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  • A Canik TP9 SF pistol among the finalists for the Danish Army

The Canik TP9 SF pistol among the finalists for the Danish Army

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The Canik TP9 SF pistol among the finalists for the Danish Army

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The Danish military is carrying on a series of trial tests that will lead to the selection of a new sidearm by 2019, and the Canik TP9 SF pistol is among the four finalists

The Canik TP9 SF pistol is among the final runners in the new Danish Army pistol trial

The Canik TP9 SF pistol is among the final runners in the new Danish Army pistol trial

The news, first published by the Danish website Kriegen.dk and later reprised in English by The Firearm Blog, are big enough to shake the wrists of the big players of the European and north American arms industry: a Turkish-made pistol may soon equip an army in western Europe, as small as it may be.

The Danish Army is currently carrying on a program first launched in late 2017 to select a 9mm caliber polymer frame, striker-fired semi-automatic pistol as the new sidearm to replace the venerable DK M49 – this being the Danish military denomination for the fantastic, but now desperately obsolete, SIG P210 pistol. The early trial tests already led to one of the competitors – the Smith & Wesson M&P M2.0 – being discarded.

The four remaining finalists are the Glock 17 in the M variant with front slide serrations; the SIG Sauer P320; the Beretta APX; and – much to everybody's surprise! – the Canik TP9 SF.

VIDEO / A Canik TP9 SF pistol among the finalists for the Danish Army

The right side of the Canik TP9 SF pistol

The right side of the Canik TP9 SF pistol

The Canik TP9 SF pistol, seen from the left side

The Canik TP9 SF pistol, seen from the left side

The four finalists to the Danish Army pistol trial, left to right: SIG Sauer P320, Beretta APX, Glock 17M, Canik TP9 SF

The four finalists to the Danish Army pistol trial, left to right: SIG Sauer P320, Beretta APX, Glock 17M, Canik TP9 SF

Of the four finalists, the Beretta APX is the only one that's currently not in service with any armed force; Glock pistols are used by military, law enforcement and government agencies in more than 60 Countries worldwide, while the SIG Sauer P320 won the Modular Handgun System program trials and was officially adopted in 2017 as the M17/M18 to replace the Beretta M9 as the service sidearm for the United States Army.

A close-up of the Canik TP9 SF trigger and its safety

A close-up of the Canik TP9 SF trigger and its safety

The Canik TP9 SF has also recently won the National Pistol Program, and 45.000 pistols are being ushered into service by the Turkish Military and Police; it is also on sale in numerous Countries and used by local law enforcement, civilian shooters, and private security operators worldwide. The Turkish National Pistol Program is not to be taken lightly: Turkish ranks fourth by military strenght within NATO, just under the United States, France and the United Kingdom, and just over Germany and Italy.

Our followers should by now be very well fond with the Canik TP9 semi-automatic striker-fired, polymer frame pistol. Starting out in 2011 as a license-made Turkish version of the Walther P99 layout, the Canik TP series of pistols has been vastly improved as the years went by and now offers truly excellent levels of performance and manufacturing quality at a very affordable price.

A winner for the Danish military trial has not been selected so far, but the fact that the Canik TP9 SF is among the finalists is by itself a great indication of the quality of this underdog pistol, fighting the big names to earn a well-deserved place on the market.

As small as they may be, the Danish Armed Forces are very dynamic and extremely well-equipped, with particular attention to preparedness and combat effectiveness in adverse terrain and climates; they're fully integrated with NATO and took part to some of the most demanding international missions in the past two decades; and their special forces – the Jægerkorpset – may not be as famous as their U.S., British or German counterparts, but they're among the world's best trained.