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Charter Arms Mag Pug .357

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mike in Western Oregon, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. Mike in Western Oregon

    Mike in Western Oregon Member

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    New to forum and certified Gun Nut. I recently bought the Charter Arms Mag Pug 5 round 357 (for All of $318 on GunBroker) and I like it a lot. I have around 500 trouble free rounds (all 38 special) through it and it has fired them all, sometimes 150 at a session. I plan on only shooting 38 special through it. All rounds so far are 158 grain regular pressure 38 special. The frame on the Mag Pug is same one they use for the Police Undercover and I think it would be nice to have 6 rounds. I also appreciate and have some Smith and Wesson and Ruger revolvers, but lately I like the scrappy, not so fancy Mag Pug- I tend to throw it in a holster and carry in my back pocket on my property. So many great choices in guns these days. Oh- at around 20 ounces, it says .357 on the gun, but I'm sticking to 38s.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  2. Mike in Western Oregon

    Mike in Western Oregon Member

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    PS:. I have had to tighten the screws on the gun particularly the cylinder release, but I'll get some blue loctite on them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  3. stonebuster

    stonebuster Member

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    Welcome to the forum and nice Pug. I agree on 38+P vs .357 in my SP 2.25"(26 oz). Plus Ps are a breeze to shoot, .357s not so much. I'm using Federal 38 spl+P 130 grain micros for defensive ammo which are made for velocity challenged short barreled guns. Lucky Gunner gel tests show very good consistent expansion and 12-13" penetration from a 2" barrel.
     
  4. sabbfan

    sabbfan Member

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    D556CBAE-7ED2-4A48-9C4D-A86FA2E241F7.jpeg I recommend the Federal micro 130 grain as well, they are very accurate out of my 357 LCR. 5 shots 7 yards
     
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  5. Livin_Cincy

    Livin_Cincy Member

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    I like to hand load 357's with Trail Boss powder.
    It is the preferred powder of Outlaws & Sherifs according to the label...
    So it must be good for self defense.
     
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  6. Mike in Western Oregon

    Mike in Western Oregon Member

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    Thanks for the ammo recommendations Folks. I was thinking of using 148 grain wad cutters, but the Federal 130 looks great as well. I've always used Federal HST for defensive use in my 1911 and trust their quality. Stonebuster, I also have the 2 1\4 inch Sp101 and it's a great gun as well.
     
  7. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    Just an ahead-of-time bit of advice. When the mainspring starts to lose its oomph, Wolff sells extra-power springs. As far as I know it's the only revolver which has extra-power (not reduced power) third-party springs offered for it. Also doubtful that the locking compound will work since the threaded hole has oil in it, and the mechanism is tricky to dismantle and degrease. Don't ask how I know this; just that I ended up with an SP101 instead.
     
  8. KevinB

    KevinB Member

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    Especially since you already have some S&Ws and Rugers I think there is quite a bit of utility in having a revolver that you can bang around with on the farm etc. I have run across a few examples of the Charter Arms revolvers at work and it always made me think about picking one up, particularly the big bore models. Welcome to the forum, thanks for sharing.
     
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  9. Mike in Western Oregon

    Mike in Western Oregon Member

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    Thank you for the advice and welcome Folks ! Good to know about the wolf springs and no go on the loctite. I'll just check it over after a range session. I know the Charters may not be as durable long term as other brands, dang if the weight seems just the right balance between soaking up 38 special loads and easy back pocket carry at home. Have a good one.
     
  10. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    I've had a Charter Arms Bulldog .357 since the 1980' s. It has never let me down. I restrict it to .38 Special loads. A good accurate little revolver. Not as slick and well finished as a S&W or Colt from the same era, but a good gun. I like it.
     
  11. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I have a real soft spot for CA revolvers. My Pitbull has made me a fan. I have come to terms with the fact that I am not a shooting enthusiasts like many posting here. I would love to be, but I don't have the time or money to invest in making sure I buy items that have to last 10s upon 10s of thousands of rounds. I have a few guns that will certainly outlive me. My .357 Blackhawk is going to be knocking around on someone's hip at the end of this century.

    However, it's so doggone heavy. The little 22oz Pitbull packs .45 punch in a gun I don't notice I am wearing until I need it. My summer months regulate me to a pocket .380, but summertime hikes demand a durable gun that can stand up to sweat and I don't mind if it gets knocked around a bit on the trail while being powerful enough to stop whatever I might stumble across in the woods. The CA does that. It's honest about its finish. It never tries to be more than a good value made as well as can be expected for the price they command.
     
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  12. Bama59

    Bama59 Member

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    I agree sticking with .38 spl , mags to me are no fun in a small frame. I fired two rounds in a SP101 and gave it back to the RO then he fired a whole cylinder of .357s no problem.
     
  13. Mike in Western Oregon

    Mike in Western Oregon Member

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    Thanks for the replies Folks. I am of the thought that if you keep an eye on things, look over any gun including a Charter Arms, clean it and treat it like any tool you value, it should last for years and years. Besides a few pins in me, I'm sure my Mag Pug will out last my blood and bones. I have read folks have had great experience with current Charter customer service as well and that is something that affects my decision when I purchase a firearm as I am a clumsy monkey with bad instincts when it comes to making repairs on my guns. I appreciate the scrappy, rougher than fancy finish on mine and I don't mind working outside getting it sweaty or wet in the rain- as a result, it is with me more than some of my others!
    Mike
     
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  14. OrangePwrx9

    OrangePwrx9 Member

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    Thanks for the post, Mike. I've been agonizing between the CA Police Undercover and the Standard Mag Pug. Never thought I'd go CA, but S&W and its CS has left a sour taste in my mouth. Out of 3 Smith revolvers I bought new, two had to go back to the factory multiple times. The third one, a 686, appears to be perfect in every respect, but I'm kind of afraid to shoot it and find out different.

    Smith can (or used to) build good revolvers. My current carry piece is a M37 from the late '60s. Stumbled upon one that appeared unfired. The new 642, I had gone to the gunshop to buy had a problem that prevented the cylinder release from working, so I bought the 37. Great little gun, but that aluminum frame makes me nervous. Maybe some competition from Colt will get talent moved back into Smith's revolver dept.

    Ruger is my other choice and I love Rugers, but compared to CA, they're either too heavy, too pricey, or both.
     
  15. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Good choice! I have four CA revolvers and like them all.
     
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  16. Mike in Western Oregon

    Mike in Western Oregon Member

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    Thanks Orangepwrx9 and Tallball! I still like my Charter mag pug and have been eyeing the police undercover for the extra round.
    Mike
     
  17. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    Mike, keep in mind (for the not-distant future) that Wolff offers extra-power hammer springs for the Pug. And they are REALLY extra power.
     
  18. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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    All Charters use the same spring?
     
  19. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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  20. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    Apparently, yes. And the originals weaken over time. Plus the geometry puts a lot of strain on them, the hammer strut being shorter than a Ruger's, thus being even more sensitive to spring weakening.
     
  21. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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    How much stronger is the new spring over the original? Is more force hitting the firing pin a good idea?
     
  22. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    My CA is an older model 5 shot 357 "target" w/adjustable sights & 3" barrel. I shoot 148 gr - 38 Special wadcutters for practice plus a few rounds of 125 gr JHP 357 factory loads that I have in it for the real thing. It shoots the 357 rounds very accurately even out to 50 yards & for me the wood grips absorb the recoil very well. My only issue with 357 Mag in short barreled revolvers like my CA is the muzzle blast. It is fierce enough to send the guys next to me back off the shooting line. I hate to see what it would do to me if I ever fire it w/o ear protection.
     
  23. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    The new spring has wire .010" thicker, and is 1/4" longer overall. I did not measure the force, because it isn't worth it. But, it is very noticeably heavier, and I just got home from the range. With the old spring, after about 300 rounds I got a 30% or more failure rate, and that's using Federal primers, the softest. Now with the new spring, it fires 100%. I "discovered" (how I won't tell, but I live close to the factory) that the spring design and supplier have not been changed. So the awful gun sat in a drawer for about a year. Finally discovered the Wolff springs and sprang for one (cheap enough). Now, the DA pull is horrendous, but it fires the cartridge, unlike before. Wolff also offers some extra power hammer springs for Ruger Single Actions, but the CA is the only extra power for DA revolvers. The CA will still sit in the drawer (after I clean it), awaiting someone to want to buy it.
     
  24. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    First off, welcome to THR. Yes, there are a great many choices in firearms from many countries these days. I hear ya about the weight, we have a Ruger LCR out for sale that I tossed on the jewelry scale and it comes in right about 15 ounces and it's a .357 also. The idea of shooting full boat .357 our of it doesn't scare me, but it doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy about the idea of running a full box of magnums through it all in one range session.
    Scrappy and not so fancy can surely get the job done.
     
  25. SpadeTrump

    SpadeTrump Member

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    My dad had a charter (2000?) 44 special. He used it for conceal carry and many training courses. I was amazed how far back he could stand and hit things. He used it over 15 years. God knows how much ammo.

    He moved on to 9mm so he could have more rounds available for a shootout. He offered to sell it to me. With hundreds of rounds 44 special + 1000 lead 200 grain bullets for $200. My brother told me not to buy it
    He said it shaves lead and hits you in the face!

    I bought it and the cylinder release screw fell out my first session. Lost. Lol. It was worth it for the ammo alone. So to get it fixed? Found out they had a lifetime warranty. Sent it in.

    They refurbish the whole gun with brand new barrel. It's super accurate. I can shoot it better than many more expensive revolvers I own. My dad didn't have a clue about the warranty but now that he does he has sent a couple of his Taurus pistols back since they are lifetime and is pleased. I have nothing but good experience with mid grade budget firearms from Hi-Point, charter and Taurus. But.... Never been able to break a Ruger. Heh
     
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