Apex Gunsmithing
10Feb/15

The Curious Case of the Kareen

Some time ago I procured for a friend and customer of mine an inexpensive Browning Hi Power clone, which at the time I had never heard of. A few oddball guns make their way from Israel to the US, and they tend to be surplus in nature or of fleeting availability.  The ones with staying power like the venerable Desert Eagle get trade agreements drawn up and re-branded to root themselves more firmly in the American gun market, or more recently IWI's own efforts partnered with our friends in Harrisburg have brought more excellent Israeli-made firearms stateside.

"High quality" plastic grip panels.

"High quality" plastic grip panels.

The Israeli Kareen is the former of those options, a surplus pistol that is available now and again through places like PW Arms, Sarco, and the like.  Not a lot was known about them when they first hit our shores and they more or less slipped under the radar and were relegated to the pages of surplus catalogs and Shotgun News ads while fans of the Hi Power bought them up out of curiosity.  After all, the price was appealing and the previously plentiful Hungarian Hi Powers had all but dried up by then.

So what's the story behind these relatively unknown Hi Powers?

20Dec/14

First Impressions: Canik TP9-SA

That's right, another Canik review!  Before you roll your eyes and close your browser tab, here's the hook: the Canik TP9 SA has one of the best out of the box striker fired triggers on the market.  For under $400.  Interested now?  Read on.

TP9 SA Left

Talk about a makeover!

17Jul/14

TP9 Update: Spring Weights

It's been a while since I wrote my detailed guide on the TP-9/P99 pistol in which I mentioned the striker springs being compatible with other common striker fired guns on the market. Since then range trips have been few and far between, but I have gotten the chance to test fire the TP-9 with two lighter weight springs to see if they'll work at all.  Initial testing looks pretty good though...

21Jun/14

Review: Apex Tactical Polymer AEK Trigger

I've had one of these on my wish list for a long time and finally got my hands on one this week!  It seems fitting that with my pre-2013 M&P loaded up with Apex Tactical components I should have the trigger replacement to round things out, but is it really worth the $39.99 price tag?

18Jun/14

Picture of the Day: Overall Length Edition

18" Tavor vs. 10.5" AR Pistol!

18" Tavor vs. 10.5" AR Pistol!

15Jun/14

Detail Strip Guide: Walther P99/Canik TP-9

It's been a while since I did a detail strip tutorial post, so today we're taking a look at the recently tabletop reviewed Canik TP-9, which is itself a clone of the Walther P99.  Unlike my previous guide, this one is VERY IMAGE HEAVY so be warned!  There's not a lot out there on the P99 design so I hope this can be helpful for any P99 or TP-9 owners looking to deep clean or do polish work.

26May/14

Overview: Canik TP-9 (Walther P99 Clone)

Continuing with the Turkish made budget guns I have on hand, today's look is at the Canik TP-9.  This $300 (as of the time of writing) pistol brings to market a much cheaper alternative to Walther's premium priced polymer pistols and is available in a wide array of colors.  Ours is black, because we're boring like that.

If you want the TL;DR jump to the bottom for the Summary segment and enjoy the pictures!

For anyone who enjoys my gunsmith rambling about design and manufacture quality, I'll be following this one up with a separate tech review as well as a full detail strip and reassembly guide.

Profile view of the TP-9

Profile view of the TP-9

18Mar/14

Turkish Invasion!

Forget the Russians, it's the Turks that are invading!  This week has been a flood of Turkish built guns coming in for customers who have been kind enough to let me do a little tabletop reviewing to give my thoughts on the overall quality and design.  I've posted numerous times about Turkish made guns and their surprisingly good quality for the price, so hopefully this bunch holds true to that pattern.

Here's the list of what I've gotten in and will be doing overviews of this week and next:

  • TISAS Zigana Sport (9mm)
  • EAA/SAR B6P (9mm)
  • SAR S-120 (9mm)
  • Girsan MC312 Tactical (12ga)
  • Linberta/Buyuk Huglu LSTAC G2 (12ga)
  • Sarac/Pasa Makina PASIMAX (12ga)
  • NATMIL BR-99 (12ga)

It's interesting to see the variety of arms factories coming out of the woodwork in Turkey, where up until recently Sarsilmaz was the only somewhat well known maker to buyers here in the US.  Generally importers of inexpensive guns will downplay or outright mask the original manufacturer, either to promote their own brand or because let's face it... "Buyuk Huglu" isn't a name that's going to catch on with American buyers.

Stay tuned for a whole bunch of posts with a whole lot of pictures!

17Mar/14

Poor Man’s Five-Seven: Part 1 (Overview)

I recently got my hands on an elusive piece of hardware from everyone's favorite Florida-based specialist in innovative designs made in frustratingly small numbers.  The Kel-Tec PMR-30 pistol stands out as being one of very, very view .22WMR chambered pistols out there, as well as having a massive 30 round magazine.  In true Kel-Tec form, the market demand for the PMR-30 has vastly outpaced their ability to actually make the pistols, driving prices through the roof.  At the MSRP of around $450 it's a hell of an interesting piece for fans of the .22WMR cartridge, assuming you can find one for under MSRP that is.

18Jan/14

Hands On: Canik55 Stingray-C

For several years now, one of the best kept secrets in the gun world was the quality of firearms being imported from Turkey.  The Turks have a long, colorful history of small arms manufacture and the Canik plant is among the most modern firearms manufacturing locations in the world.  Until recently many of their guns have slipped quietly under the radar, shoved into the depths of surplus catalogs and hawked by importers like Century who, let's face it, don't have the best reputation in the gun world.  Despite all of that, the Turkish produced CZ clones have finally caught on and are gaining real traction in the gun world.