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Old December 20, 2008, 10:25 AM   #1
Eskimo
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Are Charter Arms revolvers any good?

I've been looking at a Chater Arms .22 Pathfinder with a 2" barrel. Are these any good? Any other suggestions, under $500?

My definition of good is lasting 40+ years and 10,000+ rounds.

From what I can tell, the grips look like cheap plastic on these guns. Are they?

I know that S&W makes something very similar to this pistol, but there isnt much to a revolver.. and i think it would be difficult to find one that didnt last a long time.
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Old December 20, 2008, 10:44 AM   #2
22-rimfire
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Gunblast has a review of that gun. Ofcourse, he likes just about ALL the things he reviews. http://www.gunblast.com/Charter-Pathfinder.htm

In general, I stay away from Taurus, Charter Arms, Rossi, H&R, Heritage and other less expensive guns. I probably will eventually buy a Taurus 22 revolver just to try one out in the real world rather than just taking other folk's reviews of them as gospel.

22WMR... I personally doubt you will be shooting it a lot. But if you want a good 22WMR, I would try to find a Colt Trooper Mark III in 22 mag. They are well made revolvers. Other choices are the single actions such as Ruger Single Six or better yet one of the older Colts (New Frontier or Peacemaker) where you get two cylinders with the gun (22LR and 22WMR). I assume you know that you can't shoot 22LR in a 22 WMR gun, right?

If it is for self defense or handy carry, then I would go with the Smith air weight and pay a bit more.

Last edited by 22-rimfire; December 20, 2008 at 10:51 AM.
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Old December 20, 2008, 11:38 AM   #3
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Charter, Taurus, and ole H&R make good value guns. (Rossi does not make .22 revolvers anymore)You would have no problems. Used Colt however will cost you more than you want to spend as they are extinct. You really don't need a 6 shot SA cowboy style gun. A swing out 9 round cylinder is more fun to shoot and expecially load.
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Last edited by rogertc1; December 20, 2008 at 11:44 AM.
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Old December 20, 2008, 12:08 PM   #4
22-rimfire
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I wanted to add. When the Charter Arms Pathfinder first came out, they were in 22WMR only which is why I fixated on the 22WMR caliber versus 22LR. I went to their web site and they now have the 22LR version. It does not have "cheap" grips on it if that is what you are concerned about. You can always buy rubber grips which is what I prefer on revolvers I shoot a lot.

http://www.charterfirearms.com/produ...der_72224.html

The Colt Trooper Mark III is also available in 22LR (used but in new condition) in 4", 6", and 8" barrel lengths. Yes, it may slightly exceed the $500 budget. Smith Model 17's (usually 6" barrel length; the Model 18 was a 4".) can be found for under $500 but usually they are in the $400-$500 range these days or slightly more.

What do you get for the higher price? You get a 22 revolver that is manufactured to a higher quality standard. Things like finish, cylinder gap, sights, and triggers tend to be better or more consistant with the more expensive product. Most will last you 40 years including ones made my H&R (used) which I consider about the best of the less expnsive 22 revolvers. I have not seen the Pathfinder in the flesh and now you have me interested. Only Heritage Rough Rider will probably not stand the test of time.

You never said what your intended use is which affects by choice of barrel length and so forth.

Last edited by 22-rimfire; December 20, 2008 at 12:20 PM.
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Old December 20, 2008, 12:32 PM   #5
Eskimo
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I will be using it for plinking mostly, but I want something somewhat small. "Snubby" revolvers have always looked nice to me. I don't own a revolver, and I want one just because their reliability cannot be beaten. I have 3 .22 rifles already, and it just makes sense to have a small .22 pistol laying around also ; )
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Old December 20, 2008, 12:36 PM   #6
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I would not buy anything made by Charter Arms, ever. JMHO...
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Old December 20, 2008, 01:05 PM   #7
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Yeah, I think you need a good 22 revolver. It is one of the better companions to have with you out in the woods. Other short barreled possibilites include the Smith Model 34 (used).

My first 22 revolver was a H&R 999 Sportsman (6" barrel, 9 shot, top break design). I really liked it for a while until I shot some of the more expensive 22's and realized what I had been putting up with for the sake of price. I am not going to damn the less expensive 22 revolvers just because they don't say "Smith & Wesson" or have a Colt pony on them. We all have to make our way in the gun ownership world and form our opinions based on our experience.

Since I have never owned a Charter Arms 22, I would say you can expect a revolver that works and has a strong trigger. But you will most likely shoot it in single action anyway unless you are playing around. We all play around which is part of the fun. I learned that I prefer 4" or 6" revolvers for general use and ones made by either Colt or Smith & Wesson due to the overall quality of the product. It is easier to hit what you are aiming at with the 4 or 6 inch barrel and they aren't really bad to carry in a belt holster.

Smith recently brought back the Model 63 22 revolver which is a 5" barreled J-frame and really a pretty nice little revovler. I suspect it will carry real easy out in the field. Take a look at one. Trigger is not bad.

Last edited by 22-rimfire; December 20, 2008 at 01:12 PM.
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Old December 20, 2008, 01:10 PM   #8
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Older Charter Arms revolvers were good.

The newer ones...not so good. I bought a NIB model Undercover (13811) that went out of timing after ONE SINGLE cylinder's worth of ammo through it, which made it was completely unsafe to shoot. I sent it back to the dealer for a full refund.
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Old December 20, 2008, 02:11 PM   #9
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I think they are reliable as long as you don't shoot them,
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Old December 20, 2008, 02:53 PM   #10
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Look for a used H&R 929 with 2" bbl. They hold 9 rounds. Very well built and will last more than 5 generations if taken care of. They sell for around $150 new,
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Old December 20, 2008, 07:38 PM   #11
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I never had any luck with Charter Arms stuff...so I say no.
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Old December 20, 2008, 08:02 PM   #12
FALPhil
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Quote:
Eskimo wrote:
My definition of good is lasting 40+ years and 10,000+ rounds.
I bought one of the Charter Arms Undercover Specials new back in 1978. It has a little under 3K rounds of 38 Spl through it without any problems. About 10% have been +P. It is now my wife's carry gun.

The company has gone bankrupt and been resurrected since I purchased mine. The quality of the original ones was very good early on. I cannot speak for the ones that are made today, but the design is an excellent (and innovative in its day) one, and if care is used in manufacture, it should be a good buy.
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Old December 20, 2008, 08:11 PM   #13
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Are you fixed on a revolver, Ruger makes some good semi auto pistols, reasonably priced.
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Old July 27, 2009, 05:13 PM   #14
finsandskins
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.22 mag - Charter Arms

Pure crap! bought one and did not work out of the box. sent it back and threatened consumer affairs and finally received new gun (5 months later). Guess what...it didn't work either. The cylinders are not large enough, so the shells get stuck and the gap between the barrel and cylinder is too wide casusing excessive side spray (fragments hit people a few feet away to the sides). It is a visually appealing gun, but dangerous and not reliable. Company is extremely difficult to deal with.

Spend the money on a taurus or suck it up and buy a Smith....I wished I had.
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Old July 27, 2009, 05:20 PM   #15
azredhawk44
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Quote:
Spend the money on a taurus or suck it up and buy a Smith....I wished I had.
Skip the Taurus.... at least the model 94.

I took the risk on a model 94 and am thoroughly disappointed with it. Cylinder steel is very soft and it has two cylinders that easily hand-rotate out of time since the cylinder stop skips out of its holes on those two.

If you want a .22, your options for one that is actually any good are:
1. Autoloaders
2. Ruger single six
3. S&W K-frame
4. Some old used Colt/S&W/H&R that you might stumble upon

The EAA, comanche, Taurus, Charter and other off brand DA .22 revolvers are to be avoided and shunned.
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Old July 28, 2009, 12:47 PM   #16
hardluk1
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Don't have charter 22 but do havea charter 38 ultra lite and it has been first rate for a carry gun . Look around and you will see that many brands go back for fix and repair on new guns now adays .That did not happen several years ago. I have had some problems with most 22s I do have throught the decades with both autos and revolvers but typicaly is ammo related.
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Old July 28, 2009, 03:07 PM   #17
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You get what you pay for. If you want a revolver that will last for thousands of rounds, shoot accurately, and not spray lead shavings everywhere, get a Smith & Wesson. Yes, a Smith is more expensive (substantially more expensive) than Charter Arms or Taurus but it will pay for itself immediately, with its exceptional quality, and over time, with its durability. Currently, Smith makes two basic models of .22 lr revolvers, the K-frame (model 617) and the smaller J-frame (model 63). There are some variations, too, like the ultralightweight 317 (J-frame).

Personally, I'd recommend a 617. You can buy a new one for about $650 or so, with a 4" or 6" barrel. It holds 10 rounds. The gun has an excellent trigger and is exceptionally accurate, so much so, that it can hold its own with most target semiautos. It is fairly heavy, weighing 40 ounces +. It is intended to serve as an analogue to Smith's K- and L-frame revolvers in larger calibers, like the .357 magnum 686, and it feels exactly like the larger caliber gun when held, pointed, and shot.

The 63 is smaller, and much more compact. It's a few (very few) dollars cheaper than the 617, and holds 8 rounds. It's the .22 caliber analogue of Smith's J-frame .38 and .357 revolvers. I'm not a huge fan of the gun for serious target shooting because the trigger is much heavier than the 617 trigger. That's because the gun uses a coil spring rather than a leaf spring to activate the hammer. Some people love it, however, as a compact take anywhere gun.

There are, of course, numerous used versions of both guns out there for less than the current asking price. I have a 6-shot 4" 617-1 made back in about 1993 and I paid substantially less for it than I would have paid for a new one. It shoots just as well. The older model K-frame .22s are the K-22, the 17, and the 18. All of them are in blue steel (the 617 is stainless) and they often command premium prices because they are sought after by collectors. The predecessor of the 63, in blue steel, is the model 34, and it, too, tends to be highly sought after.
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Old July 29, 2009, 11:41 AM   #18
hardluk1
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stevieboy got to remember how good s&w is now adays then a see all the returns on there revolvers . Maybe the 22 is bullet proof but there centerfire ain't what it once was ,but most aren't. I guess i would buy an older used to have chance to besure it works before spending s&w money on a new one.
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Old July 29, 2009, 11:47 AM   #19
ReNtaPiG
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Quote:
I think they are reliable as long as you don't shoot them,
LMAO!!!
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Old July 29, 2009, 02:19 PM   #20
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A lot of people criticize the charter arms revolvers, but the older ones were good enough for both David Berkowitz (son of Sam) and Mark David Chapman. I have read that the guns that are pre charco and pre charter 2000 are made well, which I think means their 60s and 70s guns. I have read numerous accounts of problems with the modern ones. I myself wouldn't take a chance on them. Used S&Ws can still be had for less than $500, and if its in good condition, thats good value.
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Old July 29, 2009, 02:27 PM   #21
tmd11111
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Are these any good?

Actually they are great if your using it as a hammer.
Too bad they didn't make it with a 6" barrel then it would make a pretty good pry bar as well.

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Old July 29, 2009, 03:53 PM   #22
collector rob
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How about a Ruger single six convertible? Mine is going on 30 years old. Not sure of the round count, but it has never broke. Plus you can shoot LR or Magnums.
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Old July 29, 2009, 06:32 PM   #23
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I really like the sw 617 also or one of the K-frames. I don't see any reason for a .22 snubby, just don't get it, except for maybe a granny gun. Snake gun? anyway, for a trail gun I'd get the six shot 617 with a 4" barrel.

(I have the 6in, 10 shot...a really fine gun, with hogue wood grips and an el paso saddlery US military style shoulder holster. Only drawback is cleaning 10 cylinders!)

I'd go with the better brands cause you get what you pay for.

Still, those old colts start at about $700..so I'd go with S&W.
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Old July 29, 2009, 08:43 PM   #24
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Some are and some are not. I still have an original Pug that has always operated perfectly. If you can find an old one that has not been abused with near magnum handloads consider it. Be aware that many gunsmiths won't touch one if it needs work. If I could go back in time thirty years I would buy a box full.
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Old July 30, 2009, 05:02 PM   #25
hardluk1
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I will try to remember how bad the new charter arms guns every time i read about another j frame owner bitch"n about how his gun just brokeor has to go back. S&W used to be a damd good gun for the most part ,today ,,,just another gun builder, nothing special anymore. Buy what you want and hope you got a good one from any of them today.
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