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Review: Canik Mete MC9

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A few years ago, I had the opportunity to conduct an evaluation of the Canik TP9 Elite SC 9 mm pistol, which is manufactured in Turkey and imported into the United States by Century Arms. Like other members of the successful TP9 series, this subcompact carry gun proved to be rugged and reliable with a feature set that belies its affordable price. But I’m willing to admit that as much as I liked this concealed-carry pistol, I quietly wished it could be just a bit smaller.

Canik Mete MC9 sub-compact pistol 9 mm pistol brown frame black slide on rusty steel plateThe Mete MC9 is the smallest Canik pistol yet but retains the popular features of the Mete series.

This TP9 review took place in the midst of what was becoming the next be trend in concealed-carry pistols, namely, the now well-established category of sub-subcompact 9 mm pistols known as the “micro nines.” Canik joined this segment of the shooting sports marketplace with the release of the Mete MC9 at the beginning of 2023. Yes, this model was a bit late to the micro pistol party. But the company took its time (three years of R&D) to make sure it got the pistol right before shipping it out, and it was time well-spent.

The Mete MC9 (Lower Left) compared to the compact TP9 Elite SC (Center) and the long-slide Mete SFx (Upper Right).The Mete MC9 (l.) compared to the compact TP9 Elite SC (c.) and the long-slide Mete SFx (top, r.).

Unlike the TP9 subcompact pistols, the Mete MC9 is not a full-size pistol with a shortened barrel and a cropped grip. Instead, it has been redesigned throughout to reduce the slide and frame dimensions while maintaining a double-stack magazine ammunition capacity. Looking at the micro-nine semi-automatic size scale, with pistols like the SIG Sauer P365 and Taurus GX4 at the smaller end, the Mete fits in with slightly larger models like the Glock G26 and Kimber R7 Mako. The choice to go with a bit more weight and size was intentional. It preserved magazine compatibility with existing 12- and 15-round TP9 subcompact, double-stack magazines. But it also makes the gun more comfortable to shoot.

The Mete MC9’s slide (Left) is noticeably slimmer than those of the TP9 series (Right).The Mete MC9’s slide (l.) is noticeably slimmer than those of the TP9 series (r.).

The striker-fired Mete MC9 is a short-recoil-operated, locked-breech, semi-automatic that tips the scales at 21.3 ozs., according to my digital postal scale, with an unloaded 12-round magazine. This pistol is 6.1″ long, 4.2″ high with a slide width of 0.98″ and a frame width of 1.12″. The version shown here has a two-tone finish consisting of a matte-black slide and flat-dark-earth (FDE) polymer frame. The Mete MC9 is also available in all black, all FDE and a black model with a factory-installed M01 red dot optic.

The neatly styled optics-ready carbon steel slide features front and rear cocking serrations, a pop-up loaded chamber indicator, beveled ejection port and a nitride finish. The dovetailed, metallic sights consist of a white dot up front and a serrated square notch sight at the back. The optic slot is sized for Shield RMSc footprint micro red-dot optics. The slot depth and sight height allow for an optic to be fully co-witnessed. The slide plate, located behind the rear sight, is ported to accommodate a red cocked striker indicator.

Canik MC9 right-side view on rusty steel plate 9 mm pistol handgun semi-automatic gun two-tone black FDEThis pistol’s weight and external dimensions give it a place it at the larger end of the micro nine scale.

The 3.18” long, nitride-treated cold-hammer-forged barrel features traditional land-and-groove rifling and a matte-black finish. It is supported by a steel, dual-spring recoil assembly. The polymer frame has a 1.25″ three-slot Picatinny accessory rail molded into the dust cover and a trigger guard shaped to serve as a finger rest. The controls include a takedown lever, just above the trigger, an extended ambidextrous slide release and a reversible polymer magazine release button. All four sides of the grip frame have a fairly aggressive and effective molded-in texturing. The grip’s backstrap is interchangeable with the small, medium and large inserts provided.

Canike Mete MC9 pistol case shown open with accessories foam inserts gun box storage loack brush tools magazineLike other Canik Pistols, this model arrives with a useful set of accessories.

The feel of this pistol’s trigger is much better than many other off-the-rack, striker-fired polymer pistols. Because of this, I took more time to analyze it during the bench checks. According to a Wheeler digital trigger gauge, the pull weight is 4 lbs., 2 ozs. This is lighter than the industry standard of around 5 lbs., 8 ozs. But there is more to it than that. The trigger’s total arch of travel for the pistol I worked with is 5/8″, according to my handy-dandy tape measure. The first 1/4″ of travel is quite light with the next 1/4″ requiring trigger finger pressure comparable to the starting pressure levels of most striker triggers. The trigger then reaches the firm 4-lb., 2-oz. break point and then travels the last 1/8″ to complete the arch. When releasing the trigger, it resets at the same location as the break.

side-by-side magazine comparison parts gun pistol rusty backgroundThe 12-round magazine’s two base plates and the 15-round magazine’s texture finger rest provide three different grip profiles.

Dicing up the stages of the trigger’s movement may make it sound like it has a choppy or uneven feel, but this is not the case. Instead, it overcomes the mushy feel of the take-up common to striker triggers so that it feels smoother and lighter than the trigger gauge implies. In short, the stock trigger of this pistol feels just as good, or even better, than some competition trigger upgrades. I wish more companies could figure out this trigger formula and apply it to their products.

Canik Mete MC9 pistol disassembled arrangement of parts frame slide barrel spring magazine shown on rusty steel backgroundThe Mete MC9 is breaks down into five major components for routine cleaning.

Like other Canik offerings, the Mete MC9 arrives in a lockable, foam-lined carry case that houses a generous set of accessories. It arrives with an extended 15-round and 12-round magazine with flush-fit and finger rest extension base plates. Additional items include an optic-compatible in-the-waistband holster, magazine loader, bore brush, cleaning patch handle and a punch for removing the grip insert’s roll pin. The company also thoughtfully includes the tools needed to install an optic tucked into a small driver handle shaped like a miniature pistol.

I took advantage of the optics-ready slide by installing a Shield-footprint Viridian Weapon Technologies’ RFX11 micro green-dot sight (#981-0020, $189). No mounting plate is required. The screws and washers used to secure the slide’s filler plate can be used for the optic. This little green dot is ideal for daily carry, thanks to the lightweight polymer housing, multi-coated glass lens and no external controls beyond the height and windage adjustments.

The bright-green 3 m.o.a. sighting point features instant-on activation, an ambient light sensor to adjust for brightness and an automatic shut-off when not in use. A single CR2032 battery can provide up to 30,000 hours of runtime. Oddly enough, installing the RFX11 optic reduced the pistol’s total weight because it weighs 0.2 ozs. less than the slide’s steel filler plate. It proved to be compatible with the IWB holster Canik ships with the pistol.

Canik Mete MC9 pistol in hand shown with red-dot optic viridian rfx11The Viridian RFX11 optic is configured specifically for daily concealed carry.

Two of the most important qualities for a concealed carry pistol are reliably and accuracy. The Mete MC9 proved to be reliable with a variety of practice- and defense-grade 9 mm ammunition using a total of four factory magazines. The springs in the magazines were quite tight to start and caused a couple of first round failures to feed with one of the hollow point loads. After reloading the magazines a few times, this problem disappeared completely.

ammunition boxes shown with two black and tan pistol magazinesThe pistol proved to be reliable with all ammunition and magazines tested.

Carry gun levels of accuracy are sometimes sacrificed to achieve better concealability. But this was not the case here. The Mete MC9’s short 3.18” barrel qualifies it for formal, bench-rested accuracy testing at 7 yards, much like a pocket pistol. However, the accuracy proved to be better than this gun’s size might imply.

Here are the range results for three standard pressure 9 mm loads including CCI’s Blazer Brass practice-grade load along with Hornady Critical Defense and SIG Sauer 365 defensive hollow points:

canik mc9 accuracy results table graphic ballistic testing ammunition velocity group size notes

It’s clear that the Mete MC9 favored the SIG Sauer 365 load over the other two. But what the table doesn’t show is that for three of the five groups all shots overlapped to form a ragged hole in the target. Out of curiosity, at the end of the formal testing, the target was rolled out to 15 yards where the 365 load produced 2.29″ and 2.36″ groups. Using the last of the rounds on hand at the time, this gun, optic and ammunition combination knocked out a 3.08″ group at 25 yards.

SIG Sauer box ammunition shown with target and 9 mm accuracy group cluster holesThis SIG Sauer load punched out all-shots touching groups at 7 yards.

Having worked with a few different models of Century Arms’ Canik 9 mm pistols over the years, I continue to be impressed with the quality, reliability and top-notch features these pistols provide at a fair price. The Mete MC9 is not the absolute smallest micro-nine pistol available. However, it is an exceptionally well balanced and shootable example of the breed with a trigger and accuracy potential that’s hard to beat. With a suggested retail price of $440, and the slew of accessories included with the gun, the Mete MC9 can easily compete with models that cost more.

"canik mete mc9 century arms inc georgia, vt" stamping on black steel pistol slide

Canik Mete MC9 Specifications:
Manufacturer: Samsun Domestic Defense and Industry Corp. of Turkey
Importer: Century Arms
Action Type: recoil-operated, locked-breech, semi-automatic, centerfire pistol
Chambering: 9 mm Luger
Slide: carbon steel, matte black nitride finish
Frame: textured polymer
Barrel: 3.18″ cold-hammer-forged steel, matte black nitride finish
Rifling: six-groove, 1:10 RH-twist
Magazine: 12 and 15-round detachable box
Sights: white-dot front, serrated square-notch rear
Trigger: single-action; 4-lb., 2-oz., pull
Overall Length: 6.1”
Height: 4.52”
Width: 0.98″ (slide); 1.12″ (frame)
Weight: 21.3 ozs. (with empty 12-round magazine)
Accessories: owner’s manual, polymer IWB holster, 15-round magazine, 12-round magazine, flat base plate, magazine loader, three interchangeable backstraps, optics tool kit, hardware, pin punch, bronze bore brush, cleaning patch handle, hard case, lock
MSRP: $440

Article by B. GIL HORMAN

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