Canik's ever-expanding line of pistols can get confusing at times. The METE line brought about nearly a generational change to features and hand fitment and attention went to the two first sizes of the METE line, the METE SFX and METE SFT. Things had gotten confusing enough that we generated The Canik Guide to help folks understand which Canik might be right for their needs. Then the Rival model came out, followed by a steel-framed model and just when we thought things were calming down the micro-compact MC9 was released!
Somewhere in all that confusion Canik snuck out a METE-line compact-sized model, the METE SF. Newer shooters may not be aware, but up until recently the roughly 4"-barreled, 15-round "compact" size family was the prime choice for a good do-all gun that could be carried, but was still comfortable on the range, and not necessairly under-gunning yourself for a home-defense pistol. (What Happened to Compact Pistols?)
A Compact METE seems like a natural winner. All the features we've described in the linked articles above from the METE line, now in a do-all size.
*An extra note about this size class is that most 9mm ammunition is formulated to SAAMI specifications which uses a 4" barrel for testing. In non-gun-nerd language that means most ammunition is designed to perform best at the velocity it gets from a 4" barrel. With defensive ammunition that means going faster (longer barrel) and the round might rip apart on target, going slower (shorter barrel) and the hollow point might not expand as intended. This is one reason why personally I try to stick to around a 4" barrel, preferring slightly longer over slightly shorter.
As we've come to expect from Canik, the METE SF comes with a nice kit of everything you'd need to hit the range minus ammo. Two magazines, a holster, cleaning kit, take-down down, and a mini pistol bit-driver that holds the bits and screws inside for mounting an optic.
CAPACITY: 15+1 rounds
FRONT SIGHT: White Dot
CARTRIDGE: 9mm Luger
MAGAZINE TYPE: Canik Compact Size Magazine
REAR SIGHT: White Dot
MAGAZINE INCLUDED: 2 x 15-Round Magazines
ACTION TYPE: Semi-Automatic
FRAME MATERIAL: Synthetic
OVERALL LENGTH: 7.28"
BARREL LENGTH: 4.19"
Pricing as of 30MAR23
For the range session I decided to leave the installed backstrap on, but add the included magazine well. It's been our experience that magazine wells like this help my large hands from getting pinched during reloads, and for Teya's smaller hands offers a sort of limit for her support hand to help keep the gun locked in. Yes, they can help correct a slightly-errant reload too, but with the prominent toe of Canik's magazine well design they serve extra purpose.
We hit the range for our standard battery of experiences with Teya was unable to make it for this session despite her love for Canik pistols (she's used them in training at CENTER-T, Thunder Ranch, and VerTac). She'll do a follow-up "Teya's Quick Take" the next time she can make it to the range.
To try out the Canik METE SF we of course hit the range for our standard battery of experiences:
Cold Shots: Truly our first rounds through the gun.
Full Magazine +1: Not all guns perform well when "fully stuffed".
What's For Dinner™: A test to see what ammunition the gun will eat. Does the gun feed the round from slide lock, will it cycle and feed another round of the same type, does the slide lock to the rear on empty, and is there any notable point of impact change with different loads.
For this gun we used the following ammunition:
50gr+p Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense: $27.54 / 20 at Sportsman's Guide
65gr ARX Inceptor: $18.67 / 25 at Firearms Depot
68gr+p Underwood Xtreme Defender: $28.50 / 20 at Optics Planet
115gr Hornady Critical Defense: $23.42 / 25 at Global Ordnance
115gr Wolf Steel Case: $13.77 / 50 at Sportsman's Guide
124gr Federal Punch: $21.74 / 20 at Brownell's
124gr Sierra Outdoor Master $10.99 / 20 at Global Ordnance
147gr Federal Premium Law Enforcement Tactical HST:
150gr Federal Syntech Action Pistol:
158gr PPU Subsonic:
Sights & Trigger Control: on a 6" spinner target at a distance of 12 yards. We got this from Titan Great Outdoors and use it to gauge how learnable the trigger is and usable the sights are for forced, timed, precise shots.
Practical Accuracy: Five shots from a distance of seven yards at a one inch target. This isn't so much about printing a tight group as it is a culmination of our shooting experience and time for us to collect thoughts prior to making a conclusion.
After Shots: Final impressions from two shooters. We both have different interests, backgrounds, preferences, and approaches to shooting. We don't always agree, but that's why we present you with two opinions.
The results of all of this can be seen in the Shooting Impressions video below:
The experiment of trying to use the magwell to trap my XXL-glove hand onto a compact frame both worked and didn't work. Over time it became uncomfortable and so I decided to wrap my pinky around the leading edge of the magwell instead.
Performance overall was what we've come to expect from Canik: excellent. The pre-cocked striker used by Canik and Walther is about as crisp of a striker-fired trigger as can be made. Pressing the trigger is simply releasing the trigger. Any takeup feel is just deactivating internal safeties and spring resistance built in to keep the gun safe. Accuracy was excellent, especially considering I was using bulk-pack Winchester White Box on a target that was shifting in the breeze.
If you've admired the METE line of Caniks, but not wanted a full-size like the SFT or SFX, yet want something potentially more general-purpose than the micro MC9 then the METE SF is the "just right" size you may have been looking for. Regardless of what size you're looking for, Canik it making it very difficult to not pick a Canik.