Charter 2000 .44 Bulldog Pug

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Boge Quinn & Jeff Quinn


Most shooters are familiar with the various revolvers as manufactured by the now defunct Charter Arms Company. Charter produced good, basic, no-frills revolvers for many years that were relatively inexpensive yet serviceable handguns. I carried a stainless .38 Undercover for several  years either in my pocket or left boot, and that little five-shot is still around today, mostly serving as a handgun that rides along with my wife as  she goes about doing whatever it is that a wife does when away from the house. 

The original Charter Arms also produced, in addition to the aforementioned .38 Special, revolvers in calibers .22 Long Rifle, .32 Long and Magnum, .357 Magnum, and .44 Special. The .44 Bulldog and Bulldog Pug were well-received  by shooters and are, in some areas, very hard to find on the used market. 

I am happy to report that once again the Charter .44 Special Bulldog is being produced by Charter 2000 of Shelton, CT. It is built on the basic Charter Arms design with a few subtle but important improvements. The first of these is the use of a one-piece barrel, front sight, and ejector assembly. A weak point of the old Charter design used a front sight that was a separate piece attached to the barrel. My old .38 Undercover lost its front sight years ago while shooting, never to be found. The improved design eliminates all possibility of this happening. Some older Charters also used an inner barrel with a barrel shroud. The new .44 Bulldog Pug from Charter 2000 uses a solid barrel which is pinned to the frame; a definite improvement. 

Charter 2000 retained the one-piece frame from previous Charter revolvers, eliminating the sideplate design found on most other small revolvers. This allows Charter 2000 to produce a compact handgun with a steel frame that weighs under 22 ounces in the powerful .44 Special chambering, and only 16 ounces in .38 Special. 

I recently received for testing a new stainless .44 Bulldog Pug from Charter 2000. The gun is equipped with a five-shot cylinder, rubber grips,  and a two-and-one-half inch barrel. The gun came packed in a hard plastic case with a trigger lock. The .44 Pug has a smooth, even bead-blasted texture with no visible flaws or tool marks. The rubber grips are firm without the tacky feeling of some other such grips on the market, yielding a comfortable yet compact hold on the gun. The edges on the gun have been slightly radiused to eliminate any sharpness, and is about as smooth as any production revolver of this type can be. 

The trigger pull of the Bulldog Pug was a very pleasant surprise. Many small revolvers available today have such a rough and heavy trigger pull as  shipped from the factory as to render them all but unserviceable. The trigger pull on this .44 , in both single and double-action modes, is smooth and  crisp, without a hint of roughness. 

The accuracy of this little .44 Special was in no doubt aided by the excellent trigger pull. As can be seen in the photos, this gun is much more  accurate than a revolver of its size and type has a right to be. I was expecting groups to average in the three to four inch range, given the short  barrel and fixed combat sights. The groups fired with this gun were in the one inch range, without variation, at a distance of 21 yards. I initially  hesitated to report such fine accuracy from a big bore belly gun, thinking that I would not be believed, but I report the facts as they are. This  particular .44 can shoot! On the subject of accuracy; the front sight provided on this gun is of sufficient height as to allow for fine-tuning of the point of impact. With my favorite .44 belly gun load, the point of impact was about six inches low at 21 yards. Careful filing of the front sight will  bring the point of impact right where it needs to be. Charter 2000 was very thoughtful in providing a sight with enough height to allow for this, as most modern .44 Special ammunition will shoot low with the popular lighter, faster bullets from a revolver of this type. With heavier, slower bullets, the .44 Pug shot very close to point of aim. 

During testing of the little .44, no failures or problems of any kind were encountered. The gun chambered, fired, and ejected all rounds without a hitch. 

Perhaps the strongest selling point of this gun will be the price. Suggested retail for the stainless .44 Bulldog Pug is only 296 dollars, with the blued version selling for 14 bucks less. This price is current as of this writing in November of 2000. While prices are sure to increase over time, the Bulldog Pug will remain a great value, offering a lot of gun for the money. For a revolver of this type, I highly recommend the stainless. The Pug is at home in a pocket or hip holster where it is exposed to abrasion and sweat. The stainless steel will prove much superior in this environment, and for only a fourteen dollar difference, I do not see any reason not to get the better finish. 

If you haven't looked at a Charter revolver in a few years, check out this new one from Charter 2000. They are much improved over the older guns, with better fit, finish, and manufacturing techniques than ever before. Both Boge and I really liked this .44 Bulldog Pug. I also showed it to several other shooters who tend to drop by when a new test gun is received. All were  impressed by its fit and finish. For a compact big bore revolver for self defense, or just to shove into the rear jeans pocket while walking through  the woods, this gun will be hard to beat. I can think of no better pocket gun to carry in poisonous snake country. 

Charter 2000's full line of handguns and rifles can be seen on the web at: or they can be reached by phone Toll Free at 866-769-4867.

Jeff Quinn

To locate a dealer where you can buy this gun, Click on the DEALER FINDER icon at:

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The .44 Special Bulldog Pug from Charter 2000 comes equipped with a hard plastic carrying case and the obligatory trigger lock.



The Bulldog Pug is a nice looking gun, sporting a matte stainless finish and rubber "finger groove" type grips. Sharp edges are slightly radiused and no tool marks or other cosmetic flaws are visible.



Author liked the handling qualities of the little Charter. The rubber grips supplied with the gun were comfortable and did a very good job of softening the recoil of the .44 Special in such a small package.



Author's bench shooting session was where the Charter 2000 Bulldog Pug really got interesting...



Groups were consistently in the 1" range at 21 yards! This was much better accuracy than the author expected from this type of gun.



The webmaster was also taken with the soft shooting characteristics and surprising accuracy of the Charter 2000 Bulldog Pug. The .44 Special has long been a favorite of both Jeff and Boge.



The short barrel length of the Bulldog Pug mandates a short ejector rod. Nevertheless, the Bulldog Pug chambered, fired, and ejected all rounds (including reloads) without a hitch.



The .44 Special Bulldog Pug from Charter 2000 offers the power of the excellent .44 Special in a reasonably lightweight, handy package. The little five-shooter combines power, excellent handling qualities and surprising accuracy in a small, inexpensive and reliable revolver. The folks at Charter 2000 have gotten this one right!