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Discussion Starter #1
Bought a 44 spl Charter arms Bulldog Pug the other day. Couldn't beat the price, new stainless. Was surprised at the reasonably good quality. It is not a custom gun but for
$ 269 I can't complain. Ordered a 200gr fnpb mould and brass from Midsouth, figured the 240gr was a little stiff for a light gun.

Any body have experience with this handgun or favorite loads ?
 

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I had one for many years before they went out of business the last time. Mine was the pug, bobbed hammer stainless one also. I shot 240 gr. loads out of mine a lot at first. They were not loaded real hot due to shootability, but the gun can handle them. Later on I switched to carrying the 200 gr. Silver Tips and then the Cor-Bon 185 gr HP. When S&W came out with their 696 I sold the Charter and got the Smith for my CCW. It too has since been retired in favor of something I like better. But I digress. During the time I owned the Charter, I put well over a thousand rounds through it, most all of it handloads. The first few years I was shooting exclusively 240 gr. handloads because most factory loads were pretty weak. The Handloads, while not near max, were still pretty hefty and the gun never showed any ill affects. Still, I did not like carrying handloads for CCW due to political reasons and switched to the lighter, and much more enjoyable to shoot Winchesters. Then, as I said earlier, I switched to the Cor-Bon. My handloads were tailored to mimic the bullet, velocity, and impact of the carry load and it was the handloads I practiced with.
 

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I have a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 purchased used but nearly new in 1979.
Years ago, I settled on the Speer lead semi-wadcutter over 6.5 grains of Unique, with standard primers. A medium to hard crimp aids ignition.
I've used more powerful loads in my Bulldog on occasion, but recoil was too bothersome.
The 6.5 grains Unique will give you about 700 fps but with such a large bullet, at close range, speed is not required.
I no longer carry it. Once a year or thereabouts I take it out for plinking.
 

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I was interested in the Charter Bulldog last year and couldn't find (a) a local dealer or (b) anyone who actually had one to report on quality. I had already had good luck with a Taurus 686 in .357 mag so I bought a Taurus 445. Taurus recommends no bullet over 200 grains. I have had good luck with Berry 200 gr copper plated FP bullets loaded to 1.435" with CCI #350 primer with either 6.3 grains of Win 231 or 8.1 grains Unique; both shoot good groups but Win 231 seems to shoot to point of aim at 15 yards while Unique tends to shoot 3" left and 1-3/4" below point of aim. I looked at handloads.com and someone over there reported a LSWC load using a Lee 208 gr cast bullet seated to 1.250" over 5.7 gr Unique at 705 fps from a T445 2" bbl. I haven't looked at Beartooth yet but I bet they have something suitable. Please revisit the site sometime with an update on quality. They aren't quite in the .500 S&W league but I wouldn't call them mouse guns either.
 

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My brother, a firend of mine, and I bought CA's Bulldogs somewhere about 1980....brother still has his. the load we settled on was a 235gr. cast bullet and 6.5gr. of unique.

Ligheter bullets all shot unreasonably low.
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Friend had to try the classic .44specail "Keith Load" (which I won't repeat...but it's what lead to the .44mag). WAY over MAX. for the little CA. He managed three rounds, came back from the firing line to bandage his hand, and finished the other two. Kind of surprised in retospect that the gun held together, but it did.

He went on to bob the barrel to 2" and replace the stock with the skinny plain wood grips that came on the Undercover. HIS load becasme a cast 180gr. WC and 7.2gr. of Unique. those small grips made the gun ****ed uncomofrtable to shoot but hid a bit better...and his comment (which I've quoted before) was, "There just aren't that many people I have to shoot in a given day."
 

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For a defense load in the Charter Arms .44 Special, try the Speer semiwadcutter over all the FFFG black powder you can get in the case.
Even if you don't hit the aggressor, you'll scare the Bejeezus out of him!
He'll find it hard to run away from cops, too, with his pants full!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Had the chance to shoot the other day. Loaded 50 rounds with the 200gr RNFP Lee bullet over 7.4 gr AA#5. I really like this thing. Handles well with a nice thump when you light one. Never thought of FFFG black, may be interesting.

It does shoot low with this bullet but at 10 yds shouldn't make much difference.

Will try to get out and chrono this load and check accuracy other than steel plates.
 

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Bigfoot,
My uncle carried one for a numer of years in Phoenix while riding his bike (Harley). I got to shoot his a bit and I was impressed. He always said he liked it because, "It barks real loud on this end and bites real bad on the other."
J.P.
 

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Bigfoot,

Had a chance to chrono that load yet? I have one of those old 3" Charter Bulldogs myself and seem to have misplaced my load data sheet.

My recollection is I actually downloaded a little from factory because of the "thump" on my end out of this lightweight, even with a Pachmayr grip. For bullets I was loading either 429215 or 429421 back then.
 

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Bigfoot,

I got mine used around 87'. One of the older 3" blue guns with a set of Pacmyares on it. Generally I keep it loaded with either Silvertips or Fed 200 LHP. Still have a box or two of the discontined PMC 110gr Tublar Bullet. That cookie cutter bullet shot 10-11" lower at 25m then the above loads. Right now my brother in law uses it as his carry gun on his ranch in Texas loaded with two shotshells then solids.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry about the delay. Chronoed the 200 gr RNFP with AA#5, 7.4gr. It averaged 680 fps. A little slower than I anticipated but very nice to shoot. Acuracy was good. All shots into 4" at 20 yards, offhand.
 
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