Recently I posted a video discussing why it is not a bad thing to buy guns that are made in Turkey. I cited a few reasons why I feel that they are worth the money you pay, most of the time. Specifically I was talking about firearms I have that are imported by Zenith Firearms. I tried to keep the video pretty short and sweet to get the point across. It wasn’t an attempt to claim the superiority of Turkish firearms over the other options, but to rather put people at ease who feel like they are somehow doing a bad thing by buying products made in a country where recent politics have become controversial, to say the least.
In the video, I cover a couple of different topics, such as the controversial politics of Turkey, the claim that buying Turkish goods are somehow supporting terrorism, and even pronunciations. If you are interested in this video, I think you should look at the comments to see what I am talking about. The comments are flooded with different people expressing some interesting and somewhat extreme views on the world and without having personal experience with the cultures they are aggressively assaulting.
This article is kind of a two part article in that it focused on settling the political perspective on Turkish goods while second part is going to focus on why Turkish made firearms are not something to ignore, for the most part. There is alot of misinformation about what is going on in the Middle East and I think people are jumping to terrible conclusions and reacting in a way that is going to hurt American companies.
Let us start off by looking at why it is a bad idea to not consider Turkish goods based off the regional politics. First off, Century Arms and Zenith Firearms are the biggest importers of Turkish firearms in the US. The staff of Zenith is mostly made up of military veterans and their entire operation and company is American. The firearms they get for the American public is tested by them and they negotiate to have the Turkish companies modify the firearms to attract the American user with cosmetic features and such. The money they get for the firearms they sell goes right back to them. The company does the best it can to provide firearms that the American public will find appealing and useful, but at an unbeatable price. If you boycott the sale of Turkish firearms, you are doing nothing but hurting companies like this and in effect, only fighting your own people over it.
The idea that not buying Turkish firearms somehow sponsors terrorism directly has never been proven, but it also is a bad belief to go off of. If that were the case, I would argue that buying any American product is directly funding anti-gun legislation and politicians. It makes no sense to believe that or to base you purchases off such ideas and tin foil hat theories. In the long run, basing your view on a certain gun off of politics is toxic for everyone. Look at what recently happened with Springfield Armory, for example, where you have a huge political scandal and people are talking about boycotting them over it. This too is irrational and I personally would still buy from them if I felt the firearms they sold fit my needs. I can disagree and protest their political decisions, but to boycott them has a butterfly effect in the entire gun community and therefore has no good outcome.
Next, let us talk about the idea that you should avoid the firearms from Turkey anyways due to their lack of quality. This judgement of low quality is not true at all and seems to be the rhetoric of those inexperienced and widely ignorant to Turkish designs. You can not appreciate certain designs made by Turkish gun companies, but to judge them as crap is taking it a little too far. Most of the firearms in companies like Girsan, MKE, etc. are made to compete in military trials and are made specifically for military use. Other companies make their pistols specifically for civilian sales, either domestically in Turkey, or internationally. They may not understand and focus on pleasing the niche and often overrated desires of civilian users, but their designs are sound.
Many people have come to realize that Turkey makes terrific pistols, as shown by the popularity of the TP9 series of pistols here in the US. Canik is one of those companies that both concentrates on military contracts and civilian requests. In 2017, Canik came out with an updated pistol, specifically for the US market, that really is hard to ignore. The TP9SF Elite is a pistol that is based off the design of the Walther PPQ, but gives it to us in a size that is the size of the popular Glock 19, and really appeals to users who like to have more metal used in their pistols. This pistol is often seen as a better option compared to the Glock, or even the PPQ.
The funny thing is that there are plenty of pistols that are just as well made and that are being modified to suit the civilian shooter in the US. If nothing else, it is cool to have firearms that have such good quality and that are held to NATO standards. Companies like Girsan, MKE and Canik, being direct suppliers of firearms to the Turkish Ministry of Defense and military contracts abroad, are held to high standards of manufacturing that require them to have tight tolerances and consistency in their designs. Their testing and requirements for their firearms are closely modeled after the strict requirements of NATO, since they are primarily military firearm manufacturers and are focused on making relevant designs that users around the world will see as worthy of service in their military and police forces. We as civilians are privy to these types of firearms and I for one appreciate that we get access to them for such a good price.
Typically, here in America, we get firearms that are made to follow the somewhat lower standards of handling ammunition that falls within SAAMI specifications. A great majority of the pistols designated for military service are subject to alterations in the basic design, just to make them strong enough to handle a steady dose of the potent NATO spec ammunition. In Turkey, this is the standard design for the firearm manufacturers and , in my opinion, this places their firearms in a higher quality category.
Many, if not most of the firearms manufacturers in Turkey, are experts at taking popular designs and reverse-engineering them in order to pass and sometimes exceed NATO specifications. Many of the original firearms they base their pistols on are not up to the stringent specs that they have for their firearms or are not made to the quality standards they have placed on their firearms. There is nothing wrong with this, and in fact, I think of it as a compliment to the original design that they see them as a great platform worthy of improvement and use. I personally cannot see how this could be interpreted as anything other than a compliment.
Instead of continuing on to beating a dead horse, I will just leave you all to make your own judgement calls. I am not a salesman by any means, but I just want people to realize that their hasty judgements are not necessarily rational and that they should think about the consequences of these hasty decisions and viewpoints. If you do not see the Turkish firearms to be your style, cool. You are not forced to buy anything you don’t want to. The point is to look at things in a realistic point of view and stop inserting politics into the firearms community, unless you want to negatively effect the entire community.
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