Charter Arms Bulldog quality


September 28, 2011, 01:21 PM
I am sort of in the market for a small 44spl. I am not sure which forum it was, but in 2008 a post was up saying the CA used to have quality revolvers but as of 2008 they did not. Does anyone know if this is true and if so, has the quality gotten better?

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September 28, 2011, 01:27 PM
Haters will be haters.

I have 2 Charter .44's that were manufactured and purchased after 2007, and they have both been flawless.
September 28, 2011, 02:45 PM
When they first came out, you could chamber 44 mags in them. I know some
who have shot several cylinders full of 44 mags with no ill effect. I have two
of them made in 1977 and 1974. GREAT for a carry gun. I keep mine loaded
with the CCI Blazer 200 gr. Gold Dot until something better comes along.

September 28, 2011, 03:36 PM
I owned a pair of the original Bulldogs, blued & stainless.

Never really pleased with functioning & accuracy of either. (Part of the accuracy problem was reportedly the older 200gr STHP bullet design, though, to be fair, but the LSWCHP loads never really seemed to produce outstanding practical accuracy, either.)

I tend to think their QC was a bit unpredictable.

I really wanted to keep the stainless one, but after the third time it was "repaired" by the factory for the cylinder seizing up (in both dry & live fire conditions), I removed it from the box after the latest factory repair and it seized during dry-fire before making it all the way around the cylinder. I traded it into the shop who had done the shipping & receiving for me, and who apparently had a very bored gunsmith who wanted a project gun ... and didn't revisit CA revolvers again.

I have no idea what the latest incarnation of the guns are like, nor am I interested in finding out. I tend to like a more robust design than that offered by the CA guns (and some of the other inexpensive revolvers, for that matter).

I know a couple of other guys who owned and carried .44 Bulldogs over the years, but neither of them did any serious practice with them. Carried a lot and seldom fired for practice. I tried to use mine fairly frequently, though.

I feel S&W and Ruger offers enough models to suit my own needs.

Sure, the nostalgic streak in me still feels like a .44 Spl snub would be a nice wheelgun to own, but it doesn't appeal to my practical perspective any longer. That's just me, though.

September 28, 2011, 06:11 PM
whats there behind that to the 44 mag in a bulldog? hmm, i recently purchased one and its actually not that bad compared to what i paid, im fairly impressed by it at the indoor range, anywho, is there any way to find out what year mine was manufactured? and more on this 44 mag talk

September 28, 2011, 06:56 PM
I've carried a Bulldog in one form or another for 20+ years, and they're great little pocket rockets. I personally believe the current model/production is the best quality yet. When/if you buy look at Davidson's for the best price.:cool:


September 28, 2011, 09:45 PM
Would love to have a good .44 Special snub. It's a superb caliber for this use, IMO, recoil isn't too sharp and stopping power is excellent.

September 28, 2011, 09:58 PM
As an aternative, look at a Taurus Tracker M44C snub nose. Well built and shoots Mag loads.

Owen Sparks
September 28, 2011, 11:12 PM
I have had about half a dozen of them over the last 30+ years. They will hold up to a moderate amount of shooting just fine but are light enough to carry everywhere. Taurus and Rossi have made heavier 5 shot .44 Specials that will probably last longer but then they are noticably heavier.

September 29, 2011, 01:08 AM
I just picked up a bulldog pug this summer, love it. It's not as refined as a S&W, but pretty darn decent for the price. DA trigger pull is good, SA is excellent, accuracy is better than expected. At 21 ounces and about the size of an SP-101, it carries quite easily and is still comfortable to shoot.

IMO, recoil isn't too sharp

It gets pretty stiff firing heavier loads out of these featherweights. My carry load is a handloaded 210 gr. Remington SJHP that clocks 980 FPS from the 2.5" barrel for 450 ft/lbs; It's snappy. Feels about like full house mags out of my 3" 629 (twice the weight).

September 29, 2011, 02:06 PM
I am interested in one of these too. It is a few ounces lighter than my SP101 but has a better round in my opinion. I hope some more folks chime in as I really like the overall package that these offer. If nothing else I may pick one up in the next few months and I will definitely relate my experiences with it then.

September 29, 2011, 02:14 PM
Nice post and very timely as I'm meeting a guy on Saturday to buy one from him. I'm getting it for a good price and to be honest I'll probably shoot a box of 50 thru it to get a feel for it and then it will be regulated to glovebox gun duty. Once I get it I'll post a review with my thoughts on it.

September 29, 2011, 03:03 PM
I just purchased a new bulldog .44. Just fired about 25 rounds last night, so far, no problems. I really like it - size and weight about right, fit and finish better than expected, double action trigger pull not bad at all - actually seems lighther than many of my S&Ws. The cylinder turns clockwise - just like I always though it should be.
Nice heavy primer strikes, I like that. Single action trigger had a little creep, but was light. Normal cylinder play, I check the timing and the holes line up. I inspected the screws and pins in the frame and none of them appear to have budged after the shooting session.

Of the last 4 S&Ws I bought, all new, 3 out of 4 had to go back to the factory for work (two for light primer strikes, failure to ignite) and 1 for multiple issues.

You can have issues with any manufacturer, but right now Charter is 100% with me. Thinking about getting a second one to send it off for some custom work. I've got a couple of S&W performance center guns, but I'm thinking about carrying this Bulldog.

September 29, 2011, 09:14 PM
A Bulldog was my first handgun purchase, November 1976, when I turned 21. I took it to Korea the next year. Have carried it off and on for years. Shot it a fair amount largely with cowboy class ammo. When I handled one of the new DAO Pugs I had to have one. Its not a well tuned 696, but not the price one of those, or the size and weight. I have experimented with a Taurus Tracker 4" that was fed only specials and a Rossi 720, weight, size and other factors of less consequence sent them to other homes.

I heard nasty rumors about the "Charter 2000" era but have no personal experience with those guns.

Charter is a niche company no doubt. But now that I can afford "better" I have handled Night Guards, some of the Lew Horton N-frame snubs, 296, 396 etc. In this instance I give Charter the nod.

September 29, 2011, 09:47 PM
I have a .44 pug that I bought last year. It is the tiger stripe model. It has become my wife's favorite revolver. In fact, she now refers to it as "Her revolver". It is a great little revolver, and now I might have to buy one for myself.:rolleyes:

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