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IDEX 2021: Caracal unveils new .338 semi-automatic rifle

Caracal, part of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) Edge defence group, unveiled two new small arms at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference (IDEX) 2021 held in Abu Dhabi from 21–25 February.

The Caracal CSA 338 on display at the IDEX 2021 conference. (Edge)

The Caracal CSA 338 on display at the IDEX 2021 conference. (Edge)

The potentially more significant new product is the CSA 338: a semi-automatic precision rifle chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. While little technical information has been released, the new rifle appears to be gas-piston operated, with the design of its upper and lower receivers based on that of the AR-10. The traditional T-shaped cocking handle has been removed and replaced by a folding handle on the left side of the upper receiver.

Designed for long-range precision shooting, the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge is typically employed on bolt-action rifles. With the CSA 338, Caracal will join a small but growing number of manufactures offering a self-loading .338 (Lapua or Norma Magnum) long-range precision rifle.

The other new product is the Caracal F Gen II: an improved version of the Caracal F (CF) 9 mm pistol currently in service with the UAE Armed Forces.

The Gen II improves on the EF (enhanced F model) that is currently being produced with a redesigned slide, which is claimed to improve performance and ease of maintenance. Changes include new cocking serrations on the front and rear. A version that is drilled and tapped for mounting mini red-dot sights is also an option.

The Gen II also features improved sights over the previous model and its polymer frame has a new MIL-STD-1913 accessories rail.

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