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Posted: 10/24/2006 10:54:11 PM EST
Are they worth a crap?
I would kinda like to have a 44 special and Im on a budget.
Link Posted: 10/24/2006 11:07:28 PM EST
They work, but are not great. Last 44 spl I sw was 350 blued. in good shape at a pawnshop. Prolly means that it sold for 250-275.
Link Posted: 10/25/2006 10:59:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By KampusKop:
Are they worth a crap?
I would kinda like to have a 44 special and Im on a budget.


They're not worth a crap. In fact, they are crap. Based on my experience owning three of them, I'd say pass. If you want an inexpensive .44 Spl, look at Taurus. Their recent and current guns are significantly improved over even ten years ago.
Link Posted: 10/25/2006 11:24:54 AM EST
I like mine... Old versions, not new.
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:47:54 PM EST
I own a Charter Arms 2000 Bull Dog Pug in 44spl. If you want quality buy something else. If you want something to fire only when needed and for it to go away, it's a great deal for the value. Mine always go bang when I pull the trigger which is not very often (couple times a year).
Link Posted: 10/26/2006 2:52:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2006 2:54:14 PM EST by BallisticTip]
Nice pistols, small and throws a big chunk of lead. Original SS.
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 2:43:51 AM EST
Mine doesn't go bang reliably anymore. It worked for about 50 or so shots. Now it misfires on two chambers. Tried it yesterday and it misfired three times in about 20-25 shots using two kinds of ammo: Federal 200 grain LSWC factory and W-W 246 LRN factory. Two misfires in one chamber and one misfire in another chamber in DA mode.

Living in CT, I will call Nick Ecker directly and drop the gun off to his Shelton, CT facility.

I suspect excessive headspace in the cylinder causing the firing pin to not reliably hit the primers well enough.

I once owned a Ruger Redhawk with the same problem
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 12:27:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By steveinct:
Mine doesn't go bang reliably anymore. It worked for about 50 or so shots. Now it misfires on two chambers. Tried it yesterday and it misfired three times in about 20-25 shots using two kinds of ammo: Federal 200 grain LSWC factory and W-W 246 LRN factory. Two misfires in one chamber and one misfire in another chamber in DA mode.

Living in CT, I will call Nick Ecker directly and drop the gun off to his Shelton, CT facility.


Do they do any custom work? I'd be interested in at least having mine checked out...
Link Posted: 10/30/2006 1:06:01 PM EST
I don't know, Jaybo. It's a different company today than it was back when it was in Stratford.

I met Dave Ecker a few times and even shot sporting clays with him in NY state. Charter has since been in and out of business three times in Stratford, Ansonia and now Shelton, CT

Dave is no longer in the company from what I can gather. His son Nick runs it and even answers the phone often.

I had an older Bulldog Pug from the mid 80s (I briefly worked there one summer doing assembly and test firing between semesters, which was definitely a better school job than working at McDonalds then!) That old pug was 100% reliable, smooth and very accurate.

My new one, I am not impressed with and obviously with the misfire problems, it is not "cleared" by me for CCW or home defense.

Then again, it can (and has) happened to Rugers, too
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 3:16:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2006 3:19:16 AM EST by steveinct]
I just called their local, CT # in Shelton, CT. No one there yet. There is a poor quality, muffled voice mail with a female voice stating "You've reached - (something & something manufacturing) makers of the Charter Arms revolvers, no one is here right now".

Really bad recording sounding like the woman who recorded it is talking underwater or inside a tunnel.

I called back a couple of times to see if I could catch the name they are under now and I couldn't understand it.



I called back just now and someone named Terry answered - so, I will d/o the gun and see what they do for me
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 10:22:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/31/2006 10:23:17 AM EST by steveinct]
GOOD NEWS!

Just got back from Charter and my local range. PROBLEM SOLVED.

They replaced the crane and test fired it. That seemed to be the culprit. It was out of spec
and allowing the cylinder to fall a few thousandths of an inch too far from the firing pin.

They replaced the part in five minutes, I got a nice overview of Charter from Nick Ecker and I got to handle one of the new, 12 ounce .38 DAO Undercovers. What a practical gun!

Nick told me they shot 5,000 rounds of +P and +P+ plus through the little twelve ouncer and its stretch measurement was the same as the steel frame undercover. Not recommended, but was still serviceable. Of course, your hand won't like it!

Took the Bulldog to my local club up the road and blasted 75 rounds of Federal 200 grain and W-W 246 grainers: I could NOT reproduce the problem I had on Sunday. After that the gun really got crudded up with lead, spitting lead on my face and trigger pull unbearable so I stopped, went home and cleaned the gun.

These guns are worth a look for the money. They leave the factory a little rough - they do a lot of dry firing but not a lot of polishing there. They can be cleaned up very nicely.
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 10:40:08 AM EST


steveinct, you called Charter in the morning, and by the afternoon they had repaired your gun and you tested it.

That's gotta be a record!



Link Posted: 10/31/2006 12:45:46 PM EST
They repaired it in FIVE minutes. I spent fifteen minutes talking to Nick Ecker and examining
completed guns in the test rack with Nick. I drove off to my local club ten minutes up the road and fired 75 shots through it in a half hour.

That was morning.

Then I went to lunch
Link Posted: 10/31/2006 4:43:50 PM EST
So, do they still work on the old ones?
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 2:39:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2006 2:42:26 AM EST by steveinct]
Oh yes, they do!

I saw a stack inside the gun crib that were obvious, older Charters from the Stratford, CT days from the 1980s and earlier. Maybe a dozen or so that were awaiting inspection/repair.

The two most common problems I see are out of spec cranes and some where the cylinder stop gets stuck due to burrs in the slot cut in the frame.

They're good guns, but they need some polishing when they leave the factory.

Design wise, they're easier to fix than S&Ws Simple frames, coil main springs; ejector functions as a back up cylinder release (on non-shrouded versions) crane is positioned 90-degrees sideways so the thick part reinforces the frame rather than bisecting the frame
making the gun a little stronger than comparable sized models.

If they spent more money in polishing/finishing, they'd have a really top notch product.

I'd say call Charter at : 203-922-1652, ask for a technician. You'll probably get Terry or Nick Ecker himself (the President), tell him what's going on and he'll ask you to ship it
to them. Ask them to polish it up a little, too. It will be slicker when you get it back
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 11:14:03 AM EST
Cool, thanks! If the cost isn't too high, I have three Bulldogs (one a Target Model) and an Undercover to have them check out.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:01:42 PM EST
Depending on what needs to be done, they may or may not charge you.

I know they won't charge you on the current generation guns. The others can be a charge
depending on what it needs.
Link Posted: 11/1/2006 12:03:22 PM EST
I have to say, for a little snubbie it packs a .45 class punch, doesn't recoil too badly with
the neoprenes on and - it is a nice 2" grouper or less at 15-20 yards.

Not bad guns for the money and for their intended purpose.
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