Caracal Recall — the Pakistani Nexus

Fayyaz Hashmi's mishap Caracal. Note the bisected slide. His facial and cranial injuries were caused by the rear half of the slide.

Fayyaz Hashmi’s mishap Caracal. Note the bisected slide. His facial and cranial injuries were caused by the rear half of the slide (at 2 o’clock in the picture).

One of the things we’ve learned from this blog is that every country has some kind of a gun culture. It may be restricted to a political elite, a wealthy minority, or an oppressed underground, but it’s there. And thanks to the fact that the gun culture of Pakistan is expressed in the international language, English (one of several national languages there), we’ve learnt about the incident that caused the Model C recall to go from select slide batches to every-damn-gun.

Pakistan’s gun culture expresses itself, in part, on the membership forum PakGuns.com. And here one of the earliest Model C failures (which happened to a forum member’s brother in November, 2012) was discussed some time ago… and the most recent happened to a forum member named Fayyaz Hashmi, an attorney.

Dear Pak Guns members & Mr.Abbas
I am a lawyer by profession & gun enthusiast.I bought caracal C last week and tried to shoot first time & almost got killed.my fourth shot resulted in breaking the barrel & hitting me in the head and below the eye.I was unconscious for a while & then woke up with big injuries.I did some research & found out this forum is also presenting victims of Caracal C .
please guide me,how to create a blog on this web site to share the pic’s of broken C & my injuries.
Syed Fayyaz Hashmi
Advocate High court lahore

(Mr Abbas is an owner or moderator of the PakGuns forum). Hashmi soon posted a photographic series of pictures of his own injuries as well as the broken Caracal (the broken Model C at the top of this post is his).

Fayyaz Hashmi 01

By September 9th a senior manager at Caracal named Samir had registered on the forum and posted a reply to Hashmi:

@Mr. Hashmi, my name is Samir and I am a Senior Manager at Caracal. We are very concerned to hear of your experience and we would like to have the chance to discuss this with you further. Would you kindly please email us on recall@caracal.ae and share with us your contact information (such as a telephone number) so that we can call you at your convenience? A dedicated phone number will be up and running by no later than Sunday 15th September for all of our international customers and we will be updating you with that information as quickly as possible.

We take safety and security very seriously at Caracal. If there are any other Pakguns.com users who own Caracal products who have any concerns or who would also like to speak to us in general, please do email us on the above address with your contact details, and we will be in touch with you as so well.

The phone number reference is because Caracal’s Pakistani customers expressed rather bitterly that the company’s recall notices have published a customer service number for United States owners (which appears to ring at the importer), but to date, none for international customers.

Later in the thread, in response to reported claims by a Caracal official that they had been unable to contact Hashmi, Hashmi replied:

I am Fayyaz Hashmi and I declare under oath that I have sent the following email to Caracal on September 8th:

Dear Sir,
I am Sayed Fayyaz Hussain Hashmi from Lahore Pakistan.I have recently purchased a caracal C and with my test of the gun,the barrel blew up and made me unconcious for a while to woke up with bad injuries. I barely scaped death.
I am a lawyer by profession and have very busy practice, Now I am in lot of pain and when my team has searched on the net,We found out that the Caracal C is subject to Re-call.
I didn’t understand at the moment why it’s still being sold in the market.Any how I just wanted to inform you about this.
My legal team has also searched and found that there are more then few victoms,which you have left in Pakistan.
I hereby request you to stop selling this deadly weapon in pakistan and stop the people from using it who have bought this.
I hope that you will listen to my plea before I take all of you to the court for your day of judgment.
Check these pic’s and see what they have done to me. I promise you, I will not spare any one including the Government of UAE and your rulers who let you out to kill the people with these deadly weapons.

Regards

Syed Fayyaz hussain Hashmi

And today on 13th September even after 5 days I didn’t receive any email reply from Caracal.

He went on to reach some conclusions about Caracal managers in general. (We have to note that we have found Pakistan to be the world’s most fertile ground for conspiracy theories of all kinds, and there is little love lost between Pakistanis and the gulf Arabs in general).

One forum member suggested a hacking attack on the company’s network, but he was rapidly corrected by site moderators, who seem to be a moderate (no pun intended), sensible bunch.

Other forum members mutter darkly that if this accident had happened in the USA, there’d be a much bigger stink over it. After all, it’s happened in PakistanĀ twice.

Pakistan Accident I: 16 November, 2012

The Khan Brothers' accident Caracal C. Note identical slide points of failure. (Mag is inserted backwards by a farm hand for the photo).

The Khan Brothers’ accident Caracal C. Note identical slide points of failure. (Mag is inserted backwards by a farm hand for the photo).

The November, 2012 accident left remarkably similar injuries, and the gun displayed a remarkably similar failure mode:

On November 16th 2012 my brother wanted to accompany me to my farm (about an hour and half from city) and test the weapon out for himself since I had been raving about it.
I handed my brother the weapon, he fired the first round without any hiccups, I was looking downrange when my brother fired the second round. To my horror right after he fired the round he fell to the ground in a heap. I ran over to him and turned him over. His face was completely covered in blood. I could make out a hole on top of his eye and blood pouring out of it. For a moment I was paralyzed with fear, thinking the worst, that the projectile had entered his skull. I could only think of his 2 children at the moment in shock. Thankfully in about 10 seconds he started to respond screaming he could not see, I picked him up and took him to the car and started driving back towards the city. In about 5 mins he got his vision back but was still bleeding. The closest hospital was 1 hour away and this drive was one of the most testing times of my life. I had called back to the farm and one of my workers told me the slide had broken in 2 but I was still not sure if anything was lodged inside my brothers skull.
After the tortures drive I got to the hospital and got an X-ray done. I was too scared to look at it myself, legs shaking in terror. I just handed it to the doctor to let him give me the news. To my relief it was a flesh wound and nothing was lodged inside his skull.
My brother received 8 stitches and had a severe concussion not to mention a permanent scar on his face. Luckily he fully recovered, if the slide had hit him an inch below he would have lost an eye.
After the incident I emailed Caracal, explaining to them of this incident but got no reply. I wanted to confirm with them if this was a quality control issue or a design fault inherent in all their weapons.
I have attached pictures of the handgun after I came back the next day and recovered the weapon from where it had fallen. The slide was completely sheared in 2. I had inspected the weapon a day before and it did not even show a slight sign of any wear and tear.

Closer view of the Khan Caracal frame and slide.

Closer view of the Khan Caracal frame and slide.

The forum-member Khan brother, whose pistol it was, was very upset by the injuries to his brother: “I have also gone over the incident multiple times in my head, trying to figure out if I could have prevented this catastrophic incident but I always come up short”.

To us it’s remarkable that the failures came in Pakistan, where the gun culture, while vibrant, is limited by the country’s strict gun laws, the always-shaky security situation, and the relative poverty of the nation. (Per capita GDP income figures understate the poverty of most Pakistanis; they’re pushed up by the high productivity and earnings of a wealthy minority, and that small minority are the only Pakistanis who are well-off enough to participate in the gun culture). It seems likely more Model Cs have been sold here in the USA than in Pakistan; why do we know of two kB!s in Pakistan and none here?

Could it be the Ammo?

We don’t know what kind of ammo Mr Hashmi was using (except that it was brass-cased). We do know that Chinese-made ammo is widely distributed in Pakistan, and that the Khan gun was loaded with cheap Chinese 155 grain FMJ. What Chinese factories can make in impressive high quality, we know from experience with consumer goods of all kinds, other Chinese factories can counterfeit, adulterate, and otherwise screw up for a couple renminbi more.

So it’s possible that it’s the ammo. Arguing against this point is the condition of the Khan and Hashmi guns. The slide appears to be cleanly broken in the same place on both pistols — from the left rear corner of the ejection port more or less straight down to the frame rail, and from nearĀ the right forward corner of the port more or less straight down to the frame rail. The rear half of the slide in both cases struck the shooter above the eye.

Also against it being ammo: the case from Mr Hashmi’s gun appears intact. The barrel in both guns is intact. The grip does not apppear to be split open. In the typical large-caliber Glock kB!, caused by the bad alignment of the large area dished out of the Glock’s chamber for the feed ramp and (in most cases) reloads, the case is split, the barrel is split, the grip is burst asunder. There are plenty of pictures on the kB! pages at The Gun Zone, and you can see similar mishaps to other guns as well.

The bottom line is that Caracal has recalled the entire production run of these firearms. Surely the two incidents in Pakistan, both of which left the shooter concussed and bleeding but fortunately not more seriously wounded, factored in to that decision.

Update:

This post was (lightly) edited on 16 Sep 13. Specifically, a link was inserted to the Gun Zone in the penultimate original paragraph. It should have been there from the beginning. We regret the error. –– Eds.

3 thoughts on “Caracal Recall — the Pakistani Nexus

  1. Pingback: Consumer Alert: Caracal Pistol, Model C Recall - Blur Brain

  2. Pingback: That Was the Week that Was: 2013 Week 38 | WeaponsMan

Comments are closed.