Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 SHOT Show: Caracal Official Introduction To America

I got to check out the new-to-me Caracal F and C 9mm pistols. Incidentally, Caracal named after  a  cat. The company officially launched in 2007 at the IDEX exhibition in Abu Dhabi and is used by law enforcement in the GCC. The Caracal has been available in the U.S. for a couple of years but this year at SHOW Show is the official entry to the U.S. market where they will be opening up a manufacturing facility in AL.

I got to shoot one at the SHOT Show Media day as was quite impressed. It has a very low bore axis due to the unique design of striker spring on top of striker pin. This also serves the purpose of longevity of the striker spring. Lots of interesting details regarding the gun design to save manufacturing costs and increase durability.

The Caracal F also has a full tactical kit available that includes a polymer shoulder-stock and forward grip with rail.

The designer of the Caracal is Wilhelm Bubits who also designed the Steyr pistol and Walther PPS. Wilhelm was a gracious host and answered all my questions and more. Very interesting person and I'm glad I was lucky enough to meet him and talk with him in great length.

 Wilhelm Bubits, gun designer, and his favorite assistant.
The Caracal F magazine capacity is an astounding 18 rounds. That's because of the special design enhancements of the magazine. Wilhelm pointed out that there is no metal plate typically attached to the spring that is used to hold the base plate in. He designed the spring to actually secure the base plate. Also, he made the follower a lot shorter. So these two modifications allows the magazine to fit an extra round in it.

Base plate held in with magazine spring to allow for 18 round mag capacity.
The tactical kit really caught my eye as I thought it was an interesting addition to the pistol. This is not a new thing for Wilhelm to design as he did it for Glock when he worked for them for their pistols.

This would be an evolutionary accessory that includes the ability to add a bayonet to the front of the pistol for close quarter hand to hand combat when all else fails!
Ability to add a bayonet to the forward grip when going hand to hand.
I was wondering why there wasn't the ability to add optics such as a red dot to the shoulder stock as this would give it a great advantage in low light, fast target acquisition situations. He said there was a attachment rail but he decided to remove it on the final production version because the design didn't hold it's zero very well. He pointed to the line in the stock as evidence for the design change.

Wilhelm also mentioned that there are prototypes currently in testing of magazines with capacities greater than 30 rounds and to go with the 30 round magazines a full auto version of the Caracal F. Now that is something I'd like to see.

Line indicating where the scope mount was removed from earlier models of shoulder stock mold

Here is a video of the tactical kit:

Caracal F tactical kit
While I was at the booth Wilhelm Bubits also explained the design philosophy behind the shoulder stock. He wanted it to be very low profile and with a special sling could be dangling from the shoulder from underneath a jacket. If someone working security or something had to deploy it he could easily rotate it up and quickly attach the gun to it. Also, he demonstrated the durability of the polymer that the stock was made of and it was practically indestructible. He also mentioned that the same material is used in making the magazine base plates.

Tactical Kit on shouldered
It's very comfortable to use and really stabilizes the handgun for longer range shots. If I could get this setup I would.
Tactical Kit mounted to Caracal F just relaxing.

Caracal F with Tactical Kit, Speed loader, and Lock

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