Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Modifications, Tutorials, Gunsmithing, Instructional and "How To" articles, write ups and videos.
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Slide Lock Problems

Post by Weapon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:06 pm

The flu or whatever plague has attacked me refuses to let me sleep, my planned project is temporarily delayed as a result of shipping slowed by winter storms and I am basically iced in at the moment. However, I was determined to investigate a commonly reported problem or two...so...

TP9 Slide Lock problems.
This comes up fairly often and at least some of it is user error. I am not pointing a nasty finger of shame at anyone here as I have had to teach myself to keep my thumb away from that slide release that has “ride this with your thumb” written all over it in big flashing neon letters as well. No, really - that SFx extended slide release is a metallic mermaid singing a hypnotic siren song to lure your thumb onto it...the good news is that can be corrected by lashing your thumb with a whip whenever it goes for it and, the worst case scenario is you just get a “click” when your slide drops on an empty chamber and you pull the trigger. While that click is damn annoying at least your boat didn’t crash into the rocks, break apart and dump you among sharp rocks and vicious sea creatures where you will be torn to shreds.

Anyhoo, I had pulled apart my SFx and was poking it with a sharp stick in several places it probably didn’t enjoy when the slide release and spring caught my eye...or more accurately, when an uneven shiny spot on the slide release right under the spring caught my eye. I lifted the release slowly a few times and noticed a slight hang its movement. So, I detail stripped the frame to give it a closer look.

The slide release has a lot of angles and surfaces but there are only two or three that really need attention. The first is the ridge along the top of the slide release lever. In particular, the area directly under the loop formed in the slide release spring. The flat black finish on that part was doing a fine job of hiding it but that spot was surprisingly rough on my SFx - rough enough to cause a stutter in its upward movement.

The fix: I took an Arkansas polishing stone and smoothed out the point where the slide release spring normally rides on the release lever. If you don’t have an Arkansas stone, a piece of 400 or 600 grit or a small Emory board would likely fix it (so swipe your significant other’s Sephora nail shaper when she ain’t looking and smooth out that rough spot).

Note for the less experienced DIY smiths: put the nail shaping stick back before she notices it is gone and deny ever touching it when she grills you about it later. Relationships may be built on trust and honesty but you need to be able to trust your pistol and she will honestly bite your head off if you admit to using any of her Sephora finery for “your stupid gun”. So, be like a stealthy ninja while acquiring the tools for the job and don’t feel too guilty about it as she will probably make you sit through some show on the Oxygen channel later. That is surely more than enough suffering to make up for any damage to her nail shaper thingy.

After polishing the contact point on the release itself, I noticed the slide release spring was also a little rough so I lightly rubbed the contact point on the bottom of it with some 1000 grit and followed it up by lightly polishing the entire spring with some Flitz on a soft cotton rag.

While I had the slide release out and all the supplies handy, I also polished up the area at the front of the slide release. The hole in the slide release had a couple jagged edges and those could also slightly slow the movement of the slide release so they had to go. A very thin coat of grease around the front of the release (pin hole area) and on the length of the spring will help all of it settle back in after reassembly. End result: the slide release and slide release spring now move much more smoothly without any stutter or hang points in the movement. While this may not be the cause of every failure to lock back, it is likely contributing to the problem at minimum. This would explain why some people have problems with failures to lock back on empty mags but the problem then goes away with a decent amount of use. Over time, spring tension and friction between those parts will eventually smooth that area out enough for it to move smoothly — but who wants to wait that long?

EDIT to add additional possible causes and fixes:

Recoil spring/ammo: If you are trying to use lighter loads with the factory RSA, this may cause the slide to not lock back after the last round. The recoil spring was designed for NATO spec ammo and lighter loads will probably not cycle the slide with enough force for the slide lock to engage when the pistol is brand new. Break in with +p or NATO spec ammo to see if the slide lock still fails to engage.

Followers: If the front or sides of the follower which make contact with the walls of the mag tube are unusually rough, you can polish those up by lightly rubbing them down with 1000 grit 3M wet/dry paper. Sometimes, there is also small burr or two left on the edges of polymer followers. If you pull the follower out of the mag tube, you can run a piece of 400 or 800 grit around the bottom edge very lightly and it will knock off any little burrs left over from the forming process. Every now and then, a few of those burrs will break off and hang out in the mag tube causing a random problem here and there. As such, cleaning out the mag tube with a dry rag is always a good idea (never put oil or the like in the mag tube and leave it in there). While you have the spring and follower out of the mag tube, take a flashlight and check for surface irregularities inside the tube as well. Double check the indicator holes drilled in the tube for burrs as even a small metal burr can slow down the followers movement enough to cause a problem.
Slide release spring: If the polishing method above did not resolve the issue and cleaning the mags up did not resolve the issue, it is possible the spring is putting too much downward pressure on the slide release. Bend it upwards ever so slightly and then test it. It requires very little pressure to get the right amount of pressure. You will want to lift the slide release spring up until it stops and then apply just a very, very small amount of additional pressure. Stop and test it there. If you go too far, you will have to pull out the entire locking block to bend it back in the other direction and then start the testing over. 


The old USPSA fix to any slide release/slide lock problems is pretty straight forward - you simply disable the slide lock completely.

why?

1. Disabling it entirely removes the possibility of the slide lock engaging early due to an accidental bump with your thumb or the slide lock hanging on the slide enough to require you to break your shooting grip
2. You should never run your gun dry on a stage in the first place so a functional slide lock is a pointless risk. Tactical reloads are always quicker on any stage that requires a reload. As such, if you rely on your slide lock to let you know when you need to reload, you have already screwed the pooch on that stage as at least half the field dropped a mag and slapped in a fresh one on the run without a slide lockback slowing them down.
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by Weapon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:07 pm

One of the Caniks which has selflessly played guinea pig for much of the info in this thread:Image
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just one of my post-coffee rants

Post by Weapon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:14 pm

@showardell wrote:
@weapon wrote:TP9 Slide Lock problems.
You're a good man, weapon.
"We're not worthy, we're not worthy." <envision the huddled masses genuflecting> 
There would certainly be some people in the crowd chucking rocks at me for suggesting they clean their firearms before their first trip to the range.

“What?!?! Clean my gun before I shoot it?!?! But some dude on YouTube who has never built a gun in his life said all guns should be...(wait for it...you know it is coming)...good to go out right of the box...and I like the sound of that as it does not require me to do anything before shootin'”

That of course requires me to say: They are mass produced items. Not just the firearm but literally every part in the firearm is a mass produced item with little to no allowance left in the pricing of the firearm to cover things like close final inspection of every part or even close inspection of the final assembled firearm. It certainly doesn’t allow for smoothing and polishing of every part or sufficient live-fire reliability testing. As such there will be some rough edges here and there and maybe even an FTF or FTE with the first box of crappy ammo. 😱😱😱 I am not talking about any particular brand here and I cannot even throw out a realistic price range that would allow people to buy a firearm and be certain that it would have absolutely no reliability issues as I have seen factory produced $1500 pistols and $2500 rifles fail right out of the box and some continue to do so after a good deal of trouble shooting and break in.

Every major brand has had a huge problem at least one time (and more than likely a big problem several items). Sig Sauer, a brand which is well known for having a very high QC and overall quality has had two major problems with their firearms in the last year. Is that a shot at Sig? Nope. Mass produced item, bad things happens. Glock has built a reputation for having extremely durable and reliable firearms (with a heavy advertising budget to reinforce that idea) with a fan base that also often likes to claim the “good to go right out of the box” nonsense. For whatever the reason, they never want to talk about the fact that before the Sig P320 fiasco, Glock held the title for the largest pistol recall in modern US firearms history, the Gen 4s that had bad RSAs, the defective batch of MIM extractors or any of the other numerous problems Glock has had while manufacturing enough firearms to fill a football stadium to the upper decks. Is that a shot at Glock? Nope, mass produced item at a relatively low price point (compared to fully machined, fit, polished, inspected and tested firearms), bad things. Ruger? Same. Remington? Don’t even get me started.

Buying a firearm with a <$1500 price tag from a huge and well respected brand doesn’t mean you will get a flawless firearm right out of the box. At best, it means you have a decent shot at getting solid firearm AND, if you don’t, the company will make it right in one way or another. You got one that was cranked on a Tuesday morning after a holiday weekend and Joe the machine operator or Bob the parts inspector had one helluva hangover and let a dimensional variance of .011” slip into a few thousand parts that should have been held under .005”? Yeah - the warranty covers that. Mass produced firearm? Hungover Joe on the production line happens.

After four plus decades of shooting, more than three decades of collecting and more than two and a half decades of building and fixing firearms, one of the few things which are absolutely clear to me is there is no such thing as a mass produced firearm that is always 100% ready to go out right out of the box. The only firearms I have seen which were 100% ready to go right out of the box were those built by custom shops who inspect every part, closely examine the fit of every part and fully function test the firearm - and they will still tell you to put 500 round of your carry ammo through it before depending on it to save your life.

“but I ain’t even gonna bother cleanin’ this here new one because I bought one like that dude on YouTube and he said his was good to go right out of the box...”

I probably shouldn’t lump all YouTube gun channels together like that as some of those guys are very knowledgeable. I suspect that when many of them use the phrase “it was good to go right out of the box” what they are actually trying to say is the damn thing didn’t require new sights, a trigger job and/or a trip back to the factory or to a gunsmith for it to be usable. Many people are likely taking the “out of the box” phrase far too literally and then trying to preach it like it is the gospel truth. I know of at least a couple YouTube guys who use that phrase occasionally who would either laugh or give you one hell of an odd look at the suggestion that statement is somehow supposed to cover an initial field strip, wipe down and lube job before going to the firing range.

The last point on this topic (before I drop it for what may be eternity): Expecting and/or demanding firearms which will run every type of ammo, including woefully under-powered or poorly spec’d varieties, right out of the box is a very, very bad idea because manufacturers may respond to that demand in the usual manner. The usual manner is "in the most cost effective way possible".

So, how do you make a pistol which will run even under-powered ammo right out of the box when the gun has not even been given a wipe down and re-lubing? It’s easy-peasy. You lighten up the recoil spring to the point that it will let the slide cycle with really weak ammo even though the slide and frame are going to take some serious abuse on the other end of the ammo power spectrum. Then, you make the tolerances for slide-to-frame fit and barrel fit pretty loose - so loose that the gun will print right around the maximum acceptable limit for handgun combat accuracy which is about 8-9” groups (many sources claim an even larger acceptable group for combat accuracy based on the size of the vitals zone of an average adult male) at 25 yards. That translates to a 32-36 MOA pistol. Then, they will resort to several “cost reducing” manufacturing methods for the icing on the cake but tweak the trigger enough to where it feels a little better than average. To give it the appearance of quality, add a decent looking set of sights and spray it down with a slightly thick, epoxy-like finish to hide the tool marks, make the slide to frame fit feel better than it really is and make it shiny. The cherry on top: advertising campaign with glossy full page ads in gun mags declaring “Ready to Go Right Out of the Box” as if that is an indicator of great design, extremely high quality and top-tier quality control.

Pros:
Good to go right out of the box with even cheap, under-powered ammo (thanks to low spring resistance and reduced friction from sloppy/loose tolerances)
It will make a bang sound consistently
Trigger feels mighty good
Price is right
Didn’t have to stop for a wipe down between the gun store and the firing line
Fancy finish makes it fairly corrosion resistant.
Clear sight picture
Shiny
Cons:
- Mechanical Accuracy sucks due to loose tolerances but most people are only shooting cheap, weak and fairly inconsistent plinking ammo at 7-10 yards anyway so they won’t really notice it much at first.
-Even a great trigger isn’t going to improve the accuracy as you cannot convert nonexistent mechanical accuracy into usable accuracy
- Light recoil spring which allows under-powered ammo to run when brand new is going to allow the slide and frame to beat the Hell out of one another when used with full-power, self-defense ammo and don’t even think about touching the NATO spec or +p ammo
- Tolerances will get worse fairly quickly. If you start with loose tolerances you might think you would have reduced wear and tear from reduced friction but that extra shake, rattle and roll will allow everything to bounce around far too much. Combine that with the light spring and some actual use and the pistol which started with “acceptable combat accuracy” will be barely keeping a full mag’s worth of ammo on a 14” pizza pan before you know it.
- Sights might as well be made from toothpicks duct-taped to the front and rear of the slide or possibly a flashlight attached to the pic rail that throws 14” spot @ 25 yards
- The loose tolerance rattle and shake will lead to inconsistent finish wear
- “Cost reducing” manufacturing methods will inevitably result in parts which cannot withstand all the banging around for very long and there will be parts breakages in a very high percentage of them with a fairly low round count.
- Reduced long-term durability likely results in poor overall value unless you rarely shoot it.

Initial reviews on FB pages will say “Acceptable combat accuracy, reliable, “good to go right out of the box”, nice sights, great trigger and shiny!!” During the first few months, only a few people will actually put enough decent ammo through it to notice the ever-widening group size, rapid wear and tear and other issues. Issues that do arise will be blamed on “user error”, “limp wristing” or “poor shooting fundamentals” as fan boys will defend their “good to go right out of the box” pistol even if it explodes and blows one of their fingers off (“my bad - I must’ve limp wristed it!”).
Be careful of the demands made of the firearms industry as some manufacturers are apt to give it to you at a very attractive price point.

/rant.

I should probably take a break from some of the FB gun pages for a few days. 😂
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by Weapon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:16 pm

I was digging through a box of old parts a few days ago when I came across an old two-piece Commander guide rod I don’t use. For those who have never seen one of these, they look like this:

Image[br][br]Of course, coming across an unused part like that is just about all it takes to put a nagging little idea in my head. As such, a couple measurements were taken, the guide rod was chucked up in the old power drill and the end was introduced to the belt sander until it was round and the same diameter as the end on a TP9SFx guide rod:
Image
That is an old Commander spring I dug up just for testing purposes. It is a bit heavy and feels about the same as the factory recoil spring.
First test for fit. It looks about right...

Image...but it popped off the notch in the barrel when the slide was hard cycled by hand. I expected as much as there is a beveled edge on it (as can be seen in the first pic).

Back to the shop.

This time I chucked it in the drill and pressed it straight down on a piece of 180 grit wet/dry paper which was rested on a flat block of hardwood. After a couple minutes of the drill spinning it against the abrasive paper, the head was thinned down enough to eliminate the rounded over edge. Then, I used the same process with a couple finer grits of paper and it looked like this:

[Image

I reinstalled it and hard cycled the slide about 25 times and it stayed in place with no movement out of the notch. As such, I will test fire it soon but I think I am going to add one more tweak to it first and order a couple of lighter springs so I can also test lighter loads.

For those who don’t have a spare one piece or two piece commander guide rod laying around, I have another option in the works but I am waiting for a couple parts to show up.
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Guide Rod Tweaks and an Inexpensive Replacement

Post by Weapon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:17 pm

And another one. This is not the same guide rod as the one above. This one drops in right out of the package.

My work schedule is sucking up all my time this week but the relatively inexpensive solution to any SFx or Elite RSA problems with mid-power (or light or really hot) ammo is just about this close...and there are recoil springs readily available for it. Details after I test it a bit more...
Image

Today’s coffee is getting put to good use...Image

Before anyone has a panic attack and runs to Facebook groups screaming “the tp9sfx guide rods break!!!”, no, it did not break - took it apart because I knew it was a two part guide rod.

The guide rod above it is the solid stainless one that I have been working on so it is two recoil spring mods for this afternoon.

I found some [strike]weak ass[/strike] competition minor power factor 9mm ammo and I am off to the range for some quick testing.

Okay...that was some really quick testing. It’s internet magic.

The standard disclaimer: if you do not know what you are doing with this type of work, find someone who does and have them do it for you. I have no clue as to whether you are qualified to do this type of work so neither I nor the forum are responsible if you overshoot your skill level and screw it up.

The factory one first...
They are surprisingly easy to get apart even though working around the spring is a bit annoying.
Tools required:
Two Small adjustable wrenches or a 1/4” wrench and a 7mm wrench.
The larger end which mates with the barrel has a flat on two sides and a 7mm wrench fits it:
Image

You have to compress the spring down slightly to get to it but it is the only place you should touch the head of the guide rod as if you mess up the outer rim it may no longer mate with the barrel correctly.
The main rod also has flats milled on it and a 1/4” wrench will fit. I would suggest placing the wrench on the rod as close to the other wrench as possible while still being below the seam between the guide rod head and the rod itself. Threading on the head is typical counter clockwise to loosen.

The ends of the threads are staked lightly but there is loctite blue on the threads as well. Soaking the head end of the RSA in lacquer thinner for a half hour or so might make it easier but it isn’t really necessary. Once you get it started and backed off three or four threads, you can do the rest of it by hand so you can catch the spring on the last turn.

Okay...so why would anyone want to do this?
Pic:
Image
800grit to 1000grit to metal polish.
Don’t mess with the flats, only the rounded outer edges where spring actually makes contact. This is the shortcut to smoothing out the contact surface on the rod itself.

I gave mine a cold blue dip and a light coat of oil afterwards while messing with the spring.

Image

If you only have the original RSA (non-blue ended RSA) or the new one is still too heavy for your ammo, the solution is fairly simple but you will want to change out your striker spring as well. As mentioned previously in this thread, the recoil spring and striker spring fight each other during the last few millimeters of the slide’s cycle. If the factory striker spring is not swapped out for a lighter spring or otherwise lightened, it can cause problems with recoil springs <16lbs or so (out of battery issues). Less than 16lbs?!?! Yes, the original SFX striker spring was that overpowered. In any event, the Ghost 6.5lb Glock striker spring is a good place to start if you want to drop the recoil spring down slightly.

Finding a spring to fit the factory guide rod is a pain so here are two viable solutions.
1. Cut the factory spring by a coil or two. If have the original spring (from the first run release of the SFX) you can certainly take two coils off of it. You just cut it directly below the end of the spring as shown in the pic below. Even the blue ended one could lose an extra coil. You would want to cut it right above where the tip of the pen is located
Image

Edit: I forgot to mention this earlier. After you cut the spring, use a pair of needle nose pliers to the end bend the end down like the original spring. Then lightly flatten that area of the spring with a file or by placing some 320 or 400 grit on a flat surface and rubbing the end of the spring against it. It doesn’t take much work.
Option two: take the spring to the local hardware store and find a nice, slightly thick stainless washer with an internal diameter small enough to slip over the rod but which will not slip over the edge at the end. The outer diameter needs to be the about a mm smaller than the outer diameter of the spring. Obviously, if you find a washer with an outer diameter that is just right but an inner diameter that is a bit too small, you can always increase the size of the inner hole to fit as needed. That mod will let you use Commander recoil springs on the factory guide rod. If you don’t use the washer as an end cap, they will slip over the end of the rod instead of remaining captured.

If you want to test different springs before locking everything back down, you can put the spring back on, add a drop of loctite blue and then tighten it with the wrenches. That will hold well enough to send a few rounds downrange for function testing. Once you are satisfied, re-stake the end with a small center punch and a few light taps.

The stainless replacement rod is next but I need a coffee refill first. It certainly works. Mag and a half dump at 10 yards as quickly as I could pull the trigger while using 129 power factor 115gr ammo. Lol - I still suck with the red dot. My groups at the same distance and pace when using iron sights are half that size...:

Image

The dirt cheap fix for the SFx guide rod...(edit: by dirt cheap, I actually mean $22.34 for the guide rod and the Wolff 16lb Sig P226 recoil spring)

I found a stainless steel guide rod for Sig P226 on eBay for a whopping $8 delivered. It is the one pictured above. The only mod I made to it was to slightly round the edge on the muzzle end of the rod. Do NOT mod the end that mates with the barrel - it is already the perfect size and it has to have a 90° angle on the edges or it will slip out of the notch in the barrel.

This modification is not 100% necessary but it does help during installation with stiffer springs. I chucked the guide rod into a half inch drill and then used 220 grit to round off the end. I then repeated the process with 400, 800 and 1000 grit just to polish it up. It is a very small radius - I believe it can be seen in the pic I posted a couple posts back of the stainless guide rod next to the factory RSA. Sig does this on their P-series metal guide rods to make it easier to get them in place and it certainly does help when dealing with an non-captured spring — that is why I did it.

Once again: You will need to change out to a lighter striker spring. A 28 Newton, a Wolff 6lb, a Ghost 6.5lb or some other lighter striker spring is required at or under 16lbs or you will almost certainly run into out of out of battery issues with the hefty factory striker spring after the pistol gets hot or a bit of fouling in it.

The recoil spring: if you just want a solid general use spring, order a Wolff 16lb Sig P226 recoil spring - it will work with most off the shelf ammo and lighter loads as well.

Total cost of the guide rod, recoil spring and striker spring should be under $30 delivered. 😊

Final note: don’t let yourself get confused about the spring ratings here. We are using the factory stated ratings for springs which were intend for use in different guns. They are not going to be the same across models (i.e. a Glock RSA with a 15lb spring in a Canik is not going to be the same as a Sig P220 guide rod and 15lb spring in a Canik. Never assume you can jump across platforms like that and have the rating numbers mean the same things.
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FTE and FTF Issues as well as a note on the Severe Duty Upgrade

Post by Weapon » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:21 pm

I didn’t go into great detail about this previously as it is the kind of stuff that is usually only of much interest to gun smiths and DIY gun geeks. For most people it is slightly dry, yawn worthy material but, as always, some on Facebook had enough of a misunderstanding as to how a striker fired pistol works to require a post instead of just letting me slide by (there is a pun here somewhere) with just telling them how to make their damn gun work.

Failure to Eject: if you are having FTE with the SFx when it is brand new, this is most often not an extractor issue, an ejector issue or some of the other usual culprits but a lack of slide movement. The SFx has a very stout recoil spring and weak ammo does not have enough muzzle energy to fully compress it when it is brand new. Like any other spring, they do break-in when fully compressed and then allowed to return to non-compressed length. This is where 9mm NATO spec comes into play as it has enough force to fully compress the spring while also breaking in the contact points between the spring and guide rod, slide and frame, barrel and slide and so on. Obviously, there is friction in this process and that is why it is important to clean out your new gun and use a quality lube before running to the range.

If you are using light plinking ammo in a pistol with this type of RSA, you are going to have problems when it is brand new. It happens in other pistols which were designed for hotter self defense ammo with stout recoil springs as well.

The solution: see post #1 in this thread - break in with NATO spec ammo, call up Century to get a lighter RSA which will be a better match for your ammo or, if you want to solve the problem and allow plenty of versatility, get an aftermarket guide rod(s) and two or three different springs to allow tuning your pistol to the particular ammo you are shooting. This is an almost universal practice with competition pistols and anyone who is having a panic attack over it is obviously new to sport shooting. Tuning, tweaking and modifying competition pistols is the rule and not the exception - no one runs a 100% stock pistol in any division that allows upgrades and everyone tunes their gun to their load or their load to their gun. End of story.

Failure to feed: as usual, this can have a variety of causes but two are usually the source with the SFx: the recoil spring and the striker spring. The striker spring?!? Yes, especially if you have one of the original striker springs that could shoot a baseball into space. That spring is compressed as the slide is closed and can slow slide velocity enough to lower feed reliability. If you have to tap the back of the slide to get that last 1/8”, that is very likely the striker spring. If your slide doesn’t strip a new round off the mag or it jams up with the round in an odd angle, that is possibly the recoil spring.

If you think resetting the striker to a cocked position is no big deal, try this: pull the slide off the pistol and try sliding the striker back by hand. If you have the original striker spring...good luck. When you use weak ammo, even when it manages to push the slide back far enough to get reliable ejection, it doesn’t mean you are fully compressing the recoil spring - you can have a slightly short stroke and the brass will still eject. However, the RSA isn’t going to move the slide forward with as much force and when it encounters the full resistance from the striker spring it can lose too much velocity to fully chamber the round. There is a balance between the RSA and the striker spring. Everyone who has ever tried to run a really light recoil spring in a striker fired pistol is aware of this as a light recoil spring combined with a full powered striker spring can result in out-of-battery issues (slide does not fully close).

Solution for the SFx: see post #1 in this thread - use a lighter striker spring (28 Newton, 6lb Wolff, 6.5lb Ghost or 31 Newton depending on your particular pistol). I believe the original striker springs have now been replaced with one which is two or three coils shorter so Canik has made some tweaks for the US market. I am still not a fan of the new factory striker springs if you are talking about really light loads and a Sprinco recoil system or other guide rod with a light spring as the new factory striker spring is still too much. As mentioned in this thread as well as in Frank the Tank’s striker spring mod thread (which is aimed at resolving the out-of-battery problem with the Sprinco and their light spring), a really light striker spring has to be used with a really light recoil spring and there is no way around it.

The Severe Duty Upgrade. I think some people have misunderstood the need for this or maybe they are sending in their guns and getting new parts in addition to the severe duty upgrade and thinking it is the same thing. If you bother to read the statement on Century’s webpage, the Severe Duty Upgrade (SDU) is for people who intend to abuse their firearms beyond industry standards by repeatedly dropping it or doing goofy things like locking it in a bench vise and whacking the back of the slide with a damn mallet. That is not how firearms are supposed to be handled and if you do that you are a schmuck who probably does not need to carry a firearm.

Anyway, the SDU, per Century, is changing two springs: the firing pin block safety plunger spring and the trigger safety spring. It is aimed at increasing the durability of parts required for drop safety only.

The confusion: people on FB seem to think this is somehow tied to resolving FTF and FTE issues. Nope. Century may be updating the striker springs and/or recoil springs on pistols that have the older one ones when they do the SDU but changing out the FPB plunger spring and trigger safety spring have right at zero effect on slide cycling so absolutely nothing to do with shooting light loads. If they also update the RSA and striker spring while the pistol is there for the SDU (and some work orders indicate that happens), yes, that could make a difference and that is the only reason it would make a difference.

If you follow the comments made by people who had the SDU done to their pistols, some say it increase the pull, other say it didn’t. I suspect the ones who said it made no difference had at least three parts upgraded: the trigger safety spring, the FP block plunger spring and the new, lighter striker spring. If you beef up the FPB plunger spring, it is going to increase the trigger pull by adding more spring resistance to the pull. The trigger bar has to depress the block plunger during the stroke and that requires compressing that spring. How could you do that and make it seem like that spring didn’t add resistance? By replacing the original striker spring with one a couple coils lighter. That would balance it out or maybe even lighten it a bit while also slightly improving slide cycling.

As for the people who say the SDU increased their trigger pull...they probably got a new FPB plunger spring but it was before the new, slightly shorter/lighter striker springs were being used. So, original striker spring plus heavier FPB plunger spring amounted to a heavier trigger pull.

Solution: see post #1 of this thread re: Wolff RP Glock FPB plunger spring, reduced power striker spring.

The short version: post #1 in this thread...but now maybe people have a slightly better idea of how their pistol works.
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SDU and How to Un-SDU

Post by Weapon » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:52 am

@bubba68 wrote:
@icdeadppl wrote:Severe duty upgrade.
So the gun probably has the other springs for the Severe duty upgrade?
The only other spring that is actually supposed to be part of the SDU is the trigger blade spring. That isn’t not going to mess up your trigger pull and might only become an annoyance if you get your trigger pull under 2.5lbs. The original spring didn’t cause any real annoyance until you got right around 2.0lbs so long as your trigger finger was well trained to engage the bottom of trigger and blade.

If you want to Non-SDU your pistol, the Wolff reduced power Glock 17 block plunger spring is an option. You will have to give it a very slight stretch to get it to the same length as your current spring. The Wolff RP spring was slightly lighter than the non-SDU factory spring so it would likely make a surprising difference in trigger pull when coming from the SDU spring.
The other springs they have been changing seem to be the striker springs and the recoil springs. Both are slightly lighter than the original SFx springs so that was a move in the right direction. If there is anything to bitch about there, it is likely that they didn’t go quite far enough in the direction of lighter springs.
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A Post-SDU SFX...and fixing it

Post by Weapon » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:54 am

My brother kindly purchased a new SFx and I will be going through it this weekend. It is one of the newer ones so I will keep track of all of the before and after data. I will also keep track of any changes or areas that seem to require more or less effort to tune up. Full report coming soon. :)

The bad news: yes, they have hosed the trigger on the SFx. Out of the box pull on this one is just stupid. First pop was 5lbs 12oz. I pulled off the slide, wiped out the factory ‘lube’, gave it a light dose of my top secret #005 light lubricant (it is only top secret at the moment because I lost the receipt which has the exact formula scribbled on the back), reassembled and...5.5lbs. I would wish a pox upon the house of all YouTube a-hats who whacked loaded pistols with mallets but I am currently saving each pox for people who say “no one needs an AR15”...

The good news: I can fix it. Full rundown will be up soon.

After pulling apart the brother’s SFx and poking it in several places it didn’t like with a sharp inspection pick, there are some obvious changes...the first two almost make me wonder if the folks at Canik or Century are trying to poke fun at me for all the jokes I made about the original striker spring (maybe I got slightly carried away? Nah).

Anyway, they have clearly changed the firing pin block plunger spring to a heavier one (part of the Severe Duty Upgrade (SDU) which I generally refer to as the Severe Paranoia Upgrade (SPU)). The firing pin block plunger spring, which used to just be silver, is now a pretty blue spring (somewhat like the 31n striker spring).
The trigger blade safety spring has also been bumped up...and it is now a pretty red spring (like the 28N striker spring).

Pretty blue spring? Pretty red spring?
🧐

Pretty colored springs do not make up for a ~2lb increase in the SFx trigger pull thanks to the SPU. Luckily it is fixable with minimal effort and with a spring I would have changed anyway (I used a lighter block plunger spring in my original SFx tune up not long after they landed in the US).

In other SFx news, there are a few things that actually seem improved. The factory striker spring seems a bit lighter. I haven’t actually put it on a spring gauge yet but the largest object I could launch into a stable low Earth orbit with the new striker spring was a Tesla Roadster (suck it, Elon Musk...no fancy rocket required) and that is not nearly as impressive as the 1972 Plymouth four door sedans you could fire into orbit with the original striker spring.

I am not sure if it was just this pistol or if it is now standard but the trigger bar on this SFx looked much nicer to me. The top edge even had a nice polish on it. (Pic later as I cannot find it)

No more slide finish squiggles? They put clear easy peel static stickers on each slide of the slide to make sure the holster doesn’t rub into the finish during shipping. That is actually a nice touch and it is nice to see they addressed what was a relatively minor issue.

Pic of the slide protector (basically the same on both sides)..the shiny spots you can see on the slide are just light reflecting off the clear plastic slide protector - there was no damage whatsoever to the finish underneath:
Image

Fixing the SDU trigger on the SFX....
It's actually amazingly simple to kill off the SDU trigger suckage. All you have to do to get one of the post-SDU Caniks back to what feels like the original pre-SDU SFX is replace the firing pin block plunger spring with a Wolff reduced power block plunger spring for a Glock 17. From there, just to the other normal tweaks mentioned in the first post in this thread. Actually, if you follow the first post in this thread, you would fix the SDU trigger in the process. :)
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by Weapon » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:55 am

I have not added any updates to this thread since March 21? 😳😳

Okay, now I feel like a damn slacker...even if I have been buried in work.

Some updates...

I have been testing the Ghost 6.5lb striker spring in the SFx and so far it is working well. 6.5lb is ~28.9 Newtons so the slide goes back into battery almost as easily as it does with the 28N spring but it has just a bit more power to help avoid light strikes. It may be the best overall solution when it comes to replacing the striker spring in the SFx.

While the 6.5lb striker spring is great in the SFx, I like it even more in the V2 and DA. The DA pull is improved considerably and the single action improves some but I haven’t had any light strikes with it.

The final perk - the 6.5lb Ghost spring costs about 1/3 as much as the 28N or 31N springs — they are ~$3.50 before shipping.

More stuff coming fairly soon...waiting on the slow boat again.
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Tuning the TP9V2 and TP9DA

Post by Weapon » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:56 am

V2/DA Tweaks were actually already in the thread but somewhat scattered about. Since it even took me a few minutes to find them, I will consolidate them into one post.

The V2/DA is much like the SA/SF/SFx in terms of tuning but it requires more attention to detail in a few specific areas. This is mainly because of the long DA stroke - the SA movement of the V2/DA trigger is almost the same as the SA/SF trigger so the same tweaks that line out the SA/SF/SFx trigger pretty much take care of it. On to the fun stuff...

The grit in the V2/DA trigger is kind of annoying right out of the box but it improves fairly quickly with dry fire and live fire but but my trigger finger is spoiled and waiting for it to improve sucks.

1. The first place to look for grit is between the trigger bar and the frame. There is a bump on the outer, right hand side of the trigger bar that makes contact with the frame. The frame is polymer and is slightly textured. When that metal bump on the trigger bar rides against the frame in the long DA trigger stroke, the grit from that texture is transmitted into the trigger and you feel it.
The solution: polish that bump on the trigger bar with Flitz or similar metal polish to make sure it is slick like a polished chrome bumper. Then, take a small piece of 1000 grit 3M wet/dry paper (from your local auto parts store near the paint supplies) and smooth the texture off the inside of the frame where that metal bump makes contact. Follow that with 1500 grit. It should look like smooth plastic when you are done. The goal isn’t to remove material on either part but just to polish what is there. Once both parts are polished, add a really thin, almost invisible layer of good gun grease (like Tetra Gun Grease) to both surfaces. That bit of work can make a surprisingly large difference on most of them with regards to grit in the DA pull.

2. The striker spring. As with every other Canik TP9, the striker spring is heavy enough to shoot 1” diameter steel bearings to the moon.
UPDATE: A 6.5lb Ghost Glock striker spring makes a noticeable difference but still allows for reliable ignition with decent self defense ammo and USA made range/plinking ammo. It will also work with many types of foreign stuff but the primers on some types of foreign ammo are damn hard so I am not going to 100% guarantee it. If any domestic ammo gives you grief, it will likely be Remington UMC. I haven’t had a problem with it and the Ghost spring but it is usually the first domestic ammo to cause a problem. Note: this makes more of a difference on the V2 than the DA as they have lightened the striker springs up some. My first V2 striker spring swap was when the V2s first came into the USA and they had really heavy striker springs. However, the Ghost 6.5lb spring will help either pistol and will be a noticeable improvement (especially after the new striker spring has had some time to settle in)

3. Firing pin block plunger and spring. If you just want smoother, you just polish the sides of the block plunger and the area that makes contact with the trigger bar’s tab which pushes it upward. If you want to take just a little more off of the trigger pull, order a Wolff Reduced Power Glock Firing Pin Plunger Block spring (someone really needs to invent a shorter name for this part...). It may require a slight stretch but you want it the same length as the factory block plunger spring.
UPDATE: if your pistol was made after the Severe Duty Upgrades became standard, this spring swap will make a huge difference in how the trigger feels on any of the TP9 pistols. The SDU block plunger springs are blue.

4. Trigger bar. Polish the top edge of all the tabs, the ends that make contact with the trigger and basically any other surface that makes contact with anything (just look for rub marks). A Dremel armed with a felt wheel loaded with some Flitz is the quickest safe way to do this. Yet again, the idea is a mirror polish - not metal removal. That is the idea with any part to be smoothed UNLESS it has a blatant rough edge or burr that should not be there. I almost never use a motor powered tool for burrs as a stone or very fine cut metal needle file gives you much more control and a better feel for the work. If you are using a hand tool and making slow strokes over a burr, you can feel when it is gone. Then polish it with some 1000 and 1500 grit or use the Dremel felt wheel/polish method.

5. The sear lever, sear pins, etc. Unless you enjoy frustrating spring loaded parts, they are not worth the effort. Put a little grease in the points where the parts contact each other and be done with this area. After you do the rest, the tiny amount of rub it these parts will be hard to pick up. Add a light coat of grease and they will still smooth out entirely over time.

That will greatly smooth out the pull on the DA/V2...but if you are the OCD type:

6. Lightly polish the sides of the striker (where the striker spring might rub against it) and the inside and outside of the firing pin spring. Polish up a striker spring is an annoying job but possible. Cut a thin strip off of an old cotton T-shirt that is about 8”-12” long (make sure it fits fairly tightly inside the spring), give it a light coating of Flitz or other metal polish and then run the spring up and down the cloth a couple dozen times and the contact points will be polished. Ta-da...it’s magic.

7. Sides of the trigger - it will break in on its own fairly quickly but you can help it along with some wet 1500 grit. If you have done a decent amount of dry fire or put several boxes of ammo through your pistol, the better part of trigger polishing has likely already been done for you by friction and use.

Other performance tuning:
The feed ramps on almost all Caniks are well above average right out of the box. You can shine them up to a mirror finish with Flitz and a cloth or Dremel felt wheel if you want them just a tiny bit slicker. As they are already great out of the box, getting that shiny, mirror finish does not take much time or effort.

Recoil spring tweaks. The Guide Rod in the RSA breaks down just like the other guide rods for the TP9 pistols. I haven't really heard of any ejection problems with the V2 or DA pistols but you can smooth up the guide rod by disassembling it and polishing it up some with 1500 grit followed by ye old cotton rag and Flitz and it will function more smoothly.

If needed, Practicalshooter posted a great video on taking down a TP9 pistol - the link:
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TP9SA Tune Up and a Tweaked SDU Carry Trigger Mod

Post by Weapon » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:03 pm

My brother was nice enough to drop off a TP9SA (not mod 2) and give me something to do while I wait for the slow boat... Factory trigger is 4lbs 7.3oz. It needs some weaponizing.
Image

He also left his SFx and a Glock for me to play with...just to make sure I don’t get bored...or so he claims.

I pulled the slide off the SA and, as expected, found a pretty red spring lurking down in the trigger safety.
Image

The pretty red spring in the trigger is a sure sign that it has a pretty blue spring tucked in the firing pin block plunger (Severe Duty Upgrade springs). To verify this, I flipped over the slide and tried pushing the block plunger in with the tip of my index finger. It has basically the same resistance as pushing a Honda Civic up hill with the emergency brake engaged so there is only one possible conclusion: Gah! It has the Severe Paranoia Upgrade.

The presence of the SPU was actually apparent from the nasty ~4.5lb trigger. Yes, Glock fanboys, Canik guys actually get annoyed over 4.5lb triggers (as opposed to throwing a party about it because it beats the hell out of 6lbs and crunchy. Sproing!!!!)

As usual, this TP9SA’s feed ramp, like almost all Caniks, is actually fairly well finished from the factory:

Image

That is good enough right out of the box to where I don’t even have to worry about touching it, right?

Don’t be silly. Of course I am going to touch it.

While the Canik feed ramps are really nice compared to many, they can certainly be improved. I generally give them a very light cleanup with wet 1500 grit followed by wet 2000 grit and then a final finish with a felt Dremel wheel loaded with MAAS or Flitz polish. When I get to the felt wheel, I start with slight pressure and then gradually lighten up until I am barely pressing the wheel against the feed ramp. Always keep the wheel rotation in the direction of bullet travel as opposed to perpendicular to it (we want even our microscopic polish lines aimed up and down instead of side to side on the feed ramp).

The final version...why yes, that is the reflection of my phone taking the pic as well as my hand holding it roughly 12” away from the ramp. In the left side of the feed ramp, you can see a glimmer of my TV 12 feet across the room showing a preview for a movie I didn’t watch:
Image

Does it improve reliability? Beats me but you can always use your feed ramp to make sure there is nothing in your teeth before a hot date and that is definitely a bonus.

Actually, yes, it improves reliability.
Any friction you can take out of the bullet-meets-feed-ramp equation improves feed reliability - especially if you are running an SFx with a light recoil spring.

Next, I stripped down the slide. Wow...the factory “lube” on this one is goopier than usual - I could probably use it to seal envelopes before dropping them off at the post office.

Anyway, when I got down to the firing pin block plunger, I found a pretty blue SPU spring hiding under it as expected:
Image

This is a fairly interesting find if you want a Canik with a good carry trigger and you don’t want to spend extra cash on springs...

From SDU Trigger Suckage to Solid Carry Trigger:
As noted above, this Canik SA had about a 4.5lb trigger out of the box. With break-in, it would have dropped some but I found the block plunger engagement far to noticeable in the trigger pull. Instead of immediately swapping the spring, I decided to play 'trigger pull scientist' and nipped 3 coils off the pretty blue factory firing pin block plunger spring. That knocked off right at 8oz and left the pull hovering right at 4lbs. 4lbs should be relatively safe from hair trigger claims in most jurisdictions. However, it will probably come down a little more with polishing, etc. so you might want to do all of that first or wait until after break in before you nip any coils off the block plunger spring if you want a 4lb trigger.
Last edited by Weapon on Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:47 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by LT USN (Ret.) » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:11 pm

Great transfer of our most viewed, and most important, post.

Weapon, you're da man! :D
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by Weapon » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:26 pm

LT USN (Ret.) wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:11 pm
Great transfer of our most viewed, and most important, post.

Weapon, you're da man! :D
Thanks - I'm still working on getting all the pictures fixed and fitting in some of the Q&A from the other thread but I will get it all in here sooner or later.

Today's Teaser for this thread...

Coming Soon! How to cheat in USPSA!!!...errrr... wait...strike that. How to mod your Canik and use the rules in Production or Carry Optics to your advantage!!
It will be 100% legal*!!!


*(or at least undetectable)
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by LT USN (Ret.) » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:06 pm

Weapon wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:26 pm
*(or at least undetectable)
<panting dog>
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by jonholl » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:43 pm

A lot of good info here, but it would be nice if the basic mods to give a good running pistol would be pulled together in a sticky (or something like that). I've got a new sfx with the 6 lb. trigger & It would be helpful on which mods I need to give me a smooth < 4 lb. trigger. I've read this thread, & great info like I said, but there seems to be 3/4 different fixes, which has me confused (not surprising <grin>) on what the "basic" mods are.
Thanks.
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by ncjw » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:21 pm

1. Reduced power safety plunger spring (and polishing trigger bar and plunger).

2. 6.0-6.5lb (or 28-29N) striker spring.

3. Sprinco RSA with yellow (or white if 147gr is your main weight bullet) spring or Glock Gen 4 RSA or Sig P320 Rod plus Wolff spring or a few other solutions, but all of them resulting in a lighter RSA in the end.

Cost can be $50 on the low side to $100 or so with the Sprinco RSA and RYG 29N striker. Absolutely worth every penny, it makes a good gun into a great gun. You still have the long takeup, but it is a very light weight pull before you hit the wall. To eliminate the takeup, you have to go to the Freedomsmith trigger, but that may make the takeup VERY short from what I am reading, I have not done that upgrade.

And it is fun to tinker with it as it is an easy gun to work on.
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by jonholl » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:38 pm

Thanks
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by CoDeCo » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:36 pm

ncjw wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:21 pm

3. Sprinco RSA with yellow (or white if 147gr is your main weight bullet) spring or Glock Gen 4 RSA or Sig P320 Rod plus Wolff spring or a few other solutions, but all of them resulting in a lighter RSA in the end.
So a Glock 17/34 Gen 4 recoil spring will drop in? I have a 26 gen 4 and the front end of the recoil spring will fit but is too large to protrude forward when pressed. Hope that made sense!
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by ncjw » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:20 pm

I have only read about that solution in the forum but have not tried it. I have the Sprinco RSA and yellow spring and since it has run flawlessly since I installed it, I haven't tried any other options.
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Re: Canik TP9 Series Modifications and Upgrades

Post by Weapon » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:47 pm

jonholl wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:43 pm
A lot of good info here, but it would be nice if the basic mods to give a good running pistol would be pulled together in a sticky (or something like that). I've got a new sfx with the 6 lb. trigger & It would be helpful on which mods I need to give me a smooth < 4 lb. trigger. I've read this thread, & great info like I said, but there seems to be 3/4 different fixes, which has me confused (not surprising <grin>) on what the "basic" mods are.
Thanks.
Most of them are on the first page but:
1. Ghost 6.5lb Glock striker spring and Ghost reduced power firing pin block plunger for a Glock. The reduced power block plunger spring is a must after the severe duty upgrade
2. Any one of the lighter recoil spring setups. A Sig p226 stainless guide rod off of eBay for $9 and a Wolff Sig P226 16lb recoil spring from Wolff Gunsprings works and costs next to nothing. You can run 130 power factor ammo with that easily.
3. Freedomsmith USA trigger for the SFX. It is a little expensive but worth every penny
4. Polish all the contact points on the trigger bar and also polish the firing pin block plunger. I also polish my feed ramp as shown above.
That’s pretty much lined out.

If you want to upgrade it a little more, add Taylor Freelance mag extensions with their Gramms followers and CZ mag springs. All of those can be found on Taylor Freelance’s website.
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