I am a fan of Turkish pistols, as many of you may have figured out long ago. But there are certain pistols that they make that are not exactly in line with what we American shooters would like to see. The SAR CM9 Gen2 is supposed to be a very refined pistol that can serve reliably as a combat pistol in a duty holster or as a [personal defense pistol. The pistol is supposedly made to pass NATO testing, but does this pistol really live up to it's name of Combat Master?
The SAR CM9 Gen2 can be found for about $300 and falls in the same class as other budget pistols. But is this label of "cheap budget pistol" really deserved? Well, when I first got the CM9, I will say that the pistol was stiff, rough, and not exactly smooth in function all the way around. The safety was stiff, and the trigger pull on double and single action was stiff, long, and gritty. Perhaps this will not change much, even after 1000 or 2000 rounds and many more hours working the pistol controls and trigger. Unfortunately, rough controls and a crappy trigger are things people expect out of cheap budget pistols.
On a positive note, the CM9 has a smooth action and very well polished and machined metal surfaces. The machining and polymer molding is very clean and well finished. The shiny barrel is perfectly smooth and seems to be made very well. But the rough and obvious machining marks on the crown was very off-putting.
There were several little parts on the CM9 Gen2 that showed that the pistols may have been rushed through production with a focus on quantity over quality. Usually, I have found Turkish pistols to be well made and very cleanly machined and finished. The CM9 Gen2 seemed to change that judgement for the worst. I was not too happy with the outcome of the quality of this pistol.
I may not be happy with the slacking in machining quality in certain areas, but does it function and perform like a combat pistol, as the name implies? Well, to put it plainly, it does...for the most part. The adjustable sights are a great compliment to the short sight radius and the recoil on this pistol is very low, for the most part. The negative trigger characteristics seem to fade away when you get to shooting the pistol fast right out of the holster. But, I will note that the stiff safety is quite a disruptive feature of this pistol that I am having trouble overcoming due to my short thumbs. Sometimes the safety will just stick and require heavy pressure from the support hand thumb in order to actuate it. This could be fatal if you need the pistol to be ready to fire right away. I am not too happy about the safety issue, but I am okay with the trigger after 1,000 rounds.
The safety gives me pause and the trigger can be somewhat disruptive when doing slow fire, but does this prevent me from performing well when I speed up my response? Not one bit. I can easily hit my target with surgical precision, thanks to the well zeroed sights that this pistol has right out of the box. The machining problems don't seem to be in areas that would affect performance. It seems that they neglected detailing the machining in non-vital areas in order to save money or time. Either way, it would seem that it doesn't detract from the pistols primary features that gives it good long lasting performance such as the trigger components, springs, and sight to barrel alignment and zero.
This pistol is not exactly like a high dollar Sig or H&K, but I do think that it is a good utilitarian gun that will get the job done without complaint. This pistol, as with many Turkish pistols, is a CZ clone. This is fine with me since I appreciate the qualities that the CZ platform offers. I also enjoy it when other companies take the design and build on it. It makes me appreciate the platform that much more. All in all, I feel that this pistol may be one of the best do-all guns that you can get for $300 if you can get over the machining marks in the non-vital areas.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and his wife