Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by caracalproblem, Feb 14, 2013.
There are better pics further in the thread on the Pak site.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is that RUST?
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
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.
I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to acknowledge a defect of this magnitude in their gun.
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...
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". 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.
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.
Soviets were unafraid of radioactivity Americans are unafraid of inexpensive or old surplus ammo. That stuff makes me .
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.
Can you take some more pictures with a higher quality camera? Especially of the break and a view of the bottom of the slide?
Have they offered to replace it?
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.
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.
When this happened with early 92's, I never heard of anyone getting knocked the F out.
Glad your brother is ok.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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