Charter or S&W .38 J frame?


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GWARGHOUL
September 28, 2011, 12:52 AM
I'm thinking my next purchase will probably be a j frame, as a holiday present from someone..so...

At the end of the day...

Whats the better gun? I can spend about $35 more and get a S&W 637, or $35-45 less and get a Charter, even less for a steel frame.

The LGS tells me the "action" is better on Smith and Rugers, but Charter makes a good gun, which is essentially a copy of S&W design.

Growing up, my dad had the model 60 chief deluxe in .38.. was a very nice gun.

Thoughts..facts..and opinions please...

Thanks..

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MyGreenGuns
September 28, 2011, 12:54 AM
I can spend about $35 and get a S&W 637,
Thirty Five bucks?! Smokin deal!

I have a 637 and love it to death. No comment on the charter arms. Will attach a pic of a clip holster you should look into.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=147875&d=1314151170(Image Size:1024x768)
Not sure who makes it but I can ask my bro (original owner) if you're interested.

wlewisiii
September 28, 2011, 01:04 AM
I'd rather a Smith over which ever variation of Charter is in production today. I was pondering a Bulldog and bought a 642 instead.

788Ham
September 28, 2011, 01:08 AM
Get a Ruger SP 101, won't have to worry about sending it back!

CajunBass
September 28, 2011, 01:12 AM
I've got an older Charter and it's a good gun.

But new or old, for $35.00 difference, I'd get a Smith & Wesson.

mdauben
September 28, 2011, 11:03 AM
Whats the better gun? I can spend about $35 more and get a S&W 637, or $35-45 less and get a Charter
All the Charter Arms revolvers I have seen have been good, serviceable guns but IMO the Smith is a better gun and is easily worth anohter $35-45 dollars.

Fiv3r
September 28, 2011, 11:48 AM
Get the Smith. Hands down.

Charter would be down the list after. If not a S&W, then a Ruger. If not a Ruger then, maybe, a Charter.

scottishclaymore
September 28, 2011, 11:53 AM
I think this has already been said, but... Get the Smith. Brand new J-Frames are going for $350 a pop at my local gun shows these days. I'm thinking at that price, I need to pick a new one up too.

Dogguy
September 28, 2011, 12:06 PM
S&W absolutely. I've had an old Charter snubby that was a pretty good little gun but the Smiths are better. J-frames usually need some action work by a good gunsmith. I would guess that almost all good gunsmiths can do good action work on S&Ws.

rcmodel
September 28, 2011, 12:20 PM
but Charter makes a good gun, which is essentially a copy of S&W design. No it isn't a copy of a S&W.
The only thing similar between the two designs are that they are both revolvers.

Internal lockwork, crane henge, assembly method, etc., of the Charter is completely different.
And in my judgment, inferior in most every way.

IMO: Get a S&W.

BTW: The Model 60 your dad had was just a standard run of the mill stainless Chiefs Special.
They didn't make a "deluxe" model, unless it was factory engraved.
And yes, it was surely a very nice gun, because it was a S&W.

rc

fastbolt
September 28, 2011, 04:45 PM
If I were going to be using it for lawful concealed carry, as a dedicated defensive weapon, price wouldn't be the deciding factor in comparing the Charter Arms against the S&W. I'd choose what I felt to be the better designed, quality offering ...

I'd buy the S&W J-frame. (Of course, I presently own 6 of them. ;) )

That's just me, though.

Paladin38-40
September 28, 2011, 05:12 PM
The only brands of DA revolvers worth taking home, new or used, are S&W, Colt, and Ruger. All others require great (ir)rationalization.

OldCavSoldier
September 28, 2011, 05:26 PM
S&W for sure! I own three J-frame Smiths (M37, M642, and M60Jmag) and wouldn't part with any of them for anything

jhvaughan2
September 28, 2011, 09:29 PM
As others have suggested: Go with the Smith.

If there is only $35 difference then the charter is Over-priced or the Smith is under-priced.

Chillaxin
September 28, 2011, 09:46 PM
Another vote for the Smith. I'm betting that if you ever do decide to sell it there will be much more than a 35 dollar difference

-C-

trikster
September 29, 2011, 12:16 AM
+1 on the Smith. When I bought my M36, I handled the Charter that was a few bucks cheaper. It felt solid and locked up fine, but the trigger wasn't as smooth, the finish not quite as good, the edges not quite as refined... So, on a whole, the Charter just wasn't 'quite' as good as the Smith. For $35, it is a pittance compared to the quality difference. You will make out if you decide to sell it used.

Dr_B
September 29, 2011, 12:55 AM
If the difference is less than $50, why not just get the Smith?

GWARGHOUL
September 29, 2011, 02:01 AM
Well said. I'll get the smith when the time comes.

Thanks guys.

MachIVshooter
September 29, 2011, 02:14 AM
All the Charter Arms revolvers I have seen have been good, serviceable guns but IMO the Smith is a better gun and is easily worth anohter $35-45 dollars.

Agreed. I have a Bulldog Pug and love it, but if I could have got a .44 spl. the same size and weight from S&W for only $40 more, I would have.

The Charters are good guns, but not in the same league as a Smith.

OTOH, if you're looking at .357 offerings, there is a whole lot more than $40 difference between the Mag Pug and a J-frame.

mdauben
September 29, 2011, 11:44 AM
Agreed. I have a Bulldog Pug and love it, but if I could have got a .44 spl. the same size and weight from S&W for only $40 more, I would have.

I would agree. Even at a great price difference, I would only buy a Charter to get a reasonably sized .44spl.

Ala Dan
September 29, 2011, 10:58 PM
The days of "good Charter's" are long gone; opt for the the Smith J-frame;
or if you like Ruger's "cam action' better, then by all means swing for
it~! ;) :D

MachIVshooter
September 29, 2011, 11:26 PM
The days of "good Charter's" are long gone;

Don't mean to seem insulting, but have you kept up? The current (2007 and on) generation are the best yet. I wouldn't get one that reads "Charco" or "Charter 2000", but the current "Charter Arms" guns are back up to par. In addition to my bulldog pug, we have some undercover and undercover light models on the shelf at the shop I sometimes help on the counter; The fit & finish and mechanical function is quite good.

Ala Dan
September 30, 2011, 07:42 PM
To me, the first generation Charter's [Undercover, Off Duty, Undercoverette,
Pathfinder, Pug, etc.] were some (if not) the best. Yes, I agree stay away from
Charco's and Charter 2000's; but I have not tried the NEW Charters, as made
since 2007~! :scrutiny: :uhoh: ;)

FWIW- Its kind'a like the Taurus vs. Rossi debate. Personally, I will take a
good Rossi revolver over a Taurus any day of the week~!

BYJO4
September 30, 2011, 08:32 PM
I also prefer the S&W. I feel the quailty is better and it will retain its value better.

Girodin
September 30, 2011, 11:39 PM
I'd get an LCR over both (and yes I have a S&W J frame) but between those two I would without question spend the small amount more for a S&W.

ArchAngelCD
October 1, 2011, 01:13 AM
With that small a difference in price I will always choose the S&W over a Charter Arms revolver although Charter Arms has come a long way in QC since The Ecker family came back to the company. IMO current Charter Arms handguns are right behind S&W, Colt and Ruger.

shockwave
October 1, 2011, 01:26 AM
The Smith is the better gun. Most revolvers will get the job done, but the Smith will be reliable and hold its value well.

GWARGHOUL
October 3, 2011, 02:26 AM
Let me update this with this question...

Taurus revolvers... do they stand ahead or behind charter?

The price is more appealing for the Taurus. My great grandpa has a few, and swears they are just as good as any Smith.

I'm leaning towards the S&W 637, but am considering a few J frame Taurus and I wanted to know a little more about how they compare.

Thanks for all of your help guys.

MachIVshooter
October 3, 2011, 02:40 AM
Taurus revolvers... do they stand ahead or behind charter?

In my experience, well behind.

Also, if there is ever an issue with your gun, Charter (or S&W or Ruger) will fix it, and quickly. Taurus? Maybe, if they get around to it. Or they might just keep it a few weeks, fire it a few times (or not) and then ship it back saying they found no problems.

jhnrckr
October 3, 2011, 01:58 PM
i have a snubbie J Frame .38 special and I have an FFL. make you a deal

GWARGHOUL
October 4, 2011, 12:37 PM
i have a snubbie J Frame .38 special and I have an FFL. make you a deal

Whatcha got? Lets talk.

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