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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I decided I need to add a small lightweight big-bore revolver to my carry rotation. I don't want to spend more than 500 bucks. I wanted a .45ACP...I thought that would be perfect for me. I have invested a lot in that cartridge.

I ran across a thread not long ago about a .45 ACP Bulldog... i kinda fell in love with the idea, but learned it is not been made yet. so i looked elsewhere and i have exhausted my search for a .45 ACP small, lightweight, five shot revolver.

I also have a lot of .44 Mag weapons...even though I don't shoot them as much. I am not ultra recoil sensitive, but I don't want a ultra lightweight Mag.

So I started to look at a .44 Bulldog... I have handled them and very happy for what it appeared to be... I have read some negative about the CA, but I read pros and cons on everything.

At a LGS I found a Bulldog and almost pulled the trigger, but then next to it was a Taurus "Ultra light" five shot .44 special it was 375 bucks new. The shop owner was telling me it was "better" than the Bulldog. We compared them side by side. What do you guys think? Bulldog - Taurus - or Other?

The Bulldog seemed to be thinner but barrel is longer. The Taurus has a better grip and does "look" as if it is tougher...not sure why I have that first impression?

What are your thoughts...

Last notes

Buying American is better but doesn't trump everything.

I don't want a .357, so don't go there...please

I do want an exposed hammer.
 

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The thing with Charter, or Taurus is quality control (or lack thereof). If you get a good one, and there are some of both, it's as good as any. If you get a poorly built one it'll be a total P.O.S. I'd try to handle, dry fire as many examples as possible, then buy the individual piece that seems best built overall.

Bob
 

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I have not handled a Charter, but do have a couple Taurus revolvers. With my specimens, I would say quality is on par with the price. So I enjoy them for what they are. In the end, you usually get what you pay for....unless you're buying into a new fad, then you'll pay more than value.
 

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I agree with Arkie.

With that said. You should look around and see if you can find a used S&W model 696 or 624. These are .44 special revolvers that should work well for you. You do not see them everyday. But they are out there and can often be found in your price range.
 

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With that said. You should look around and see if you can find a used S&W model 696 or 624. These are .44 special revolvers that should work well for you. You do not see them everyday. But they are out there and can often be found in your price range.

Coming from a man who owns both a CA Bulldog in .44 Spcl. and a S&W 696 "no dash" the CA is far better to carry. The 696 is too damn big. The downside is the CA design which is not built for reliability nor endurance. :(
 

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Yes you are correct.

Coming from a man who owns both a CA Bulldog in .44 Spcl. and a S&W 696 "no dash" the CA is far better to carry. The 696 is too damn big. The downside is the CA design which is not built for reliability nor endurance. :(
The 696 is a little on the heavy side. Not having held one in some time. This did in fact slip my mind.
 

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I can only come in sort of sideways here. I have an original company CA Bulldog. Three inch barrel, stainless, with pocket hammer. So I can't speak for the new ones. It's been a good gun for the most part. After 50-100 round on the range I need to tighten up all the screws. Some loads are snappy and hurt my wrists. Fortunately, the Blazer aluminum ammo with the 200 grain Gold Dot (the flying ashtray) is comfortable, accurate, and has a reputation for being a good SD round. It's also very hard to find these days and when you do it's expensive.

The only downside is that the gun developed an occasional habit of catching while cycling it in DA mode. I can't say it's ever happened in live fire, but in dry fire it will catch part way through the cycle. If you let off pressure a tiny bit then press you you can cycle through fully. I also noticed it does it more if using it left handed in dry fire. Like I said, I've never had it happen in live fire. But for this reason it sits in the kitchen drawer as a fall back, in the kitchen and everything else in the house has an exterior door between me and the other guns, BUG.

I have heard of that same issue developing with other Bulldogs after a lot of cycles of use.

I did have a recent made CA Target Pathfinder .22LR that was quite accurate and I had not problems with. The only real issue that caused me to get rid of it was that like a few Ruger single actions I've had, to be on target the rear sight hand to be cranked way over to one side. Personally, that annoys me enough I don't keep those guns. Other than that it was a pretty good little gun.

On the Taurus side I once picked up a Tracker in .45 ACP. It was a light, 5 shot, with IIRC 4" ported barrel. It used star clips to hold the ammo and like the old S&W w/moon clips and those fat bullets it was a fast reload. It was very comfortable to shoot, had a nice DA pull on it, and was quite accurate... When it fired. :(

Some research showed that I was not on the only person to have the problem. I'd also dealt the a young lady at the range who was having the same issues with her new Taurus .357 mid frame snubby. In both cases you would work the gun shooting a fast DA and out of 5 shots you might have 3 fire, or 2, or 4. It wasn't consistently only on certain chambers. If you kept pulling the trigger in DA mode the other rounds would fire after a turn or two around. The one thing that was consistent was that you rarely got through a cylinder's full load without at least one failure to fire.

Since I had intended this to be daily work gun for a security gig where all day lightness and 5 rounds of big bullet with a star clip or two of extra rounds would have been just fine it was very frustrating. A real shame because it was a great gun in concept. Light and relatively compact in a service lenght barrel, big bullet, comfortable to shoot, accurate, nice action. None of which matters if the gun won't go bang when you need it too. I feel more confident and comfortable, having built the compensation into my manual of arms memory, using the old, occasionally quirky Bulldog.

I should also point out that I have also owned and shot other Taurus and CA products, but the CA's were all original company products. I've had an Undercover .38 which had not issues. I also have had two Target Bulldogs in .357 Mag. Nice little guns, accurate, easy to shoot in .38 Spc and snappy, but not harsh, in .357 Mag. Both since gone. (I trades a bit). One of them had already seen a fair bit of use before I got it. On that one if you open the cylinder, turn the barrel up, and give it a sharp rap as you would during a fast reload drill the cylinder will actually drop down a little on the ejector rod. The little stop that keeps the cylinder in place when fully open has been sheared. Remember, it's an alloy frame on this one. It doesn't interfere with shooting, but in a fast, defensive reload situation it could cost you. No worries as a woods bumming, beater, easy to pack around gun. I should note that I've also heard of that happening with some of the Scandium framed S&Ws. If you rap the ejector rod to aggressively it can shear the stop and you end up with the same problem. My problem with that is that in a defensive reload situation and especially in the practice sessions where you would actually and repeatedly perform such an action, it is both an accepted and taught revolver loading technique.

The two Taurus (i?) models I have owned several of (Did I mention I trades a bit?) that I have had no issues with and to date would not hesitate to own and trust again, those would be the PT92 and the M85 small frame revolver. All the ones I have had and shot worked fine and shot well. So while I've had issues with other models of Taurus, I don't hate all Taurus. Just the ones that are a great concept that just suck in the final product.

Probably not directly helpful, but hopefully at least something for consideration.
 

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With that said. You should look around and see if you can find a used S&W model 696 or 624. These are .44 special revolvers that should work well for you. You do not see them everyday. But they are out there and can often be found in your price range.
I own a 696 & a 624 and have owned a couple of Charter Bulldogs. The Charters are no where near the quality of the S&Ws, however the Charters are almost as easy to carry as a J frame .38. The others are L & N frames respectively and carry like it. Not that they can't be carried, but they are in a whole other class of carry weapons.
 
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