The Elite Combat comes in a very nice hard plastic case, with top-notch laser cut foam for all the goodies. The top of the case features the paddle for the included holster, cleaning kit, and thread protector wrench. The bottom of the case has enough add-ons to make James Bond jealous. The pistol ships in the holster, which we will get to in a moment. It has too, in order for all the other kit to fit. In the gun is a standard capacity magazine, while an extended plus three mag is jammed up against the far right side. The second size of backstrap is set next to the pistol’s grip on the far left. Standard goodies ( for most guns these days) are a trigger lock and magazine loader, fit in next to the extended magazine. Then we get to the things that set the Canik Elite Combat apart.
There are four red dot sight bases included because the Combat Elite is….. ( drum roll, citation needed) cut for red dots from the factory. One of my favorite features of modern era pistols, if still abnormal from the factory. I feel like this is excellent value for the dollar, giving you the option to try a red dot without a $300 customization. Or let your pistol grow with you, as you add more money to your arsenal. Next to the sight bases is a plastic box, which contains multiple sizes of magazine release, further tailoring the Elite Combat to your needs.
Pulling the Canik Elite Combat out of the box, the first striking feature is the paint job. Canik settled on a “black and tan” motif for this model and pulled it off in the way of a beautiful gun. The slide and frame are FDE, with the steel slide being Cerakote over black nitride. All the controls, barrel, and half the trigger are black, with the trigger safety in red, a nice accent.
The biggest news about the Elite Combat has to do with the partner Canik chose for some of the parts. In a very surprising turn for a brand that is often looked at as the lower price option, Canik teamed with Salient Arms for design and critical components. Salient Arms, if you aren’t familiar, is a custom shop that will build you a $2500 Glock. Or sell you a Glock barrel STARTING at $359. Salient Arms was responsible for the bolt on magazine well, barrel, and sights.
The trigger is metal, with a flat face design. The safety tab is oversized, which makes the trigger very comfortable to use. You can see the benefit of this in a long day of shooting, no more crease in your trigger finger. The advertised trigger weight is 4.8 pounds, which I found a little on the heavy side. My own trigger gauge says 4.5, very consistently. From the look of the gun, and Salient being involved, I expected it to be closer to 3. But, 4.5 still beats most competitors, out of the box. And the Canik’s trigger is crisp, with a short take up and clean break.
The slide release is ambidextrous, and a different design idea than I normally see on striker guns. This is common to the Canik family and is definitely growing on me. The slide release is rather narrow, reducing the profile of the gun, and ensuring you get slide lock with bigger paws. But it is long, giving you lots of real estate to hit when you want to drop the slide on a reload. I find the dimensions a very good compromise and works perfectly in practice.
The barrel is all Salient, fluted and black Nitride coated. It is billed as match grade, and my limited accuracy testing supports that. It has Salients proprietary convex thread protector, which also has nice features. It is knurled on the end for finger grip, like many thread protectors. But it also has flat sides and a wrench, in case you jammed it on with gorilla strength and can’t get it loose again. The design is also pleasing to the eye, another Salient strength.
Overall, the Canik Elite Combat is an excellent value. As the new flagship model for Canik, it sets a high bar. It is feature packed and a lot of gun for the price. At an MSRP of $850, it isn’t cheap. But it is loaded to the gills with nice to have options.