The Curious Caracal KABOOM

    The Caracal pistol pictured above KABOOMed a few months ago in Pakistan. Not normally seen in the catastrophic failure of pistols  is a slide splitting in two. It is not uncommon for a cheap zinc-alloy, aka “pot metal”, slides on budget pistols to crack and eventually break over time, but not steel slides. kkhan8 wrote on

    On November 16th 2012 my brother wanted to accompany me to my farm (about an hour and half from city) and test the weapon out for himself since I had been raving about it. 


    I handed my brother the weapon, he fired the first round without any hiccups, I was looking downrange when my brother fired the second round. To my horror right after he fired the round he fell to the ground in a heap. I ran over to him and turned him over. His face was completely covered in blood. I could make out a hole on top of his eye and blood pouring out of it. For a moment I was paralyzed with fear, thinking the worst, that the projectile had entered his skull. I could only think of his 2 children at the moment in shock. Thankfully in about 10 seconds he started to respond screaming he could not see, I picked him up and took him to the car and started driving back towards the city. In about 5 mins he got his vision back but was still bleeding. The closest hospital was 1 hour away and this drive was one of the most testing times of my life. I had called back to the farm and one of my workers told me the slide had broken in 2 but I was still not sure if anything was lodged inside my brothers skull. 

    After the tortures drive I got to the hospital and got an X-ray done. I was too scared to look at it myself, legs shaking in terror. I just handed it to the doctor to let him give me the news. To my relief it was a flesh wound and nothing was lodged inside his skull.

    My brother received 8 stitches and had a severe concussion not to mention a permanent scar on his face. Luckily he fully recovered, if the slide had hit him an inch below he would have lost an eye.
    After the incident I emailed Caracal, explaining to them of this incident but got no reply. I wanted to confirm with them if this was a quality control issue or a design fault inherent in all their weapons.
    I have attached pictures of the handgun after I came back the next day and recovered the weapon from where it had fallen. The slide was completely sheared in 2. I had inspected the weapon a day before and it did not even show a slight sign of any wear and tear.



    The owner of the gun has claimed they were shooting factory loaded Chinese Norinco-branded “Red Box” 9mm rounds. The most common cause of pistol kabooms is reloaded ammunition. Some members have suggested they might have been shooting counterfeit ammunition that was handloaded. This still does not explain why the slide cracked. Caracal have yet to comment on the damage.

    Many thanks to faisal for the tip. 

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!