Range Review: Canik Stingray-C

It’s been a while since I wrote about the Canik Stingray-C a friend and customer loaned me for review, mostly because it came to me over the winter during some horrible weather and the eventual melt turned my range into a swamp Shrek would’ve been proud to lay claim to.  Now that the weather has warmed up and dried up, I’ve been able to hit the range and start working through my backlog of reviews little by little!

First thing’s first, here’s a link to my original hands on article: Canik-55 Stingray-C.  If you’re not familiar with these Turkish built CZ copies, take a look there to get the rundown on the feature set and overall build quality.

Prep Work and Tuning

Prior to taking the pistol to the range, the owner requested that I perform some trigger work on this pistol and an identical hard chrome finished Stingray-C.  At first hands on, potential buyers will immediately run into the problem of the short, heavy double action and the pistol’s long trigger reach for a compact 9mm.  On the inside, the sear surfaces aren’t the most well polished and the single action has a moderate amount of creep to it.  I didn’t do a full blown trigger job, but I did “fluff and buff” the components and replaced the hammer spring with a cut down Wolff CZ full size reduced power spring.  Note that the factory CZ and Wolff springs are too long and need to be cut approximately 2-3 coils short to function.

These roughly 5" microwave pizza discs make great targets!

These roughly 5″ microwave pizza discs make great targets!

Range Results

Using some cheap Winchester white box 9mm practice ammo, the Stingray performed just as flawlessly as I would expect a reasonable quality CZ copy to perform.  Though the pistol is ostensibly a copy of the CZ P01 in size, it’s a steel frame and definitely not a lightweight.  The all-steel construction soaks up recoil and overall the pistol is a smooth, pleasant shooter.

The pistol comes equipped with adjustable target sights, an oddity for semi-compact pistols but likely added to give an extra couple of points for importation.  The sights aren’t anything special and the front dot is on the small side, particularly given my tendency to put Ameriglo or Trijicon HD style giant front dots on everything.  They should be compatible with any aftermarket 9mm CZ sight set.

Accuracy from the 10 and 15 yard lines was solid, and one five shot string is visible just next to the pistol’s muzzle in the picture above.  The long trigger reach is problematic for me, as I have kind of short, stubby fingers.  The double action was much more pleasant with the new, trimmed spring and getting the first shot on the discs I used as targets wasn’t difficult though the short double action pull takes a lot of getting used to.  It does stack up and is kind of a chore to keep a consistent follow through, but it could be worse.

In single action mode the trigger isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s more than adequate to get the job done and get respectable groups.  The reset is long but distinct, with some takeup before hitting the break for the next shot.  With a full blown trigger job you could have an excellent trigger, if you were willing to sink more money into the gun.

Controls and Operation

The safety and slide lock are prominent to the point of getting in the way, and the way the stepped serrations are placed I tend to miss the textured portion of the controls entirely with my thumb.  I’m not a huge fan of the yellow dot for “safe”, and the mechanical action of the safety is lacking the solid click of actual CZ pistols.

Typical of CZ copies, the slide can be a hassle to “power stroke” when you’re in a hurry, and the target sights have just enough sharp edges to bite you a good one while working the slide.  With the standard spring it’s kind of a bear to rack it with the hammer down, but that’s just more reason to tune the hammer spring.

Final Thoughts

At the price the Canik pistols have been selling for, it’s tough to get a better quality all steel pistol, let alone one with modern accoutrements and a track record for reliability.  The Stingray-C has its quirks and ugly duckling vibe and certainly can benefit from some trigger work out of the box to get the most out of the gun, but overall it gets good marks all around.

I think it’s worth a buy if you’re after an all steel semi-compact or a CZ clone with ambi controls.  Fans of the full length slab-side type dust cover and having at least a single rail slot as an option could definitely do worse than the Stingray series.