Since 2017 we've produced more than 25 videos showing the evolution of Canik pistols. From early models misunderstood by many, to the latest METE releases. Now Canik has stepped things up once again with the Rival series. We got our hands on a Rival SFX Darkside just in time to be able to tell you about it as they launch.
As the name Rival implies, these are competition-oriented pistols. What sort of competition is up to you, competing against yourself to increase skills, or participating in games like USPSA, IPSC, and others, the Canik Rival is intended to be ready for any of it. That's not some clever marketing line, the folks at Canik USA made sure the pistol would be legal according to all major competition guidelines, fitting both in "the box" as a complete pistol, and ensuring the magazine dimensions qualified as well. In fact, the included magazine well is a separate piece for you to install or leave off, as are aluminum magazine baseplates for the 18-round magazines, all to configure to personal liking or competition rules.
Check current pricing:
Palmetto State Armory HERE
In the box you're greeted with a complete kit. Two magazines, three backstraps, an aluminum magazine well extension, two aluminum magazine floorplates, a competition-cut outside the waistband holster, three different lengths of magazine release extensions, five different optics mounting plates, a mini tool kit including screws, bit, and driver, a punch that can be used to disassemble the pistol as far as you want to go, cleaning rod, bore bush, and a manual to make sense of it all.
Whether or not you plan on competing, what's new about the Rival SFX? Why are there two versions? Is there any weight difference between this model's slide and the METE? That's best seen in our video below.
Already fans of Canik pistols, and having run them at both CENTER-T (Graham with the TP9 Elite Combat and Teya with the TP9 Elite Combat Executive) and at Thunder Ranch (where Teya ran the Canik METE SFX) we were eager to get the Rival SFX to the range. I was curious if this was purely cosmetic changes of if the slight difference in slide and barrel wights, along with different trigger would make for a different shooting experience. You can see how the gun ran in our signature battery of tests in the video below.
(Our range videos are fueled by an ammo savings account from Ammo Squared
and finding ammo deals at True Shot Gun Club )
Is the Rival SFX Dark Side different? as a bit of a pistol nerd, and having reviewed hundreds, including about 100 through the exact same battery of tests (including the METE SFX) I must say, "yes". When a gun is already as smooth to shoot as the SFX is (and I just realized YouTube deleted the Shooting Impressions video of that gun) there's not a lot of room for major improvements, just fine tuning. 5", 9mm pistols are smooth shooters to begin with, but they've made it even smoother. As you saw in the tabletop video the changes are minor, but the do squeeze out an improvement in the shooting experience.
I'd say the step from the METE to the Rival provides the same wow factor we felt going from the classic SFX to the METE SFX. With three SFX models side by side they are all three great pistols, but the user experience is enhanced with each step. The Rival SFX Dark Side's inclusion of an extra optics mounting plate that includes a rear sight is a nice touch for those considering a gun like this for range and home defense use. These models were obviously intended for competition use, but personally I'd like to see them apply the same treatment to an SFT or SF Elite-sized gun.
Confused about which Canik? I admit I even have a hard time sometimes keeping up with all of the nomenclatures. In May of 2020 I created a guide video that likely deserves an update (it lacks the METE and Rival pistols covered on this website). That video is below followed by a series of links to all the Canik pistols we've covered.
Model-Specific Canik videos in no particular order:
Canik TP9 SFX Tabletop (second video deleted by YouTube)
FROM THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
"Canik USA Announces the Arrival of the Canik SFx Rival Series
Delray Beach, Fla. – (January 18, 2022)
Rival (n) - A person or thing competing with another for the same objective or for SUPERIORITY in the same field of activity.
Canik is proud to introduce the next wave of superior handguns with the Canik Rival series. This revolutionary firearm was designed to level the playing field for the competitive shooter without breaking the bank!
The Canik SFx Rival has a total length of 8.1”, a height of 5.7”, a 1.41” width, a 5” barrel, and an overall weight of 29.5 oz. With these specifications the Canik SFx Rival can compete in IDPA, IPSC, and USPSA without restrictions. The Canik Rival is available in Canik Rival Grey with Cerakoted gold accents and in an all-black configuration called the Canik SFx Rival Dark Side. With adjustable fiber optic sights, a lightened 90° diamond cut aluminum flat trigger, reversible magazine releases and sizes, ambidextrous slide release, aggressively serrated and ported slide, 1913 picatinny rail, external mag-well, 3 grip back strap sizes, double undercut trigger guard, ergonomically redesigned beavertail, aggressive grip texturing, and a completely modular setup, the SFx Rival is ready to win right out of the box!
Each SFx Rival hard case includes two 18 round magazines, additional aluminum magazine base plates, a custom holster, Canik punch and toolkit, cleaning kit, 4 optic plates for Canik SFx Rival and 5 optics plates with SFx Rival Dark Side, additional fiber optic, gun lock, and manual.
“The Canik SFx Rival platform has been a closely held secret for the US market” said Canik USA National Marketing Director Adam Ruonala. “This project has been in such high demand for so long that we knew we had to do it right when we brought it to the United States!” The Canik SFx Rival and Canik SFx Rival Dark Side are being sold into distribution now at Shot Show and will be available in stores and online for the consumers to purchase in the next couple of weeks with a MSRP of $679.99! "