The Caracal is the first pistol made in the United Arab Emirates.
It’s like they got tired of making billion-dollar hotels and water park resorts in the middle of the desert and tried something new. So the United Arab Emirates Offset Program Bureau (don’t ask) got in touch with Wilhelm Bubits, designer of the Steyr M, and asked him to do his magic.
Which he did. The Caracal is a very high-capacity gun for its size, with 18 rounds for the full and 15 for the compact, but the real draw is its ergonomics.
The Caracal’s got a very low bore axis and an unusually-shaped slide. The slide is curved; a cross-section would be D-shaped, lessening the amount of reciprocating mass. Together those elements make it a light-recoiling pistol in its weight class, the well-under two pounds polymer class.
Another unusual thing about the Caracal is one of its sight options. It is available with 3-dot sights, or Heinie Straight-Eight-style sights, but it’s also got a unique type of rapid-acquisition sights. The front is a normal fiber optic post, but the rear is just a flat slab without any defining features. You basically just guess and so long as the red dot’s on your target and you’re reasonably close, blast away.
Well, it’s not for everyone. Another thing that could put people off is the caliber: it’s only available in 9mm.
They encountered two problems, repeatedly. When the magazines were loaded to their full capacity, they didn’t always seat correctly, and subsequently, the slides did not go into battery. Otherwise, all 21,000 cartridges fired just fine, with not a single light primer strike, failure to feed, or failure to eject. Hell, when the guns got hot they just threw them in a cooler full of ice water, badass.
So it’s safe to say that America’s first experience with these guns is positive. Now for the business business. They’re coming to town with an MSRP of $625, and a suspected dealer price of $550. Right there with XDms and HKs and Walthers; premium polymer territory.
And they’ll be on store shelves starting probablythisyearsometime. The sad bit is that only the full-size and compact pistols have ATF clearance. But Caracal is looking for a company in the U.S. to make them, ATF be damned.
It doesn’t matter, we can’t wait whether or not they’ll be here today or December. These are cool-looking pistols.