Charter Arms .40S&W Revolver, Lefty Guns, Polished Pink!

by Administrator on January 30, 2012

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The Charter Arms Pitbull is a new rimless case revolver in .40S&W. It holds 5 rounds and is made from 416 stainless, weighing in at 20oz. empty.  If you carry a .40S&W pistol as your main duty weapon, this is a handy backup that can shoot all those rounds in your extra mags should your pistol go down or get lost.

The Charter Arms Pitbull is a new rimless case revolver in .40S&W. It holds 5 rounds and is made from 416 stainless, weighing in at 20oz. empty. If you carry a .40S&W pistol as your main duty weapon, this is a handy backup that can shoot all those rounds in your extra mags should your pistol go down or get lost.

Look inside the cylinders and you will see the little springloaded nubs that hold in the .40S&W rounds. This gun ran all day at Media Day at the Range, SHOT Show 2012, and was filthy as you can see, yet ran and ran with no cleaning.

Look inside the cylinders and you will see the little springloaded nubs that hold in the .40S&W rounds. This gun ran all day at Media Day at the Range, SHOT Show 2012, and was filthy as you can see, yet ran and ran with no cleaning.

A fringe benefit of the design of this gun is that the rounds won't fall out should you have to reload in a gunfight with a bad case of tunnel vision. But you do have to get used to using the ejector to get out the empties. If you don't, the rim recess can "jump" the ejector and hang up the gun.

A fringe benefit of the design of this gun is that the rounds won't fall out should you have to reload in a gunfight with a bad case of tunnel vision. But you do have to get used to using the ejector to get out the empties. If you don't, the rim recess can "jump" the ejector and hang up the gun.

For now this gun is only available in .40S&W, stainless, with an exposed hammer and 2.3" barrel. It has been a long time coming to see these Charter revolvers in the market, and more will come as demand increases.

For now this gun is only available in .40S&W, stainless, with an exposed hammer and 2.3" barrel. It has been a long time coming to see these Charter revolvers in the market, and more will come as demand increases.

The Southpaw series from Charter were also at the show. If you are looking for a left hand option in a concealed carry or backup gun, the .38 Special (+P) Bodyguard series is priced right and made for left hand shooters. They make them in the pink ones as well.

The Southpaw series from Charter were also at the show. If you are looking for a left hand option in a concealed carry or backup gun, the .38 Special (+P) Bodyguard series is priced right and made for left hand shooters. They make them in the pink ones as well.

This is the factory pic of the Southpaw. It is a nifty little gun.

This is the factory pic of the Southpaw. It is a nifty little gun.

This is the pink version. If you click through to their website, you'll see that these guns come with a pink faux alligator case, and they are available both in a high polish and matte finish. Charter takes a lot of pride in bringing guns people love and can afford to the masses.

This is the pink version. If you click through to their website, you'll see that these guns come with a pink faux alligator case, and they are available both in a high polish and matte finish. Charter takes a lot of pride in bringing guns people love and can afford to the masses.

Hammerless double action only guns are the best carry option for most people and we hope to see the Pitbull in an alloy version this year, and we'll keep you posted. This Off-Duty model is a gun we'd love to feature on the GunsAmerica Blog, and we hope to see a lot more from Charter Arms this year.

Hammerless double action only guns are the best carry option for most people and we hope to see the Pitbull in an alloy version this year, and we'll keep you posted. This Off-Duty model is a gun we'd love to feature on the GunsAmerica Blog, and we hope to see a lot more from Charter Arms this year.

http://www.charterfirearms.com/

Affordable guns are one of the most important components of 2nd Amendment freedom, and since 1964 the Charters Arms name has been known for making guns that average working people can afford. The guns are reliable, and in this next era of Charter Arms, they carry a number of innovations that we don’t see in any other guns in the firearm community.

Going back to 2008 we have heard that the Charter Arms Bulldog revolver would be available for “rimless” cases in a model called the “Pitbull.” These calibers are the 9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP primarily, where the rim of the case is same width as the body of the case, so they are called rimless. This makes them suited perfectly for semi-auto pistols, but not revolvers. Revolvers generally don’t handle rimless cases very well because you have to use what are called “full moon” and “half moon” clips to hold them in the cylinder, and most people don’t want to deal with them. Ballistically, the.38 Special, that has an extended rim to hold the cases in the revolver cylinder, is sufficient for most people in a revolver, but there has always been a demand for revolvers that take the pistol calibers. The .38 Special, and it’s big brother, the .357 Magnum, are long cases, and the shorter, higher pressure auto-gun calibers make for a potentially shorter framed revolver, and this is the niche that Charter is hoping to fill.

The MRSP $465 Pitbull is available only in .40S&W for now, and has a 2.3″ barrel. It weighs 20 oz. empty, and holds 5 rounds of .40S&W. It is only available in matte stainless steel right now, though I expect alloy guns to hit the market at some point this year. This first model is only available with an exposed hammer.

Due to patent and distribution issues apparently, the Charter rimless case guns haven’t come into the market much. The .40S&W has been available since August, but they are just now coming into the gun shops. We were able to shoot one at Media Day at the Range, SHOT Show 2012, and it handle really well, and even after what had to be thousands of rounds at the end of the day, the gun was covered in gun powder soot, but she was still running. Because the gun has been available in prototype since 2008, these are not new guns and the bugs have been worked out of them. Adding alloy guns, hammerless, and other calibers probably is more a matter of capitalization than ability. Once the gun gets a footing in the market others will follow.

Look in the pictures and you will see the little nubs that hold the rimless case in place in the cylinder. They are held there by spring tension, so you pop the rounds in. Once they are in the cylinder you can hold it upside down and they don’t come out, a nice feature if you have to reload during a gunfight. But unlike many .38 Special and .357 Magnum revolvers, you have to use the cartridge ejector to get the empty shells out. This is a really important thing to train yourself to do if you are in the habit of knocking or plucking your empties out of your .38. If there is a weakness to the Pitbull, it is that the empties can “jump” the ejector, and make them hard to get out. But this isn’t a big weakness if you simply understand how the gun functions.

We hope to get some of these Charter Arms guns in for testing, but from what we saw at Media Day, they are going to be a popular gun in the coming year. Law Enforcement officers especially seemed to appreciate a pistol cartridge revolver because many of them carry a .40S&W for their main carry gun, but would prefer a revolver for a backup weapon. Revolvers, as we have explained here many times, are the ultimate concealed carry backup weapon, because they always go boom and they don’t have to be held correctly to fire reliably. A backup weapon is what you use when you lose or break your primary service pistol. So if you normally carry a couple extra mags on your belt for your pistol, carrying a Charter Arms Pitbull in .40S&W gives you 20 or 30 rounds to use in your backup, instead of only the 5 rounds it holds in the cylinder if you were carrying a .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolver.

Also check out the lefty version of the .38 Undercover that Charter brought to Media Day. On their website they call it the “Southpaw” so it is easy to miss if you are looking for the words “left hand”. Lefty guns always do well in the market once the word gets around, and though I’m not a lefty, I can appreciate how nice it would be to have a gun made for me if I was. It took me a minute to even notice that everything was “backwards” on the gun, or frontwards if I was a lefty. These days everything in semi-auto pistols is ambidextrous, so you can swap out the mag release, de-cocker and slide release for lefty on a lot of guns, having a revolver with this convenience requires making a lefty revolver, and that is what Charter Arms has done. I hope they come out with a lefty in the Pitbull series as well.

If you don’t know the Charter Arms guns, they are worth a look. The basic .38 Undercover has an MSRP of $352 and is generally in gunshops under $300. Even the Pink Lady you see here with the polished stainless and bright pink frame is generally under $400, as are the $465 MSRP Pitbull and lefty guns are also generally under $400. Charter Arms is a working man’s revolver, and a lot of value for what you pay. I have never heard of any reliability or consistency problems with their products, and googling around I found nothing but praise for their customer service. We hope to give Charter Arms some space in the GunsAmerica Blog this year if they are able to send us some guns to check out. They seem like a great value that gun people need to know about.

{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa January 31, 2012 at 12:13 am

Thanks so much for stopping by our booth at Media Day and experiencing the PITBULL. We designed the PITBULL in mind specifically for LE as a backup and its interest is growing with more and more dealers stocking the PITBULL. Stay tuned as we introduce the 9mm PITBULL in the next month or so.

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Richard Moss February 1, 2012 at 12:50 am

I want one for dang sure. .45 acp also. Thanks for lookin out for the folks!!!

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Al illig January 31, 2012 at 4:05 am

In the hammerless gun pictured above, why the HUGE cylinder gap?

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Philippe January 31, 2012 at 9:34 am

Good catch… Comparing it to the picture of the one with the exposed hammer above it looks to me like someone with little gun knowledge simply Photoshopped the whole forcing cone out while doctoring the picture.

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don bailey January 31, 2012 at 7:14 am

make a c-clip conversion for it?

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Administrator January 31, 2012 at 7:15 am

it doesn’t need one that is the point

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Ken Wilkinson January 31, 2012 at 8:10 am

Am I correct to assume that there is a chamber cut in to charge hole, (Cylinder) to hold round in position for firing? If so why do they need the little nipple to hold case?
Thanks,

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MtnMan January 31, 2012 at 9:47 am

The “nubs” are for ejecting the cases.

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Jessejohn January 31, 2012 at 8:50 am

FASTEST 9MM REVOLVER
A 9MM version with a .357 Sig cylinder would close a gap Charter Arms’ great product line. BTW- c-clips would make reloading faster.

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Administrator January 31, 2012 at 9:10 am

The whole point is that you don’t need the silly clips. You can thumb rounds right from your mag into the cylinders.

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Duray January 31, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Bottlenecked rounds, esp high pressured ones like .357 sig are problematic in a revolver because of case thrust causing friction against the recoil plate. Plus, 9mm would be needlessly underpowered for the .45-sized frame that they use for the .40 (and would have to use for .357 Sig), plus .357 Sig would be pointless in a revolver, since it’s purpose was to duplicate .357 Mag ballistics in autos, and the .357 mag is already widely available in revolvers, without requiring as large a cylinder. You’d have identical ballistics out of a larger, more complicated revolver, and that’s if it could even be made to work with the bottlenecked case.

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Eddie M February 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm

After the issues you mentioned -larger, heavier, duplication of effort, etc. Be sure to look for Uncle Sam to find a cheap, low bid manufacturer (Not CA, I love them) and order some and make them mandatory for some poor agency.

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Bill Campbell January 31, 2012 at 9:21 am

I had a Charter 44 cal Bulldog a few years ago. It was a fine tuckaway gun, but not at all pleasant to shoot. At 19 oz the 44′s recoil felt like a 105 howitzer and one that I did not care to fire more than 10 rounds. Was not a “fun day at the range” gun. On the qualification range, always had to kick out the cylnder and stick in a 6th round, I wonder if the 40 cal or 9mm is any better to fire.

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R Krieger January 31, 2012 at 10:10 am

I am not familiar with Charter. how’s the quality on these? Seems along the lines of a Taurus with that price point. I have had horrible luck with my Tauruses in the past and I don’t wanna drop the money again just to have something break.

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sebast975 January 31, 2012 at 11:51 am

Between Charter Arms and the comparably-priced Taurus models, I have known several people with both and Charter Arms wins hands down. Taurus guns are great as long as you don’t use them a lot. I have a Charter Arms .357 Mag Pug Revolver (concealed hammer and ported barrel to help with the recoil). Lightweight, good grip, and pretty accurate (for a revolver). No complaints here.

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Eddie M February 1, 2012 at 12:24 pm

The quality is great. My one customer service call to help fix what I messed up went super easy. If they could just shave a few oz. off of their guns they’d be perfect. BTW – their guns weigh no more than other popular – and more expensive revolvers except for the thousand dollar space-age material guns.

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Shaffer January 31, 2012 at 10:32 am

Okay I like the idea of not having the moon clips but why make it for 40 S&W why not make it a 10mm Auto. That way the shooter can choose what they would like to shoot The 10mm auto or 40 S&W.

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DarrellM5 January 31, 2012 at 10:57 am

I would assume the reason it’s available in .40 S&W (for now) is because it was designed as a backup gun for law enforcement officers. Not many of them carry a primary weapon in 10mm.

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DarrellM5 January 31, 2012 at 10:58 am

Also, since both .40 and 10mm headspace off the case mouth, a separate cylinder would be required.

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Shaffer January 31, 2012 at 1:11 pm

A longer cylinder would be required because the 10mm is longer but you should be able to shoot both and even though most law enforcement don’t carry 10mm they would be able to shoot their 40 S&W out of it still the case is not held in place buy the case mouth

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Jack January 31, 2012 at 6:32 pm

But why different cylinder look at a 357mag and a 38spl you can shoot 38′s out of a 357 with no problems a 38spl case is 1.155 (29.3mm) and a 357mag case is 1.29 (33mm) so why not the 10mm
what would the recoil pressure be in 10mm? I think it would have to be ported
just checking myself or would it be because of dia of cases I know there is about .002_.003 difference there between 10mm and 40s&w

Gary January 31, 2012 at 11:00 am

I’ll second that – make it a 10mm!
Fulll moon clips are no problem, in fact they
Act as mini speed loaders.

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Ron Meredith January 31, 2012 at 11:15 am

Have owned, shot and carried Charter Firearms for years. Fine weapon at a good price. Would like to see the new one in .45acp.

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Richard Moss February 1, 2012 at 12:58 am

Amen, Bro. I love Charter Arms and never had a problem with my snubbie.

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George Scott January 31, 2012 at 11:31 am

1/31/12
OK, the “Shot Show” for all the pretty people is over for another year. As usual lots of good food, drink, and the usual empty promises, and most important pretending the small dealer doesn’t exist. Since 2008 we have all heard about the bull dogs in rimless cases. OK now you have a .40 out where in the hell is the 9/mm. I have customers getting all excited still about the 9/mm. Any word?? der Jagerhof

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Administrator January 31, 2012 at 11:41 am

Pretty? I think you may be thinking of the AVN show, not SHOT.

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John Molenda January 31, 2012 at 11:54 am

how about spending some time with the bull dog in 44. special . A great cartridge and a good gun . I would really like to see a little better fitting bull dog in a high polished blue ! With a nice smooth action and some nice looking wood grips . you can’t beat fixed sights , 3″ bbl. ,44. special caliber in a light weight frame . Please make one with a little more attention to the finish .

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Peegee January 31, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Waiting for the hammerless (and, let’s hope, drop-tested) version: Too paranoid from experience to wish for s/d action and snagging hazards.

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Frank January 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm

A 10mm version would be much preferred over the .40S&W. If S&W can make a DA revolver, the model 610, which shoots both .40S&W and 10mm from the same cylinder then obviously it can be done.

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DarrellM5 January 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

The S&W 610 can shoot both because it’s using moon clips instead of headspacing off the case mouth. That would defeat the purpose of this pistol; to be able to thumb in rounds from your primary pistol’s magazines in an emergency.

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Michael January 31, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Put me down for two, one in stainless 9mm and one in 45acp!

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Bill January 31, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Well, it seems there is just no pleasing some people. The whole idea behind the PitBull was as a LEO backup gun. Get over the fact that it is not made it 10mm. You want a 10mm get a Smith. If it were even possible to put the 10mm is such a small frame revolver, it would not be pleasant in any way to shoot. But that is a moot point, because it is not possible to have this particular revolver chambered in 10mm. Also get over the fact that it does not use Moon Clips, or Half Moon Clips. That was the whole point behind this revolver, that it would not require them. If you want one to use the clips again, buy a Smith, or a Taurus. Some people will grip because their ice cream is cold!
I got my PitBull right away and it is a great gun. I shoot it, carry it for backup and basicially abuse it with hard use. It just comes back for more. Thanks to Charter Arms for such a great gun. I will patiently await the 9mm version, and then hopefully down the line we will see a .45 ACP (will be based on the BullDog frame). Keep up the good work.

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Vishnu January 31, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Bill, thanks for that comment. As I was reading the several comments about moon clips I considered saying much the same thing. My first reactions were, “Why would you want this gun unless as a backup for your autopistol?” and “Do you really want to carry both extra magazines and loaded moon clips?” Then I realized that some folks just like to have another gun, not necessarily as a backup. Also, part of the Pitbull’s appeal is that it is a bit smaller than a comparable .38/.357, something that may be important to someone for concealed carry (particularly if then produce a hammerless version). I imagine that in due time someone will produce a speedloader for the Pitbull, so you can use it as your standalone carry gun if you choose.

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Bill Campbell January 31, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I’d like to see the Bull in 9mm, but like the 38sp, I have always stayed clear of them as they don’t have the knock-down power one needs in a touchy situation. The same reason we adopted the M-1911 45 auto over the Luger…one shot with the 45, and you don’t need another. With a 9mm, like the once standard police 38, may very well require 3-4 shots to put your assailent down. OK, argue it down, but you can’t always get a between the eyes shot…I really liked my Charter 44 Bulldog, but it was pretty rough on the shooting hand. Lots of chat about the 10m, but I really don’t see the advantage over 40 cal.

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Vishnu January 31, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Good comment, Bill…but a lot depends on the bullet. You are correct about “knock-down power” if (as some LEOs are) you are restricted as to bullet construction. For the citizen CCW, there are more options and 9mm/.38 can be a more than adequately lethal load.

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fudo January 31, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I have a Southpaw .38, and a .44 Bulldog. I Would love a Bulldog in .45ACP, And Bulldogs in Southpaw versions, because I like to carry guns in pairs.
I would like a southpaw .22/.22Mag Pathfinder with a 3″ bbl.
I find comments about the recoil of the .44 Bulldog being harsh, strange. I find the recoil of the .38 sharper and louder than the.44 SPL, which seems like a slow push, and the sound lower in pitch, which I find less unpleasant than the .38.
Charter Arms, keep up the good work.

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LouisianaMan January 31, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Glad to see Charter Arms helping out us shooters with some new ideas, technology and inventive solutions to real problems.
Guys, the problem Charter is addressing is one that will help out many people, and please hold your fire just because it doesn’t solve it the way you would have, or solve the specific problem you perceive. Bill–thanks for your words of wisdom! Just like the .40 S&W doesn’t satisfy everyone. . .neither does any other caliber, yet a lot of them are popular with lots of folks, and some of us like to try out a lot of them. I’m glad we live in a country where we have more than one choice (think 9mm Makarov. . . ?)
For me, the PitBull solves a major “issue.” Namely, I’m a revolver guy who likes compact revolvers with large bores but w/o howitzer recoil. The only reason I’ve stayed away from trying the 40 S&W compromise is because I didn’t want an auto. Thanks, Charter! If my new-to-me 357 Pug and 44 Bulldog Pug shoot as well as they feel, I’ll be very interested in considering a PitBull.

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VInce January 31, 2012 at 9:04 pm

I have a Bulldog on it’s way back from the factory having had warranty repair work. It should be here tomorrow. It had a sticky ejector rod and a hammer screw that wanted to walk away. Problems aside, the gun shot fine and the recoil was nowhere near my 40 caliber Glock 23. It felt good in my hand immediately and is super easy to carry. Add some better grips and recoil should not be an issue. Besides my Glock, I have 1911′s, a couple 9mm’s and a 38. The Bulldog, provided the repairs were done correctly, will be my go to gun if things go bump in the night. It’s just a sweet little package. I’m waiting for California to approve the Pitbull so I can get one, too. I’ll post tomorrow night on how their warranty service went. Stay tuned.

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Brian January 31, 2012 at 9:21 pm

“But you do have to get used to using the ejector to get out the empties. If you don’t, the rim recess can “jump” the ejector and hang up the gun.” I understand what this mean, I just can’t believe that no one had brought this flaw up.

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marginalmind January 31, 2012 at 11:14 pm

The .357 cylinder can fire .38′s because of the rim on the case.

If you want a 10mm, make a club, pool your money and pay Charter to develop and produce the revolver specifically for the members of your group. If Charter makes a bunch of them and only sell a few, they loose money. 9mm, .40 and .45 are responsible business decisions that make sense.

The 1911 was chosen over the Luger because of nationalism. The 1911 and the .45 round were considered exclusively “American”. Since we were the new kids on the world block, we knew everything and did everything possible to distance ourselves from anything European. The 9mm is used world wide without any other nation having a problem with it. Its cheap, light, plentiful and puts holes in people.

As for one shot kills….do your research. They are more rare than the albino rhinocerous. In stressfull situations, no one stands still and lots of rounds are fired. If one of those rounds happens to hit a vital area, then the fight is over. If not, the fight continues on until someone runs out of bullets, luck or blood pressure.

Stay safe, shoot straight.

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Eddie M February 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Good answers all the way around. It seems that we always want what we don’t have. The mythical one shot stopper is another magical myth that just doesn’t seem to go away.

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Vishnu February 1, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Another good comment. Nevertheless, I believe that the case for higher lethality with larger, more powerful rounds is valid, with the exception of my previous point about bullet construction. You are right about “one-shot kills”, largely because as you say, “no one stands still.” Indeed, “lots of rounds are fired” but few actually hit anyone, regardless of caliber.

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marginalmind February 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Shot placement and bullet construction seem to be THE key factors. Shot placement, in situations where all parties want to survive, seems to be more luck than skill (skill still a good percentage though). In situations where you have an enemy that doesn’t care whether they live or die, then of course you have to deliver the most energy and damage to the life sustaining parts of the body. Years ago the military and police shooting statistics were for NATO approved “humane” ammunition. That meant ammunition that was not designed to expand. Full metal jacket lead core ammo would deform and you would get a tumble out of it sometimes. For the most part it would go in and come out with a bit of meat on it.
A “slow” .45 with mass was more likely to stay inside whatever it hit. It is designed to be slow. Too fast and it suffers the same fate of bullets designed to go fast. If you factor in a round that is meant to expand then you can speed it up because the expansion and deformity keeps it inside the body delivering all of its energy.
A fast, zippy 9mm would just keep going. I also believed that the 9mm was somehow inferior. Then the modern, self defense bullets came onto the scene. I would have never believed you could get .40 cal energy (bottom range) delivered by a modern 9mm (top of range) for half the cost, reduced recoil, and more magazine capacity.
To make the argument even more complex is the fact that a whole bunch of folks are tired of carrying the “big” guns with the “big” bullets. It seems like everyone has gone crazy for .380′s. People are still buying surplus 9mm Makarov guns.
I suppose that we can conclude that it really doesn’t matter what the other guy in the gunfight is carrying. Nobody wants to get shot with it. It’s up to you to decide how long you are going to hang out and increase the other guys chances of hitting you with the “golden lucky bullet”.
Be good and confortable with whatever you carry. If its a .45, you know you can drop someone with one shot but your capacity is less so you will have to shoot wisely. If its a 9mm you have more chances but it might take more than one hit.
Wow…..sorry about all that.
Stay safe, shoot straight.

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Vishnu February 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Okay…I guess I don’t understand the need for your reply as we basically agree. On the other hand, I do not “know” that I could “drop someone with one shot” with a .45 – or anything else!
While I’m at this, however, I’d like to say that your previous thoughts about why the 1911/.45 were chosen are not entirely accurate. You cite “nationalism” and an aversion to things European, but does the names “Krag-Jorgensen” (rifle) and “Boxer” (primers) ring a bell? The “Not Invented Here” philosophy always figures in, but when we were looking for an autopistol, it’s likely that the evaluating officers primarily drew on their previous experience with the SAA Colt and its .45 cartridge.

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marginalmind February 1, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Sorry if it seemed I was responding to you specifically. Yours was the last one in line.

Maybe the decision for the 1911 was an inside influence?
Maybe someone in the decision making process had friends, family or stock in a certain arms manufacturer that would certainly get the government contract?
Maybe the decision was made to keep the contract within U.S borders therefore more directly controlled?

Maybe a bit too conspiracy theory.

They probably just figured it was hard hitting and thats all that was important. Either way it makes for a great conversation. Thanks

Jaydn Goudie January 31, 2012 at 11:30 pm

How much , in New Zealand dollars for a snub nose .40 revolver , and a box of wolf gold .40 ammunition rounds, postage , package , & handling , &/0r a .38 snubnose revolver with speer gold dot 135gr +p boxed ammo ?

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Bill Campbell February 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

The Luger as well as the old 38 Police is a remarkably accurate target gun, but as stated, I have seen cases where the 38 required 4 and in one case, 5 hits to put a man down. We had the same problem in Korea with the Carbine…it put nice neat holes in Chinese uniforms, but they kept comming. Garands or my tank’s cal 50 had no problem. I took out 2 N. Koreans/Chinese on my tank with single shots from my 1911A1. Combat with the Moros where we used 45 cal for the first time was the turning point for adopting the 1911. Not saying that German officers handled the Luger and P-38 well, but the 9mm with standard issue ball does not have the knock down power.

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Vishnu February 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Bill, again some good points but not entirely accurate. .45 centerfire was the standard Army handgun round for decades before the Phillipine Insurrection, most notably in the Indian wars of the post-Civil War West. When it came time to adopt an autopistol, it’s likely that the evaluating officers drew more on their previous experience with Colt than on our experience in the Phillippines.

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VInce February 1, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Well, I got my Bulldog back from Charter and there’s good news and bad news. The good news is they fixed both problems by replacing the cylinder, ejector rod and hammer. The bad news is they must have gotten the cylinder from the ugly box, because I have never seen such an unfinished part on a gun. It looks like they missed the last two or three steps in terms of finish.An Incredible amount of raw machine marks. Brand new gun now looks like a factory second. I still have to shoot it to make sure all is well. So the price for having a sticky ejector rod fixed was getting a badly machined cylinder. Hopefully it’s just badly machined on the outside. I was really pulling for Charter, too. Only took 16 days, which I’m assuming is really good turnover time, although I would have waited twice that to get a decent looking part. Is shipping a gun UPS ground the norm for this industry, by the way? It was in the system eight days coming back to me. Kind of scary.

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Mark February 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm

The one time I sent a .44 Bulldog back to Charter to get checked out due to the cylinder binding between shots,(bought 2nd hand) they had excellant customer service and did the job correctly and charged a fair price in a timely fashion. In fact, I wish I could say the same for some other companies that I deal with every month.

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Vishnu February 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Marginalmind, no need to apologize. I just thought it curious that you restated what I had just said.
Yeah, “conspiracy theory” is a bit much. I’m sure that several of the things we mentioned had some influence in the pistol trials, but none were definitive. As I said, “Not Invented Here” always figures in, and probably did in the case of the Luger. After all, we were already paying royalties for our (modified Mauser) 1903 rifle. Nevertheless, it appears that they gave the Luger a fair shake. As for the home-grown entries, you can’t discount the Army’s long track record with Colt, but I believe that even a totally non-biased observer like myself (I’m a wheelgun man) would have to agree that Colt’s entry was the best of the bunch.

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robert smith February 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Like Vince’s comment, I also had problems with a Charter with a loose hammer screw and a broken cylinder latch. Only mine was on an original 1970′s era 38 Undercover I bought new at the time. Both problems were fixed, but it shook my confidence in Charter. The internal parts are just built too light. I like the idea that Charter is a gunmaker that still concentrates on revolvers. I like that they make a big-bore 5-shot, 44 spec., 40 S&W or 45ACP – all great. But, they have been making the same design for 40 years. I’d like Charter to put some R&D into a more robust design. The Taurus Polymer Public Defender is a good example. Or, the Smith & Wesson Nightguards, like the 325 and 329. Light weight but much tougher than the Bulldog.

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Barry Brooks February 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Thanks for posting this review Mr. Helinski. You just added to my “gotta have one o those liist” as soon as my dealer can get me onem or I find one on GA. Except for CAS guns & a Taurus 9 shot 22 snubby it’s been a long time since I’ve bought a wheelgun. I was thinking about a 40 s&w but I guess now it’ll be rotary.

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January 30, 2012