Charter Arms Customer Service


March 2, 2012, 06:58 PM
In July of 2001 I purchased a new Charter 2000 .44spl Bulldog, model# 74420. Nice little package being in stainless steel SA/DA offering. Paid $254.75 at the time which covered sales tax and shipping. Not bad.

I only fired 5 shots through this little guy with quality Federal ammunition at time of purchase. It worked just fine. Used it as a bed side gun for a few years then put it away in the gun safe. About 6 years ago my oldest "liberal" brother said he like to have a firearm around the house. I gave him this revolver.

About a month ago he called and said he took revolver out to farm to shoot it (first time) and it missed fired 2 out of 5 shots. Huh? I took a weekend off and we went to shoot it and low and behold 2 out of 5 shots light primer hits? I sprayed it down then re-oiled and again light primer hits 2 out of 5 shots. I also tried 2 different manufactures of .44 spl with same results.

I emailed Charter Arms with my problem and they responded back same day with return instructions since this company has a lifetime warranty. Impressive. They said 10 day turn around time. I hope so. Mailed out revolver today for warranty work.

Any one else used there warranty service? I will post follow up once firearm returns with results.

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March 2, 2012, 07:06 PM
Interesting that you got good service. I bought one of their pistols in 2005, it was the worst gun I ever owned. It was so bad that I wanted no part of it, even if they promised to repair it. I took a beating on that gun and would never even consider any of their equipment if it were free.

I've had people on here berate me for my feelings on Charter too. All I can say is to each his own.

If you had good service I'm happy for you.

March 16, 2012, 08:45 PM
Today I received back from Charter Arms my .44spl Bulldog that I sent them for warranty work. Exactly one week turn around time from the day they received revolver, back to my front door! Not bad. NOTE: I had to have UPS hold the box until I could be availiable to sign for package which was today.

The problem with the light primer hit's turned out to be the original grips (junk) were binding up the mainspring. They were a poor fit from the get go. I kind of suspected that but wasn't sure. So they installed new grips. Problem solved.

joed, sorry about your experience with Charter Arms. Mine was positive.

March 16, 2012, 08:53 PM
On a slight tangent, have you tried any aftermarket 3rd party grips on your Charter?

March 17, 2012, 04:20 AM
No, I have not tried any aftermarket grips for this revolver. Honestly I don't plan to either. No money will go into this little gem other than ammo & cleaning costs. I'm getting cheap in my older age.

March 17, 2012, 04:35 AM
That's even more impressive when you consider that Charter has changed hands at least once since the Charter 2000 days. Quality was pretty much hit or miss during the Charter 2000, Charco days I understand.

The only experience I've got with them is writing to them to find out if the grips they use now will fit the older guns. I've got two of them (38's) from the mid 60's, early 70's and those tiny grips will bloody my knuckles every time, no matter what loads I'm shooting. They wrote back and told me they would with no problem. I ordered the grips and got them in a few days. Slipped right on.

March 17, 2012, 06:24 AM
CajunBass: The grips your showing are the same one's Charter Arms installed on mine. I agree that Charter 2000 quality was hit or miss. I bought this Bulldog and a .38spl Undercover about same time in 2001. Both have seen very little to no trigger time since I'm a 1911 and Browning Hi-Power punch drinker. I may contact Charter Arms about new grips for my Undercover also. Thanks for heads up!

March 17, 2012, 07:12 PM
For the the first time went to indoor shooting range w/Charter Arms .40 . VERY pleased. Pull back the hammer & single axn 3lb pull was sweeeeet! I found this revolver to be very accurate (for me) 7-15 yds.

March 17, 2012, 09:41 PM
Be advised that Charters (at least those made in the 80s) had a VERY bad habit of having the hammer spring guide rod pop out of it's concave hole in the undersaide of the hammer. The ball end of the rod would then place itself at the extreme rear bottom edge of the hammer.

The resullt of this was that, when you tried to either cock the hammer for SA shooting or tried to pull the trigger for DA shooting, the hammer would go about halfway back and stop dead.

Hardly the scenario you would welcome in a self defense life/death situation.

March 18, 2012, 09:17 AM

I researched Charter Arms/Charter 2000/Charter Arms & found the history very interesting. In 1964, Douglas McClennahan founded Charter Arms. McClennahan, who had previously worked for Colt, High Standard, and Sturm Ruger, had a vision: to produce a high-quality, reliable handgun that was also affordable.

1972: David Ecker made a buy out offer to Doug and Ecker became the sole owner of Charter Arms.
1984: Nick Ecker, David Ecker's son and the present owner of Charter Arms, joined the company and ultimately ran the manufacturing/production arm of the company.
1988: The compnay was renamed Charco.
2000: The company was renamed Charter 2000 to coincide with the change of the millennium. For a period of time between 2000 and mid-2007 the firearms were stamped with "Charter 2000."
2002: The company was renamed Charter Arms. Nick Ecker becomes the sole proprietor of Charter Arms.
October 2004 Founder, Doug McClenehan passed away.
March 2005 David Ecker passed away.
2007: Mid-year the firearms were stamped with "Charter Arms" and remain today.

Why Choose A Charter Revolver?

Charter Arms revolvers give you choices in your ammunition selection. With a Charter revolver, you can cover almost any threatening situation in one cylider load.
Since most threats take place at a range of 10 feet or less, you need an effective response. Charter firearms offer rugged, reliable, and affordable personal protection!
Charter revolvers were conceived by American engineers who sought to achieve a new and distinctive approach to handgun design, without disturbing fine gun traditions.
Smallest, lightest one-piece frame—stronger than screw-on side plate designs.
Fewest critical moving parts for simplicity of design and trouble free operation.
All barrels, machined with eight groves instead of six for higher velocity, flatter trajectory and better accuracy. All barrels shroud the ejector rod.
Completely blocked hammer system cannot fire unless trigger is held in full rear position - safest revolver design in the world. In fact, Charter invented the hammer block transfer bar safety system used by almost every revolver manufacturer.
Shortest hammer throw, fastest lock time.
Wide trigger and hammer spur.
Cylinder lock up is in three places instead of two: cylinder stop and ejector rod collar for additional safety, strength and cylinder-to- barrel lock up.
No stud to hold cylinder in place when open--only US manufacturer to feature.
100% American Made
100% American Parts
100% American Owned

... that's my 2 cents

March 18, 2012, 12:35 PM
Interesting that you got good service. I bought one of their pistols in 2005, it was the worst gun I ever owned. It was so bad that I wanted no part of it, even if they promised to repair it.

So you imply that they don't have good service, but admit to never having used it? That makes sense...........:rolleyes:

I have a Bulldog Pug .44 bought new in August of last year, great little gun. Light weight, good trigger, accurate, and is standing up to my rather warm loads (210 gr. @ 980 FPS from the 2.5" barrel) quite well.

My only complaint is a slight hitch in the hammer when cocking for SA, but it's smoothing out with use. Otherwise, I love this little gun.

March 18, 2012, 01:43 PM
They've been through a storied and checkered history, but my impression is that the latest version of the company (past 5 years or so) has it together.

I hear good stuff about their current customer service, too. They do appear to care and try hard. That's all I ask.

I am thinking about giving them a try on one of their Pathfinders.

March 18, 2012, 08:43 PM
I have a .357 Mag Pug. Works great, EXCEPT that it shot way too low at 25 feet (with factory loads or handloads). A search on youtube will find several videos of people who had the same problem. Rather than sending it back to Charter, I milled down the front sight until it shot at aim point (I am a former machinist).
Then I made a set of custom grips which allowed more of my hand to grip the handgun, and the new grips don't stick out of my pocket like the old ones, either.

March 19, 2012, 06:57 PM
I would like to here about the Charter 357 mag pug. How do they hold up and how well they handle 357 self defense ammo.

March 20, 2012, 12:51 PM
"I would like to here about the Charter 357 mag pug. How do they hold up and how well they handle 357 self defense ammo. "
I have a .357 Mag Pug, the same one I modified the sight on.
It is quite rugged and I wouldn't be afraid to put any max loads through it. However, it is still quite small and relatively light (but not as light as one of the S&W Airweights, thankfully) and max loads, like 158 grain full factory loads, and Speer 155 grain Gold Dot Short Barrel factory loads, are quite punishing to the hand if one fires a full 50-round box. The factory grip is good, but it can protect only so much. So I have gotten some of the Gold Dot Short Barrel bullets and handload them to a reduced level, about the same as a hot 9mm load. That combo is much easier to "handle". But if the gun is to be used for self-defense, then one doesn't do much target shooting with it, anyway. My handload is more than twice as energetic as a .38 Special, but less than a .357 mag.
I made new grips for mine, using wood, Bondo, and plastic, to reduce the overall height of the firearm, and to allow me to get one more finger onto the grip. I sprayed on a non-slip coating, but that's wearing off and I will soon use the grips I made as a mold to make an identical grip from a grippy castable rubber.
The one caveat about the Mag Pug (besides the front sight) is that I found that a couple of the frame screws loosen up a little during a full-box range trip, and need to be retightened during cleaning. No big deal, though. Others have had the same problem.
I should have added that the ported barrel seems to help with muzzle whip, at least compared to a Ruger SP101 which I rented.

March 22, 2012, 09:31 AM
Why Choose A Charter Revolver?

Yes, by all means; All those things you listed, plus a relatively fragile grip that cracks and breaks easily if dropped, a cylinder release button that consists of 7 seven different tiny parts held together by a screw that frequently backs out and gets lost, along with all the other parts, an extraction system that copies a High Standard Sentinel, and the devil incarnate to get apart to clean or replace a spring. Not to mention the hammer strut becoming dislodged from it's hole in the hammer and putting the gun out of action.

Oh, yes, forgot to mention the little spring loaded plunger that operates the cylinder stop; It gets rusted frozen, putting the cylinder stop out of action with it either locked or not operating at all.

Or at least that's the way they were in the 80s-90s. Maybe they've improved in the last 20 years. One can only hope.

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