TriStar Pistols

TriStar Pistol L120

TriStar Arms added a number of new personal defense and target shooting handguns for 2013.  I am not terribly familiar with the TriStar line of firearms, but according to the company, they only recently got into the handgun market when they introduced their first pistols in 2012.

The new TriStar pistols are chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W and come in a variety of finishes and sizes.  Two of the pistols, the TP semi-auto handguns, are polymer framed guns.  The other pistols are traditional metal framed handguns.

MSRP on the TriStar handguns run from $429 to $469.  Street prices may dip below $400 on some models.  It will be interesting to see how these guns perform on the range and in sales when compared to other pistols in this price range.  There are certainly a number of players in this price range, and big names like Ruger and Smith & Wesson certainly have an edge on brand name recognition.

Each of these pistols ships with two magazines, a cleaning kit, a gun lock and hard case.  The guns come with a one year warranty.

TriStar C100
TriStar C100


The TriStar C100 is one of two models available in both 9mm and .40 S&W calibers.  This model appears to be a mid size gun with a 3.9″ barrel.  It has a traditional double-action/single-action (DA/SA) trigger.

The slide is steel and the frame is an aluminum alloy.  Weight is listed as 1.63 pounds for the .40 and 1.53 pounds for the 9mm.  Magazine capacity is 11 for the .40 and 15 for the 9mm.

TriStar P120
TriStar P120


The P120 is a larger gun than the C100, but it is only available in 9mm.  The barrel is 4.7″ long and the total weight (unloaded) is 1.87 pounds.  According to TriStar the P120 was developed for military use, but also is a good gun for the shooting sports.  Magazine capacity is 17 rounds.

TriStar L120 Chrome pistol
TriStar L120 Chrome pistol


The TriStar L120 is also a 9mm-only pistol with a 4.7″ barrel and 17 round magazine.  However, this pistol comes in a little lighter at 1.75 pounds.

TriStar S120
TriStar S120


The S120 is a heavier version of the L120.  Instead of the steel-alloy frame of the L120, the S120 uses a stainless steel frame.  That increases the total weight of the gun to 2.26 pounds.  Barrel length and magazine capacity remain the same.

TriStar T100
TriStar T100


Not to be confused with a Terminator model, the TriStar T100 is a compact pistol with a 3.7″ barrel.  This gun is only available in 9mm.  Magazine capacity is 15 rounds.  Total (unloaded) weight is 1.64 pounds.

TriStar T120 Chrome
TriStar T120 Chrome


The TriStar T120 is a full size handgun that the company describes as being “great for home defense and target shooting.”  It has a 4.7″ barrel.  The gun is only available in 9mm and takes a 17-round magazine.  Weight is 1.88 pounds.  Like the guns described above, it uses the DA/SA trigger.

TriStar TP9
TriStar TP9

TP-9 and TP-40

In the “one of these things is not like the other” category is the TP series of TriStar pistols.  These handguns are polymer framed and strangely different from each other.  The 9mm version is listed as having a 3.5″ barrel, a 1.39 pound weight and a 10-round magazine.  Meanwhile, the .40 S&W version is supposed to have a 4.1″ barrel, 1.65 pound weight and a 13 round magazine.

I don’t know if the company is planning on two different models: a standard and a compact, but those are the specs they have published, and the differentiator appears to be the caliber.  I would think the company would make a 9mm and .40 S&W version of both sizes, and eventually they might.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

28 replies on “TriStar Pistols”

I took my Tri-Star C-100 to the range with a box of Federal American Eagle ammunition. I fired 25 rounds without any problems with feeding, firing or ejecting. My first shot double action was right on my point of aim. My followup shots were intially a bit low and centered, then opened up a bit. The problem was me flinching. I am very old school and grew up shooting single-action all-steel guns. I have had trouble with the transition to alloy frame, steel slide guns. I guess I miss having a lot of weight in the gun’s frame. Nevertheless, I have reloaded 100 rounds with cast bullers and mild loadings. I’ll be giving it another try today. I saw a different variation of this handgun at Academy Sports and was very impressed with it. Right now these might just be the best deals on the market, even if old farts like me have to get used to shooting them!

When I was researching the T-100 I easily saw the genetic link with the Jerico. I ordered a Front Line K4080RP from CDNn for the princely sum of almost $15. It fits perfectly. It is Kydex(?) paddle with no belt loops but a “channel” for belt to pass through between holster and paddle. It works fine, not exactly an heirloom but works as intended. No regrets other than not spending enough.
I just paste this lines and where I got mine too 🙂


I am using a De Santis IWB holster I originally bought for my Russian 9×18 Makarov pistol. The C-100 fits in it nicely. My guess is any holster that works for the Russian Makarov pistol should work for the C-100. By the way, I have been to the range since my last posting and am very pleased with my C-100’s accuracy. For my purposes, the C-100 is an excellent choice for a well made, economically priced sidearm.

I bought a Gould & Goodrich G30LH IWB clip-on holster for a Taurus PT-145 millenium and found that the T-100 fits perfectly. Strangely, my Llama .38 supers (1911 form factor) also fit well. This means that the Makarov, the CZ-75’s and 1911 .45’s would also fit!
The G30 LH model holster can also be used as an ouside holster on your right side. Nice versatility.

Those are great looking pistols. I haven’t seen any locally, but I will see if I can find one at this weeken’d gun show.

I keep hearing that the T-100 is an aluminum alloy. My understanding is that it actually is a light weight steel alloy, so light it feels like aluminum. I saw no bad reviews on the Canik 55 imported by Tristar Sporting Arms, so I’ve go one on order.

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