We talked about CANiK’s new model SFx RIVAL-S, which was recently introduced during the SHOT Show 2023, with CANiK Team Captain Nils Jonasson, who won 6 national, and 1 world championship in 2022 with the SFx RIVAL. We asked Jonasson’s views and experiences about the pistol. We leave you with this sincere and informative interview.
During SHOT Show 2023, CANiK launched SFx RIVAL-S, which is the first steel-framed pistol from CANiK. How has SFx RIVAL-S made an impression on you ?
First impressions are how similar the new steel frame is to the original SFx RIVAL. Anyone who enjoyed shooting the original RIVAL will love that we kept everything that made the RIVAL such a great shooting pistol while adding tasteful details to the frame, which is now made from steel!
Even with the additional 12 oz of weight in the frame, my favorite feature in the new SFx RIVAL-S is still our flat 90° angled, diamond-cut aluminium trigger, which out of the box, is still one of the best triggers you’ll find on a factory pistol.
Why do you think CANiK decided to design a steel-framed pistol after years of work on polymer-framed pistols?
When I signed with CANiK in 2019, we had plans to develop a steel frame pistol. Not only because I felt steel-frame competition pistol would provide many benefits to shooters in the competition world, but also the fact that CANiK has always listened to their customers and had received numerous requests to a heavier pistol for some time.
Have you been involved in the design and development processes of CANiK SFx RIVAL-S? If so, what were your inputs?
I had a few small inputs on the new steel frame. My involvement was primarily in the SFx RIVAL and the features we built into that platform, which was our ultimate template for the steel frame. Things like grip texture, adjustable sights, optics compatibility, front cocking serration, integrally flared frame, etc.
Last year, you won 6 National Championships and a World Championship with the CANiK SFx RIVAL. What are the differences between CANiK SFx RIVAL and CANiK SFx RIVAL-S from shooter’s point of view?
We proved together that CANiK is not only an affordable pistol but is a real contender in the competitive world by crushing the competition who participated with much more expensive equipment.
The CANiK SFx RIVAL-S gives the shooter a softer feeling recoil impulse, less muzzle rise, and better accuracy, all due to the additional weight holding the pistol on target with minimal effort from a shooter, while the lighter weight of the polymer frame could allow faster transitions target to target and slightly better draw times. CANiK SFx RIVAL or SFx RIVAL-S, you can’t go wrong either way.
Considering these differences, how would you list the pros and cons of CANiK SFx RIVAL and CANiK SFx RIVAL-S compared to each other?
That’ll be a personal preference as to which will be the better option. Both are fantastic shooting pistols, but if you’re looking for the least felt recoil and a soft, easy shooting pistol, the CANiK SFx RIVAL-S will be your choice likely.
What are the advantages of SFx RIVAL-S when you compare CANiK SFx RIVAL-S with its competitors in the same class? In other words, why should a shooter purchase a CANiK SFx RIVAL-S?
Whether you are just learning how to shoot, want a fantastic target pistol to show up to your friends on the range, need a home defence pistol to protect yourself and your loved ones, or do compete for the title in a World Championship. The CANiK SFx RIVAL-S with its feature-rich design and unbeatable price allow you to be the best shooter absolutely.
Will you be using CANiK SFx RIVAL-S in competitions?
I will compete with the New CANiK SFx RIVAL-S this season. The main championships I will be attending are:
- USPSA Carry Optics Nationals
- Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships
- IDPA World Championships
- USPSA Production Nationals
- USPSA Multigun Nationals
along with many state and regional-level matches as well.
Which accessories are you using or planning to use with CANiK SFx RIVAL-S?
I will be installing our factory-included magwell for most major IDPA events this year.
Is there anything you would like to add?
I continue to be amazed by the work and dedication that CANiK and all of our team display daily. I couldn’t be prouder to work with such an amazing group of people while doing what I love.
If you’d like to follow my journey on social media, you can find me on Instagram @NoSkillsNils or on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/nilsjonasson.
We would like to thank CANiK Team Captain Nils Jonasson on behalf of our readers for taking the time to answer our questions, and for providing us with such valuable information.