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Canik METE MC9 [Hands-On Review]



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Turkish guns aren’t exactly known for exceptionally high quality; the sins of the past combined with modern semiauto shotgun designs that sear the mind don’t help. But if there’s one company that has helped change the reputation of the guns produced by an entire nation, it’s Canik.

We first became acquainted with Canik (pronounce it “Yan-Ick” if you want to confuse your friends) back in 2015 with the release of the TP9SA, and we were impressed with its durability. Since that time, Canik has been regularly releasing improved models (gone first was the wonky decocker) and then followed it up with the METE (pronounced “Meté”), a slimmed down and more-sexy model in 2021.

Announced at SHOT Show 2023, the latest in the METE line is the MC9.

The name “MC9” might result in some confusion and make distributors tear their hair out, as there’s another Turkish pistol with the exact same name, the Girsan MC9 (see RECOIL Issue 55). But this isn’t a S&W M&P clone like the Girsan, nor is it yet an – other new stagger-stack micro-nine a la the SIG Sauer P365, it’s a subcompact version of the METE.

FEATURES & DESIGN

Rather than staggering out a non-op – tics model first in hopes of making that sale twice, the Canik METE MC9 comes ready for an optic as standard — as it should be. Instead of an interchange – able plate system from the optics-ready TP9 Elite or TP9SFX, the optical footprint on the METE MC9 is RMS-C, though given production numbers and popularity, at this point it makes more sense to call it a Romeo Zero footprint.

The cover plate on the MC9 retains the same look and feel of the standard slide, a bonus if you’re rolling without an optic, but it also means taking it off is a bit more of a hassle than we’d like. It’s tight, so the best way to remove it isn’t by prying and crying after removing the screws, but by removing the slide and using a small punch through the holes from below. Replacing the optic plate is just as difficult and may require the use of a non-marring hammer.

As you’d expect from a Romeo Zero/ RMS-C design, most optics in this footprint will co-witness with standard-height irons. The rear sight on the METE MC9 sits behind the optic plate and features a wide U-notch and horizontal serrations to cut down on glare. The front sight has a large, plain white dot as an aiming point with very little daylight on either side when centered up; if you’re running a red dot you may want to black it out.

Like other Canik pistols, the trigger is distinctly Glock-ish, safety tab on the trigger and all. It also feels pretty Glockish, too. No proverbial glass rod here; take up is a bit spongey before the wall, but it has a predictable break hovering at 5 pounds, along with a tactile reset.

The controls are slimmed down on the MC9, with low-profile ambidextrous slide stops and barely protruding takedown levers. Though the magazine release can be swapped for left-handers, it’s not truly ambidextrous.

Three backstraps are included, with the medium size installed on the pistol itself. The design of the METE frame reflects the aftermarket in the last decade, with a double undercut trigger guard and a textured grip, front strap, and backstrap. Though there aren’t gas pedals cut into the frame, the takedown lever is in just the right place for your thumb to add some downward pressure. The ceramic-coated slide has angled cuts fore and aft, with much more aggressive forward serrations.

The METE MC9 comes complete with a genuine 3-slot Picatinny rail. But not everything fits on it. If you’re the type to run a fullsize SureFire X300U or Streamlight TLR-1 on a subcompact pistol, you’ll have to either look elsewhere or cobble a solution; not even the much smaller SureFire XC1 could be secured. However, lights tailored to CCW such as the SIG Foxtrot2 and Inforce WILD1 can be mounted with little issue, aside from finding an appropriate holster.

The Canik has a few nanny features like a loaded chamber indicator and a striker indicator, but they aren’t obnoxious and don’t detract from the design. Forgoing lasering warnings across the slide like Ruger, Canik opted for a small “Fires Without Magazine” message at the very bottom of the backstrap. You probably wouldn’t notice unless you were told about it.

Disassembly is a bit different on Canik pistols, and the METE MC9 retains this quirk. After dumping the mag and clearing the pistol, the striker first has to be released. Then, you pull down the takedown levers and, unusually, push the slide forward about a half inch. At this point the slide can be removed by lifting it off the top. The barrel and recoil spring assembly are removed the typical way.

Inside the METE MC9 case, you’ll find not only a mag loader but also a punch, bore brush, and patch holder. There’s also what at first appears to be a cute little keychain or a pistol for an American Girl doll, but it’s actually a driver. The mini magazine base plate pops off to reveal a space housing three bits (two Torx and one hex), screws, and locking washers. It’s a nice touch and a welcomed addition for those without a workshop or giant box o’ bits hidden under the sink.

MAGAZINES

With a width of a mere 1.12 inches, the MC9 is significantly slimmer than the full-size METE and just a hair wider than a Glock 48. While you can feel the difference in the frame size of the METE MC9 and the now-ubiquitous SIG P365, when it comes to actually carrying and concealing it, for most it makes little difference. The ever-so-slightly-fatter frame does make it more comfortable to shoot on the range. Just a small increase can make a huge difference in terms of filling the hand and recoil management when on the range.

The Canik METE MC9 ships with two magazines, a flush-fit 12-rounder and an extended 15-round magazine. The 15-round magazine comes with a grip sleeve installed to prevent overpenetration, and there’s an extra extended base pad for the flush 12 if you want to be able to squeeze your pinky into place. What many are likely to do is carry with the 12 and stash the larger 15 as a backup.

The magazines themselves are Canik-standard, which is good news and a major selling point for those who also have a METE or TP9-series in the safe. Be forewarned, however, that it’s possible to induce malfunctions in the METE MC9 through pressure on the base of the magazine due to overpenetration; the included grip sleeve is more than merely aesthetic.

HOLSTERS

Holsters have been a continual issue the last several years. Where once there were only a handful of stubby plastic blasters, now there are dozens of decent options. The synthetic holster market sorted and consolidated several years back, with smaller shops squeezed out due to long production times and materials sourcing. The overall result is that while the holsters available on the market are better, there are fewer options. This has made for a resurgence in the floppy universal holster, with gun shop patrons having few other places to turn — and a long wait when they do. Canik decided to solve this problem for themselves by bundling a basic-but-usable IWB holster right in the box with the METE MC9.

The included holster doesn’t cover much more than the trigger guard and ejection port, so optics are fine and the open bottom allows for a threaded barrel or muzzle device so long as it’s no wider than the slide. There’s a screw to adjust the draw tension and retention. There’s no adjustment for ride height or holster cant, but the hardware is compatible with Raven Concealment and Bladetech loops (which come in handy if you don’t like the FDE belt clips) — and as always, beauty is just a Dremel tool away since you’re dealing with plastic.

We managed to secure the METE MC9 inside a few Glock 19 holsters from PHLster and Bladetech, and the MC9 also locked into a Safariland 578- GLS universal.

LOOSE ROUNDS

Not many in the American market took Chinese optics seriously until Holosun dropped their trousers, and Canik has done the same for Turkish pistols. Canik’s consecutive improvement and development of new lines based on real-world feedback, all while continuing to support previous pistols, builds an awful lot of trust.

The METE MC9 also demonstrates that Canik knows what people in the market are looking for. By including mags of multiple sizes along with a holster, all that’s left for Canik to produce a modern, practical, turnkey carry solution is to include an optic — oh, wait, they’re doing that as well.

One of the METE MC9 SKUs comes complete with their co-witnessing Mecanik M01 Tactical Micro Reflex Sight. Damn.

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  • My Canik CZ 75 clone was made better than myCZ and shot better. Not a plastic/striker guy but have had nothin but good experiences with Turkish products,

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