By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
February 7, 2017
DefenseReview (DR) recently got a chance to test-fire the new Caracal Enhanced F high-capacity 9mm Parabellum/9x19mm NATO semi-auto pistols, including the Quick-Sight variant, at SHOT Show 2017 Industry Day at the Range, and we came away very impressed with their performance with regard to shootability and accuracy. DR was informed that the new Enhanced F pistols are now being made in the USA, and specifically at Wilcox Industries, if we remember correctly.
If this is indeed the case, it’s a very good sign, since the new American-made QC (Quality Control) standards, combined with the design improvemements we were told about (including drop-test safety), give us confidence that the new American-made Caracal Enhanced F pistols will be up to DR’s and the rest of the civilian tactical shooting community’s standards. Again, we really liked the two Enhanced F pistols we shot at the range, but the real kicker will be how reliable and durable they are at high round count and under adverse military combat-type conditions, including mud, sand, dirt, water and ice.
Speaking of water, can the Caracal Enhanced F pistol variants be fired reliably under water like the Glock 9mm pistols can when outfitted with maritime spring cups? We don’t know, but we’d like to.
Regardless, at least on the surface, it looks like Caracal is doing all the right things to make the new Enhanced F pistols right. Let’s just hope the new guns are every bit as good as we hope they are.
By the way, one of DR’s favorite things about the Caracal Enhanced F pistol variants, aside from the fact that the they’re tack drivers and very easy to shoot well due to their low bore axis, is their 18-round mag (magazine) capacity, which is the best standard (flush-fitting) 9mm mag capacity out there, as far as we know.
Regarding the standard sight (3-dot, or three-dot) and Quick Sight Enhanced F variants, DR shoots a little better at present with the standard sight setup, most likely because we’re used to it. However, with the practice, the Caracal Enhanced F Quick-Sight pistol variant should prove quicker against close targets (within 15 yards) with some practice, at least in theory. It’s an interesting pistol sighting system for point shooting and quick target acquisition under stress, and Caracal is the only name firearms manufacturer currently offering anything like it, to our knowledge.
If the new American-made Caracal Enhanced F 9mm pistol variants indeed prove reliable, accurate, durable and safe at high round count under adverse combat-type conditions, Defense Review is going to want both of them for our collection, and potentially even for concealed carry, along side our favored Glock 19 (G19) pistols. We hope to due a more in-depth, high-round-count T&E (Test and Evaluation) and review at some point in the not-too-distant future, ideally conducted by DR writer/contributor and chief new-product tester Jeff Gurwitch.
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