Canik METE SFT HG5636-N 9mm Luger

The METE SFT has a comfortable grip angle, crisp trigger, and a lot of custom gun features. Accuracy was good with the ammunition we used in this test.


If the brand names of the pistols listed above sound Greek to you, let us translate: The Canik and Girsan handguns are made in Turkey, and the IWI is made in Israel. While we recognize some readers might be turned off by these countries of origin, they won’t be turned off if they want a basic full-size striker-fire 9mm for self defense, especially if on a tight budget. All of these pistols are under $500, and that made us scratch our heads about why anyone would pay more, because these pistols provided good accuracy, ease of use, adaptability, and are hundreds less than many other striker-fire 9mms on the market.

  • The Canik METE SFT HG5636-N, $499, is a new pistol series from Canik that incorporates design changes to the Canik TP9 series. The name, METE, is pronounced Met-Ay.
  • The Girsan MC28 SA 390100, $329, takes some design cues from the S&W M&P, especially in the slide shape and the loaded chamber port on the top of the slide. The controls are also a bit like the M&P. The takedown lever is also like a M&P and nearly every SIG. The trigger uses a built-in safety lever like a Glock.
  • The IWI Masada M9ORP17, $442, looks deceptively simple, yet it has great features. In hand, it is very comfortable and a nice Goldilocks size — not too small, and not too big — similar to the Glock 19X and G45 pistols, with a full-size grip and shorter compact slide. When we field-stripped the pistol to look under the hood, we found internals that resembled the SIG P320, M17, and M18 pistols as well as the Beretta APX series. The Masada uses a serial chassis that is stripped down and is less complicated than that of the SIG. While the action is similar to other striker-fire pistols, the chassis sets it apart.

We shot for accuracy at 25 yards using a rest. We used Thompson Target’s Sight Seer Red paper targets ($7/25; The target is red and white and provides a nice sight-picture contrast because all the pistol sights were dull black and popped on the target. For speed shooting, we performed the Mozambique Drill on plain cardboard IPSC/USPSA targets (78 cents each; These targets use perforated lines to identify zones, and even at 7 yards, it is hard to distinguish the A zones. One side is white and the other plain brown cardboard. We like these targets because it makes it difficult to see and keep shots in the A zone in rapid fire, which forces us to concentrate on the front sight. Plus, we are frugal, so we get multiple uses out of these targets by using masking tape to cover holes.

For ammo, we used both training rounds and defense rounds with different bullet weights and types. Ammo included Prime brand with 124-grain Hexagon-style bullets, Remington HTP with a 147-grain jacketed hollow points, and Streak Ammo with a 124-grain full metal jacket and a green fluorescent coating on the base of the bullet so you can see the bullet’s path. It’s like a tracer, but non-burning so it’s safe for all range types. The Streak ammo was visible in low light, but in bright light it is hard to see the streak. The Streak ammo was pretty hot, with a muzzle velocity over 1022 fps, depending on the pistol. We noted that the Canik had the highest velocities compared to the IWI and Girsan handguns. Here’s more on each pistol:

Gun Tests Grade: A (BEST BUY)


In hand, the full-size SFT has nice balance and grip. The beavertail is extended. The grip girth is manageable for small-handed shooters. Grip texture offers adhesion without abrasion. The trigger guard is under cut for a higher grip, and the grip angle is more vertical and less angular so it points more like a 1911 than a Glock. All good points. The SFT comes in a hard case with gobs of accessories: a clip-on holster, an 18-round flush-fit metal magazine, a 20-round extended magazine, a magazine-loading tool, a metal magazine funnel, optic plates, two backstraps, a roll-pin punch, cleaning tools, and a multi-tip tool that looks like a mini METE SFT.

Action TypeSemi-auto, short recoil operated
Trigger TypeStriker fire
Overall Length7.5 in.
Overall Height (flush-fit magazine)5.7 in.
Maximum Width1.4 in.
Weight Unloaded27.8 oz.
Weight Loaded (18-round magazine)35.5 oz.
Weight Loaded (20-round magazine)36.4 oz.
Barrel4.4 in. long; 1:10-in. twist
Capacity18+1 and 20+1 (double stack)
SlideBlack steel
Slide Retraction Effort16.0 lbs.
FrameFDE polymer
Frame Front Strap Height2.6 in.
Frame Back Strap Height3.6 in.
GripsTextured, 2 modular back straps
Grip Thickness (Maximum)1.1 in.
Grip Circumference (Maximum)5.6 in. (small grip module)
SightsFixed, 3 white-dot
Trigger Pull Weight4.2 lbs.
Trigger Span2.9 in.
Magazines2; steel w/polymer base pad
SafetyFiring pin block; trigger safety lever
Chamber Loaded IndicatorYes
Cocking IndicatorYes
WarrantyLimited lifetime
Telephone(800) 527-1252
Made InTurkey

The slide sports large, white three-dot sights that are dovetailed in place. The rear sight has an edge so you can rack the slide one-handed on the mouth of a holster or edge of a table or vehicle door, or whatever is handy at the moment. The front sight dot is larger than the rear sight dots, so there is some contrast. We liked the sights. The top of the slide is machined for a red-dot optic. Optic plates fit a Shield RMS and RMSc, so it will also work with a SIG Romeo and Holosun 507-series sight. The sights are tall enough and will co-witness with the dot on the RMSc sight.

The Canik came in a case packed with accessories and tools.

There is a loaded-chamber indicator on the top that protrudes when a round is the chamber. The extractor is large. Serrations are forward and aft on the slide and offer a good grip. The nose of the slide is relieved for easy re-holstering. On the under side, the slide shows a series of slots where metal has been removed. The outside of the slide is thinned out in places to remove excess metal. At the rear of the slide is a cocking-indicator pin. When the striker is cocked, a red-tipped pin is visible.

The polymer grip is textured on the sides and front grip strap, plus there is a small spot of texture on the frame forward from the trigger that acts as an index spot for the trigger finger off the trigger or the support-hand thumb. We like this user-friendly feature. The back-strap inserts have a pebbled finish and are sized small and medium. We tested with the small back strap. The area where the web of your hand grasps the grip is thin and smooth and nicely rounded where your trigger finger wraps around to access the trigger. The trigger is wide and serrated, offering good purchase even in rapid fire. The safety blade is thin and molded red. When pressed, it is flush with the trigger surface, making it almost unnoticeable during trigger press.

The trigger press has some take up, then a short first stage, then you hit the wall for a relatively crisp release. Trigger press only required 4.2 pounds of pressure, the lightest trigger pull of the pistols tested. We think it might drop to 4 pounds after running more rounds through it. We liked this trigger immensely, and that showed in the accuracy data.

We liked the oversized slide stop and magazine catch on the Canik, and the textured spots on the frame (arrow) provided an index for proper finger location off the trigger.

The reversible magazine catch is square shaped with fine checkering, and it protrudes enough for a fast magazine dump when pressed with your thumb. The extended slide stop is ambidextrous and sits flush with the frame, so our shooting-hand thumb did not interfere with it when the gun cycled. The slide stop was easy to manipulate with the shooting-hand thumb during a reload. The trigger guard is under cut and the trigger guard is thinned out on the under side for a higher grip with both hands. More user-friendly features. The magazine well is flared for smoother magazine reloads. We tested without the flared magazine well, though we did attach it to try reloads and found it helped speed reloads along. The extended magazine well offers more bulk in a EDC gun, but ultimately it is a user’s call. For a competition gun, we’d leave the extended magwell in place. There is also a Picatinny accessory rail for a light.

With the provided 20-round magazine inserted as shown, the Canik offers a lot of firepower. It also came with a flared magazine-well metal extension that was easily installed or removed. We also liked the flush-fit 18-round magazine, shown detached.

Going hot, we found the accuracy of the SFT battled the IWI for top spot. Our best group with the SFT measured 1.91 inches with the Remington HTP 147-grain JHP. On average across all ammo choices, the SFT shot 2- to 3-inch groups, which is good in a data book or on an Excel spreadsheet. Loading mags did not bust our thumbs, even when pushing in the 18th or 20th rounds. We liked the added capacity of the Canik compared to the other pistols.

In the speed drills, we found the Canik to be easy to control. The speedy first two shots were accurate and very controllable, and the one surgical shot was simple to master quickly. The recoil pulse was very manageable and smooth.

Our Team Said: The Canik METE SFT is an excellent full-size pistol suitable for concealed carry or action-pistol competition. It offers many custom gun features and comes with helpful accessories. We like the large sights and the ability to mount a red dot. In our opinion, the price-to-performance ratio makes the Canik METE SFT a Best Buy.

9mm Luger Range Data

To collect accuracy data, we fired five-shot groups from a bench using a rest. Distance: 25 yards with open sights. We recorded velocities using a ProChrono digital chronograph set 15 feet from the muzzle.
Prime Match+ 124-grain HexagonGirsan MC28 SACanik METE SFTIWI Masada
Average Velocity979 fps1046 fps1005 fps
Muzzle Energy264 ft.-lbs.301 ft.-lbs.278 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group2.49 in.2.15 in.2.26 in.
Average Group2.74 in.2.31 in.2.30 in.
Streak Ammo 124-grain TMCGirsan MC28 SACanik METE SFTIWI Masada
Average Velocity1022 fps1079 fps1059 fps
Muzzle Energy288 ft.-lbs.321 ft.-lbs.309 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group2.26 in.2.57 in.2.80 in.
Average Group2.59 in.3.09 in.2.94 in.
Remington HTP 147-grain JHPGirsan MC28 SACanik METE SFTIWI Masada
Average Velocity862 fps912 fps914 fps
Muzzle Energy243 ft.-lbs.368 ft.-lbs.273 ft.-lbs.
Smallest Group2.79 in.1.91 in.1.80 in.
Average Group3.05 in.2.01 in.2.09 in.


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