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  1. #1
    mrsnipy is offline Junior Member
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    charter arms undercover 38

    anyone have a new version of the undercover 38? is it similar in size to a smith j frame or is it larger like the sp101? recent write up in combat handguns gives the new off duty thumb up, any negative feedback?
    Bob

  2. #2
    Dave James is offline Junior Member
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    Have seen just a couple so far, guys that used to work for me bought them.

    Appear closer to the "J" frame, action work on them was ruff,,we stripped them down and polished off the burrs and metal tags, put it back together and lubed it with RIG and then ran a 100rds thru them,,seem to work well now

  3. #3
    Old Padawan's Avatar
    Old Padawan is offline Member
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    They have traditionaly been J frame sized.
    "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain

  4. #4
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    Talking

    I haven't had one in a long time but years ago they were a rough verison of the S&W. Back then a lot of guys had them slicked up by the local gunsmith and they worked just fine. The ones I had shot as well as my Smiths for accuracy but didn't have that butter smooth trigger of the S&W.

  5. #5
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Mas Ayoob reports that he's seen countless Charter Arms revolvers break down in the 500-round shooting portion of his LFI-1 course.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  6. #6
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    My wife owns the old, original version.
    It's quite accurate at save-your-life distances, fits into the same holster as a Smith J-frame, and has an acceptable trigger pull.
    After the second shot, however, the cylinder drags (probably because the fired cartridges have set back and are rubbing against the recoil plate). This makes the trigger pull abysmal, but the pistol still functions reliably.
    After a reload, the same sequence begins again.

  7. #7
    OMSBH44 is offline Member
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    Question Breakdown?

    What do you mean by breakdown?

    How can a revolver breakdown?

    I ask because I have recently decided to carry a revolver for reliability reasons. I had so many problems with a PPK/S-1 that I decided to go back to my "roots." I'm now carrying a Charter .44 bulldog.

    If it is going to "breakdown," I need to know how it will happen so I can be ready for it and correct it if possible.

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    WingedWarrior is offline Junior Member
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    I bought an old one (Stratford) a while back. I thought it was the perfect size and weight until I got a Kel Tec 380. However, I'm partial to revolvers, and the Charter Undercover has become one of my favorites. Works every time and is fairly accurate (even with ME pulling the trigger).

    WW

  9. #9
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Revolvers can go out of time. Cylinders get loose. I've seen parts (ejector rods and cylinder releases) fall off revolvers. It happens.

    The Bulldog, by the way, is another gun Mas has mentioned as often not making it through his LFI course. I'm sure the Charter guns work fine for folks who don't shoot much, though, or only a shoot a bit here and there and don't get their guns hot.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  10. #10
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    ...I'm sure the Charter guns work fine for folks who don't shoot much, though, or only a shoot a bit here and there and don't get their guns hot.
    Charter Arms revolvers aren't the only pistols suitable for self-protection, but which should not be fired too often.
    I own, and used to frequently carry, a Star PD. It's a .45 ACP almost-duplicate of the Colt Officers' Model that was available long before there ever was a Colt Officers' Model. If you couldn't afford a custom-made carry gun, but you wanted a very small .45, the Star PD was all there was.
    Although the Star PD is accurate enough and reliable enough, its sear is just a little too hard (brittle) and thus is prone to breakage. Its hardness allows one to set up an excellent trigger pull, but you just can't pull it too often.
    Like Charter Arms pistols' functional quality, the Star PD's sear was a result of economics. Inexpensive guns can be quite useful, but there always are quality trade-offs of which you must be aware.

  11. #11
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Agreed, Steve. I actually owned a Star PD for a time, back in the early 1990s. Nice little gun, but clearly suitable for light duty only.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  12. #12
    OMSBH44 is offline Member
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    Exclamation

    Interesting! I, too, own a Star PD. I purchased it new in 1976 and retired it
    three years ago. The first thing I did after purchasing it was replace the
    sear. After that I had no problems with it. I "guesstimated" I had fired over
    10K rounds through it in the intervening 30 years. The weakest link in the
    chain, so to speak, is the recoil bushing which was made of some kind of
    fiberglass or plastic material. Mine broke a few years ago. I could not find
    a replacement part so I retired the gun.

    As to the Charter Bulldog not being able to handle a lot of shooting, we
    shall see. It is good I reload because the darn ammo has become hard to
    find. I'll see if the gun will continue to function reliably after getting warm.

    Thanks for the heads-up.

  13. #13
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    Read a nice review in the Sept issue of Combat handguns.

  14. #14
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    Thumbs up

    I put a safe queen old Charterarms Undercover 5 shot 38 on lay away this month I will pick it up next payday. It had been massaged by a Gunsmith and was nice and smooth.

  15. #15
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    Talking

    Got it and love it. It is my CCW hot weather carry piece.

  16. #16
    Charliefox's Avatar
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    I've owned both an older (pre-barrel shroud) and a newer model of the Undercover. Both were used for back-up duties and were carried in ankle or vest holsters the entire time I owned them. I fired about 100 rounds a year through them to qualify, and never shot anything other than standard pressure loads (the 110 gr Silvertips being my and the guns favorites). I never had any issues with either of them and know that the older of the two is still chugging along - my son is carrying it as his back-up gun!

  17. #17
    MitchellB's Avatar
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    I bought an Undercover .38 about 1980 and never had a problem with it. It fit a leather pancake holster that was made for S&W snubbys perfectly. Although it was not a range gun that I shot a lot, it was my only small self-defense pistol for more than 20 years. It remained tight and fully functional until it was stolen in a home break-in a few years ago. I kept it loaded with +P ammo although I seldom shot +P in it for fun. I liked the gun so much I immediately replaced it with a Charter .44 Bulldog Pug and have been just as happy with it. Iím not sure about the size of the new ones, but after soaking it in water, the same leather holster I used for the .38 now holds my .44 which was only slightly larger.

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