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Old August 25, 2021, 03:52 PM   #51
Driftwood Johnson
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Quote:
4. 8 grove barrel.
8 is better than 6. Even my 5 year old knows that. Less bullet deformation and better accuracy with the CA.
Have you ever actually counted the rifling grooves in a Smith & Wesson barrel? They all have five grooves, not six. Both antiques and modern, all have five grooves.

One of the ways I know this is that it is difficult to get an accurate groove to groove measurement when the barrel has an odd number of grooves. Easy with an even number because when you slug the barrel you are measuring from high point to high point on the slug. With an odd number of grooves you are measuring from groove to land on the slug and you have to try and measure the depth of a groove, which is not particularly easy.

Every Smith and Wesson barrel I have ever slugged has had a five groove barrel.

Sorry, I don't have any Charter Arms revolvers to compare, all I have is dozens of Smiths.

Regarding better accuracy with more grooves, I have no idea.
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Old August 25, 2021, 04:49 PM   #52
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It's nice to see big blue following in the footsteps of Charter Arms. Like when they copied their internal transfer bar.
As several have pointed out, Smith and Wesson revolvers do not have transfer bars, they have hammer blocks. A hammer block works the exact opposite of a transfer bar. A hammer block blocks the hammer from moving forward enough for the firing pin to contact a primer unless the trigger has moved back, withdrawing the hammer block and allowing the hammer to fall all the way.

The thin, slanted piece in this photo is the hammer block. S&W began using this style hammer block in 1944. Remind me again when Charter Arms made their first revolvers? 1964?






Previous to 1944 this was the style of hammer block used inside a Smith and Wesson revolver. The hammer block was a piece of spring steel peened into a slot in the side plate. Spring tension kept the hammer block extended between the frame and the hammer. When the trigger was pulled, the ramp visible on the hand pushed the hammer block back into the frame, allowing the hammer to fall all the way. This is the type of hammer block that failed in 1944 in a ship board accident when a sailor was killed, prompting the 1944 redesign that has been inside S&W revolvers ever since.






Going back even further, this is the first style of hammer block that S&W used. I have placed the hand in its groove in the side plate to show how it worked. When the hand rose, it pushed a tapered pin sideways that withdrew the hammer block, allowing the hammer to fall all the way. I do not know exactly when this style of hammer block was introduced, but I do know that this S&W left the factory in 1920.






As I said, I do not know exactly when S&W first started putting hammer blocks in their revolvers. This one was made prior to them having any hammer blocks inside at all. I would have to look up exactly when this one was made, I'm guessing probably around 1910 or so.







This is a Transfer Bar, not a Hammer Block. As its name implies, a transfer bar transfers the blow of the hammer to a frame mounted firing pin. It does not block anything. This one happens to be in a Ruger New Vaquero.






This is a photo of the parts in a modern Ruger single action revolver. The transfer bar is the long thin part attached to the trigger.







Iver Johnson patented the transfer bar in 1896. Here is the patent drawing of their transfer bar. Ruger first began installing transfer bars in their revolvers sometime in the mid 1970s.






Quote:
I do own no less than 8 S&W revolvers so they aren't bad.
Pardon me for making a snide remark, but perhaps if you owned a few more you would not make erroneous statements about them.
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Old August 25, 2021, 04:56 PM   #53
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OK, so a couple of others have chimed in here, but let's take it point by point:
Quote:
1. No frame lock.
1- No frame lock, so when you shoot the crane can flex and the gun will shave lead. Ooookay. No one likes a frame lock? Then why is it a HUGE selling point? Someone must want them!
Quote:
2. Only 1 grip style.
2- Only 1 grip style, fits everyone as poorly as possible. Shoot a 44 Bulldog or a Tracker in 357 and you'll get rapped on the knuckle of your middle finger. Hard. So, no thanks, don't like getting smacked on the knuckle.
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3. Grip frame material.
3- And this makes a difference how? Oooh! I can buy a CA with aluminum grip frame and shed 1 oz! Woohoo!
Quote:
4. 8 grove barrel.
4- The best target barrels in the world come with 6-groove rifling, so how is 8 better? It's because they use shallower rifling that is cheaper to make and doesn't deform the barrel as much during rifling, that's about the only advantage.
Quote:
5. Lock up.
5- So, hold on. First you say CA is better because it doesn't lock the crane, and now all of a sudden a crane lock is an advantage? No. CA started putting crane locks on because the earlier 357s would shoot loose really quickly. So, a frame lock is a good thing.
Quote:
6. Simple Design
6- Weeeell, sorta. Simple design? Sure. Reliable? No. Easy to work on? No. Smooth triggers? No. Cheap to make? Yes. And forged frames are stronger than cast and pinned metal, by the way.
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7. Cost
7- And so we get down to the crux of the matter. Low cost/price. Price point sells a lot of guns. Not because they're better, because they're cheaper.
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8. Caliber
8- CA has been making guns for a long time, since way back when the 38 Special waas considered a big gun. They made a lot of 32s as well. variety is the spice of life, until you can't find ammo for your oddball gun, then it's a pain in the rear pocket where your wallet lives. And BTW, S&W and Ruger make a 44 Special, along with Taurus, but most of the industry no longer makes one. Not sure who makes a 32 Magnum because, quite frankly, no one cares about 32 Magnum except a small niche of shooters.
Quote:
9. Trigger
9- Oh, yeah! All those shooting pros could have had a better trigger if they had just chosen a Charter Arms! Sorry for the guffaw. Charter Arms triggers are universally bad. Lots of guns come from the factory with bad triggers, but most of them can be fixed. Not Charter Arms, those are just bad.
Quote:
10. Lock Time
10- Be sure to mention that to Jerry Miculek. Guess he never knew Charter was better.
Quote:
11. Lifetime Guarantee
11- Well, you got me on that one. Sure wish some other manufacturers had guarantees. Like Ruger, who will work on a Ruger no matter when it was made. But yeah, CA will guarantee their stuff for life. Just like Taurus. It's a selling point, and they understand very well that most people will never shoot their guns enough to need the warranty.

OK, so as to not totally tick you off, I will say CA is an OK gun, but just OK. In my 50 years as a shooter, I have owned a Charter Arms revolver. They're not a BAD gun, they are so-so, and they are NEVER going to win awards as the BEST guns on the market. They are a low-cost entry point firearm, and realizing that they are cheap guns for people who can't or don't want to spend a lot of money on a firearm, you should understand that many gun owners will laugh at you outright if you try telling them a Charter Arms is better than a S&W or Colt or CZ or Ruger or just about any other gun other than RG or Armenius.

But, hey! If it's what you like, more power to you!
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Old August 25, 2021, 05:08 PM   #54
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Just for the fun of it:


After patenting their transfer bar design in 1896 Iver Johnson ran their "Hammer the Hammer" advertising campaign for many years, to demonstrate the safety of their revolvers with transfer bars inside.







I only have one Iver Johnson revolver, this safety hammerless chambered for 38S&W, not 38 Special.


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Old August 25, 2021, 07:29 PM   #55
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I've got a 70s Charter Pathfinder .22, with I think a 3 inch barrel and adjustable sights. It's fun to shoot shorts and LRs in, but that's about all I'd use it for. I bought it because it was, yes, inexpensive used. Got it in a parking lot, if I remember.

I just have so many .38 Smiths I don't really need another Undercover. I've tried buying, but those for sale seem to go quickly, and it hasn't been a priority. I haven't any interest in a new one.
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Old August 25, 2021, 09:08 PM   #56
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Years ago I owned one of the CA bulldog 44 spl. "son of sam" edition. Strictly for emergency self defense as I didn't find it much fun to shoot. (16 oz !!!)

I pretty much lost respect for CA upon viewing the recent CA gun store display. Leopard skin, pink, aqua, baby blue, purple etc, etc. BARF.

I was going to say that the transfer bar was a Iver Johnson perversion but Driftwood did an awesome job of making that point.
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Old August 25, 2021, 11:40 PM   #57
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Glad you like your Charter Arms. Had a Charter Arms Undercover but had some issues with that particular model.
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Old August 26, 2021, 09:47 AM   #58
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"I do not know exactly when this style of hammer block was introduced, but I do know that this S&W left the factory in 1920."

As best as I can determine, S&W started adding hammer blocks to their revolvers right after World War I, probably 1919 or 1920.
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Old August 26, 2021, 09:49 AM   #59
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As for the "8 is better than (other lesser number of grooves)...

You've made a dramatic, all encompassing statement.

Now you need to provide dramatic, all encompassing PROOF.

Your 5-year-old, while probably a cute kid, he/she likely still believes in Santa and a bunch of other wonderful myths that can't be backed up with anything concrete.

Is that proof that a fat guy with aerial reindeer actually does the Christmas shopping in your house?
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Old August 26, 2021, 12:35 PM   #60
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Ruger first began installing transfer bars in their revolvers sometime in the mid 1970s.
As far as I can tell, the Ruger transfer bar showed up with the New Model Blackhawk lockwork, about 1973.

Ruger redesigned the mechanism of the Blackhawk, creating the New Model Blackhawk as the result of a lawsuit settlement which also including converting any and every Blackhawk they got to the new transfer bar system, a requirement Ruger is still following to this day. Ruger was not required to recall the guns and convert them but any "old model" Blackhawk sent to Ruger (for any reason) will be converted, whether the owner wants it, or not.

I've had some experience with a few Charter Arms revolvers (admittedly none recent) and none of them were as good as any of my S&Ws. You're welcome to your opinion, and so am I.
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Old August 26, 2021, 08:43 PM   #61
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Isn't Charter Arms the RIA of the revolver industry?
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Old August 26, 2021, 09:01 PM   #62
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Judging from the one Charter revolver I unfortunately bought my wife, the guns are total junk and the repair department is trotally incompetent. Never again.
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Old August 26, 2021, 09:15 PM   #63
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Axiom

High quality, low price, great service.

Choose any two.
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Old August 26, 2021, 10:12 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by JustJake
Isn't Charter Arms the RIA of the revolver industry?
No.

Apparently you don't like Rock Island Armory firearms, but there are thousands (probably millions) of RIA owners who are extremely happy with their firearms. The RIAs aren't the prettiest 1911s in the universe but, as a general rule, they shoot well. Like virtually every manufacturer today, Armscor (Rock Island) machines their slides and frames on modern CNC machines and they use ordnance grade steel, so there's really not much there to criticize.

Although you chose to use RIA as a comparison to denigrate Charter Arms revolvers, I'll bet you didn't even know that RIA makes revolvers, and their revolvers (like their 1911s) are widely regarded as exceptional value for dollar firearms. I own an M200 and an M206. They both function flawlessly and hit where I'm shooting. That's all I ask.

Armscor (RIA) has been under the same ownership (family) since shortly after World War 2. Charter Arms, on the other hand, has been through multiple ownerships, with changes in quality from one owner to the next. In discussing the quality of Charter Arms revolvers, it's much like Auto-Ordnance 1911s -- you have to know when it was made and under which ownership to get an idea what the quality is (or isn't).
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Old August 27, 2021, 10:21 AM   #65
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In discussing the quality of Charter Arms revolvers, it's much like Auto-Ordnance 1911s -- you have to know when it was made and under which ownership to get an idea what the quality is (or isn't).


When buying a roscoe, I only want to know it was built right and runs tight otta da box.

Don't care whether it was made by a predecessor or successor company, or descendants of the original family, or even a tribe of itinerant gypsies, ... nor when.

I'm not a collector; I'm a shooter.

RIA 1911s are clearly hit or miss by rep, as are apparently the current crop of C.A. wheelguns, judging by the online chatter.

I'm actually open to buying an inexpensive revolver in.38 Spec.Ed., provided it's not junk.
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Old August 28, 2021, 03:17 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Seedy Character View Post
I expressed a desire in having a Henry, someday. I offered to have let him shoot mine. He took my offer and let me shoot his.

Afterwards, he says, " dang it, now I will be looking for some Browning's. "
I laughed. I ended up getting a Henry .45C.
Brownings are nice guns but that short throw lever irks me. I'd never trade my Henry Golden Boy for one.
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Old August 28, 2021, 03:27 PM   #67
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I just read here that the GP-100 transfer bars can break. First to me (not saying that never happened). If you want guaranteed breakage of transfer bars, go with Taurus.

Mike Irwin is right in that S&W never had a transfer bar. Instead they have a hammer block safety (and the rebound slide is another built in safety feature).

Driftwood Johnson - great photos!
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Old August 28, 2021, 05:11 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by JustJake View Post
RIA 1911s are clearly hit or miss by rep

Now that's funny right there.
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Old August 28, 2021, 08:09 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by 4V50 Gary View Post
I just read here that the GP-100 transfer bars can break. First to me (not saying that never happened). If you want guaranteed breakage of transfer bars, go with Taurus.
You mean Charter Arms, right?

My experience is, multiple Taurus revolvers, never a problem with the transfer bar. Multiple Charters, each has broken the transfer bar at least once.
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Old August 28, 2021, 08:32 PM   #70
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I had a RIA Officer Model. It never ran right despite chaining out every spring and part I could. Sold it and bought a P220 Compact. It's 45 Auto perfection in an Officer size.

Next on my list is a Charter Arms Pitbull in 45.
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Old August 28, 2021, 09:31 PM   #71
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I like my pre-Hillary Hole Smith model 649. It's made so well that it doesn't need a lifetime guarantee.
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Old August 28, 2021, 11:44 PM   #72
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I’ve got 56 S&Ws. I wouldn’t trade the grips off one for a Charter Arms. CA is strictly second rate products. That’s not a fair statement the Target grips off my old model S&Ws are worth more than a Charter Arms.
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Old August 29, 2021, 01:04 AM   #73
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When I saw the title, I had hopes it would be something humorous and amuzing, like "10 reasons beer is better than women" or something like that, but it turned out to have a rather adversarial tone, so here we are.

I don't find any Charter arms product better than my favorite S&Ws and no one's list of imagined advantages is going to change that.

Enjoy what you love, I'll do the same.
But don't crap on my love because it isn't your love.
That's just rude.
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Old August 29, 2021, 10:28 AM   #74
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44 AMP:
Quote:
When I saw the title, I had hopes it would be something humorous and amuzing, like "10 reasons beer is better than women" or something like that, but it turned out to have a rather adversarial tone, so here we are.

I don't find any Charter arms product better than my favorite S&Ws and no one's list of imagined advantages is going to change that.

Enjoy what you love, I'll do the same.
But don't crap on my love because it isn't your love.
That's just rude.
That is one reason I wish this forum had a like button. During the early and mid 90s, owning a gun shop, we sold quite a few Taurus, Charter Arms and other mid priced guns like Rossi in all flavors. My own observation was even more popular names like S&W, Colt and others will every now and then turn out a bad gun and some lower priced gun makers turn out a good gun.

My own opinions are just that, my own opinions. When a discussion evolves into my gun is better than your gunit becomes childish and foolish.

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Old August 29, 2021, 03:54 PM   #75
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I own some Charter Arms revolvers. They are okay. They go bang every time or get fixed. One that functions properly is acceptable for carry or HD use and occasional light practice.

They are not nearly as good as my nice Smiths, but the ones I have are adequate firearms.

I will be carrying one later today.
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