What is the quality of Charter and Taurus snubbies like?


PDA






RKBABob
December 1, 2010, 04:01 PM
All I ever see on the boards is "Smith & Wesson this" and "642 airweight that." What about Taurus and Charter arms? Do they have anything worth talking about in small revolvers?

At first look, Taurus looks like it may be a little more rough than S&W, but not by much... the Charters look butt-ugly, but looks can be deceiving, right? How do they work, and how do they hold up?

If you enjoyed reading about "What is the quality of Charter and Taurus snubbies like?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Sniper X
December 1, 2010, 04:29 PM
both are fine. I had a Taurus 605 and it was a downright great gun, I have had other tauri and all were great guns. The new Rossi by Tarurs 605 looks exactly like the Taurus 605 so should be as good.

hardluk1
December 1, 2010, 07:04 PM
I have a taurus 85ss, wieghs 21oz and a s&w could only hope to have so smoth a trigger . Its and old gun but a great shooter . I also have a charter arms undercover ultra lite at 12oz. It ain't as pretty but works very well. trigger does work in to be smoother with time. Wolf has lighter hammer springs to if needed. The ultra lites can be nasty to shot but very easy to carry. I have no problems with either. Besure if buy'n used charter arms say's just that on the gun. No charter 2000 or just charter. They are back in family hands. Most also build mid wieght 5 shots that wieght around 16 to 18 oz too.

Erik M
December 1, 2010, 08:56 PM
I've only owned a Taurus 85 ultralite. If there are problematic Taurus revolvers out there then I wouldnt trade the one I have for anything. Got it brand new for $275. Never had a issue out of it after give or take 500 rounds.

BP Hunter
December 1, 2010, 09:03 PM
I owned a Taurus Model 85 snubbie once. It was a great gun and shot very reliably and accurately. I have to admit that the grip wasn't very helpful in taming the recoil of +P load. I could only fire 10 shots before I gave up. But otherwise, i wouldn't mind buying another one for the truck.

Fuller Malarky
December 1, 2010, 09:26 PM
I have a Taurus 605 snub in stainless with a ported barrel. It has proven reliable and accurate. It is manageable with +P and magnum loads. I have confidence in it's ability to act as a self defense weapon in most situations. What more could I ask from a less than $400.00 revolver?

sagebrushjim
December 1, 2010, 10:30 PM
Have the Taurus in 85 Ultralite .38 Spec and an Old Model Charter Bulldog Pug in .44 Spec ... Both are fine firearms and have never given any problems thru many rounds... They are my Daily Carry and are Dependable and Reliable ...

CajunBass
December 2, 2010, 01:23 AM
I had a Taurus 85 with the factory bobbed hammer, I forget what it was actually called (85CH?)...anyway I liked it. I rather foolishly traded it off when I got bit by the semi-auto bug a few years ago.

A few months ago, I got the hankering for another snubbie 38. This time I picked an old Charter Arms "Undercover." The one I've got is as good a gun as any I've ever owned. About the only down side to it, is the small wooden grips that came with it. It kicked pretty hard with them.

At a gun show I looked at the new Charter's and was impressed. Since I already had the old one, I wasn't really looking to buy, but I really liked the grips on the new production guns. I found out they'd fit my old Charter, and put a set on it. Now I like it even more. :D

ArchAngelCD
December 2, 2010, 01:28 AM
Now that the Ecker family is back at Charter Arms they are again making top quality revolvers. I'm not at all a fan of Taurus revolvers!

Nomad, 2nd
December 2, 2010, 02:37 AM
Nether is good enough for me.

I've had Taurus guns fail on me, and seen many of them fail. No more.
Friends don't let friends carry Taurueses.

Charter Arms:
Has had good years and bad years.

I've picked up S&W J frames for cheap:
Model 38 for $260
Model 36 for $240
Model 36 for $244
etc

Too many deals to compromise.

lloveless
December 2, 2010, 02:56 AM
I've never had a taurus though I have been tempted to buy a Tracker, but couldn't get past the porting. I have owned 3 Charter Arms .38 snubs. Still have the 1st I bought in '84. I also own a Charter 2000 Bulldog Pug in .44 spcl. If you plan on shooting thousands of rounds through them a year. Don't buy them. If you shoot to qualify 4 times a year and a little practice. They will last a lifetime.
ll

mrayw
December 2, 2010, 04:41 AM
I prefer made in USA, which cuts out Taurus made in Brazil...

joed
December 2, 2010, 06:27 AM
I've owned Charter and Taurus. Newer Charters are junk, period. I said I'd never own a Taurus but I now own one. The Taurus is easily twice as good as Charter.

MMCSRET
December 2, 2010, 09:06 AM
My new Charter Arms Target Patriot in 327 Magnum is a great gun. I've put almost 2000 Handloads thru it in the last year and it just keeps getting smoother and is a tremendously accurate 4" barreled revolver. My Rossi from 1988 and several Taurus from 1992 up to 2007 have been very reliable and accurate revolvers. I've never sold or traded a CA or Taurus, kept them all. Seems that the only revolvers I trade away are S&W, and that is so I can acquire another Colt or Ruger.

hardluk1
December 2, 2010, 11:39 AM
Hogue makes a soft rubber grips that will greatly improve what comes from taurus. And the new CA's come with a 3 finger grip that does fit all CA's and will help with holding on to it. Just call them to get one for older revolvers. Eagle make some real nice after market wood grips for most also.

Fumbler
December 2, 2010, 01:11 PM
I own a S&W 637 and Taurus 85 Ultralite. Those are about the closest thing to the same model that both manufacturers make.

Here's a rundown of these two particular guns:

-The Taurus' trigger is lighter and smoother

-The S&W's lockup is tighter, but parts fit in every other aspect of the guns is better in the Taurus. For instance, my S&W's barrel-cylinder gap is wider on one side of the gun vs the other (it actually appears that the barrel isn't perfectly straight in the S&W). The Taurus' crane is aligned better to the frame than the S&W.

-Quality of machining seems better in the Taurus. The crown of the Taurus is more consistent than S&W; the S&W crown looks as if someone finished it with a buffer before bead blasting it and slipped a little in one spot causing a low spot in the crown. The Taurus crown looks like the simply cut it with a crowning tool and left it alone.

Also, the rifling in the S&W isn't consistent. One of the lands isn't as high as the other. The Taurus's bore looks very consistent. It's actually easier to get the taurus bore completely clean.

-Accuracy is adequate in both, but better in the Taurus. The is most likely due to the crown.

-Overall finish is better in the S&W, but the Taurus' finish is just fine.

So...Taurus seems to be pretty darn good compared to S&W especially if you consider the price.

I've looked at only a handful of Charter Arms and the build quality seems a tiny bit worse than Taurus, but I really haven't handled one enough to say for sure.

chicharrones
December 2, 2010, 01:48 PM
Nether is good enough for me.

I've picked up S&W J frames for cheap:
Model 38 for $260
Model 36 for $240
Model 36 for $244
etc

Recently?

Nomad, 2nd
December 2, 2010, 02:51 PM
38 within the last year
Both 36s within2

88 Cutlass
December 2, 2010, 03:32 PM
Nomad where you getting these guns from for so cheap. I'll order one tomorrow

Nomad, 2nd
December 2, 2010, 05:58 PM
Used.

I don't really have a 'want list' I check newspapers, gunshows, and several online forums.

Additionally I have got some DEALS by having CASH NOW.
-Also put out the word... when you get known, people bring the deals to you.
Picked up a Mossberg 500, sporterised Enfield (Nice) 2 scopes, couple hundred rounds of ammo and a Davis .38 derringer for $200.

(People need money TONIGHT!)

9 PM at night
Labor day weekend when banks were closed
Wiring money TONIGHT so the rent can be paid tomorrow etc.

(None of those Smiths were from that... just right place @ right time.)

One of those 36's is a 3 incher.... SWWWEET (Near mint evcepting a bobbed hammer)
Other is a 'Paunshop Special' it's used, not a beater, but a few marks.

38 is a nickled gun. Wasn't originally, nickle isn't that great, but makes a GREAT 'beater gun' (I like Bodyguards) Doesn't look that great (Minor pitting under the nickle) shoots good though.

I like J frames. Not all are such deals, I have a mint 38 blued... it cost me $400

Picked up several more in the 3's.

I see more 36's cheap...

Hardly ever pass a paun shop without stopping...

ETA: Last smith was a Pinned and recessed nickled 4 inch 19.... $300 few 'spots' on the nickle, but it's not bad... haveto have the right light to see it.

JR47
December 2, 2010, 06:52 PM
I've had Taurus guns fail on me, and seen many of them fail. No more.
Friends don't let friends carry Taurueses.

Right, and the moon is made of green cheese, too.

I've been a fairly high volume shooter over the past 30 years. I've frequented both indoor and outdoor ranges during that time. I own more than a dozen Taurus handguns, some for as long as 25 years, or better. During that time, none of mine has failed me. Nor have I experienced watching other people with Taurus guns have problems. I've seen more of the supposedly "superior" S&W, Colt, Sig, and HK handguns struggle to function than the Taurus guns.

Ask me about a brand-new S&W 625 that failed on the very first shot! Or a Sig P229 that cracked it's slide in the first 75 rounds. Or an HK USP that patterned instead of grouping. I had an older Lemon squeezer from S&W that had it's grip safety fail at under 200 rounds. I've never heard of a Taurus lock engaging while firing, unlike the current S&Ws, either. This was just ME.

Buy whatever feels the best to you. Internet Commandos relish bashing various brands with innuendo and vague insinuation. Chances are that anyone with a basic understanding of guns will be able to spot a problem gun BEFORE buying it. Things like barrels that aren't indexing, poor crowns, too large a cylinder gap, and so on should be picked up on prior to purchase.

Nomad, 2nd
December 2, 2010, 07:03 PM
Right, and the moon is made of green cheese, too.

I've been a fairly high volume shooter over the past 30 years. I've frequented both indoor and outdoor ranges during that time. I own more than a dozen Taurus handguns, some for as long as 25 years, or better. During that time, none of mine has failed me. Nor have I experienced watching other people with Taurus guns have problems. I've seen more of the supposedly "superior" S&W, Colt, Sig, and HK handguns struggle to function than the Taurus guns.

Ask me about a brand-new S&W 625 that failed on the very first shot! Or a Sig P229 that cracked it's slide in the first 75 rounds. Or an HK USP that patterned instead of grouping. I had an older Lemon squeezer from S&W that had it's grip safety fail at under 200 rounds. I've never heard of a Taurus lock engaging while firing, unlike the current S&Ws, either. This was just ME.

Buy whatever feels the best to you. Internet Commandos relish bashing various brands with innuendo and vague insinuation. Chances are that anyone with a basic understanding of guns will be able to spot a problem gun BEFORE buying it. Things like barrels that aren't indexing, poor crowns, too large a cylinder gap, and so on should be picked up on prior to purchase.


We gonna get to this?

I had bought a Taurus Snubbie.

It would lock up after just a few cylinders.

when it 'cooled off' (Aimed shots... not 'spray and pray' with a 5 shot revolver.
(Was doing stripper clip drills)

It would 'decide' to function again.

I spent 8 years in the Corps as an 0311 and 0321

Been to a fair amount of shooting schools:
Gunsite
Tactical Response
OPS
Suarez
Gomez
Barrett
Etc....

Seen tauruses (Semi's in classes) both fail and break.

NEVER seen one make it through a class.

-I Don't buy guns with locks BTW...

I've seen 'better' guns break too... but not at a 100% (In classes) failure rate.

Let alone MY PERSONAL and others problems simply shooting.


Oh, one more thing... when I was looking at buying a 1911 with a rail... I looked at the taurus.

Figgured I could swap out a bunch of parts and still come out ahead $ wise.

Looked at one in a gun shop...

THE DOVETAIL was CUT CROOKED in the slide.
If THAT got through "Quality control"... JUST THINK!

Specific enough for you?

What good does a warrenty (That you haveto pay shipping on) do you if your defensive gun breaks?

hardluk1
December 2, 2010, 07:46 PM
nomad ,2nd My old taurus 85ss has probably a 1500 old rounds through an never treated it any different than any other gun and is a great revolver. I have also had a couple 1911's goverment models I would hate to have to depend on them to save my life. What does his and your view mean. Not a darn thing. I have seen a couple late model s&w's that had problems right out of the box. Rugers with messed up barrels. Does that mean all are junk? NO. Know what s&w say is a passable cylinder gap? 6 to 10th's. Thats terrible. My charter is 3th's. I shoot my dan wessons at 1 to 2 th's. Buy a older use gun and most all or pretty darn good. Today handguns are not as good as they were even 2 or 3 years ago. But as production drops back to pre-obama time they all get better again.

AKPastor
December 2, 2010, 09:19 PM
I am another who has had good luck with Taurus and am amazed at the vitriol of the anti-Taurus folks. Too many Taurus owners stay quiet so we won't get condescended to. I also always suspect "always" and "never" statements. I wouldn't think any manufacturer has ever seen a 100% failure rate. But maybe I'm simply misinformed.

Anyway - find what you like and can afford and is of good quality. My wife has been looking at a Charter Arms .38 snubbie and after asking around our friends and at the range - we hear good things. But I have never owned a Charter Arms so I cannot attest to it personally.

I know several folks that own Taurus guns and speak highly - myself included.

I also own some S&W

I don't think you will really lose regardless of which you go with.

Nomad, 2nd
December 2, 2010, 09:29 PM
nomad ,2nd My old taurus 85ss has probably a 1500 old rounds through an never treated it any different than any other gun and is a great revolver. I have also had a couple 1911's goverment models I would hate to have to depend on them to save my life. What does his and your view mean. Not a darn thing. I have seen a couple late model s&w's that had problems right out of the box. Rugers with messed up barrels. Does that mean all are junk? NO. Know what s&w say is a passable cylinder gap? 6 to 10th's. Thats terrible. My charter is 3th's. I shoot my dan wessons at 1 to 2 th's. Buy a older use gun and most all or pretty darn good. Today handguns are not as good as they were even 2 or 3 years ago. But as production drops back to pre-obama time they all get better again.

I put 1,000 - 2,000 rounds through a pistol in a weekend class.

Yea, with a low round count (not shooting alot) it is LIKELY your gun will work when your life depends on it.

My life is worth more.

JMHO

YMMV.


Oh, I agree with 'older'... I don't do lock S&W's and prefer pinned and recessed.

Deltaboy
December 2, 2010, 10:17 PM
I have a old Charter from the early 1970's or late 60's. It is great for what I use it for. Pocket carry.

okespe04
December 2, 2010, 10:47 PM
My post from a very similar thread:

I like their little .38s, I got an older used hammerless one at a pawn shop years ago that worked great. That one went with my sister when she moved to the big city. I recently bought a brand new .38 ultra light for my girlfriend, it also works great. Good price for functional little revolvers.

hardluk1
December 3, 2010, 09:54 AM
Nomad now thats real good for you to shoot that much in a weekend. Congratulations. Thats what, around 100,000 a year. Must be hard on a firearm to last more than ,oh a couple years? I thought the glock iin the mags now with 400,000 was a good round count.

I have a safe full of guns and all get shot regularly with some only 39 years old. One is a D Wesson thats got around 8000+ down tube with zero trouble. And a couple old 22's ,one a Taurus thats had 10's of thousands shot. It finally had a factory tune up. I also do not keep a record of how many rounds i have shot over the decades. Round counts could be off by thousands with some guns. Heck that old 38sp taurus could have 3000 or 5000 but bottom line is, it works every time. and I shot a 50 round box 1 time a month for 20 some years. What ever that amounts to. You are the one complaning about how bad your taurus was when NEW with just a few rounds. Send it back, fix it, try it again. After all it is at pratice or play time. May now run 50.000 rounds.

Many people take a class and have no real experience with firearms. They take a pistol or revolver out of the box and go to shooting. They don't run right so it the firearms fault. If i take just half of what bs is writen down in forums to heart i would be afraid of all firearm failing. After seeing s&w's current production process on tv with many different hands building one gun i am now sure some cr*p goes down the line to be found by the end user. I remember some that had the name of the one person that built it. THEY ALL MAKE SOME JUNK, deal with it. Thats the reason we should shoot many rounds before trusting any. They will typicaly fail while the round count is very low. Even my new to me gen 3 glock will not get carried any till many rounds are shot.

I have one shooting buddy that has a pair of old high dollar 1911 just for play time and prodution class compitition. When new they went back and forth several times before they were some first class pistols. Now have ,he said over 80.000 rounds shot and now retired. But were junk when new 20 years ago. He now has got'n into the s&w m&p line. Bought a couple of each caliber. Two are 9mm for play and comp. Do you think they all worked great. NO. one has been back 2 times before it works right and trouble free. Now shoots 100%.

Nomad, 2nd
December 3, 2010, 10:26 AM
Nomad now thats real good for you to shoot that much in a weekend. Congratulations. Thats what, around 100,000 a year. Must be hard on a firearm to last more than ,oh a couple years? I thought the glock iin the mags now with 400,000 was a good round count.

I know you said this just to be sarcastic... but I said 'In a weekend class' not every weekend.

How many rounds... wouldn't even try to count.

What you say about 'back and forth' to the factory is all well and good.

HOPE those who have that taurus as their only defensive pistol like being unarmed for weeks at a time!

Also... I'm not a fan of bothering. That's why the only thing I'd do to my 1911's was add night sites. (Funny how well they worked when you didn't tinker with them!);)

I'm a 'lowest common denominator' kinda guy. If it's got a failure of more than 1:1,000... It gets gone or (If collectable) moved to that arena.

Sending a defensive weapon to the factory a whole buncha times is of no interest to me. Much less a brand I see break so often.

I prefer to be able to trust my life support equipment.

As i said:

YMMV.

The Red Hot Rider
December 3, 2010, 11:21 AM
Handguns, to me, are like pizzas. I LOVE 'EM ALL!! I own smiths, taurus', rugers, phoenix, FNP, and rossi.

All I can speak from is my own experience. The Taurus handguns I own shoot as well and smoothly as my smiths, rugers, and my FNP.

I have never had a problem with Taurus. BUT, I know they, like any handguns, do have occasional problems. My dad just recently got a brand new, Ruger Mark III Hunter, and it started with feed/eject problems right out of the box. He sent it back to the factory, and it is due to be returned today.

I honestly think that all manufacturers send out a lemon at times. The production process is subject to human error in any factory.

hardluk1
December 3, 2010, 11:33 AM
Yep ,that was sarcastic. My taurus is a good one and was carried daily for around 24 years. trust it, you bet. Now a new one would be looked at just like ruger,s&w charter or any other brand. I have over the last couple years seen most big name brands all with returns from different owners. It's just like most things now adays i think. Not enough quality control. After many years I know longer carry the taurus because of wieght only and now have a lighter carry pistol and for atleast around 1000 rounds it to has been 100% relyable. To each there own but no whinners over brands. The one you carry you can bet has pissed someone off .

Hondo 60
December 3, 2010, 12:18 PM
I have a Charter & it's junk. When open the cylinder is just sloppy loose.
I've looked at a Taurus & just didn't feel comfortable with it.
When I closed the cylinder, it closed too far & locked up.

I have 4 S&Ws from 60s & 70s.
They're just solidly built & have what I consider to be classical beauty.

And I have 2 Rugers that I bought NIB this year.
They don't have the classic beauty lines of a S&W, but they're built like a tank.
I think they'll last a loooooong time.

Other's opinions will vary, that's just mine.

hunto
December 3, 2010, 03:59 PM
I have a Charter Arms .38 Off Duty that I got in trade for an old PA63 a year or so ago. That little Charter shoots exactly to point of aim at 15 yards. The only ammo it doesn't like is the cheap Monarch brand ammo from Academy- it won't fire the primers most of the time. I chalk that up to the age of the revolver, and the hardness of Russian primers (Monarch is made in Russia for Academy). It fires the Winchester PDX1 I use in all my .38s just fine. I only have $200 in it (the cost of the PA63 I gave for it) but I wouldn't take $300 for it now. It's an older Charter, blued, with the wooden grips that have the little chrome round logo on them.

I had a Charter .44 Pug 2 years ago, that I bought new. It was a piece of junk from Day 1. Bought new in box, it shot low and to the left, badly- I've shot for 30 years, and wondered if it was me, so I asked the guys that ran the range and give lessons to shoot the .44 Pug and tell me if it was me or the gun. Both guys said, "Low and to the left." It also shot itself loose, even with the recommended light .44 Special loads (the Pug has a 200gr limit). The frame screws would all be loose when I got home, and I'd have to go over it with a screwdriver and tighten everything.

I called Charter, and they told me to send it in, but when I checked on how to ship it, it looked like it was going to cost me around $50 or so to send this new gun back to get it fixed, and seeing as how they built it to begin, with, I didn't feel very confident in their ability to make it shoot straight, so I sold it instead. Now I read that many people's Pugs shot low and left- it was an issue with the barrels being over-torqued or something- and I have to say that most of the stories I read about people returning their 44 to Charter ended with them being happy. In most of the cases I recall reading, the gun was returned shooting straight.

The Charter is a neat little gun, and is light. But there are many light J-frame type snubs out now, the Ruger LCR, the new S&W Bodyguard (I just bought one, and love it) and others, and so for the little price difference, I'd go with a S&W or Ruger. A used 442 or 642, or a SP101, would be maybe $100 more than a new CA, and if you have to send it in to Charter, that'll cost half of that $100 you saved. It's a gamble I cannot recommend.

Kentucky_Rifleman
December 3, 2010, 09:06 PM
Internet Commandos relish bashing various brands with innuendo and vague insinuation.

How true. I never bash any name brand; I think most companies put out at least some decent guns, and most put out some real crap as well.

I don't "hate" Taurus, and I don't think less of anyone who carries one.

I personally had one of their Beretta 92 clones in 9mm stainless. I traded into it and took it to the range. I'm a decent pistol shot, and I couldn't hold better than a 10-12 inch group at 15 yards. My cousin shot it and couldn't do any better.

I traded it off and was glad to see it go. Two years later I traded into the real-deal Beretta 92F. I couldn't shoot much better with it than I could with the Taurus. It turns out I just suck at shooting those handguns. I shoot 1911s and BHPs pretty well, but not the 92 Taurus or Beretta.

A friend bought a Taurus 6" .357 new in the box from a local dealer. We took it to the range with two boxes of factory Winchester .357 ammo. Kevin loaded the cylinder, locked it up and fired three rounds (not in rapid succession). No problem. On the fourth round the gun belched burning powder onto both of us (I was 2-3 feet to the left of the shooter and 2-3 feet behind him). If I had been standing closer, I'd have gotten burned pretty good, not just singed.

That fourth round split the side of the cylinder lengthwise from one end to the other of that chamber and spit the burning powder up and out both sides of the top strap. The bullet lodged in the breech end of the barrel, just past the forcing cone. The top strap was bulged up pretty badly, but it didn't break.

We took the gun back to the seller, who gave my cousin store credit in the amount he paid for the Taurus. I talked to that dealer 18 or 20 months after the incident, asking him what Taurus had done about the gun. They had refused to replace the gun, blaming the ammunition for the failure.

Maybe it was the ammo, but we shot out the rest of both boxes a week or so after the Taurus went kaboom and we never had any other issues (we were shooting a S&W 66 and a Ruger GP 100).

Make of it what you will.

KR

rogertc1
December 11, 2010, 06:15 AM
It is not High Road to spew out hate. Expecially around Christmas.
Opinions are like ... everyone has one.

9mmforMe
December 11, 2010, 06:53 AM
I've not owned a Charter Arms, but remember a fella at the range who had an older model's barrel come unglued (yes it was glued).
I had some pretty bad fortune with Taurus revolvers (Model 85s) about 15 years ago, but then there are many who really like these guns.
I did have a Rossi model 88 that had very good fit and finish and is still going strong with a family member. I must admit that if I were in the market for a new or used revolver I would probably go for a S&W if it was to be a J framed size and if larger I would go with a Ruger.

If you enjoyed reading about "What is the quality of Charter and Taurus snubbies like?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!