The Caracal CP name represents a new line of semi-automatic pistols, the first such weapons to emerge from the Persian Gulf nation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). For decades, the country relied on importation of foreign military goods to stock its inventory. The CP represents a move to a more indigenous military-industrial base for the Gulf nation. The first pistol mark arrived in 2007 and customers have since gone on to include Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Jordan, Libya and the UAE. Design work on a new, locally-produced pistol began in 2002 with attribution given to Wilhelm Bubits (1954-), an Austrian-born gunsmith who also lent a hand in the creation of several Austrian Steyr Mannlicher-branded semi-automatic pistol designs. Evaluation of the service pistol was extensive and tested viability of all functions of the pistol including NATO standards for possible European suitors.
The CP is a very conventional-looking semi-automatic pistol utilizing a full-length metal slide above a polymer frame. The grip is integrated as part of the frame and well-contoured to fit in the hand. The trigger ring is purposely large to allow use of a gloved hand. A ribbed section along the rear portions of the slide allow for a firmer grip when managing the slide component and a visible marker at the rear of the slide provides instant identification of a loaded chamber. The gun sports typical semi-automatic functions such as a safety (trigger safety plus two internal safeties), take-down lever and a magazine release - the controls are all made ambidextrous to serve left- and right-handed shooters equally. The CP fires from a short recoil operation utilizing a locked breech. The base model weighs a manageable 750 grams with an overall length of 7 inches and barrel length of 4 inches. Sights are of the fixed iron type (tritium low light sights are available). The lower frontal frame section supports a mounting bracket for using laser aimers, tactical flashlights and the like.
The CP is primarily chambered for the ubiquitous German 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, a standard among semi-automatic pistol sidearms. Other chamberings have since appeared in 9x21mm, .357 SIG and .40 S&W forms to further broaden the weapon's mass-market appeal. Such a variety of supported ammunition types invariably leads to variable magazine counts - the 9mm Parabellum allow is offered in counts of 18, 15 and 13.
There are three recognized frame forms led by the standard, full-sized model followed by a compact body form and a super-compact body form. As their categorization suggests, compact versions are both lighter and dimensionally smaller, making them ideal for concealed-carry by specialists and security personnel. Official models as of January 2014 are the Caracal CP660 (9x19mm, 18-rounds), CP661 (compact CP660 with 15-round magazine), CP662 (concealed-carry, high-capacity), CP663 (double-action hammer, 18-rounds) and CP664 (9x19mm, 18-round magazine).
The Caracal CP line has now reached both American and European shores for civil market sales. The company also offers a line of hunting, sniper and assault rifles.