Charter Arms 44 spl


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Kahr carrier
January 4, 2003, 11:08 PM
I was just at the gunstore today when I saw a new Charter Arms 44 spl in stainless it was about $296.00 . Anybody have any experience with these revolvers are they any good? do they hold up?? The barrel had a Shroud to protect the ejector rod. The price was so cheap it was tempting.:what:

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Stephen A. Camp
January 4, 2003, 11:15 PM
Hello. I cannot speak to the current Charter Arms .44 Specials, but my experience with two of the older ones was that they did not hold up to much shooting. Two revolvers is not much to judge from, but such is what I saw.

Best.

fastbolt
January 5, 2003, 03:26 AM
Had 2 of the last go-round Charter Arms Bulldog .44's ... 1 blued & 1 stainless ... Don't have them anymore.

The cylinder on the stainless one would lock up under recoil, and after the 3rd attempted factory "repair" it would even lock up during dry-fire ... I traded it in. Didn't need another doorstop ...

That they'd offer them again shows tenacity in the face of adversity, and courage ...

Or, maybe ... they'll work more often than not, this time around ... Still over-priced, though, according to what you listed, unless they're MUCH, MUCH better nowadays.

The older .38 Undercovers, however, once gave Charter Arms a good name and reputation ...

Kahr carrier
January 5, 2003, 05:30 AM
Thats a shame I was hoping it might be a bargain gun the 44Spl is starting to intrigue me maybe I will look at a S&W 296?:(

fastbolt
January 5, 2003, 01:38 PM
Ask Tamara about a S&W 296 ...

Of course, she'll tease you with a very nicely done picture ... Can we attach pictures on here yet? Check out the archived TFL revolver threads on this subject, and the .44 special, and you'll find a lot of info, and a picture of her .44 Spl ...

billcameron
January 5, 2003, 10:33 PM
I had an early "Son of Sam" model 44 charter bulldog. It did not hold up. Cylinder would come off gun when opened. But major problem was that primer strike became weak with use and would not fire on double action. I would not recommend it. I heard, but can't confirm other things- firing pins broke, and some police depts. did not allow use as authorized off duty carry. Just remembered. I took LFI from Mas Ayoob and ragged him about having a charter arms on cover of his book "In the Gravest Extreme". He said he got really worked up when it came back from publisher, but it would have cost big bucks to change at that point.

Preacherman
January 5, 2003, 11:43 PM
I've owned two, one an old-model 4"-barrel Target model and one of the new-production Bulldogs in stainless. Both were disappointing. With any sort of "hot" load for self-defence purposes, the cylinders were prone to lock up, and the recoil was very uncomfortable. I eventually sold both, and now have a S&W 696 and Taurus M431, both full-weight. Love 'em!

Kahr carrier
January 6, 2003, 05:12 AM
I talked to a salesman at my local gunstore and he said that he has had to send a lot of Charter Arms revolvers back to the factory for broken firing pins and binding cylinders. Im glad I asked you guys for your opinions you guys are right on I think I am going to steer clear of Charter Arms. Maybe I will look into S&W or Taurus for a 44 Spl.:banghead:

Booger
February 18, 2005, 09:48 AM
I have 2 Bulldogs. A 4" and a 3" ver. I like them both.
No trouble and they are made WELL. Old ones Very Good and the newest ones Good also. Some made by Charo Very Bad!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had a couple of those and workmanship was awful.

I have shot reloads in the 1200FPS range 200 gr bullet with no ill effect but to me . Yes it's a bear to shoot that hot a load but the gun will take it.

I keep my loads to 850-900 FPS . Fun and will do the job. I am a gunsmith by trade and looks wise the older one is made as well as a Smith [fit & finish]
Just sold 2 new MD 60 S&W and F&F was just OK. Finish was fair. Not up to their standards and not up to thier price tag!!! the Taurus 44 are nice [older ones ] but big & heavy. Not really a carry piece. Old Smiths the same.

Ronnie Lankford
Cherry Creek Arms.

hightech
February 18, 2005, 10:14 AM
I have a Charter Arms Pathfiner in .22 mag not 44 spl and it has been a great work horse. I have carried it pack packing for 20 years now and it works great. It is now used more for teaching students on the range for their first experience.

P. Plainsman
February 18, 2005, 11:23 AM
Handled a new Charter 2K .44 Spl Bulldog in the gun shop last month and was not impressed. Rough fit and finish, more cylinder play than I like, and very rough action. It was very difficult to cock the hammer to fire single-action. Granted, you won't be firing a belly gun single-action, but it struck me as indicative of a general questionable QC in the gun's mechanicals.

Now, I also handled a new Charter 2K Undercover in .38 Spl at a gun show last year, and that little thing was not bad. Utilitarian but not crap.

The general drift of comments I've read is that the Undercovers are OK, but the Bulldog is just a great concept that fails in the execution.

What I want for a .44 Special snubby is the "Taurus Bulldog" -- the 445.

isp2605
February 18, 2005, 05:39 PM
I bought an early model CA .44 Bulldog about 10 yrs ago. Owner said he'd never fired it and it appeared to be new condition. Paid $125 for it, about 300 rds of various ammo, and a couple of holsters. I've run a ton of ammo thru it and it's been a great shooter. I haven't run any Keith loads, just standard velocity .44 Spl reloads and Silvertips.

kennedy
February 18, 2005, 08:06 PM
I have owned 2 of the older(non shroud) model and never had any problems, sold both stupid, stupid, stupid, I would buy another if I find one.

GaryP
February 19, 2005, 02:52 AM
I purchased my First Generation Bulldog 3" .44 Spl (Stratford, Conn. on barrel) NIB back in 1980. These days it is my primary CCW gun -- I would not carry it in CCW mode if it were not 100% reliable --! Over the years I have put over 1500 rounds through it with absolutely no problems and it is just as tight today as it was when I purchased it! The Charco era Bulldogs (Sheldon, CT) were not consistent as far as Fit, Finish, & Reliability goes but the Charter 2000 (Current) Bulldogs (Sheldon, CT) certainly have the potential to be the best of the breed due to needed modifications in the old design and modern CNC machinery. The only issue I have with the new Charter 2000 Bulldog in .44 Spl is the lack of a 3" barrel version! ;)


:evil:

shep854
February 19, 2005, 09:28 AM
Regarding "The Breed", I looked at a Taurus .44Sp snub yeaterday. I find the "Bulldog" concept very intriguing as a woods gun. The Taurus looked very nice for a hair under $300. I'm seriously considering it.

I also handled a Taurus "Ultra-light" .45 LC, but it seems like too little gun to handle that size cartridge.

FWIW, there were some nice writeups about the Taurus and Rossi .44 snubs a few years back, when they first came out.

obiwan1
February 19, 2005, 10:01 AM
I have two of them that I bought in the '70s. One is a 4". Lousy rear sight. Will not hold zero. I have to shim both sides to keep where it belongs. An OK gun. Initlally I had binding/misfire during DA fire. It worked itself out. The other is a 3". A better and more solid gun. Not up to Smith/Colt/Ruger standards, but serviceable. They're loaded with Glasers and are my house guns. :D I used to carry the 4". The problem was that there was no way to practically carry a reload. I have since spotted an ammo carrier for .44 from DeSantis (I think)

TWBryan
February 19, 2005, 10:48 AM
Have had two charter arms revolvers,would never own another. :cuss: They're on the same level as a lorcin :barf: .

TWBryan

Mike Kerr
February 19, 2005, 12:35 PM
I had one of the older models in 44 spl. - 3" barrell - lightweight frame- oversized Pachymar grips (much larger than the frame). A clumsy combination for a truly SEMI accurate revolver. Very sensitive to changes in point of impact, depending on bullet weight, even at close range. Would give me a real flyer every cylinder, so one chamber may have been suspect. :banghead:

Switched grips to some original wood frame grips for a CA. Wow did that ever hurt. 240gr lead bullet in lightweight frame X grips to small for the revolver = world of hurt on hands. Cylinder latch would cut me quite nicely thank you. :cuss:

Learned about springs in revolvers and various other things like the relationship of front sight height to rear sight channel as factored by the forward cant of the bore (take a look at your favorite fixed sight revolver from a side view). :) :)

Put it all down to a delayed learning curve and knowledge that I learned later in life than I should have. I put the gun away and then some years later I read the revolver sticky threads on this forum and TFL. :) Sold the gun and decided you get what you pay for and I had not payed very much.

Regards,

:) :) :)

JamesCNC
February 7, 2006, 08:25 PM
Purchased a Charter 2000 Bulldog about eight months ago. it is a satin finish stainless and while it does have a couple rough spots, fit and finish is overall decent. no gaps in the lines or obvious out of tolerance pieces. Lockup is very tight. gun consistently fires one inch YES that is not a typo. one inch groups at 10 yards IE: 30 feet. (again so you know its not a typo) It has consumed about 1000 rnds of winchester 240gr cowboy loads as well as a box of silvertips and about 400 rounds of Cor Bon 165gr jhp. it fires the tight groups with Hornady 200gr jhps of which i have fired about four or five boxes. worst group i have gotten was about 3 inches at 10 yards with some Federal SWCHP's so i just dont use those. The gun is still tight and other than having to clean it very thouroughly to get the powder marks off the satin stainless it has been a joy to shoot. Recoil is subjective and while the Cor Bon's are brisk its not as bad as a 4 inch N frame .44 magnum. I think they have improved greatly since the original, and yes the guns made under the Charco moniker were rattletrap pieces of junk

medmo
February 8, 2006, 02:43 AM
I think I must be lucky with Charter Arms after reading some of these posts. I own five of them. Two undercovers, one off duty and two bulldog 44's. I have one of the recent production bulldog 44's and like it a lot. It was made in 2005. I have had no problems with the +400 rounds fired through it. It is impressively accurate for it's size and have had no point of aim problems. I have had no problems with any of the Charter's and would recommend them based on my experience. I bought the new 44 spec bulldog because it seemed like a heck of a bargain. It has proved to be a really great deal.

The Real Hawkeye
February 8, 2006, 08:19 AM
I was just at the gunstore today when I saw a new Charter Arms 44 spl in stainless it was about $296.00 . Anybody have any experience with these revolvers are they any good? do they hold up?? The barrel had a Shroud to protect the ejector rod. The price was so cheap it was tempting.:what:I loved my old three inch barrel, blued steel, .44 Bulldog I bought in the early 1980s. No shroud, even better IMHO. I kick myself regularly for selling it. It was about the most ideal carry revolver ever made. Not designed to be shot a lot, but carried often. Only complaint I had with it was that a cross pin in the frame would work itself out after about fifty rounds of fire. All I had to do was remember to push it back in after each box, and it was fine. I'm sure a gun smith could have fixed it so it didn't come out, but I chose to sell it. What a dummy! Anyone know where I can buy one of those "kick yourself" devices? :(

Also had their little three inch barrel .22, and loved it. Cannot understand why I ever sold it either.

gunfan
February 8, 2006, 10:23 AM
We have a "rough" Undercover and a 6" barreled .357 Magnum, five shot Bulldog and an Explorer II (.22 lr, 8" barreled autoloading pistol). These belong to my wife, Shelley. I own a 1991-vintage, stainless steel, 3" barreled Bulldog, in .44 S&W Special.

I taught Shelley to shoot the 3" Bulldog over 3 years ago on Christmas morning of 2001. Using "cowboy action" Mag-Tech 200-grain loads, She learned to keep them on the target within a box of 50 rounds. We have yeat to have a single problem with any of our Charter Arms revolvers.

We have only had magazine problems with the Explorer II. Some AR7 magazines should cure this.

I would buy the new Charter Arms revolvers again. Nick, (the company's CEO) assured me that their QC will continue to improve with their new machinery.

Watch for thier new Bulldog-framed .357 S&W Magnum, .44 S&W Special and .32 H&R Magnum chambered revolvers at the SHOT show this month. Both the .44 and .357 models will be available in 6", 4" and 2.5" barrels. The 6" and 4" barrels will have adjustable sights available. The 2.5" and 4" .32 H&R Magnum will have the option of adjustable sights, but the 2.5" barrel will only have fixed sights.

I hope that this helps in your research,

Scott

bruss01
February 8, 2006, 03:24 PM
Any gun that breaks or malfunctions under reasonable use deserves criticism, but I think that (at least as far as the new Charter 2000 models go) it's not really fair to criticise an inexpensive revolver because it doesn't have the fit and finish of a gun costing twice as much. Let's compare apples to apples, shall we? For a $260 handgun, I have been very pleased with my .44 Bulldog. No, I don't expect it to hold up thru 100,000 rounds the same way I expect of my GP-100, but that's not why I got it. It's light, stainless, fires a round with credible manstopping ability and was inexpensive in the bargain. If I chose a handgun to take on a backpacking expedition, it would probably be the one. I'm very happy with it, for what it is.

bowfin
February 8, 2006, 03:47 PM
It is very hard to judge what is coming off the production line now, compared with what Charco made three years ago, or the original Charter Arms made 20 years ago.

I used to do machining and tool & die work in various factories, and the quality between certain people, machines, tooling, can be startling. One cannot overemphasize the difference it can make just moving production to CNC machinery nor the human factor of a freshly invigorated management team and work force.

I am going to give Charter Arms a chance or two in the near future, especially now that they have changed their business around. I think MKS (Hi-Point) is somehow associated with them, and I look for good things to happen with that arrangement. Hi-Point is nobody's favorite when it comes to esthetics, but they do have a good solid business.

gunfan
February 8, 2006, 04:56 PM
It is very hard to judge what is coming off the production line now, compared with what Charco made three years ago, or the original Charter Arms made 20 years ago.

I used to do machining and tool & die work in various factories, and the quality between certain people, machines, tooling, can be startling. One cannot overemphasize the difference it can make just moving production to CNC machinery nor the human factor of a freshly invigorated management team and work force.

I am going to give Charter Arms a chance or two in the near future, especially now that they have changed their business around. I think MKS (Hi-Point) is somehow associated with them, and I look for good things to happen with that arrangement. Hi-Point is nobody's favorite when it comes to esthetics, but they do have a good solid business.

If Nick's products are as good as both of our Bulldogs and undercover are, we will definitely want one of his new 4" or 6" .44 S&W Special Bulldog Models with adjustable sights. (Shelley will want that one)! I'll want one of his 4" barreled .32 H&R Magnum Bulldogs! You can't beat how that one will perform! I'd be willing to bet that that little gem will be a darned fine shooter!

Nick will be presenting them at the SHOT show beginning this weekend!

Scott

foghornl
February 9, 2006, 12:17 PM
I had a .44 Bulldog in the mid-70's. My only knock was the ammo price....

Rem 44Mag 240-gr SJHP was usually about $17/50 while the .44Spl ammo was sometimes as high as $35/50. :what: :eek:

Not a gun you would want for an extended duration exchange of lead, but for its purpose, a decent shooter.

Working Man
February 9, 2006, 12:24 PM
I have a Charter 2000 .44sp Bulldog Pug that is very tight. I have only put a
few cylinders through it but have had no problems so far.

orangeninja
February 9, 2006, 12:51 PM
My dad has an old Bulldog that he loves, but it doesn't see much range time. That being said, he bought one of the new "undercover" models in .38 wich was broken out of the box. It took Charter Arms 3 months THREE to return the thing with no explanation of course. And this was after calling them once a week for a month, writing letters and sending countless emails.

I wouldn't own a Charter belt buckle, much less a gun. I don't say this often about a gun company, but the sooner they are out of business, the better it will be for everyone involved unless they straighten it out.

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