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Old November 26, 2012, 04:50 PM   #1
plouffedaddy
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Caracal F Review



I've often posted here with high praise for the Caracal pistols so I figured I'd knock out a review of the Caracal F. Here are some of the pros/cons of the gun according to yours truly:

Pros:
-Reliable. The gun has well over 1,000 rounds (not sure on the exact count, I've let many people borrow the pistol to try out) with 0 malfunctions of any kind.
-Price. I picked the gun up for $399 shipped.
-Accurate. This gun is like a 1911 in that it tends to make average shooters shoot like good shooters
-Very low bore axis resulting in an extremely soft shooting gun.
-Excellent trigger. It's smooth with no stacking. It breaks extremely cleanly and has a positive reset
-Great finish. The Plasox (with nitriding) finish is holding up very well thus far
-It has a loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide allowing the user to check that it is loaded without having to conduct a press check
-Very good ergonomics. Everyone that has shot the gun seems to comment on how good it feels in their hands
-18+1 capacity while only weighing 26oz
-Passed the WTD 91 (German armed forces) testing in 2006
-Has been adopted by several nations' standard military sidearm; many police agencies in Italy and Germany have adopted it as well
-It's classified as an IDPA production gun
-Easy to clean and maintain. Requires very little lubrication as well
-Interior parts are coated with the Plasox finish as well
-Ambi controls (except for the slide lock)
-Spare parts including springs are available from Caracal-USA now (this is relatively new)
-The Caracal F mags can be used in the C and SC models.

Cons:
-Little aftermarket support
-Night sights are not available in the US currently. I spoke with Caracal USA last month and they said they are working with several manufacturers currently but they don't have a date yet as to when they'll be released
-The rear sight is part of the firing pin assembly. This will either make aftermarket sights more expensive or limit some to front sight only
-The guns are made in the UAE and Germany. The UAE made guns are the only ones available in the US currently. (I don't care about this but it's a common point brought up so I'm including it so people don't say "you didn't mention where it was made....")
-In order to detail strip the gun you have to deal with roll pins. Not a big deal but I'd prefer not to if I didn't have to
-The slide lock protrudes to far. I hit it with my thumb about 50% of the time if I'm not conscious of it and many people I've let shoot it have the exact same issue
-The vast majority of the guns imported have been recalled. The latest is that the guns will be completely replaced with a new gun at no expense to the owner or you can choose to get a full purchase price refund. So far, their customer service has been great on this end but it's kind of a wait and see with these guns to see how it all shakes out. Many quality brands have had guns recalled or "upgraded" in the past and as long as they make it right I have no problem with it...

Chrono data:

Winchester Ranger 115gr JHP: 1128fps, 325 ft/lbs energy
Federal HST 124gr JHP: 1126fps, 349 ft/lbs energy
Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P JHP: 1234fps, 419 ft/lbs energy

Here's a video of me shooting the gun, a tabletop review with some comparisons to the Glock 17, and a chronograph test with some popular defensive loads:

CARACAL F HD VIDEO REVIEW LINK

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Last edited by plouffedaddy; November 26, 2012 at 06:25 PM.
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Old November 26, 2012, 04:57 PM   #2
shuler13
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I have the C and love it. I'll pick up an F when I get around to it. I was hoping for the sc but that's not here yet. Great review.
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Old November 26, 2012, 05:29 PM   #3
AndyWest
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I really like the look of the high grip, giving a very low/close bore axis. Does it feel like your trigger finger is pointing "down" though? Doesn't sound like you experienced any pointability issues.

Great review, thanks. Now I want one
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Old November 26, 2012, 08:01 PM   #4
Rmart30
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Ive had my F model for almost a year now and it has over 1000 rds thru it without a problem.
Mine was $399 shipped also and the price what made my mind up to try one.... I have $410 in it with the FFL transfer. Great gun for the price.

The only thing that I dont care for is the sights.. Id prefer a 3 dot styled sight.

Aftermarket support is growing for them... Kydex holsters and leather both can be found.
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Old November 27, 2012, 03:02 AM   #5
bitttorrrent
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Great review. The price and reviews are what made me order one and I really like it.

Tomorrow going to test it against new gen 4 g17. Have shot them both, but just not back to back.
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Old November 27, 2012, 02:24 PM   #6
chris in va
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I can't really tell, does the grip have a palmswell or is it flat sided?
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Old November 27, 2012, 02:52 PM   #7
TunnelRat
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I'm interested in the Caracal. That said, I think the recent recall is a serious setback for them. People tend to remember bad news for longer than good news. There are already those who will question the gun's quality because of both its country of origin, whether that is fair or not, and its price tag. A massive recall like that doesn't do anything to aid that effort. I'd also like to see the company do some kind of advertising at some point. Most of the stuff I read is just leftovers from SHOT. Promotion is key.
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Old November 27, 2012, 03:02 PM   #8
zincwarrior
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What is the trigger pull weight? How does it compare vs. say an M&P or H&K?
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Old November 27, 2012, 03:36 PM   #9
plouffedaddy
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Quote:
I'm interested in the Caracal. That said, I think the recent recall is a serious setback for them. People tend to remember bad news for longer than good news. There are already those who will question the gun's quality because of both its country of origin, whether that is fair or not, and its price tag.
Agreed. Gen2 Glocks had a much larger recall (or 6 part upgrade as they called it) and they recovered. That's why I think how they handle it is really going to make the difference.

Quote:
What is the trigger pull weight? How does it compare vs. say an M&P or H&K?
4.5lbs

Much better reset than the M&P and a crisper break as well.

Which HK system are you referring to?
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Old November 27, 2012, 03:41 PM   #10
zincwarrior
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Not certain - I guess their most common semi auto (the one with the LEM kit).
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Old November 27, 2012, 05:14 PM   #11
TunnelRat
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Quote:
Not certain - I guess their most common semi auto (the one with the LEM kit).
LEM is a trigger system that can be applied to all HK pistols in current production. It's essentially a DAO without the full length reset. There are a number of weights for it that can be set by using specific springs. The common weight is ~7.5 lbs, though that is often changed to ~4.5 lbs.
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