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June 4, 2014 Posted by Editor in blog

Love at First Sight

Jeff Spalding of SF Tactical and Logistics gives us a First look at the new Caracal CS308 Sniper Rifle.

SF Tactical and Logistics, LLC has been provided the opportunity to test the latest rifle from Caracal International, the CS308. At first glance the rifle seems to be a mix of a modern, modular chassis custom bolt rifle and an AR-10 gas gun. The aggressive and no nonsense design gives the impression that this rifle has been developed by engineers who not only understand the fundamentals of marksmanship but also know what is important to the professional marksman, and what is not.

Upon receipt of this rifle I did what any curious kid with a cool new toy would do, I took it apart and put it back together. During the dis-assembly I was surprised and elated by the simplicity. The entire rifle was disassembled down to a barreled receiver with a 5/32 allen key. The machine work is of the highest quality with wonderfully tight tolerances that seem to magically meld together during reassembly.

The proprietary bolt has 3 locking lugs and is very robust. The extractor is stout and positioned as to not require additional tooling on a barrel like some others. The action has a very short and smooth 60-degree throw from the lugs and slides as if it was on ball bearings. The bolt handle allows for positive contact and control on every run.

The detachable butt stock is quickly and easily removed from the receiver by way of 2 collar nuts and when attached is as sturdy as any fixed stock I have ever been behind. Comb height and length of pull adjustments are ingenious. By simply rotating the locking mechanism 1/4 turn places the comb into a spring loaded mode, you can then naturally find your proper eye relief and with a 1/4 turn back to lock you are now securely and positively locked at your new comb height. Length of pull operates with the same 1/4 turn locking mechanism. These locks can be manipulated with either the firing or support hand and are located on the right side of the butt stock.

The rifles I have been provided both have Caracal’s own, in house, 26” “Truck Axle” type barrels with Caracal’s own threaded and clamped muzzle brake. The barrels are rifled with a 1:12 twist with apparent options for 1:10, and 1:11.25 from the factory.

I chose the Federal Gold Medal Match 175gr SMK BTHP for the test round in this barrel and I was actually surprised by the results that this combo provided. After the initial mounting of the optic, I bore sighted to the center of a 15”x15” steel plate at 100 yds. I fully expected to be on the backer with the first shot from the rifle, and a scope that is not zeroed, but to my surprise my first round impacted with perfect elevation and only about 1/2 minute of windage error to the right. Assuming this was an act of god I settled behind the rifle and proceeded to fire the first 3 round group. This group printed roughly 1 minute high and about 1/4 minute right. I adjusted from behind the ocular lens to what I thought was correct elevation and windage and sent the next 3 rounds. I watched the first round punch paper at 6:30 on the edge of the diamond, blamed myself and sent another one which printed at 5:30 on the edge. Now frustrated I sent a third and saw it way low and left, at this point I came off the glass and checked the turret, 1/2 minute to much on that first adjustment. After taking that out, I fired a solid 3 round group into the center of the diamond and set the turrets to zero.

Once the rifle was tuned in and the “shooter” app was up and running on the iPhone we started to stretch the legs a little bit working from 400 to 840 yards. No longer surprised by the amazing performance of this rifle, I settled in and started impacting steel at will. The recoil impulse on this rifle is nearly non existent and in my opinion is comparable to that of a 6.5mm with a brake on it. With the wind picking up and starting to swirl as it likes to do at the Nellis AFB Gun Club I found the US Optics sub tensions to be spot on and the hold overs consistent and accurate.

At the end of the day and after 55 rounds going down range in the span of about 1.5 hours I decided to shoot one more group at 100 yards just for good measure. I didn’t think the accuracy would have fallen off at all due to the truck axle barrel and its ability to work through high round counts but the results once again surprised me. After picking a grid as a POA, I settled in, loaded the Harris bi-pod and sent the first round nearly directly into the POA just right of the center. I made the mistake of acknowledging that nearly perfect shot to the guys on the line and karma instantly kicked me into the 10 o’clock not paying attention to breathing zone. After a quick “ok, I gotcha” to Mr. Karma I put the next 4 within a 1/2 MOA.

I am sincerely impressed with this rifle. The design, machine work, tolerances, trigger, barrel, bolt, butt stock, hell, EVERYTHING about it. We at SF Tactical and Logistics, LLC are proud to be able to provide this info to you and if you are interested in possible Dealer agreements or personal acquisitions, please contact; JSpalding(at)Caracal.ae and be sure to follow SF Tactical and Logistics on Facebook.

Special thanks go out to Jeff Spalding and SF Tactical and Logistics for providing this article.

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