NAME: Caracal C
HEIGHT: 5 Inches
AGE: New In Box
MISSING SINCE: January 16th, 2012
LAST SEEN: 2500 Utah Street, Boulder City, NV

Have you seen this gun? We haven’t lost it (we leave gun-losing to the ATFE and the Red Jacket crew) but we really really really want to test it, and we can’t find this speed-sighted Caracal C anywhere. It made a big splash at the SHOT show last month, and a handful of its conventionally-sighted siblings are available for sale at Centerfire Systems, but the Caracal and its manufacturer have suddenly disappeared as mysteriously as Glenn Miller or Amelia Earhart.

So we’re putting out our very first Amber Gun Alert, because we know that somewhere out there in the great big Internet, somebody has seen one of these pistols. And that somebody out there can help us find one.

The German-designed, U.A.E.-built humpback 9mm was one of our favorite pistols from the whole SHOT Shot extravaganza. Farago and I both loved the bizarre-looking speed sights built into the front of the slide, even though they make the gun look like the fuselage of a Sopwith Camel. Nobody wants to be an ‘early adopter’ on the bleeding edge of new technology, but our quality control qualms were calmed by the knowledge that the Caracal had already been accepted for military use by the notoriously OCD weapons inspectors of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland. When it comes to guns (or cars, or aircraft, or beer), if it’s good enough for Germans, it’s good enough for me.

When it comes to popular music? Not so much…But I digress.

Caracal seemed to spare no expense at the SHOT show: their Range Day booth was well-staffed and generously supplied with guns and ammunition. A trade ambassador from the U.A.E. was personally on hand, along with a few of Caracal’s German engineering wonks, and they all bent over backwards to make sure we had some quality trigger time on their new pride and joy.

It worked. Ever since we were finally escorted from the darkened press room of the Sands Conference Center at the end of the SHOT show, we’ve been trying to secure a Caracal C for testing and evaluation. But our efforts have hit a brick wall. How can that happen, less than a month after our Range Day extravaganza?

Somehow, Caracal USA has dropped off the face of the Earth. The parent corporation’s website, www.caracal.ae, won’t respond to our repeated emails. Their U.S. phone number rings endlessly, with no receptionist or answering machine. Their U.S. fax number has no fax machine connected to it.

Centerfire Systems, the only American Caracal retailer we could find, said they’d only ever received one shipment of Caracals and didn’t expect any more for at least three more months. And most likely from a new, as-yet-unnamed importer.

If you know where we can get a Caracal C like the one in the photo, please contact us at guntruth@me.com, ASAP.

And Caracal, if you’re reading this, please contact us and send us a loaner pistol. If it’s anything like the testers you took to Nevada last month, you’ll be glad you did.

 

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36 Responses to TTAG Amber Alert for Caracal C 9mm w/Speed Sights

  1. “Remember son, when you marry a woman, you’re not just marrying her, you’re marrying her family.”

    And when you buy a gun, you’re not just buying a bullet launcher. You’re buying a company. And their service and support. Or lack thereof.

  2. Those sights look like a snag nightmare. They should just run them the whole length of the slide since it looks like your sight picture would be jacked anyway if you needed to drift the rear at all.

  3. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought that the more distance you put between the front and rear sights, the more accurate your sighting would be. Isn’t that part of what makes a rifle more accurate than a handgun?

    • The concept is simple–@ combat distances the added accuracy of a longer sight radius is less of an advantage than is the ability to acquire a rapid sight picture. Short sight radius is faster to line up. Also pushing the rear sight closer to the focal plain of the front sight makes front sight focus more likely. That’s the CONCEPT anyway… 😉

        • I would suggest a series of tests comparing grouping at 3, 5, 7, and 15 yards as well as speed. I probably wouldn’t bother doing a test drawing from the holster unless you can get a Caracal with standard sights to compare it to. Start with the gun in low ready pointed at the base of the target, and time how long it takes from the buzzer to get one center of mass hit. Do the same with double taps and measure the spread. Measure target to target transition speeds. across three targets.

          I’m going to hypothesize that the gain in speed will not be more than .05 seconds and the reduction in accuracy won’t be worth it.

        • And if it does all of what it claims and “forces” front sight focus, there actually may be a net INcrease in accuracy…

  4. There are about six of them going on GunBroker, and the price seems to be escalating since I first started looking there.
    compactfirearms.com had them in stock (supposedly) – it’s a rather rudimentary online shopping site, with no numerical “qty on hand” indicator nor does anything they sell say “out of stock.”

  5. Let’s see,
    A less than attractive hump backed 9mm pistol.
    Manufactured by a German / Arab coalition.
    That refuses to respond to emails.
    Has a phone that rings endlessly.
    No receptionist.
    No fax machine.
    One retailer who has received exactly one shipment, has no idea when he will receive his next shipment (if ever) or whom he will receive it from (if anyone).
    GEE!!! I really, really, really want one.
    FOR FREE OF COURSE.
    BUT, if it’s as good as the guys at TTAB seem to think it is I’ll buy a dozen copies.
    One (1) for me, one (1) for my wife and ten (10) for spare parts, so I don’t have to send it to the factory for repair.
    Then issue my own Amber Gun Alert.

  6. I’m not sure the concept of larger eye relief translates really well to iron sights on a handgun. It’s innovative but full of holes that are easy points of contention.

  7. Guys,there’s a reason bleeding edge technology is greeted with skepticism in the gun world.One mans’s revolutionary technology is another man’s idea of a solution in need of a problem.I pose the question to the TTAG editors who fired this gun;what advantage does this “speed sight” system have over good old fashioned long sight radius Novak setups?Id imagine long range shots with a pistol featuring a short sight radius and a blocky front post are in ‘good luck’ territory.

  8. Anybody know how the radius on this compares to the sight radius on a 38 snubbie? I’ve seen guys shoot fixed-sight snubbies @100 and 200 yards and actually hit 8″ plates.

  9. Can’t find them on the street, because the previous importer received a “drop dead letter” months back and the new importer (Caracal USA) is still in the process of setting up shop (lawyers, applications, permits, licenses, incorporation). It takes time to clear all the red tape and bureaucratic hurdles…especially in a highly regulated industry. Give it 60 more days, the guns will be at a retail dealer near you.

    • None of that precludes customer communication. Anonymous assurances from “Arms Dealer” is no replacement for picking up the phone. Have you seen the unemployment numbers? It does not take that long to hire a secretary, a webmaster, and get a fax line.

  10. Meh, needlessly short sight radius. Unknown company. Design makes upgrades (at least for sights) difficult. It’s new, so holsters/mags/etc. will be harder to find.

    I’d rather have a M&P/Glock/XD…

  11. I agree with what was written over at GUns America’s peice on the Caracal. Basically that this gun has to come out at a lower price point than the competition to garner market share. Somewhere around $400 for instance.

    Caracal apparently had the biggest media blitz at Shot Show so its on the lips of the media that was there. Doesn’t make it a bad gun, but understand that there is some money behind the hype.

    • Actually, they didn’t have much of a media blitz. At all. They had a booth at media day just like everyone else. And their booth at the show wasn’t even on the main floor. You had to go find them (I didn’t).

      The attention they got was because their gun was nicely designed and shot really well with a good trigger. And while the Quick Sights raise eyebrows, they work well, too. As in quick target acquisition. Particularly good in a carry weapon.

        • I wouldn’t hazard a guess until I’ve put at least a dozen magazines through it, and preferably more. Many theories fail to survive contact with the facts.

  12. Very few of the Quick Sight versions made it into the U.S. before Waffen Werks dropped the line (~115 total/65 C’s/50 F’s). This is also the reason for the higher price on the C QS model from Compact Firearms.

  13. FWIW, the reviews I can find on the QS pistols have been very very positive.

    However, I’m thinking that the positive reviews might have nothing to do with the sight configuration, but rather are a result of better point-ability.

    Looks like a significant amount of steel goes into making up that rear sight. That added weight toward the muzzle may make the QS versions point better and hence, FEEL faster.

    I’m looking around but can’t find any specs that differentiate between the QS and non-QS pistols.

  14. Fired the caracal at the local range (west coast armory, which has one for rent, and several for sale).

    Huge pile of meh. Absoolutely nothing about the pistol was notable in the least, it did not feel or handle or shoot better than any other pistol we compared it to — and we compared to quite a few. Everyone who tried it was completely unimpressed.

    If you shoot this pistol in isolation you might think it’s the best thing in the world. shoot it side by side with a decent lineup and you’ll realize it’s nothing special.

    and yes, it is worth noting that there are apparently issues with caracal supplying their US distributor (which as i understand it, is now engaged in legal proceedings against caracal UAE due to this).

    • Your opinion is fundamentally at odds with my opinion which thinks that Caracal has pulled off a major win here. I can prais much and can fault only one thing about the gun’s design (integrated real sight), and even that I cannot fault too much because they choose such an excellent rear sight design.

      I have now been shooting for DECADES and have probably owned and fired (at one time or another) over a hundred different handguns–the Caracal is right there at the top of the heap. Not “the best” but one of them and maybe the best striker-fired handgun *design* that I can think of. It really is a quiet revolution, and one that I hope distribution woes won’t stand in the way of.

  15. I have a C with normal sights and an F with the quick sights. Both are very nice guns with a trigger that I wish Glock could duplicate. With the quick sights, my old eyes can focus on both front and rear sights at the same time. Perceived recoil is less than the comparable Glock, but I don’t think its that big a deal. If I could put the sights and trigger of the Caracal on my Gen 4 Glock that would be awesome. The F also has one more round than the G17.

  16. I got number 152 from waffen works so I think they sent more than that just 115.mine is a Caracal C QS and it’s serial number is CL152 with the Waffen Works under the trigger guard.

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