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Posted: 6/17/2008 11:09:57 AM EDT
Does anybody know any good DA revolvers in either .44 special or .45 LC or ACP? The reviews I have read of the Charter Arms Bulldog have generally not been good.
Link Posted: 6/17/2008 11:26:41 AM EDT
Smith and Wesson.
Link Posted: 6/17/2008 11:41:27 AM EDT
I'm partial to my S&W 624 (not my picture)

Link Posted: 6/17/2008 11:51:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Smith and Wesson.


Be sure to give it a thorough inspection prior to purchase though. S&W's QC seems to be in the crapper right now.
Link Posted: 6/17/2008 12:20:00 PM EDT
I recommend either the 44spl S&W 5-shot SS 696 w/3" BBL for general shooting, and the 2" 296 Ti/Al for concealed carry. These guns are based on the S&W's L-frame.

Be forwarned though, the S&W 296 is a handful when shooting factory ammo, and S&W(it is written right on the BBL) recommends bullets weights of no more than 200grs because of the intense recoil. I have fired 240g ammo with no ill-effects to the gun, my wrist hurted a bit though. I handload my 44spl ammo, so I just load ammo near the bottom of the recommened powder charge for my 296, and it not so bad.
Link Posted: 6/17/2008 9:54:50 PM EDT
Charter Arms. Ignore the Charter bashers. The only thing that would make my Bulldog better is if it were chambered in .45 acp for use with moon clips instead of .44 special.

No way would I buy a modern S&W with the self actuating lawyer-lock.
Link Posted: 6/18/2008 9:10:01 PM EDT
Here's my normal carry gun. A S&W 396 44 Special with a couple of my knives that get carried regularly too.

Link Posted: 6/20/2008 9:15:29 PM EDT
I love my Charter .44!! I have owned two already! Get an older 3" stainless, you won't be sorry.
Link Posted: 6/29/2008 7:37:40 AM EDT
I went through the same process a year ago, finally hunted down a Rossi 720 in three-inch. Solid, reliable, though certainly bigger than a snub 38. I know Charter owners tend to be fiercely loyal but the QC has been spotty for a long time, and I shoot my carry guns a lot, so I insist on durability. This one gets shot a lot with heavy loads, and purrs like a kitten. BTW, I got this for one-fourth what a local gunshop wanted for a used Smith 696. There are several variations in barrel length and sights, but as far as I know they are no longer in production. Too bad!

For a size comparison, the revolver on the right is a 3" M-65 K-frame, the auto is a Bersa Ultra-Compact 45acp.

Link Posted: 6/30/2008 7:16:24 AM EDT
Model 25 .45acp 6.5" Barrel
Link Posted: 6/30/2008 3:34:54 PM EDT
+1 for the model 25, and good luck finding one.

the taurus tracker series has 5 shot .45acp/.44 spc in there lineup. anyone have any input on them?

it seems like snubbie .44 mags are easy to find lately (trackers with red iber optic front sight and the sw "bounty hunter"), at least in my neck of the woods.

never been disapponted in a smith.
Link Posted: 7/1/2008 11:34:06 AM EDT
One revolver I wish I had never sold is my Taurus 431 (I think that was the designation). It was K-frame sized, stainless, fixed sight, 5 shot, with a 3" barrel. It never failed me and was the first of many good Taurus revolvers for me.
A buddy of mine had an unnatural obsession with having a Charter Arms .44 spec ("Just like Son of Sam", he'd say). After he got it, I thought it seemed awfully cheap, but it worked every time and that really is what counts. It hit where you pointed it and we joked that after you fire it off you can crawl into the chamber to keep warm.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 7:36:44 PM EDT
I just aquired this factory rebuilt 445 2", now we'll see how it shoots

Link Posted: 7/19/2008 10:48:33 PM EDT

I know how my 3" Charter kicks, even with cowboy action ammo. I hate to think about trying to hold that 2"!!
Link Posted: 7/24/2008 5:46:46 AM EDT
I have two Smiths, a Ruger and a Charter Bulldog.

They ALL work reliably.

I agree with the poster about "lawyer locks"; I hate them, will not own a gun that has one.

My Smiths are the prettiest. The little details regarding fit and finish are tops. I can shoot my Model 625 (.45ACP) more accurately offhand than any other handgun I own (not counting .22s). Objectively speaking, it's probably my most valuable revolver.

My .44 Magnum Ruger Super Redhawk is arguably the best revolver I own if everything is weighted more or less equally. It's accurate (at 100 yards I can stay on a 5.5" bullseye with practice). It's totally reliable and has digested almost 1,000 full house loads and is still as tight as the first day I took it out of the box. It was a very reasonable price; significantly less than a Smith 629. It's fit and finish is not quite as pretty as a Smith. I would rate this handgun as my best overall value for the dollar and I would have to say it's my favorite revolver.

My Charter is a surprisingly good handgun for the money. I have shot sub 3" groups (rested) at 15 yards (2.5" brl.). It is completely reliable. It's fit and finish are rough, no one will confuse it with a S&W, and it has a noticeably large cylinder to forcing cone gap. But it WORKS! This is all one really needs. I LIKE THIS GUN!
Link Posted: 7/24/2008 8:48:34 AM EDT
I picked up a "Thunder Ranch Special" M21 and love it. At first, I didn't even like the idea of them, but after checking them out, they have all of the features I like, and one I don't (the lock).

I like the lightweight tapered barrel and the fixed sights. Even the factory grips are comfortable and I found no need to change them at all. Hundred yard shots on a 14" steel plate are fairly easy, 3-5 out of 6 shots with regularity.

With the cost of .44spl ammo, I cast all my own bullets (Lyman 429421 245gr Keith-style) over a moderate charge of whatever powder I get a good deal on at the time. One thing that too many people do is buy a .44spl and see how hot they can load it, like Elmer Keith did. Guess what, you don't need to anymore. If a standard .44spl load isn't hot enough for you, buy a .44 mag. People doing this is what lead to what I feel was one of the best .44spl revolvers ever made, the S&W 696 3" L-frame, being discontinued. It will withstand a lifetime of standard pressure .44spl shooting, but people kept hot-rodding their loads and kept cracking forcing cones on them. So, thanks to people trying to make the 696 into an L-frame .44mag, we can't buy them anymore. S&W is even out of the parts now to convert a 686 over to them. I know, I tried to get the cylinder, hand and barrel, but no luck.

So, if you have a 696 and are beating on it, thinking that S&W's Lifetime Warranty will cover it, think again. They do not have any more 696's to replace it with, and no more parts to repair it, either. Take care of the one you have and only shoot standard pressure loads out of it.
Link Posted: 7/31/2008 3:52:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tenmikemike:

I know how my 3" Charter kicks, even with cowboy action ammo. I hate to think about trying to hold that 2"!!

If the timing works out I'll find out this weekend
Link Posted: 8/3/2008 6:52:18 PM EDT
I like the Model-22...

Link Posted: 8/3/2008 9:41:16 PM EDT
Old School

Link Posted: 8/4/2008 5:27:22 PM EDT
Love my Charter Bulldog .44 SPL!

Mine actually had to go back to get an out of spec crane replaced - was misfiring when new. Now has over 300 rds through it ZERO problems - very accurate, controllable and far more concealable and practical to carry than ANY S&W .44 SPL or Taurus.

Recent Charters have surprisingly GOOD actions! They are easy to fix, easy to clean up, solid proven design and the BEST value for the dollar on a revolver today.

Old Fashioned customer service - if you are local, in CT, you can drive the gun right to the shop on Canal St. in Shelton. Nick Ecker, the President, will sometimes answer the customer service number himself if you call early in the AM. If you are not local, his customer service turnaround is very reasonable and more PERSONABLE than the big name brands.

Recently, I bought for my wife the "Pink Bitch" .38 - which is an aluminum frame Undercover. BEST .38 small frame snub I have EVER fired! BETTER than S&Ws and comparable to OLD S&W! action wise - in fact, better!

Shot completely to point of aim at 10 yards - ripped a dozen shots out of 15 DOUBLE ACTION into one ragged hole with 158 gr. LSWC ammo. $350 OTD NIB with LIFETIME WARRANTY

Look out S&W, Look out Ruger, Look out Taurus, Charter is going to EAT YOUR LUNCH!
Link Posted: 8/4/2008 5:36:31 PM EDT
I have a S&W 296 that I really like but I must admit I don't shoot it very often.

I carry CorBon ammo in it and its managable.
Link Posted: 8/7/2008 6:35:27 PM EDT
I really want one of those.........

Originally Posted By 3-gun:
I like the Model-22...
Link Posted: 8/11/2008 7:32:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By cyclone:
I really want one of those.........

Originally Posted By 3-gun:
I like the Model-22...

I have one. It is a great gun. Now that they are a standard catalogue item I wish S&W would make them in .45 Colt as well.
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