Any Charter Arms fans out there? - THR

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Old January 25, 2014, 07:45 PM   #1
Join Date: May 18, 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 172
Any Charter Arms fans out there?

I just bought a Charter Arms Undercover 38. Its a new production CA and im liking the overall look/feel. Ive put 300+- rounds though it so far and im impressed with its accuracy for being a "gut shooter". LGS has another nib CA Undercover im thinkin about buying. Im just wondering if these new CA are hit and miss like Rossi and Taurus and such? Anyone else have good luck with this maker? pre thanks for any replies.

Last edited by MinnesotaFats; January 25, 2014 at 07:58 PM.
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Old January 25, 2014, 07:53 PM   #2
Join Date: November 21, 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,288
I got a 1960's era undercover Charter that hits POA at 25 yards with Horaday Critical Defense ammo.
They are Solid guns.
I just an ole sinner saved by Grace and protected by Smith & Wesson.
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Old January 25, 2014, 08:09 PM   #3
Join Date: December 16, 2013
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 164
I wouldn't call myself a fan, but I do have a Mag Pug DAO that shoots as good as I do. Mine was a bit rough on the back end of the trigger guard, but it is reliable and I have put several hundred rounds through it. Some day I plan on getting the 9mm Pitbull.
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Old January 25, 2014, 08:10 PM   #4
Join Date: June 14, 2008
Location: SouthEastern FL
Posts: 3,253
I bought one as a present to myself in December of 1987, the day I was sworn in as a LEO. It rode backup/off-duty for the next few years until I switched to an agency on whose "approved" list it apparently didn't make. It has always been a great little shooter, and has the then-rare anodized-aluminum barrel/ejector shroud on it. I still own it and carry it once in a while.

In 2010, my dad died and the last two guns he owned became mine. I didn't know him growing up, but had re-established contact with him ten years before his death. One of those guns is also an Undercover 38, made in 1966. It, too, shoots well and is still pretty tight. That one is actually a little slimmer than mine because of the lack of a shroud and the smoother stocks, so it carries even more easily.

Yeah, I'm happy with the brand. The ones to avoid are the ones sold after about 1990 until about 2000, under the "Charco" and "Charter 2000" names. The company has changed hands a few times over the years, but is evidently back under its original ownership.
"Zero Tolerance" may sound cool, but COMMON SENSE should rule in school!
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Old January 25, 2014, 08:24 PM   #5
Join Date: May 18, 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 172
^ thanks guys, great posts. so in the recent years it went from Charco to Charter 2000 so what are they calling themselves now in 2014? whats the quality difference from the newer ones compared to the older ones?

Last edited by MinnesotaFats; January 25, 2014 at 08:34 PM.
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Old January 25, 2014, 08:30 PM   #6
Join Date: July 9, 2006
Posts: 1,243
I had a Charco which was the worst POS I ever owned even after 2 trips back to the manufacturer. Charter has a lot of fans I know but I'll pass on anything that starts with "Char".
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Old January 25, 2014, 08:44 PM   #7
Join Date: June 29, 2013
Posts: 264
I have the 38 special undercover DAO

I was getting 5-7 misfires per 50 rounds with it, and 1-2 no-fires even on the 2nd strike. I could fire these out of my KLCR 357 without issue. I took it to my gunsmith to work on. He claims he didn't do anything but look at the spring. But since he's messed with it, I haven't had any mis-fires. He did say someone shortened the spring and he'd fix that if I had anymore issues.

Before the gunsmith, I was not happy with it, after the gunsmith, I'm pretty happy. Really like the feel of it.
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Old January 25, 2014, 08:48 PM   #8
Join Date: November 12, 2006
Location: N. Ohio
Posts: 440
I had a Charco 2000. It was great. Gave it to a lady friend that needed a carry gun. I have missed it ever since then. I have so many other Snubs I just can't justify buying another.
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Old January 25, 2014, 08:57 PM   #9
Geezer Glide
Join Date: June 10, 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 210
I have an old Undercover .38, an old Bulldog .44, and a newer Off Duty .38. All three have been great guns.
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Old January 25, 2014, 09:09 PM   #10
Join Date: January 8, 2008
Location: Southern Virginia
Posts: 10,057
I got my Father-in-laws 1971 Undercover. Reliable, accurate, weapon. Wife carries it more that any other gun we own, and we own a bunch.
I only have so many heartbeats left. I am not wasting them on things that are not fun.
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A good hit with a marginal bullet is better than a marginal hit with good bullet. Tom Givens
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Old January 25, 2014, 09:24 PM   #11
Bob Bonillas
Join Date: July 2, 2012
Location: Oregon
Posts: 40

Has been accurate and reliable from day one. I installed Pacmyr grips
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Old January 25, 2014, 10:28 PM   #12
Join Date: August 18, 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,424
I would really like to have a CA Bulldog, but of the newer ones I have handled in the last 4 years there is just no way I would buy one.
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Old January 25, 2014, 10:36 PM   #13
Join Date: September 15, 2010
Posts: 271
I have a first generation Undercover, a new Undercover Lite and a new dao Bulldog. I have had no problems with any of them. They are all in my carry rotation. Often 2 at a time.
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Old January 26, 2014, 12:32 AM   #14
Join Date: June 29, 2012
Posts: 1,491
Another bulldog for the thread!
found this one in a pawn shop a few years ago for $150, with wrecked bluing. No rust or pitting, just big blotches of missing blue.
Used it for my first cold blue project, it looks....better.
lost a tiny, spring loaded pin during reassembly...took a while to find another...came to HATE the cylinder release assembly.

See it there? Its that tiny nub that is recessed into the cylinder release on the left side of the screw...that sucker is powered by a tiny spring and wants to fly far and hide deep....got a mutant tiny third hand growing from your abdomen? For once in your life it will come in handy.

There was nothing I could do about the missing anodizing on the trigger guard and grip frame, so I don't worry about it.
Its ugly, it proves a bulldog can be shot loose because it rattles like a maraca at lockup, but I love it for some reason.

Last edited by silicosys4; January 26, 2014 at 12:42 AM.
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Old January 26, 2014, 12:51 AM   #15
Join Date: January 11, 2009
Posts: 390
Although I own a pair of S&W 638s, I carry two Charter Arms "On Duty". They just work better for me. I know there are auto loaders out there that carry more rounds than these two put together, but I prefer a snub 38 with a second for a New York reload.
After thinking a minute, why do we still call it a New York reload, it seems it's almost impossible to carry one snub in New York much less two.

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Old January 26, 2014, 03:53 PM   #16
Join Date: January 11, 2011
Posts: 55
I'm a pretty big fan of Charter Arms, keeping in mind what they are. I own a current production hammerless Bulldog for SD and CCW once I get my license and a current production Target Pathfinder 22lr for plinking. They will never have the same fit, finish, and beauty as a good vintage S&W, but are fine little guns if you avoid the Charco and Charter 2000 ones as stated above and don't abuse them with heavy loads or super high volume shooting. (I like to stay between 100 and 200 rounds a month)

From my experience, they are still quite a bit better than most Taurus and Rossi revolvers I've handled (never owned or shot one of those though).

Charters are exactly what they are advertised as: a good, solid, inexpensive revolver for moderate use and always carry. They are perfect work horses for those of us that can't afford several S&Ws, Colts, or Rugers in the configurations we want. You'll still want at least one of the premier brands just to own and shoot and appreciate, but for everyday non-competition uses, a Charter Arms is a decent gun to have.
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Old January 26, 2014, 04:38 PM   #17
Join Date: November 3, 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 234
I'm a S&W guy but do admit that CA made a few gems along their way.

The only one I have in my collection right now is a stainless pathfinder. Gave $185 for it complete with box a dozen years back. Sweet little package for pocket carry on woods walks. It's plinked more than a few pine cones in it's time with me :-)

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Old January 26, 2014, 04:53 PM   #18
Join Date: July 9, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 956
I have had good service with my Charter Bulldog SS(newer production) and a older blue Pathfinder .22. The Charco and Charter 2000 era guns were the ones with spotty QC. Looking at the newer Bulldog with the shrounded hammer,looks like a big S&W 649 in .44SPL.
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Old January 26, 2014, 05:07 PM   #19
Join Date: August 21, 2008
Posts: 2,105
My Bulldog from 1974. My main carry gun. Had it 40 yrs

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Old January 26, 2014, 06:23 PM   #20
Join Date: July 7, 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 5,799
Nice Son of Sam Special there. Had a old 38 spec. The front sight flew off. Factory soldered it back on.
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Old January 26, 2014, 08:30 PM   #21
Join Date: November 21, 2011
Location: Seymour, CT
Posts: 387
I have a 3-year old Mag Pug. In my opinion, a POS.
Screws constantly loosen. Cylinder chambers at the max ID. Wouldn't shoot to POA (20" low at 25 feet!) until I machined down the front sight. Would NEVER buy another.
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Old January 26, 2014, 09:24 PM   #22
Cocked & Locked
Join Date: January 21, 2006
Location: Goat Hill NC
Posts: 2,039
no problems

I had one years ago that shot the "9mm Federal" cartridge (rimmed 9mm). I sold it and wish I still had it.

Currently have this Undercover .38 and really like it.

I changed the spurred hammer out for a Double Action Only hammer I ordered from Charter Arms. It is not only a spurless hammer but converts the gun to a true DAO. Only problem is my wife liked it so much that she now uses it.

I would like to locally find an older .44 Bulldog...maybe someday.

I also have this old Pathfinder .22. I actually like it better than my other .22 handguns (two Colts, one Ruger, one NAA)

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Old January 26, 2014, 09:31 PM   #23
Join Date: May 18, 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 172
Great pics a posts guys. That CA looks pretty damn sharp C&L.
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Old January 26, 2014, 09:32 PM   #24
Join Date: March 30, 2012
Location: Southeast Tennessee
Posts: 167
the 70 model bulldog is one good gun. i been looking for the left hand model 38 sp they have out for the wife.
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Old January 26, 2014, 10:13 PM   #25
Hondo 60
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Location: Manitowoc, WI
Posts: 4,237
johnboy711 - new Charters are OK, nothin to write home about.
If you want a gun you can be REALLY proud of, try a vintage Smith & Wesson Model 10-5 (1960s-1970s).

My first ever handgun was a Charter - after going back to the factory 2x it's OK now.
It's reliable & looks decent.
My 2nd handgun, was the afore mentioned S&W 10-5.
OH MY GOSH! What a difference.
Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway - John Wayne
When you're holdin a hammer, everything looks like a nail - Bryan Glover

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