Carcal C- Basket Case? (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

When I heard that Caracal was recalling my everyday carry gun, the firearm that kept me and mine safe for nearasdammit two years, I went into deep denial. Sure, a Caracal blew up in Pakistan. But that doesn’t mean my gun’s dangerous. Gunmakers err on the side of caution when it comes to product defects, lest they get sued to oblivion. Right? OK, yes, this is the Caracal C’s second recall. After a not-so-minor delay, Caracal replaced my C to address a drop-safe issue. But gunmakers err on the side of caution when it comes to product defects, lest they get sued to oblivion. Right? Like I said, deep denial. To the point where . . .

I contemplated carrying on carrying the Caracal C. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered my ill-fated Smith & Wesson 686 whose trigger lock failed mid-string. On video. Lady Luck had shown me her firearms-related capriciousness once. Maybe she fancied a second demonstration of her affiliation with that legal eagle Mr. Murphy via my United Arab Emirates’ nine mil. As much as I tried to push the thought away, I couldn’t.

That same voice inside my head (not one heard in RI hotels) raised another important point: what if I use the Caracal C for a defensive gun use? “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the defendant would have you believe that he’s a safe, sensible, law-abiding gun owner. And yet Mr. Farago, a self-appointed member of the so-called ‘Armed Intelligentsia,’ knowingly used a defective firearm against a child armed with a Diet Dr. Pepper and a pack of Mentos.”

So I click-clicked 15 Speer Gold Dots from the C’s slick, sturdy mags and lay the Caracal to rest in my gun safe. Goodnight, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. Actually, given the ribbing Ralph’s given me for choosing an unproven gun for my EDC and sticking with it after the drop-safe dropped ball, I’m going with “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times.”

Even as I threw metaphorical dirt onto the C’s symbolic grave, I started thinking I’d keep the Wilhelm Bubits-designed Caracal C as a curio. Before turning his hand to the Caracal, Herr Bubits co-created the Steyr M, an update/evolution/rip-off of fellow Austrian Gaston Glock’s Glock. Which kinda makes the Caracal C a Glock 3.0. Limbo-low bore axis, mid-engine layout, 3.5 lbs. trigger pull and la piece de la resistance (as they say in Lutzmannsburg): snout-mounted Quick Sights.

Caracal C with Quick Sights (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Where was I? I bought a Glock 19. Which I won’t carry until my RKBA Kydex holster arrives. Due to shipping delays and a Kahr PM9 that plays she loves me/she loves me not with hollow-points, I’m left pocket carrying a Gemini Customs Smith & Wesson 642. From fifteen rounds (plus a fifteen round mag) in a rapid-fire semi-automatic firearm to five rounds (plus five more in a Hail Mary speed loader) in a snub-nosed revolver. The 642’s a fine piece: ported with a slick trigger job. But it’s my back-up gun. Oh wait . . .

The C’s replacement—the CP661—will no doubt retain its predecessor’s awesome ergos and crouton crisp trigger. It won’t blow-up or fire when dropped. It might even be available with Quick Sights. As I contemplate carrying Caracal 3.0, Ralph will tell me to wait until the Arab manufacturer redeems itself in the reliability department. Say, ten years. We’ll see. Meanwhile, I’ll miss my old EDC. When I do, I’ll visit her in her new home at the back of the safe. ‘Cause if you think I’m sending it back, you’re dreaming.

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63 Responses to Requiem for a Caracal

  1. Remove the firing pin (or some other internal part to make it non-functional) and then find/make a nice wall hanging display case to mount in a man-cave somewhere… No sense burying something that has emotional value (and guns are just damn cool artwork, if you ask me).

    • I’m with Mark, make art! I’m also with Ralph, for EDC wait until it’s been deployed with LEO/Military for a few years before you strap it on yourself. Though I will admit I do have a S&W BG380 and have M&P Shield envy, but I live in MA where pickings can be slim of “approved” guns.

      • Ain’t that the truth, I see many fine firearms I’d love to own, and it’s like, yeah but, I live in MA. Granted, I know what I can buy is going to be a well made and functionally safe item (mostly), but too many manufacturers refuse to submit their products to testing because they don’t think there’s a market. They might be surprised if they were to go through the process.

  2. I’ve read darn near every article on this site, and yet I had no idea that was your carry piece. Never would have guessed.

    By the way, what is going on with the constant ad loading? My browser gets so hyperactive on this page.

  3. Same here.

    Not all Caracal C are defective, and Caracal just doesn’t want to take the time to determine which are safe and which are not. Not to mention, the only failures to date have all occurred in Pakistan, an no place else.

    At this time, Quick Sights are NOT available on the replacement units, and I primarily purchased my CQS because it has Quick Sights. And because it functioned so very well in my hand.

    Safe Queen, to be sure!

  4. Hmmm…John Moses Browning, over 100 years of field tested reliabilty, countless feats of dead stop in their tracks man stopper power, several generations of trained gunsmiths, dozens of manufacturing companies worldwide, and an untold supply of military/aftermarket parts…and all this is not good enough for you. 1911 sir….

    • Maybe he wants a bit more than 8+1 in a full sized pistol? The 1911 is a fine gun, but due to magazine size issues, it’s strictly a backup / range toy in my book.

      • Funny how four wars worth of military experience never found the magazine size to be an issue. Sergeant York did not have an issue with it in WWI and SGT MAJ Plumbly didn’t have issues with the “limited” magazine size in Viet Nam but somehow a armed citizen facing a threat that will generally run away when the gun is displayed needs more than the 1911 carries.

        • As I said, it is a fine weapon… It’s just outdated. My Glock 21 has almost double the magazine capacity, weighs less, and is just as reliable. In WWI and WWII it was a top of the line weapon, but technology, much like time, marches on. (The Glock example is just a handgun I personally own. There are many fine double stack 45s out there.) I own several 1911s, but they are not my first choice for cary simply because I can get more bang for the same weight elsewhere.

        • I am the first person to tell people that they should buy the gun that they are most comfortable with. I have shot 1911s for forty years and I have been concerned with my ability to defend myself if need be.. I also own and carry two Springfields, an XD 45 and an XD/m compact 9. Both are fine pistols with all the modern attributes yet the trigger is inferior, they are less accurate in a real world point and shoot environment and have a larger footprint for concealed carry. The only superiority they have over a 1911 is maintainability. However after 40 years I can take down and reassemble a 1911 without tools in the dark or blindfolded in less than two minutes. As far as Glocks go, they are a fashion statement and not a superweapon. Springfield puts out a better product for the price and SiG and H&K are better all around shooters

        • I’ve never herd of a soldier who wanted fewer bullets. Back then it was big bullets or more (9mm) bullets. Why choose if you don’t have to.

          Remember, the Garand was once derided as a Mickey Mouse toy by 1903 purists.

  5. Had a C. Sent it back for replacement. Took so long I finally took the money and bought a Glock 19. Not too terrible a trade.

  6. What’s so special about this piece from any other Wunder-Nine made out of compressed cheeze-whiz and black dye?

  7. I’d take a Glock 19 over a Caracal any day of the week for a carry or backup gun. I really never understood your fascination with the piece when there are much better and more reliable guns out there.

    You already know that I pack a Smith 340 PD (which I’ll probably downgrade to .38 + P), Glock 27, and / or Glock 23. I’m very happy with the reliability of each one. Glocks aren’t pretty, and your regular carry gun will be confiscated if it’s ever fired in a DGU.

    Of course, I have no issues with the other fine platforms out there – the Smith M&Ps, XDSs, 1911s, etc., I just don’t have a whole lot of love for your Caracal.
    I don’t want to go without TTAG or its founder, so I just want you to have something that’s as reliable as death and taxes on your side.

      • Perhaps it’s just a statement regarding the consistent quality control/safety issues that arise from manufacturers in that part of the world.

        • “That part of the world” is a varietal place.

          The people of the Fertile Crescent, China and India were doing metalwork when Athens, Rome and Europeans not living in caves were 2000 years in the future.

          Saladin certainly hadn’t any Q.C. issues in his armories.

          Comparing the UAE to Pakistan or Iran is akin to comparing Japan to Cambodia or Laos.

        • Ahem. Saladin was a long time ago, and he wasn’t building semi-automatic pistols. The Arab world has some fine people in it, I’ve met a few and helped kill a few of the bad sort with help from the good ones. But in no part of the Arab world that I am aware of do they have fine manufacturing. Some say otherwise, but I am skeptical. I’m not racist. I’m just not blind to reality.

          And I dare you to call Iranians “Arab” to their face! 🙂

        • The Persians are also in “that part of the world.” I’d not take that dare, sir. Nor the Kurds. Nor the Pakistanis. 😉

  8. I was hedging bets on whether you’d send it back or not. I should have guessed a big negative.

    However, safe queen for now, I would look into finding out how one figures out your Caracal is broken. A widespread recall and burn of a crop of mostly usable firearms does seem a bit hasty and if it is…you should be able to use some sleuthing and a good gunsmith to detail strip the gun and find what is supposed to be defective and see if it is or not.

    The “safety issues” idea is a catch all and if you know what’s supposed to be wrong and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it isn’t wrong with your gun i would at least make it a range toy.

  9. I have a Glock 19. Boring as hell to look at, about as sexy as Joe Biden in a bubble wrap banana hammock (1-I have no idea why I came up with that image, way too disturbing! and 2-Love the guy most of the time – voted for him after all. I just have to get a double barrel shotgun to shoot randomly at noises in the night and I’m all set!), but every time I pull the switch it goes bang. Soft shooting, accurate, reliable as a tax increase after an election, and the single firearm out of the collection I would keep if I gave the rest away. Does what it’s supposed to do. Spit out 147 JHP at a freakishly reliable rate.

    • Hmmm, a guy who owns a Glock 19 and voted for Obama / Biden. I’m a gun guy myself, and I’ve voted for Obama / Biden and Feinstein exactly zero times.

      • I’m a native of Калифорния, but never voted for Feinkenstein when I lived there.

        I did vote Obama lin Biden in ’08 because McCain was running for Bush’s third term (pity — I liked him once) and I couldn’t see putting a moron who couldn’t name any of the first ten Amendments or the three countries in North America within ICBM range of the chain of succession to the Oval Office.

        Hell, she couldn’t even name 2A.

        In my defense, not being from Illinois I had no idea how that would turn out, and under differing circumstances it might’ve gone differently.

        Get us multiple issue voters someone from “your” side who doesn’t treat Leviticus like Bloomberg treats the Constitution, believes in equal pay for equal work and an eight hour workday, isn’t a Lysenkoist, whose environmental policy doesn’t hinge on the Rapture coming before the next election cycle, who doesn’t believe that mandating breathable air and drinkable water is “anti-business” and who doesn’t believe in subsidizing Big Oil, and we just might vote for them.

        For most of us, while 2A is extremely important, the aggregate of other issues is too weighty for us to feel comfortable embracing the Red Menace.

        How in fu¢k am I to reconcile my right to a gun with my country invading other sovereign nations as an energy policy?

        • The present administration is just as much in bed with big oil as Bush was. It is all about supply and demand. His policies may look like they are aimed at reducing carbon emissions, but in reality, they are aimed at fluctuating the price of energy. The big, big, BIG oil/energy powers make there money on betting on future prices of energy (trading in oil futures and all that) not the actual supply the energy. They need periodic swings in prices and supply to hedge their bets. Those people have been paying for the elections of our presidents from at least Bush Sr. if not earlier. What better way to increase prices than to mess with supply and uncertainty in the middle east (Iraq and Syria anyone?).

        • No argument, sir.

          My point about Big Oil (speaking as a former Enronian) was in relation to the Красных party line about renewables meriting neither subsidies nor tax breaks, that they’ll need to reach market viability on their own.

          This despite the fact that the petroleum industry required heavy subsidies to get going back when it was the up and coming thing, and that the U.S. still provides those subsidies because the petroleum industry “needs them.”

          Like fu¢k Exxon or Conoco needs subsidies in order to remain viable, or even competitive.

          I’d sure like to see us practice what we preach a tidge more often.

        • Shale oil/gas is one of the only things keeping this economy from being much worse than it is. Shale gas is why our carbon emissions dropped as Europe’s increased. North America could be energy independent soon because of our huge increase in oil and gas production. The IPCC is backing off the claims of catastrophic climate change.

        • Wow, Bixby. Bush couldn’t name any of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights, yet he created HR 218 and let the AWB expire. If you buy the whole “Republicans hate the environment” schtick and Democrats “really care,” then I don’t hold out much hope for your intellect.

        • I don’t buy that shtick, but when faced with two evils I try to choose the lesser. Democrats tend to be better on a number of issues to which I attach great importance, and Republicans worse.

          Hell, following the Patriot Act, what sane person wouldn’t at least consider a professor of Constitutional law?

          Again, I said tend. I’m not talking absolutes. Let a candidate claw his way to the top by some means other than out-Christianing the other guy and I’ll consider them.

          BTW, let’s not talk climate change here. Neither agreement nor consensus will occur.

        • Congrat’s Russ, you voted for America’s first socialist/Marxist infused/communist for president, what could possibly go wrong there, huh? While the aforementioned Marxist proceeds to dismantle the United States, piece by Constitutional piece, (you bit-down on that constitutional scholar crap hook, line, and sinker) we are now fighting to keep the constitutional rights that every tyranny-loving Leftist despises, for which so many have fought, bled, and died for, including some of my Army and Marine Corps relatives. Just brilliant! Not only that, you fell for every Leftist democrat trope about republicans and people of faith. You’re like every liberal friend I know who is now saying to me, “Hey, I didn’t know who Obama was, and that this is what he was going to do.” No Russ, you, like my liberal friends, didn’t want to know, and so you walked into your local polling place a voting, ignorant, hope and change fool, because you fell for the Leftist agitprop that “W” was an intolerable idiot, and that McCain; a certified Navy brat and Vietnam veteran, was going to be a greater threat to America than Obama, just because he chose Gov. Palin, a Christian, as his Veep. Mother Mary and Joseph Russ, you voted for a man-child who spent most of his childhood as a Muslim, or an upper class pot-head; whose mother was a known communist who left him with a well-known communist mentor; and then spent the rest of his adult life as a professional student and pot-head, who stewed in the cauldron of Americas premier hard to hardest Left “academic” institutions, Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard; and who has 60’s Marxist friends from the criminal Weather Underground as his neighbors; and who uttered the socialist “spread the wealth around” line as candidate, yet you saw no danger or red warning flags with president Obama? But the McCain/Palin republican ticket…frightened you? McCain and Palin weren’t hiding who they were Russ, but you voted for the one who still hasn’t provided a legitimate accounting of his past, from his birth, to the beginning of his then nonexistent political career, but nothing about this gives you pause? You voted for a man that told us he would openly attack the structural fabric of this country, because he promised to spend some money on your personal social embroidery work. Are you out of your socially-selfish mind? You voted for the fun of it, not for the fundamentals. The way I see it, everyone who pulled the lever for Obama, put their childish wants and desires ahead of their country. And anyone that voted for America’s first communist president should tread lightly when claiming to be one of the many “Armed Intelligentsia” at least when you’re posting on this site. You voted against the two republicans who unconditionally love America the way it was, with all of its faults, in favor of hardening a Cloward-Piven soft tyranny. What did you think was going to happen, spontaneous rainbows and Unicorns? Thanks a pant-load for exercising your voting rights. We’re here because of you Russ, and millions just like you.
          So thank you Russ, it’s been a hoot. Obama and the Lefty democrats couldn’t have done it without you.

          What a surprise!
          A look of terminal shock in your eyes
          Now things are really what they seem
          Noooooooo, this is not a bad dream.

          P. Floyd

        • You might notice the absence of 2012 in my OlB voting, there. You might also notice how I refer to them.

          I learned my lesson about that fellow.

          As for W or Palin, I’ll debate you over a beer but not in a very narrow column at TTAG.

    • If you’d stop voting for guys like Biden those post-election tax hikes might not be such a sure thing.

      • And if I were a single issue voter you’re right. But I tend to be a bit of a lefty-lib progressive on most issues. And while he hasn’t a clue (or pretends not to) about firearms, and I sure do not agree with him on some other issues, the man’s been in some type of Federal service for a hella long time, when he could have made a boatload-more money in the private sector, with huge personal tragedy and sacrifice to deal with. So he’s the kind of person that makes my forehead hit drywall sometimes but that I also admire in many ways.

        A little like the national debate on firearms. Nothing’s cut and dried, black and white, is it?

        • $172,000/yr plus the generous perks of office isn’t bad for a guy with the IQ of a butternut squash. Although I’d have to concede that after being a senator he could have gone into the private sector and made a killing. Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know.

          Black and white, perhaps not, but there are a lot of things in this world that are right or wrong.

        • While he does not know manure from guano when it comes to firearms, he’s no general purpose idiot.

          I did like watching him eviscerate Alberto Gonzales… that was fun.

        • While I’ll admit that talking out of your ass does not necessarily constitute a lack of intelligence, anyone who doesn’t think we have a biased media should ask themselves, “What if Dan Quayle had said that?” All he did is misspell a word and they treated him like a retard for 4 years.

        • While Dan Quayle was not precisely eloquent, I’ve always suspected that much of what he said may be attributed to a very dry sense of humor.

          I liked him, and respected Bush the Elder.

          Jeb as well, truth be told. G.W. and Neil, not so much.

          G.H.W.B. is a sterling example of my caring about issues rather than party. Education was important to him, as were renewables. I suspect that he cringed when his kid referred to coal as not a fossil fuel.

        • EDIT: BTW, what really sank him was misquoting the famous motto of the U.N.C.F. as “What a terrible thing to have lost one’s mind. Or not to have a mind at all. How true that is.”

          Again, though, while he’d little gift for public speaking or forensics he did evidence a sharp and agile mind in writing and action.

        • H.W. made two big mistakes. One, as vice president he was the one who informed Ross Perot that their investigation found no evidence of living POWs in Vietnam. Two, after his own party rejected his compromise debt reduction plan (tax hikes and spending cuts) he took what the majority Democrats offered him (no spending cuts, lots of tax hikes). Perot held a personal grudge and so did the Republican base. BTW, the debt H.W. was so intent on reducing was a trillion dollars or 1/17th of today’s debt. Ah, the good old days.

          W. wasn’t exactly a conservative, but in the “can I buy a break already” division, he did personally save the lives of 10,000,000 people in Africa and they give the Nobel peace prize to the guy who’s only credit was that he wasn’t named George W. Bush.

          Forget Quayle, can you imagine what the press would have done to Sarah Palin if she had said that about the stock market crash?

        • To paraphrase Tom Sawyer’s aunt, she’d probably have deserved it for something else. That b¡tch is a waste of carbon.

  10. Sounds like an excuse to go shopping. I can personally recommend the Ruger P95 if you’re looking for an economic interim EDC. I got mine in stainless steel for $300 a few months ago. You can drop it, sweat on it, leave it out in the rain/snow, fire +P+ ammo and it’ll keep going and going. When you get your new EDC you can find a toolbox or glove box to hide it in until the zombies take over and you need a gun to toss to a buddy.

  11. Crying into my bourbon and choking on my cigar while laughing (with you).

    Your story is MY story (sort of) !! –

    Only my story ends with a kel tec pf-9.

    Oh how I wanted to believe…..

    I started out buying the biggest and best gun I could find once I had decided getting my CCW was the right thing to do for my family. I (mistakenly) thought I could carry it everyday and everywhere (SIG 226). Awesome gun. Still love it, still have it, but cumbersome for home carry (laying on a brick watching Monday night football) , cumbersome while changing diapers and reading stories- hah!, quick runs to the store, summer heat , work, etc….

    It now sits, appropriately I think, in my bedside safe with a 19 round mag, spare 19 round mag, phone and flashlight.

    Sooooooo…

    Next I went with a pocket 380- duh! Too big? Go small!! My first Kel Tec (P3AT). No problems, no issues. Over 500 rounds through it without a problem- (It’s still my summer go to gun- no shirt, no shoes, no problem!- something is better than nothing eh?)

    But… I began to have my doubts.

    If it’s really about defending and protecting those people I love the most- my kids, my wife, my Mom and Dad,…. should I really be carrying a 380 6 + 1? As comfortable as it is, If whatever schizophrenic whack job was coming after me or my kids in the corner of a restaurant, theater, zoo, aquarium, preschool,(COFFEE SHOP THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED) etc..is that what I would want to have on me?

    So anyhow, some night perusing youtube and a Nutnfancy video (who I actually like, respect, and enjoy-((flame me now)),

    I found the MIRACULOUS PF-9.

    The “thinnest lightest most compact and comfortable 9mm ever, a wonder of engineering and CNC machining.. “……

    All so true actually …. So light, so thin, so easy to carry. I fell in love.

    It unfortunately ( for me ) didn’t always go bang every time- FTF, FTE, over and over. Sent back to the factory, “fluff and buff”- good customer service,sent back no charge.

    100 rounds problem free but……….I cannot be free of the niggling doubts,

    Everything…actually, the ONLY thing that matters to me as a protector and provider (Daddy) when it comes to a firearm is reliability–Now (not then)– before height, weight, length, width ……all of which I have researched exhaustively… Glock wins.

    Now it’s a glock 19 in a galco VSH (vertical shoulder holster system)- so it doesn’t point at the child sitting behind me- or a strong side pancake holster pointed at the ground w/ weak side mag reload.

    • I have the same doubts about my PF9, it’s very nice to carry, but I just don’t fully trust it to go bang when I want it to. I carried an early Gen 2 Glock 19 for over 10 years (it was my first handgun) but got tired of trying to conceal it in 100 + degree Florida weather.

      I still have it of course and carry it when I can, but I bought a Gen 4 G26 last year and it seems to be the best compromise. Other than being a bit chubby, it is a fantastic EDC and takes mags from all my other 9mm Glocks. The PF9 has been relegated to late night dog walks and for when I go running.

  12. Took a look at the Caracal lineup on their stand at DSEi (big International Merchants of Death tradefair) in London a couple of weeks ago, and while I didn’t fall as badly head-over-heels as RF seems to have done, I could see the appeal at least as far as handling and dry-firing went. (Personally I’d go with Glock by choice, but that’s habit as much as anything else). They fell nicely into that broad sweep of “if you handed me this and told me it was my issue weapon, I wouldn’t complain”.

    What surprised me was how much I liked SIG-Sauer’s 1911A1s, but that’s a different story…

  13. I looked at the Caracal C at the 2012 SHOT Show, loved the Quick Sight concept, tried to get one and never heard back from them. Same thing at the 2013 Show. I figured the Caracal was vaporware, like that little ported O/U derringer.

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