Charter Arms Undercoverette

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Buckeye63, May 20, 2020.

  1. golden

    golden Member

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    Boom,

    I notice that 4 of your loads are handloads, that disqualifies them to me. I do not reload. The HORNADY load looks good, but it is still much, much less effective in my opinion that the FEDERAL .38 HST hollow point. That load expands to double it's starting diameter and anything over 9 inches of penetration is fine. My agency adopted that rule three decades ago and has seen no reason to change it. Neither do I. I stick with the UNDERCOVER in .38 Special until something that really offers me an option I do not have, like an HST load in .32 H&R or the described lightweight version of a model 15.

    Did you use ballistic gel for the tests? You did not note it in your post. I know that GUN TESTS likes water filled milk jugs.

    Just my opinion.

    Jim
     
  2. Boom Vang

    Boom Vang Member

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    Agencies have their rules; I was subject to them for many years. Since my retired frequents are much tamer now, I can thankfully make my own decisions in these matters. ;)

    Handguns in .32 calibre are usually chosen for reasons of lighter weight, higher capacity, and/or lower recoil. Most any .38 Special load is going to show better marginal ballistics than a .32 H&R or .32 S&W Long. As youtuber Paul Harrell likes to remark, "whether the difference is enough to make a difference, you be the judge". When old age, arthritis or some other circumstance befalls me, it's nice to have options. It would be foolish to treat the .32 as inadequate for self-defense.

    And to paraphrase an old saying, the .32 is a nice gun to have, when you don't think you'll need it.
     
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  3. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    Dang, are those loads yours? Nice tests.

    upload_2021-2-12_6-53-14.jpeg

    That’s why the discerning shooter’s gunsmith insists upon chambering each of his client’s carry arms in .32 — 45 ACP might expand or it might not expand, but .32 H&R Magnum will never get smaller!




    Good work.
     
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  4. golden

    golden Member

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    BOOM,

    The velocity and weight of you backward's wadcutter load are approaching the specs for a 110 grain .38 Special load. I am not sure you can really call that a "LOW RECOIL" load, especially if you use it an a 16 ounce gun.

    Jim
     
  5. Searaider

    Searaider Member

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    Yes Sir:

    My CA Professional shot low also. I designed and 3d printed a slightly elevated rear sight. I cleaned up the 3d print and finessed the tapered bottom groove insert. Test firing was spot-on. I attached the new sight with a bit of 2 part epoxy. Looks decent. Shoots consistent rounds dead center of target. I am pleased with the results.

    gun-1.jpg gun-3.jpg
     
  6. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    Jim I agree the Federal 38spl +P 130gr HST is more impressive than the 32 H&R Hornady load ... for sure ...but the 32 H&R load will recoil much less than a 38spl standard pressure & much more less than a 38 +P load .... if all are housed in lightweight snubbies ... + the 32 H&R could easily be a 6 shot vs a five shot .. another + with the 32 H&R is use of the 32 Long
     
  7. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

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    I have an older Target Bulldog 357 since the 70's and I have no complaints. I had to use "locktite" to keep the ejector rod from unscrewing but once that was done the gun has held up great even after shot with considerable number of 357 Mag rounds. Would I prefer a Smith, Colt or even a Ruger? Definitely Yes, but none of those are available for the low price I paid for my CA. I am still hopeful that CA comes out with a 5-shot DA 44 Magnum similar to the Taurus Tracker.
     
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  8. golden

    golden Member

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    Buckeye,

    The HORNADY .32 H&R magnum load will have less recoil, but will not be as or anywhere near as effective as the FEDERAL HST .38 Special load. A .32 H&R magnum load, if developed by FEDERAL or anyone else, might turn out to be the killer load that this cartridge needs, giving it an effective load with less recoil than a .38 Special, but so far, I am not convinced that the HORNADY FTX load is the one. It is a standard hollow point with a good hollow point clogging prevention feature, but it is not the killer load that the .32 H&R needs, in m opinion

    While I would like that extra 6th shot, I will trade it for the much more effective ammo like HST.

    It was the development of the .38 Special 158 grain +P lead semi wadcutter hollow point that really gave the .38 Special a feature with law enforcement back in the 70's when the horrible record of .38 Special lead round nose failures nearly killed it.

    just my opinion,

    Jim
     
  9. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    I agree with you 100% ... The Fed 130gr HST 38spl +P is more powerful than the 32 H&R FTX load
    But .... comparing the loads ... is similar to comparing the Fed 38spl +P load to a 357 Mag load
    The 357 mag load is more powerful than the 38spl
    +P load .... but with more recoil thus slower follow up shots ..... as the 32 H&R vs the 38spl +P

    The 32 H&R offers a SD load that is effective can be housed in a lightweight J frame size revolver with six shots and has less recoil than a 38spl

    Im a huge 38spl fan .. Fed 130gr HST is one of my favorites... but the 32 H&R has its place as the 327 Fed ,, and 357 mag
    0E23F266-EB30-45E9-A685-8CF069D2C2D6.jpeg
    LCR327 with 32H&R
    4C27370B-3B3B-48A8-A90E-BF799B961D90.jpeg
    LCR357
    99643176-C7B0-4CE1-807A-488EA96A38DD.jpeg
    Charter 38spl 6 shot Police Bulldog 130gr HST
    3D0FCA13-4BE3-4D77-AC1B-884F5BDBCCE8.jpeg
    642 110gr FTX standard pressure
    5065108D-FED8-4F82-B44C-669824BA46BA.jpeg
    Model 12 with 685UL
    Model 12 148gr LWC , 856UL 130gr HST
     
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  10. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    For what it may be worth, the 32 HR Magnum published loads that I have seen are very light, compared to what the round will do. The factory loads I’ve seen on Youtube have been the same way.

    It seems like everyone is letting their respect for Harrington and Richardson guns from the Western Auto cloud their approach to 32 H and R.

    This thing can be loaded so much hotter and still stay in spec.
     
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  11. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    The reviews for full-power 32 HR ammo on Midways website say things like

    “...VERY potent. Has notable blast and would probably have objectionable recoil in a small revolver”

    “...it's iffy that the Buffalo Bore 32 h&r magnum is safe to shoot in that gun” (Charter Undercoverette)”
     
  12. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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  13. golden

    golden Member

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    BUCKEYE,

    The lower recoil alternative load to the +P .38 Special is a good idea, but I do not think the present .32 H&R magnum loads are it. They are just a little too underpowered, for the most part. Another 100 to 150 fps and a 95 to 100 grain jhp at the same velocity as the 85 grain jhp might have offered something.
    As is, I would use a .32 H&R or S&W Long loaded with 98 grain wad cutters and try for the most effective shot. With that load, recoil really would be lower.

    Under the present circumstances, I do not see a real advantage to a 2 inch barreled .32 H&R magnum. A four inch barrel would be a big help to get the velocity up and a slightly stronger loading. I think a compact .32ACP would be just as effective as a the Undercover loaded with .32 H&R and hold more ammo. Like I suggested earlier, something equivalent to the FEDERAL HST load, but in .32.

    Jim
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
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  14. Searaider

    Searaider Member

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  15. Searaider

    Searaider Member

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    Hello Boom Vang:
    Here is the easy fix for the low shooting Charter Arms Professional. This is an early production add-on rear sight for your 32 revolver. Nicely finished aluminum that slips into the top slot of the Professional. Secure it with some 2-part epoxy or JB Weld. Then just aim, shoot and Bulzeye. $20 bucks and $2 shipping.
    entire gun-b.jpg close up-a.jpg
     
  16. Searaider

    Searaider Member

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  17. Searaider

    Searaider Member

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    Here is more info:

    Bulz-1.jpg Bulz-2.jpg
     
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  18. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    In the past year, I have come to appreciate .32 revolvers in all flavors. Started with a 3" SP101 in .327, added a 4" Regulation Police .32 S&W Long as well as a 2" Hand Ejector in the same caliber. Just his week, I picked up a 2" stainless Charter six-shot Undercoverette in .32 H&R. Lots of components, fortunately, and working on the best loads for each. I did splurge for some Buffalo Bore .32 H&R, and if it proves too feisty for the Charter, I can always shoot it in the Ruger. The Charter will be going DAO when the hammer I ordered gets here this coming week.
    Fedora-and-32s.jpg Charter-Snubby.jpg
     
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  19. Boom Vang

    Boom Vang Member

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    Wow, this thread has been a hit. Nice to see the interest in .32 H&R and Charters. It's kind of gotten off track a bit, with pics of S&Ws and .38s.

    C'mon back to Charter .32s:
    IMG_8586.jpeg

    That aftermarket rear sight looks very nice. The only downside is gluing something onto your gun. Maybe I missed it, but what is the corrected POA at a given distance?

    In the pic above, the top Professional has an adjustable rear sight from Charter. It's something of a one-off, not catalogued. On both guns I replaced the grips with something more user-friendly for me. Did not like the woodpecker grips supplied with them.

    With the stainless gun and the stock sights, POI depends on the sight alignment and picture. Traditional sighting with 6 o'clock hold and top of front sight even with top of rear sight - yes it shoots low at all distances, gets much worse past 30 feet. "Combat sight picture" (I hate that misnomer) - front fiber optic fully visible in the rear sight notch, and centered on the target - it hits an 8" pie plate all day long out to 50 feet.

    You have to consider what these guns are made for: close-range self-defense. The sights do work for that within typical distances. I wished Charter would have put more thought and effort into the sights, but it is what it is.
     
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  20. Boom Vang

    Boom Vang Member

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    Lot of hair-splitting going on in this thread. You can pick your comparison of calibre, ammunition and weapon, and create whatever point you want. But how about apples vs. apples?

    IMG_8587.jpeg

    Two small-frame, 2" revolvers. Both current production. Similar ammunition. the .38 Special S&W on the left is loaded with handloaded Speer 110 gold dot @ 850 fps. The .32 H&R Charter on the sight with handloaded 116 RNHP @ 850 fps.

    There's not a nickel's worth of difference between the paper ballistics. The .38 has a somewhat bigger bullet diameter, but both bullets expand and penetrate within the margin of variation of each other: .38 110 GDHP - 11" penetration, exp .585". .32 116 RNHP - 10" penetration, exp .595"

    The weight of the two guns is nearly identical. The recoil of the guns two guns is nearly identical, and I am being charitable since I'm using a higher powered handload in the .32 Charter above, which is not available commercially. With .32 H&R factory loads - Hornady 80 FTX - the recoil of the Charter is NOTICEABLY less than any .38 Special factory load.

    The Charter holds 1 extra shot.

    The rest is subjective. For me, the frame on the Charter has a much better hold than the tiny frame on the S&W, regardless of the type of grips applied.

    The lowest recoiling .38 Special defensive loading currently produced (yes I know that is a joke) is the Hornady 110 grain FTX grain @835 fps out of the 2" barrel:
    Power 170 fpe
    Recoil 4.3 fpe

    The most effective (and available) .32 H&R mag load is the Hornady 80 grain FTX load @980 fps out of the 2" barrel:
    Power 170 fpe
    Recoil 3.3 fpe

    Same power with less recoil for .32 H&R Mag, and one extra shot in the cylinder. You can carry a bigger gun, in a larger calibre, with more powerful loads, but you will pay the price in carrying (size and weight) and recoil. You will be hard pressed to find a lighter recoiling combination of the Charter Undercoverette and .32 H&R Mag, and still retain adequate power.

    Which is the entire point of the .32 H&R Mag.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2021
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