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  1. #1
    tootalldavid is offline Junior Member
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    charter arms 357

    on monday I'm going to more than likely get a charter arms 357 snub nose. It's new. any thoughts or opinions on charter arms revolvers (value, accuracy, reliability etc) or their 357s in particular? (on a side note and I know it's not a handgun, but I'm also going to get a chinese sks and anyone have any input on quality, reliability, or accuracy?)-thanks

  2. #2
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    new charters are pretty much in the same league as the old ones.... nothing horrible, nothing special... they have fans and foes and those who just dont care.

    the value is going to be less than what you pay for it.... as with all new items, there is profit added for the merchant.

    accuracy, well its a snub nose, so its gonna hit what you point at (not meant to be aimed)

    reliability... eh, its a simplified design, so less parts to break but who knows about the quality of the parts they are using?

    so basicly, its a snubby .357... probably gonna hurt when you pull the trigger on a combat load.

    so if you are happy with it, thats all that matters....

    jmho.... i would pass on the charter and look for a snubby smith 586, might find a good used one same price.... and a known quality.

  3. #3
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Chinese SKS carbines have a reputation of being inaccurate.
    They are usually very reliable, easy to clean, and almost unbreakable, but they are inaccurate.
    You get what you pay for.

    We have an old Charter Arms .38 Special.
    Until we had its cylinder shimmed to eliminate end play, fired cartridges would jam up its works and make the second through the fifth shots progressively harder to get off.
    Another problem involves its ill-fitting grips, which tore holes in our hands. However, I fixed that with an X-Acto knife.
    The good part is that it came with a very light DA trigger pull, and an equally light, crisp SA pull as well.

    I agree with Ted, that you will find better values in used guns.
    An ex-police S&W revolver, maybe, and a used Savage bolt-action in .30-'06.

    (I hope that you're not going to use that .357 Magnum Charter Arms revolver on the hogs you'll be hunting afoot!)

  4. #4
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    Totally agree...there are plenty of used Smith's and Rugers that would be a better choice...just my 2 cents.

  5. #5
    lowercase's Avatar
    lowercase is offline Junior Member
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    I have one of the new Charter Mag Pugs in .357. Got it a couple months ago.

    Here's my mini-review:

    Gun runs okay, but it shoots low, and I mean ridiculously LOW. From research and forum replies, I've learned that this is a very common problem for this gun. I was going to send it back to the factory to get fixed, but read that the factory will just file down the front sight to fix. Hell, I can do that myself, and that's just what I did. I've taken quite a bit off of the front sight, and it still shoots a little low, but I don't want to run the risk of taking off too much.

    If you have to pull this gun and fire it in a defensive scenario...CLOSE YOUR EYES. No, seriously, unless you want burning crap from the ports to hit you in the eyes. Okay, the ports seem to be ammo sensitive. Some loads throw a ton of stuff, and some don't. .357 target stuff, especially the cheaper stuff, is the biggest culprit. The problem has abated a bit since running a few hundred rounds through the gun, so I'm wondering if the underside of the ports wasn't relieved enough from the factory, and shooting a bunch of ammo through the gun helped break it in. I don't have a clue. I do know that Bitterroot Valley .357 target stuff makes little fireworks out of the ports. Sparks (a lot) would fly out of the ports and make nice arcing patterns to the ground. I stopped an entire line of shooters on an indoor range because the wanted to see just what was making the fireworks.

    Thirdly, the trigger on this gun is nothing to write home about. It stacks quite a bit, and I have trouble getting tight groups from the gun, even in single action. By contrast, my S&W K-Frames, J-Frames, and my Ruger GP100 make me look like a pro at the range.

    On the plus side, the gun is decently light and doesn't kick all that bad. The stock grips soaked up the recoil nicely, but I switched them out for Pachmayrs for looks, and they work well, too. The ergonomics of this gun are just fine, especially with the Pachmayrs.

    I realize that this gun is a "price point" gun, but the prices have climbed enough that they're within spitting distance (125 bucks?) of a Ruger SP101. They weigh similar enough weights, and both hold 5 shots (when shopping, I had it in my head that the Charter held 6 and don't know why). I got this gun "just to see" how good they are. Okay, now I see, and I now have a gun with admittedly poor resale value (price point guns don't resell well), that doesn't hold a candle to a gun costing roughly 30% more. The Charter works (and even looks kinda cool), but the SP101 is a class act. Do yourself a big, no, make that a HUGE favor and buy the SP101.

    Look, I'm not trying to totally trash the Mag Pug. If it was $280, and shot to point of aim and didn't have those damn ports on the barrel, I'd be raving about it. Even with the not-so-great trigger. (I think I just described the .357 EAA Windicator)

    Get an SP101. Throw some Eagle "Secret Service" grips on it, and get a trigger job. The resulting product will be sublime.

    Here's a pic of my Mag Pug. In the pic, I haven't yet filed down the front sight blade.

    BTW, I have a little Charter Arms Undercover .38 from the 1960s. In beautiful shape and was built in their original factory. The tiny gun is shockingly accurate and runs like a champ.


  6. #6
    lowercase's Avatar
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    BTW, I had a Chinese (Norinco) SKS.

    I sold it, and regret letting it go.

    Wonderful little gun that never gave me a single problem. If I ever see a decent one for sale at a non-ripoff price, I'm going to pounce on it.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    ...About that .357 Magnum that shoots low:
    Try using much heavier bullets.
    Heavy bullets hit higher, and light bullets hit lower, using the same aiming point.

  8. #8
    lowercase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    ...About that .357 Magnum that shoots low:
    Try using much heavier bullets.
    Heavy bullets hit higher, and light bullets hit lower, using the same aiming point.
    Thanks, Steve. I'll give it a try with some 158 grain bullets and see how she does.

  9. #9
    Soldiernurse's Avatar
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    No complaints on my CA Pitbull .40

  10. #10
    lowercase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soldiernurse View Post
    No complaints on my CA Pitbull .40
    Good to hear. I've been wondering about those new rimless revolvers.

    I'd kinda like to check out the "Undercover Police .38" model. It's built on the same frame as the Mag Pug and looks nearly identical, but it's a 6-shooter and doesn't have a ported barrel. I'd go with the same Pachmayr grips as I have on my Mag Pug.

    I will say this for my Mag Pug, and anything else built on the same frame. I really like the size and ergos of the weapon. Not too big, not too small, and decently light.

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