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Thread: Calling Revolver Experts

  1. #1
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    Calling Revolver Experts

    A good friend of mine and I where talking about handguns when we started talking about revolvers. I said that I was looking for one down the road for the wife or for myself. He had told me he bought a revolver for his late wife that he said I could buy if I was interested. He said it had seen no more than 15 rounds and was in great condition. It is a Charter Arms 5 shot .38 Special with a 3-inch barrel. I asked him how much and he said make him an offer that he could not say no too. I have no experience in revolvers, what would be a good price to offer him without sounding like I trying to use our friendship with a low-ball price. He has allowed me to take it home and to take it to the range to shoot if I wanted to and to let him know.





    Last edited by zack991; 05-13-2011 at 07:30 PM.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
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    I don't wanta tell ya how to run your life, but you might need a new friend. First he tells you may purchase his revolver if you like, then tells you to make him an offer!?!

    "Hey, Mack, you wanta sell or not? If you do, name a price. We'll talk from there."


    Separately, its my understanding Charter Arms has gone through periods of poor quality. It might be smart to hit gun forums, as compared to a gun rights forum, and find out if this is maybe a gun you wouldn't want at any price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    I don't wanta tell ya how to run your life, but you might need a new friend. First he tells you may purchase his revolver if you like, then tells you to make him an offer!?!

    "Hey, Mack, you wanta sell or not? If you do, name a price. We'll talk from there."


    Separately, its my understanding Charter Arms has gone through periods of poor quality. It might be smart to hit gun forums, as compared to a gun rights forum, and find out if this is maybe a gun you wouldn't want at any price.
    Thanks keep that in mind, well his wife just passed away from cancer and he in his late seventys trying to pay down medical debit. Hes having a hard time adjusting since she has passed. I am still doing a lot of other research on the model and figured I stop by here and see is anyone had experience with this type of revolver.
    Last edited by zack991; 05-13-2011 at 07:57 PM.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    Marine General James Mattis,

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    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    Thanks keep that in mind
    You're welcome. I think the key will be when it was made.

    Charter Arms revolvers aren't pretty. They're not top grade. Quality never has been spectacular. They've never been guns that you could shoot thousands of rounds without trouble. But, its my understanding the current production does its job at a very reasonable price. This is all "word-on-the-street" (aka rumor), so don't take it too literally.

    On the other hand, that photo gun looks old enough to maybe be from days before CA junk issues.

    I can say that 3" revolvers are extremely popular for CC. Just try prying a 3" S&W Model 66 K-frame out of its owner's hands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    You're welcome. I think the key will be when it was made.

    Charter Arms revolvers aren't pretty. They're not top grade. Quality never has been spectacular. They've never been guns that you could shoot thousands of rounds without trouble. But, its my understanding the current production does its job at a very reasonable price. This is all "word-on-the-street" (aka rumor), so don't take it too literally.

    On the other hand, that photo gun looks old enough to maybe be from days before CA junk issues.

    I can say that 3" revolvers are extremely popular for CC. Just try prying a 3" S&W Model 66 K-frame out of its owner's hands.
    From some snooping around the 1383 models where built in the middle 1970's, most of the technical sites say its a good pistol and its not a +p rate revolver. There saying as long as they are in good shape and have been taken care of they are quite accurate. They run 275-310 online for the same model as this one.
    Last edited by zack991; 05-13-2011 at 07:56 PM.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    Marine General James Mattis,

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    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    From some snooping around the 1383 models where built in the middle 1970's, most of the technical sites say its a good pistol and its not a +p rate revolver. There saying as long as they are in good shape and have been taken care of they are quite accurate. They run 275-310 online for the same model as this one.
    Sounds good so far.

    There are websites that will tell you how to inspect a revolver for wear--thinkgs like "end shake", "timing", and "cylinder gap." A lesser quality revolver might even come from the factory with questionable end shake, timing, cylinder gap, etc., even if it has a low round count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    I can say that 3" revolvers are extremely popular for CC. Just try prying a 3" S&W Model 66 K-frame out of its owner's hands.
    Have two of them; one for the wife and one for me. You'll get them when you pry them from our cold, dead fingers!

    Back to the OP: I used to carry a Charter Arms Undercover as a backup gun when I was a police officer, and I liked it. The trigger was a little rough and I don't think I'd put a lot of hot loads through it, but it did the job and was accurate enough for its purpose. It wasn't pretty but it was solid enough. However, that was back in the early 80s and like others, I have that there was a period some years ago when the Charter products had some reliability problems.

    I would suggest that you find out what you can about known problems (if any) at the time this gun was built. If you're satisfied with what you find out, then go on Gunbroker or elsewhere and find out about what these are going for. Alternatively, ask him if you can take it to a gunsmith for function check and appraisal. It would cost you a few bucks but it would be money well spent if you're thinking about using this for self-defense.

    The form-factor of a 3" square-butt Undercover is certainly good for self-defense. It's easy to carry and has enough power to get the job done.

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    Checking gunbroker it seems to be worth somewhere in the ballpark of $200-350.

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    I bought it off of him for 179 the other day, I have not found anything wrong with the weapon. Plan to take it to the range this week if the time permits.
    Last edited by zack991; 05-16-2011 at 07:12 PM.
    -I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes: If you screw with me, I'll kill you all.
    -Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.
    Marine General James Mattis,

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