20190118_123106 by Fiv3r posted Jan 18, 2019 at 4:23 PM Let's get this out of the way. Charter Arms firearms are not refined like a Smith and Wesson. They are not the everyman tanks like the Ruger wheel guns. They certainly do not excrete the intoxicating flatus of Colt or Kimber that I have been told can literally bring angels to tears However, they're aren't Taurus (I've never warmed up to nor kept a Taurus. 5 of them have come and gone), and the finish on the CA guns actually look like they have been machined instead of beaten out on a rock like the adorably ugly RIA .38s. But they do cost a little bit more. So what are they? Not Smith or Ruger quality nor overbuilt. Not dirt cheap like the imported guns. So why did I decide to buy one over the other bands? Basically, they're light and they pack a punch. I hate heavy guns. I mean, I love them, but I'm a huge baby when it comes to carrying one. Hundreds of dollars in holsters and belts. Thousands of dollars in guns that either now reside by the bed or in the safe or went on to greener pastures. For a good stretch I have carried a .380, and I still like the caliber. However, I have enough feed issues or mags popping loose in my pocket that I felt a little iffy carrying one for primary defense. I've carried single stack 9mms, but they never fit my hands well and I find them uncomfortable to shoot. I am primarily a revolver guy, so when I decided to shelve the auto and go with a packable wheel gun I had a lot to decide on. As I have noted in other threads, the logical choice would have been a .38 or .357. I'm set up for that, and there are a lot of known quantities out there. However, I don't particularly want to shoot .357 out of a lighter gun. Furthermore, I have never found a .38 special aluminum frame revolver that I shoot worth a dang. I've had a 642 and 2 lcrs in .38 flavor, but they moved on because I don't find myself going toe to toe with the broad sides of barns very often. My foolishly traded 9mm lcr handled better for me, and my other foolishly traded sp101 in .357 was a bit heavy but handled .357 with ease. I hated the 9mm moon clips, and the Sp101 was comfy to shoot but heavy to pack around for a 5 shot. I would have liked to have kept those guns, but neither really ticked off the boxes for me. Furthermore, like many of you, the temptation of trying something novel is powerful. I got to thinking of my perceived role for this gun. To carry it and most likely never need to draw it until someone had a hold of me. Maybe a thumping big bore was in the running. I have always had a desire to own a Bulldog, but the .44 ammo price scared me away. Maybe I would just try one of there ultra light Off Duty hammerless guns and call it a day. 12 oz is great to carry...sucks to shoot, but I can live with it. Certainly not tipping the scales of 30oz or more like some of my steel guns had. Plus, for $325 I felt like I could give it a try. But man, that Bulldog was tempting for $40 more. I buy almost all of my guns from a LGS. They have a website as they also ship to FFLs. The day before I went in to buy the OD I see that they have a lonely .45 Pitbull on sale for $406, $40 off. I start to do the math. 80 bucks more but it lobs 230 grain bullets. .45 ammo is half the price of .44 special and available everywhere. It comes in around 21oz so it shouldn't be as snappy as the 12 .38. I read about 15 reviews and decided to take a chance. i handled it in store, found the trigger acceptable and walked out a bit lighter in the wallet taking the gun and some SIG 230 gr V Crown along with me. Once again to get this out of the way, the Pitbull is roughly finished. The edges are a bit sharp, there are a few tool marks, and even the roll mark of the Pitbull on the barrel isn't cleanly done. That said, the barrel rifling is free of debris and the built in extractor works beautifully. For $400, I have done much worse. I will be filing the trigger guard edges a bit. I think I could thinly slice a tomato with it. I'll be the first to probably admit that I straight up hate the stock grips on this thing. Just like I hate the ones on the GP100. I don't have huge hands, so oversize grips on a gun I want to conceal are a no-go. I generally go with Pachmayr Compacts on the guns they making them for. The Pitbull was no exception. I actually ordered them before I even went to the store to buy the gun. Much better fit for me. You can see them on the picture there. I took it to the range to check it for function. I have decided that this is going to be treated as what it is, a close up gun. It's not for fun, but it actually isn't as violent as I was expecting. I think +P out of an aluminum 38 is worse. It was more of an aggressive push, but after 150 rounds, shooting a magazine of 9mm out of my full size P320 felt like I was shooting a .22 Ruger Mk. Still, I could have shot more easily. I used a combination of Remington ball 230 gr, Monarch 230 gr jhp, and a few rounds of the SIG 230 V Crown. They all recoiled about the same although I'm sure the SIG would do the most business on an attacker, but I have elected to keep 5 rounds of the Monarch as my reload, which I'll get to in a moment. For those of you unfamiliar with the Pitbull series, instead of a moon clip, they use a nifty little extractor in the star. They use this little spring loaded tab to clip into the groove under the "rim" of a rimless cartridge. They aren't a "have to" thing as they only aid in extraction. Should they break, the round won't fall all the way through and case could be poked out. I've heard the 9mm can sometimes jump the rim and jam it up, but so far extraction has been 100% on my .45. Now, the only thing that makes them a little tricky is that with the star fully flush, you have to give the ammo a little bit of a hard push with your thumb to get it to seat to load it. Brass will slip past it, but the SIG nickle-looking hard case wouldn't snap in easily. I found that slightly lifting the star up a hair allowed the case to slip past the tab enough. Not really a big deal, but not something you want to add to an already slow reload in a 5 shot gun. So how do you carry a reload for the Pitbull? Moon clips are out. Speed Strips work well, I've heard. 1911 mags loaded with 5 are handy. Then I remembered I had a spare subcompact XDS magazine that held 5 rounds of .45. Loading it with the brass Monarch ammo, thumbing in the round had enough positive force to overcome the extractor and seat the bullet with a satisfying THUNK. Much faster than by fingers and a lot handier to keep in my pocket. Enough yapping....how does it shoot? In a couple words, incredibly well. Kinda surprised me, actually. I'm not sure if it was the weight of the gun compared to the aluminum J frame type or the lower pressure .45 or the 8 twist rifling, but at the 5-7 yard range the Pitbull was chewing the hell out of the target. Double action was doing an easy heart size grouping. Single action I could shoot each of numbers in the zones with aimed fire. I shot it well both right and left handed. A bonus for a gun you may need in a hurry. Up close, this puppy will do just fine. In short, is the CA an heirloom gun? Nah, but I didn't buy it for that. I didn't buy it to leave to my daughter. I bought it because it fits the criteria I need to make sure I actually carry it so I can get home to my daughter. It's rough, but I don't really care. That means I don't care if I bump it into stuff or scratch it putting it into the safe. It'll be a fine gun to trail walk with at the cabin. Light enough I'll have it on me, hard hitting enough to do damage, and the stainless will hold up to a dunk in the lake if I find myself out of my boat unexpectedly...the price tag means I won't cry too much if it sinks the 40' to the bottom as well. My example of the CA Pitbull is a solid revolver. I hate to say "on a budget" because I COULD buy a Ruger or Smith. I just wanted to give something new a try. An American made gun with a lifetime warranty that won't pull down my britches or make me look far and wide for something not sporting an ugly nanny lock. I'm sure the screws will back out and will need a drink of lock-tite. I would guess she'll be a rattle box one day but will probably still work. I see the Pitbull living in my care for some time. Too easy to carry with too little trade-in value to give up on an impulse. Pair that with it being chambered in the potent .45, I'm pretty pleased. If the Pitbull continues to perform, I have my eye on a polished stainless undercover at an attractive price that might be nice for weekend carry. Also, I still really really want the Bulldog. I feel like I'm settling with the .45 as the .44 special Bulldog is a bit of a classic. Time will tell. Thanks.