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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Charter Arms

    Wife can no longer rack the slide on her Glock 23. So I am considering a revolver, she will shoot it for familiarization and then it'll go in the nightstand for her.

    I was looking at a S&W 637 Airweight .38. Also looked at a Taurus 85 Ultralight w/CT grips; then I saw a Charter Arms Pink Lady. Pretty attractive piece and light and it has a nice grip to fit her hand.

    Wasn't sure about Charter so I asked the guy at the gun shop, he said he'd own a Charter before he'd ever own a Taurus.

    Any insight is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    MitchellB's Avatar
    MitchellB is offline Member
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    I got a .44 special Charter Bulldog Pug that I like alot. Before that I owned a Charter Undercover .38 for about 20 years and I've never had a problem with either one. Of your three choices, I have to say I think the Smith is the best of the three.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Mitchell

  4. #4
    USAFgsm is offline Member
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    I have no personal experience with the Charters, but i've heard good things from people who have them, and i'd consider buying one.

    But if you're looking at something for the night stand, maybe weight isn't such an issue? If that's the case, have you thought about the Ruger SP101? I absolutely love mine. Both my wife and my mom hate shooting the lightweight J-frames but they love the SP101. They can shoot it with specials and magnums with no problem. The extra weight really helps with the recoil.

  5. #5
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    I have a Charter Arms Bulldog Pug .44 Special. It has been Magnaported and has aftermarket recoil reducing grips. I plan to have it Parkerized in the future so I consider it a "keeper". I really like to shoot this gun with moderate loads and have been a lover of the .44 spl. since I had a S@W 696 3" in that caliber. The downside to the Charter is of course, fit and finish. But for the price, haven't seen a better deal yet in this caliber, and it is indeed a Big Bore Snubby, noticeably smaller than the L-Frame Smith was. My gun has gone bang every time through many sessions, though I have heard of Charters that had light strike problems. I've also heard that too much hot stuff through the .44 may cause the cylinder to tie up (so I use easy stuff at the range, and hot stuff for the nightstand). All and all, for the money, I lke 'em!
    Eli

  6. #6
    Mdnitedrftr's Avatar
    Mdnitedrftr is offline Member
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    Out of all of my guns, the 2 I carry the most are my Charter Bulldog, and Off-duty. My Bulldog is sitting next to my comp as I type this...

    My friends rag on me alot, calling them cheap, garbage, etc, and true Charters arent Colts, or S&W's, but Im not looking for a show piece. I just need the thing to go BANG! when I pull the trigger. I know I can count on my Charters when I need them.

  7. #7
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Thumbs up

    [QUOTE=Mdnitedrftr;223800]Out of all of my guns, the 2 I carry the most are my Charter Bulldog, and Off-duty. My Bulldog is sitting next to my comp as I type this...

    Roger that buddy, the Bulldogs are unique and definitely not junk!
    Eli

  8. #8
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Charter Bulldog Pug .44spl. range report

    In response to a post by Steve, I decided to haul out my Bulldog and see how it performed with two different loads. They have had some complaints about the cylinders tying up, and though I never had that problem, neither had I shot two boxes at one time in a hurry to see what happens when it gets hot and dirty. Time flies, so by my best guess the Dog had not been fired for well over a year. It was clean, but could have used a going over and a lube job. But since this was for "fun" and research, i decided to take her as she sat. I fired both boxes worth at B27-R Torso targets at around the the 15' marker. Here's what happened.
    First, I shot the 200 grain Winchester load. My gun is ported and has recoil absorbing Pachmeyer grips, so recoil was fairly stout, but not painful at all. I would say that I would rather shoot this gun and load, than put a box of .38+P in my 442 downrange (yes, I have those custom wood grips on it!). I alternated between SA/DA in no particular order. The rounds were mostly in the 9 thru X ring, with five rounds as fast as I could shoot ending up mostly in the 7-8 ring. Overall group for the box full was around 9". Not good, but not too bad keeping in mind I haven't been shooting regularly since I left SASS a few years ago. The gun is clearly way better than I am.
    I had some "hot" Corbon 165 grain, so I repeated the drill on a new target. Expecting more recoil I was surprised that this load was actually much easier to shoot, very little muzzle flip and quick to reacquire the target. (I know, light fast bullet vs. slow heavy bullet, its just that I have found Corbon in general to have a sharp recoil). But WOW, this round is a keeper for me. I ended up with 3 in the 9 ring and all the rest either in the 10 or X ring, shooting either DA or SA!. The only carefully aimed group of the day, as in target shooting style, had all 5 in a jagged 2" hole overlapping the ten and X rings. Only down side is now I have to hunt up some more of this stuff.
    Now for the "dark side" of the Charter. Well, really there wasn't any. I had two malfunctions. In rapid fire DA I failed to let the trigger reset a couple of times, and so no boom. Entirely my fault, once I corrected my trigger work, no problem with rapid DA. The second problem DOES bother me a bit. I found that when loading the gun, I had to be sure to firmly index the cylinder, or again, no boom. My fault, but just knowing that the lock up is a bit sloppy rules this revolver out for SD for Eli. I don't want to be wondering if the cylinder is firmly indexed in an emergency situation. I have better guns for that stuff!
    So, all in all, it was a fun albeit short session. I was going to take some other guns, but the day got away from me so I just took the Charter. There was no sign of the dreaded cylinder freeze up that Steve had encountered with his wife's Charter .38 and has been commonly reported on our beloved Internet. I had no problem whatever ejecting the spent cartridges and the gun was a pleasure to shoot. And that's the point for me. I bought this gun for fun because i love the old .44spl. and this size package is not offered by Smith or Ruger or I would have one!. I was looking at Parkerizing it as the finish is pretty rough even with the minimal use the gun has gotten. Someone suggested I look into the other new finishes available in multi-colors. DuraCoat I believe its called.
    Bottom line for me...
    I still love my little .44. Charter has claimed quality improvement over the past couple years, but what manufacturer doesn't. They are now making a 4" target model that caught my eye, but I just dropped a bundle on a Smith 686 soooo....who knows.
    Thanks for letting me ramble on, probably takes more time to read the post than I spent pulling the trigger!
    Shooting is good fun yes?
    Eli

  9. #9
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks, Eli.

  10. #10
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Thanks, Eli.
    You're very welcome Steve.
    Eli

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