s&w vs Charter vs ruger


April 17, 2011, 04:35 PM
i have been looking for a new 38 +P and i would like to know about the S&W bodyguard 38 the Ruger LCR and the Charter arms undercover lite 38

the charter is the lightest at 12oz and the cheapest

the Smith is the heaviest at 14.(something) and the most expensive but comes with a laser

and the Ruger is the middle of them all with 13 oz and mid price

Plez help

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April 17, 2011, 05:35 PM
Charter...no way. Smith has a lot of problems in production now days and is priced like the quality product it ONCE was. :rolleyes: RUGER is my choice here. YMMV The SP101 is a high quality, strong as an ox revolver. I've not tried the LCR, but I love my Rugers, own 7 of 'em, but not the SP101. I want another some day.

My current personal alloy .38 carry is a 2" Taurus M85SSUL and I love that thing. It's accurate, reliable, well made, and has the best trigger on an out of the box handgun that I've ever felt, let alone purchased.

April 17, 2011, 06:51 PM
I do not have one as I carry the Colt agent and magnum carry but I have shot the others you mentioned as well as the Ruger LCR. It has the best trigger of any snubby I have shot and even though it is very light in weght the recoil is not bad at all to me. Ruger has a winner with this one.

April 17, 2011, 06:57 PM
the SP101 is a different class of gun than the OP three, very different weight/frame
the Taurus 85UL series is in same class as those three, and 38+P is pretty snappy out of all those ultralite/airweights

Charter history being so fragmented over the years, don't know what to think of them, but the others (S&W, LCR, Taurus 85 series) all very competitive choices IMO

but... if you want a gun that for sure "can do" 357 loads also (which maybe you don't), take a licking and keep on ticking, then yes, the heftier SP101 will outlast them all.. but ultralight it ain't

April 17, 2011, 10:21 PM
I had a S&W 642. I sold it and bought a Charter Arms Undercover in 38 special and a Charter Arms Target Mag Pug in 357 magnum. Both have been reliable and fun to shoot.

April 17, 2011, 11:58 PM
I've carried a S&W 642 for 15+ years and if I had to start over again, I'd go with the LCR.

The steel S&W Bodyguard is too heavy for it's size...plus I found it's humpback ugly...the Charter Undercover just felt cheap.

My 642 has been tune and has a perfect trigger pull, but comparing stock guns, the LCR has a superb trigger...it is multitudes more refined than any other Ruger since the Speed-Six

April 18, 2011, 12:34 AM
I saw an advertisement for Charter arms and they confessed to having produced some low quality firearms when they were under another ownership. But apparently they are building a much better piece these days. So if you were to think about buying one, I would check the manbufacturer date to make sure it's a very recently manufactured one. Or you could play it safe and go with an older S&W, or any Ruger straight up. I don't like the new S&W's, they feel cheesy to me in comparison to the older models I own. But a Ruger is a Ruger every day of the week, and will give you a life time of use.

April 18, 2011, 12:55 AM
even though I am not hot for another snubbie right now, it's those oft repeated comments on how good the Ruger LCR trigger is that keep me wondering if I maybe ought get more snubbie serious
but if I get myself drawn into that quicksand, I don't think one would do; I would probably have to do two, both the LCR and Mcgunner's favorite

alas, so many guns, so little time, so little cash

Lord Teapot
April 18, 2011, 06:25 AM
s&w all the way. i own 4 s&w handguns, 3 revolvers and an automatic, and i've never had a single problem.

April 18, 2011, 06:28 AM
If Charter Arms improved their quality, then the .44 Bulldog would make for a great carry piece.

April 18, 2011, 06:30 AM
I would also consider the Colt "Sheriff's Model" in .44-40 or .45 Colt for a CCW piece too.

April 18, 2011, 08:39 PM
Revolvers from Charter Arms that are new, or old but in good condition (1980's), are usually OK shooters. Not pretty, but they're a good choice if you're on a budget. Most have decent accuracy. They have a good warrantee.

The Ruger LCR is relatively new to the market, but they have a nice trigger pull. Ruger's revolvers are a good buy, but I find the LCR to be the ugliest thing they've ever dreamed up.

Smiths are overpriced in my opinion, but they're common and have a lot of holsters available. Historically, they're nicer than Rugers, but Smith's quality has gone down a little in recent years. They're still good guns, and are very pretty.

You can't go wrong with any of them. They're all rated to shoot .38+p, but they're all so light that you'll probably shoot plain .38 spl most of the time. If money's no object and you can stand the looks of it, then the LCR is probably the best choice out of the box.

April 19, 2011, 05:08 PM
"They're all rated to shoot .38+p, but they're all so light that you'll probably shoot plain .38 spl most of the time".

Nope. Bought a LCR a couple of wks ago and shoot +p all the time.
It's the way the gun is built and the angle of the grip that makes it possible. The grip does take alittle shooting to get use to.
The LCR has a better and smoother trigger pull than the S&W. Tried them both.

That which does not kill me makes me stronger. - Friedrich Nietzsche

April 19, 2011, 05:34 PM
Ruger or S&W, I wouldn't take a Charter for free. The bad taste will never leave my mouth no matter who owns that company.

April 19, 2011, 05:53 PM
not a 38 but

my daughter bought a new charter 22mag snub , it tumbled (key hole) the bullet 10 feet out.

the 38 might be better but we were not impressed with there customer service, only charter arms i have now is an older bulldog target, it shoots straight.

im fond of the older smith mod 10 so i would look for a used smith

April 19, 2011, 06:35 PM
S&W gets my vote. I own several Smiths as well as several Rugers. If you want a Cadillac, get a Smith (especially an old one) if you want a Mack truck, get a Ruger.

April 19, 2011, 08:25 PM
I know it was not on your short list but I just picked up a S&W 638 the other day for a reasonable price. Very light and a pretty darn good shooter. The shrouded hammer=snag free but still gives the option of single action when playing around at the range. Worth a look.

April 20, 2011, 07:58 AM
thanks guys i will let you know

Cop Bob
April 20, 2011, 12:41 PM
I am a big Smith fan... it is what I learned with, it is what I carried for many years, it is a tried and true proven in blood design.. However, there are some features of the new generation Smiths that I am less than thrilled about...

The Ruger LCR is a sweetheart of a gun.. needs no trigger work, feels good to a finicky bum like me... I spotted one on a shelf some months back.. asked "What the Heck is That?" uttered the fatal words..."Can I see that one please?" and bought the darn thing... Man I really... REALLY like that little gun.... May have to buy another to replace it... The Wife now has laid claim....

The Charter... ah. Next!

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