SHOT Show 2013: The Caracal carbine and .40 S&W pistols

Caracal set up shop here in the U.S. not too long ago and they’ve been moving product fast ever since. They’re building a solid reputation with their top-shelf duty pistols designed by Steyr and Glock engineer Wilhelm Bubits.

Following demand for a .40 S&W variant of their 9mm service pistols, they’re now offering a full line of .40 caliber pistols, in both compact and full-size models, with standard sights as well as their increasingly-popular “Quick Sights.”

Their quick sights really are. They’re standard 3-post combat sights, but the rear sight is milled into the slide just in front of the ejection port. Combined with an extremely low bore axis, incredibley short, positive trigger reset and all-around great recoil impulse makes this one of the fastest-shooting pistols we’ve ever run.

If any gun’s going to make shooting a .40 S&W fun and easy it’s the Caracal pistol. The grip is extremely natural and one of the best designs we’ve held in a long time.

It’s got a 14+1 capacity and weighs 27 ounces unloaded. Like the 9mm, it’s mechanically extremely simple, having just 28 parts including pins and springs.

But the real announcement was the CC10. This 9mm blowback-operated carbine uses Caracal pistol magazines (10, 15 and 18-round) and takes after the pistols in design theory. It’s lightweight, has a great trigger, highly intuitive sights and maneuvers very well.

The CC10 uses a rear peep and front lollipop sight. Put that dot on your target and touch the trigger.

Recoil is obviously not an issue, as the carbine weighs about 6.5 pounds. It has rails for all your accessory needs and even a storage compartment in the stock. The CC10 has a single large stock assembly that wraps around a steel subframe containing the action, something else the CC10 has in common with the Caracal pistols.

It felt really simple, monolithic and rugged. We’ll have to wait and see how it hold up in the durability department, but in all honesty we’d be surprised if it doesn’t run no matter how badly it’s treated. Caracal really knows their stuff.

While they may be new and may hope to someday see service in the U.S., we really thing the combination of pistol and carbine makes a lot of sense. Even if you’re not in law enforcement, this pairing is very appealing.

Caracal is still testing the waters to see if there will be enough demand for a .40 S&W carbine; right now they’re going to stay focused on the 9mm. The new handgun should start shipping to retailers now and the carbine the second quarter of 2013.

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