Charter Arms Undercover .38

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Hunter2011, Apr 18, 2015.

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  1. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

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    My father owns one and I would like to help him with some things. The grip is very thin. The I stumbled across a photo of one where there is an attachment to the grip, which look like it might make it much better. What do you call this, and where to get one? CharterArmsUndercover.jpg

    Lastly, what kind of velocity can one expect to get with standard pressure Magtech 158gr, Lead JHP ammo?
     
  2. Haywood

    Haywood Member

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    Do a search for Tyler T-Grip.
     
  3. Frank V

    Frank V Member

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    Hunter those are Tyler T grips. Over on the S&W forum there is a thread saying Tyler gives spotty service filling orders. They can also be had on ebay though for a bit more money. I've used them & REALLY LIKE them. They add gripping area to your gun without adding any bulk that makes the gun harder to conceal.
    They have a two prong spring you remove both grip panels, clip the spring over the front grip frame, replace both grip panels & bingo you are ready.
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

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    Thanks guys, I will google it.
     
  5. Drail

    Drail Member

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    I have been shooting Charters for 30 years or more and the most comfortable grip for actually shooting one is the Pachmayr Compact grip. And I am not a fan of most Pachmayr grips for any other handgun, but for the Charter it gives you something to hold onto and absorbs at least some of the abuse. The Charter truly is a gun that is meant to be carried a lot and shot a little.:scrutiny:
     
  6. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I have two of these guns. The first one I got was in 1987, the day I was sworn in as a LEO. Neat little gun, with a checkered stock set that's thicker than those, and the black, anodized-aluminum barrel/ejector shroud that was rare for the day. It also has a 2-inch barrel, while virtually all others have a 1.97-inch one. It rode BU/OD duty with me the first few years after that.

    The second was my dad's, and is from 1966, so about 21 years older. It looks just like the one you attached a picture of, minus the grip adapter. It became mine upon his death in 2010.

    According to Charter Arms, the grip hasn't changed over the many years of the company, and any grips that fit the current crop should also fit the older ones. So, you've got quite a few options out there...

    Standard-velocity 158-grain anything tends to run around 800-ish FPS from a 1.87-inch barrel.
     
  7. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

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    When I visit my parents again, I will take a photo of the gun. Its grip is smaller than the one in the photo if I am remembering correctly. But I might be wrong. I just know the grip is really small and skinny.
     
  8. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Built for "hiding". Not much fun for "shooting".
     
  9. Analogkid

    Analogkid Member

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    Dunno about all that. I have shot the bejesus out of my stainless C undercover.

    Its still a great little shooter and it has had a ton of +p through it.

    You can find the tyler tgrips online. Their service sucks.
     
  10. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

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    I did not know you can fire +P ammo in this old small gun. But it kicks so hard allready, I doubt my father will ever shoot +P in it. He is not young anymore...
     
  11. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I wouldn't recommend a steady diet of +P in the older guns for two reasons. Though CA claims their guns can handle it, I'd have some reservations regarding the older ones. Also, the barrels are too short to keep the bullet in them long enough for all the powder to burn before they leave the muzzle, in effect wasting some of the powder. That's the reason Charter Arms says they don't recommend its use, not the quality of the gun's construction.

    The new generation of "short-barrel" +P ammunition apparently hasn't been addressed by Charter Arms. Were I carrying one, I'd likely practice with standard-vel stuff, and stoke it with the Speer "Short Barrel" Gold Dot stuff. The +P ammo really won't kick any more; it's bullet weight, not velocity, that produces most of the recoil.
     
  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Hunter2011

    The first thing I did when I got my Undercover many years ago was replace the factory stocks with a Pachmayr Compac grip. Granted it did make the grip frame a bit more bulkier for concealed carry but definite;y helped when actually shooting it.
     
  13. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    The UC is my wifes carry gun. Has been for years. It is a 1971 model her dad carried as a reserve officer. About ten years ago I sent it off to the good folks a Charter for a refurb. Came back with all new inards and a great rubber grip, all for 75 bucks.
    She has shot it monthly and carries daily. Good weapon for her. She loads it with PMC 132 gr FMJ and she is a good shot.
     
  14. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Shooting +P loads in any Charter probably won't blow it up - but it will seriously shorten its usable service life. Besides that - it already has plenty of recoil for most folks with standard loads. If standard power ammo is not enough cowbell for you then buy a heavier gun - a S&W or a Ruger. The Charter was designed for carrying - not regular range use. If you want it to last shoot it enough to learn to hit with it - then just carry it. I have seen plenty of Charters abused by people who believed that they "needed" a hotter load in it. If you insist on high performance loads then consider the Charter to be a disposable gun.
     
  15. Frank V

    Frank V Member

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    I kind of like the hammerless they make for pocket carry.
    I think the CAs are neat little shooters, & the longer bbl ones make good trail guns.
     
  16. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    my Stratford made Off Duty is one of the best small revolvers I have, rivaling some of my J frames in everyway except finishing.
     
  17. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    My wife bought me one in 1979. I carried it off duty and as ankle gun for 20yrs as le officer. I never shot less than a 100% with it at qualification.
    My only complaint is that with Pachmayer compact grip, it shoots a tad to the left. I filled a bit off the side of the sight and mitigated some of the wind age but not all. At typical use ranges, it's inconsequential.
    Only thing it's ever killed is about a dozen snakes! Mostly with shot loads.
    Also, with 95-125gr loads it shoots LOW! ~8" at 7yds. I mostly carried FBI load as it shot best (158gr SWC +P). NYC load (755fps) was most accurate and shoots to poi/poa (to left, as noted ).

    Added; btw jerry, I was working for Auburn PD when my wife bought me the gun as wedding present ( she got a diamond ring, I still have all 3- wife, gun, and ring!).
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
  18. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    drop me a PM Think I've got a set of Pacs for an UC that I don't need
     
  19. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    GooseGestapo, I have similar results regarding POI/POA. Theses little snub guns, especially those "of the day", were definitely sighted for 158-grain stuff.
     
  20. rdrancher

    rdrancher Member

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    That happens to be my Undercover in the top photo. Though not quite as concealable, I've had CA Bulldog grips on it for some time now. It's loaded with standard pressure Buffalo Bore hardcast wadcutters.
     
  21. Barry the Bear

    Barry the Bear Member

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    I have the off duty version of the same vintage, its a very finely made gun and have many plus p rounds mainly the hornady critical defense loads through it with no ill effects other than increased recoil.
     
  22. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

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    Sorry that I used your photo without permission:D
     
  23. rdrancher

    rdrancher Member

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    No problem Hunter! I originally posted the photo here on THR.

    With the help another member we determined that my Undercover is most likely a 1976 vintage. It was a local retired LEO's backup weapon. Here's a photo with the Bulldog grips.
    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  24. bigtubby

    bigtubby Member

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    There is one of these up for sale locally for $275 in good condition looks to be original grips. Seems a little high to me what do you guys figure there worth?
     
  25. kBob

    kBob Member

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    I have had a couple and each time I replaced the Undercover grip with the original BullDog grips......like in the great photo above.

    Dad has a very nice nickled gun from about 74 with undercover grips. Most it got carried and shot was when he loaned it to me when I was a courier in the late 1970s. I shot hot loaded 158 grain Keith SWCs in it. I bought the first of my own shortly after used from a truck driver I knew while working for Gulf Oil. It was a blue model and I think I had bought a set of Bull Dog grips for it within the month from my LGS. My wife used it as her car and carry gun for years after she shot it for the first time.....hmm, third post today I mentioned my wife in.....maybe I should help her unload the groceries when she gets back from the store......

    -kBob
     
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