Canik METE SFx

The latest pistol line from Turkey might be the best combination of quality and value available today.

posted on March 30, 2022
Canik METE SFx

For many American shooters, if they have heard of the Turkish manufacturer Canik at all, it is because of the company’s popular striker-fired pistol, the TP9. Offering surprising all-around quality and reliability at an extremely affordable price, the TP9 put Canik—and indeed Turkey—on the map when it came to handguns that weren’t merely inexpensive, but actually desirable. Rather than rest on its laurels, Canik has introduced a new line of pistols called the METE (met-ay) with two models, the SFT and the subject of this review, the SFx.

The METE models are quite similar apart from some competitive-shooting-based enhancements on the SFx. The foundation of the pistols is a flat-dark-earth, polymer frame and a black stainless steel slide and barrel. Both come with an 18-round magazine and an extended 20-round magazine, along with a host of other accessories in a hard case that matches the frame’s color. Both pistols also feature slides cut for Shield RMS-pattern optics covered by a removable, yet seamlessly integrated, plate. Also, both METEs feature sights that co-witness with such optics. Where the SFx differs is in its barrel length (just a hair shorter than 5.25 inches versus 4.46 inches on the SFT) and the fact that it has eight lightening cuts in its longer slide. Otherwise, the pistols are quite similar, and therefore, apart from the shooting results and MSRP, most of what you are about to read applies to both of the METE models.

Canik METE SFx features
Thanks to an interchangeable backstrap, the METE SFx can be made to better fit the shooter’s hand • An included, easily installed speed mag well enhances the already-flared, integral unit on the pistol’s smartly textured grip • Sights are of the three-dot variety and are high enough to co-witness with MRDS optics

Perhaps the most immediately noticeable feature of this pistol is its red paddle safety on the trigger face (it has no manual safety). Apart from standing out to the eye, it is functionally identical to any other such mechanism in that it prevents the pistol from firing unless and until the trigger is pulled fully rearward.

The trigger itself is somewhat enigmatic. I’ve read elsewhere that it is among the best on any factory striker-fired pistol, and I see why others reached this conclusion. When pulling or pressing the trigger as one would when firing rapid strings in competition or in a defensive encounter, it is indeed light and crisp, with a strong tactile reset. Yet, there is significant takeup; almost like a two-stage trigger on a rifle. I actually like two-stage rifle triggers, since they allow the shooter to pause before making the final decision to shoot, with only minor force required at that point to fire a round. Therefore, I found this aspect of the METE’s trigger favorable, though others might find there to be too much takeup.

Canik METE SFx features
Nestled inside of a double-cut trigger guard, the METE’s trigger sports a red paddle safety • The handgun ships with two magazines; an 18-round model and a 20-round version with an extended baseplate • Thanks to a padded hard case stocked with a multitude of useful tools and accessories, the METE is ready for most any task out of the box—just add ammo • Lighten-ing cuts at the front of the slide add flair and reduce weight • Cut for the popular Shield RMS-pattern footprint, the slide comes with a flush-fitting cover for those who choose not to mount an MRDS optic.

Once you’ve moved past the takeup, however, things become less clear. Again, in a defensive scenario or when firing rapidly in competition or on the range, you are unlikely to notice the creaky creepiness I found while firing slowly for accuracy testing. This is a minor complaint, since slow trigger pulls are basically only used for accuracy testing and perhaps bullseye competition, and in any case, this minor hiccup within the slow pull did not adversely affect the METE’s accuracy at all.

Speaking of accuracy, the METE SFx performed quite well. Because it has a 5.2-inch barrel, I tested it from 25 yards, which is a much longer range than most people will engage with a pistol. That said, I would be confident at that range, because the handgun delivered, particularly with the ultra-light NovX load. Despite that, it was clearly not designed to fire the relatively exotic, ultra-fast, ultra-lightweight, copper-polymer bullets loaded in NovX’s line. I had multiple failures to feed and eject with this load, likely because it is so out of the ordinary in terms of its recoil impulse. While ridiculously fast for a pistol round, the bullet is so light (65 grains), it can be finicky in some guns, the METE included. The more standard 9 mm bullet weights I tested functioned absolutely flawlessly with zero malfunctions, so if you load your Canik with traditional 9 mm ammo, it should be eminently reliable.

Canik METE SFx shooting results

I tested the gun with iron sights, but they are easily good enough for 25-yard shooting, and therefore excellent at shorter ranges. The fact they co-witness with optics is also a welcome advantage, as is the slight slant on the front of the rear sight to aid in performing a one-handed slide manipulation should that become necessary.

Like the TP9, the METE follows on Canik’s reputation for quality and value. It ships with a plethora of useful accessories, including a polymer IWB/OWB holster that, while far from the best holster on the market, is A) free (or, more precisely, included in the pistol’s cost) and B) the best included-with-the-gun holster I’ve tested. Canik boasts that the gun and holster combination are fitted to provide enhanced retention. While I can’t speak to the mechanics of that claim, I can confirm that the fit is snug and the gun will not come out of the holster unless you want it to, yet the draw requires only minimally more force than an average aftermarket Kydex or polymer holster. The pistol has a flared mag well, but ships with an even-more-flared mag well in the padded hard case, making speed reloads easier should you choose to install it, but giving you the option to leave the METE SFx as is to minimize bulk.

One of the more amusing aspects of the package is the included driver used to install the speed mag well, remove the slide-cut cover and attach an MRDS. It is a shaped like a mini METE, with the needed bits contained in its “magazine well.” This is both cute and practical.

Given the pistol’s features, performance and value, I would not be at all surprised if the METE becomes just as popular as the TP9. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more complete package at a lower price, or even for significantly more money.

Canik METE SFx

Canik METE SFx specs


Nextorch TA31 Tactical Searchlight
Nextorch TA31 Tactical Searchlight

First Look: Nextorch TA31 Tactical Searchlight

10,000 lumens in an easy to carry package.

Top USA Firearm Manufacturers Report

Who are the top firearms manufacturers in America?

First Look: Springfield Armory Echelon in FDE or OD Green

All the features of the Echelon pistol, with a brand new look.

The Classics: The Tokarev Handgun

The definitive pistol of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War was made in enormous quantities.

First Look: Enhanced Taurus TX22 Pistol

New features include an improved trigger and an optional optics cut on the slide.

First Look: Mission First Tactical Pro Series Holsters

Secure your firearm and light with a magnet inside an AIWB holster.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.