Catastrophic Failure, ALL CARACAL OWNERS PLEASE READ AND BE SAFE


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caracalproblem
February 14, 2013, 10:02 AM
After having read multiple reviews done of the caracal C and after intensive research I purchased a Caracal C from Buksh Elahi Lahore on Sep 29th 2012. After the initial clean up and testing I started putting it through it's paces so I could use it as my CC. All the senior members here have stated that at least 500 bullets should be fired from a weapon before it should be considered for defensive carry purposes. In about a months time I had put about 250 Chinese red box 115 grains rounds through the caracal. All this while I had been meticulously maintaining the weapon, observing it's wear and tear and cleaning it after every use.
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.

Again I will reiterate, I have been extremely careful with the weapon. Cleaning it after every use, applying proper lubrication etc. I have also gone over the incident multiple times in my head, trying to figure out if I could have prevented this catastrophic incident but I always come up short.
I would advise you to please refrain from using this handgun as I would not wish this kind of ordeal even on an enemy.
Stay Safe.
http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h427/pyramids99/gun3.jpeg
http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h427/pyramids99/gun2.jpeg
http://i1109.photobucket.com/albums/h427/pyramids99/gun1.jpeg

There is a great debate on this going on at the following site: http://www.pakguns.com/showthread.php?10862-Catastrophic-Failure-ALL-CARACAL-OWNERS-PLEASE-READ-AND-BE-SAFE

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Fishbed77
February 14, 2013, 11:54 AM
Personally, I'd be more suspect of the Chinese ammo than the design of the Caracal pistol.

David E
February 14, 2013, 12:39 PM
Chinese ammo has blown up more than one gun in a variety of calibers.

murphys_law
February 14, 2013, 12:39 PM
Second that

ku4hx
February 14, 2013, 12:53 PM
If that had been a failure at my post retirement place of employment (nuc power plant) there'd be all sorts of failure analyses done on the slide and other failed components. But of course the failure was not even in this country so who knows what will or can be done in that area.

Given the barrel appears to be intact and not distorted, I'd suspect sudden catastrophic slide failure. But all guesses are weighted equally pending actual analysis results.

ATLDave
February 14, 2013, 01:40 PM
Even if overpressure ammo was the cause, I'd expect the gun to do a better job of channeling the force. It's not hard to find stories of pistol kabooms, but from the ones I've seen, most of them seem to vent the gasses either downward or upward. Frames and slides may be wrecked, but a clean slide fracture (with half of the slide ending up in the shooter's forehead!) is a problem. In short, that's a very bad mode of failure, even if the failure started elsewhere.

CAR
February 14, 2013, 01:53 PM
If it had been an over pressure round, I would think that you would have blown or otherwise damaged the barrel and the cartridge case would be split.

Is there any damage to the barrel or ringing in the bore that may indicate that there was an obstruction? Do you have the cartridge case?

To be frank, I am concerned about the way the slide appears to have broken cleanly in two.

tipoc
February 14, 2013, 02:41 PM
Looking at the pics...is that dirt ground into the inside of the slide? It also looks like it is imbedded in the inlets in the grip area of the frame just above and behind the trigger guard as well as in the areas under the slide for attachments. It looks almost like dried mud or sand. If it was a ka-boom how would that much powder residue be thrown around and how would it end up in such odd places? I've also never seen residue of that light sand like color.

I also have the same question CAR does. Except for possible damage to the link I don't see damage to the barrel. Just that same odd dust like residue.

Looks like some of the dust is on the white cloth background. It's on the top of the slide and surrounds the front sight. Way to much of it to be powder residue.

Can others see this or are my optics fried?

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.

I've added the above bit from the op. Dust could have got there from being in the dirt but note where the dirt is. Had the gun been dropped and left overnight and undisturbed, the dirt would not be distributed the way it is.

tipoc

mdThanatos
February 14, 2013, 02:48 PM
The dirt is most likely from the shooter falling and the gun landing in it. This did not occur in the US, from what I have gathered it occurred in Pakistan and on a farm where there would be a lot of dirt. It looks like the stuff around here in the desert.

psyopspec
February 14, 2013, 02:49 PM
I'm very relieved that your brother won't have any lasting injuries, and wish him a speedy recovery. Was he wearing eye protection? Regardless this a a good reminder for everyone to wear your eye pro every time.

I too hope that you can learn more about how this happened. Will stay tuned.

tipoc
February 14, 2013, 03:04 PM
The dirt is most likely from the shooter falling and the gun landing in it. This did not occur in the US, from what I have gathered it occurred in Pakistan and on a farm where there would be a lot of dirt. It looks like the stuff around here in the desert.

I'm familiar with dirt, with sand and with mud of a variety of types. We have those things in North America.

Why would it not shake off? How did it get inside and outside the slide? And around the barrel?

tipoc

mgmorden
February 14, 2013, 03:20 PM
Why would it not shake off?

Most guns are oiled prior to use. Oil causes dirt to stick.

I remember dropping a recently cleaned (and well oiled) pump shotgun into some dry sand one morning at a duck hunt. The dirt/sand got into the action and it stuck in there so bad I had to make a trip back home to clean it out before the gun would function again.

ClickClickD'oh
February 14, 2013, 03:38 PM
Looking at the pictures on page 6 of the original thread is enough to keep me from ever buying one of those.

tipoc
February 14, 2013, 03:42 PM
Okay, lets say the very light dust stuck to the areas which were oiled or over oiled. Though it looks more to me like the gun was partially buried in light sandy dirt which also got wet and for more than one day. Note that it is partially impacted in internal areas of the slide. But leave that and move on.

Unfortunately we can't see any damage to the barrel except possible the lugs.

Look at the area of the slide interior to the rear of the breech face. This is the area that would sit over the magazine when the slide is in battery. There is clear damage there. Did a round go off in the mag with the slide in battery? How would that damage occur? Am I seeing correctly?

tipoc

PabloJ
February 14, 2013, 04:13 PM
I know nothing about ka-booms, but it looks like plastic is tougher then steel. One learns something new every day.

tipoc
February 14, 2013, 04:16 PM
There are more pics of the break shown here on Page 6 of the PakGuns thread scroll down:

http://www.pakguns.com/showthread.php?10862-Catastrophic-Failure-ALL-CARACAL-OWNERS-PLEASE-READ-AND-BE-SAFE/page6

As well as results of an examination.

The fella states that there was no further damage to the slide other than the break.

tipoc

blackrussian
February 14, 2013, 04:38 PM
After the incident I emailed Caracal, explaining to them of this incident but got no reply.
Is the above statement true?

I just read that Caracal offered a replacement pistol and to fly the shooter to UAE. Is that correct?

C0untZer0
February 14, 2013, 05:16 PM
Again I will reiterate, I have been extremely careful with the weapon

If you're firing Chinese fricking ammo through the weapon - you're not being "extremely" careful with it.

I'm not saying the ammo caused the failure - I'm just saying you have a contradiction.

C0untZer0
February 14, 2013, 05:18 PM
And why the link to pak guns?

blackrussian
February 14, 2013, 05:21 PM
Because it happened in Pakistan. Also, some allegations were made that the pistol was a replica and not a real Caracal model.

Trent
February 14, 2013, 05:27 PM
Can we even get these in the states? I've never even heard of them before.

AethelstanAegen
February 14, 2013, 05:30 PM
Can we even get these in the states? I've never even heard of them before.

Yes, and so far mostly to good reviews.

Why is the magazine in backwards in the first picture?

C0untZer0
February 14, 2013, 05:30 PM
Yes we can get them in the states and here is a review:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=686817&highlight=caracal

C0untZer0
February 14, 2013, 05:33 PM
If plouffedaddy's Caracal blows up like that using regular commercial ammo - I'll beleive it...

But until then, I'm sceptical

rcmodel
February 14, 2013, 05:33 PM
Yes, at least they have a U.S. importer and several distributors.

http://www.caracal-usa.com/

My buddy has been jonesing to buy one.
I keep telling him to let somebody else be the beta tester.

rc

Rinspeed
February 14, 2013, 05:36 PM
If you're firing Chinese fricking ammo through the weapon - you're not being "extremely" careful with it.

I'm not saying the ammo caused the failure - I'm just saying you have a contradiction.



Very hard to argue with that.

9mmepiphany
February 14, 2013, 06:05 PM
Can we even get these in the states? I've never even heard of them before.
Yes, I got to shot one at the 2012 SHOT Show...they've been making guns since 2003... and interviewed the designer. You can the article here (http://www.shootingreviews.com/caracal-designed-to-challenge-glock/) on Shooting Reviews

They are really nice guns and offer several improvements over his previous designs...Glock, FN...and they even have a USPSA team which includes JJ Racaza

Shuler13
February 14, 2013, 06:18 PM
I have one and will trust it until a case report becomes a more experienced phenomenon. A case report is only one step above rumor in the level of evidence. And the fact that this one incident has gone 'round the world only shows the efficiency of the Internet.

ClickClickD'oh
February 14, 2013, 06:19 PM
Very hard to argue with that.

Well, other than the fact that the firearm doesn't demonstrate any of the tell tale characteristics of a firearm destroyed by ammunition issues.

tipoc
February 14, 2013, 06:21 PM
The thread is making the rounds. One reason for the interest is that the guns have been receiving good reviews. They have developed in a few years a good reputation.

A catastrophic failure to a slide generates interest. The pic on page 6 of the original thread shows a clean break. No damage to the breech face.

I wish they had shown a picture of the underside of the slide.

The pics that begin this thread look more like the gun has been run over by a truck than a failure due to ammo.

tipoc

ny32182
February 14, 2013, 06:29 PM
OP sure has a flair for the dramatic.

I held one, not shot one yet, and to me the ergos feel AWESOME. If they made a lefty or ambi model, I would have already bought one. There are a couple things I don't like, but nothing that couldn't be corrected relatively easily from what I could see.

Actually the one I held was being worked over by a local smith for competition. He had milled the slide to accept a real rear sight, among other things, but made the comment that the steel was the hardest he'd ever worked with on any gun. I don't know how or if that would figure into performance during a KB.

OilyPablo
February 14, 2013, 06:39 PM
Eye protection.

So the way it's written, this just didn't happen. The OP has one post here.

The pics on the linked site look like lousy metallurgy, but hard to tell.

I don't fire Chinese ammo.

ATLDave
February 14, 2013, 06:42 PM
He had milled the slide to accept a real rear sight, among other things, but made the comment that the steel was the hardest he'd ever worked with on any gun. I don't know how or if that would figure into performance during a KB.

Hard steel is often brittle. Soft steel bends, hard steel breaks.

OilyPablo
February 14, 2013, 06:49 PM
Tough steel, or tough alloy with a high enough tensile strength is what you need, not a super hard steel in a slide. I missed that comment, but backs my guess on poor metallurgy.

Trent
February 14, 2013, 06:49 PM
Could be a quality control issue with heat treating processes (e.g. 1903 springfield).

Or, a steel mill with bad quality control.

If the design is solid (architecturally) but the metal is failing, that'd be where I'd point the initial blame.

However, this is all still anecdotal, until there's a pattern, or laboratory testing, no real conclusions can be formed.

Wil Terry
February 14, 2013, 06:52 PM
Somehow I smell a rat here. There are lots of cover words, lots of claims, lots of this lotsa that, but He cannot figure out how to correctly put the magazine in the gun to display the KABOOM results......Hmmmmmmm......in over five decades of shooting, having worked for two different ammunition companies, and having blown guns skyhigh in testing I have NEVER seen one quite like this.

tarosean
February 14, 2013, 07:00 PM
Hang out long enough on the internet and you will see every single type of handgun kaboom'd...

Interesting sure. Enough to persuade me from buying one if I were in the market?? No

OilyPablo
February 14, 2013, 07:08 PM
Stuff happens.

Agree on the definition of a trend and we will go from there.

gamestalker
February 14, 2013, 07:22 PM
Although I've never experienced a cat failure, I have always taken certain safety steps in the event it should ever happen, proper eye protection is a must! Even decent shooting gloves are my preference in this respect, I like having 5 digits and each hand.

And if it was the result of factory ammo it only reinforces my reasoning in personally loading all the ammo I shoot. I've experienced some very unusual, and sometimes ill performing factory early on in my shooting days, including mis-fires, and a box of shotshells that were separating at the base, and stuff that wouldn't even chamber. And I actually started the reloading process based almost solely on those experiences.

But I am glad to hear he has fully recovered and I hope nothing like should ever happen to anyone. It could easily drive them away from the enjoyment of the shooting sports.

GS

ku4hx
February 14, 2013, 07:32 PM
Right, wrong or indifferent if this type post was made on a computer forum (or in the comments on a computer oriented blog) with no substantiating documentation, only personal say-so, it would be tagged as spreading "FUD": Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

For all I know the OP may be a truly upstanding member of the Pakistani shooting community, but he could also be an anti gun troll.

Sun Tzu warrior
February 14, 2013, 09:41 PM
From the OP's handle..... and the fact that he has made only one post??? Seems like a big question mark in my mind?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I'm not sure as to his what his intentions are, but it sure seems suspect to me! Just sayin' The slide almost looks DE-Milled to me. Further I have to agree with RC Model, I work on machines for a living. Every time a new type comes out I urge my coutomers to let "the other guy" do the Beta testing!

Certaindeaf
February 14, 2013, 09:50 PM
Safety glasses cost a dollar. Maybe start some new threads across the intermets with the username "Safetyglassescostadollar". knock on wood

C0untZer0
February 14, 2013, 10:08 PM
It's not only his first post it's his only post.

wally
February 14, 2013, 10:12 PM
Chinese ammo has blown up more than one gun in a variety of calibers.

From the admittedly poor quality photos, I see no evidence of anything having "blown up".

Looks like the slide simply broke into two pieces, as the early Beretta 92 military models sometimes did -- their "solution" after beefing up the side and QA/QC a bit, was to add a stud to the frame to keep the broken half from flying backwards.

Spymaster
February 14, 2013, 10:20 PM
Exactly...^^^

Certaindeaf
February 14, 2013, 10:23 PM
It's not only his first post it's his only post.
Yes, quite suspect. Probably just trying to drum up the biz for the/his linked site.

9mmepiphany
February 14, 2013, 10:49 PM
The reason I didn't close this thread at first blush, was because I thought it might bring up some informative discussion. If this devolves into circling the wagons and denial, there isn't much sense in it staying open

Bigkrackers
February 14, 2013, 11:29 PM
Yes, quite suspect. Probably just trying to drum up the biz for the/his linked site.

Why do you think it is suspect? You realize that not only is he in a different time zone but in another country? I don't think anyone here can describe a day in the OP's life.

As for drumming up business to a gun forum in Pakistan, I don't think the OP would pick THR. No offense meant but, did anyone here know that you could even legally own a handgun in Pakistan? When it comes to guns, Americans are pretty isolated and liner in our perceptions of gun ownership in the rest of the world.

As to the pictures on the Pak site, it's pretty clear to me that its the metal and not the ammo. Have none of you seen a mount or bolt or rod break clean like that? I may have never witnessed a slide break like that but I have seen plenty of other industrial metals do that. It's usually the result of fatigue either from adverse environmental exposure or age or maxing out the tinsel strength or impurities in the metal.

Anyway, not trying to sound like some metallurgist because I'm not but I have some life experience and that break looks like some I have seen close up with other metal applications.

If it turns out to be a hoax then oh well. At least give the op the benefit of the doubt until we know more.

tipoc
February 14, 2013, 11:32 PM
The pictures of the slide in the link show a break. The slide was not cut in half or sawed, or milled. It broke. Why, we don't know. Folks can guess all they like. Perhaps bad heat treat of the slide.

There was no Ka-Boom.

There is no evidence that the op is a troll.

Still, better and clear pics of the gun from various angles would have helped.

tipoc

Bovice
February 15, 2013, 12:03 AM
Interestingly, the barrel seems intact and undamaged. The only damage I see is the broken slide.

Overpressured round? I don't think I'd hang my hat on that.

Bigkrackers
February 15, 2013, 12:08 AM
There are better pics further in the thread on the Pak site.

Jim K
February 15, 2013, 12:24 AM
There is not a lot to go on, but IMHO that was NOT, repeat NOT, a failure of ammunition or the result of excessive pressure. It was the result of the slide being brittle so that it cracked from impacting the frame in normal operation.

So what do I base that opinion on? High pressure blowups in an auto pistol of that type will almost* always burst the case at the head, bulge and blow out the sides of the frame, bulge, bend and maybe break the sides of the slide at the breech face, destroy the magazine and the magazine well, and blow off the grips. I see none of those things in that pistol. I believe the slide was made of inferior material or material that was improperly heat treated. It is almost what I would expect to see if the slide were made of cast iron, not properly hardened steel.

*OK, I have to leave a little fudge factor!

Jim

el Godfather
February 15, 2013, 01:23 AM
Tipoc
I read the page you referred to.

Honestly, I think there are bunch of amateurs arguing and complimenting each other without any material testing.

That said, I have hard time laying the fault entirely with the ammo. We are talking about factory ammo and assuming it to be high pressured. By how much that it blew off a slide? We really dont know- usually this could have happened with hand loaded hot loads.

It's gut feeling, but I think there is more to the story.

C0untZer0
February 15, 2013, 01:59 AM
Besides the pictures there is also that narrative.

If this is a too-brittle slide that cracked at the rear of it's movement, the worst that would have happened to the shooter is a cut hand - after all, the bullet has already gone down the chamber and the brass has been extracted and thrown...

To me the narrative doesn't jive with the pictures of the gun.

It's not like kabooms are a big mystery - there is firing a round down a blocked barrel, firing out of battery maybe and case blowouts, over-pressured cartridges...

But they do have tell tale signs, and in a polymer gun - the frame is usally blown all to hell.

PabloJ
February 15, 2013, 03:57 AM
Tipoc
I read the page you referred to.

Honestly, I think there are bunch of amateurs arguing and complimenting each other without any material testing.

That said, I have hard time laying the fault entirely with the ammo. We are talking about factory ammo and assuming it to be high pressured. By how much that it blew off a slide? We really dont know- usually this could have happened with hand loaded hot loads.

It's gut feeling, but I think there is more to the story.
They sold several hundred guns in US including some to members of this board. Time will tell how these guns will hold up. I sincerely hope there are no more accidents.

Girodin
February 15, 2013, 04:47 AM
I'm reminded of the gent that came on here a few years back crying about the unsafe FiveSeven pistols. The thread went for some double digit number of pages and he finally admitted he blew it up with a hand load. However, for months I read about the "problems" with FiveSevens. If there was design defect, there are enough out there we would have seen it happen more than once. Take as an example the Kel Tec RFB gas blocks. They were failing in dramatic fashion and it happened to a number of different people under varying circumstances.

One guy in Pakistan blowing up a gun with sketchy ammo and making a single post to link to another site is not to disconcerting to me.

I would tell the OP with respect to this:

"if the slide had hit him an inch below he would have lost an eye."

Wear eye protection. I take it you weren't.

Airbrush Artist
February 15, 2013, 10:02 AM
Is that RUST?

Urban_Redneck
February 15, 2013, 12:00 PM
I find it strangely comforting that Pakistani gun folk sound exactly like American gun folk ;)

I read the the first few pages of the PAKguns thread Wednesday and put another 150 rounds rounds through my Caracal F on Thursday bringing my round count to; 5055 :cool:

To bring y'all up to speed Caracal pistols in the US are being voluntarily recalled after 2 reports of drop safety failure. After a long delay (including US Customs) the company has just begun exchanging the pistols.

This reported catastrophic failure in PAK is just that, reported. There seems to be plenty of confusion swirling around as the only one side, the OP's, has seen the pistol in hand. Pakistan is obviously very different than America many ways including how an injury from a firearm is treated and reported. If this (whatever "this" is), happened in America we'd have photos, newspaper articles, etc.

This sort of firestorm of conjecture appears every time a gun, compound bow, arrow, or bicycle frame(!), blows up.

I'm interested in what Caracal has to say in this matter as I continue to shoot and carry my Full size and Compact pistols 'til the exchange box is delivered.

http://www.stripersonline.com/content/type/61/id/1529706/width/1000/height/1000/flags/LL

YMMV

ku4hx
February 15, 2013, 12:15 PM
I'm interested in what Caracal has to say in this matter ...
I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to acknowledge a defect of this magnitude in their gun.

Airbrush Artist
February 15, 2013, 12:21 PM
Maybe Buy American is not such a bad idea.especially if ya have to return it on a recall-,Hmmm maybe Buying a Bersa has its Negative side...

orionengnr
February 15, 2013, 12:52 PM
If you're firing Chinese fricking ammo through the weapon - you're not being "extremely" careful with it.

I'm not saying the ammo caused the failure - I'm just saying you have a contradiction.

Perhaps it is the only ammo available where he is. I am betting that US shooters have devoured billions of rounds of Chinese ammo. These days, with the ammo shortages, people will buy ammo from anyone and anywhere.

I have read plenty of threads on overpressure rounds, KBs, etc. As a previous poster stated, normally the pressure is vented down the mag well--blowing the mag apart, sometimes damaging the frame (polymer frames) or cracking the wooden grips (metallic frames). I have never seen a slide broken in two. Poor metallurgy or poor design (not enough metal in the ejection port area) are possibilities.

Edited to add: Jim K in post 52 said it far better than I.

Lots of people in denial, not all of them Caracal owners.
Safety glasses cost a dollar. Maybe start some new threads across the intermets (sic) with the username "Safetyglassescostadollar". knock on wood
Or maybe we should start some threads across the "intermets" with the username "ReadTheFreakingOP". :rolleyes: The OP said that his brother's injury was above the right eye. Safety glasses protect your eyes, not your entire head. There is no evidence that he was NOT wearing safety glasses, or, for that matter, that safety glasses would have made any difference.

mgmorden
February 15, 2013, 12:52 PM
Maybe Buy American is not such a bad idea.especially if ya have to return it on a recall

American companies have recalls too. Ruger voluntarily recalled the LCP and the SR9. You can also find a kaboom video for just about any model of pistol on the net. I wouldn't worry too much about the Caracal at this point.

PabloJ
February 15, 2013, 01:04 PM
Perhaps it is the only ammo available where he is. I am betting that US shooters have devoured billions of rounds of Chinese ammo. These days, with the ammo shortages, people will buy ammo from anyone and anywhere.

I have read plenty of threads on overpressure rounds, KBs, etc. As a previous poster stated, normally the pressure is vented down the mag well--blowing the mag apart, sometimes damaging the frame (polymer frames) or cracking the wooden grips (metallic frames). I have never seen a slide broken in two. Poor metallurgy or poor design (not enough metal in the ejection port area) are possibilities.

Edited to add: Jim K in post 52 said it far better than I.

Lots of people in denial, not all of them Caracal owners.

Or maybe we should start some threads across the "intermets" with the username "ReadTheFreakingOP". :rolleyes: The OP said that his brother's injury was above the right eye. Safety glasses protect your eyes, not your entire head. There is no evidence that he was NOT wearing safety glasses, or, for that matter, that safety glasses would have made any difference.
Soviets were unafraid of radioactivity Americans are unafraid of inexpensive or old surplus ammo. That stuff makes me :eek:.

caracalproblem
February 15, 2013, 02:02 PM
Thank you all for your comments
I will be honest and tell you that my reason for posting on various forums was due to the fact that aside from the 8 stiches and the dent on my brother's forhead - I was interested in getting a reimbursment for gun and reimbursment for my brothers medical care - a very fair request (cost amounting to about 1000/usd total). To which when Caracal did reply was with an incinuating tone as if I had done something wrong. When I started to go public with it - they started to allege that the gun is a fake!!! The more I started to go public with it the more they seem to send the message (via their mediator) with the attitude that "hey you can't touch us".
I can tell you all that the ammo was NOT the issue. I have had the slide tested at one small facility and their initial results are pointing to heat treatment issues, the area around the slide break is due to brittleness. Am going next for a proper ISO company test next before I hand the gun over to them as they are drooling to get the damming proof out of my hands. The gun is not as dirty as it looks, its actually the bad image quality.

AethelstanAegen
February 15, 2013, 02:18 PM
The gun is not as dirty as it looks, its actually the bad image quality.

Can you take some more pictures with a higher quality camera? Especially of the break and a view of the bottom of the slide?

blackrussian
February 15, 2013, 02:23 PM
Have they offered to replace it?
Was the shooter wearing any eye protection?

tipoc
February 15, 2013, 03:31 PM
Was the shooter wearing any eye protection?

His brother was struck in the forehead. While in general it's a good idea to wear eye protection it would not have stopped a piece of the slide from hittin' his noggin.

If the ops account is accurate seems to me Caracol could have handled this incident better. All gun manufacturers have guns that malfunction and sometimes break. They usually handle such incidents quickly and quietly. S&W and Glock, for example, are well known for this.

tipoc

ku4hx
February 15, 2013, 05:13 PM
I have had the slide tested at one small facility and their initial results are pointing to heat treatment issues, the area around the slide break is due to brittleness. Am going next for a proper ISO company test next before I hand the gun over to them as they are drooling to get the damming proof out of my hands.
I just bet they are drooling.

This is very good. Just don't let anybody talk you out of giving up the gun. Conspiracy theories aside, you need to maintain complete control of the gun if your laws allow.

GLOOB
February 15, 2013, 07:21 PM
When this happened with early 92's, I never heard of anyone getting knocked the F out.

Glad your brother is ok.

JohnKSa
February 16, 2013, 12:31 AM
I'm inclined to believe that perhaps ammo quality issues may have played a part given the location of the poster. HOWEVER...

After looking at the pictures on page 6 of the original thread, I field stripped my Caracal F and did a "ring" test on the slide. I hung it from a metal hook (a paper clip will do) and lightly tapped it with a brass hammer.

Most of the time, a slide will ring when this test is performed. You hear the "clink" of the hammer hitting the slide and then it rings like a bell, after the initial sound of the hammer strike.

I tried this with several of my pistols, just to verify that my memory was correct. For fun, I included a Ruger P89, which, I believe, has an investment cast slide. The tone, loudness and duration of the ring varied from gun to gun, but all of them rang noticeably after the hammer strike--with one exception.

The Caracal F slide does not ring at all. If you want an example of the difference, find two pennies--one of the original copper ones before they switched to copper-plated zinc, and one of the new copper-plated zinc pennies. Throw both of them on a hard surface and listen for the difference in the sound. The copper penny will "ring", the zinc penny makes a clinking sound but no ring at all.

That's how the Caracal slide sounds. You hear the clink of the hammer and then nothing. Kind of an interesting result although I'm not exactly sure what to make of it.

GLOOB
February 16, 2013, 04:57 AM
I'm not exactly sure what to make of it.
The rest of us are more prone to speculation, it seems.

Add me to the list of those suspecting a questionable alloy/heat treat.

On a side note, I have read that the Walther P5 hammer-forged slide rings like a tuning fork.

JohnKSa
February 16, 2013, 07:30 AM
I do find it troubling that the slide does not ring, if for no other reason than that makes it different from the other guns I tested in similar fashion.

However, while there may very well be some metallurgical issues that contributed to the situation, I do not believe that tells the whole story of this incident.

I do not believe that it is normal for a slide to have enough energy at the end of travel to snap itself (even given a metallurgical problem) and then still (after having expended the energy required to break itself in half) continue backwards with enough force to knock out an adult. Especially if one considers that this slide was at least strong enough to stand up to 250 rounds prior to this incident.

That suggests to me that there was more energy imparted to the slide than there should have been. Not a massive overpressure given the apparent lack of damage to the barrel in the pictures, but sufficient to give the slide a significantly more energetic "kick" than normal.

A comment in the original thread on Pakguns supports this theory--assuming I am not misinterpreting it.

"The rear pin holding the internal frame was slightly deviated."

If I'm reading this right, it suggests that the slide hit the end of travel with more than normal force (bending one of the retaining pins in the frame) which would explain why it had enough force to snap itself in half and still retain enough energy to be knock someone out.
...the early Beretta 92 military models sometimes did -- their "solution" after beefing up the side and QA/QC a bit, was to add a stud to the frame to keep the broken half from flying backwards.There was no change to the slide that could be accurately described as beefing it up. The only change to the slide was a milled cut on the underside of the left rear rail that allowed the oversized head of the hammer pin to fit. The cut progressed only far enough forward to allow normal slide travel--more than normal slide travel would result in the oversized head of the hammer pin interfering with further rearward slide travel.

Many years later, Beretta did introduce the Brigadier slide which was thicker in the area most prone to breakage, however it never really gained favor since slide breakage issues had largely disappeared and the "S" mod prevented them from being dangerous.

Bovice
February 16, 2013, 04:21 PM
If I could see a close-up of the fracture site, I could tell you if it was brittle failure. Brittle fracture leaves a telltale sign. We call it "cup and cone". One half of the break is a "cup", the other is a cone. The edges are sharp and well defined.

5-SHOTS
February 16, 2013, 07:26 PM
If it had been an overpressure round the barrel would have been blown up and the frame several damaged. I can't see in the picture signs of a catastrophic ka-boom or a premature slide unlock. IMHO it's totally a gun's fault. That's why Beretta has developed a slide block.

JohnKSa
February 16, 2013, 10:31 PM
If I could see a close-up of the fracture site...There are several closeups in the link provided on the first page of this thread. It links to page 6 of a thread on PakGuns forum which has pics.If it had been an overpressure round the barrel would have been blown up and the frame several damaged.That's true if the overpressure was through the roof. However, "overpressure" encompasses not just massive overpressure events, but also situations that aren't enough to cause the chamber to rupture but that still increase slide velocity far above the normal value--stressing components in ways they were not intended to be stressed.

mr.trooper
February 16, 2013, 10:32 PM
How do you get two perfectly clean, non symmetrical, breaks in a slide with no obvious inclusions?

I'm not going to point any fingers, but my first reaction to the close ups was that the breaks look intentional. That is just my uneducated opinion.

armarsh
February 17, 2013, 01:12 AM
How do you get two perfectly clean, non symmetrical, breaks in a slide with no obvious inclusions?

I'm not going to point any fingers, but my first reaction to the close ups was that the breaks look intentional. That is just my uneducated opinion.

I don't see any evidence of that. It would take quite a bit of planning and effort to destroy that slide without making any marks.

nwilliams
February 17, 2013, 01:31 AM
With a all the Caracal's that have been sold up to this point I think if this kind of thing was a common occurrence with this gun it would be well known.

When a gun goes Kaboom it's usually a result of bad ammo. I had a kaboom a while back using Chinese ammo in my AR.

Not saying this incident didn't really happen however it wouldn't persuade me from buying another Caracal in the future.

FIVETWOSEVEN
February 17, 2013, 01:44 AM
To me it sounds like all the Chinese ammo was overloaded but not to KABOOM specs. That last round was the bird that broke the camels back.

HKGuns
February 17, 2013, 11:03 PM
I won't speculate on the failure. I do wish your brother a speedy recovery and am sorry to hear of his injury. I hope Carcal will do the right thing in this case.

It was interesting to read the thread over on PAC guns. For example,Weedpimp says chicks like scars!

ezypikns
February 19, 2013, 02:36 PM
In the meantime, I believe I'll follow a previous poster's advice and.....

let somebody else be the beta tester.

cactus02
February 20, 2013, 02:17 AM
It sounds like the early Beretta 92 failures due to metalurgy in the slide. New berettas have an oversize pin head to retain a broken slide. P. S. Beretta found the problem was slides made for the French were of different specification steel.

PabloJ
February 20, 2013, 09:27 AM
In the meantime, I believe I'll follow a previous poster's advice and.....
No kidding. I would wear face shield and good pair of gloves. Thank God for 'Ove Glove made with Kevlar & Nomex by Dupont'.

bds
June 16, 2013, 10:30 PM
Looks like Caracal has responded to this incident - http://www.caracal-usa.com/press/Recall-Notice-Caracal-Model-C-Pistol/

Recall Notice - Caracal Model C Pistol
Feb 27, 2013 4:07:28 PM

Caracal International LLC has been informed about an incident in which the slide of a Caracal Model C pistol malfunctioned and broke during firing causing personal injury. We are thoroughly investigating this incident to determine the cause(s) and are initiating this voluntary recall to protect the safety of our customers.

Caracal aims to conclude its investigations as quickly as possible. Updates will be posted on Caracalís website to include further information on the limited number of defected Caracal Model C pistols.

Until this investigation is concluded and if you own or have access to a Caracal Model C pistol,

PLEASE DO NOT LOAD OR FIRE THE CARACAL MODEL C PISTOL.

Customers may choose to wait until more information with respect to the investigation or arrange to have the pistol replaced free of charge, using the following steps:

Step 1: Contact our customer care center nearest you and provide the serial number of your pistol.

For Customers in the United States:
Contact us directly at 205-655-7050 or info@caracal-usa.com

For Customers in Europe:
Contact us directly at +49 (0) 3681 854 257 or info@caracal-germany.de

For Customers in other countries:
Contact us directly at customerservice@caracal.ae

If you have sold or transferred your Caracal Model C pistol, please contact us using the above information and provide us with the name and contact information for the person to whom you sold it so that we can notify them of this recall.

Step 2: After contacting customer care center, we will send you a prepaid shipping box with instructions so that you can return your pistol to us, free of charge.

Step 3: We will replace your pistol and return it to you free of charge as quickly as reasonably possible.

Caracal apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause, and thank you for your patience and cooperation.

bds
June 16, 2013, 10:38 PM
They have concluded their investigation and determined a limited number of slides were improperly heat treated - http://www.caracal-usa.com/press/Caracal-Model-C-Recall-Notice/

Caracal Model C Pistol Recall Notice
Mar 28, 2013 3:23:56 AM

TRUSSVILLE, Alabama – Caracal International LLC instituted a recall of Caracal Model C pistols on February 27, 2013 pending an investigation, because the safety of its consumers is paramount to Caracal.

Caracal has completed its investigation and determined that this recall only applies to a limited number of slides of Model C pistols that had been improperly heat treated.

We are firmly committed to safety and would like to exchange all affected Model C pistols with new ones.
How to determine if your Model C pistol needs to be exchanged:

Remove the slide from the pistol, following the steps given in the user manual for your pistol. On the inside bottom of the slide you will find an engraved batch number starting with SC, as shown in the photograph below.

Only slides with batch numbers from SC188- to SC222- are covered by this recall and have to be exchanged.

http://www.caracal-usa.com/media/wysiwyg/media-images/caracal-recall-c.jpg

If you own or have access to a Caracal Model C pistol covered by this recall, PLEASE DO NOT LOAD OR FIRE YOUR PISTOL. Contact customer care to arrange to have your Model C pistol shipped to Caracal. We will replace your pistol and return a new one to you free of charge as quickly as possible.

If you sold or transferred your Caracal Model C pistol, please contact customer care and provide us with the name and contact information for the person to whom you sold or transferred it, so that we can notify them of this recall.

How to arrange to have your Model C pistol exchanged

Step 1 - Contact us and provide your name, address, telephone number, the serial number of your Model C pistol, and the batch number on the slide.

For Customers in the United States:
Contact us at 205-655-7050 or info@caracal-usa.com

For Customers in Europe:
Contact us at +49 (0) 3681 854 257 or info@caracal-germany.de

For Customers in other countries:
Contact us at +971(02) 4927111 or customerservice@caracal.ae

Step 2 - We will send you a pre-paid shipping label and package with instructions so you can return your Model C pistol to us FREE of charge.

Step 3 - We will ship you a new Caracal Model C pistol, FREE of charge. When we do, we will also send you a FREE magazine to thank you for your patience and cooperation. Again, we will make every effort to return your new Model C pistol as soon as possible.

Gtscotty
June 17, 2013, 01:21 AM
I guess I missed this thread the first time around, the pics on page six of the original thread screamed brittle fracture. No signs of plastic deformation and the grain boundaries have that velvety un-tempered look. Good to see Carcal's standing up and doing a recall, hopefully the guy on this thread that "ring tested" his slide gets the memo and sends that bad boy in.

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