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  #1  
Old 07-31-2011, 08:28 AM
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Charter Arms Bulldog?


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Had one of these years ago, back when Charter Arms was the new kid on the block. Decent little gun back then, and an easy to carry piece as well. The biggest downside then was ammo availability, I think Winchester was the only one loading for it, and the only load was a 256 gr. round nose lead bullet at roughly the same velocity as an under handed pitched soft ball, and I'm NOT talking fast pitch . It did very well with handloads, though, and was surprisingly accurate for a 2" barreled gun.

So anyway, I'm considering getting a concealed carry piece, and I'm not a fan of sub .40 cal. guns. My first choice would be a 1911 .45, but since I'm not built like the Hulk, concealment is a problem. I liked the Bulldog back in the day, and was wondering if anyone has any experience with the current production models. I know it's only a five shot, but I'm old school, I figure if I can't do it with 5, 15 isn't going to make much difference . If you know of something comparable from a different manufacturer, I'd like to hear about that, too. Thanks in advance.

Dave
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2011, 09:16 AM
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Evidently, you missed the Federal 200 gr. swchp load that was available 'way back then -- still one of the best.

I have encountered a couple of recent Bulldogs, and found then quite acceptable in fit/finish -- and far more accurate than a snub .44 needs to be . I've heard rumors that their QC is spotty, but I think if a close pre-purchase exam shows everything to be in order, you'll be fine.
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2011, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pisgah View Post
Evidently, you missed the Federal 200 gr. swchp load that was available 'way back then -- still one of the best.
Quite possible, I was very young and pretty stupid back then, and was more interested in playing with my .41 Mag Blackhawk . And I don't think my then local gun shop liked Federal, all I can remember him carrying was Remington and Winchester.

Thanks for the info, I'm still kicking this around, since I'll be picking up a new rifle tomorrow, it'll be awhile before I have the funds available for another gun purchase. Later.

Dave
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2011, 10:46 AM
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It's still available:

Federal Premium - Handgun Details


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  #5  
Old 07-31-2011, 01:06 PM
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Like you, had one when they were first released. Borther bought one with me; he still has his.

Quality control is a little spotty, but the current production seems better off than it has been in the past.... either the QC folks tightened up or the new tooling is more exacting.

The simple Federal SWCHP is probably still the best load for these little guns. Not really suited for high pressure +p+ type loads.

A 3rd buddy bought one a week after shooting mine. He just had to try the classic Keith load of 2400 (no..not going to lead anyone into temptation...so am not going to mention the charge, other than it was Keith's favorite). Now he didn't get the nic-name "heavy duty" for his dainty build, and he had hands like hams. But with those original issue wooden grips, we could all tell he was in trouble from the first shot..but he finished the cylinder.

I had enough sense to pass on the offer to try the load.

Gun wasn't dimensionally changed in any way we could see, cylinder gap checked out, and it timed correctly.

One other tid-bit. PMC offered a tubular 110gr. solid copper bullet for a short time (was it the UltraMag?). Used a thick plastic pusher (like a gas check) and the bullet was a bullet shaped tube (hollow though the middle). Would shoot about a foot low at 50 feet, loud, but was better at biting though metal than the other .44 loads tried (idea being that I would prefer not to have to roll down the window to shoot a car jacket). Got canned in the anti armor piercing craze.

BTW: A search on Abraham Flatau's air foil designs brings up some interesting results.

Last edited by ribbonstone; 07-31-2011 at 01:09 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2011, 01:22 PM
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Totally unrelated to the subject or the forum, but are you the same Ribbonstone that used to post on the GTA? Or maybe you still do, I dropped out of the GTA awhile back when it became apparent that the forum owners no longer considered me an asset to the forum.

Back on topic, I had a similar experience with an early Bulldog. Don't remember just what the load was, but I ran out of large pistol primers, so I substituted some magnum primers. Young and stupid, remember? Couldn't figure out why I was completely missing the 25 yard target, then my buddy commented on the dust I was kicking up out at the 100 yard line. I thought the recoil was a little snappier than usual :-). Gun was fine, but I decided I'd be better off breaking down the rounds left, and reducing the powder charge a bit. Later.

Dave
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  #7  
Old 07-31-2011, 02:40 PM
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Yep, same guy.

Do think, for the size, the 44 Bulldog (at least the original versions...little experience with the later ones) was the best snake pistol you could buy. Really won't make a shotgun out of a pistol, but the effect on snakes is SOOO much more deadly than the piddling .22RF shot loads.
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2011, 04:22 PM
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My carry gun is a Charter .44. It's from the first (of four) companies to make them. The first and the fourth (current) are fine, the middle two -- not so much. If it says CharCo or Charter 2000, best avoid it.

I carry the Winchester 210-gr Silvertip load in mine. It does exactly 700 fps from the 2" bull barrel. Hornady makes a deadly 180 JHP load, and you can also get Cor-Bon loads. Those or the Federal make four really good carry choices.

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  #9  
Old 08-23-2011, 11:53 AM
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check out a Taurus Tracker 44c (compact) 44mag, ported barrel, cool grips, good price, lotta bang !
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2011, 06:32 AM
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I have one of the old Charter's, too.
I think Ribbonstone hit on something really useful- the 44 Bulldog is a really good shot load handgun. Far better than any 38/357.
For social purposes, I carry mine loaded with the Winchester Silvertip load.
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2011, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pisgah View Post
Evidently, you missed the Federal 200 gr. swchp load that was available 'way back then -- still one of the best.

I have encountered a couple of recent Bulldogs, and found then quite acceptable in fit/finish -- and far more accurate than a snub .44 needs to be . I've heard rumors that their QC is spotty, but I think if a close pre-purchase exam shows everything to be in order, you'll be fine.
+1 I have a Charter 2000. Acceptable. It's not the same as my Lew Horton 24 but it cost less than 1/2 as much.
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