Canik METE MC9 Micro-Compact Review: A Slim CCW Option

by Vern Evans

There was a time when the American shooting public couldn’t fathom the idea of taking a Turkish firearm to the range. A country shrouded in mystery, most of us couldn’t point to it on a map. Let alone think of any of its other products to gauge relative quality. Then, in 2012, this attitude changed abruptly when Canik’s polymer-framed semi-automatic pistols hit the scene, courtesy of Century Arms. And Canik continues to impress with options like its micro-compact METE MC9.

The Canik METE MC9 Micro-Compact

Canik introduced itself with a tagline that cited a reliability round count in the tens of thousands. At a paltry price point, plenty of us trusted the gun enough to buy one for casual target work. With market feedback being wildly positive, match versions weren’t far behind, indicating a heightened level of faith in the brand.

In my eyes, once a system is cleared for informal target work and later formal target shooting, it becomes worthy of everyday carry consideration. It appears that Canik feels the same way, as a few years later, it released the TP9 Elite SC. This subcompact pistol delivered on every front expected by concealed carry practitioners. However, unfortunately, it came at the tail end of chunky carry guns.

Never to be outdone, Canik hit the drawing board harder to create a gun that didn’t sacrifice capacity yet fit the profile for today’s carry pistol. That micro-compact gun would later be dubbed the Mete MC9. I first saw it at the 2022 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous, months before it was released to the public.

The Concept Behind the MC9 Miro-Compact

Those looking to carry a pistol are seeking the highest capacity possible without unnecessary girth or, of course, expense. Canik had the value part licked. So, as long as it could slim the design without dropping the round count, it would put a winner into the pipeline. In other words, the company knew the direction it needed to head but just needed to go further to meet the consumer.

Like most micro compacts, the design was based around the magazine. And the MC9 was, too, except with a completely different mindset. Instead of adjusting followers and body dimensions, Canik decided it was going to keep the magazine the way it was. The company focused on the frame width instead.

The beauty of this approach is that millions of dollars in magazine engineering and manufacturing costs didn’t have to be built into the MSRP. Additionally, previous Canik owners won’t have to reinvest in spare mags.

The end result was a pistol that hits the calipers at just 1.12 inches wide, packing a generous 15+1 capacity. Not to mention, it can be found on dealers’ shelves for less than $450.

Ready out of the box

The first Caniks to hit our shores were impressive for more than just their reliability. Already in tune with shooters’ needs, the manufacturer sent its guns with a previously unheard-of amount of accessories. This trend continues with the MC9, making it ready to carry home from the gun store.

Each pistol includes a minimalistic Kydex holster that can be configured for IWB or OWB use (as long as you are right-handed). Additionally, you get the choice of a flush-fit 12-round magazine or an extended 15-rounder. Correspondingly, the pistol includes a pinky extension baseplate for the smaller of the two magazines. As a result, comes a middle ground between capacity and concealability.

Lastly, everything needed to clean and maintain the MC9 is also included in a foam-fit, lockable hard case.

Looking the METE MC9 over

I knew after shooting through my first magazine at Rendezvous I was going to request one for a deeper dive. When it arrived, I was able to get a better look at the optics cut. I really dug the cratered screw holes that provide extra security for something that can be of critical importance.

I also got a better peek at the backstrap and realized that they were able to retain the modular system. Correspondingly, the case also includes two other backstrap options. Furthermore, ambidextrous slide stops, coupled with the reversible magazine catch, make it rather lefty-friendly.

I’ll give them a pass on the holster. A dedicated righty holster is almost always going to be more secure than something that is aimed at being ambidextrous.

Dry firing the gun revealed the same outstanding trigger that the Caniks are known for. And now that I had it home, I was able to measure the breaking weight at just 4lbs., 5 oz. This is excellent for a carry gun.

Range Prep

The MC9 can readily accept any optic with the RMSc footprint. However, I wanted to get a feel for how well the pistol pointed and handled without an aiming device. Besides, I’m still not sold on carry optics. So, I figured I’d keep things the way I would carry in real life.

This brought me to ammunition selection, leaving me with a great opportunity to try Winchester’s new USA Ready Defense ammo. This load features the company’s latest Hex-Vent technology with a stiff polymer insert to deflect heavy clothing and initiate expansion.

Conversely, I added Hornady’s Critical Duty to the mix, which also uses an insert. However, the company went the flexible route as they felt that was the better way to skin a cat. Both ideas have proven effective, so I thought they would make a good pair.

For a heavy, conventional option, I rounded things out with Sierra’s 147-grain Outdoor Master load. And I was off to the range before I knew it.

Running the METE MC9

My evaluation began during the car ride to the range. Here, I tested the most important aspect of a carry pistol—carrying it. If a gun is uncomfortable on the waistband or the holster is too complicated, it’s probably going to get left in the safe.

I was pleased that in its stock holster, the gun was barely noticeable in the appendix position. Of course, the other half of this equation was the 5.11 Tactical Defender Flex jeans that I donned that morning. This represents a critical component of concealed carry that is often dismissed. Specifically, that we must always dress around the gun.

When I arrived, I swapped the holster’s hardware to the other side for OWB carry and found it to be ultimately comfortable. But, of course, I needed to keep my jacket on to conceal it.

From this position, I practiced drawing and firing one shot on a standard IPSC target. During this drill, I was able to achieve A-zone hits in as little as 1.22 seconds. This is terrific for barely handling the gun prior to this.

I found that the sights were easy to acquire on account of being oversized. Likewise, each time I pressed out, they were essentially already completely aligned.

Moving on to double taps and Mozambique drills brought forth the same level of confidence. During my 300-round test, I didn’t experience a single malfunction. I will note that initial magazines failed to go into slide lock on their last shot. However, that issue seemed to go away completely after a short break in period and a little lubrication.

Wrapping up

I ended the day by field stripping the gun, swabbing the barrel, and conducting a formal accuracy test. Even relatively dirty, the gun produced outstanding groups. Thus demonstrating that it would be capable of head-shot precision should that ever be on the table.

Overall, I thought it was an exceptional pistol at a tremendous value. This is consistent with everything else Canik has brought to the market since we learned how to pronounce its name. I can give this pistol my highest recommendation to anybody looking to upgrade their carry rig. Not to mention, to the millions who have decided to start carrying a weapon in recent years.

For more information, please visit CanikUSA.com.

Canik METE MC9 Micro-Compact Specs

Caliber 9mm Luger
Capacity 12; 15+1
Barrel 3.18 inches
Overall Length 6.1 inches
Weight 21.3 ounces
Grips Polymer
Sights White-dot front, drift adjustable rear, optics cut RMSc footprint
Action SA
Finish Matte Black
MSRP $439.99

Performance

Load Velocity Accuracy
Hornady Critical Duty 135 FlexLock 987 1.14
Sierra Outdoor Master 147 JHP 936 1.29
Winchester USA Ready 124 JHP 1145 0.53

Bullet weight measured in grains, velocity in feet per second, and accuracy in inches for best five-shot groups from 7 yards.

SafEarz Filtered Ear Plugs

Protecting your hearing from gunfire is essential. However, it’s also pretty darn important to be able to hear what’s going on around you. Missing “CEASEFIRE!” or failing to diagnose a squib can end in tragedy. Or, at the very least, make you look foolish.

Electronic hearing protection is the first option that comes to mind. But then you are married to keeping batteries in your range bag. SafEarz gets the job done using specialized noise filters that do not allow higher-intensity sounds (like gunfire) to pass through the silicone plugs.

Throughout this test, I found them to be comfortable and effective. Not to mention, compact enough to keep nearly anywhere in my kit.

For more information, please visit WildEar.com.

Sierra Outdoor Master Ammunition

With the right ammo, compact 9mms like the MC9 are quite capable for the purpose of woodland defense. Sierra’s Outdoor Master series of loaded ammunition is built for these occasions and delivered an outstanding performance in our test.

Topped with the company’s 147 gn. Sportsmaster JHP, these pills hit hard and dependably expand to stop a fury threat in its tracks quickly. Available in ready-to-fire 20-round boxes, there is no need to own reloading equipment to handle the great outdoors.

For more information, please visit SierraBullets.com.

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