Review: Akdas Arms SA-9 Combat Pistol

A large format pistol with AR styling that takes MP5 magazines.

by
posted on April 9, 2024
Akdas Arms SA-9 Combat Pistol

Made in Turkey by Akdas Arms and imported to this country by Global Defense, the SA-9 Combat Pistol is among the cooler-looking firearms I’ve shot in the last several years. And I don’t find a thing wrong with cool.

I shot the SA-9 and a variety of 9mm ammunition using a rest at both 12 and 25 yards. I also shot it from the hip at 7 to 10 yards, and offhand by holding the pistol up to get my eye behind the sights and optic at 7 and 5 yards. It all felt pretty awkward. Even so, the pistol proved itself more than accurate enough, as is, for home defense.

AR Furniture

The SA-9 looks like an AR-15 pistol, with some MP5 styling. Unlike an AR and an MP5, though, it employs closed-bolt, blowback operation. In a way, then, it’s a hybrid pistol.

Gun in case

The AR-like features include upper and lower receivers made from forged 7075-T6 aluminum, a full length Picatinny rail atop the upper and a MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rear attachment rail with a QD (Quick Detach) point for adding a sling. The pistol also sports a charging handle and AR-like fire controls, an A2 flash hider and takedown pins. There’s also that wonderful 30-round steel MP5-type magazine, removed from the pistol by an ambidextrous magazine paddle release. The trigger on my test SA-9 came in at an average of 3 pounds, 5 ounces of trigger pull. The trigger displayed a bit of initial creep, but the pull was consistent.

The pistol grip featured serrations along the front strap, with a raised pattern along the sides. My middle finger was held in place nicely thanks to a finger groove, while my bottom two fingers firmly engaged the front strap and raised texture. The web of my shooting hand came up into the curve at the rear of the receiver, while my thumb wrapped tightly around the grip.

I tended to hold the magazine with my non-shooting hand, though the aluminum handguard covering the barrel also provided good support when shooting offhand.

Open Sights

I first shot the SA-9 using the handgun’s open sights. My shooting table was 12 yards from the targets. To accommodate that long MP5 magazine, I laid the SA-9 over the top of my poly range/toolbox and used a collection of shooting bags to anchor my forearms. It worked but was shaky at times.

My groups weren’t terrible, 2.0-inches or so, but the rear peep sight and front post were definitely blurry to my eyes, even with the largest of the two rear apertures used. Eyes, it should be noted, of a writer who qualifies for the Senior Discount from coast to coast. No doubt, younger eyes would do much better. 

Seeing Red

So, I mounted a Thrive Red Dot MOA 3 from ZeroTech Optics zerotechoptics.com onto the pistol. The optic featured 11 brightness settings, a 3-MOA dot powered by one CR2032 battery and 1-MOA elevation and windage adjustments. It came complete with a mounting base, which easily attached to the receiver rail.  

My groups tightened up considerably with the Thrive. This included a five-shot group at .8-inches with Federal Premium Train+Protect 9mm firing a 115-grain hollow point, and Winchester Target & Practice with its 124-grain full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet and a 1.0-inch group.  

Longer Range

I also used these two brands of ammunition for my 25-yard accuracy testing. The Train+Protect scored a five-shot group of .6 inch, which was the best group I fired at any distance with the pistol. The Winchester range ammo was close behind, making groups that were right around 1.0 inches.

Of note, getting a solid rest was a problem with that long 30-round magazine curling out of the bottom of the pistol. But once I got my make-shift rest set up working, the SA-9 proved itself a very accurate firearm.

I ran over 225 rounds through the SA-9 without a single malfunction. In addition to the afore-mentioned 9mm brands, I shot Remington UMC, 115-grain FMJ load, and Winchester USA Ready with a 115-grain flat-nosed FMJ bullet.

Spray and Pray

Hip shooting

Firing from the hip and holding the SA-9 chest high were for me shooting exercises in spray-and-pray.  At five yards, I certainly hit my large sized Champion LE Silhouette Target. But, the hits resembled a 00 Buckshot pattern fired from 25 yards.

I also held the SA-9 up to my eye, with the open sights and the red dot, and made some pretty respectable, five-shot groups at 5 and 7 yards. “Respectable,” as in the 1.5- to 2.0-inch range. But, the shooting position was very uncomfortable and most of my groups were closer to 3 inches.

Specifcations: Akdas Arms SA-9 Combat Pistol

  • Manufacturer: Akdas Arms, Turkey, Imported by Global Defense
  • Model:  SA-9 Combat Pistol
  • Action Type: Closed-bolt blowback, semi-automatic
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Receivers: Forged 7075-T6 aluminum
  • Height: 8.58 inches
  • Width: 2.26 inches
  • Length: 15.75 inches
  • Barrel Length: 6.5 inches
  • Weight: 80 ounces (without magazine)
  • Twist Rate: 1:10-inch RH twist
  • Muzzle device: A2 Flash Hider
  • Finish: Black
  • Sights: Adjustable rear and front post
  • Magazines Included: One 30 round MP-5 compatible magazine
  • Rail: Full-Length MIL-STD Picatinny top
  • Safety: Trigger bock and firing pin safety
  • INC: Hard case, cleaning kit, sling
  • MSRP: $799
  • globaldefense.us 

Shooting Results

Load Smallest Group/Largest/Average (inches)

Federal Premium Train + Protect 9mm, 115-grain hollow point.  .60/1.5/1.1  

Winchester Target & Practice, 124-grain FMJ.  .90/1.5/1.2

Accuracy measured in inches based on four, five shot groups shot at 25 yards from a rest. Conditions: 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

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