Gun Digest

More Turkey: SDS Imports PX-9 Review

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The author takes a look at SDS Imports' Gen 2 and 3 PX-9 and tells you why your shooting diet could use more Turkey.

Many shooters probably think the last thing we need is another polymer-framed, high-capacity, striker-fired pistol that emulates the Glock. It seems like, for the past decade or so, that description fits about every new handgun introduced. As unexciting as new Tupperware guns might be, this is how innovation works; evolution allows for the concept to be maximized.

Admittedly, I’m not a plastic pistol kind of guy. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with them—they’re just not my thing. Still, when I see any handgun that impresses me, I want to share and that’s why the SDS Imports’ PX-9 is being presented here.

Let me first say that the PX-9 is less expensive than most other polymer-frame pistols because it’s manufactured by Tisas in Turkey … where labor and operational costs are less, not because it’s constructed of sub-standard parts by folks who don’t know how to build pistols. The PX-9, or Zigana as it’s known in Turkey, has passed rigorous military trials and is even used by military units, police departments and private security firms around the world.

It was only about six months ago that I was provided a Gen 2 version of this pistol for testing and evaluation. I was very impressed with the sample because of its reliability, how comfortable it was in-hand and all its features. Just last month I received a Gen 3 version of the PX-9, and after lots of rounds downrange in both, I felt obligated to give this pistol its due.

The Gen 3 version of the PX-9, which is imported by SDS Imports, is available in black, desert tan and OD green.

All The Extras

First, let’s address the elephants in the room. One worry with offshore-made handguns is whether there’s a decent selection of holsters. This is a valid concern. What good is a self-defense handgun if you can’t comfortably carry it?

With the PX-9, that’s not an issue. It’ll fit holsters sized for the Springfield Armory XD. Incidentally, though not much to brag about, the Gen 2 comes with a polymer OWB paddle holster, and the Gen 3 comes with a polymer IWB holster. Another concern is the availability of extra magazines. There’s no worry here; PX-9s are designed to work with Sig Sauer P226 magazines.

PX-9 pistols are shipped with two 18-round Sig Sauer P226 magazines.

And finally, as with any out-of-country manufactured firearm, there’s the issue of parts and service. After all, you can’t just put a broken gun in the mail to Turkey. All Tisas-made firearms brought stateside by SDS Imports can be serviced at SDS Imports in Knoxville, Tennessee, because they have parts and qualified engineers on staff there. These engineers have spent time working with Tisas in Turkey where these guns are manufactured, so they know what they’re doing.

For example, the Gen 3 version of this pistol has a slide cut to accept a reflex sight. When I received the pistol for evaluation, I removed this plate, and when reinstalling it I broke the heads off the screws holding it in place. I called SDS Imports, explained the situation and a new slide was delivered to my door the next day. This is great customer service. I installed the new slide, took the pistol to the range and it ran perfectly.

The Gen 3 PX-9 comes standard with an optics-ready cut and plate. The cut will fit the Trijicon RMR.

Features & Design

These are duty-sized pistols that ship with two, 18-round magazines, but they’re not heavy. Unloaded weight is just shy of 25 ounces, which is just a few ounces heavier than a Glock 17.

The Gen 3 version is available in black, desert tan or green, and it comes standard with a fiber-optic front sight and a ledge-style rear sight. They’re fitted with an external extractor, have front and rear grasping grooves on the slide, and the frame has a four-slot accessory rail.

The trigger on the Gen 2 is curved, the trigger on the Gen 3 is straight, and both have the common passive trigger safety. Both can also be had with an ambidextrous manual thumb safety, and the magazine release can be positioned for left- or right-side activation. The PX9 also has visible and tactile, cocked-striker and loaded-chamber indicators.

The Gen 3 version of the PX-9 comes standard with a flat trigger. The Gen 2 has a trigger with a curved face.

One of the most appealing features is the modular grip. The backstrap and side panels are easily removed and can be replaced to perfectly fit this pistol to your hand. Each PX-9 is supplied with six grip panels and three backstraps.

Additionally, these guns are supplied with an extended and beveled, wide-mouth magazine well. It, too, is easy to install and not only helps with speed reloads, but if you have large hands, it also enhances the feel of the grip as well. Though you’d have to have two different-colored PX-9s like I do, you can swap the grip panels, backstraps and magazine wells of different colors to provide a little multicolor flare.

SDS Imports PX-9 Gen 2 and Gen 3 pistols are very reliable and very comfortable to shoot.

I found the PX-9 much more comfortable to shoot than a Glock 17; Glocks tend to uncomfortably impress on the first knuckle of the middle finger on my shooting hand. And I’d rate the PX-9 just as—if not more—comfortable to shoot than the Sig Sauer P320. Accuracy and precision were on par with what you’d expect from a duty-sized defensive handgun. With now close to 1,000 combined rounds out of the Gen 2 and Gen 3, I’ve yet to have a stoppage of any sort … and that’s with a wide range of munitions.

By partnering with Tisas in Turkey, SDS Imports is working to find the ultimate expression of the high-capacity, poly-framed, striker-fired pistol. This is the fifth Turkish-made handgun that’s imported by SDS Imports that I’ve spent a good bit of time with. And while I’m an American-made kind of guy, I’m also one who appreciates good stuff, regardless of where it comes from—especially when the price is right. It’s no small thing that you can pick up a brand-new PX-9 for less than $400!

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the February 2022 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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