'70's Big Bore Concealed Carry

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Miami_JBT, Jul 28, 2022.

  1. Miami_JBT

    Miami_JBT Member

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    Gather around children, there once was a time before the micro-compact double-stacks. Heck, we're going to the long ago time before GLOCK even existed!

    Yes, in those dark and depressing days of Avocado Green and Harvet Gold colored kitchen appliances and disco, folks carried guns. Mind you, the market was primitive by today's standards but there was variety even back then.

    You had a number of concealable and pocket carry guns. Bauer Automatics, S&W Chief Specials, Walther PPKs, Colt Detective Specials, and Beretta Jetfires for example. If you wanted something in a cartridge larger than .38 Special or .380 Auto and had money to spend, then a ASP 9mm or Devel 9mm was your option in an automatic or you could get a snub-nose S&W Model 19 or Colt Lawman in .357 Magnum.

    But of you were a common, blue collar working class American then, your options were a little more limited if you were trying to save a penny but still pack a punch.

    I'll give you a hint on two of your choices back then. They were introduced within a few years of each other, have aluminum frames, and both are chambered in cartridge that start with the number 4.

    Still haven't figured it out yet? Okay, fine, one more hint.

    Both guns were commonly purchased, but weren't big names in the market. They were sleeper hits.

    Give up?

    Fine, here's the answer.....

    20220728_110415-jpg.jpg

    The Star PD in .45 ACP and the Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 Special. Charter Arms introduced the Bulldog in 1973 and it was an instant hit. Star introduced the PD in 1975 and it too was a success.

    Both guns sold very well at very reasonable prices, and more importantly, they were chambered in two proven cartridges.

    Remember folks, this was before proven and reliable hollowpoint ammunition existed. So, if you're stuck with a round that won't expand, then the bigger was always viewed as being the better option.

    Both guns were sleeper hits and both made huge waves in the concealed carry market of the time. The Star PD was well liked by such period writers like Jeff Cooper and Massad Ayoob.

    YAc1Hif.jpg

    I have a personal connection to the Star PD. My Father carried one as a back up and off duty piece when he was a plainclothes cop back in the late 70s and early 80s.

    cki7yI1.jpg

    He attests to its reliability and accuracy and likes that it had a capacity of six plus one.

    QghOhwy.jpg

    Dad never carried a Bulldog back then, he was a S&W guy through and through when it came to revolvers. But he did states that Charter Arms made a good gun back then, and always liked the idea of the Bulldog. He just never purchased one back then since he had the Star PD for his big bore concealed carry needs.

    s-l1600.jpg

    The Bulldog was very popular since it chambered the. 44 Special in a gun that was similar in size to the Colt Detective Special. Though limited to five shots, .44 Special was no laughing matter.

    The Bulldog and the capability of the .44 Special was made rather infamous for being the gun of choice by David Berkowitz, otherwose known as the "Son of Sam" serial killer.

    Both guns by today's standards are antiquated, outdated, obsolete, and belong in a museum. But back then, they were reliable and capable firearms. Hell, they still are because I still carry them. Right now as I write this, I have the Bulldog on my hip and the Star PD within my carry rotation.
     
  2. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    FYI the Charter Arms bulldog was manufactured before 1973. I called Charter Arms. Mine was made in 1969.

    But I've seen this mistake (1973) many times on the internet, including Wiki.
     
  3. Wildbillz

    Wildbillz Member

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    For some reason I have always wanted one of the (Older) Bulldogs. I have bid on several on Gun Broker but some one always wants it more then me.

    WB
     
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  4. Miami_JBT

    Miami_JBT Member

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    I found mine at a little gun shop in Melbourne, FL. They knew what they had, but had it priced at $299. I couldn't say no to that. Mine was made in 1976.

    Charter Arma is making the original pattern again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2022
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  5. Old_Grouch

    Old_Grouch Member

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    You forgot shag carpet.
     
  6. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I carry my Bulldog often. :)
     
  7. shoobe01

    shoobe01 Member

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    To the OP, yup, guessed both before scrolling.

    Sorry, blasphemy, but have grown bored of revolvers didn't get a charter .44 when I saw a not bad one a couple years back, but I did get a very pimptastic PD recently-ish, date coded to find it's just a couple years younger than me. It's delightfully nostalgic for me in many ways.

    Here with a friend's BM (BKM? I can't recall now) loaded with non-period-correct Gold Dots:
    2019-09-22 12.13.25.jpg

    The original gun to be "Carried much, and shot little," though Star had their metallurgy down, they did fine. Seen some loose ones, but none cracked or blown up or anything.

    http://star-firearms.com/firearms/guns/p/index.shtml
    Replace the buffer and springs regularly, and every time if you go to the store and get one now. They are critical wear items, but... Jack First was trying to sell the business, new made buffers may be gone now so it's X-Acto trimming a 1911 buffer time now I guess
    http://star-firearms.com/info/parts.shtml#wear
     
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  8. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

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    The first "new" handgun I bought with my own money around 1970 or so, was a Star Model P in 45acp. The choice at the time, other than Colt, which was a bit out of my budget at the time, was the Star and the Llama. Didnt like the Llamas. Shoveled a bunch of driveways to come up with the $75 to pay for that Star too. :)

    Great gun, great shooter too, but trying to get mags and parts for it, especially later on, was problematic.

    As much as I liked the Model P, I moved on to Colts as soon as I could afford one, and carried one on a daily basis, for quite a few years.
     
  9. perklo

    perklo Member

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    About 1980, I bought a blue Ruger Speed Six in 9mm.

    I put on a Tyler T-Grip and a colored front sight. I carried a couple of extra loaded half moon clips in a lil canvas pouch from the Army-Navy store. Not really big bore but impressive non-the-less.

    This is not mine, but it looked like this:

    Rugerspeedsix(1).JPG
     
  10. citizenconn

    citizenconn Member

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    Hurricane Harvey ruined my awesome two tone green shag carpet a few years ago. All I have in various patterns of Mexican tile throughout the house now. It's a bummer man. :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2022
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  11. Miami_JBT

    Miami_JBT Member

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    That was God doing you a favor and sending you a message.
     
  12. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    44SPL S&W696 About the same size as the Bulldog
     
  13. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    Skeeter Skelton found his favorite 44 Special load of a Keith 240 Gr SWC over 7.5 grains of Unique kicked too much in the Bulldog.
    I recall articles-often by George C. Nonte-on "chopped and channeled" M1911s-never seen one of course.
    I tried the Star PD, didn't like the aluminum frame.
     
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  14. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    Your threads always cost me money.
     
  15. citizenconn

    citizenconn Member

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    Maybe he got my shag carpet, but he didn't get my disco records.
    279c7e062c3cfb3c5d28953826fc665e.jpg

    Or my country records.
    John-Travolta-Urban-Cowboy-James-Bridges.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2022
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  16. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    All this talk of Bulldog revolvers and .44Spl. and no mention of the man who immortalized them in the public eye?

    Maybe you had to be in NYC at the time, but fear of the “.44 Caliber Killer”, Son of Sam, was huge there in ‘76 and ‘77. And the Charter Arms Bulldog, .44Spl. was his gun of choice.
     
  17. trackskippy

    trackskippy Member

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    I'll second the S&W 696. :)

    dWDP5ZdA7LI-ODz8ECOdosKWAdIeSjTGn5ii-V7ntXQOewWgszVPDOQPWWw?cn=THISLIFE&res=medium&ts=1659114012.jpg

    This is one of the Lew Horton runs and unfortunately, it was Mag Na Ported for the run. The porting does nothing for shooting and just quickly loads the front sight up with fouling, especially with lead bullets. Still, fun gun to shoot, and accurate too.

    Initially, I had put a set of Hogue Bantams on it, which does reduce the size a bit, and are still very shootable, but they do tend to get old if youre shooting a lot, something you just want to do once you start shooting it. :) I threw a full size set on and immediately saw a big difference, in both comfort and shooting.
     
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  18. Electrod47

    Electrod47 Member

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    Living in Fullerton Calif. during the 1970's I noticed an add in the local paper for a .44Cal gun 100.00. So I went over to this guys huge house with him in a huge boat in the driveway. Its 1976,. He comes out with a like new Charter Arms Bulldog. Tells me its his shark gun and he's the fire chief of Costa Mesa so "Don't do nothing stupid with it." I kept it as a carry gun for years. Then bought another and another and just recent I bought the "Boomer". I have lots of quality arms but, I always seem to leave the house with one on my hip or in my pocket. I load 200gr DEW's over Red Dot for 825fps couple Bianchi speed strips and I'm good to go.
     
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  19. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Yeah, Back-In-The-(Disco)-Days I was carrying a PPK/s or a PPK, or a 150- 4" Security Six, or a 151- 2¾" Security Six, or a nickel Colt's Combat Commander ... but a reeeeeally wanted a PD. Never could find one in VaBeach, though. :(

    In the following coupla decades I forgot all about the PDs, until one day in Spring'05. Hmmmm ... Gunbroker!

    It wasn't long before I acquired two VGC Star PDs for $250 in April and $205 in July. :)
     
  20. Miami_JBT

    Miami_JBT Member

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    God is a busy guy... he'll get your records when you least expect it!
     
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  21. Miami_JBT

    Miami_JBT Member

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    Did you actually read my original post? Because I specifically wrote thr following:

     
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  22. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I did, but I guess I didn’t!
     
  23. kBob

    kBob Member

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    I got a PD in the late ‘70’s and BF got a CA BullDog.

    My only issue was the PD adjustable sights kept tearing up my shirts and occassionally cutting me.

    It was also not fond of anything but 230 grain FMJ I used to carry it with one round of CCI 200 grain JHP up the spout and a full mag of FMJ as a result.With original mags it would handle the old Remington185 grain JHP but the after markets would not reliably feed it.

    I eventually traded it away but later found the windage only rear sight model and got that.

    -kBob
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2022
  24. citizenconn

    citizenconn Member

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    I'll just stick with my 1911. That Star is pretty nice though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
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  25. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Never had a Star PD; close as I came was a Colt Defender. Big boolits, light to carry. But it wore you out shooting it. It's all steel older brother is another matter.
    Yeah, remember the PD being a big deal in the gunzines, back in the day.
    Thanks for the memories!
    Moon
     
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