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Review: Century Arms Canik TTI Combat

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In recent years, Century Arms has been the importer and distributor of Canik brand semi-automatic pistols, which are manufactured by Samsun Yurt Savunma (SYS) Industry in Turkey. Among the models offered have been a few reasonably priced race guns, including the polymer-frame METE SFX , released in 2022, and the steel-frame SFx Rival-S, which launched in 2023. This year’s latest Canik sporting pistol is the result of a collaboration with Taran Butler, founder of Taran Tactical Innovations (TTI).

In development for two years, the new TTI Combat pistol incorporates a redesigned polymer frame configuration and feature set guided by Butler’s experience as a world champion shooter, a master trainer to Hollywood celebrities and his work as a custom gunsmith. Needless to say, I was eager to pull the trigger on this 9 mm pistol for myself.

Century Arms Canik TTI Combat 9 mm pistol shown in case with accessoriesCanik did not skimp on accessories for this full-feature race gun.

Like other Canik pistols, the TTI Combat is a recoil-operated semi-automatic with a black polymer frame. The nitrided alloy steel slide is treated with a TTI bronze Cerakote finish. Several appointments are a matching bronze color to give this pistol a handsome two-tone appearance. The slide is beveled at various locations, lightening cutouts are located between the front sight, and the ejection port and deeply cut and canted cocking serrations are found at the front and the rear. The metallic optics cover plate is colored and grooved so as to blend in with the rest of the slide.

Century Arms Canik TTI Combat accessories caseLifting out the top layer of the case’s foam lining reveals another set of extras. 

This pistol features a proprietary twin-port external compensator, which is a first for Canik pistols. Made from aluminum, the compensator is beveled and finished to match the slide. It’s secured to the muzzle of the 4.6” fluted barrel via a series of lugs and a spring-loaded quick-release lever, which is depressed using the provided pin punch. It’s intentionally configured this way to make the pistol compliant with regulations in those states which restrict the ownership of threaded pistol barrels. It also lends itself to quick removal of the compensator for routine cleaning.

Century Arms Canik TTI Combat 9 mm pistol right-side viewTaran Butler, founder of Taran Tactical Innovations (TTI), designed the frame and features of the 9 mm pistol.

The metallic dovetailed sights consist of a bright-green HiViz fiber-optic sight up front with a tall serrated square notch block secured to the frame with a tension screw at the rear. The ejection port is outfitted with a heavy-duty, oversize extractor claw. The slide’s rearward cover plate is serrated and ported to accommodate a red cocked striker indicator. Removing the slide reveals a recoil assembly consisting of a steel guide rod and a captured flat-wire spring.

Canik TTI Combat 9 mm pistol closeup detail slide cuts serrationsThe deep optics cutout allowed the Shield Sights RMSw micro red-dot to be co-witnessed with the iron sights.

The polymer frame’s dustcover has a molded-in 1.75″ Picatinny accessory rail. The trigger guard has a flat, textured face to serve as a finger rest, and it is undercut along the bottom edge for added shooting hand comfort. The flat-face aluminum trigger is fitted with a wide, checkered-aluminum, integral safety lever. The trigger’s arch of travel is right around 0.375″ with a 90-degree vertical stop that breaks cleanly with just 3 lbs., 8 ozs. of trigger pull. The trigger reset is exceptionally short while still exhibiting a tangible and audible “click.” In short, it’s an exceptionally pleasant striker-fired pistol trigger to work with.

Canik TTI Combat 9 mm pistol right side trigger flat faceThe flat-faced aluminum trigger is fitted with a wide checkered safety lever.

The remaining metallic external controls consist of a takedown lever located above the trigger, a deeply textured and extended ambidextrous slide-release lever and a checkered, reversible square-button magazine release. The top of the grip frame features cutouts for the shooting hand thumb and trigger finger. The grip itself sports an aggressive, pointed, pyramidal texturing on all four sides, a straight-profile front strap (no finger grooves), an interchangeable backstrap and a removable aluminum magwell extension fitted over a beveled magazine well opening.

At times, I’ve worked with spruced-up pistols in the $1,200 to $1,500 range that shipped in a cardboard box with just one basic magazine and an owner’s manual. Canik takes a different approach. The TTI Combat lists for a suggested retail price of $950 and arrives with an impressively complete package of accessories.

Century Arms Canik TTI Combat 9 mm front sight detail bronze cerakote slide shown with log backgroundThe bright HiViz fiber-optic front sight is dovetailed into the slide.

This pistol ships in a sturdy, thick-walled and foam-lined polymer carry case with dual padlock ports and heavy latches for secure transportation. Inside the case’s lid is a plaque outlining TTI’s commitment to quality and Taran Butler’s signature. Next is a thin top layer of foam with a pouch for the owner’s manual and some quick-start cards. The first layer of lift-out foam holds the pistol, two additional interchangeable backstraps and three optics mounting plates, along with an optics hardware-and-tool kit cleverly shaped like a miniature Canik pistol. This layer also provides storage slots for the two 18-round magazines that arrive with the pistols.

Century Arms Canik TTI Combat 9 mm pistol closeup detail compensator barrel extensionThe twin port external compensator is the first of its kind for Canik pistols.

The typical polymer magazine baseplates have been replaced with aluminum components with an anodized finish that matches the pistol’s other bronze-colored components. One base is slightly thicker, making it easier to use with the flared magwell, while the other has a 1″ long, plus-three-round extension. The pistol was tested with the two specialized magazines and a total of four more with standard polymer baseplates. They all worked flawlessly with the polymer plates resting flush with the magazine well, but, I was interested in learning how to acquire additional +3 extensions. The folks at Century Arms let me know that 18-round magazines with the +3 TTI base will be available for a suggested retail price of $55 through both the Canikusa.com website and dealers that stock Canik pistols.

Century Arms Canik TTI Combat 9 mm gripThe aggressive pyramidal grip texture provides plenty of purchase.

The bottom layer of foam in the case houses additional tools, including a bronze bore brush, patch handle, roll pin punch, magazine loader and a simple trigger lock. The included competition-style molded polymer belt holster is tension-adjustable and has a cutout for optics and a quicker draw. A large commemorative coin that celebrates this collaboration between Canik and TTI is also included.

I would have to say that my favorite find in the bottom of the case is a second complete recoil assembly which is clearly stamped “LOW.” Rather than having to wrestle with color-coded recoil springs, the TTI drop-in assembly allows for a quick change in spring weight so that the pistol can cycle reliably with a full range of ammunition power levels, including subsonic loads. It’s yet another upgrade that doesn’t have to be sought out and purchased separately because it’s included with the gun.

Century Arms Canik TTI Combat 9 mm pistol right-side view parts slide frame magazine spring resting on logThis pistol is easily disassembled for cleaning, including the quick-release compensator.

The only technical issue I ran into with the TTI Combat was when it came time to mount a micro red-dot optic to the slide. The sets of screws provided for the 02 and 03 mounting plates were just slightly out of spec, which caused them to spin in the slide ports rather than thread in properly. However, the screws for the 01 mounting plate, which supports Shield RMS footprint optics, were the correct size.

Canik TTI Combat 9 mm in rest at shooting range on tableThe TTI Combat’s features came together nicely to provide a positive shooting experience.

This led to the pistol being topped off with a yet-to-be-tested Shield Sights RMSw Heavy Duty Waterproof Reflex Minisight ($569). Designed specifically for use in harsh weather conditions, this 4-m.o.a. dot model is gasket sealed so as to remain watertight when submerged up to 20 meters for more than 30 minutes. That should get most competitors through a rainy range day! This particular optic’s height and the rear notch in the housing allowed it to be co-witnessed with the factory iron sights, which is ideal for a competition gun like this one.

three 9 mm ammunition boxes black hills hornady federal stacked on black tableThis pistol operated flawlessly with all loads tested, including the three used for formal accuracy testing.

Other features include an aluminum housing, hard-coated polymer lens and a removable aluminum hood fitted over the lens for added durability. Although one of the hood screws went missing at the range (they were checked and tightened ahead of the range test) the optic operated properly and remained sighted in throughout the course of the test. Shield optics are not exactly budget-priced but few options provide the perfectly crisp, round aiming point that this one does.

Six pistol handgun magazines row line ammunitionA total of six factory magazines were used, including four with standard polymer baseplates.

The Combat TTI proved to be utterly reliable with all ammunition and magazines tested. The grip texturing can become a bit abrasive for extended shooting sessions with bare hands, but the purchase is rock-solid with or without shooting gloves. All of the features and controls operated smoothly and properly with the flat faced trigger and twin-port compensator contributing to a comfortable shooting experience.

Black Hill Ammunition box shown with circular target and 9 mm bullet holes accuracy testing canik tti combatThe Black Hills load produced the best single five-shot group of 1.75”.

Bench-rested accuracy testing was conducted at 25 yards by firing five, five-shot groups using three loads made by Black HillsFederal Premium and Hornady. When shooting polymer pistols from the bench, I can generally expect 3″ to 3.5″ groups at this distance if the gun, the ammunition and I are all operating correctly. With a quality red-dot optic, the group size range can shrink to around 2.5″ to 3″. If the groups are much tighter than that, then it’s the pistol that’s doing the heavy lifting. In this case, the TTI Combat punched out a best single group of 1.75″ with an extreme spread of 2.34″. Here’s the full set of range results using a Garmin Xero C1 Pro chronograph to measure the bullet velocities:

Shooting results table graphic accuracy Canik TTI Combat 9 mm ballistics energy numbers specifications

The new TTI Combat pistol is yet another example of the Canik team’s willingness to continue improving and evolving their pistols rather than resting on their laurels. This collaboration with Taran Butler has yielded a sleek and exciting race gun with top-of-the-line features at a price most enthusiasts can afford. The pistol balances nicely, shoots intuitively and arrives fully loaded with features and accessories. It’s been said that Canik is currently offering some of the best factory-installed, striker-fired pistol triggers on the market. Based on this evaluation, I have to agree.

Century Arms Canik TTI Combat stamp on cerakote bronze slide gun pistol 9 mm

Century Arms Canik TTI Combat Specifications
Manufacturer: Samsun Yurt Savunma (SYS) Industry, Turkey
Importer: Century Arms
Action Type: short-recoil-operated, semi-automatic, centerfire pistol
Chambering: 9 mm Luger
Frame: black textured polymer
Slide: nitride-treated, carbon-steel alloy steel, TTI bronze Cerakote finish
Barrel: 4.6″, fluted, black finish
Rifling: six-groove, 1:10″ RH-twist
Finish: 2-tone
Magazine: 18-round detachable box
Sights: HiViz fiber-optic front; square-notch rear
Trigger: single-action, 3-lb., 8-oz. pull
Overall Length: 7.85”
Height: 5.87”
Width: 1.10” slide, 1.15” grip
Weight: 29.5 ozs. (with empty 18-round magazine)
Accessories: foam-lined travel case, two magazines, three backstraps, three optic-mounting plates, optic hardware and tools, low-power recoil assembly, belt holster, bronze bore brush, patch handle, roll pin punch, magazine loader, trigger lock, commemorative coin, owner’s manual
MSRP: $950

Article by B. GIL HORMAN


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