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Caracal reliability, service

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jimherb, Oct 13, 2012.

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  1. jimherb

    jimherb Member

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    I handled a Caracal at the gunshow today and was really impressed with how it fit my hand. I've read a number of review and comments that speak favorably of it. My concern is with parts and service. Are parts available?
    Is there reasonably competant customer service somewhere?
     
  2. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Member

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    Parts are available from caracal-usa. As to their competency; I have never had a need to use them so I'm not sure....
     
  3. the count

    the count Member

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    There are so many proven polymer framed pistols why go for a pretty well unknown one from the United Arab freakin' Emirates? It's like considering a Chinese made pickup truck when you have Fords, Chevys and Dodges to chose from.
     
  4. tekarra

    tekarra Member

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    Why what are your grounds for saying: "a pretty well unknown one from the United Arab freakin' Emirates?" Such a statement requires solid justification.
     
  5. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    I assume you only own 100% American made firearms since everything is equivalent to Chinese made?
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    And if you take a little time to ready up on the provenance of the Caracal pistol (who designed it and why) you might just sheepishly swallow those words and give it another look.

    Maybe, maybe not.
     
  7. the count

    the count Member

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    May I quote wikipedia... "The Caracal pistol is a series of semi-automatic pistols manufactured by Caracal International L.L.C.[1] a subsidiary of Tawazun Holding from the United Arab Emirates. Newly arrived on a competitive market, the Caracal pistol series are the first pistols made in the United Arab Emirates."

    My point is....you can get proven quality polymer pistols from the US and foreign countries like Glock (Austria), CZ (Czech Republic), etc so why take a chance with something like the Caracal? If I insulted the gun industry of the United Arab Emirates so be it... Signed, the Infidel. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Could be worth your time. Or not. Whatever floats your boat.

    Lots of things can be "tried and true," "proven," and of established quality -- and every one will be superceded by the next generation of whatever it is.

    There are things about the Caracal to like, a LOT, and the folks who developed it certainly have enough knowledge of the genre to have some goals in mind for what they thought they could do better.

    Not everyone has to be a first-adopter, though. If sticking with the known is more comfortable, do that.

    Some folks might find it worth a few hundred bucks to find out if it does something just a little bit better/faster/more ergonomically than the Glock, M&P, xDM, Steyr, etc.
     
  9. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    I don't think anyone was disputing it being made in UAE, I think he was saying you need some solid justification to your claim that it is the equivalent of Chinese junk. All reports seem very positive on this gun. Got anything to back up your claim that it is basically "Chinese junk"? I am going to bet you can't back that up
     
  10. the count

    the count Member

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    I didn't say anywhere that it was Chinese junk! It was a comparison. Gee. This thread is beginning to seem like we are a bunch of idiot politicians like the ones in Washington. I said that why go with a unknown middle east made gun when you can get a great, throughly researched and tested one. You guys go buy your Caracals or whatever. I will stay with my Glock and Sig. I rest my case. Good night.
     
  11. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Seems like a pretty solid gun, there are a few issues I see with it.

    1. It uses lots of roll pins--if you detail strip it, you'll want to have some replacements on hand and at least one of the pins isn't a standard size. Caracal USA may have them--haven't checked--but if you get roll-pins from them you're officially voiding your warranty since you can't detail strip it and keep your warranty.

    2. There are no aftermarket parts or accessories for this gun (yet?).

    3. Mags are not that easy to find and not really economical.

    2 and 3 may go away with time, but 1 is here to stay.
    It's been pretty well researched and tested, it's just not well known in the U.S.
     
  12. Shuler13

    Shuler13 Member

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    I own one and nothing about the gun makes me think "unreliable" or "junk". As to parts and service I have not needed either.

    If it were almost as good as others on the market, given it lacks a history, I would have passed. But given that the ergonomics and trigger were better than most I've held in the same category and the production resulted in a product with what appears to be of high quality, I felt confident in owning one.
     
  13. Shuler13

    Shuler13 Member

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    See, The problem is Caracal ignored the second rule of "how to make a fortune in gun sales". You have to make a small amount of duds so people can test your customer service. For every dud you must resolve this issue quickly and toss in an extra mag. The boards will light up singing your praises. Shame on them.
     
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    That's perfectly fine, like I said:

    Don't know how any of that makes anyone here an "idiot politician."

    I'm not so terribly concerned about voiding the warranty. Lots of gun makers will say something of the sort if you start putting aftermarket bits into it. However, I am very anxious to see the aftermarket get moving on this. From what I've heard it has a long trigger reset (a "feature" not a "bug" as Microsoft would say) and that would need to be remediable if it's going to be a "go-fast" Production/SSP gun -- which I what I'd be interested in buying one as.

    I'd like to see this give the M&P a serious run for the money as the product-improved Glock (so to speak). That's quite a challenge, but if the aftermarket (hey APEX, you listening?) steps up to the plate with some equivalent lockworks bits, we'd likely have a serious contender.
     
  15. JSNAPS

    JSNAPS Member

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    If this is an occasional range toy, I say go with it, but if this is going to be your rock and roll handgun you may want to look at something more established in the community (glock, m&p, sig, hk, walther etc.)
     
  16. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    They certainly are making a push there. JJ Racaza is signed with them to shoot it in Production division. Now to some degree such things are a bit unfair as someone of his skill can make any gun shine (whereas us mere mortals tends to see greater advantages in the little tweaks here and there), but the fact that they've sponsored a shooter to field it specifically in competition is encouraging.
     
  17. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I love how this pistol exposes all xenophobes. The gun has passed NATO trial and German police trials. The gun is seeing success in competition as well. Trying to cast it as an unproven design, unknown etc, is silly. The pistol's designer also has a history of producing solid guns.

    Why would one chose it over other striker fired guns? First it may be preferable to them when compared without considering price. That said the gun is priced very competitively at $400.

    Your case was sucked. I suppose that's why it involved resulting to name calling.

    I've heard this misinformation before. I used google and checked the usual places and found mags at about the same prices as the other typical striker fired guns.
     
  18. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Nor am I. However I suspect we may be in the minority. ;)
    Interesting--the prices seem to have actually come down some since the last time I checked. Availability has also improved somewhat which is encouraging--I see Midway is now stocking them.

    However, they're still significantly more expensive than Glock mags and not available from nearly as many sellers. A google search is only turning up a handful of places that stock Caracal F mags and they're running $29 to $35. I can find Glock 17 mags all over the place--and for as little as $20.

    http://www.cdnninvestments.com/gl179mm17man.html

    I should have qualified my comment a bit more carefully. I was specifically thinking about Glock magazines when I made the comment/comparison. You are correct that the Caracal mags are currently selling in the same price range as what is seen for various striker-fired pistols, excluding Glocks.

    Looks like I'll have to start stocking up--I only have 4 mags right now.
    My F requires that the trigger be essentially fully released before it resets. However, trigger travel from fully forward to the fired position is only about 5mm (about 0.2") when measured at the center of the trigger bow.

    A Glock 17 trigger (again measured at the center of the trigger bow) travels about 7mm (0.28") to the fired position, but only needs to be released about 2.5mm (about 0.1") to reset.

    Basically the Caracal F cuts about a tenth of an inch from trigger travel compared to the G17 but requires that you allow the trigger to return a tenth of an inch farther than the G17 to reset. It's not so much that the trigger reset is really that long--it's that it's long compared to overall trigger travel in the gun.

    By the way, my unmodifed Caracal F has a trigger pull of 5lbs 4oz compared to a pull of about 6lbs 4oz for an unmodified G17 I measured.

    It's true that the reset isn't as short as the Glock reset, but my assessment is that what it gives up in reset length, it gets back in reduced overall travel and lighter pull weight.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  19. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Some point worth keeping in mind, but perhaps not deal breakers.

    On the other hand, I spent a fair amount of time looking them over at the SHOT Show and was favorably impressed. They seemed solid, nicely put together and with very good ergonomics.

    So it's hardly untried and untested.
     
  20. bds

    bds Member

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    Just a thought ...

    Had the Caracal been manufactured in a different country like Germany, we might be having a very different thread discussion ... ;)

    Who knows, a few years from now, we might be having Glock vs M&P vs Caracal thread discussions ...

    For me, I think competition is healthy as it forces manufacturers to continuously improve their products. Just look at what auto racing did to our cars we drive ... Anyone care to guess why our family sedans have variable valve timing and 6/8 speed transmissions? Certainly not because of corporate bean counters ... :D

    I say, bring it on and let the competitions begin!

    Imagine what Gen5 Glocks and future M&Ps may be like in a few years ... I can't wait.
     
  21. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Perhaps your not old enough to know when not a single poly pistol was proven? People took chances and they were proven in time.


    Wrong country. UAE is a great ally and a huge consumer of our goods.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  22. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    Concedering the designer came from Glock , then to Styer to design there M and S series pistols before going to UAE at the MERKEL factory that the UAE bought. There he designed and merkel built the caracal pistols solid to the euro market. It is a Nato aproved handgun back in 2006. . Now if you don't think merkel can make a top end firearm you really don't understand firearms. The pistols sold in america come from a uea factory and the plus side to that is an all new state of the art factory. We have 5 military bases in the UAE right now. Hope my caracal C comes in today too. The C models trigger pull tends to be under 5lbs. Price of the pistol C model to dealers 375 and centerarms systems has them for 399. All this whinning from a one sounds alot like when glock first came out. For the chinese whinner, look around your home and see what is not made in china from clothing to eletroncis to furniture. If you don't like something don't buy it . Just don't whine about something you know nothing about.
     
  23. hentown

    hentown Member

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    I'm not motivated to run out and buy a Caracal anytime soon, but I am going to remain open-minded about them. When Glocks were first introduced, they were besmirched by all the so-called experts, who were "stuck" in the year 1911. ;)

    I don't like the fact that several roll pins are used, particularly odd-sized roll pins. I don't even like the fact that the XDs use a roll pin. However, my ARs use several roll pins, and I love 'em, just the same.

    I have no problem with buying foreign-made merchandise. Some of the best electronics, cameras, etc., are made in China. I'd rather support some Chinese peasant's family than some American union thug's family. I'm sure I buy some union-made merchandise; however, given a clear choice, I'll avoid it.
     
  24. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    [Mod Talk: Let's drop the argument over the UAE and such. If you don't know anything about the CARACAL PISTOL itself, don't drag the conversation off into the weeds with off topic dross.]
     
  25. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I may be wrong but, I seem to remember reading that Wilhelm Bubits, the designer of the Caracal, was a former police officer who went to work for glock doing consulting and training instructors and armorers. I've read he designed the Steyr M series in the late 90s and pitched the idea to glock. Glock passed (having achieved perfection and all :) ). Bubits then took the design down the road to steyr would produced the pistols. As an aside I own both M and MA1 pistols as well as multiple glocks. I find the steyr compares very favorably and have gone from carrying a glock to a steyr. One can see some of what I really like about the steyr has been incorporated into the caracal.

    After the M series guns Bubits designed the Walther PPS. I've not seen many complaints from users of the PPS. It is a well thought out design that compares very favorably to other pistols in its class. In 2003 he began work on what has become the caracal pistol.

    The Caracal is looking to break into a market that already has good options. However, if you look at the gun on its merits it is worth a look. Caracal also seems to be doing a MUCH better job of marketing this gun in the US than Steyr ever did with the M series. The M series was/is a great gun nobody knew they should even be looking at. Interestingly I've had a number of shooters who just didn't like glocks, their grips, etc, really like the stery. It wouldn't surprise me if the Caracal is the best gun one can buy NIB for $400. It also wouldn't suprise me if some glock haters (and lovers alike for that matter) found they liked this gun much better.
     
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