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My wife just purchased an SP-101, DAO with 2 1/4" barrel. It wasn't as inexpensive as it would have been 25 years ago, but not ridiculous, under seven bills. And she loves it. It fits her hand well and she likes shooting it. Doesn't have to worry about a safety or loading a magazine. And I always love posting photos of it, so
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I had one 20 years ago that was good. I shot it well and liked it. A lady I new needed a carry gun. She shot it, liked it, I haven’t seen it since.
 

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i had an old undercover.......decent trigger, and excellent sight regulation...

......no gun smiths i know of would ever work on one due to the design...

...I consider the Charters as light duty......i simply do not believe that they would hold up under a steady diet of ammo like my LCRs or my Smiths have done...
We have both Charter Arms and S&W J-frame snubbies. Both are .38 Special.
The Charter Arms pistol has the better trigger, both SA and DA.
Both are equally accurate.

Our local gunsmith would, and did, do a necessary repair on our Charter Arms gun. I could've done it myself, but he's better at it than I am.

I agree that our Charter Arms revolver is a "light duty" weapon, to be carried a lot, but fired less often.
Taking that into consideration, Jean and I both believe that our Charter Arms pistol does its job well.
It's a good value for the money you'll spend for it (although we didn't buy ours: we got it as a bequest).
 

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Charter Arms?

No thanks.

I don't own one and most likely never will. I've shot one and was unimpressed. A few dollars more got me the S&W 642 that I've carried daily for a dozen years.
 
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I have limited experience with them but what I have encountered is not favorable.

Fit, finish and construction are sub par. Don't know any better way to express it but they feel cheap and fragile.

I've got a buddy who bought a special edition Bulldog, 1 of 50 produced. Its guide rod assembly was put together backwards. If that is what Charter does with a very special limited edition I'm afraid to see how the general production ones turn out.

Spend the extra money on a Ruger or S&W.
 

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I have owned a couple Charters. They have all shot well enough. some had triggers that were better than others. They do not have great fit and finish. In the pic the OP put up, the fit of the crane to the frame on all three guns are slightly different. The top has tight spots, the center gun has its crane sitting proud, and the bottom guns seems most correct. Will all of those guns shoot? Probably. Will the cylinder on all of them close tightly with the same even click? Maybe. These differences show that Charters manufacturing and assembly method has some hand fitting involved instead of using a tighter machining tolerance. The parts from most any top shelf pistol can be interchanged with any other like model. Careful machining, and careful adherence to their specs is what makes all top shelf gun makers end product have good fit and finish.
One of the reasons some Smiths wont work on Charters is not every part will fit every gun! Some will need some hand fitting.
There used to be a bigger price difference between Top shelf and second shelf guns. CnC Machining has reduced the labor cost of turning out top shelf guns. And hand fitting still requires trained people. Pushing them to move faster is the only savings left to the second shelf makers.
The end result is the prices they have to charge has become much closer together.
One last negative is that the holsters out there are designed to fit the top brands. very few are made for Charter guns. So you have to wet fit your guns to make the holster just right.

So would I buy a Charter? Yes. They make a Bulldog in 45 colt. I like 45 Colt and they are the only one making one! If Charter sold one in CA I would already own one! I can also have Charter install a second cylinder to also fire 45 acp.
If you like colors Charter makes colors! Even one in Red White and Blue!
So if you are buying for the price shop carefully you will find prices within $40 of a S&W product! There is not that big a difference any more! Pre Covid I paid $370 for a 642. the Charters were at $339. And the prices will return to normal. DR
 

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There used to be a bigger price difference between Top shelf and second shelf guns.
You make a very good point. I did not realize how close the prices have gotten between top-shelf and second-shelf guns.
Now that you have drawn my attention to this, I will no longer recommend anything less than a top-shelf firearm.
I never felt comfortable recommending budget firearms anyway.
 

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^^^ Finally someone running one with the "skinny grips". They aren't pretty but make that revolver so much more concealable.
 

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I've never owned one, and never really have wanted to accept for a couple of models. Now days, the only Charter I'd be interested in is the 44spl Son of Sam Bulldog, but mainly for range and fun. The ones I've handled I haven't been very impressed with, but that may just have been the model or item.

But yeah, you can do a lot better for not much more. Pre-pandemic, I bought a S&W 442 new for $350, and a Taurus 856 for $280. I know prices peaked for a bit, but I just purchased a new S&W 637 Performance Center for $480. The same place had 642's for $420. I've seen 3" barrel 856's for $350.

I'm not telling you what to buy, but I think your price neighborhood has a lot more, perhaps better, options.
 
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