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Charter or S&W .38 J frame?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by GWARGHOUL, Sep 27, 2011.

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  1. GWARGHOUL

    GWARGHOUL Member

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    I'm thinking my next purchase will probably be a j frame, as a holiday present from someone..so...

    At the end of the day...

    Whats the better gun? I can spend about $35 more and get a S&W 637, or $35-45 less and get a Charter, even less for a steel frame.

    The LGS tells me the "action" is better on Smith and Rugers, but Charter makes a good gun, which is essentially a copy of S&W design.

    Growing up, my dad had the model 60 chief deluxe in .38.. was a very nice gun.

    Thoughts..facts..and opinions please...

    Thanks..
     
  2. MyGreenGuns

    MyGreenGuns Member

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    Thirty Five bucks?! Smokin deal!

    I have a 637 and love it to death. No comment on the charter arms. Will attach a pic of a clip holster you should look into.
    http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=147875&d=1314151170(Image Size:1024x768)
    Not sure who makes it but I can ask my bro (original owner) if you're interested.
     
  3. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    I'd rather a Smith over which ever variation of Charter is in production today. I was pondering a Bulldog and bought a 642 instead.
     
  4. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    Get a Ruger SP 101, won't have to worry about sending it back!
     
  5. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I've got an older Charter and it's a good gun.

    But new or old, for $35.00 difference, I'd get a Smith & Wesson.
     
  6. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    All the Charter Arms revolvers I have seen have been good, serviceable guns but IMO the Smith is a better gun and is easily worth anohter $35-45 dollars.
     
  7. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    Get the Smith. Hands down.

    Charter would be down the list after. If not a S&W, then a Ruger. If not a Ruger then, maybe, a Charter.
     
  8. scottishclaymore

    scottishclaymore Member

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    I think this has already been said, but... Get the Smith. Brand new J-Frames are going for $350 a pop at my local gun shows these days. I'm thinking at that price, I need to pick a new one up too.
     
  9. Dogguy

    Dogguy Member

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    S&W absolutely. I've had an old Charter snubby that was a pretty good little gun but the Smiths are better. J-frames usually need some action work by a good gunsmith. I would guess that almost all good gunsmiths can do good action work on S&Ws.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No it isn't a copy of a S&W.
    The only thing similar between the two designs are that they are both revolvers.

    Internal lockwork, crane henge, assembly method, etc., of the Charter is completely different.
    And in my judgment, inferior in most every way.

    IMO: Get a S&W.

    BTW: The Model 60 your dad had was just a standard run of the mill stainless Chiefs Special.
    They didn't make a "deluxe" model, unless it was factory engraved.
    And yes, it was surely a very nice gun, because it was a S&W.

    rc
     
  11. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    If I were going to be using it for lawful concealed carry, as a dedicated defensive weapon, price wouldn't be the deciding factor in comparing the Charter Arms against the S&W. I'd choose what I felt to be the better designed, quality offering ...

    I'd buy the S&W J-frame. (Of course, I presently own 6 of them. ;) )

    That's just me, though.
     
  12. Paladin38-40

    Paladin38-40 Member

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    Only 3

    The only brands of DA revolvers worth taking home, new or used, are S&W, Colt, and Ruger. All others require great (ir)rationalization.
     
  13. OldCavSoldier

    OldCavSoldier Member

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    S&W for sure! I own three J-frame Smiths (M37, M642, and M60Jmag) and wouldn't part with any of them for anything
     
  14. jhvaughan2

    jhvaughan2 Member

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    As others have suggested: Go with the Smith.

    If there is only $35 difference then the charter is Over-priced or the Smith is under-priced.
     
  15. Chillaxin

    Chillaxin Member

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    Another vote for the Smith. I'm betting that if you ever do decide to sell it there will be much more than a 35 dollar difference

    -C-
     
  16. trikster

    trikster Member

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    +1 on the Smith. When I bought my M36, I handled the Charter that was a few bucks cheaper. It felt solid and locked up fine, but the trigger wasn't as smooth, the finish not quite as good, the edges not quite as refined... So, on a whole, the Charter just wasn't 'quite' as good as the Smith. For $35, it is a pittance compared to the quality difference. You will make out if you decide to sell it used.
     
  17. Dr_B

    Dr_B member

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    If the difference is less than $50, why not just get the Smith?
     
  18. GWARGHOUL

    GWARGHOUL Member

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    Well said. I'll get the smith when the time comes.

    Thanks guys.
     
  19. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Agreed. I have a Bulldog Pug and love it, but if I could have got a .44 spl. the same size and weight from S&W for only $40 more, I would have.

    The Charters are good guns, but not in the same league as a Smith.

    OTOH, if you're looking at .357 offerings, there is a whole lot more than $40 difference between the Mag Pug and a J-frame.
     
  20. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    I would agree. Even at a great price difference, I would only buy a Charter to get a reasonably sized .44spl.
     
  21. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    The days of "good Charter's" are long gone; opt for the the Smith J-frame;
    or if you like Ruger's "cam action' better, then by all means swing for
    it~! ;) :D
     
  22. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Don't mean to seem insulting, but have you kept up? The current (2007 and on) generation are the best yet. I wouldn't get one that reads "Charco" or "Charter 2000", but the current "Charter Arms" guns are back up to par. In addition to my bulldog pug, we have some undercover and undercover light models on the shelf at the shop I sometimes help on the counter; The fit & finish and mechanical function is quite good.
     
  23. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    To me, the first generation Charter's [Undercover, Off Duty, Undercoverette,
    Pathfinder, Pug, etc.] were some (if not) the best. Yes, I agree stay away from
    Charco's and Charter 2000's; but I have not tried the NEW Charters, as made
    since 2007~! :scrutiny: :uhoh: ;)

    FWIW- Its kind'a like the Taurus vs. Rossi debate. Personally, I will take a
    good Rossi revolver over a Taurus any day of the week~!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  24. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    I also prefer the S&W. I feel the quailty is better and it will retain its value better.
     
  25. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    I'd get an LCR over both (and yes I have a S&W J frame) but between those two I would without question spend the small amount more for a S&W.
     
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