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The New Charter-Arms Bulldog 44 spl

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by BulletArc47, Jan 14, 2013.

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  1. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    Used to have one with a docked hammer - want another one but I've never been able to find one just like it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  2. Nasty

    Nasty Member

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    What Jerry said....200gr Speer Gold Dots.
     
  3. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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    I have a recent production CA Bulldog Pug SS. So far it has been very accurate and reliable.The trigger was a bit stiff and gritty at first but smoothed out after a good cleaning and some lube and lots of dry firing.The trigger is very smooth and in DA mode it rolls as good as any S&W I have,SA is sweet and crisp.
    I think CA will continue to sell these as the 44spl Bulldog series is a unique product and still popular with many.

    CA got a bad rap when they became Charter 2000 and Char-Co. CA is back in the hands of the Ecker family(David Ecker co-owner of CA with founder Doug McClenehan,son Nick Ecker now runs the company as both men are now passed on) so quality has gone back up.

    I just picked up a vintage CA Pathfinder 3" 22RF for a great price.Nice tight,blued little trail gun.
     
  4. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Just on the "heavier load" question...

    The Bulldog in .44 Spl. is a light weight gun. Charter has recommended that bullet weight be limited to 200 grains. A heavier bullet will increase recoil and without the weight of a heavier gun to keep the impulse down one or more of the remaining bullets in the cylinder could become unseated in the case and possible bind up the action. This could occur with a 246 gr. bullet at between 900-1100 fps. The latter being a load the 44 Spl. can do.

    The other "heavier load" question is in cooking up more powerful loads as in a 200 gr. bullet at 1000-1100 fps.

    The gun won't "blow up" or "become a hand grenade" but it will shoot loose pretty quickly.

    SW attaches the same warnings to it's 396 in 44 Spl.

    tipoc
     
  5. whitecoyote

    whitecoyote Member

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    Just have Mag-Na-Port clean it up for you. :)
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  6. lowercase

    lowercase Member

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    Here's an updated pic of mine with some NOS Bulldog "round butt" style grips. They are replacing the square-butt ones I had grabbed from my Police Bulldog .38.

    I can say that these are really what I've been after since I bought the gun. They are great in the hand and look good, too. The Pachmayr Compac grips look great, and are great for shooting, but they grab my cover garment. These old school Bulldog grips are just the ticket!

    Have I mentioned how much I like the ergonomics of this gun? :D

    Oh, yeah...I am also now the owner of a vintage 3" blued Bulldog, but can't get a pic of it because I'm having an issue taken care of at the gunsmith. The cylinder was binding up on the top of the forcing cone when the gun heated up.


    [​IMG]
     
  7. lowercase

    lowercase Member

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    whitecoyote, are those real stag grips on that Bulldog?

    I like the look. :)
     
  8. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    Winchester Silvertip, Glaser Safety Slug, and Speer 200 gr Gold Dot all offer plenty of stopping power. Any time I feel the need to shoot hotter specials than that, I use my Blackhawk, Taurus M44, or Redhawk.
    I don't want .44 mag performance from a self defense gun.
    .44 mag is a hunting round designed for deep penetration on big animals.
    I carry 200 grain Gold Dot, loaded both by Speer, and GA Arms, in my Bulldog.
    Bulldogs are not fun to shoot with heavy bullets. They weigh the same as a .38 snub, but launch a much heavier bullet, That equals a lot more recoil.
    If the aforementioned loads won't do the job, then the job calls for a riot gun.

    IIRC, Bulldog rifling is optimized for lighter bullets. 180-200 grain bulllets should be perfect.
    Buffalo Bore makes a 200 grain hard cast wadcutter that is rated for the Bulldog. It moves out at 920 fps from a 3" Bulldog barrel. Plenty of power for the job. It should punch a clean, free bleeding, hole through whomever is trying to murder you.
    I'm considering using them in my Blackhawk for close range deer and hogs, since they move out at 1036 fps from a 5.5" Blackhawk, which is what I have.
    Should punch through hide, cartilage, bone, heart, and lungs of a feral hog just fine.
     
  9. Bassleg

    Bassleg Member

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    What Drail said about the use of a Charter 44 is golden the only thing I can add is some range data I set up my crony and shot Speer Blazer 200gr. gold dots 775 fps, Critical def.
    at 871fps and Fed. 200grSWC at 697fps and I shot all of these in water just to see if they would open up as designed and the only one that didn't was the Fed. 200gr SWC it look like I could load it up in a new case and shoot it again. my 2 cents
     
  10. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    Try the Fiocchi 200gr. JSP.
     
  11. Drail

    Drail Member

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    The 200 gr. Gold Dot load is the perfect load for a Charter (or a S&W 696). I have tried lots of different handloads over the years and the 200 gr. Gold Dot is still the best load I have found. There are hotter loads available from some of the specialty manufacturers but they are totally unecessary in a Charter. My other favorite load is a 215 gr. hard cast SWC over about 7.5 gr. of Unique. All that is needed is a 200 gr. bullet moving at about 850 to 900 fps.
     
  12. PabloJ

    PabloJ member

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    I looked over 70s vintage in .44? with price tag of $225. I thought it was not worth more then $175. One would hope those are equal to Taurus. I would rather fork out 2x more money to get Smith & Wesson.
     
  13. Pointshoot

    Pointshoot Member

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    I'm a Bulldog fan. IMO if you get one you either want to check it out carefully at your gunshop first (use the revolver check list) or order from Davidson's which offers you a lifetime guarantee. Then you have the peace of mind of being covered if something goes wrong. One local gunshop swears off them as they have ordered several for customers that had to be returned. (They didnt say exactly what the problems were -gun or customer caused.) Ive seen new guns with poor timing. I've also seen guns with excellent, smooth triggers, that were fit together well.
    The Bulldog is quite unique and fills a special role. It gives us the ability to carry a bigbore chambering in a small, lightweight revolver. For a long time I considered getting a S&W 696. It was on the personal 'Want List'. But when it came down to it, IMO that gun was just too big and heavy. Its thinner forcing cone makes shooting hotter loads unwise, Ive heard. (No disrespect to those who love their 696 !) - - For me personally, the Bulldog fills the wheel gun light/compact role. I use an N frame if I want a heavier duty 44 Special.
    Its been asked before "How come S&W or Ruger doesn't' build a lightweight/compact 44 Special revolver that will stand up better to hotter loads?" Likely it comes down to physics. Sronger guns that can take more shooting and hotter loads have to be built bigger & heavier to do so. (Or maybe use exotic lightweight materials that are expensive.) No free lunch.

    Check the gun before hand and use it with the loads its designed for and the Bulldog will serve you well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  14. Drail

    Drail Member

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    I have always been of the opinion that the reason the main manufacturers show little interest in a .44 Spl. snub is the cartridge. The ammo makers think the market is very limited so the supply of factory ammo is not good. It is not a "popular" cartridge today. (it was for a very long time though). It has been a "handoader's" cartridge since the .44 Mag. was intoduced in 1957. It is one of the best CCW cartridges ever made. But you gotta roll your own to get the best from it. To chamber it in a snub you have to agree with the whole "carry a lot, shoot a little" concept, which a lot of people simply cannot agree with.
     
  15. whitecoyote

    whitecoyote Member

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    Charter Arms Mag-Na-Port BackPacker BullDog.
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  16. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    I became interested in the Bulldog after watching Manhunter in the 1980s. The idea of a lightweight, packable big bore revolver appealed to me.
    I almost didn't get one, because of the association with the Son of Sam murderers.

    But, I got over it. It's a good gun for self defense carry, and has been used by far more good guys than bad guys.

    The one I had in 1991 had a very heavy DA pull.
    I wish I'd kept it, because I'd put a Wolff spring kit in it.
     
  17. Kymasabe

    Kymasabe Member

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    Another gun worth mentioning, if you like the look and size of the 44 is CHarter Arms Police Undercover. is a .38 built on the .44 frame, 6 rounds, very nice.
     
  18. burnse

    burnse Member

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    I know this thread has been buried for a while, but I've been gone for some time, and I love a chance to talk about the bulldog. I'm glad to see more fans than there seem to have been even 2 years ago.
    I love mine - it was a prize from a "friends of the NRA" drawing I'd won, and it came along at a time when I was in need of a carry gun (though I didn't really have the money for one). I've been carrying it every day for about 5 months now. It carries extremely well in a crossdraw made for me by Side Guard Holsters.
    All I ever put through it really is 200 gr. cowboy loads, but I trust them to do what they should, and they're plenty accurate (much moreso than I am). I saw above that someone said Charter recommended 200 gr. bullets, and I wanted to throw in that I noticed a big improvement in accuracy when I switched from 240 to 200 grains (I did test this with three different manufacturers just to be sure).
    Next thing I want to do is put together a couple of black powder loads, just for fun.

    BTW, If anybody knows of a good kydex leftie holster for IWB, please let me know.
     
  19. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Member

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    I shot blackpowder loads in my 80's bulldog.
    2.5" groups at 12 yds and just tad above point of aim.
    Load was 25 gr by volume of 3f under a 255 gr bullet.
    My best load so far is 240 gr xtp with 5 gr of bullseye.
     
  20. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    An interesting alternative to the .44 Special Bulldog is the Taurus Model 415, a five-shot revolver with a 2 1/2", ported barrel, chambered in .41 Magnum. Mine is made from stainless steel but they also made the Model 415T, which was made from titanium.
     
  21. righteoushoot

    righteoushoot Member

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    Took the 415 route. Nice option. ;)
     
  22. Bassleg

    Bassleg Member

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    I have a Taurus ultra lite 44 spec 5 shot and it's about the same weight but it's frame is just a little bigger than my Bulldog shoots great.
     
  23. burnse

    burnse Member

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    Where does a man get some nice wood grips for a bulldog, without using ebay?
     
  24. Cocked & Locked
    • Contributing Member

    Cocked & Locked Member

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    Try the "Gun Broker" site....lots of CA grips usually there.
     
  25. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Looking at posts 30 and 40, Mag-a-Port does do good work. You don't even have to have the gun ported for them to do it.

    tipoc
     
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