My new Caracal


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nwilliams
May 28, 2011, 06:13 AM
I went out today with the intention of buying a scope mount and I ended up coming home with a scope mount and a Caracal compact pistol.

When I saw this gun in the display case my heart skipped a beat. I've been wanting a Caracal since I first heard of them and I never expected to come across one so soon. I figured it would be another year before I saw one of these first hand but there it was looking back at me just begging me to give it a home. I didn't hesitate and impulse bought it.

After purchasing it I took it out onto the gun shops range and put 150 rounds of Blazer through it. The gun shot like a dream and from the first round to the last I was astounded at how accurate and comfortable this gun was to shoot. I've owned a lot of handguns over the years, many dozens in fact and very few seem to point as naturally as this gun does. Ive owned many striker-fire pistols and the trigger in this one feels nicer than any other I've felt, it's low weight and smooth and the reset is short. The recoil is very mild and the grip is very comfortable and it has a very low profile.

The gun comes with two 15 round mags and the manual is actually quite nice. For under $600 this seems like one heck of a nice gun and it offers something new for those who want something a little different than a Glock, M&P or XD. I'm really quite impressed with this compact 9mm but I can see a full size Caracal as well in my future.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb264/nwilliams27/Caracal%20Compact/Caracal-1.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb264/nwilliams27/Caracal%20Compact/Caracal-2.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb264/nwilliams27/Caracal%20Compact/Caracal-3.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb264/nwilliams27/Caracal%20Compact/Caracal-5.jpg

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usp9
May 28, 2011, 10:55 AM
I've had an eye out for the Caracal myself, but as yet they aren't in my local shops or at gun shows yet. I've never gone for Glocks, so I'm hoping it's a "sort-of-Glock" that I may like.

How do you like the sights and how would you describe it's qualities? Usually I prefer three dots.

How did the takedown and clean process go?

mr. bggs
May 28, 2011, 11:44 AM
that thing looks baddass! i love the streamlined look to it. man, another one on the gotta have list! thanks alot buddy. my girl is cursing you as i type this. that means we are now ceremonially best friends.:D

nwilliams
May 28, 2011, 02:15 PM
How do you like the sights and how would you describe it's qualities? Usually I prefer three dots.
I'm more of a fan of three dot sights as well but I didn't find the two dot sights on this gun all that bothersome. The shots were going exactly where I wanted them and I had no problem staying on the front sight through each shot. I'm very interested in the quick sight system on the full size Caracal, that ought to be something a bit different.

How did the takedown and clean process go?
Take down is a breeze, pretty much exactly the same as any other striker fire pistol.

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb264/nwilliams27/Caracal%20Compact/Caracal-4.jpg

usp9
May 28, 2011, 03:07 PM
Take down is a breeze, pretty much exactly the same as any other striker fire pistol.

Does that mean you have to pull the trigger, dry fire once, to disassemble?

nwilliams
May 28, 2011, 03:45 PM
Does that mean you have to pull the trigger, dry fire once, to disassemble?

I had to actually go try it to answer this for certain. No, you simply pull back the slide slightly and then pull down on he take down lever and the slide comes off, no need to dry fire.

helitack32f1
May 28, 2011, 04:22 PM
Very nice! Thanks for posting about this, nice photos too. I look forward to hearing how it works for you.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
May 28, 2011, 04:25 PM
I'm jealous.:cuss:

VA27
May 29, 2011, 12:31 AM
H&K P7 meets Glock! I WANT ONE!!!

Congratulations! That looks like a great gun! If my store ever gets one in I'll have to check it out.

ugaarguy
May 29, 2011, 12:40 AM
I thought it looked alot like the old Steyr M / Steyr S series pistols. According to Wikipedia the Chief designer for those pistols and the Caracal is the same engineer. Maybe the Caracal will fare better, and thanks for the review.

Apocalypse-Now
May 29, 2011, 01:09 AM
cool. been following this one for a couple years. let us know how it continues to shoot.


where did you get it?

michiganfan
May 29, 2011, 07:40 AM
Looks like a Glock had a child with a M&P

mopar92
May 29, 2011, 07:52 AM
Nice score... I thought we had another big cat collector with that title! I have an Ocelot. The ergonomics look thought out there..

wally
May 29, 2011, 01:55 PM
H&K P7 meets Glock!

The Glock heritage is obvious, but I don't see any P7 in there at all.

Looks like a Glock had a child with a M&P

This could be true :)

Apocalypse-Now
May 29, 2011, 02:09 PM
Looks like a Glock had a child with a M&P

the caracal was designed by willy bubits, who was a (not the) glock designer. he also largely designed the steyr M series (for what that's worth lol). the caracals design resembles the steyr m more than anything, but it's still very different.

RX-178
May 29, 2011, 02:10 PM
I can kinda see some P7 in how the grip angle looks.

Snowdog
May 29, 2011, 03:57 PM
ugaarguy, that was my take on it as well. It really does remind me of the Steyr M9.

If it's anything like the M9, it's got a lot going for it already.

Girodin
May 29, 2011, 04:11 PM
And to think I just bought another Steyr.

As to what it looks like. It looks like a gun Bubbits made after leaving steyr using that gun as a jumping off point.

I'd be very interested to hear from someone who has trigger time with the Steyr and this to see if they feel there is any improvement.

If this is like the steyr it will be a good gun. Like the steyr though it will need better marketing. This is the first I've even heard it was available state side. There are some very well established striker fired pistols. Marketing and price point will be important for this gun.

nwilliams
May 29, 2011, 05:30 PM
One thing I've always loved about the Steyr M series is how naturally they point and the balance. The Caracal definitely shares those attributes so the fact that they were designed by the same person makes a lot of sense.

The Steyr M is a great gun, I had an M40 years ago and then sold it and I've regretted it ever since, although I sold it because I'm not a big fan of .40. I will buy an M9 eventually when I come across one for a good price. I've always believed that the Steyr M series is a hidden gem in the world of striker fire guns.

Girodin
May 29, 2011, 05:45 PM
I've always believed that the Steyr M series is a hidden gem in the world of striker fire guns.

I totally agree. I bought my first M9 from a dealer for $240. Probably the best value of any gun I've bought. It compares very favorably to the G19 IMHO.

VA27
May 29, 2011, 06:59 PM
The Glock heritage is obvious, but I don't see any P7 in there at all.

Look at the back of the slide, how low it sets in the hand, muzzle shape, too.

I'm pretty stoked about this one.

CZguy
May 29, 2011, 11:42 PM
I really like my second generation Styer M9. Everyting that I didn't like in my Glock was refined in the Styer. I would be very interested to hear the opinion of how the Caracal shoots compared with the M9, from someone who owns both.

CZ57
May 30, 2011, 10:40 PM
Interesting pistol. Is it manufactured in the U.A.E.?;)

Lord Palmerston
May 30, 2011, 10:57 PM
Yes, the gun is made in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai or Abu Dhabi, I think.

CZguy
June 1, 2011, 12:02 AM
So, back to the topic. Does anyone own one of these, that can compair it to a Styer M9 A1?

I would love to be able to buy one just to compare, but I just can't afford it.

Apocalypse-Now
June 1, 2011, 12:30 AM
^^interesting question, i wouldn't mind seeing a comparison either. especially of the frame parts :)

SpodWo
June 2, 2011, 12:12 AM
So, back to the topic. Does anyone own one of these, that can compair it to a Styer M9 A1?

I would love to be able to buy one just to compare, but I just can't afford it.

Steyr Club forum has a LONG review and a boat load of posts about the Caracal F. It would appear that the Caracal is liked more over the Steyr based on my read.

http://www.steyrclub.com/vb/threads/8152-Caracal-F-Review

Also there is an online seller that Caracal USA suggests if anyone is interested in buying...

mgmorden
June 2, 2011, 11:32 AM
[noise removed]

Personally I'm hoping to see some of these show up on Buds eventually. Most of the local shops are either understocked or severely overpriced, but I'll keep an eye out just in case. The design just seems particularly well laid out. Fewer parts (ie, simpler design) than a Glock, low bore axis, attractive layout. It has the perfect look of a gun that is setup to do a job and do it well.

Fastcast
June 2, 2011, 01:18 PM
[noise removed]

With regard to the pistol. I'm not really a polymer guy but unlike most polymers this one is actually very interesting and a looker too.....Keep us posted on its function.

Would be more than happy to buy American if they'd only build what I want.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 2, 2011, 05:09 PM
Now that I see where it is made, I'm not jealous any more.
I think I will just buy a Ruger or S&W or Bushmaster.

Apocalypse-Now
June 2, 2011, 05:12 PM
not again LOL, and....

bushmaster makes a polymer pistol? :eek:

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 2, 2011, 05:19 PM
That's OK!
LOL
I prefer to keep my money within the country (ours, that is)!
LOL!

metalman8600
June 2, 2011, 05:57 PM
The gun was designed by Austrian engineers and tested by the German Army. I'm guessing the only thing the Arabs do is push a button on a CNC machine.

ArfinGreebly
June 2, 2011, 07:06 PM
Oh, yeah.

There was this cool new pistol designed by an Austrian who has a history with Steyr and Glock.

Do we have a decent field report yet?

nwilliams
June 2, 2011, 07:18 PM
^^^Thank you Sir!:D

Yeah, I'm hoping to hit the range this weekend, I have 300 rounds of a few different brands of ammo set aside to run through this gun.

Still looking for holster options. Apparently Blackhawk has a holster already for the Caracal and also it appears that Bladetech is releasing a holster as well. I'd really like to see Comp-Tac produce a holster for this gun, I'm a big fan of Comp-Tac and their products.

I would really like to find a nice concealment holster for the Caracal compact, as I am probably going to make this gun my new CCW.

BTW there is also a sub-compact version of the Caracal on the way for those interested.

danez71
June 2, 2011, 09:50 PM
BTW there is also a sub-compact version of the Caracal on the way for those interested.

Yes. Very interested in the SC version. PM me when you get one please.

Usmc-1
June 3, 2011, 10:10 AM
@ Snowdog , my exact observations!

Apocalypse-Now
June 3, 2011, 12:26 PM
they offer these funky looking sights on some of their models, think it may be only on the sub-com. google image search it. they refer to them as combat sights.

i like the compact one the best.

mgmorden
June 3, 2011, 12:30 PM
they offer these funky looking sights on some of their models, think it may be only on the sub-com. google image search it. they refer to them as combat sights.

i like the compact one the best.

You mean the rear sight moved up to the half-way point of the slide?

That IMHO is one design "innovation" that I've never quite grasped on these. It's intentionally shrinking the sight radius. I'm typically not one to criticize new stuff and am usually open to new ideas, but that sight system just doesn't do it for me.

Apocalypse-Now
June 3, 2011, 12:33 PM
^^yep, that's them. i don't like them either lol for the same reason, diminished sight radius.

they may be quicker to acquire though, but i'd prefer the longer sight radius )

nwilliams
June 3, 2011, 03:24 PM
I think they are referred to as "quick sights" and I'm not sure what the point of them is either. I'd be interested in trying them out but I'm not convinced yet that it is a significant innovation.

I'm pretty sure the QS will be available as an option on the C and F model so eventually you'll have the choice between buying one with standard sights or one with the QS.

Cards81fan
June 3, 2011, 04:21 PM
nwilliams, I must admit that your second pic is now my desktop wallpaper.

I like what this pistol promises. I am content with my XD, but have been kicking back and forth the idea of going to 9mm (for cost and capacity purposes, mainly). If I ever do, I will sell off the XD for something else - maybe a 9mm XD, maybe not - and the Caracal is definitely in the running. The particularly low bore axis looks very nice.

I am also very eager to see the what the production subcompacts look like!

Apocalypse-Now
June 3, 2011, 04:33 PM
i'd like a caracal but am waiting to see how it performs in the long run, if they back it with good customer service, and make sure they don't stop importing it due to poor sales (spare parts would be an issue if that were to happen).

hhb
June 4, 2011, 09:24 AM
I'd buy one, but good luck finding a holster.

mgmorden
June 4, 2011, 12:58 PM
I'd buy one, but good luck finding a holster.

Just use a universal holster. I have a backup Blackhawk Sportster (the ones they sell for $13 in Wally World) that'll fit just about any auto of this size (and can be worn IWB or OWB). Now aside from a .22 I have gun-specific holsters for all my guns, but there are some good options out there that will fit lots of different guns.

Apocalypse-Now
June 4, 2011, 07:28 PM
Commander 1911 holsters would prob fit too.

Hammerhead6814
June 4, 2011, 08:40 PM
When they finally ship one to a Missouri gun store, ANY Missouri gun store, you can bet I will be camping in front of that store the night before it arrives. I want one of these so bad I almost bought one off GunBroker (got out-bid).

wally
June 4, 2011, 10:52 PM
Saw one at today's gun show, they were asking $499 for it with two mags. I'm not all that big on plastic striker fired pistols, but this looks interesting. I was thinking of getting it until I found a SIG 556R.

nwilliams
June 4, 2011, 11:46 PM
^^Please let me know how that 556r works out for you. My local shop just got in a couple of them and I'm pretty tempted to buy one.

Cards81fan
June 5, 2011, 12:00 AM
After some more research, I found the dimensions on this show 6.6" long, by 4.8" in height. This compact compares very favorably to my XD Service ( at 7.3 x 5.5) and even is as small overall as the subcompact ( at 6.25 x 4.75).

I am darn near sold on this already, but I am dying to get one in my hand before I thrown down $500+ on one.

Do you have any other pistols, like a Glock or M&P or similar to compare it to in size?

CZguy
June 5, 2011, 12:16 AM
I am darn near sold on this already, but I am dying to get one in my hand before I thrown down $500+ on one.



I agree with that. I'm hesitant to buy any gun before I've held it, or better yet found one to shoot.

nwilliams
June 5, 2011, 12:35 AM
I agree with that. I'm hesitant to buy any gun before I've held it, or better yet found one to shoot.
I'm the same way, I was pretty sold on one when I first saw pictures of them but I was determined to wait until I could actually hold one and see how it felt before I spent any money. Unfortunately I wasn't able to fire one prior to buying but I was pretty convinced just by holding it and dry firing it that I would be satisfied. I actually paid a bit more for it than I've seen online but even if the price was a bit steep I'm not disappointed in my purchase.

Kingofthehill
June 5, 2011, 06:38 PM
I have a few Steyr M9 A1's and i absolutely love them. the Caracal has really peaked my interest and when i find them in stores/shows, i will for sure buy whats available! I can't wait!

wally
June 6, 2011, 06:40 PM
^^Please let me know how that 556r works out for you.

I brought a variety of mags but only Golden Tiger FMJ and Wolf JHP.

The good news is I had none of the stovepipes or extraction failures Sturmgehvar (sp??) reported in his youTube video.

The plastic "slab side" Bulgarian mag they shipped with it was useless as I had three bolt over base feed failures with it. My plastic Tapco AK mag is now 0 for 2 as it also had one bolt over base feed failure, same as it did in my Draco-C SBR.

I had no feed issues with the five steel comblock mags I tried. I had zero failures of any kind with the Wolf JHP (60 rounds in two steel mags) but the Golden Tiger had a lot of misfires probably 16 in 150 rounds, all appeared well struck and all fired the second time through. This ammo has given me no trouble in any of my AKs and this was the last of that case. I ran a couple of mags of it through my Draco-C SBR without any issues, so next time out I'll try more Wolf, some Brown Bear, Silver Bear and Monarch and the results of this will define my true happiness with the 556R.

We were shooting steel plates in my bud's pasture so I did no accuracy testing, the red dot that came mounted was about right in elevation (~85 yards) but about 6" left. Once I adjusted it a bit we were hitting great, but all the misfires kind of spoiled the party once the Wolf ran out. :(

But we both really enjoyed shooting it except for the "clicks".

nwilliams
June 7, 2011, 01:52 AM
Good to know Wally, thanks.

I really want a 556r I'm just not ready to buy quite yet, keep us posted on how yours continues to perform. You should start a thread with some pictures and provide a detailed range report when you get a chance, I think there a good number of people like me out there who are being tempted by them and would like to hear more reports from those who actually own one.

wally
June 7, 2011, 10:23 AM
I plan to, once I put a scope on it, one is on the way from Midway.

It'll be interesting to see how it groups off sandbags compared to my 7.62x39 AR upper (that uses the finicky C-Products mags -- will not feed JHP).

gunsablazin
June 7, 2011, 01:53 PM
I had the opportunity to shoot in a match sponsored by Caracal USA in Oak Ridge, TN Caracal provided the guns and ammo and for $25 you got to shoot 3 steel challenge stages and 2 IPSC stages. We had two pistols per stage and had to swap out when they got too hot to handle! With around 22,000 rds going through 10 pistols I did not hear of any gun induced malfuntions, and I saw one gun get so hot the RO dunked it in a cooler full of ice water to cool it off, it came out shooting! I am primarily a 1911 guy, and own one Glock, I thought it was a very nice polymer pistol, better feel than a Glock, and a pretty good trigger for a stock service pistol. I won't buy one for myself, not that it's a not a good pistol, but since I already own a Glock I'll just go with that when I want to shoot "plastic fantastic".:D

Gelgoog
June 7, 2011, 02:19 PM
I have a Steyr M9 and the caracal just does not appeal to me at all for some reason. However My bother who had the M9 (I bought it for him and he sold it back to me) as well as the M-A1 really wants a caracal.

mig1
July 1, 2011, 02:26 AM
nwilliams, I am struggling to believe the 28mm width they cite for the dimensions.

Could we trouble you measure it with a caliper and tell us if it really is that thin? I say thin... compared to the old M series or M&P and what-have-you.

SpodWo
July 1, 2011, 07:56 AM
nwilliams, I am struggling to believe the 28mm width they cite for the dimensions.

Could we trouble you measure it with a caliper and tell us if it really is that thin? I say thin... compared to the old M series or M&P and what-have-you.

The Kahr P9 is .90 inches wide. 28mm is 1.10" so that seems appropriate for what the Caracal is and how it was designed.

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