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Caracal C Review & G19 Comparison

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by plouffedaddy, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. plouffedaddy


    Apr 1, 2011

    I've often posted here with high praise for the Caracal pistols so I figured I'd knock out a review of the guns with the Caracal C going first. The C model seems to be the one people ask about the most and frequently the question is, "Is it better than a Glock 19?" We'll get to that a little later but first I'll lay out some of the pros and cons of the gun.

    -Reliable. The gun has well over 1,000 rounds (not sure on the exact count, I've let many people borrow the pistol to try out) with only 1 malfunction which was a bad primer with Brown Bear ammo. I put the same round in my G17 and it didn't fire with that gun either so I'm putting the blame solely on the ammo
    -Price. This gun is available online for $399 shipped with box and two mags. In my opinion it's the best handgun deal on the market today (CZ 82 second).
    -Accurate. This gun is like a 1911 in that it tends to make average shooters shoot like good shooters
    -Very low bore axis (see comparison pictures with my P229 below) resulting in the softest shooting 9mm (along with the F model) I've ever shot
    -Excellent trigger. It's smooth with no stacking. It breaks extremely cleanly and has a positive reset
    -Great finish. The Plasox (with nitriding) finish is holding up very well thus far
    -It has a loaded chamber indicator on the top of the slide allowing the user to check that it is loaded without having to conduct a press check
    -Very good ergonomics. Everyone that has shot the gun seems to comment on how good it feels in their hands
    -15+1 capacity while only weighing 25oz
    -Passed the WTD 91 (German armed forces) testing in 2006
    -Has been adopted by several nations' standard military sidearm; many police agencies in Italy and Germany have adopted it as well
    -It's classified as an IDPA production gun
    -Easy to clean and maintain. Requires very little lubrication as well
    -Interior parts are coated with the Plasox finish as well
    -Ambi controls (except for the slide lock)
    -Spare parts including springs are available from Caracal-USA now (this is relatively new)
    -The Caracal C can use F 18 round magazines

    -Little aftermarket support
    -Night sights are not available in the US currently. I spoke with Caracal USA last week and they said they are working with several manufacturers currently but they don't have a date yet as to when they'll be released
    -The rear sight is part of the firing pin assembly. This will either make aftermarket sights more expensive or limit some to front sight only
    -The guns are made in the UAE and Germany. The UAE made guns are the only ones available in the US currently. (I don't care about this but it's a common point brought up so I'm including it so people don't say "you didn't mention where it was made....")
    -In order to detail strip the gun you have to deal with roll pins. Not a big deal but I'd prefer not to if I didn't have to
    -The slide lock protrudes to far. I hit it with my thumb about 50% of the time if I'm not conscious of it and many people I've let shoot it have the exact same issue

    Now, back to the original question---is it better than the G19? In terms of familiarity, factory customer service support, sight availability, and aftermarket support---no, it's not. In terms of factory trigger, cost (non-blue label program), and perceived recoil---yes it is. I'll give them a tie for reliability, simplicity, and accuracy.

    The best way I can answer the question is to say if I never fired a handgun and was given a Caracal C and a G19 to shoot for a day and asked to pick only 1 which would I pick? I think I'd pick the Caracal C. That said, I've been shooting Glocks for years and am very comfortable and relatively proficient with them so now I slightly prefer Glocks but I wouldn't have any reservations about trusting my life to a Caracal.

    Here's a video of me shooting the gun, a tabletop review with some comparisons to other 15 round 9mm guns (G19 and SIG P229R), and a chronograph test with some popular defensive loads:


    Chrono numbers:
    Speer 124gr Gold Dot JHPs: 1127fps, 350 ft/lbs energy
    Federal 124gr HST JHPs: 1092fps, 328 ft/lbs energy
    Winchester 115gr Ranger JHPs: 1095fps, 306 ft/lbs energy

    Caracal bore axis:​

    SIG P229R bore axis: ​
  2. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    Thanks for a very good and comprehensive review.

  3. Cole125

    Cole125 Silver Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Far West, USA
    Cool looking guns, but I don't get the point.

    Glock is proven, Caracals are not. The world of combat handguns is NOT a beauty contest.

    I get wanting something new and different, but the reality is is you will be better off spending that money on ammo to train with the guns you already have.


    Dec 20, 2002
    So because Glocks are proven, they shouldn't have any competition?
  5. Beretta92guy


    Nov 15, 2011
    nice review...thanks for posting.....

    i was in the LGS saturday and handled one.....very nice gun!!!!!

    and to the people who always say "its not proven"...well what the hell did everybody think of glock when it first came out in the mid-late 80' was a joke among the entire shooting community.....

    give some new company at least a chance to "PROVE" itself....
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  6. Paul53

    Paul53 Geezer Boomer

    Nov 27, 2011
    The more competition the better. However Glocks have been around for 30 years now. It will take some time to be sure the competition will hold up as well.
  7. DaBurna


    Jun 8, 2008
    Bama Boy
    Good review brother.... Loving my Caracal C & F.... I got in while the price was still low. I'm already seeing the local prices on this gun going for $50-60 more than what I paid for mine ($420)
  8. plouffedaddy


    Apr 1, 2011
    I've seen them going up as well. I'm not sure if it's due to Davidson's importing them now or what :dunno:

    I'll be surprised if centerfire has them at $400 much longer...
  9. KalashniKEV


    Sep 24, 2003
    Stop pointing that thing at me!:wow:

    I instinctively drew down on my TV... then I realized it was just YouTube...
  10. plouffedaddy


    Apr 1, 2011
    Ranger school will make you paranoid :wow:

    I kid, I kid...
  11. KalashniKEV


    Sep 24, 2003
    A few years ago I would have put a controlled pair in it, yelled CLEAR!, smashed out a window, and threw a wolf's tail.

  12. Gary1911A1


    Jun 14, 2005
    Ohio for now
    The prices on the magazines has also increased from about $20 to $35. Wish I had of gotten more.
  13. jp3975


    Nov 13, 2008
    Texarkana, Tx
    You think the Caracal is beautiful?

    Caracals are proven. They where designed by a Glock designer who also designed the Steyr. No one complains about the Steyr or Caracal...accept for where the Caracal is made.

    Its silly to say its not proven, because it is well proven. Not only have German police as well as other countries accepted it...but it has passed some of the harshest tests made for pistols.

    Honestly that argument dosnt make any sense to me. How long has the Shield been out and how many are happy to have one to carry?

    There have been dozens of posts on GT about this gun and no one who has shot/owned them has had much to say other than that they really like it. Several members have put thousands of rounds through them. There hasnt been an unreliable sample reported and there is no reason to doubt the gun at all.

    Edited to add...the Caracal has been in service 2 years less than the Smith and Wesson M&P. Is the M&P not proven?

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  14. ca survivor

    ca survivor

    Dec 25, 2011
  15. Nice review. I'm pretty sure I'm done with all polymer pistol. And I already have multiple Glock and a Steyr M40A1. So it's very unlikely I'll ever get a Caracal. Still, I like verities.
  16. plouffedaddy


    Apr 1, 2011
    I've been there. I've said I'm done with 1911s a few times. But, I still have a bunch and debate buying new ones at least weekly :faint:
  17. gruntmedik

    gruntmedik Honk Honk CLM

    Jan 2, 2005
    Taylorsville, KY
    Same thing was said when Glock hit the market.

    History has to start somewhere.
  18. Cole125

    Cole125 Silver Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Far West, USA
    Good point. It sounds like a good gun, but I doubt it will be in America LEO holsters anytime soon.
  19. Great review. Very well done.
  20. Comedian


    Aug 3, 2010
    Not in LEO's, but in mine already.