Ditched the Charter Arms 38's for a Ladysmith

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Biblethumpncop, Jun 5, 2021.

  1. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

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    A17F8F81-D4E1-44F1-BCFA-D691400ACEAD.jpeg 5777666D-06F5-44D3-B5E0-90093AE32FD4.jpeg 1B2DB00A-A789-4C4E-BA1F-D4DA4535FDE4.jpeg 6D36B609-D7B3-470F-B753-7718B34F3644.jpeg 8C5190DA-7198-47DE-8C6A-5386ED2D9CB4.jpeg 6B235C79-4DC2-4D9B-BE05-488E383FF051.jpeg I bought 2 custom made 3" Charter Arms Police Undercovers with adj sights I had posted on here before. They were to be for my wife and my 19 year old daughter. I really liked to concept of the budget, American company that supports law enforcement and a lifetime warranty.

    I have owned 2 old Bulldogs, an old Undercover, these 2 custom Police Undercovers and I recently bought a Target Pathfinder.

    Unfortunately, one of the two custom guns went back twice due to timing issues (less than 50 rounds the first time, never fired the second time as it wasn't corrected from the factory properly.). They warrantied the gun and made me a new replacement. Unfortunately, they put the barrel from a fixed sighted version on it which had a low front sight causing extremely high shots. It went back to the factory and the proper barrel/sight was installed.

    I ordered a Pathfinder Target .22lr 4" at the same time the replacement gun was being made. It was shipped with the replacement gun and I also ordered a stainless steel grip frame (instead of the light weight poly frame). As I was installing frame, I had the mainspring launch on me and I lost it. A call to the factory was all that was needed and they sent me a new spring for free.

    I had numerous misfires with 5 models/brand of ammo. I noticed the b/c gap was .020" on my feeler gauges. They sent me a label and it went back to the factory.

    They put in an extra heavy spring and said the b/c gap was within specs. I disagreed but told them to return the gun to me (after all, it has a lifetime warranty and can go back on their dime again).

    The gun came back and the paperwork stated they test fired it 24 times (da/sa) with Federal ammo and it passed.

    I had just as many misfires as before (several per cylinder full of ammo). It went back again and is there now.

    I still appreciate the company and want them to succeed but my experience with repeatedly sending 3 guns back that were brand new left me less than confident trusting the custom 38's for my wife and daughter's safety to in a time of crisis. I don't want this to sound like I am bashing them, but I just don't feel confident. I test fired the replacement gun and it was fine, like the other custom that I never returned . So I sold them and made about $100 profit each.

    I found a 3" S&W Ladysmith 36-3 for $506 after shipping and FFL. The gun is essentially a baby brother of my 2" model 15 and 4" model 28. I need to test fire it this weekend and I might put lighter springs in it as long as it is reliable.

    I'm holding out hope Charter Arms can make my Pathfinder right. Since I just plink with it beside my Colt Diamondback 22, I don't need confidence in it the same way as I do a self defense gun.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2021
    Monac, weregunner, shoebox1.1 and 5 others like this.
  2. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Nice Ladysmith. I'm starting to warm up to the idea of a 3" j-frame.
     
  3. Haywood

    Haywood Member

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    I have wanted a Charter Arms ever since I gave mine to my friends wife when he died. I’ve also wanted a 856 Taurus but, I have heard so many stories lately about quality control I have just stuck with my problem free J-Frames. I have had great luck with Taurus and my brother loves the 44 Bull Dog Charter Arms. I had SP101s and a LCR. The J-Frames just do it for me.
     
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  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Tallball
    Back in the day I use to think that Model 36 with a 3" barrel was the cat's meow for concealed carry. For one thing they were very affordable and in generally good supply, new and used. Couldn't always say the same thing about their snubnose brethren, which also commanded a much higher cost as they were hard to come by (Model 60s typically went for over list price as they were in high demand and short supply). The 3" Model 36 felt good in my hand, just the right combination of weight, barrel length, and balance. Found that having that extra bit of barrel really helped a lot extending the sight radius, making it faster and easier to get it on target.
     
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  5. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I hear you. I recently got a 3” Model 37, they really are pretty cool guns :thumbup:.

    164FB502-D3B7-4AEF-BF34-10DC2AE8B028.jpeg B8EB4C4D-4188-4711-91F5-7F7EC1B04F1B.jpeg

    About six years ago I had just bought two AR-15 lowers and initially passed on a .357 stainless Ladysmith that I saw on consignment at a LGS. It was priced at $360.00.

    I kicked myself all the way back to my office. I called them when I got back there 20 minutes later...but it had already sold. :(

    BTC, I can certainly see where you decided to swap out the Charters for the S&W. You’re well aware SD guns should inspire confidence in the user, having doubts as to whether or not the gun will perform when needed isn’t good at all. :( That being said, I truly hope none of yours ever will need to use their gun in a SD situation.

    Nice purchase! :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
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  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Riomouse911

    Very nice looking Model 37 you've got there! I liked the Model 36 with the non-tapered 3" barrel with the round butt. Typically for carrying them I added a Tyler T-Grip adapter and for range use I would switch that out with a Pachmayr Compac grip. Still kicking myself for not keeping at least one of them around.
     
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  7. shoebox1.1

    shoebox1.1 Member

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    I think you’ve made the right decisions here. I as well want CA to flourish. Great company. I’d want my girls to have absolute assurance the bang is going to happen when trigger pulled
     
  8. George P

    George P member

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    A 3" K frame is no slouch either!
     
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  9. LeftyRed

    LeftyRed Member

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    Great snag! Wish they made more 2.5-3” j frame pistols.

    Lefty
     
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  10. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    [​IMG]

    S&W 60-4
     
  11. Mr. Mosin

    Mr. Mosin Member

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    How do you get a custom CA made ?
     
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  12. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    [​IMG]

    Better yet, a three inch 44.
    S&W 696.
     
  13. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

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    You can call the factory. I am retired law enforcement do they could sell directly to me and ship to my FFL. Non-law enforcement go through the Company's distributor. Call and they will explain it.
     
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  14. Biblethumpncop

    Biblethumpncop Member

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    My friend has one. Nice gun that I shot before. Full size/duty gun.
     
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  15. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    The 696 is an L-frame. Full sized as BTC said. I have long wondered how it is that S&W insists the K-frame won't work as a 44 Special...and Charter Arms keeps turning them out in a Colt D-frame size that falls between the S&W J & K frames. Even with the 696 S&W warns not to use certain ammunition as it will split/crack the forcing cone. Good grief!

    Dave
     
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  16. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    My 30-1 is a 3” and is my favorite revolver of all time. Most aesthetically pleasing, best shooting, a joy to shoot and comfortable to carry. I have considered reaming it to 32 mag but I just can’t bring myself to risking the gun, and I’m not willing to pay for a new cylinder to be made and fitted. Other 3” guns are absolutely on my radar. I have a model 10-6 and if I ever stumble across a 3” barrel that I can make work then it’s going to happen. I have seriously considered cutting the current barrel and recrowning it at 3”. If I ever finish the sight rail conversion like I want to do then it will be a higher priority. 3” is nearly perfect in J or K for a carry gun. For hunting, I want as much barrel as I can get.
     
  17. dawei

    dawei Member

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    FWIW, my bride has a circa 2012 Taurus® Mdl 605SS2 357 Mag and a 2018 Charter Arms® UNDERCOVER® 38 Special DAO. Both guns are trouble-free and shoot anything we feed them.

    Regards...
     
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  18. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Charter was a brand I liked until I bought their 7 shot .32 Mag and after after the issues I've had with that I would but a Taurus before a new Charter.

    Like their older revolvers, but their current stuff has steered me away.
     
  19. Triggernosis

    Triggernosis Member

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    The last 3 Smith &Wesson revolvers that I purchased new had to go back to the factory to have issues addressed. One of them 3 times. So I'm jaded on anything made by S&W in the recent years.
     
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  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Sorry to read of your problems with Charter Arms. I guess they don't sell pistols to owners who shoot the things.

    My experience with S&W and Taurus have both been good. A three inch barrel is a bit long for a concealable, but it works.
     
  21. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    It's the new normal with revolvers these days. Unless it's made by Magnum Research or is a Ruger single action, it's got a high chance of being sent back to the factory.

    Revolvers are more complex and have more labor involved than semi autos do and the companies that make them are trying to keep the costs as low as possible and the way they do it is cheap labor. They got production machine operators doing work that is really worth $5/hr more, but the gun companies can't pay that. As a result they can't keep employees who leave after a year or two.
     
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  22. hannstv

    hannstv Member

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    Please tell us more about those grips....looks like a baby 686. Like it a lot.
     
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  23. gonoles_1980

    gonoles_1980 Member

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    I love my Charter Arms 38spl, but I'd never depend on it. The cylinder latch retaining screw keeps turning when I shoot and eventually it will lock the cylinder if I don't back it out. I've tried locktite, clear fingernail polish, it'll hold for about two trips to the range and the screw starts turning again. Love shooting the gun, but it's a hassle with that screw.
     
  24. ditmo

    ditmo Member

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    I bought the CA Professional 32 mag. It shoots really well. My only gripe is that the fiber optic front sight is too tall. Shoots way low. Now I just split the dot while aiming and its on. I put a night sight on an LCR and do the same thing so no big deal.
     
  25. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    I saw them in a box of grips/stocks at a gun show many years ago. They convert the round butt to a more square feel.
    If S&W made them, I can't say but they have the brass tone logo and blackened backing washers. Snug fit too.
     
    bannockburn likes this.
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