Welcome to another episode of "I Carry," Shooting Illustrated's weekly video series covering the guns and gear needed to put together a potential everyday-carry kit. Today, we're using the Canik TP9 Elite Combat equipped with a Leupold DeltaPoint Pro red-dot optic and carried inside a Smoky Mountain Concealment AIWB holster. We also have a N82 Tactical Double Stack Mag Carrier and a Vedder Holsters gun belt.
Canik TP9 Elite Combat ($849.99)
Generally, when we think of concealed-carry guns, we’re thinking of something small. A Ruger LCP II, Smith & Wesson J-Frame or SIG Sauer P365. However, we really shouldn’t discount looking at something larger for EDC use, particularly if you’re dedicated to carrying a gun on a daily basis. Small guns are easy to carry, and that’s really their main benefit. Often, their small size makes them harder to shoot, and because of that, owners tend not to practice as much with these diminutive defensive options.
Move to larger guns like the Canik TP9 Elite Combat, and now you’ve got a gun that’s more shootable. In fact, this gun is set up as an affordable option for competition use and features a number of extras designed to aid shooters in winning matches, such as an enhanced trigger, oversized mag release, interchangeable backstraps and a generous mag well funnel. How do you win matches? Well, you make solid hits in a short amount of time. Guess what? Getting solid, rapid hits is the goal in personal-defense as well, so a gun set up to perform in competition can also be an asset in your EDC kit.
Leupold DeltaPoint Pro ($519.99)
One other feature you’ll notice on the Canik TP9 Elite Combat is that it has a milled slot here at the rear of the slide. Among several accessories included with this pistol are four mounting plates, each designed to accept several of today’s popular slide-mounted reflex sights. I’ve used one of those mounting plates to attach this Leupold DeltaPoint Pro to the Canik. The DeltaPoint Pro was one of the early entrants to the micro red-dot market, and this design continues to be a strong candidate for an RDO-equipped handgun.
This DeltaPoint Pro model on this Canik TP9 Elite Combat features a 2.5-MOA dot, and the entire unit is constructed using an aluminum housing protected by a steel sheath. This makes the DeltaPoint Pro particularly durable and able to withstand rough treatment, which is a plus for this package. Eagle-eyed viewers will note that there’s no provision for a rear sight on the Canik when using an optics-mounting plate, so with an installed optic, that’s your aiming system. But with the rugged build, you shouldn’t feel any hesitation about counting on an RDO for EDC.
Smoky Mountain Concealment Canik Appendix Carry Holster ($64.95)
Looking at the Canik TP9 Elite Combat with a mounted optic, it seems like a pretty big setup that won’t be so easy to carry and conceal. Really, though, if you’re committed to carrying an effective defensive platform, then larger carry guns aren’t much of an issue. All you need is a good holster, belt and cover garment, and we’ve got a great holster in the form of this appendix-carry option from Smoky Mountain Concealment.
This all-Kydex design features a molded-in wedge that pushes the grip of your handgun into the body, which helps to reduce printing. This attached wing also presses against your belt, which works to cant the grip inward, thereby aiding further in concealment. The holster features a generous cutout on the leading edge of the body, which accommodates a mounted optic like the DeltaPoint Pro. Viewers will also notice that this holster features two belt loops, which works better for stabilization during all-day carry.
N82 Double-Stack Magazine Carrier ($39.95)
Your holster has a pretty large footprint inside the waistband, so you won’t feel too much concentrated pressure that can potentially cause discomfort, but your magazine carrier is another issue. Many mag carriers on the market tend to be small, slim units, and that concentrated bulk can get really irritating. N82 addresses this potential problem with its double-stack Mag Carrier, which features this really generous, soft, suede-leather backing. The shell can accommodate a wide range of double-stack mags on the market, and the spring-steel clip is tuckable, so you can wear this comfortably beneath a tucked-in dress shirt.
Vedder Holsters Leather Gun Belt ($69.99)
While the Canik TP9 Elite Combat isn’t as heavy as some guns that can be carried, it’s still got more weight and bulk to it than many compact pistols. To prevent that extra weight from creating discomfort or shifting throughout the day, it’s important to pair a carry rig like this with a good gun belt. We have a great option from Vedder Holsters in the company’s Leather Gun Belt. The exterior looks like a well-made dress belt constructed from thick cuts of leather, but there’s a hidden feature to this design. There are actually two layers of leather, and between each layer is a sturdy polymer core that adds rigidity and stability.