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.44SPL. Charter Arms Bulldog SS

This is a discussion on .44SPL. Charter Arms Bulldog SS within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I recently ordered a 2.5" Charter Arms Bulldog in stainless steel at a very reasonable price in comparison to what Ruger is getting for there ...


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Old February 27th, 2017, 11:16 AM   #1
 
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.44SPL. Charter Arms Bulldog SS

I recently ordered a 2.5" Charter Arms Bulldog in stainless steel at a very reasonable price in comparison to what Ruger is getting for there .44Spl in SS.

I've got a much older one with the 3"barrel but lacking the ejector rod shroud, which is very accurate out to 10 yards or so. I'm wondering if anyone here has the new version of the .44SPL Bulldog with the 2.5" barrel, and what is there impression of the that little revolver, good bad or indifferent.



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Old February 27th, 2017, 04:56 PM   #2
 
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BTW I'm not bad mouthing the Ruger .44Spl in the 5 shot snubby, just curious, as to why the difference in cost between the Charter Arms.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 05:05 PM   #3
 
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I got one last year at a great price and was surprised at how accurate it shoots. 44 Spl out of the small frame feels less punishing than 357 magnums out of similar sized revolvers. The Bulldog's aren't fancy, they're just a working man's gun and that's never bothered me. Only issue I had was that I recently had to send mine in to replace the transfer bar. Apparently it broke. Happened while dry firing, and yes I dry fired it a lot. Someone I spoke to over the phone explained to me that these aren't meant to be dry fired much. First I ever heard of that... Besides that they took care of it in a week and the warranty/customer service I experienced was excellent. Oh by the way when you are searching for a holster, I found that leather ones made for the SP101 or Colt Detective Special will fit.
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Old February 27th, 2017, 07:21 PM   #4
 
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I've got an older 'new' model with the 2.5" shrouded rod. Picked it up cheap at a pawnshop and after a thorough cleaning it works great. I rarely carry a revolver for CCW anymore, but if I do feel the urge, the Bulldog works great. My buddy liked it so much he bought a brand new one last summer. They both have fantastic SA pulls even if the DA is a tad heavy. Very tough, reliable revolvers.


However, they are NOT built for sustained high pressure loads. The Ruger is significant sturdier and more 'refined'; hence, the higher price tag (plus demand, plus Ruger makes waaay more different products, etc).

If you're looking to snag one, I would definitely say go for it. A fun little handgun to pack around and shoot...provided you don't hot rod it. I keep mine loaded with 200 gr Gold Dots at ~860-880 fps. Kind of a .44 ACP...
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Old February 28th, 2017, 04:26 AM   #5
 
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This one is mine,i'm going to the range this weekend and put a box of fifty rounds through it.I have already put one box of fifty through it. I'm wating on some new Rosewood Hogue Grips I order to change out the rubber one's.That's the only thing I don't like about the CA Bulldog .44 SPL.the rubber grips. Just my opinion.

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Old February 28th, 2017, 04:47 AM   #6
 
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Never owned one. Looked at them a couple times. I liked what I seen, but something more important to me got in the way. Ive looked at the 9mm . I was a bit skeptical on the ejector system as I thought it looked like it had the potential to fail, but folks say they work good. SO,,,, The 45 acp also interested me. .
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Old February 28th, 2017, 05:30 AM   #7
 
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I had a charter arms bulldog from late 70s to mid 80s. Son Of Sam time. I used it and it was fine I tired of it and sold it but it was solid and relaible.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 06:44 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifithitu View Post
I'm wating on some new Rosewood Hogue Grips I order to change out the rubber one's.That's the only thing I don't like about the CA Bulldog .44 SPL.the rubber grips. Just my opinion.
Gotta disagree with you there. Pachmeyer grips are much more comfortable to shoot with this gun.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 07:42 AM   #9
 
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]ifithitu, I understand that the screw that Charter arms uses to attach the grip is a bit long and protrudes off the side, but that is a simple fix, I do have the Pachmeyer rubber grips on my 3" model (early 70's) as the wood grips it came with were just to punishing, made it a lot more pleasant to shoot. Above are several pictures of the firearm with the Pachmeyer grips. I'm not sure what I did with the wooden grips.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSCN1981.JPG (3.00 MB, 36 views)
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Old March 4th, 2017, 04:55 PM   #10
 
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Picked up my gun this Thursday, and then Friday morning took it out to the range for some testing. Note I painted the front sight bright orange prior to trying any shooting, my old eyes just don't pick up that SS front sight anymore. Also took my chronograph out in order to check the difference in velocity between the 2.5" barrel and the 3". Mostly all shooting was done at 15 yards off hand, with the chronograph 6' in front of the muzzle.

The ammo I took with me was Hornady 165grain Critical Defense, 200grn JSWC, and 240 grain lead SWC. The most accurate loads were the Hornady 165grn. Critical Defense ammo, as they all printed about 3-5" groups. The next most accurate rounds were the 240grn LSWC. The 200grn JSWC were by far the worst, and had the lowest velocity (quite probably because they were reloaded back in 02-12-2000 and left in the garage until discovered Thursday evening).

Getting back to the results, the 165grn. produced 917fps out of the 2.5" and 948fps out of the 3" Bulldog. The notice on the box stated that the muzzle velocity was 900fps, so go figure. The 200grain were the most meager of the loadings with 485fps in 2.5" and 550fps out of the 3". The average velocity using the 240grn. out of the 2.5" was right at 635fps and 669fps out of the 3" Bulldog. Below are photos of my range and the firearms involved.

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Old March 7th, 2017, 08:40 AM   #11
 
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I had the exact gun awhile back. Loved it's lightness, I used 180 gr Hornaday at the time. It shot a little low, but recoil was manageable. Found it less punishing by far than my sp101. The negatives, the fit/finish were a little rough around the edges, the brushed finish was rough in a couple places. Also after firing it a few times it appeared that there were tiny micro cracks near the forcing cone area. However all in all it was a great little revolver. Not muzzle heavy, very light. Personally I feel the 3" is better for 44 spl it's a big round. But it remains my favorite caliber. When it comes to revolvers I just don't care for the hogue/rubber grips, I prefer wood, but if you shoot one a lot, the rubber can definitely be your friend. They make the classic 3" version too, with the wood grips.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 05:40 PM   #12
 
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I've only shot slightly over 100 rounds thru the 2.5" and can honestly say that I've noticed no loosening up of the crane, or tightness of the cylinder and the lock-up, I also did a complete job of cleaning up the forcing cone, and noted nothing to indicate stress cracks around or near it. BTW the 3" Bulldog has had very close to 2000 rounds thru it and it is still very tight. I will agree with you as to the finish of the satin finish, but it is still acceptable as far as a factory firearm goes.

I recently ordered some of Matt's 250 grain semi-wad cutters with a large hollow point, as well as other projectiles I mentioned earlier.
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Old March 12th, 2017, 06:24 PM   #13
 
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They function well, shoot well, and are comfortable to carry. plenty of firepower with .429 semi-wadcutters.
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Old March 13th, 2017, 06:41 AM   #14
 
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Thanks for,posting the chrono velocities. I carry the Glod Dot 200 grain hollowpoint load, but may have to rethink that after seeing your numbers. Not sure of the Gold Dot velocity, have to check.

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Old March 17th, 2017, 01:18 PM   #15
 
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I had one of the stainless ones in 2.5" and sold it way back but recently got the 3" blued classic and love it. Haven't shot it yet but I always did well with .44 special love that round. The Bulldog is a great gun, I use it for a nightstand/home defense gun.
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