealed carry role well. If you have never taken a good look at Canik, the Mete MC9 is a good reason to change that.
The new METE MC9 retails for $439. For even more info, please visit canikusa.com.
Canik METE MC9 Features & Specs
- Caliber: 9mm
- Capacity: 12+1, 15+1
- Weight: 21.2 ounces
- Length: 6.1 inches
- Width: 1.12 inches
- Height: 4.52 inches
- Barrel: 3.18 inches
- MSRP: $439
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