A Full List of Century Arms and Canik Pistols and Firearms
Established in 1961, Century International Arms is one of the relatively new firearm manufacturers and importers in the USA. Initially, it was based in Vermont, but in 1995, the headquarters moved to Florida. Despite not being as well established as other similar brands, it has an impressive range of firearms.
The company was started as an opportunity. William Sucher was a typewriter who had nothing to do with firearms. A few happy coincidences pushed him to search for sources of rifles that he could sell for profit, especially as his typewriting business was slow.
Starting the company with his brother-in-law, he soon found numerous sources in different countries. During the 1970s, Century International Arms was the largest importer of firearms in North America, years before starting a proprietary production.
The production wasn’t planned, but as the surplus of firearms reached an end, the company had to find a solution to supply the market. While it still imports certain firearms in the USA, it mainly produces its own versions of famous firearms.
Canik pistols are normally produced in Turkey. Canik firearms were initially imported by Century International Arms. With time, these pistols became some of the most representative products for the company and the two names are often associated or used interchangeably.
Which firearm is Canik based on? Based on the brand’s reputation, most models are considered original. Are Canik pistols good? While there are certainly better pistols out there, they offer good value for money.
Here are all the Canik models explained:
- Mete SFt comes with ambidextrous slide lock levers and uses more calibers, such as .380 ACP, .40 S&W and 9mm. It came in more generations, with slight differences between them.
- Mete SFx is no longer too popular. It has low profile sights, which are not very useful. However, the serrated rib between the sights does help.
- SFx Rival is a long slide model specifically designed for competitions and practice shooting. Despite its capabilities, the appearance and design are not too impressive.
- TP9 is probably one of the most popular firearms produced under the Canik name. It comes with steel components, rather than plastic, as well as a great front sight.
TP9 is one of the Canik handguns produced in more variants, but the differences between them were not particularly impressive. It’s considered the best Canik model out there. Each variant tried to fix an issue or bring an improvement. To many, TP9 is just a clone of Walther P99. The most popular variants include:
Where is Canik made and who makes Canik pistols? The pistols are made by Samsun Domestic Defense and Industry Corporation, which runs under the Aral Industry Corporation umbrella. The company is known for promoting intelligent engineering, while firearms are produced in Turkey.
Century International Arms has mainly focused on improving and redesigning currently existing firearms, not to mention reducing some of their flaws.
- C308 is a top-notch battle rifle with an impressive and clean design. It’s in use by military forces in over 70 countries. Dubbed as a clone of the CETME rifle, it’s excellent for rugged conditions.
- C39 has a second version, C39V2. Both firearms are clones of the world renowned AK-47, but they come with a few extras.
- L1A1 is a self-loading rifle using the 7.62x51mm NATO caliber. It was produced between 1954 and 1999 and comes with more variants, including rifles and squad automatic weapons.
- RAS47 is based on the classic AKM and chambered in the 7.62x39mm caliber. The gas operated carbine comes with a clean design and impressive accuracy.
- SKS is a semi-automatic rifle. It’s not an original design, as it was initially created by the Soviets in 1945. It uses the 7.62x39mm M43 caliber.
- SSG 82 is also known as Scharfschützengewehr 82 in some countries. It was designed in 1982 and chambered in the 5.45x39mm caliber.
- vz. 24 is another clone with some improvements. Originally produced in Czechoslovakia, it’s chambered in 7.92x57mm Mauser.
- vz. 50 is another Czechoslovakian masterpiece. The semi-automatic pistol uses the .32 ACP cartridge.
- WASR refers to more rifles made in the same series. Produced in Romania, the firearms are introduced to the North American market by Century International Arms.
- Zastava M57 is another pistol that was originally used by military forces in Yugoslavia. It was introduced in 1957.
- Zastava M70 is an assault rifle using the 7.62x39mm caliber. Decades ago, it was considered a low budget version of the AK-47.
- VSKA is another clone of the famous AKM. It comes with a different bolt carrier, but the front trunnion is also worth some attention. It’s an extremely durable firearm.
- BFT-47 is also similar to the AKM. However, it borrows some elements from RPK style firearms, such as the front trunnion.
Apart from firearms, Century International Arms also imports the so-called Red Army Standard Ammunition.
Bottom line, Century International Arms has mainly specialized in importing firearms, many of them produced in surplus in their countries of origin. They were sold for low prices, making the company responsible for their growing popularity in North America.
As for proprietary production, Century International Arms has mainly focused on firearms with a reputation.