Charter Arms - What Were They Thinking??

Charter Arms - What Were They Thinking??

This is a discussion on Charter Arms - What Were They Thinking?? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have one of the original (circa 1974-5) Charter Arms Police Bulldog Specials (.38 Spec) and the fit, finish and overall function of this sidearm ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array just me's Avatar
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    Charter Arms - What Were They Thinking??

    I have one of the original (circa 1974-5) Charter Arms Police Bulldog Specials (.38 Spec) and the fit, finish and overall function of this sidearm is flawless. However, my Army son has really grown very fond of this specific weapon so it's put away for him.

    After reading a glowing review of a current production CA on Gunblast.com, I thought it might be interesting to check out one of their .44 specials, assuming, I could locate one.

    Where I live, there are only two "real" gun shops and one of them actually had two CA's, one in .44special and the other in .38 special.

    I was quite excited about my good fortune until the salesman handed me the .44 special. What a total POC!!! It looked like something the infamous "Davis" group would have made during their lunch.

    The DA trigger pull was horrible beyond belief. Pulling the hammer back for SA (and the cylinder rotating) provided the most sickening sounds. The lock-up was pathetic and IMHO, actually unsafe.

    The look on my face must have said it all, because the salesman had a grin from ear to ear. He mumbled something about "a good boat drag" as I returned the POC to him. The .38 spec was only slightly better and would have been a good value priced at $29.99.

    When I went to the other gun shop and asked about Charter Arms, I thought my face might soon be visiting the nearest window.

    I think firearms manufacturers make a very conscious choice when they manufacture a firearm. They can make a "good" firearm, a "great" firearm or a total "piece of crap" firearm. Obviously, I will not be purchasing a current production CA!!

    But once upon a time, Charter Arms did it right.

    Regards,

    just me


  2. #2
    1943 - 2009
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    Don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel! Don't sugarcoat it!

    Seriously, I agree with you about the old Charter Arms revolvers. I owned three in the 70s, a Bulldog .44, a stainless Undercover .38, and a .22 Pathfinder. They were all good guns.

    I can't vouch for the newest versions, since I haven't seen or handled any. I think Gun tests magazine has reviewed some of them, I'd have to search thru my back issues.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

  3. #3
    Member Array just me's Avatar
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    Ahoy Cap'n,

    Yes, I may have been a little too "left wing sugary" .

    Regards,

    just me

  4. #4
    Member Array Frzdrdhppy's Avatar
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    That's a shame
    Several years ago I also had a CA 44 Bulldog that was really a nice gun that fit my hand and shot very well. I had been thinking of getting another of late after reading a review that Charter had cleaned up their act, but looks like you found the contrary. Thanks for the "head's up".

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    The current Charter Arms is not the same Charter Arms of old. The current owners bought the Company and the Name and has been producing them for some time now.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Stetson's Avatar
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    I agree with the posters as I have a 44 from the 70's which is fun
    to shoot.High point bought charter house if they can make those
    things operate they should be able to make revolvers better?

  7. #7
    Member Array freetrapper's Avatar
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    My dad got a new version CA 44 special a while back at a gun show. He is a gun smith of sorts and had to spend some time making it what it should have been out of the box. After he was done it was a great little gun. The fact is he should not have had to work it to make it right but it is now a very accurate and intimidating little carry gun. The 44 special is a great round.
    Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."

    ~ Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Ill suggest you hit gunbroker ect.. and watch for an old ca .38 , or even better a bulldog .44 special . I allways had a soft spot for the big bore charters ( the only option for a true big bore ccw way back when due to dept policys ) .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  9. #9
    Member Array just me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freetrapper View Post
    My dad got a new version CA 44 special a while back at a gun show. He is a gun smith of sorts and had to spend some time making it what it should have been out of the box. After he was done it was a great little gun. The fact is he should not have had to work it to make it right but it is now a very accurate and intimidating little carry gun. The 44 special is a great round.
    Glad to hear that!

    Any dirtbag "messin" with your Dad would be messin with the wrong guy.

    Regards,

    just me

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array Gunnutty's Avatar
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    I have three of the old bulldogs in 44 special. I put them back when Charter took a turn for the worse. Glad now I did. I love the 44 special round. The old bulldogs are easy to conceal and shoot very well. Don't care for the new ones at all.
    We will be much better off when we learn to deal with things as they really are, instead of how we wish them to be!

  11. #11
    New Member Array glock870's Avatar
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    Agreed on the new CA. I bought a new undercover, first trip out it would fire maybe 2 out of a cylnder maybe 1. Sent it back for repair,got it back 4 weeks later same thing. Took it back told the shop owner he let me trade it on a new Glock.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tegemu View Post
    The current Charter Arms is not the same Charter Arms of old. The current owners bought the Company and the Name and has been producing them for some time now.
    This is true, but the current products seem to be very much inferior to the originals.

    Gun tests Magazine reviewed the Undercover .38 Special in September 06, and gave it a "Don't Buy" rating because the gun would completely freeze up in double action mode, the cylinder was misaligned with the barrel, and it shot 6 inches low/left at 15 yards.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

  13. #13
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    It is a shame that they have become this bad. I am 22 and would love to have an old Charter of my own on my hip. The last few days I have not felt like carrying my 40 and wanted to carry something that fits my hand better than my Kel-Tec. In their place I have been carrying my mother's Ca. 60-70s "Off-Duty" .38. I love this gun, it carries well and shoots very accurately.
    Mark

    "The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose."

    -James Earl Jones

  14. #14
    Member Array Cosmo's Avatar
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    Funny that I should stumble up on this thread today. I just dropped a Charter Arms Undercover .38 off with my gunsmith to have it sent back for repair. The "weapon" and I use the term loosely is only 3 months old and one of my many mistakes in life. When (and if) this gun is returned to me in working order it is up for sale! I hate to sell it to some unsuspecting person, but hey....buying it taught me a valuable lesson, maybe it will do the same for someone else. I guess it would be ok if you used it to throw at someone, or maybe tied it to the end of a long stick and beat someone to death with it...I don't know...there may be some value in there somewhere. But as far as being a gun, I think you would have more luck inserting the bullets manually in the BG than you would have shooting him with this POC!
    NRA Member

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    ~Winston Churchill

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    I have a couple of the Charter Buldog Pugs in 44 Spl.........they're the same size as a Colt Detective Special 6 shot 38 spl revolver.......these are newr guns, and they function well, and are VERY easy to hide.....nice little powerhouse if you ask me..they work well with 200 gr Speers
    Why Waltz when you can Rock-N-Roll

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