The CAR 816 is Caracal’s second carbine and first gun to fire an intermediate cartridge. It is, naturally, based on the AR/M4 pattern but, as is increasingly popular, uses gas piston-operation, not direct impingement.
It also has a handful of other features including somewhat ambidextrous controls including the selector switch (with the option of an ambidextrous magazine release) which alone makes it stand out in the sea of ARs.
The gun in its current form is clearly for military and police use as it has a full-auto fire control group with a high rate of fire at 850 rounds per minute. But Caracal is intently focused on the consumer market and a semi-automatic version is likely in the works, too.
Caracal first showed off the carbine at IDEX earlier this year.
Other nice touches include an in-house free-floating heavily-vented quad rail with a somewhat teardrop contour to it, putting the side and bottom rails close to the barrel and pushing the top rail up to match the receiver. The rest of the furniture is standard M4 with options for other configurations. Underneath the top rail is an adjustable 2-position gas piston that can be set for standard or suppressed use.
The carbine will be available in 10-, 14.5 and 16-inch lengths, has an aggressive 1:7 twist for long and heavy bullets and is fit with an A2-style flash hider. The gas block also has a lug for under-barrel accessories. The barrel appears to be a lighter-weight profile without the need for a cutout.
In its shortest configuration the CAR 816 weighs only 6.6 pounds and is still fairly lightweight with the 16-inch barrel at seven pounds, three ounces. That’s with a quad rail and a piston, not bad. With a piston, operation runs a bit cooler and heavy barrels are less necessary for sustained fire.
This carbine rounds out the list of Caracal firearms fairly well. So far they’ve developed compact and full-size handguns and are gearing to launch a pistol-caliber carbine.
Caracal is a new company and is working hard to develop a high-quality reputation. Not too long ago, following a single reported slide breakage, the company issued a blanket recall on all their handguns.
Some users have said their pistols are coming back now, after about a six to seven month wait. Users that have sent their guns back have been taken care of pretty well as the guns come back with a bag of swag, an extra magazine and a 15 percent off future Caracal purchases, which will hopefully mean the CAR 816 pretty soon.
Currently Caracal is not selling any handguns until they take care of every one of their recalled handguns.