SAR K12 Sport 9mm

Virgil Caldwell

The K12 is a well made pistol.

An old joke is that the hundred dollar bill and I have a lot in common. We aren’t what we used to be. It is quite true. A thousand dollar target gun was once a superb handgun capable to the finest accuracy available. Today we have some of the finest handguns in the world that will outshoot anything available in the past. They are also proportionately quite pricey.  A handgun priced below one thousand dollars that performs like much more expensive race guns is the SAR K12 Sport. This pistol will get you into the shooting sports and serve will until you have outpaced its ability and need something superior. That may be a long time.      

This isn’t a concealed carry pistol by any stretch but a purpose designed target pistol. It would be a fine home defense and small game pistol based on its handling reliability and accuracy. If you are not a competitor just the same you will enjoy firing this handgun. The SAR K12 Sport features modest recoil even with the hottest loads. The SAR K12 sport is based on the CZ 75 pistol. SAR has manufactured standard CZ 75 clones in the past and it wasn’t a stretch to manufacture a target grade CZ type pistol. The CZ design has been re-designed and modified into compact handguns as well as long slide pistols and the type has proven versatile with the many versions successful in a given role.

Sarsilmaz of Turkey (SAR’s full name) is a respected maker of service grade weapons. They have well over on hundred years experience. The K12 Sport in SAR’s own words is their Crown Jewel. This is a bold statement and one that fits the pistol. This is a full size CZ 75 styled pistol. The pistol features a locked breech short recoil system. The K12 locks the barrel into the slide on the barrel hood and unlocks with angled camming surfaces. The majority of the pistol is stainless steel. The safety and slide lock as well as the sights are nicely blue finished. The handles are aluminum stocks. They offer and excellent balance of adhesion and abrasion. Both the front strap and the rear strap are nicely checkered. This pistol sets solid in the hand and doesn’t squirm at all- with the strongest 9mm loads. The pistol is modified from the original double action first shot format to a single action only trigger. The ambidextrous safety operates in a manner different from the CZ 75. The safety when activated keeps the hammer locked. The slide isn’t locked in place however. The safety may be applied with the hammer down and in this position the slide is locked in place. An advantage of the single action safety is that the pistol may be loaded and unloaded with the safety applied. The pistol is supplied with a two seventeen rond magazines. The rear sight is a sturdy fully adjustable unit. Windage and elevation adjustments were positive and precise. The front sight is a solid post.

In common with the CZ 75 the K12 features a low riding slide. The slide rides inside the frame rather than mounting over the frame in conventional designs. This results in greater contact between the slide and the frame and a lower bore axis. A trade off is that the slide is more difficult to rack due to the design but this isn’t difficult to deal with. The long dust cover helps provide balance in a heavy pistol. The barrel is 4.7 inches long. The slide lock magazine catch and safety are positive in operation. The pistol features a target grade magazine well that makes for excellent speed in reloading. Sliding a tapered magazine into this magazine well quickly doesn’t require much practice. The trigger is clean and crisp breaking at 5.9 pounds at the end of the test period. The trigger requires acclimation. I recommend considerable dry fire before you attempt the best results the same as with any target grade handgun.

The handle is comfortable for average size hands despite its size. The pistol is heavy at 44 ounces. Recoil is inconsequential. Muzzle flip is subdued. After firing the pistol for several hundred rounds over the past few months there have been no failures to feed chamber fire or eject. Like most quality handguns the K12 prefers one load to the other in terms of absolute accuracy but no loads were not accurate some were simply stand outs. The Remington 115 grain jacketed load is among the cleanest burning and accurate ‘generic’ loads. I have fired the Remington/K12 combination extensively with good results. When clocking loads and firing for accuracy I determined most loads generated 40 to 50 fps more velocity over the typical 4 inch barrel service pistol. As for absolute accuracy I have fired the pistol from the MTM Caseguard K Zone shooting rest with good results. I have averaged five shot groups of an average 2.25 inches with a variety of loads. The smallest five shot group has been 1.85 inch while the largest has been around 3.0 inch, certainly my fault. The pistol is accurate enough for most chores.

 SAR K12 Sport 9mm specifications    

  • Overall Length: 8.5 inch
  • Barrel Length: 4.7 inch
  • Action: Single Action
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 17
  • Weight: 44 ounces

Thanks to SARUSA for photo support.