by Sam Hoober
Alien Gear’s Sam Hoober relates how Turkish firearms makers have gotten incredibly popular in recent years and why they shouldn’t be overlooked.
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Some people prefer German, Swiss or Austrian guns, some people only buy American, but there are a whole lot of Turkish firearms coming on to the market these days.
A Turkish guns and gun makers have been around for decades, but a whole lot more have been showing up in the past 10 years or so.
Gun snobs might poo-poo them, but you shouldn’t overlook Turkish firearms, as there are some quality long guns and handguns being made in that country.
What’s established a minor foothold for a few Turkish gun makers in recent years has been quality of construction, along with reliability and accuracy that belie the modest price tags. In fact, those attributes have created a cult following for some Turkish gun makers.
Here are three Turkish Firearms brands you should give a second glance at if you have the opportunity:
Canik has gotten on the radar of late for their TP9 poly striker series of pistols, which have gotten an incredible amount of great press as nearly equaling the performance of certain Austrian polymer striker pistols and doing so for a few hundred dollars fewer in purchase price. However, those are hardly the only pistols they make – Canik also makes a line of CZ clones that are imported by TriStar Arms and are fairly widely available.
Among them is the Canik Shark 55 FC, a facsimile of the Baby Eagle, which was itself based on the Tanfoglio Witness – which was also a CZ-inspired pistol design.
The CZ-inspired Canik pistols have likewise gained a reputation for shooting about as well as the name brand models. Just like the TP9 series, which are imported and sold by Century Arms, they are available for very reasonable rates as well.
Canik’s factory is NATO and ISO-9000 certified, meaning these pistols are service grade and are actually issued to a number of police departments and militaries worldwide.
Just don’t expect a slim, subcompact 9mm. Canik’s pistols are service arms, and though there are compact models (the C-100 and P-100 are both close in size to the Glock 19) none are exactly svelte. However, the good news is that finding a holster will be easy – holsters for CZ pistols are widely available and they almost always fit the corresponding Canik pistol.
Sarsilmaz, much like Canik, produces a number of pistols that are derived from the CZ-75, though Sarsilmaz’s offerings more closely mirror the Tanfoglio Witness pistols imported for sale by European American Armory. As it happens, SAR pistols are also sold by EAA.
Just like Canik, they are made in a NATO certified factory and are issued as duty pistols to various police forces and a few military units as well. EAA has a few different models available, including full-size and compacts the SAR B6 in 9mm, the SAR K2-45 in .45 ACP and even the SARGUN poly striker pistol in both chamberings.
While they haven’t gotten a lot of press, reviewers and owners have been noticing how well these guns shoot despite the low price tag. SAR B6 and B6P (the compact model) pistols are often found online for $300 or less.
Stoeger has actually been around for quite a while, at one time having sold a reproduction Luger pistol in the U.S., but in recent years has been known much more for their shotguns. Stoeger makes lines of over-under and side-by-side shotguns (including a coachgun, for those interested) but also basic pump guns.
However, it’s their semi-auto shotguns that are the real stars in the lineup.
Stoeger semi-auto shotguns use an inertia-driven action, much like Benelli semi-auto shotguns. The mechanism isn’t exactly the same, but works in a very similar fashion and Stoeger semi-autos are said to shoot just as well as some Benelli guns, despite costing hundreds of dollars less in sticker. As it happens, Stoeger is actually part of the Beretta/Benelli family, having been purchased by Beretta and the Mobil chokes work in all three brands.
Though handguns aren’t necessarily their forte, Stoeger did take over manufacturing the Cougar pistol from Beretta, as the parent company literally shipped the machines from Italy so they could start making them, though the pistol is no longer mentioned on Stoeger’s website, so production could be winding down to nil. The Cougar is somewhere between a service pistol and a compact, though Stoeger Cougar concealed carry is possible with a decent holster and gun belt.
There are more Turkish firearms out there, but these three brands make some excellent firearms, especially when you consider the price points. If you’re looking for a quality pistol or scattergun, these would be great examples.
Sam Hoober is a contributing editor at aliengearholsters.com, as well as for Bigfoot Gun Belts. He also writes weekly columns for Daily Caller and USA Carry.