So, Has Charter Arms Really Gotten Their Act Together>?


January 25, 2011, 03:49 AM
I'm not going to argue, that they even come close to a Smith, but I must say I was impressed with thei Charter Airweight. Went ahead and picked it up for right around $350. No frills, to be sure, but it's 12oz. of "sucker-punch", and I find it attractive.

Charter started as a good quality bargin, but years later, become hit & miss. It seems they are putting out good quality budget guns again, and are back in the mix.


If you enjoyed reading about "So, Has Charter Arms Really Gotten Their Act Together>?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 25, 2011, 06:04 AM

Well I had an Undercover back in the days when they were considered a "good quality bargain". Didn't quite work out that way and I sold it a few years later. Pretty much have stayed with S&W J frames ever since.

After quite a few corporate make-overs, I'm not really sure what their overall quality is nowadays and for the money, don't reallly feel compelled to find out. So I guess it's up to you (and to any other THR members), to let us know how well (or not so well) they perform.

January 25, 2011, 06:55 AM
This has been my EDC for the last 6 mos. It's lightweight, reliable and accurate. Whenever I go to the range, I put a couple of cylinders through it just to make sure it's mechanically sound and it always is. This is not the air weight model.

And here is the way that I carry it:

January 25, 2011, 09:44 AM
I've only looked at the new ones, but they seem ok to me. If I didn't have one of the "old ones" already, I might have bought one.

I did buy a set of their new grips for my old Undercover 38.

January 25, 2011, 10:39 AM
I have one of there ultrs lite 38's and i like the revolver very well. At 13oz it carries very light and fires to point of aim with both Hornady CD ammo and georgia arms +p defence loads. I don't carry alot abut have run about 600 practice loads and 250 carry loads. I changed to a liter Wolf hammer spring when brand new and trigger has gotten smoother with use. Practice ammo runs to what ever is cheap. I would buy again and had this one I think a 1 1/2 year. Others are prettier but for the money there good guns.

January 25, 2011, 10:53 AM
I purchased a CA Target Patriot in May of '09, 327 Federal Magnum. At the time it was the longest barrel and adjustable sights available. I've put over a thousand rounds of hot hand loads thru it and almost that many 32 H&R Magnum rounds. The revolver is just getting better as it is used. Have not had any kind of malfunction and it is far more accurate than I can shoot. Good gun, good price, good cartridge. I'll look to CA again, if and when I buy new, which isn't often.

January 25, 2011, 04:30 PM
I have a newer .44 pug that is great. I have not had any problems with it and hope that I don't.

January 25, 2011, 06:53 PM
I haven't looked at any made within the past six months or so, but their quality control hasn't been very good over the last few years(or throughout most of their history). Their bulldog is a gun I have always wanted to like, but the roughness in construction always leaves me cold when I look at a new one(I do have a early model that is ok).

January 25, 2011, 07:52 PM
You paid $350 for that gun!
My LGS has S&W Airweights for that price.
Another LGS has them for $389 currently.
Bud's has them for $378.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

January 25, 2011, 10:27 PM
So, Has Charter Arms Really Gotten Their Act Together>?

I hope so. I've really been looking forward to the CARR in .45 ACP.

January 25, 2011, 10:50 PM
it has started shipping I heard in 40


January 26, 2011, 12:08 AM a box of chocolates - you don't never know what you're going to get........ Charter's quality control has always been pretty much around 25% good ones and the rest will have some issues. Don't buy one unless you can personally inspect it and you know what you're looking for. If you can find a good one they make a VERY NICE carry all day gun. Just don't plan on taking it to the range every week and shooting a couple hundred rounds through it. Do not run +P+ or CorBon or Elmer Keith loads through it. They do not have the lifespan of a Ruger or a S&W. Shoot it enough to get real familiar with it and be confident that it's reliable and then just carry it. I have one that was my daily carry gun for over twenty years and I'll never part with it. I would NOT consider a Charter in an alloy frame. The steel ones only weight around 20 oz. and the recoil with them is pretty stimulating. A Charter alloy frame is not going to be fun to play with unless you really like sore wrists and it will probably shoot itself out of time more quickly than the steel version. Trust me. you can carry the steel version all day and forget you have it on your belt.

January 26, 2011, 10:59 AM
Charter arms is back in family hands is building a good quality firearm.

January 26, 2011, 01:01 PM
Don't buy one unless you can personally inspect it and you know what you're looking for.

That's the best advice you'll ever see on Charter. I owned one a few years ago and want no more to do with the company, no matter who owns it.

January 26, 2011, 03:14 PM
Same advise applies to every gun I buy, if I can't hold it, inspect, it then I'm not going to buy it; unless it is priced at about 5% of what perceived value should be. I'll always pay 5 bucks for a hunnert $ gun, sight unseen. But thats the only way!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hondo 60
January 26, 2011, 05:41 PM
I bought mine in July 2009.
It's a piece of feces!

It's just sloppy loose all over & not accurate.
For HD at 3-5 feet, it'd be fine, but no more than that.

I didn't realize how bad it was til I bought my 2nd gun.
A 1966-67 S&W Model 10-5 with a 4" barrel.
Now that's a quality gun!

January 26, 2011, 06:10 PM
joed good advise today even with smith and wesson. Many bought these guns when other owned them and they did produce some junk. They now say CHATER ARMS not charter or charter 2000 or something other than Charter Arms.

January 26, 2011, 09:24 PM
Hondo60: My CA was purchased new in mid '09; my experience is the exact opposite of yours, really makes me wonder. I wish they would put the day of the week that they were finished on the gun, I would avoid Friday and Monday.

January 26, 2011, 09:37 PM
I wouldn't buy any revolver including s & w or colt without inspecting it. Back when I needed guns I would pick one out of the showcase and check it out. If it was near perfect as guns go I would usually buy it. I put many more back than I bought.

January 28, 2011, 03:20 PM
I have an Undercover purchased new in December of 1987 (the day I got hired as a LEO.) It has remained tight over more than two decades, and I'm happy with it. It is a version that was apparently not common then, with a barrel and rod shroud and checkered grips. I carried it as a BUG and off-duty for several years, and started again carrying it a few years ago, though I now carry a Kel-Tec PF-9 almost exclusively.
Incidentally, I found out a few years ago that my father, not well known to me during my childhood, also carried an Undercover as a LEO. I saw it when I found that out in 2004, and inherited it last month when he died. I just sent it out to a friend who can clean it up for me; after years stashed as a "Jeep gun" in the New Mexico desert, it could definitely use some TLC, but it looks pretty good.. it's a lot older than mine, with a five-digit serial. Mine has a seven-digit serial.

If you enjoyed reading about "So, Has Charter Arms Really Gotten Their Act Together>?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!