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Old 11-28-2015, 03:13 PM   #1
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Good Guns for Little Loot

For the past 14 months I've been working with three of the Canik55 Tristar clones of the CZ 75 (Tristar L-120)and CZ 75 Compact (Tristar C100).

Even though I'm a died in the wool CZ fan, I have the highest regard for these pistols. I've tried every trick in the book to get them to hiccup, but they just won't do it. Yesterday in fact I took the L-120 (CZ 75 clone but with aluminum frame) to the range and ran three magazines through it that were stagger loaded with 5 different JHP loads, 12345123451234512, etc, and the gun laughed at me and kept right on going. I've done the same thing with both of my C-100's with the same results. BTW, the C100 has an aluminum frame whereas the CZ 75 Compact it is patterned after has a steel frame. So you can get them with a choice of steel or aluminum frame in either the full size model or the compact model.

Cajun Gun Works makes some custom parts for them, including a CZ 85 Combat trigger slightly modified to fit the Tristar guns, a floating trigger pin, and a whole raft of other parts. The stock guns come with the old long reach CZ trigger, which I always found perfectly OK, but arthritis has put a bend in my trigger finger and I needed the shorter reach CZ 85 Combat trigger. I took the L-120 completely apart to do the trigger installation and was more than impressed with the quality of the workmanship I saw in there.....more than impressed.

The triggers on these guns have a slightly stiffer and shorter double action pull than the CZ pistols, but the single action pull is about the same. The sights are better than the CZ sights, IMHO. They all come with 2 MecGar mags, the 120 series guns with 17 rounders, and the compact models with 15 rounders. They also come with a bore brush, bore rod, lock, super thumb, and a nice plastic case.

OK, here's my point. These are first rate pistols that are selling for a song. At Bud's Gun Shop, the compact C100's in 9mm are going for $372, the L-120 is going for $346 with the "make offer" flag up, and the steel frame version of the L-120, called the S-120, is going for only $330 with the "make offer" flag up. Plus free shipping.

These are the best buys I've seen since the FEG's dried up a decade ago, so if any of you guys are looking for a highly capable and very well built defensive auto pistol on a budget, jump on one of these. They're super. The S-120 is only $30 more than a surplus Bulgarian Makarov, and it's twice the gun, so go from there....and make sure to take Bud's up on the "make offer" thing. You'll save even more. Here are some links to Buds showing photos of the guns I'm talking about.

Here's the link to the S-120, the steel frame full size service pistol:
TriStar 85060 S-120 Pistol 9mm 4.7" 17+1 Blk Checkered Grips $330.00 SHIPS FREE

Here's the L-120, with the aluminum frame:
TriStar 85040 L-120 Pistol 9mm 4.7" 17+1 Blk Poly Grip Blued $346.00 SHIPS FREE

And here's the 9mm compact version, also with aluminum frame:
TriStar 85009 C-100 15+1 9mm 3.7" $372.00 SHIPS FREE

And yes, there are some .40 caliber models available too.

JayPee
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Last edited by JayPee; 11-29-2015 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPee View Post
For the past 14 months I've been working with three of the Canik55 Tristar clones of the CZ 75 (Tristar L-120)and CZ 75 Compact (Tristar C100).

Even though I'm a died in the wool CZ fan, I have the highest regard for these pistols. I've tried every trick in the book to get them to hiccup, but they just won't do it. Yesterday in fact I took the L-120 (CZ 75 clone but with aluminum frame) to the range and ran three magazines through it that were stagger loaded with 5 different loads, 12345123451234512, etc, and the gun laughed at me and kept right on going. I've done the same thing with both of my C-100's with the same results. BTW, the C100 has an aluminum frame whereas the CZ 75 Compact it is patterned after has a steel frame. So you can get them with a choice of steel or aluminum frame in either the full size model or the compact model.

Cajun Gun Works makes some custom parts for them, including a CZ 85 Combat trigger slightly modified to fit the Tristar guns, a floating trigger pin, and a whole raft of other parts. The stock guns come with the old long reach CZ trigger, which I always found perfectly OK, but arthritis has put a bend in my trigger finger and I needed the shorter reach CZ 85 Combat trigger. I took the L-120 completely apart to do the trigger installation and was more than impressed with the quality of the workmanship I saw in there.....more than impressed.

The triggers on these guns have a slightly stiffer and shorter double action pull than the CZ pistols, but the single action pull is about the same. The sights are better than the CZ sights, IMHO. They all come with 2 MecGar mags, the 120 series guns with 17 rounders, and the compact models with 15 rounders. They also come with a bore brush, bore rod, lock, super thumb, and a nice plastic case.

OK, here's my point. These are first rate pistols that are selling for a song. At Bud's Gun Shop, the compact C100's in 9mm are going for $372, the L-120 is going for $346 with the "make offer" flag up, and the steel frame version of the L-120, called the S-120, is going for only $330 with the "make offer" flag up. Plus free shipping.

These are the best buys I've seen since the FEG's dried up a decade ago, so if any of you guys are looking for a highly capable and very well built defensive auto pistol on a budget, jump on one of these. They're super. The S-120 is only $30 more than a surplus Bulgarian Makarov, and it's twice the gun, so go from there....and make sure to take Bud's up on the "make offer" thing. You'll save even more. Here are some links to Buds showing photos of the guns I'm talking about.

Here's the link to the S-120, the steel frame full size service pistol:
TriStar 85060 S-120 Pistol 9mm 4.7" 17+1 Blk Checkered Grips $330.00 SHIPS FREE

Here's the L-120, with the aluminum frame:
TriStar 85040 L-120 Pistol 9mm 4.7" 17+1 Blk Poly Grip Blued $346.00 SHIPS FREE

And here's the 9mm compact version, also with aluminum frame:
TriStar 85009 C-100 15+1 9mm 3.7" $372.00 SHIPS FREE

And yes, there are some .40 caliber models available too.

JayPee
Thanks for the update, information, and Links JayPee. My next purchase, looking at the CZ 75B, myself, next year. I can buy with 10 round mags.
I am always looking for small self defence pistols in the 9mm range. Only Question? I did not see any with 10 round magazine's? They would be a deal killer over here with the 10 round mag limit? Can the mags be switched out to 10 round?
Scott
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:06 AM   #3
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Scott,

CZ magazines are totally compatible with Tristar pistols corresponding to their CZ twins, and 10 round CZ 75 magazines are available from CZUSA and Gregcotellc. Here is a factory CZ 75 10 round magazine from Gregcotellc. I have a supply of these ten rounders "just in case".

CZ 75B, CZ 85 OR CZ 75 SP-01 9MM 10 RD FACTORY MAGAZINE 11102 [CZ 11102] - $36.95 : Greg Cote, LLC

And here is a ten round magazine for the CZ 75 Compact, which corresponds to the Tristar C-100. I have bought two of these mags in the 14 shot version for each of my C-100's and they work fine.

CZ 75 Compact, CZ PCR, CZ P-01 10 RD 9mm FACTORY MAGAZINE 11104 [CZ 11104] - $35.95 : Greg Cote, LLC

The MecGar mags for the CZ pistols also are compatible with the Tristar guns and are a whale of a lot cheaper than the factory mags. Here is a ten round magazine for the CZ 75 Compact, which corresponds to the Tristar C-100.

CZ 75 Compact, CZ PCR, CZ P01, Springfield P9 Compact MGCZ7514B [MGCZ7514B] - $20.95 : Greg Cote, LLC

And here is the MecGar ten rounder for the full size CZ 75, which corresponds to the L-120 and S-120.

CZ 75B, CZ 85B, CZ 75 SP-01 10 RD 9mm MGCZ7510B [MGCZ7510B] - $20.95 : Greg Cote, LLC

If your state has a California-style approved pistol list, you'd want to consult it before buying the Tristar guns, even though 10 round mags are available for them. I don't know if Tristar will swap out ten round mags for their higher capacity stock mags, you might want to call them and ask. Customer Service at Tristar is 816-421-1400. They are in the Central time zone. You also might want to ask if their guns are available in your state.

Hope this helps.

JayPee
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Old 11-29-2015, 09:48 AM   #4
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Good information for folks JP. I have been very pleased with my Italian sort of CZ clone. Very hi power like in the reliabilitary department and not a big hit to the wallet.
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Old 11-29-2015, 10:25 AM   #5
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Great reviews...

Turkey is making quite a few really high quality guns... and has for some years.... Canik is a very high tech outfit, with ISO approval. With computer controlled machine tools they can make just about any gun they want to.

I'm pretty sure they made (and maybe still do) make a BHP copy as well though I have never seen one imported into the U.S. They also make a very high quality 1911 as well as several other types of guns... if memory serves me they were making a SIG based gun as well... probably a P228/9 type.

Anyway, thanks for the reminder... these are really excellent value for the money.

FWIW

Chuck
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Old 11-29-2015, 10:33 AM   #6
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CORRECTION. In my original post I said that both the full size and compact size Tristar guns are available in both steel and aluminum frames. That's incorrect. The compact TriStar models are only available with aluminum frames. If you want one with a steel frame you'll have to get the real mc coy CZ 75 Compact, which is only made with a steel frame. I got these two issues confused. Sorry for the blooper.
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Old 11-29-2015, 11:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPee View Post
Scott,

CZ magazines are totally compatible with Tristar pistols corresponding to their CZ twins, and 10 round CZ 75 magazines are available from CZUSA and Gregcotellc. Here is a factory CZ 75 10 round magazine from Gregcotellc. I have a supply of these ten rounders "just in case".

CZ 75B, CZ 85 OR CZ 75 SP-01 9MM 10 RD FACTORY MAGAZINE 11102 [CZ 11102] - $36.95 : Greg Cote, LLC

And here is a ten round magazine for the CZ 75 Compact, which corresponds to the Tristar C-100. I have bought two of these mags in the 14 shot version for each of my C-100's and they work fine.

CZ 75 Compact, CZ PCR, CZ P-01 10 RD 9mm FACTORY MAGAZINE 11104 [CZ 11104] - $35.95 : Greg Cote, LLC

The MecGar mags for the CZ pistols also are compatible with the Tristar guns and are a whale of a lot cheaper than the factory mags. Here is a ten round magazine for the CZ 75 Compact, which corresponds to the Tristar C-100.

CZ 75 Compact, CZ PCR, CZ P01, Springfield P9 Compact MGCZ7514B [MGCZ7514B] - $20.95 : Greg Cote, LLC

And here is the MecGar ten rounder for the full size CZ 75, which corresponds to the L-120 and S-120.

CZ 75B, CZ 85B, CZ 75 SP-01 10 RD 9mm MGCZ7510B [MGCZ7510B] - $20.95 : Greg Cote, LLC

If your state has a California-style approved pistol list, you'd want to consult it before buying the Tristar guns, even though 10 round mags are available for them. I don't know if Tristar will swap out ten round mags for their higher capacity stock mags, you might want to call them and ask. Customer Service at Tristar is 816-421-1400. They are in the Central time zone. You also might want to ask if their guns are available in your state.

Hope this helps.

JayPee
Thank you JayPee for the information. Will check into Customer service at Tristar. If Guns are Available at certain LGS's in the state.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:31 AM   #8
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Good deal Scott. Let us know what they say, OK?
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:09 AM   #9
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As of yesterday Bud's was sold out of all of the Canik CZ Clones. I don't think that Tri-Star is still the importer. Century International Arms is importing the TP9 series but as yet have not answered my question about getting the S-120 & L-120. If you go to the Canik website you'll see that the S-120 has been updated to look nearly exactly the same as the L-120 which is closer to the CZ 75B rather than the Tri-Star S-120s that looked closer to older model CZ 75s.

JayPee, do you handload? I am very much interested in the new S-120 if they don't have short chambers like the CZ 75 which restricts the OACL of handloads.

Recently got the TP9sa for like $330 + transfer fee and if I listed all of the positives, some would find it hard to believe. As mentioned, Canik is building their pistols on new CNC machines and their plant is ISO 9001 certified. Barrels are cold-hammer-forged and the 4.47" barrel in the TP9sa (single-action) gives higher than typical velocity and it's conventionally rifled, not a polygonal bore like Glock & HK. The barrel in the S-120 is also cold-hammer forged and if they don't have short chambers (the TP9sa certainly doesn't) these pistols are worth more to me as a handloader than the CZ 75B, and I am a CZ fan. There is also an updated version of their original pistol that won a contract for 50,000 units to Turkish police. The new model is designated TP9v2 (version 2) that goes into DA mode when it decocks like the original Walther P-99. Barrel length is 4.1" and either pistol comes with 2 - 18 round magazines and a holster included that looks very much like a Serpa Blackhawk retention holster, with 2 attachments that allow for paddle carry or belt carry. Without a doubt, these are the best values in a pistol today. And as highly rated as the trigger on the Walther PPQ M2 is, I dare anyone to compare it to the TP9sa (SAO) with it's very light take up to a very discernible release point of 4.5# or less. The only negative you'll see comes from Glock die-hard reviewers concerning a decocker on a SAO pistol. Canik did that purely for disassembly so that the trigger doesn't have to be pulled before removing the slide. Argue that one anyway you want to, it doesn't bother me in the least as it would be virtually impossible for the pistol to decock accidentally. And for convenience, you can decock any time you like, i.e. at the range, because retracting the slide as you would do a press check puts the TP9sa back into fire mode.

Canik's parent company is Turkey's largest defense contractor to include missile systems. It may have been one of their missiles that downed the Russian SU24 last week.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:22 PM   #10
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Bud's is indeed out of these guns on the Canik brand, but still has scads of them under the TriStar label, which was what I was writing about. Scroll down farther on Bud's Pistol page to the TriStar logo and you'll find the guns I described and a lot more.

I should have noted in my original post that while Tristar imports the Canik55 guns under their Tristar logo, Canik55 also imports some of their guns on their own logo as well, and seems to want quite a bit more money for them than Tristar does.

No, I no longer reload and can't tell you if the Canik55 barrels are short chambered like the CZ's. You might go over to the Clone Club or Ammo-Reloading section at the original CZ forum and look into their reloading posts. If nothing is there, I'm sure somebody over there can answer it for you. It's at: The Original CZ Forum - Index

Best wishes,

JayPee
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