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Brand new Charter Arms Undercover - Not Pleased at all

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by thunderbyrd, Nov 26, 2022.

  1. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2021
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    Location:
    kentucky
    i bought a brand new in the box Charter Arms Undercover this week, took it out to shoot today. first trigger pull, snap. light strike. i thought "surely i am mistaken" but i wasn't. i experienced at least one FtF in each 5-round cylinder. 20-30% failure, all light strikes. i do not know how to make any adjustments to it and have no idea if there's anything i can do to fix it. i assume if i go trying to work on it the warranty would be void.

    so, i suppose the deal is that the dealer doesn't take it back, i have to ship it to Charter Arms? i just didn't expect this. i thought everybody making guns ought to know how to make a doggone snub nosed .38. i learned. buy cheap, get cheap.

    i am working at night and my wife is here alone. she is not able to get around very fast and i wanted her to have a small gun she can easily handle, and a revolver so she doesn't have to think about it much if she needs to use it. the plan was working fine til i actually fired the gun.
     
  2. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Member

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    there was a used SP101 and i wish i had spent another 150 bucks and brought it home instead.
     
  3. unclenunzie

    unclenunzie Contributing Member

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    Texas.
    Call them and ask for a return label. They should fix it. You could try to see if the firing pin moves freely, maybe there is manufacturing gunk in it. What ammo?
     
  4. driz

    driz Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2019
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    39
    I’m not familiar with their spring system but is it possible to just tighten the main spring? Otherwise do you feel any dragging or scrubbing of the hammer anywhere? Did you lube all these areas before firing it?
     
    NIGHTLORD40K likes this.
  5. LeftyRed

    LeftyRed Member

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    WCH OH
    Call CA. They will fix it. I know it’s frustrating, they and every other company should have better quality control than repair service!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2022
    Gordon, sparkyv, Shak3s1977 and 4 others like this.
  6. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Member

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    ammo was Armscore and Norma, both 158 FMJ. neither acted different.
     
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  7. plainsdrifter

    plainsdrifter Member

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    Jun 3, 2021
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    Maybe needs some oil.
    Had to strip and lube a .308 my son got from palmetto, dry as a bone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2022
  8. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Nostramo (in absentia), Segmentum Ultima
    That stinks, hopefully Charter will make it right- they do have a goood CS reputation.
    SPs are nice but, IME, have a much heavier DA pull than an Undercover and some smaller folks may not be comfortable with it. I gave my daughter a .22 SP and she has a hard time with it in DA, but its just a plinker for her- she carries a 9mm auto.
     
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  9. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
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    Probably.

    Call Charter. Their support is pretty good.

    BTW, my first Undercover did that. Horrendous endshake. They ended up replacing the cylinder. (That was the first time in. Next two was for broken transfer bar. They replaced the gun. New gun also broke transfer bar. Sold that one off.)

    Yeah, it is.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2022
  10. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

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    The hammer spring is not adjustable. Probably not the problem, anyway.

    My .44 Bulldog, when I sent it in early this year (I think), they had some light strikes during test firing. Ended up replacing the firing pin. (That wasn't what it went in for.)
     
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  11. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    They will fix it. I had the same problem with one. Sadly, despite how great their customer service is and how kind they are, I just don’t trust their products.
     
    sparkyv, stonebuster, TTv2 and 4 others like this.
  12. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    Seymour, CT
    CA fixing it is not guaranteed. I have a .357 Mag Pug which didn't touch off primers, two out of three. I installed a heavier Wolff spring (how many people buy HEAVIER springs, eh?) and it still fails 20% of the time. CA could not fix it. Am simply waiting for a local gun buy-back to get rid of the piece of junk.
     
  13. Tallball

    Tallball Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
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    6,458
    I had to send a new one back and a used one. IIRC, they paid for shipping both ways and got them back to me quickly.
     
    SnakePleskin likes this.
  14. jstert

    jstert Member

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    the theory behind charter arms revolvers is good (family-run, lots of caliber choices, inexpensive, fine customer service) but the reality isn’t.

    i briefly owned a new c.a. 9mm pitbull revolver. it literally chewed up my shooting hand with its rough fitting. no more c.a. for me. taurus is a much better inexpensive revolver brand.
     
    sparkyv, Crazy Horse and chicharrones like this.
  15. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    Im the guy who usually gets on a thread and defends Charter …. But now as of late there QC is horrible
    My Charters work .. Im glad
    But Im not planning on a new one

    I really like my Taurus 856UL
     
  16. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Member

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    Location:
    kentucky
    Most of what I'm reading here is pretty discouraging. My own fault for not researching.

    I have about 3-400 rds of .40 setting on my shelf and was planning to get 40 pitbull at some point. But I don't think so now.
     
    jstert likes this.
  17. Targa

    Targa Member

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    Oct 22, 2019
    Messages:
    1,300
    Give them a chance to fix it, light strikes are not a problem isolated to a manufacturer. My $1500 Colt Python is sitting at Colt as I type this with the same problem, 1 FTF out of every cylinder.
     
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  18. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    Olathe, KS
    My Charter 357 bulldog is one of the best Snubbies I've ever owned. DA is buttery smooth and gun has been nothing but 100% reliable.
    Sorry to hear that yours isn't but sent it to them, I'm 100% they'll fix it.
     
    sparkyv likes this.
  19. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    3,421
    It's a roll of the dice with them on getting one properly made right out of the box. Customer service is good, quality control/assurance is poor.
     
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  20. gobsauce

    gobsauce Member

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    El Paso
    From what I hear , sounds like Charter Arms is like Triple K, keep sending it back till it works.

    I'd still grab one if I could find one for a decent price.
     
  21. tominboise

    tominboise Member

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    Dec 27, 2021
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    SW Idaho
    Did you buy it from a dealer? If so, take it back and explain the issue. They should take the lead in shipping it back. Maybe they'll cut you a deal on the SP101 if you ask. It's worth a shot. Otherwise, as mentioned, Call Charter and get a shipping label from them.
     
    sparkyv likes this.
  22. eddiememphis

    eddiememphis Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2021
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    Location:
    Denver
    Mine was horrible when I bought it. It felt like it was full of sand. Every part was rough and many had burrs.

    i-f5sSLwz-M.jpg

    Lower front of the hammer. I smoothed and polished every part in the gun.

    i-fKCcD9L-M.jpg

    I bought it as a project gun. It was a pink southpaw model but I paid about nothing for it so I wasn't expecting much. It turned out nice but I would hesitate to rely on it as my primary self defense weapon.

    i-S7RvgtF-S.jpg i-c4fmpZZ-S.jpg
     
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  23. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,821
    F9B185E4-C000-4F85-9069-FC06C904F49E.jpeg
    Boomer 44Spl
    716A4A09-E4A1-40DC-93CD-47005529241E.jpeg
    Pitbull 40 S&W
    F9A90496-5B80-406A-AAA8-C16DA6E0D95B.jpeg
    Pitbull 45acp
    A26B54C5-3639-440C-86E5-F994ACD26E6A.jpeg
    357 Mag Professional XL frame
    20C3EBB6-1446-465E-B1BF-4B8EBEB23C12.jpeg
    Bulldog 44spl

    All run Perfect….
     
  24. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    9,223
    Location:
    Ca.
    I hate reading about a person who buys a new gun that has issues like yours from day one, especially if it was bought for a purpose like yours was.:thumbdown:

    As the others have posted, CA will take it back and fix what ails it. As was also posted other makers have sent out guns that needed to be returned. I have sent back revolvers to Ruger for light strikes (Blackhawk and Redhawk .41 Mags) as well as to S&W (Models 48, 66 and 686+) for various issues over the years.

    Let us know how it turns out. :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
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  25. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    4,083
    Has the OP tried different ammo and gotten the same result with whatever ammo he shot?

    Charters can have a break in period and I'd advise getting snap caps and dry firing 500 or 1000 times. Any burrs that might be in the firing pin channel or on the transfer bar or hammer/hammer slot will get knocked down and reduce any potential drag.

    It doesn't surprise me to hear of light strike issues, this seems to be a widespread problem with Charter revolvers since Covid and it seems Charter has a cookie cutter approach with their repair process where they'll just slap in new parts and hope it works. I assume the issues are stemming from new employees who can't catch production issues and fix them because they don't know how or aren't paying attention and management is shipping product out the door regardless of quality because they have bills to pay and being the small company they are they can't junk a night's worth of work.

    For as bad as I want a cheap DA .22 snub and how many have suggested Charter, I won't touch them, at least not any new ones. I'm glad the few I have work, but they're older than me, so that's why.
     
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