Caracal F and Caracal C Low-Bore-Axis, Striker-Fired Polymer-Frame 9mm Combat Pistols for Concealed Carry (CCW) and Covert Missions: Tactical Pistol Tack Drivers at the Range!

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By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

All photos and video clips contained in this article were shot by, and are copyrighted. owns the copyright on these photos and video clips. The photos and video clips embedded below were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability).

The following article is property of (DR) and is copyrighted material. If you are reading this article on another website other than, please email us the website address/URL (where the unauthorized DR article reprint is located) at defrev (at) gmail (dot) com. Thank you.

June 30, 2012

DefenseReview (DR) first covered the Caracal F and Caracal C low-bore-axis, striker-fired semi-auto 9mm Parabellum/9x19mm NATO tactical pistols back in 2008. That was just a heads-up article to let people know they existed and provide some info on attributes/features and weapon specs.

Well, this past January at SHOT Show 2012 Media Day, DR got to put both pistols through their respective paces, and we were really impressed with them. First off, the test guns (Caracal F and Caracal C) were little tack drivers. They shot like little laser guns against steel plates we were shooting at on the range, veritable magic ballistic wands, if you will. The steel plates replied with that oh-so-ear-pleasing "ding" shot after shot, true ballistic music to any shooter. Their pointing and shooting characteristics were also very good, due to the grip angle and low bore axis. And, the guns went "bang" every time. There were no malfunctions during the several magazines we put through each gun ourselves and during all the shooting we witnessed by other shooters. It's of course possible that these may have been specially-picked guns rather than random samples. We just don't know.

Whatever the case, the Caracal pistols provided for Media Day shot great. Keep in mind, though, that a true military-grade reliablity and durability test requires at least 10,000 rounds and incorporates adverse combat conditions simulation testing, including sand, dirt, mud, water, and ice. Defense Review doesn't yet have any test data of this type on the Caracal F and/or Caracal C combat pistols, but we'll try to obtain some. If they can pass that kind of testing, they're winners.

Defense Review should note that the Caracal personnel on-hand at the Media Day range shoot were extremely warm, enthusiastic and helpful, and we greatly appreciated the time they spent with us.

The Caracal F pistol offers the shooter the choice of a standard 3-dot or more interesting 2-dot combat sighting system. On a two-dot combat sight, the shooter places the front sight dot directly over the rear site. Simple. But, the most interesting sighting system is the Caracal C pistol's optional Caracal Quick Acquisition Sight System (QS), a modified reverse-concept Guttersnipe-type sight combining an integral one-piece outward-angled sight channel with a traditional front sight post at the front. It's designed for fast sight acquisition at combat distances under stress. The QS sight is integrated into the front portion of the slide. The Guttersnipe sight, by the way, was originally designed and developed by American pistolsmith Paris Theodore for the ASP 9mm pistol (based on a Smith & Wesson S&W M39 9mm pistol) way back in the early 1970s, and it would appear that the folks at Caracal have essentially modified and updated the concept 21st-century style and applied it to the front of the slide instead of the rear of the slide. Caracal deserves props for doing something so untraditional.

Magazine capacity for the Caracal F and Caracal C combat pistols are 18+1 and 15+1, respectively, but it would seem logical that the Caracal C can accept the 18+1-round mag (unconfirmed/unverified), just like a Glock 19 (G19 can accept Glock 17 (G17) 17-round mags. If it can't, that would be a mistake. Both pistols incorporate an ambidextrous slide release button(s).

According to the Caracal USA website, a "Matte Sand" desert-tan/dark-earth-colored polymer frame (gripframe) is available as an option. In the picture, the color looks good.

A sub-compact variant called the Caracal SC pistol is currently in development and scheduled to be commercially available by "fall 2012".

And, a "Full Tactical Kit" (FTK) is available as an accessory that turns the Caracal 9mm pistol(s) into a 9mm carbine:

Editor's Note: In the second (bottom) video clip below, you can see that while I'm test-firing the Caracal C pistol, I'm shooting with my left eye closed. This is because that while I'm right-handed, I'm left-eye-dominant, and I wanted to test the accuracy of the Quick-Acquisition Sight System without worrying about any shooter error that might have occurred by shooting with both eyes open.

The following information on Caracal F and Caracal C tactical pistol features and options information comes directly from the Caracal USA website:

Low Profile Slide and Bore
The low profile slide greatly reduces felt recoil to the user. The close relation between the low bore and the natural point of the trigger finger allows for highly instinctive shooting and therefore greater accuracy with the pistol.

2 & 3 Dot Sight System
The Caracal offers a traditional 3-dot sight system together with a propriety 2-dot system. When the two dots are seen as a

Caracal Quick Acquisition Sight System (QS)
The unique Caracal Quick Sight system (QS) allows for extremely quick target acquisition under pressure. Unlike conventional pistol sights BOTH the front and rear sights are seen in the same focal plane. This offers previously unseen speed in target acquisition.

Cocking Striker Indicator
Along with two loaded chamber indicators the Caracal has a visual and tactile cocked indicator. The end of the firing pin in its pre-cocked position can be both seen and felt.

Disassembly Lever
The Caracal has an easy to operate, concealed disassembly lever. It remains locked at all times within the pistol grip preventing accidental loss during field stripping.

Plasox Finish The Caracal's metal parts are coated in a unique hostile environment finish called PLASOX. This most modern finish offers enhanced rust prevention.

Fiber Optic Sight
Fast target line up in marginal and bright light conditions. Absorbs available light and magnifies it back to the user’s sight picture.

Key Lock System
The Caracal F & C are available with a unique key-lock which prevents unauthorized access to the weapon. The key is copy protected.

Tactical Rail
The Caracal has a full tactical rail which can accept aftermarket tactical accessories.

Full Tactical Kit
A full tactical kit is available for the Caracal F which includes a polymer shoulder-stock and forward tactical grip with built in rail. The kit offers a more stable platform for longer range shots and, when worn on a sling, presents a high visibility carbine style weapon. Shown with optional tactical light.

Caracal F Semi-Auto Pistol Technical Specs:

Slide Length: 178 mm
Barrel Length: 104 mm
Height: 135 mm
Width: 28 mm
Weight: 750 grams (26.46 oz)
Caliber: 9×19 NATO /9x21mm/.357 SIG/.40 S&W
Magazine capacity: 18
Grip Frame: Synthetic
Trigger System: Double Action
Trigger weight(Constant): 2.2 kg
Trigger Travel (Constant): 8 millimeters (mm)
Safety Devices :Trigger, Drop and Firing Pin: 3
Cocking Indicator: 1 Magazine
Catch: Ambidextrous

Caracal C Semi-Auto Pistol Technical Specs:

Slide Length: 167 mm
Barrel Length: 90 mm
Height: 122 mm
Width: 28 mm
Weight: 700 grams (24.69 oz)
Caliber: 9×19 NATO /9x21mm/.357 SIG/.40 S&W
Magazine capacity: 15
Grip Frame: Synthetic
Trigger System: Double Action
Trigger weight(Constant): 2.2 kg
Trigger Travel (Constant): 8 millimeters (mm)
Safety Devices :Trigger, Drop and Firing Pin: 3 Cocking Indicator: 1 Magazine
Catch: Ambidextrous

Company Contact Info:

Caracal USA
7661 Commerce Lane
Trussville,AL 35173
Phone: 205-655-7050
Fax: 205-655-7078

Caracal International LLC (Corporate Headquarters)
Tawazun Industrial Park Sweihan
P.O. Box 94499
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Phone: +971 2 5854441
Fax: +971 2 5854445

Caracal Gmbh (Germany)
Schutzenstrasse 26
98527 Suhl / Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 3681 854 257
Fax: +49 (0) 3681 854 201

© Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without receiving permission and providing proper credit and appropriate links.

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About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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