Caracal Range Report
I currently carry a Sig Sauer P229 but have been toying with the idea of owning another striker-fired polymer handgun like the XD I used to own. I did, however, specifically want something new – that I had not owned before, and something that wasn’t a G***k. I
There were a few choices on my mind, with Walther PPQ’s new release, many raving reviews for the M&P line, among others. There was only one LGS, however, that stocked the new CARACAL handgun. It is a new company emerging from Abu Dhabi, UAE. A local gun reviewer claimed this new gun to be the best of the XD and Glock combined into one excellent handgun. With the constant battle between Glock lovers and pretty much everyone else, I thought that the “best of” comment was pretty big, so I went and checked it out.
I handled the gun on a few different occasions, and did like it, but waited to see if it was really what I wanted. Two days ago, I looked online at the local gun store and it said the Caracal C (compact version) was out of stock, but yesterday I went into Dave’s gun store just to hold some guns and talk to him, and sure enough – he had one Caracal C in stock.
If I am getting these numbers right, he said there were only 500 Caracal C’s, 600 Caracal F’s with the standard sights shipped to the US and once they sold, it would be a while before distributors would be able to get them in again, if ever. And when I told him I would take the one Caracal C he had in stock, he was hesitant to sell it to me – explaining the above numbers, and that distributors were now out and that he wouldn’t be able to get another in for who knows how long.
But I took it home yesterday, and could not wait to take it shooting today on my day off. I grabbed some targets and ammo from the range and ended up shooting just under 400 rounds through it in the short time I had.
Range Report and Gun Review:
The gun came with 2 15-round magazines which were pretty easy to load, and seem really well built. I loaded up both mags, and began firing. All my targets were at 7 yards, where I usually shoot to practice with my carry guns.
It has been a very long time since I used a polymer, lighter weight, striker fired gun and the trigger was definitely different than the standard trigger on my 229, but I definitely liked it. It has a trigger safety similar to that of the Glock, but the trigger is very crisp feeling to me – and is the best of any polymer gun I’ve shot. The trigger reset is moderate, but not terrible and is well defined in shooting. I can’t say how it compares to the PPQ trigger everyone is drooling over, but I am very happy with and feel safe with this trigger.
The sights are great – I’m used to shooting these two-dot sights (I’m not sure the technical term for them) but it is the same style that are on my 229. (Some Caracal’s have an interesting “quick sight,” I find to be kind of odd looking.)
The recoil is very moderate considering its fairly light weight. The gun has a very low bore axis. After looking at pictures of the XD, a Glock, and then the Caracal, the bore axis is definitely, noticeably lower on the Caracal, which results in a controllable gun for very quick shooting.
Similarly to the Springfield XD’s I’ve previously shot, the Caracal has a cocked indicator – it doesn’t stick out from the rear of the slide, but is more similar to the Walther P99’s. Caracal has also added a loaded chamber indicator
The slide release is located on the left side of the gun and is just a small metal tab. At first, I wasn’t too sure about how comfortable or good this slide release would be, but in reloading and releasing the slide quickly, I saw no problems in ability, speed, or comfort.
The magazine release can be pushed from either the left or the right. However, this is the only area of the gun I saw a problem. Because of where my trigger finger rests on the trigger guard (off the trigger) as I reload the gun, it rests on the right side mag release, making me have to adjust my grip to push the release on the left. Practice, I’m sure, will create a habit of moving my finger off that button.
After shooting just under 400 rounds today, I do realize I need to adjust how I pull the trigger (I have a blister on my trigger finger now), the gun is insanely accurate – any shots that were grossly outside of where I was aiming were definitely my fault and I could tell I jerked the shot, relaxed or tensed too much, etc. It also didn’t help that the group in the lane next to me was shooting a Desert Eagle 50AE and a 500S&W next to me. I definitely love this gun and with a few more target rounds as well as a few mags of personal protection rounds, I believe it may become my lighter, more accurate, every day carry, weapon of choice.