Demand for Western-style firearms in Middle Eastern countries like the United Arab Emirates has been through the roof in the 21st century. 

Enter: Caracal. Caracal is part of Edge Group, a monstrous military industrial powerhouse that supplies everything from armored vehicles to advanced robotics to customers in Africa, Asia, Europe, and certain countries in the Middle East. 

But we aren’t here to talk about Edge Group. Today we are adding a new brand to the roster and unboxing three Caracal rifles.


Meet Caracal

Caracal has been around for 15 years and has manufactured everything from pistols to .50-caliber sniper rifles. This success led the company to open a U.S. facility in Nampa, Idaho, where it specializes in manufacturing and selling pistols and Armalite-pattern rifles. 

With production now in full cycle, has decided to offer Caracal firearms to our customers. 

The first couple that arrived at our warehouse were put through a mild endurance test. We ran 500 rounds through a Caracal 816 A2 and an 814 A2 Patrol. The ammo ranged from M855 to Tula steel-cased 55-grain, and we were pleased to see the rifles went through it all without a single hiccup. 

The Models


Caracal's 816 A2 piston-driven rifle resembles an H&K 416 or SIG 516 – not surprising, as Caracal hired those same designers to develop its version. (Photo: April Robinson/

While all the Caracal rifles performed well, one model is especially attention-catching: the CAR816 A2. This piston-driven rifle looks strikingly similar to the H&K 416, which is currently used by the Marines and countless other tactical professionals the world over. The reason it looks like an H&K 416 is quite simple. Caracal hired the designers of the H&K 416 and SIG Sauer’s 516 to create an updated version. If you’re in the market for a piston-driven rifle with “Armalite” controls, the CAR816 A2 is a fantastic option. 

Caracal 814 A2 Patrol rifle
The CAR814 A2 Patrol rifle operates on a direct impingement system, for those not into the piston-driven scene. (Photo: April Robinson/

For those not in the piston-driven rifle camp, the Caracal 814 A2 is for you. It uses the classic direct impingement system and has top-notch modern furniture. It carries the same level of precision manufacturing and overall is a well-designed and well-manufactured firearm. 

Caracal Versus Competition Rifle
The Caracal Versus Competition Rifle notably features an 18-inch carbon fiber barrel by Proof Research. (Photo: April Robinson/

The last rifle we will discuss is the Versus 3-Gun Competition Rifle. It employs most of the same features of the 816 and 814, but with a couple differences to help bring home the gold. First and most obviously, it has an 18-inch carbon fiber Proof Research barrel. This drastically reduces overall weight to only 6.2 pounds. The barrel is complemented by a two-port self-timing muzzle device, which seriously cuts down on felt recoil and helps the shooter stay on target. 

The final upgrade on the Versus model is the XMR extended magazine release button. It may not seem like a big deal, but that little bit of extra material can be the difference between a clean reload and a failed run. 

Related: Caracal USA unleashes the Versus Competition Rifle

Final Thoughts

Caracal firearms may be newer to the U.S. market, but that does not mean the company isn’t well vetted. Caracal seems to know what it’s doing, especially if you’re in the market for a piston-driven rifle. The 816 A2 not only boasts stellar performance but is more affordable than comparable piston rifles on the market.

revolver barrel loading graphic