In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your GunBroker.com account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.
Options

Charter 44 Bull Dog???

taperloctaperloc Member Posts: 420 ✭✭✭
edited August 2008 in Ask the Experts
Has anyone had any experience with the Charter Arms 44 Bull Dod DAO.
I am considering it for concealed carry. Thoughts please.

Comments

  • Options
    Wehrmacht_45Wehrmacht_45 Member Posts: 3,377
    edited November -1
    They seem to be put together with good materials, however, the triggers on most Charter Arms guns is really lacking in smoothness. If you get one, you might need a smith to do a job on it to make it shoot better for you.
  • Options
    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I haven't used that model.
    73521bulldogDAO.gif

    In *general* Charter arms has been through various incarnations in its history, with different eras having different quality control and variable quality guns. As hearsay, I've heard the newer guns are adequate, if not exceptional.

    The .44 special round is a fairly good defensive one, better than a .38+P, but less powerful than the .45ACP or .45 Colt. Its certainly good enough.

    In terms of concealed carry, that's personal preference. Lots of knowledgeable operators like 5 shot hammerless wheelguns for concealed carry, so I think you're OK there.

    This particular model has a full sized grip and 2.5 inch barrel. That increases the power, practical accuracy, and control, at the expense of concealability compared to the usual 2" barrel .38+P snubnose. For example, the usual snubnose is pretty easy to slip into a pocket. . .this one, maybe not so easy.

    It wouldn't be my personal first choice (a little big, ammo too expensive) but if you like the gun, can actually conceal it, and can shoot it well, go for it.

    Expect some recoil from a 22 ounce revolver with that round.

    Also, as alluded to above, .44 special ammo tends to be fairly pricey, generally not much cheaper than .44 magnum, and potentially a bit harder to find than some of the more common calibers. That's potentially an issue if you want to practice often. At least with .357 magnum, you can practice with somewhat cheaper .38 special target loads.
  • Options
    BigLoop22BigLoop22 Member Posts: 620 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    taperloc,

    While not specific to the DAO Bulldog, the following should still be of value to you:

    Mic McPherson loves Charter Bulldogs. Mic has wrung-out a few of these guns. Here is some of what he has written about them:

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

    quote:M.L. McPherson

    Synopsis: While hard to find, these fine handguns offer unequaled power in a compact revolver and are definitely worth locating. These guns do present challenges for the handloader.

    Charter Arms' 44 Special Bulldog revolvers are compact and very well designed. At about 19 to 22 ounces, depending upon model and grips, these guns are a pleasure to carry; however, with most loads, these guns produce more recoil than the average shooter can or cares to master. Pachmayr offers several recoil-taming grip sets, which are helpful, but ammunition selection is the biggest issue.

    I can identify three basic uses for these guns: target practice, self-defense and trail carry. The small size and low weight of these guns makes practice all the more critical. In the potentially tragic event of a self-defense use, terminal ballistics and accurate shot placement become all-important. Potential needs of those who use these revolvers as a hunting or trail gun are highly variable.



    John Taffin likes them, too:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_4_53/ai_n27161894

    quote:John Taffin

    Three times in my life I have needed--really needed--a sixgun. The first occasion was when I was a teenager and the fact I was able to produce a 7 1/2" .45 Colt Single Action changed the minds of the four would-be tough guys who thought they were going to have some fun at my expense. On the other two occasions things were much more serious as I had my wife and three kids with me and in both cases we were kept from harm by my Charter Arms .44 Special Bulldog.

    I have spent much of my gun-writing life talking about big-bore sixguns in general and quite often specifically focusing on the .44 Special. However, I have rarely mentioned the Charter Arms .44 Special. It has been part of our family for a long time, however, it is rarely ever seen or even shot, but is always at hand.
    Click the links to read more.



    I will add this: I have had a Charco-branded, snub-nose, 5-shot .38 Special Charter Off-Duty Special, since it was new, circa 1993. It is NOT a piece of junk, and always goes "BANG!", when I pull the trigger. I recently bought a very well-used Charter-branded, 6-shot, 4-inch-barrel, Police Bulldog .38 Special, that appears to be about 30-years-old. The older gun has a very noticeable difference in the way it feels in my hand, and in the way the internals mesh & sound, as I work the trigger, the hammer, or even just close the cylinder. The older gun feels much more like a Smith & Wesson. While these two guns are esentially the same beast, there are very small differences between them, that makes me like the older one more than I like the newer one.
  • Options
    DarkStar11DarkStar11 Member Posts: 1,557 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I just sent a brand new one back to the factory for repairs after less than 20 rounds. Must have been made on a Monday. I'll reserve final judgement until it is fixed and returned.

    Out-of-the-box thoughts: A few tool marks here and there, fit and finish about what I would expect for a revolver in that New price range. I don't think I could carry it concealed due to size -- but thats not why I bought it. Out of the few rounds I fired, I didn't find recoil to be excessive or harsh. I did find the ammo to be expensive, though!
  • Options
    32 Magnum32 Magnum Member Posts: 820 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I own 24 Charter Arms 1st Generation Revolvers. 1st Generation, from my experience, is the best of the 3 incarnations. These pieces were made from around 1968 up to 1991 and will be serial numbered under 1,090,000. These are Charter Arms Corp. produced and will have barrel address of either Bridgeport, Conn. (the earliest, made up to around 1970 with s/n under approx. 30,000) or Stratford Conn. (s/n up to around 1,090,000.) Charter Arms Company succeded CA Corp and will have s/ns over 1,100,000 and a barrel address of Ansonia, Conn. This 2nd Generation was in operation for only a few years from about 1991 up to 1999 and seems to have been the source for most of the "bad press" concerning the Charter Arms firearms - although some good ones are seen, there apparently were quite a few stinkers sent out of the failing factory. The most recent from Charter 2000 or 3rd Generation pieces will have a barrel address of Shelton, Conn. and serial numbers seem to have started at 01 or there abouts.
    I have fired several of my Bulldog 44s and found them ALL to be top notch with regard to function, action smoothness and accuracy - with any where from 2.5" to 3" barrels and in either blued steel or stainless construction. The recoil is a bit stiff using Winchester 200 Silver Tips and the 240 gr. new HiVel JHP rounds, but nothing someone who has experience with .357Mag revolvers can't handle. The accuracy with either of those two loads, which I have extensively fired, gives me 5 shot groups of under 3", centered, off hand at 25'. Plenty accurate for self defense. I've also shot several different configurations of .38 Spl, my favorite being the 5 shot Undercover with a 3" barrel, .357 Magnum in both 6" and 4" 5 shot Tracker and Target Bulldog, .32 H&R Magnum Police Bulldog, 4" and 6 shot, .22 cal. Pathfinders in lr and WMRF. Lock time on the first generations is very fast as the hammer travels through a fairly short 53 degree arc and the trigger pulls in DA are relatively light (I estimate less than 8 lbs) and the single action travel is less than 1/4" and maybe 2.5 to 3lbs. Nice guns if you can find one in v.good to excellent condition. That is the condition I've purchased all of mine, including three that are NIB. Only one cost me over $300 at auction and that was an excellent condition Tracker 6" bullbarrel .357Mag with adjustable rear sight.
  • Options
    CHEVELLE427CHEVELLE427 Member Posts: 6,750
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by 32 Magnum
    I own 24 Charter Arms 1st Generation Revolvers. 1st Generation, from my experience, is the best of the 3 incarnations. These pieces were made from around 1968 up to 1991 and will be serial numbered under 1,090,000. These are Charter Arms Corp. produced and will have barrel address of either Bridgeport, Conn. (the earliest, made up to around 1970 with s/n under approx. 30,000) or Stratford Conn. (s/n up to around 1,090,000.) Charter Arms Company succeded CA Corp and will have s/ns over 1,100,000 and a barrel address of Ansonia, Conn. This 2nd Generation was in operation for only a few years from about 1991 up to 1999 and seems to have been the source for most of the "bad press" concerning the Charter Arms firearms - although some good ones are seen, there apparently were quite a few stinkers sent out of the failing factory. The most recent from Charter 2000 or 3rd Generation pieces will have a barrel address of Shelton, Conn. and serial numbers seem to have started at 01 or there abouts.
    I have fired several of my Bulldog 44s and found them ALL to be top notch with regard to function, action smoothness and accuracy - with any where from 2.5" to 3" barrels and in either blued steel or stainless construction. The recoil is a bit stiff using Winchester 200 Silver Tips and the 240 gr. new HiVel JHP rounds, but nothing someone who has experience with .357Mag revolvers can't handle. The accuracy with either of those two loads, which I have extensively fired, gives me 5 shot groups of under 3", centered, off hand at 25'. Plenty accurate for self defense. I've also shot several different configurations of .38 Spl, my favorite being the 5 shot Undercover with a 3" barrel, .357 Magnum in both 6" and 4" 5 shot Tracker and Target Bulldog, .32 H&R Magnum Police Bulldog, 4" and 6 shot, .22 cal. Pathfinders in lr and WMRF. Lock time on the first generations is very fast as the hammer travels through a fairly short 53 degree arc and the trigger pulls in DA are relatively light (I estimate less than 8 lbs) and the single action travel is less than 1/4" and maybe 2.5 to 3lbs. Nice guns if you can find one in v.good to excellent condition. That is the condition I've purchased all of mine, including three that are NIB. Only one cost me over $300 at auction and that was an excellent condition Tracker 6" bullbarrel .357Mag with adjustable rear sight.


    not to hi jack this.
    Thanks for posting all this info.
    I have a charter target bulldog sn # in the 400,000 made in Stratford Conn. IM guessing its a 1 or 2 gen. gun. anyway it shoots great and straight it was bought as a boat gun but it was in such good shape i could not bring myself to using it for that salt environment, glad i saved it. fun gun all around, not sure on the newer ones but some i have looked at seemed to be nice as well
  • Options
    v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The D.A. trigger pull on my early 44 Police 4" is too heavy.
    If it's lightened, it wont fire magnum primers.
    Unless Charter has done something to improve the D.A. pull, I wouldn't buy their DAO revolver.
    The revolver handles heavy handloads but 250 grain bullets in hot loads recoil severely. 200 grain bullets in light and heavy loads are more pleasant to shoot.
Sign In or Register to comment.