Mother’s Day is Coming–Chic Lady for your Mom?

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So much pink. And black.

So much pink. And black.

Read More: http://www.charterarms.com/collections/chic-lady

Buy one on GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=chic%20lady

Mother’s day is right around the corner. And, if you have a mother, don’t ignore the holiday. Take it from me. I’ve missed a couple. And some of the mothers I’ve come across expect more than the Hallmark card and the peck on the cheek.

But would your mother like a pink gun? I’m here today to review a seriously pink gun. This isn’t just pink–it is a pink revolver with mirror bright stainless accents and it comes in a pink carrying case. Who would want something so over-the-top girlie?

Grab a cold drink and sit back–it is story time.

The stainless, against the pink and the black, works a bit like jewelry. Some women and men go for that look.

The stainless, against the pink and the black, works a bit like jewelry. Some women and men go for that look.

My last trip to my FFL

A couple of weeks back, I was in the old gun shop picking up some review guns, when a couple walked in. He was mid 30s, and looked like a gun guy–rip-stop nylon cargo pants and hair the same length as his short-cropped beard. She was not much younger, and–if I were to guess by her relative level of over-stimulation–hadn’t spent much time in gun stores. She was bent over all of the display cabinets, oohing at so many of the available options.

They were shopping for a gun for her. It was to be her gun. She would be carrying it. And it had to be a 9mm, because the .380 (according to the man) was simply insufficient. I don’t mind telling you that the only gun I had on me at the time was a .380, and I’m 99% positive I could do more damage with it than this expert could do with anything he was carrying, but I digress. He’d made up her mind–more or less–and the gun had to be a 9mm.

But I saw something I’d never actually seen before, which is this. She was nuts for the pinked guns. It was as if they were magnetic. She moved from one brand to the next, and kept getting all bug-eyed over the pink and purple options.

“What about this one?” She’d ask. He’d grumph and keep moving.

“Or this one? Is this a 9mm?”

“No,” he’d snap back. “That’s a .38!

He was a man on a mission. He was pulling her toward the section filled with GLOCKs. She was going to leave the shop with a GLOCK 43. I could see it unfolding. He walked her past all of the colored frames on all of the other guns and the clerk put a black GLOCK 43 in her hand. And that was that.

Is there a moral to the story? Of course. Allow me to explain. Perhaps the GLOCK 43 was the best choice. I won’t say it was or was not. But I do know this: she did not like the way it looked. And she was very drawn to some of the other guns. If I were to offer this clueless man a bit of relationship advice, I would tell him to listen more. This woman, who has no experience with guns, expresses an interest in a gun. That’s a win. She wants it to be pink? Who cares? The word want is still in the sentence. She will care for, and about something she cares for and about! it isn’t complicated. Buy her a pink gun. Even if it is a gateway to a GLOCK 43, which any number of establishments will paint pink on your behalf, get her something she wants–not what you want her to want.

I’m off my soap box. I just couldn’t stop thinking about this when I opened up this box from Charter Arms. This is the most stereotypical girlie gun I’ve ever seen. Pink and mirror polish. A pink faux alligator carrying case. The only way to get it more over-the-top would be to bedazzle it. And I guarantee that the woman I saw in the gun store would have loved this gun.

Five on the orange dot from 7 yards.

Five on the orange dot from 7 yards.

On to the review

Let’s get to the heart of this. The Chic Lady is modeled on the Charter Arms Undercover Lite (a gun which weighs in at 13 ounces). The frame on this model is aluminum, and the Chic Lady frame is anodized pink. The barrel and hammer and crane are polished stainless. It is a .38 special that functions in single or double-action (though double-action only models are available with enclosed hammers).

If you are not familiar with the Charter Arms revolvers, there are some things they do differently. Because these guns typically sell for less than those made by some other American manufacturers, people assume they’re just cheap knock-offs. There wasn’t anything about this gun that would support that conclusion.

For one, the Chic Lady has a one piece frame.The machining on the gun left no indication that any corners were cut. The fit and finish was well done. Even the pink anodizing on the aluminum was uniform.

Notice how the one-piece frame is milled.

Notice how the one-piece frame is milled.

Cylinder gap.

Cylinder gap.

The barrel is stainless, and has 8 grooves instead of the traditional 6. Charter claims this helps increase velocity and accuracy. Any increase in velocity from a 2 inch barrel would be marginal. The snub-nosed revolver is not known for blistering muzzle velocities. And we’ll get to the accuracy in a moment.

If the transfer bar isn't up, the hammer won't connect with the pin.

If the transfer bar isn’t up, the hammer won’t connect with the pin.

When it is up, the energy is transferred successfully.

When it is up, the energy is transferred successfully.

And another thing that sets Charter Arms apart from much of this industry is their patriotic commitment. The company, which is American owned, makes their guns in America from American made parts.

Made in America.

Made in America.

I like how the barrel protects the w

I like how the barrel protects the ejector rod is protected and snag-proof. Gun-geeks–note the lack of a cylinder stud.

So how does this gun run? Fine. The single action pull on the revolver is consistent and clean. The double action isn’t as smooth as some of the factory triggers coming out of Smith & Wesson, but the 10 pound pull is very easy to stage. I shot the gun in both modes and had no complaints at all.

One thing that I’ll note about the double-action revolver–not just this one, but most of them–is that the reset is substantial. The reset on the Chic Lady here isn’t overly long, but if you are accustomed to the trigger on a well built automatic, it may feel foreign at first. But there’s really impressive pressure present in the reset, and the trigger pushes back. As fast as I ran the gun, I couldn’t get ahead of it. The trigger really is impressive for a gun in this price range.

Working it out in double action.

Working it out in double action.

Recoil is negligible.

Recoil is negligible. The low muzzle rise allows for fast follow-up shots. These two frames are from live shots. If it hadn’t been as windy, you’d see more smoke.

The crane moves freely, and the cylinder revolves without any hitches. The ejector pushes brass free–though, like most five shot revolvers out there–you need to rotate the cylinder around as you eject to keep the brass closest to the gun from hanging up on the frame.

We ran 200 rounds through this gun in under an hour and had no issues with how the gun ran, at all. The only thing that I noticed about this revolver that I’ve not seen with similar guns is an apparent point-of-impact shift between loads that is wider than it should be. One round would hit high at seven yards and the next brand (even with the same weight of bullet) would shift low left. That said, all were in an acceptable position for defensive shooting.

A five shot .38 Special.

A five shot .38 Special.

The ejector pushed out brass perfectly.

The ejector pushed out brass perfectly.

The crane stops on the trigger guard.

The crane stops on the trigger guard.

Here it is, open.

Here it is, open.

Ergonomics

The gun is slick. Not the grip. The grip is larger than most, which is a great option for those with limited hand strength. You can grip this gun and run five rounds through as fast as you can pull the trigger and the gun stays put. But the mirrored stainless parts are really slick. Even the hammer, which is checkered, can get slick when the gun gets dirty. After 200 rounds, I had a fair amount of fouling on my knuckles. The cylinder gap is well within the acceptable tolerances. I never felt the gasses on my hands–even when shooting with a two handed grip. But a good day at the range will start to show on your knuckles.

The rubber grip, even when wet, was easy to hold. This is a big grip. Smaller ones are available.

The rubber grip, even when wet, was easy to hold. This is a big grip. Smaller ones are available.

The hammer, even with the lines cut into it, can get slick--and did when the rain started.

The hammer, even with the lines cut into it, can get slick–and did when the rain started.

The sights are very traditional for this style of gun, and the polished front blade is easy to pick up in the channel on top of the gun.

The whole sight picture.

The whole sight picture.

Front sight. Glare wasn't much of an issue in the rain, but I can see how it would be.

Front sight. Glare wasn’t much of an issue in the rain, but I can see how it would be.

Dirty. Pink shows powder residue.

Dirty. Pink shows powder residue.

Dirty.

Dirty.

 So is this the perfect gun for Mother’s Day?

If the woman in the gun store was your mom, or the mother of your kids, the answer might be yes. Listen to your mother. Does she like traditionally pink and girlie things? This could be perfect. And they make the gun in other colors, too. Pink is only one option in the colored gun rainbow offered by Charter. There are pink guns, and black guns with polished stainless accents, and yellow frames–even an American flag motif.

As for the rest of the questions you would want to ask, make a checklist. Revolvers are great for those just learning their way around handguns. The accuracy is dependable. The ballistics from the available .38 Special loads are solid. The lack of external safeties make some nervous, while others prefer the option; with no external safety, there is one less step between drawing and firing.

In the end, I think this is an ideal package. The case, which I see as a novelty, does have a certain appeal. It is a solid aluminum case, and it does lock shut.

The complete package has an MSRP of $473. Prices, as they are wont to do, vary. The majority of them for sale on GunsAmerica seem to hover around $360.

Read More: http://www.charterarms.com/collections/chic-lady

Buy one on GunsAmerica: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=chic%20lady

Two groups of five. Different ammo. The Hornady shot straight, while the Winchester Train and Defend drifted left.

Two groups of five. Different ammo. The Hornady shot straight, while the Winchester Train and Defend drifted left.

Working fast, I had a hard time bringing the shots down. There are at least 20 rounds in this one group--all shot double action and fast from 7 yards.

Working fast, I had a hard time bringing the shots down. There are at least 20 rounds in this one group–all shot double action and fast from 7 yards.

The trigger is wide, and feels good on the finger.

The trigger is wide, and feels good on the finger.

Even the crown has a mirror polish.

Even the crown has a mirror polish.

Double-action, 10 pounds.

Double-action, 10 pounds.

The single action is a crisp four+.

The single action is a crisp four+.

The hammer, cut for the transfer bar.

The hammer, cut for the transfer bar.

Push in to release the catch.

Push in to release the catch.

Charter Arms has access to one of the few remaining pink alligator farms in the United States.

Charter Arms has access to one of the few remaining pink alligator farms in the United States.

Inside the case, simple egg-crate foam.

Inside the case, simple egg-crate foam.

this is the test target sent with the gun, and it must have been shot by someone half asleep. The gun shoots much better than this.

This is the test target sent with the gun, and it must have been shot by someone half asleep. The gun shoots much better than this.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Mark From Bristol April 26, 2016, 8:18 pm

    I bought one for my mother a few years ago when she was in her late 70’s. She’s 81 now, and pulling the double action trigger back is a little hard for her. Hers belongs to one of my sisters now and is purple instead of pink. As I recall, the pink ones are called “Pink Lady” and the purple ones are called “Chic Lady”? Nice little side arms, 2″ barrel, pretty accurate at 25′ which is about as long as any room in our mothers home, but again, pulling the trigger on it was a bit tough for her, so now she’s got a couple of 2” Ruger LCR .38 Specials around in cookie jars and such, and I have to admit that they pull like melted butter, but not as accurate as the Charter Arms. I went out and bought the same one that’s blued and called an “Undercover Special”. Figured that as a 6’2″ tall and 300 lb guy, the day that I ever need to pull out a concealed carry and its pink or purple, someone will no doubt mean to take it from me and shove it up my…, so blued it is. Nice little firearms.

  • Bobo April 25, 2016, 10:49 am

    My wife had trouble pulling back the slide on auto loaders. The gun she liked the most was my 1974 colt detective special. Too bad. I miss my old colt.

  • Samn April 25, 2016, 7:02 am

    Charter arms also makes a “pink lady” 38sp. My wife and I went through an identical experience 12 months ago – resulting in her walking out of the shop with a pink revolver for Mother’s Day!

    It’s a similar model, without a manipulatable hammer and a smaller pink grip. Of course an automatic with more capabilities is next in line this year.

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