Steyr Club Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I always did want to have a Glock, but without the price tag attached to it in our part of the woods ($3500 or above!). I did strictly consider getting a Steyr M9A1 (3rd Gen, before the roller based striker pin!), but that too at $2500 was still pretty steep. Then came news of Caracal, and its range of pistols. With some tough torture tests and decent reliability reports from members across our and other forums, I considered this a safe bet. Initial pricing was ridiculously high for a UAE pistol ($1800), so I decided to let the storm settle. Got one in recent weeks when the prices were reasonable, still on the higher side though. I got it for $750 with 3 mags, a steal when compared to Glock and Steyr prices.

Now, we all know the basic specs and history of Caracal. The model under review here is a Caracal C, normal sights (I did not want to start a storm by purchasing a QS, played safe!). As a formality, here are the specs:

BASIC SPECS:

Slide Length: 167 mm
Barrel Length: 93 mm
Height: 122 mm
Width : 28 mm
Weight: 700 g
Caliber: 9x19
Magazine Capacity: 15
Grip Frame: Synthetic
Trigger System: Short Double Action
Trigger Weight: (Constant) ~2.2 kg (4 lbs 4oz actual on my piece)
Trigger Travel (Constant) ~8 mm
Internal Safety: 3
(Trigger, Drop and Firing Pin)
Manual Safety:
Cocking Indicator: 1
Magazine Catch: Ambidextrous


FINISH, LOOKS AND MANUFACTURING QUALITY



The Caracal has very modern looks, and very decent (in fact, solid) manufacturing. The gun gives a feel of being very well made. The finish, metal and polymer work is top notch. I cannot find any tooling marks in the slide or metal parts.

The down side, is the Plasox finish. It is very very sensitive to any slightly sharp object, and prone to nicks and scratches. In my view, it is a very thin layer of off colour bluing job with some fancy chemical, top secret process, and skin care product type name; to describe it simply. I checked half a dozen pieces, all NIB, all nicked or tucked from one area of the other!

A powder coating approach would have been much better in my opinion, and I might end up getting that done to my piece some time in the future.




SLIDE AND FRAME

The slide is metal, some steel version, and is very well made and finished in metal form (except the extarnal Plasox). It houses the striker assembly, rear sights, extractor etc. Frame, is polymer, which I believe could do with slight improvement in toughness in future generations/models. While it is very durable, apparently, one can see that it is not difficult to deform its surface contours. It will last many a thousands rounds, but the surface hardness could be a bit higher.












The slide slides outside the frame. The frame houses a complete steel sub-frame, which contains the trigger group. This, in my view, is a very solid construction philosophy. The major weight reduction is achieved by a polymer frame, while the strength is achieved with having an independent steel internal housing, which bears the load of cycling during recoil etc. There are still only 4 contact points (2 pairs, front are rear), 2 in front of the trigger group, and 2 at the rear. This is similar to the P07 Duty, but in the P07 Duty, the contact points are attached independent of each other via pins for each group in the frame. The sear cage, trigger group, hammer, are also all 'pinned' to the frame, and not a sub steel assemble. Further, the thickness of the slide rails in the frame is more in the Caracal C. While this may not give any engineering benefit, it is psychologically reassuring. They could add some coverings to the internal parts of the slide, though. While the exposed springs etc do no harm, they do not particularly look urban either, and give a rustic feeling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Here are some pics, in comparison with the P07 Duty; Caracal is to the right, unless otherwise stated.


















The barrel seems to have a solid well made chamber. The barrel of P07 Duty is to the right.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
SIGHTS

I had no desire for the QS (quick sights) model, and opted for the normal sight model. I would prefer night sights, but the straight eight on the Caracal would do otherwise. However, the rear sight is machined into, and a part of the slide. It is not fit in a dovetail etc. This can be solved by grinding and milling out this rear sight, and cutting in a new dovetail of ones liking. However, proper calculation for elevation would have to be made, otherwise it would be difficult to find a matching front sight. If done properly, one could simply cut in a Glock dovetail, and install Glock night sights.

The sight picture is good, with decent light from both sides in the rear sight notch. I am used to aligning the top of sights, and don't care much about the dots though!




TRIGGER AND ACCURACY; HANDLING AND RECOIL

I have grouped these parts together as they go hand in hand in actual shooting. The Caracal has a decent trigger, with a near constant pull till break. The trigger weight of my Caracal is 4 lbs 4oz after about 125 rounds. I think it will smoothen out a bit and go down to 3lbs 12oz to 4 lbs after 1000 or so rounds.

Generally, all good combat pistols are more accurate than most of the shooters around. The Caracal lives true to that believe.


Distance: 25 Mtrs
Technique: two hand hold (right hand primary), deliberate fire, standing
Ammo: Chinese Red Box 311, 115gr.





One shot was my mistake, otherwise I think reasonably accurate from 25mtrs. In fact, I would say very good accuracy actually by SD standards. Rest depends on the shooter. Since I shot it after using the TS, the 'acceptable' trigger needed some getting used to!

Distance: 25 Mtrs
Technique: two hand hold (right hand primary), deliberate fire, standing
Ammo: Chinese Red Box 311, 115gr.



I think the accuracy of this weapon, considering that it is a combat weapon, is very acceptable. Infact, I would rate this as very good accuracy. However, I can tell you that it is much easier FOR ME to shoot equally or more accurately with the P07 Duty. The reason is trigger. I am not used to spongy safe action triggers. The SA/DA or SAO triggers of my CZs are a sheer pleasure to shoot. These, on the contrary, are like triggers with condoms on them! And their name suggests (safe...)the same too! However, if one gets accustomed to it, shooting accurately with this should be a non-issue.

However, I must also add a couple of targets shot with the P07 Duty to emphasize my point further

Handgun: CZ 75 P07 Duty
Distance: 25M
Technique: Both hands unsupported, deliberate fire, standing
Ammo: Sellier & Bellot 124gr FMJ
Date - 19-Feb-2012

SCORE: 166/200 (168/200 if two shots are counted in my favor, but slightly debatable)..
Score is still pretty decent, but overall grouping is satisfactory for me. If the sights were aligned properly, the score would have been 185+.



Handgun: CZ 75 P07 Duty
Distance: 25M
Technique: Both hands unsupported, deliberate fire, standing
Ammo: Chinese Norinco Red box 9mm 115gr FMJ




The gun has a very low bore axis, a deep and high grip, resulting in very reduced perceived recoil and muzzle flip. I could shoot at equal pace in rapid firing, including double taps, 4 rapid shots, 6 rapid shots, as with the P07 duty. With very similar accuracy. The handling is excellent, and to me, better than a P07 Duty, and makes up here what it loses in trigger. One does feel like he is shooting a compact sized polymer framed pistol. Almost feels like a SIG P226 or CZ999 Scorpion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
COCKING INDICATOR
I would not call this a loaded chamber indicator, but it does tell if the striker is cocked or not. This is rather confusing in some ways. In practical scenarios, after clearing a malfunction, or when having release the slide from slide lock without a mag inserted, this indicator would indicate cocked status. If one holsters the weapon, and some time later, rechecks the cocked status, he could mistakenly assume a loaded weapon. This could be catastrophic in any engagement. However, if only considered a cocking indicator, the below pictures indicate what it does from uncocked to cocked status, and just before shot breaking (trigger squeezed) in the final picture.










DISASSEMBLY AND REASSEMBLY
This is the best part. Pretty much Glock-like, just a bit easier than that too. In an uncocked state, lower the lever (on both sides of the frame, using thumb and index finger) in the upper side of trigger guard (visible in the next picture below), and pull out the slide! To re-assemble, just re-insert the slide in the frame, and a click is heard when the slide reaches full battery position (almost). Or, rack the slide, and the slide is reassembled on the frame.
Oh, removing the recoil spring (and the barrel) should not be an issue, even for the most weak/soft handed!

MAGAZINE RELEASE
This is an issue, at least for my grip. The ambi mag release is so designed that I have to loosed my grip to ensure that the mag release button presses out to the right side, where my middle finger is in its way (as if it does not have more important tasks already)





With the grip changed, the mag release is fully visible and has a non-obstructed path.



Do check this before purchasing (with any weapon, not just Caracal). Quick mag changes are not all that quick and simple for me with the Caracal C. Oh yes, with the Duty, I had to change the grip anyways to 'reach' the mag release with the right hand thumb. Guess these are even in this department!

CONCLUDING REMARKS

With slight improvements in external finish/coat, polymer surface toughness, options for rear sight replacement (with night sights), and mag release tab location (maybe I am being too picky), this would undoubtedly be amongst the best contenders in polymer frame striker fired category. It in my opinion, already is a winner from a previously unknown manufacturer. I can safely recommend this to any willing buyer.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
632 Posts
Thanks for putting in the time to do this!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top