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Old December 29, 2010, 10:05 PM   #1
Brutus
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Charter Arms 44 Bulldog

Interested in finding out about the quality of the latest versions.
Anyone out there have a recent model?
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Old December 29, 2010, 10:31 PM   #2
leathermarshmallow
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I have a tiger stripe model that I bought in the early summer. I have put a couple hundred rounds through it now and have had no problems. My wife loves it and wants one of her own. She likes the recoil on it.
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Old December 30, 2010, 02:02 AM   #3
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You have to handle the new Charters as they have spotty QC. The fit and and finish is fair to good on most all their products. I have handled dozen or so of the new Bulldogs and found most acceptable but one or two had issues such as ill fitted parts that don't line up properly. I sold the two C2000 Bulldogs I've owned and now only own the older 3" classics from yesteryear.
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Old December 30, 2010, 02:18 AM   #4
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Charter Bulldog

I bought mine new in Nov. 2006 and aside from taking it to the range and shooting it until it got hot and the cylinder started to drag (probably 30-40 rounds in about 5-10 minutes) I can't complain about mine.I shoot at a 25 yard indoor range and I can shoot it fine out to there no problem.I hand load mine with 180 and 200 grainers pretty hot and it doesn't mind at all.I will add this when I got mine it was completely dry of lube or oil so look to see if they packed it that way if you choose to get one.All in all I like it and don't plan to get rid of it anytime soon.
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Old December 30, 2010, 08:58 AM   #5
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Good thread on the Bulldog at THR.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=562745

I have a stainless from the mid 80's, nice tight revolver. I would keep the loads on the mild side as these are really a small frame revolver. I load 200gr slugs to about 700-750fps. Mild recoil and no wear and tear on the revolver.

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Old December 30, 2010, 09:03 AM   #6
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I like the older ones. A nice light concealable revolver in a larger caliber. They are not in any way designed to handle hotrod .44 Special loads.

As one man found out, the standard loads work real well in close quarters.
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Old December 30, 2010, 04:16 PM   #7
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Mine was manufactured in Jan? 2010. Have shot probably 400 rounds or so (off the top my head) this year. Nice little revolver as far as I can tell. Not a mechanical problem found with it.... Mine shoots to the right (single action mode), but at the distance I'll be needing it, it really won't matter. I did correct that by filing on the rear sight. Elevation wise it likes 200g bullets. 240s shoot high.

That said, I like it for what I bought it for. Will not be shot a lot, but will go where I go. I've got Rugers and other guns for my general shooting and for the woods. I am satisfied with my purchase.

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Old December 30, 2010, 04:43 PM   #8
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I have a 44 Bulldog I bought at a department store in the Foothills area in West Denver over 30 years ago, it's still in beautiful condition. I've only fired around 50 rounds through it so it's tight as new. I had given it to my step dad to carry in their motorhome when they were out rockhounding and after we went to my moms funeral a few years ago he realized he no long needed it and gave it back to me. So all in all it was probably in his hands for around 20 years and he kept very good care of it during that time. It's nice to have the realtive power of 45 ACP that can hide quite well in my pants pocket. Probably the greatest improvement of the new models of Bulldogs to me would be the extractor shroud. I've handloaded a small amount of 44 special rounds but only with low pressure loads but I always keep the chambers filled with factory ammo. I believe it would be foolish to even think of boosting any loads for this weapon.
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Old December 30, 2010, 05:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
I believe it would be foolish to even think of boosting any loads for this weapon.
+1 .
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Old December 30, 2010, 08:20 PM   #10
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In a very early stint in LE back in '75, I bought an bulldog for OD and office duty. Every one else was snub .38. Traded her off as I could only find two boxes of 246 RNL within a hundred mile radius of where I lived. Later I got another one and it was the primary reason I began to reload. I eventually wore out that first hundred rounds of brass with 6.5 Unique and 240 SWCs. And all were shot with the old wooden grips of the day. I still get nostalgic when I hold one.

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Old December 30, 2010, 08:56 PM   #11
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I have carried a Bulldog Pug daily for many years. I was lucky to buy one back in the 80s when the quality was still fairly good. I have never had a problem with mine. Recoil with wood grips is pretty stout but with Pachmayrs it's much better. There are many good .44 Spl. loads available now but not many stores stock them. I have handloaded for mine and found that a 200 gr. SWC or hollowpoint at 800 to 900 fps is very effective and does not seem to stress the gun. I have examined a number of these guns that were hot rodded with 240 gr./1000fps handloads and that WILL severely shorten the service life of a Charter. 240 gr. loads are safe to fire but are hard on the gun. Trying to achieve magnum velocities with a Charter (or any snub) is a waste of time and is just going to wreck the gun. On a Pug the aluminum barrel shroud will walk off of the barrel and the timing will go out pretty quickly if you push it too hard. As previously stated, having the ballistic equivalent of a .45 ACP in a 19 oz. snubnose gives you a very nice carry gun. I have always wished Ruger or S&W would build something similar to the Charter design using better workmanship but the main problem was always the poor availability of factory ammo in most stores. If you handload it's easy to build a great load for these guns. I think the S&W 696 would have sold much better had the ammo been easier to find. I have one of those also and love it but it's considerably heavier to carry all day.
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Old December 30, 2010, 09:41 PM   #12
32 Magnum
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The following is something that I've posted on several other forums;\:

I've been researching the Charter Arms Corporation - 1st Generation revolvers for a couple years now.
This is the updated serial number info that I have - based upon around 800 data points
The earliest 1st Gen - ~0 to ~19,000 have NO barrel ADDRESS and s/n is on lower right corner on right side of frame. CA company founded in 1964, first production pieces of the Undercover model produced in 1965
Bridgeport CONN address - ~19000 to ~315,000 1967 - 1973
Stratford CONN address - ~316000 to ~1,090,000 1974 - ~1991
All marked as Charter Arms Corporation

2nd Generation - CHARCO, Ansonia Conn adress - 1,090,000 to ??? ~1991 - 1999

3rd Generation - CHARTER 2000 - Shelton Conn - 0 to where ever they are today.

From the 26 pieces in my collection (all 1st Gen) and from dozens more that I've had the opportunity to observed and fondle, I'd say that around s/n 600,000 the finish was made a lot finer - although the integrals (lock work, action) was at least as good as the earlier ones. I have or have read magazine articles that cover pretty much of the production life of the 1st Generation, and during that period (around late 1980, early 1981) it seems that CA attempted to capture more of the market by doing so, also in April of 1981, they introduced Stainless Steel revolvers into the mix, for the first time. Some of the articles lamented that the earlier pieces, although rough finish, were rather inexpensive (~60-65% of S&W) and when CA began their "modernization" process, the finishes got better but the prices increased to about 85 to 90% of the S&W line for comparable models.
During the 2nd Generation, the CHARCO (Charter Arms COMPANY), under new management and reorganized, the quality was definitely more spotty and haphazard. I've seen CHARCO produced guns with Stratford marked barrels, obviously using up old stock.
The earliest CHARTER 2000 pieces I had the opportunity to handle (some fairly early 4 digits s/ns - were uniformly, poorly fitted and finished and had some horrendous and gritty actions. That seems to have been rectified under MKS's (circa 2008) new leadership and the most recent pieces I've handled - s/n's in the high 100,000 range have been "decent" but not as fine in finish and action as the mid years of the 1st Generation. This is simply my studied opinion based upon experience.
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Old December 23, 2011, 01:28 PM   #13
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I've been using the cowboy loads in mine. It will still put a hurt on any zombies.
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Old December 23, 2011, 05:56 PM   #14
drail
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Charter Arms has gone through a number of periods of extremely rough economic situations. There have been very good ones and very bad ones from every generation of the company. If you want to buy one you need to know how to check out a revolver or take someone with you who does. Buying a Charter is a lot like buying a used car. You need to crawl under it with a flashlight and know what you're looking at. The current ones are supposed to be made with much better quality control but I have no personal experience with the new ones. I do have one from 1987 that has been perfect and is still going today. I guess I got lucky. They are a great design that should have been picked up by one of the major manufacturers. The designer worked for Ruger and when he could not get them interested in building it he left and started Charter Arms. Ruger dropped the ball on that one.
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Old December 23, 2011, 06:07 PM   #15
Buckeye!
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I do like those Charter Bulldogs......

I must say there Customer Service is second to none.....
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Old December 23, 2011, 06:14 PM   #16
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I bought a Bulldog new about a year ago. Runs fine. I've put about 100 rds. through it... LOVE the .44 special round!.

It's nearly identical in dimensions to my Ruger Sp101 .357, but lighter.

My Bulldog is worth more TO ME than the $330 I paid for it.

I don't carry it a lot... But when I do, I feel VERY confidant with it. It's a great change-of-pace gun for me.
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Old December 24, 2011, 03:57 PM   #17
TexasJustice7
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Quote:
32Magnum: I've been researching the Charter Arms Corporation - 1st Generation revolvers for a couple years now.
This is the updated serial number info that I have - based upon around 800 data points
The earliest 1st Gen - ~0 to ~19,000 have NO barrel ADDRESS and s/n is on lower right corner on right side of frame. CA company founded in 1964, first production pieces of the Undercover model produced in 1965
Bridgeport CONN address - ~19000 to ~315,000 1967 - 1973
Stratford CONN address - ~316000 to ~1,090,000 1974 - ~1991
All marked as Charter Arms Corporation
On reading your post I took a look at mine which CA emailed me that based on its serial number was made 1973-74. It has Charter Arms Stratford Conn on the right side of the barrel and the sn right above the trigger. It had hardly been shot, and I carry it as my primary carry weapon. It has a three inch barrel. I have been looking for a S&W 696 44 Spl or similar weapon but have not found one. I would like to have an additional 44 Spl
especially if I could find one the same size and barrel length. Partial to the 44 Spl since I already have quite a few rounds for it. Any recommendations?
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Old December 24, 2011, 11:26 PM   #18
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Texasjustice

I have had experience with the Charters,(the older ones), and liked them. Then a few years ago I picked up a Rossi 720, mine was a covert, DAO with a bobbed hammer, and liked it a lot, a bit bigger than the CA, but still about the same size as a smith K frame. I know quite a few here don't care for Rossi products, but I had zero problems with mine, just needed something different, and really wanted the SA ability, so I sold it, but you might want to take a look at one , if you can find one, they don't seem to come up for sale all that often.

Regards,
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Old December 25, 2011, 12:12 AM   #19
Buckeye!
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Rossi 720, and the Rossi 721 are fine weapons ...great triggers...
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