July 2013

A Pair of All-Steel 9mm Pistols Are Definitely Not Turkeys

Two Turkish imports are very similar, and they are value priced. Should you shoot for a Canik55 Stingray-C or ArmaLite AR-24?

We recently had the opportunity to shoot and thoroughly test two pistols imported from Turkey, and they were alike in ways other than sharing a home country — the two towns where the handguns are made sit about 523 km apart on the south side of the Black Sea. The Canik55 Stingray-C 9mm Luger, $370, imported by Century International Arms, is made in Samsun by Canik55, a police- and military-arms builder established in 1998. This DA/SA semi-auto is a CZ-75 clone made of steel with a hard-chrome finish, and it tips the scale at a hefty 38 ounces unloaded weight and 45 ounces loaded weight with 16 rounds aboard. It stands 5.25 inches tall and is 7.1 inches long.

The AR-24 Pistol Compact 24K-13 9mm Luger, $550, is made by Sarsilmaz in D zce and is imported by ArmaLite of Geneseo, Illinois. It is a hoss as well, weighing in at 36.2 ounces unloaded and 42.4 ounces loaded. The AR-24 is 7.5 inches long and stands 5.2 inches tall and carries 14 rounds as its total payload.

The pair also had traits that separated them. Cosmetically, they were night and day. The hard-chrome finish of the Stingray practically glowed in the dark, but it also wore very well, showing no dings or scratches by the end of our test program. The AR-24, in contrast, has a military-grade manganese phosphate and heat-cured epoxy exterior for outstanding corrosion resistance and a low-glare dark-grey finish. The ArmaLite pistol comes in four variations, the largest being the AR-24, a full-size recoil-operated modified-Browning locked-breech 9mm. Our test gun, the AR-24K, is a compact version of the same gun. Tactical Custom versions have windage- and elevation-adjustable rear sights and checkering instead of grooves on the frontstrap and backstrap. Canik55 produces several lines of pistols, including the MKEK, Shark, Piranha, S-FC, Dolphin, and TP series, along with the Stingrays. The Stingrays are chambered in 9mm Luger (Para) and come in full-size versions (up to 19-round magazines) and compact Stingray-C models in both chrome- and black-chrome plated finishes.

To collect bench-accuracy data, we set up at Tactical Firearms in Katy, Texas (TacticalFirearms.us) and fired five-shot groups at 15 yards using the supplied open sights. On the bench, we used sandbags to support the guns and the shooter’s arms. We recorded velocities using a PACT Professional XP with infrared screens with the first screen set 12 feet from the muzzle. Our 9mm Luger ammunition samples were Winchester USA 115-grain full metal jackets, Federal American Eagle 147-grain full-metal-jacket flat points, and Hornady Steel Match 125-grain HAP hollowpoints. Here is how we judged each gun when they were compared head to head.

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