SHOT Show 2020: Caracal Goes American Made
Caracal USA didn’t bring a whole lot of new products to SHOT Show 2020. That’s understandable, though. The company, previously known for spotty availability and some serious reliability issues, has brought all manufacturing to the US (Boise, ID to be specific) in an effort to squash previous quality issues and to make a serious effort at capturing US market share.
It’s clear that piston-operated AR-15s are central to Caracal’s efforts to compete in the US. The company showed several models in their CAR816 series, including a pistol, a carbine, and a lightweight model with a carbon fiber wrapped barrel. Overall, the rifles were all well balanced and not overly front heavy, as is sometimes the case with piston-operated rifles. Moreover, thoughtful features like an anti-rotation tab on the railed handguard make the rifles worth considering.
Caracal is probably best known as a pistol manufacturer. The now-US made Enhanced F addresses the shortcomings of past Caracal offerings. It sports a surprisingly slim frame considering its 18-round magazine and models are available with threaded barrels, suppressor sights, and in a variety of frame colors. Some Enhanced F series pistols come with what the company calls its Quick Sight system, which places the rear sight notch ahead of the ejection port. While this configuration may sacrifice some precision, it truly is quicker to acquire adequate sight alignment when compared with traditional sight arrangements. The Quick Sight Enhanced Fs also retain a portion of the standard rear sight dovetail to allow for charging against a belt or other rigid surface.
An information security professional by day and gun blogger by night, Nathan started his firearms journey at 16 years old as a collector of C&R rifles. These days, you’re likely to find him shooting something a bit more modern – and usually equipped with a suppressor – but his passion for firearms with military heritage has never waned. Over the last five years, Nathan has written about a variety of firearms topics, including Second Amendment politics and gun and gear reviews. When he isn’t shooting or writing, Nathan nerds out over computers, 3D printing, and Star Wars.