comparison needed on charter arms bulldog and ruger sp101


Revolver Ocelot
April 11, 2011, 11:51 AM
I'm getting ready to buy either a ruger sp101 or a charter arms bulldog in 44 special, I'm looking for opinions on the two revolvers as well as a picture showing a size comparison if anyone happens to have one.

So tell me what you think of these two revolvers and how they compare.

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April 11, 2011, 12:10 PM
My Charter bulldog was made in 1980 in Stratford, Conn. and is a lightweight , 20 ounce gun with a 2.5 inch barrel. The recoil with my 240gr bullets is rather stiff. I carried it for many years IWB and recieved great comfort looking at the big lead bullets , especially in the Cold months of the year. In the summer I would carry the Colt Agent in the pocket. When Colt came out with the magnum carry , I went to it and retired my Bulldog , but still carry the Agent in the warmer months. I sometimes carry the Ruger SP101 in 357 mag., when I am hunting as a backup gun , but rarely as my daily carry gun. It weighs 26 oz and the Magnum carry weighs about 21 oz. If you can manage the weight ,the Ruger is a fine gun too.

32 Magnum
April 11, 2011, 12:30 PM
I don't have a comparison with the Ruger, but attached is a comparison pic. showing a "TARGET" Bulldog - same size frame as the Bulldog 44 - next to a S&W Mod 19 K frame. The SP101 is a bit smaller than the 19.

April 11, 2011, 12:33 PM
that I have fired thousands of rounds through the lightweight Bulldog over many years without any problems with the gun and it still shoots great and the action is tight too. The hand on my SP101 went bad and had to go back to Ruger for some work. However, I do believe it to be a well made gun and should serve you well. For a carry gun, of the two, I would go with the bulldog, because of the weight.

April 12, 2011, 06:09 AM
I don't have a SP101 for comparison, but here's a Bulldog next to a S&W M640 J frame. I don't think you can find this caliber in a smaller package.

April 12, 2011, 09:20 AM
I would put my money on the Ruger. The sp101 is built like a tank, and the company is one of the leaders in the industry. Charter Arms changed ownership more than once, and quality has varied through the years. Like with Taurus, you might get a jewel or you might get one that disassembles itself the first time you take it to the range.

April 12, 2011, 09:24 AM
ruger sp101
but the son of sam killer used a charter 44

April 12, 2011, 10:15 AM
+1 for the ruger. My .357 sp101 next to my Sig 1911.....

April 12, 2011, 01:18 PM
I had a mid-70's vintage Charter "Bulldog" .44, and it served me well. Charter has been through SEVERAL owners, and quality varied quite a bit, particularly in the 80's & early 90's.

Lately, Charter seems to be producing as good a revolver as anyone in the lower-price category.

Vern Humphrey
April 12, 2011, 02:53 PM
Yes, Charter Arms quality has varied quite a bit. Ruger quality is steady and dependable. And their customer survice is superb. That alone would lead me to choose Ruger.

Lucky Derby
April 13, 2011, 12:05 PM
Either caliber will get the job done. The .44 does so with less drama.
That said, having owned a couple of Charter Arms Bulldogs, and currently owning an SP101, I can say the Ruger is the superior weapon. The CA's I owned were nothing but trouble. I really wish someone would make the Bulldog concept in a consistantly decent quality platform.

April 13, 2011, 12:10 PM
I've said before I really wish there was an enlarged SP in .44 Special. Ruger isn't listening, though. The Bulldogs I've seen have not been up to scratch. Wobbly triggers and a generally cheap construction. I think people hold on to the good ones.

Revolver Ocelot
April 13, 2011, 07:40 PM
I tried looking for some of the six series revolvers or the gp100's that were converted to 44 spl (no one does it anymore) but haven't had any luck. If I got one though the six would probablly be better in size I'd go for a fixed sight gp100 that was converted as something just feels wrong about a 5 shot six

April 13, 2011, 08:49 PM
I vote for the Ruger. And I carry a Charter everyday but my Charter is from 1972 and is one of the best Charters ever put out.

April 13, 2011, 11:01 PM
I own both. The ruger is a better revolver and if I could keep only one, it would be the ruger.

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