The new SAR 9 is a quality-built, smooth-shooting, striker-fired pistol that’s well worth a look.
Sarsilmaz is not a word that rolls smoothly off the tongue for a native English speaker. For that reason, when the Turkish arms manufacturer tried to make a big splash in the U.S. market about five years ago, it went with the name SAR Arms. The company did not have the success it would have liked, but now it’s back with a new English-friendly brand name—SAR USA—and a brand-new product: the SAR 9 pistol.
If you don’t have any experience with firearms made in Turkey, you might wonder if they’re cheap junk. While I’ve seen a few shotguns coming from there that were a bit sketchy, every Turkish-made pistol I’ve tested in the last five years has been as well-made and reliable as most American-made pistols I’ve tested.
Still have doubts? SAR USA’s director of marketing Ted Hatfield said the new SAR 9 was adopted by the Turkish military after a 90,000-round comparison test against guns from makers like Glock, SIG Sauer, FN, Walther and Smith & Wesson.
The SAR 9 features standard controls. What stands out are the triangular red cocking indicator and the significant undercut behind the trigger guard, which helps keep bore axis low.
While many Turkish handgun manufacturers focus on making CZ 75 copies, the SAR 9 is a polymer-frame, striker-fired pistol. It is a full-size “duty” handgun with a 4.4-inch barrel, and it weighs 24.8 ounces unloaded, according to my scale. Sarsilmaz lists the weight of the pistol at 27.1 ounces, but that includes an unloaded magazine. It is 7.5 inches long and 5.5 inches tall with a magazine in place.
Officially, this is a 15-shot 9mm, and the numbered index holes on the