Caracal Pistols Update

enhanced model F

UAE gun manufacturer Caracal’s status in the US has largely been in limbo after the company had to recall every Model C pistol they ever made. Many speculated that reports of slides breaking was the reason behind the recall.

Caracal has been at the past few SHOT Shows, and even displayed a pair of 1911 pistols they planned to introduce.

In April, Caracal published this recall update which stated all Model C and F pistols have been recalled. Two reasons were given:

  1. malfunctioning drop safeties and
  2. slides breaking apart when the pistol is fired.

For everyone in possession of one of these guns, they can get a refund of the full purchase price. For anyone living in a country where Caracal is selling the new “enhanced” Model F, the owner can swap into the new handgun. (Note: Readers in the USA can check this page for additional information.)

Presumably, the enhanced nature of the new Model F means “doesn’t come apart at high speed” and “doesn’t go boom unless someone pulls the trigger.”

As part of the company’s new marketing push, they brought Rob Pincus, Wes Doss and David Bahde to the UAE to test drive a number of the company’s guns. This included the new Model F. All of them spoke highly of the gun in the marketing video, giving testimony to the pistol’s quality construction, reliability and handling characteristics.

I cannot speak to the reliability of the enhanced guns, and I will leave it to readers to determine if the gun appears to have a malfunction or at least fail to lock back at 1:05 in the video. I do wish the company had edited the video such that everyone shooting the guns was wearing proper ear and eye protection throughout the testing.



Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • Tim U

    Only brand I trust less than Remington.

    • TexTopCat

      The Canik PT9-SA has filled the market hole left by Caracal exit. Also, since the PT9 is being imported by Century Arms, the trust factor is higher to start with.

      • Dracon1201

        The trust factor is higher with Century?

        Is it? Really?

        • TexTopCat

          They have been around since 1961 and have imported many well known brands. They also have a really good reputation of standing behind their products.
          Now do you have any information to the contrary?

          • Dracon1201

            Their imports are okay most of the time. Most of my distrust comes from the roller lock firearms they regularly screw up, or their C39s that are still a bit questionable.

          • Machinegunnertim

            I contacted them for some general info about a used CETME I bought. They never got back to me. Doesn’t seem to me that they stand behind their products.

          • toms

            Century imports =OK, century builds, no way in hell. I have seen so many bad century guns I would never spend my money on one. The list of their screw-ups is a mile long.

      • Machinegunnertim

        I own a Caracal F and recently bought a TP9 SA. The TP9 definitely has more features and accessories for the money but in shooting them side by side the Caracal still sits lower in the hand has a very noticable lower recoil impulse.

        • TexTopCat

          How do they compare to the Steyr handguns?

          • Machinegunnertim

            I wish i had hands on experience to tell you with. From what i hear they are very similar. But i just can’t justify the extra cost and lower mag capacity for what might be the same performance.

          • Dan

            I miss my Steyr 🙁

  • Tace

    And the guy who designed these guns has already left the company

    • mlk18

      That’s what Wilhelm does. He helped maked the Glock, then went to Steyr, then to Caracal, then to BB Tech, then to…

    • Bubits is a designer. He designs and then moves on to the next client.

  • FWIW

    I picked up a Model C back when they were first out and absolutely loved it. And I will say this — when I opted for a refund vs replacement, they refunded every dime, including the FFL transfer fee. Given that, I’d be willing to give them another shot…after the new models have a year or two out in the wild and a have been thoroughly reviewed and tested, of course!

  • I shot the C when it was out. Absolutely loved it.
    But I wouldn’t buy one. Not really trusting the company all that much, and not really all that hot on a gun from the UAE. Not even a fan of having to buy gas from OPEC either.

  • I’d love to have one provided that the kinks were ironed out. Too bad they aren’t made in Europe, though.

  • former F owner

    The design is sound, and I loved the one I had I didn’t have any problems with it. I took the refund but I’ll be buying one of the new ones.

    • #datamine

      Ditto, I miss the F I had.

  • mlk18

    I was not able to touch a C until just before the recall. I instantly wanted one. Still do. It was not the design that prompted the recall, it was the manufacturing methodology. Get that on track and the gun should be fine. At least they owned it unlike when Glock has/had issues and just pretend they don’t. The Canik TP9 series is good, but huge. Ditto that on the Strikeone. If those companies come out with a mid-sized model (true compact) Caracal will have a harder time getting back into the market.

    • Alejandro Fener

      Honestly, I don’t think you can compare Glock´s issues with Caracal´s ones. Some Glock models have had minor issues which were quickly corrected. Caracal pistols had catastrophic failures leading to the destruction of the gun.

  • Machinegunnertim

    Wow, this post partially reads reads like a hit piece on Caracal!
    The only case that I can find of slides breaking is that one in Pakistan.
    Yet Richard Johnson makes it sound like they were Kabooming left and right.
    The recall was due to possible incorrect heat treatment to the slides of the
    C models.

    I own a Model F and absolutely LOVE IT! I have carried it for almost 3 years as aduty weapon and qualified with it several times and shot it recreational quite a bit. It has never malfunctioned. This pistol passed stringent testing in Germany and is one of a short list of NATO certified handguns.

    As far as the UAE part. They are U.S. allies and not a bunch of religious jihadist. They do not fund our enemies. From what I remember Caracal was a German/UAE business deal. It is no different than if you were to purchase a Glock/XD/Sig/Steyr/HK etc.

    I really wish we could have these modified slightly and produced in the U.S.
    The design is fantastic! 2 weeks ago I was forced to qualify with a new Glock17
    and shooting them side by side i can tell you that the Caracal is far, FAR better than the Block. The grip, the trigger are leaps way better and the recoil impulse was tremendously lower! I was shocked at the how big the difference was. As well, I shopped around and picked up my Caracal F for $375. The Discount we received here for multiple Glocks was $400.

    • MGTim,

      I’m not sure if you’ve actually read the recall notice from Caracal itself. The company itself states they recalled for two clearly unsafe conditions. For the benefit of anyone who has not followed the link I included in the above article, I will quote from it here:

      “The conditions identified in the recall have the potential to cause injury to Caracal pistol users and members of the public, including possibly allowing the pistol to fire when dropped onto a hard surface with a round of ammunition in the chamber and the slide potentially breaking apart when the pistol is fired.”

      Also from the same notice:

      “If you own or have access to a recalled Caracal Model F or Model C pistol, PLEASE DO NOT LOAD OR FIRE YOUR PISTOL.”

      In the notice, the admonishment to not load or fire the pistol is in bright red to further make the point that the pistols are not safe.

      It concerns me that you are using this pistol as a “duty weapon.” I’m not sure in what context you are carrying the pistol, but by doing so against the strong warnings of the company, you are endangering yourself and others, plus needlessly piling a whole lot of liability on yourself.

      Do the responsible thing and send it in to Caracal for either a new pistol or a refund to buy another quality firearm.

      Best regards,

      Richard

      • Machinegunnertim

        Bud, I’ve read the notice. It’s lawyer driven. There have been no cases of firing while dropped and no broken slides aside from the Paki one. I also carried it is a concealed weapon and if you carry a single firearm enough it’s going to slip off of something and fall. It has fallen twice on it’s rear and there have been no discharges. Neither incident was in public. Needless to say I’ve been much more careful about it’s placement when doing certain things.

        The “context” I carry in? I’m not sure what you mean but I was paid to carry it as a state commissioned security officer. It is a federal mandate since the facility i work at handles classified material.

        Remember this is the F model. Not the C.

        This is NATO certified pistol. Not many guns have passed that stringent testing. That and I’ve told you that it has never malfunctioned, you should have no concerns with it’s continued use.

        If some lawyer advised us to not shoot firearms at all due to the possibility of an accident would “do the responsible thing” and cease all firearm use?

        • MGTim,

          I take the company at its word when it says that they have recalled your Model F in addition to the Model C. (That’s in the recall notice.)

          I also take the company at its word when it says that the guns can discharge when dropped and the slide may break apart when fired. (That’s in the recall notice.)

          It concerns me that you would carry this pistol when Caracal is begging you not to, and is willing to swap you into a new safely functioning pistol. Its simply not a rational position.

          I have no axe to grind with you or Caracal. I simply don’t want to see you or someone else hurt or killed because of your attachment to a simple mechanical device – especially when the company will swap you into a new one.

          Best regards,

          Richard

          • Machinegunnertim

            I appreciate your concern, and sorry if i come across as an argumentative jerk but it just doesn’t make sense to me to send in the best pistol I’ve ever fired on the basis that it might, possibly, discharge if dropped just right on it’s rear. Especially since they cant replace it yet. I’d be without the gun until who knows when!

            It sure seems like i have a greater chance of being truck by lightning than this gun firing on it’s own.

            Until very recently I could not send it in as this gun was what I qualified with at work and I had to carry that gun and that gun only until I could re-qualify with a different one which could be months away from any point of the year.

            I’m going to keep it for now, it’s really not that reckless bro. If it was a C model I’d send it back for sure.
            But I’ll tell you what. Now that it’s no longer a duty weapon, I’ll gladly send it in when Caracal has a new one ready to ship out.

      • MR

        Sounds like a lawyer wrote it (I’d imagine they had a team of lawyers consult on the wording). I’d probably relegate it to range toy status (if possible), inspect it closely for cracks before and after each session, keep it unloaded until I’m ready to shoot it and avoid dropping it (as always). Nothing here that would really scare me into giving up an otherwise decent gun.

  • Kivaari

    They do have a mountain to climb, considering they are Arabs. I have never touched one of the guns, but from the photos, they look great.

  • floppyscience

    I’ve always had mixed feelings about Caracal. On one hand, when they were first released the reviews were positively glowing. I never heard anyone say anything bad about them, and all the usual industry experts loved them. Then, reports of a single kaboom out of Pakistan using Chinese ammo, and Caracal recalls every single pistol. I never quite made sense of it.

    I’m glad they’re bringing them back though, and I look forward to getting my hands on a C model. I’m a big fan of Wilhelm Bubits’ designs (ignoring the existence of that BB6 abomination) and am hoping Caracal can get its manufacturing together.

  • spencer60

    I love my Model C, and have held onto it waiting for an exchange for almost three years now.

    I wish they would let us exchange the Model C for the new Compact version though, since supposedly the extra mag I have would work in that as well.