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