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Old November 7, 2012, 01:26 PM   #1
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Charter Arms Bulldog - Endshake

Hello, I have a first generation stainless steel Charter Arms Bulldog made in Stratford, CT. about 30 years ago. Serial number is in the 940,000 range. After measuring with feeler gauges I've found that there is about .003" of cylinder endshake. I've read on various forums that this is about the maximum allowed, but have no idea if this is a general rule of thumb for all revolvers. Is this amount of endshake acceptable for the Bulldog ?

If at all possible, (and its advisable to do so), I'd like to fix this myself. I'm in a rural area and the closest good gunsmith who has done work for me, is 2 hours away. He has a large backlog of work. Its likely to take up to a month before I got my gun back. Ive seen a Midway video where a washer is used to tighten up a S&W revolver with endshake. Looks easy. Would I have to get special & specific washers for the Bulldog from Charter Arms, or can I find what I need from one of the general suppliers such as Midway, Brownells, etc ?

This revolver is in very good overall shape. And this is the only possible 'issue' it may have. Thanks in advance for your suggestions and comments, - - -

P.S. - - just to be absolutely sure of my measurements, I went ahead and did them again. I'm using regular type feeler gauges; the type you'd find in an auto parts store. The thinnest gauge measures 1.5 thousandths of an inch- - When I pull the trigger and keep the trigger depressed, I get a barrel-cylinder gap measure of .005". When I pull the cylinder back as far away from the barrel as possible (trigger not depressed) I can't quite get a .008" feeler gauge between the barrel and cylinder. I am able to get a stacked .006" & .0015" feeler gauge in the space. The breech end of the barrel isn't exactly square to the cylinder face. So, as far as I'm able to measure it, I come up with endshake somewhere between .0025"-.003". (If I'm measuring it right). I don't know if this info may be of use in anyone's reply. I recently got this 44 Special Bulldog, and only intend to shoot mild loads through it, mainly 200 gr Speer Gold Dots and the CCI Blazer version with that same bullet. Also, a little bit of Blackhills 210 gr Cowboy loads. Thank you - - -

Last edited by Pointshoot; November 7, 2012 at 06:23 PM. Reason: P.S. added
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Old November 7, 2012, 03:00 PM   #2
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Your numbers are good. Especially on a Charter. I don't think you can shim a Charter like you can a S&W. I could be wrong. I have one about the age of yours and it's still in spec. It's only fired my handloads (nothing hot). Best loads I have found are a 215 gr. hard cast SWC driven at 900 fps. and any 200 gr. SWC or JHP at 900 to 950 fps. 200 gr. Gold Dots were made for this gun. These loads will not beat up a Charter. The most important thing to know about Charters is you have to stay on top of all the screws. They will shake loose. (just like a HarleyDavidson - whole lotta of shakin' goin on) Check them frequently if you shoot it a lot. The slotted stud in the center of the breech face that presses the cylinder pin to open will move also. If the cylinder doesn't want to open or stay locked check that stud. A slight turn in or out will make a big difference. Charters are great carry guns. I'll never sell mine.

Last edited by drail; November 7, 2012 at 03:12 PM.
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Old November 8, 2012, 11:23 AM   #3
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Thanks drail for your comments.

I wasn't sure if the .0025-.003" endshake of my stainless Bulldog was acceptable or not. It doesnt feel like 'a lot', but is more than on my other newer revolvers. (And I admit to 'babying' my guns. I don't run them up to their limits. If I'm gonna shoot something hotter/heavier, I go with one of the Rugers or a 44 Mag or 454).

Regards, - - Rob
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