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I am looking at a Charter Arms Bulldog DAO also.

beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
edited July 2015 in Ask the Experts
This is a response to a second question in the now locked Taurus Judge Defender thread:

quote:Mackcrane: I am looking at a Charter Arms Bulldog DAO also. Any thoughts?
Yes.

-Current manfacture Charter arms revolvers are fine, and IMO one of them is a MUCH better choice for concealed carry compared to the Taurus .410 shotgun revolvers. IMO, if the question is between this and the Taurus, its a no-brainer. . .get the Charter.

-IMO best *VALUE* in snubnose revolvers are used Smith revolvers. They're built like tanks, offer better craftsmanship than the "second tier" revolvers (by those I mean Charter and Taurus), and parts and accessories (ie grips, holsters, etc) are relatively cheap and readily available.

If you pay a FAIR price for a used Smith revolver, should you choose to do so, you'll be able to later sell it again for that same price (and in fact, probably more). New Charters and Tauruses lose value on resale. Since used Smith revolvers typically only cost a little more than new Charters/Tauruses, I think they're a better deal.

Lastly, you didn't specify caliber, but .44 special from a light snubnose revolver can be quite a handful in terms of recoil, more than many shooters want to handle. Guns themselves tend to be larger and heavier than .38s. Also, .44 special ammo itself tends to be harder to find on store shelves, available in less varieties, and slightly more expensive than .357 magnum (let alone .38 special).

Ballistically speaking, .44 special is an excellent round, comparable to .45ACP. But its also always been somewhat of an unpopular round, and with the single exception of Charter (which has basically made the .44 special its trademark), all of the other revolver makers have dropped production of .44 special snubnose revolvers, due to lack of public demand for them.

I certainly wouldn't discourage any experienced shooter from picking a .44 special snubnose, if that's what they like, but there are reasons why "the" standard snubnose revolver round has been. . .and still is. . .38 special for the last 50 (+) years, and I'd say most shooters would be better served with that one.

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    rsnyder55rsnyder55 Member Posts: 2,526 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a S&W 629 3" Backpacker (I know it weighs a ton) that I am particularly fond of and generally keep loaded with 44 specials when I am out an about.

    S&W also made a Mountain Guns in 44 magnum with a lighter 3" barrel and I believe a 624 in a similar configuration.

    44 special components are a little easier to find now as it is one of the rounds SASS shooters use but cowboy loads themselves are usually underpowered round nose lead. Fun to shoot but probably not the best self defense round out there.
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    mackcranemackcrane Member Posts: 1,869 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by beantownshootah
    This is a response to a second question in the now locked Taurus Judge Defender thread:

    quote:Mackcrane: I am looking at a Charter Arms Bulldog DAO also. Any thoughts?
    Yes.

    -Current manfacture Charter arms revolvers are fine, and IMO one of them is a MUCH better choice for concealed carry compared to the Taurus .410 shotgun revolvers. IMO, if the question is between this and the Taurus, its a no-brainer. . .get the Charter.

    -IMO best *VALUE* in snubnose revolvers are used Smith revolvers. They're built like tanks, offer better craftsmanship than the "second tier" revolvers (by those I mean Charter and Taurus), and parts and accessories (ie grips, holsters, etc) are relatively cheap and readily available.

    If you pay a FAIR price for a used Smith revolver, should you choose to do so, you'll be able to later sell it again for that same price (and in fact, probably more). New Charters and Tauruses lose value on resale. Since used Smith revolvers typically only cost a little more than new Charters/Tauruses, I think they're a better deal.

    Lastly, you didn't specify caliber, but .44 special from a light snubnose revolver can be quite a handful in terms of recoil, more than many shooters want to handle. Guns themselves tend to be larger and heavier than .38s. Also, .44 special ammo itself tends to be harder to find on store shelves, available in less varieties, and slightly more expensive than .357 magnum (let alone .38 special).

    Ballistically speaking, .44 special is an excellent round, comparable to .45ACP. But its also always been somewhat of an unpopular round, and with the single exception of Charter (which has basically made the .44 special its trademark), all of the other revolver makers have dropped production of .44 special snubnose revolvers, due to lack of public demand for them.

    I certainly wouldn't discourage any experienced shooter from picking a .44 special snubnose, if that's what they like, but there are reasons why "the" standard snubnose revolver round has been. . .and still is. . .38 special for the last 50 (+) years, and I'd say most shooters would be better served with that one.

    Thanks beantownshootah. Sorry about the delay but I've been tied up in the nursing home; oops, not literaly, against some law I think. Again oops, I mean rehabilitation facility.
    The Smith 42 I had was an airweight and I got to where I could pull the trigger back slowly and it came to a detent like it was cocked or so it seemed and you could fire it as a single action. I shot that gun quite a bit and got good enough for self defense purposes. Plus the carry part was great either in the pocket or holster. I'm driving a wheel chair now and walking with a walker (boy,is she pretty!). If I'm able to move back into the "other" world I'll need to get a little helper and after reading & thinking, I believe I will go back to the small & light 38 Special. Thanks everyone.
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    mackcranemackcrane Member Posts: 1,869 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sort of wild, I switched to the auction side after posting and what pops up as the 2nd revolver listed but a S&W 638 +P. This is indeed the place with the "RIGHT STUFF". Thanks again.
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    v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a Charter 44 police 4" barrel and a Model 37 S&W Chief.
    The former has very serious power when loaded hot and is very accurate
    having target sights.
    DA pulls on both originally wasn't good and recoil with original grips was bad.
    Large Hogue grips on the Chief make the world of difference in shooting
    and no difference in concealability. Boot grips are second.
    On the Charter, I tried factory Target wooden ,Pachmyr rubber, and modified Charter rubber. I ground the backstrap on these grips to the configuration of the new Hogue and recoil is tamed.
    Reloading of both guns is slow.
    In your shoes, I'd be focusing on the Ruger PCR with exposed hammer
    in 38spl +p or 357 as it has better DA trigger pull. Another I'd look at is one of the S&W Bodyguard models.
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    TWalkerTWalker Member Posts: 2,372 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have a couple of Charter Arms Bulldogs in .44 Special. One is an early model that's blued, and the second is one of the early stainless steel ones. Both have 3 inch barrels. The blued one was bought in the early 70's in the Eastern U.S. The FBI or ATF (can't remember which) called my FFL dealer (my Grandpa's country store) in 1976 wanting to know who bought the Bulldog. It was during the height of the Son-Of-Sam NY shootings and Berkowitz had used a Bulldog 44. Both are very good guns that I carry a lot. My uncle bought the blued one from me in 1978 for $100 cash. He came to see me one evening in 2012 wanting to know if I wanted the gun back as he was getting too old for handguns. I paid him $200 (his price) and was very happy to have it again after 34 years. He died a few weeks later.
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    chuckchuck Member Posts: 4,911
    edited November -1
    I have the SS 44 short barrel, It's a great gun and very accurate and the timing is perfect.
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    BigLoop22BigLoop22 Member Posts: 620 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    mackcrane,

    I cannot comment on the DAO-only version. I can tell you that the Bulldog .44 Special is thought of very highly by people like Mic McPherson, as shown in this article:

    http://www.levergun.com/articles/44_Special_Bulldog.htm

    Mic's family has owned a few .44 Special Bulldogs.

    The Charter Arms revolvers have a steel frame, with no side plate. The gripframe on all Charter revolvers (not their "minis", or "derringers") is the same size. It is made of aluminum alloy, and includes the trigger guard. Pins & screws are used, where appropriate, to hold together all of these parts. The grip panels, from one model of Charter revolver, should fit a different model/ caliber of Charter revolver. This should allow you to find a set of grips that fit your hand.

    ++++++

    ************
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    v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Unless a change was made, all Charter revolvers 38 & 44 have the same grip frame and triggerguard.
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