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Charter Bulldog Classic

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Mr. Mosin, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    I just keep coming back to the Charter Arms Bulldog Classic. There's just something appealing about the Classic. I have looked into handloading, and have read a few threads on here, and on other forum's. I know the Bulldog will not hold up long with a diet of full house .44 Spl's, and I should stick w/ standard factory stuff, even hand loading. How long will a new production Bulldog last, with a diet of standard factory fodder ? 1k rounds ? 10k rounds ? Also, slightly off topic, but does anyone have a photo of a Bulldog Classic, w/ either the Charter slim panel grips, or the Altamont slim panel grips ?
     
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  2. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    With "cowboy loads" or equivalent light handloads, I would expect it to last a long time. I bought mine used maybe five years ago and have shot it a bunch since. It seems to lock up as good as new. It may have needed a screw tightened once or twice. I don't remember for sure.
     
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  3. Blue Brick

    Blue Brick Member

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  4. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    :thumbup: I'm with you on that. I think there is a Bulldog Classic in my future.
     
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  5. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Who knows how long they'll last? If I were concerned, I'd buy two. If one wears out, switch to the other.

    With such a large caliber bullet in a relatively short range revolver, I see no need heavy loads or constant practice. Plus, in a 21 oz. revolver recoil must be considered. The "standard" field loads I use in my other .44 Special's recoiled way too much in the Bulldog. The load I initially used was a home-cast 185 gr. WC loaded over 4.5 grs. of Clays for ~850 fps. This is a very controllable load that will make big holes. This bullet is actually available commercially from Matt's Bullets.

    185grSWC-edit_zps692a31e4.jpg

    Being a bullet casting junkie, I jumped when a Group Buy offering a light .44 caliber HP was initiated. I cast mine soft and they weigh 187 gr. Loaded under 7.5 grs. of Unique, which is under maximum, they chronograph at 952 fps out of the 3" barrel and shoot to the sights at 15 yds.

    Bulldog%20with%20HPs_zpsjt5qudf5.jpg

    I have Pachmeyer grips on mine.

    35W
     
  6. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    I have the bulldog classic and have put some 800 rounds of 215 gr swc at 875 fps without any issues. The blueing does show holster wear but the gun performs great.
     
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  7. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    I've owned bulldogs since the 80's, fantastic carry piece that brings a lot to the table. The 44spl is 1 of those forgotten cartridges that really shines in the snubnosed revolvers. A picture of an early ca bulldog (top) with a ca undercover below it.
    a8skiqL.jpg

    That bulldog is on the rare side, it's an older model (high hook front sight) that was special ordered with a 2" bbl. Ended up trading it, never liked the high hook front sights. This is the bulldog I've carried for 10/12 years now, 2 1/2" bbl & low profile front sight.
    UmdYHdc.jpg

    I run across bulldogs at gunshows every now and then, if the price is right I pick them up, shoot them for awhile and sell or trade them off. That bulldog pictured above easily has 5,000+ rounds thru it. Mostly standard loads with +/- 200gr bullets and bullseye or clays. Every bulldog I've owned seemed to shoot better with +/- 200gr bullets & tend to shoot to the poa with hot loads.

    Speaking of hot loads in the bulldogs 2400 powder is your friend. Did these test loads awhile back, was mainly interested in the top left bullet/load. All of these loads are in the +/-18,000psi range.
    fo57jjU.jpg

    That bottom left bullet is the h&g (#142) version of the lyman 429215 bullet. It's a Thompson design that a real thumper in the snubnosed bulldogs. The top left test bullet is a lyman 429422 hollow based Keith swc. The FBI used a 158gr hollow based hollow pointed swc for their "FBI" 38spl p+ load. Buffalo bore has their well known 1000fps 158gr hp load for the snubnosed 38spl's. I put together a load that was the best of both worlds and put it in a 44spl case. A side view of that 210gr hb hp swc.
    Swqedh0.jpg

    I've carried bulldogs for a long time now (3+ decades) and never felt outgunned.
     
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  8. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I wouldn't worry about how long they'll last. If you ever shoot one loose just send it back to Charter and they'll fix it.
     
  9. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    Thanks @all for your help and input. Been pricing .44 Spl factory, and reloading components. Either way, it's expensive. Somewhat prohibitively expensive.
     
  10. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Not a classic, but I've stopped counting at 4000 rounds in my 5 year old 2.5" Bulldog. Pretty much all handloads. None exceeding standard load data. Never had an issue of any type. And I too have a hankering for a Classic!
     
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  11. Cocked & Locked
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    Cocked & Locked Member

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    Same here Duster340. I've also got a hankering for a Classic Bulldog but don't ever see one for sale locally here. Until then I'll just keep on loading, shooting, and carrying my newer 2.5" version.

    414173128.jpg
     
  12. Up North

    Up North Member

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    I have both the classic and the newer 2 1/2 in. Like the looks of the classic bit find the 2 1/2 in. Barrel and grip on the new one pocket carries easy. Think I'm keeping em both though.
     
  13. Cocked & Locked
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    Cocked & Locked Member

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    If I'm in the pocket carry mode I switch out to Herret's Shooting Ace grips...and at times switch it over to DAO spurless hammer.

    413286492.jpg



    413239754.jpg
     

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  14. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    I'm such a chump for the C.A. Bulldog because its a great idea that only Taurus was able to master yet stopped making them for some reason. there are better options for compact big bore ccw (if you go semiauto) but I will probably end up getting yet another one sooner or later.
     
  15. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    The 445?
     
  16. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    yes, Taurus made a 5 shot 44spl, 45colt, 41mag all in compact 5 shooters.....
     
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  17. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    I wanted to get a 445 and 415 but never did.

    Ended up with a m44c 44 mag snubby though
     
  18. desmobob

    desmobob Member

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    Anyone own both 2.5" and 3" Bulldogs? I know I'm going to buy a Bulldog; I just have to decide which one. I've always wanted a 3" revolver as a woods gun, but the 2.5" looks like a nice choice, too.
     
  19. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    The new Classic comes with nice wood grips and blued finish. My Classic showed holster wear near the barrel fairly quickly but it does not bother me. I did swap the nice wood grips for rubber for better control. I would like to find a 45 colt from Charter Arms but have not seen one around here.
     
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  20. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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    I have both. I prefer the 2.5" for street carry. Both are viable, its really a matter of personal preference. I just wish someone would make a factory Charter Bulldog load that was a full wad cutter, 180-200gr and doing 800ish from the 2.5/3" barrel. The Buffalo Bore loads are too hot for most people and a steady diet is going to beat the gun to death.
     
  21. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

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    I own a new 2.5" barreld Bulldog and probably need to shoot the thing more often. I'm not overly worried about damaging the thing as I'm not willing to run super hot loads through it for the sake of my hand. I make some super light shooting 240 SWC reloads for it and they're actually borderline comfortable.

    Like other's here, I have a soft spot for the Bulldog. I thought I'd feel the same way about a 9mm Pitbull I bought summer of 2018...but I don't.
     
  22. Cocked & Locked
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    Cocked & Locked Member

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    The Interarms imported Rossi 720 5-shot .44 specials with 3" barrels are pretty nice also but are no longer made. Heavier than the Bulldog though so I usually end up carrying the Bulldog.

    413956808.jpg

    413956807.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  23. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    The only 3" Bulldog is the Classic, the 2.5" come in a variety of models. You can get DAO, DA/SA with a standard hammer, DA/SA with a substantial shroud to minimize snag potential. If you want a low profile hammer or no hammer, you can only get that with 2.5".

    I like the 3 inch Classic myself, but the shrouded DA/SA IMO is the perfect CCW revolver.
     
  24. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    that's not a Taurus, nor the gun I was referring to.
     
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  25. Cocked & Locked
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    Cocked & Locked Member

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    LOL...duh on me. TYPO. Thanks Jerry I'll attempt to edit that post. :thumbup:

    It's my Rossi 720.
     
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