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Old May 12, 2018, 07:24 PM   #1
Siggy-06
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Charter Arms Undercover

I've been thinking about adding a light snubbie to my carry rotation. I came across the CA Undercover in stainless, and according to their website, it only weighs 16oz with a stainless steel frame. I know Ruger has the lcrx with a polymer frame and S&W has the 637 with aluminum frame at 15oz, but 1oz more for a steel frame is appealing to me. Living in humid FL, stainless is a big plus. Altamont makes nice wood grips for the UC as well.

Any pros or cons for this model or Charter Arms in general. I've heard great things about their customer service too. Thanks for any info.
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Old May 12, 2018, 07:38 PM   #2
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The LCR is polymer, Aluminum, and/or stainless, it's just as rust free as the Charter is and you can get the LCR in .357 that weighs 17oz. Shoot only .38's in that and it'll last forever yet still have the ability to shoot .357 Magnum.

But if you must have all steel, it's really the only option with that light a weight other than the Titanium Smith's and Taurus.
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Old May 12, 2018, 07:53 PM   #3
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I just prefer all steel in my wheelguns. The lcrx does have a nice trigger, and I have had a S&W 642, but the dao trigger was so so. My latest Ruger(sp101) had some quality control issues. Willing to give CA a chance if I hear good things.
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Old May 12, 2018, 07:58 PM   #4
Bill DeShivs
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While the Charter frames are steel, the GRIP frames were aluminum. I believe lately they are plastic.
Regardless, Charters are good guns.
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Old May 12, 2018, 08:18 PM   #5
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The frames are steel, but the grip frame and trigger guard are polymer on the undercover model like Bill said. I have a stainless undercover and like it. Search Youtube for some videos of them.
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Old May 12, 2018, 09:07 PM   #6
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I traded a Charter Arms 38 for a Ruger 357 LCR. I do not regret that one bit. The Charter Arms rattled after some +P and the cylinder would not close smoothly. I had it adjusted and repaired but ti is light duty compared to the LCR in .357, just an opinion. Plus there is no hammer to futz with for concealed carry.
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Old May 12, 2018, 09:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siggy-06 View Post
I've been thinking about adding a light snubbie to my carry rotation. I came across the CA Undercover in stainless, and according to their website, it only weighs 16oz with a stainless steel frame. I know Ruger has the lcrx with a polymer frame and S&W has the 637 with aluminum frame at 15oz, but 1oz more for a steel frame is appealing to me. Living in humid FL, stainless is a big plus. Altamont makes nice wood grips for the UC as well.

Any pros or cons for this model or Charter Arms in general. I've heard great things about their customer service too. Thanks for any info.
The Charter grip frame and trigger guard is plastic. The rest of the Undercover is steel, but the combination is in fact lightweight.

Quote:
Any pros or cons for this model
Had one for about a year and a half. Broke 3 transfer bars (and no, I wasn't abusing the gun).

Pro -- Charter sells factory bobbed double action only hammers on their website. They are user installable. It takes about 5 minutes.

Quote:
or Charter Arms in general
Good customer service, quick repair, easy to deal with.
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Old May 12, 2018, 10:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Siggy-06 View Post
I just prefer all steel in my wheelguns. The lcrx does have a nice trigger, and I have had a S&W 642, but the dao trigger was so so. My latest Ruger(sp101) had some quality control issues. Willing to give CA a chance if I hear good things.
By all means, give Charter a chance, I'm sure they'd appreciate it. I'm not saying I think Charter's are bad, I think the matte finish on them is poor and I've seen some in person that look like they should have never left the factory, but that doesn't mean they don't work. I just think for a .38 or .357, there's a lot of options out there, most of them better than Charter.

Personally, I own a Charter .357 made in the 80s and it's a great revolver, I don't think one can go wrong buying a vintage one.
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Old May 12, 2018, 11:34 PM   #9
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Unless something has changed, Charter will work as long as you don't plan on shooting it too much.
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Old May 13, 2018, 12:17 AM   #10
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I've had quite a few Charter Arms revolvers, 9 or 10 over the years: Undercovers and Off Duty's and even had them build me a custom 4 inch barreled .38 special with adjustable rear sight and custom serial number. All my Charters have been reliable except the one Undercover that I decided to run +P thru repeatedly. I rattled that poor old gun to pieces. But, all the others in standard pressure ammo all ran fine, lock up was tight on all of them. I'm not as big a fan of the new Charter Arms as I am of the older ones. I prefer the Stratford, CT guns made in 70's and 80's. They always had the best quality to me and can be found affordably on Gunbroker and other sites, as well as in pawn shops. The Off Duty's of that era often had an orange dot in the front sight, very easy to see front sight. The older Charters had steel frames with aluminum grip frames and trigger guards.

Pros: Regardless of when the gun was made, almost all the grips fit almost all the guns. The skinny wood grips from the 70's can be removed and the black rubber 2 finger or 3 finger grips available on the Charter website screw right on and fit perfectly. As Lee N.Field had mentioned, you can also buy a DAO hammer for a Charter .38, is very simple to install, and easily available on the website, fits all current models and all older models as well.
Also, any Charter Arms manufactured in Shelton, Ct. comes with lifetime warranty, regardless of how many owners its been thru.

Will it have the fit and finish of a S&W? New ones...eh, maybe not, older ones are better but still not as refined as S&W.
Will it have a trigger as good as a S&W? Debatable. Some say yes, some say no.
Will it have a trigger as good as the Ruger LCR? Nope, not even close, those triggers are nice !
Would I rather have a Charter Arms or a Taurus? I'd take Charter Arms all day long over Taurus. Here's a 1987 Off Duty I picked up on GunBroker for $165. Works perfectly.
https://ibb.co/cB2TGJ
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Old May 13, 2018, 12:31 AM   #11
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Here is pic of the old Off Duty I carried for 5 years. Had orange dot in front sight, I installed DAO hammer and current small grip. Old grip and old hammer are pictured next to it. Yes, the DAO hammer follows the contour of the frame.
https://ibb.co/nRuiGJ
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Old May 13, 2018, 12:32 AM   #12
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And lastly, here's the gun I had Charter Arms build for me. Wasn't in the catalog, custom build with custom serial number.
https://ibb.co/idUpqd
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Old May 13, 2018, 12:38 AM   #13
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Sorry, one more: Off Duty .22lr I found on some other auction site one day, snatched it right up. Was featured in a magazine years ago, sat in the magazine editors safe for something like 20+ years. Only fired for the mag article, then cleaned and put away in the safe for a couple decades. Loved that gun, I regret getting rid of that one. Is currently in the private collection of the owner of Charter Arms.
https://ibb.co/b3QZOy
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Old May 13, 2018, 12:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Will it have the fit and finish of a S&W? New ones...eh, maybe not, older ones are better but still not as refined as S&W.
Will it have a trigger as good as a S&W? Debatable. Some say yes, some say no.
Will it have a trigger as good as the Ruger LCR? Nope, not even close, those triggers are nice !
Would I rather have a Charter Arms or a Taurus? I'd take Charter Arms all day long over Taurus. Here's a 1987 Off Duty I picked up on GunBroker for $165. Works perfectly.
Nothing will ever match the fit/finish of older Smith's. You either pay the price for the old S&W's or you accept lesser quality. I choose to accept lesser quality because lesser doesn't mean it's crap.

Older Charter's have triggers just as good as older Smith's. That I can attest to.

I'd take Charter over Taurus too.
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Old May 14, 2018, 09:36 AM   #15
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Being a S&W guy, I am not familiar with the CA Undercover. I want to test my .38 Special +P load in a short barrel revolver, and my buddy has one of these revolvers. So, my question is, would 6 shots of +P ammo run over a chronograph cause undue wear and tear on my buddy's CA Undercover?

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Old May 14, 2018, 01:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by USSR View Post
Being a S&W guy, I am not familiar with the CA Undercover. I want to test my .38 Special +P load in a short barrel revolver, and my buddy has one of these revolvers. So, my question is, would 6 shots of +P ammo run over a chronograph cause undue wear and tear on my buddy's CA Undercover?

Don
Having rattled one Charter Arms to pieces with too much +P, if you were asking to borrow MY gun to test your loads, I'd say no. But, I don't think a few rounds would hurt it much. I'd suggest you call Charter Arms with the serial number first and see if that particular gun is safe for +p ammo, I believe there's some year/date cut off where, past that date is safe, but before is not advised, and I don't know what that safe line/date is.
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Old May 14, 2018, 10:42 PM   #17
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My Goldfinger 12oz .. I installed DAO hammer in 5 minutes...it has custom polymer grip panels



12oz.. Old school wooden grip panels

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Old May 14, 2018, 11:39 PM   #18
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Buckeye, how does the recoil of the Undercover Lite feel when you shoot very weak .38 ammo in it? I'm thinking Hornady Critical Defense Lite would be a great fit for such a... light revolver.
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Old May 15, 2018, 08:04 AM   #19
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I have shot Hornady FTX 110gr standard pressure, 148gr LWC ,158gr SWC ,(not bad) Remington 125gr +P (not fun)
and my SD load is the Federal 130gr HST +P .. But it doesn't feel like a +P
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Old May 15, 2018, 10:23 AM   #20
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12 0z! I might have to look at those. Always thought that they were lower tier revolvers, but have to open my mind a little. But I have always liked the .44's.
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Old May 16, 2018, 11:41 AM   #21
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I had a used 12oz UC Lite for a while last year. Tried maybe 100+ rounds as a range toy and left "spotting" and a little piece of meat on the trigger guard. So it found a new home.

It would probably be fine as a ccw gun.
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Old May 16, 2018, 05:54 PM   #22
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I looked at a Charter arms undercover 12 oz today. Appeared cheaply made. Did not even bother to try the trigger out. The sales person said that they had a few returned due to defects. Tried to like it for the price, but could not come close to the smiths, Rugers or Kimber in quality!
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Old May 16, 2018, 07:16 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by HighValleyRanch View Post
I looked at a Charter arms undercover 12 oz today. Appeared cheaply made. Did not even bother to try the trigger out. The sales person said that they had a few returned due to defects. Tried to like it for the price, but could not come close to the smiths, Rugers or Kimber in quality!
...that's why I like the Stratford, Ct guns from the 70's and 80's, much better quality.
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Old May 18, 2018, 08:25 AM   #24
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I'll take a Charter over a Taurus anyday.
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Old May 18, 2018, 04:02 PM   #25
Buckeye!
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They are what they are.... Triggers better than new production J frames .. But thats not saying much ...
I have owned Charters for years .. I pick'em over S&W and Taurus .. due to the light weight ..for pocket carry
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