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Shooting Reviews » Handguns, SHOT 2012 » Caracal – Designed to Challenge Glock

Caracal – Designed to Challenge Glock

The Caracal company was formed in 2003 and is based in the United Arab Emirates and introduced their first product in 2007.  As mentioned in earlier reports, they are currently offering the full sized Model F and the compact Model C in 9x19mm.  Their pistols have been tested and are NATO qualified

While at the 2012 SHOT Show, I was able to speak to their CEO Christian Ziehe and the Caracal’s designer Wilhelm Bubits

Ziehe told me that they would have versions of their pistols chambered in .40 S&W by the end of the year.  He explained that they had partnered with Merkle as their American importer and that their target production this year was 10k units. The are also seeking to have the Caracal approved for the California Safe Handgun Roster…it even already comes with a magazine lockout

No internal lock, but this locking magazine is available.


Bubits is also the designer of the Steyr M, and the Caracal does have a family resemblance.  He did say that the market target he had in mind when he designed the Caracal was the famous Austrian polymer pistol.

The Caracal pistols are polymer framed and equipped with an accessory rail.  They have a low bore line above the hand of only 18mm.  It differs from it’s competition, which interfaces the slide and frame at only four (4) points, by having full length metal rails embedded inside the frame to control slide movement.  These rails are also removable for replacement.

The frame rails can be removed for maintenance.


In operation the barrel moves rearward 3.5mm before unlocking for smooth operation.  The fit of the slide and barrel are controlled through CNC machining and there is not a file to be found in the plant…Bibits said it was a termination offense if a file was found at a work station…and there was no vertical movement of the barrel hood when the action was locked up.

Take-down is easily accomplished by pulling down two (2) tabs which are relieved into the frame within the trigger guard.

Takedown levers in front of trigger


The rear of the flat wire recoil spring guide seats into a large shoulder machined into the foot of the barrel for easy reassembly after field stripping.  Recoil is taken by a shoulder molded into the frame

Close-up of the frame impact surface.


The trigger pull is spec’ed at 5 pounds, with the movement straight back without upward movement.  The trigger bar also moved straight back without lateral movement to disengage the firing pin safety.  Changing from the duty trigger to a competition module was a very quick operation and would yield a trigger pull of about 2.5 pounds {Caracal is currently sponsoring a shooter in Production Class in IPSC/USPSA competition}

Close-up of the trigger spring.


The Caracal comes with an ambidextrous magazine release and offers forceful ejection of the empty magazines…it come with two (2).  It also come with one of the best factory magazine loaders I have every used.  The magazine body snaps into the loader

This magazine loader works with both the compact and full-size magazines.


…and a large lever is pushed to easily depress the follower to allow loading.  There is no need to find a table of flat surface to use the loader.

The factory magazine loader is quick and easy to use.


Every pistol is test fired before it leaves the factory.  They fire two (2) over pressure rounds to proof it and fire five (5) rounds to function test it.

They will also offer, where legal, a package for the Caracal Model F pistols which will include a foregrip, which attaches to the accessory rail, and a rifle stock, which attaches to the butt stock, for added accuracy/control

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Filed under: Handguns, SHOT 2012

2 Responses to "Caracal – Designed to Challenge Glock"

  1. m.ali says:

    caracal! its relay amazing pistol, i bought it couple’s of week ago,

    i just want to know tht do you have any model wich has trigger lock function???

    ans my another Questin is do you have any carbine kit like RONI …???

    reply me soon as possible



  2. Great write up! I just got this pistol and took it to the range today… I think it really does have less felt recoil then any other pistol i have shot because of the grip design. Here is a video of me shooting it if you want to check it out