Hey y'all, another quickie review now that i'm unbanned (at least for now, lol, thank you Aimless), this is for the Tristar C-100 9mm, on it's third importer I believe now, this time from Tristar Sporting Arms of MO.
The pistol is made by Canik 55 of Turkey ( http://www.canik55.com/
), it is a compact 9MM clone of a clone of a CZ-75, I say this because it has a little more in common with Tanfoglio/Witness pistols than CZ's, but CZ's are the big daddy from which all these pistols spring. The gun was $349.00 plus tax from our local Academy store.
My first impressions about this pistol are really good, actually got it for Mrs. Dragynn to bump her up to 9mm from her beloved .380, she liked the way this one felt in her hand, and I had no problem with it as I am a Tanfo shooter from way back. The fit and finish on this pistol are outstanding, tight slide-to-frame fit, tighter than most Tanfo's I have had, yet non-binding, nice and smooth. The pistol came with two 13 round mags, a manual, cable lock, and a cleaning brush and rod, all packed in a nice hard plastic padded case w/cutouts for gun and mag:
(adding URL's too in case your browser doesn't like postimage.org.)
The grip panels are hard plastic, and some say CZ-75 compact panels will fit, some say not, don't know but the Mrs. is okay with these. The controls are tight, safety is very positive and can be engaged while cocked, mag release looks to be reversible for lefty's. Front of trigger guard is both squared and serrated like my old Tanfo TA-90 is, this a great feature to me. Backstrap is not serrated but front of grip is. The pistol is very lightweight, the frame is super-light, feels like aluminum to me, but is supposedly an alloy. Slide is steel, and the 3.9" barrel is cold-forged.
The sights are 3-dot, and the dots are luminescent paint that glows for a bit after exposure to light, one quick hit from my mini-mag led last night, gave me bright glowy's for around 3 minutes or so, this might be useful in a pinch.
There are various compatibilities noted by other owners around the 'net, with both CZ and Witness/Tanfoglio parts, the one I can attest to has to do with magazines, I tried a standard 16 round Mec-gar made for the older slim-frame EAA/Tanfo guns that I use in my TA-90, it only sticks out about half an inch, fit like a glove, and functioned flawlessly! I hear tell that you can use a polymer basepad from a a CZ P01 magazine on the 16 rounder, and it takes up that extra space and gives you a little finger-hook to boot.
I took it out for a test fire, not really intending to really wring it out, as I feel you need a couple hundred rounds down the pipe minimum before you begin to see what a pistol is really capable of, and what's worse, is that in a classic brain-fart-not-enough-coffee moment, I grabbed two boxes of .380 instead of 9mm, and wound up at the range with just one partial box of 10 rounds and a full magazine (16) from my Tanfo...but still want to point out a couple things:
Trigger pull was heavy, didn't have a gauge but felt like about 12-13 for DA, and about 5-6 for SA, but even the DA was not slushy, it was fairly crisp and uniform with a clean break. The SA pull has quite a bit of take-up and i'll need to work on that, probably a good quarter inch. On the bright side, the overtravel was almost non-existent, which is a real shocker as I have had to install an overtravel screw on every Tanfo/Witness i've ever owned.
Now, every CZ clone i've ever had, shot low from the get-go, it's just the way they lock up points the barrel down a bit. I had high hopes for this one as the front sight is very low already (i've had to file down tall ones in the past and re-blue). But lining up the rear sight perfectly flat with the front, and holding just under the one-inch target dot in the center of the target got me about 5 inches low, you can see all the hits at the bottom of the target, and I wasn't practicing good trigger control either(that long take-up messes with me), so that's why they are to the left and right of center a bit. Those were all Federal 115 gr. fmj's.
I settled down after those first few shots and focused on trigger control, and went 180 degrees the other direction with aiming, I put the bottom
of the front site, level with the top
of the rear and covered the bullseye with the front site, and that produced the very top hole on the target you see, about 2 inches high and almost dead center, and folks, that's 3 shots in that hole, this little pistol is no joke.
The last two rounds I fired, is the hole you see a little closer to the bullseye, this time I again aligned the bottom of the front site, with the top of the rear, but this time put the top of the front site just at the bottom of the orange-dot as I did the first few rounds, don't know why they went to the right, possibly because I changed ammo at that point to Independence, again 115 gr. fmj's. All shooting was done offhand at 15 yards. Looks like if I split the distance and run the front site halfway above the rears and hold the bullseye just on top, and it ought to be dead center.
So that's it for now, i'll add more later, and my apologies if this is a duplicate, but I didn't see another review here on arfcom, and these sorts of reviews are really helpful to me, so hope somebody gets some use out of this one. This little pistol is a winner so far....wife always gets all the good stuff
The mag compatibility is really nice, i'm going to order a few more 16 rounders, and try the basepad trick to get her 16+1. I wouldn't call this pistol super-compact, but it is definitely more concealable than my fullsize, and should fit great in her IWB for EDC.
Went out and fired a couple hundred rounds w/the wife and am adding some thoughts:
Went through more 115 gr. FMJ's, some 124 gr. +P's, a few 147 gr. JTC's, and even some 124 gr. JHP's. Not a single hitch or burp, the little booger is ultra-reliable outta the box, which may a first for me at least for an under-400 dollar imported pistol, i've even had some nice expensive pistols stovepipe once or twice when they were new.
The braided recoil spring is wicked stiff, which is fine by me, a plus in my book, but my rather petite gal had some trouble racking the slide, this may be an issue for small folk, so something to consider before purchasing.
The magazine springs are also seriously stiff, which again is a plus technically, but they are almost stiff enough to be annoyance to me, and definitely one for her, I may have to break down and buy her a magazine-loader-helper-thingy....I don't even know what you call them because i've never owned one, but I know they exist.
The shorter barrel plus the ultra-light frame, make recoil a little more noticeable apparently, she had a frowny-face over it, dunno, again, she's pretty small with tiny hands. It may not work out for her, but at this point, it's not gonna break my heart, if she doesn't, i'm buying a bunch of sixteen round mags and adding the P01 finger extensions for a lengthier grip and this will be my left-hand pistol.....I think I may have inadvertently stumbled on a new technique fer getting new guns past the watchful eyes of the budget queen: "Honey, look what I bought YOU today!!"