Another New Toy

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Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2007
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Since my Fender guitar amplifier sold for more than I had expected on eBay, I'm buying new toys.

I've always wanted a Charter Arms Bulldog, 44 Special revolver.
This morning I bought one.


I know we have some members who don't like guns, and for good reasons.
Guns don't hurt people, people hurt people.

Machines tools can be dangerous to an unskilled operator.
If they are not under your immediate control, they should be locked out!

Guns are even more dangerous in the wrong hands.
You need to lock them out with a good quality trigger lock.


I have 12 of those trigger locks that are all keyed the same and there are only 2 keys that can open them.
Every firearm in my house has one of those trigger locks on it.
One key is in my pocket with my car keys and the other is locked up in the fireproof strong box with the
deed to my property and other important papers.

A really determined person could probably break those trigger locks off, but the force required to do that
would most likely damage the guns to the point of being inoperative.

If they got that far,the ammunition for most of my guns is all locked up in another fireproof strong box.
Some ammo is more readily accessible.

(This is western Pennsylvania.
There is a reason for the very low violent crime rate here.
"It's no fun when they'll shoot back!" ;))

The sound if the only problem with this handgun.
Sure it comes up a little when you pull the trigger, but the recoil isn't uncomfortable
or uncontrollable.

It's just a little LOUD!

Very first shots:


My cousin is a tad bigger than me.
His arms don't jump quite as much, but his ears suffer the same.


Note to self: Bring the shooting ear muffs next time!


Nice - I once restored a double barrel Derringer gamblers pistol - you can only get a thumb and two fingers around the butt - and it uses magnum 45 cartidges - you're lucky if you can hold on to it - damn near as dangerous to the shooter as the target.

Accuracy = nil - I suspect you were meant to actually press it against the person and shoot - talk about a close quarter weapon - nuts.

This is interesting... I am sure that a few members will know this previously, don't trust in normal key locks, and something fun about is that the cheapest ones are more secure against this. with a little practice you can open them in seconds.
Hi Rick, nice handgun. One of my favorites to take out of the safe is a S&W model 24 in 44 special. I'm not a large fellow and I really don't enjoy the larger magnums. I once had a 2 power scope come off a S&W 500 and hit me in the head leaving a small gash. The 3 scope mnt screws sheared from recoil and the scope came at me with a vengeance. I do really enjoy the 44 special though, in a 6" barrel the recoil is manageable and the accuracy is awesome. I'm sure you will enjoy yours as much as I do mine.

I do like your push for safety, safety is first in everything we do, especially firearms. I recently helped a young man with his first handgun, a 1911 45 auto. I explained to him the importance of safety and to never hand a firearm to anyone without it being locked open unable to fire and unloaded. A couple of weeks later he relayed to me that he was at home one day when his brothers new father-in-law came by to visit. The young man had just cleaned his handgun and it was sitting on the table in it's case when the father-in-law arrived. The older gentleman, who we found out later was a career service man in the army asked to see his gun. Daniel opened the case, took out the handgun and racked the slide to the rear and locked it open.
He then handed it to the older gentleman who had a big grin on his face. He made a very good impression on the older gentleman that day and the guy told him such. My young friend was very proud of himself that day and he won't soon forget it. We have had many discussions on the responsibilities of owning a gun and the need to have these responsibilities.

Keep em in the black, Dave

Nice! I like it,

I don't get get to shoot nearly as often as I would like to.


Yes Rick, bring those earmuffs next time. It only takes once or twice for that level of sound to cause tinnitus and you don't want that. DAMHIK.

Nice looking gun though.
Troutsqueezer said:
Yes Rick, bring those earmuffs next time. It only takes once or twice for that level of sound to cause tinnitus and you don't want that. DAMHIK.

Oh, I don't know..........sometimes it's preferable to being nagged. ::)

Best Regards
People with digital programmable hearing aids know that they have what we call a "Marital" program. Ask me how I know.
The wife and I went to a big flea market today.
I was hoping to find a decent reloading press for my new 44 Special pistol.
No such luck, so we hopped on Interstate 80 and drove to Grice Gun shop in Clearfield Pa to see what they had.

I found a complete reloading kit for $105.
O-Press - Powder Scale - Case Trimmer - Primer Pocket Tool - Adjustable Powder Measure - Priming Attachments
Case Lube - Chamfer Tool - Powder Funnel


The die set was another $29.


Yes, they say 44 Magnum. The 44 Magnum is .125" longer than the 44 Special and the load is hotter.
You certainly can't use the load data the comes with that die set, but they will work fine.

I've never owned an adjustable powder measure.


It will be interesting to see how repeatable the charges that come out of it are.

The Safety Primer that came with the kit probably won't be used at all.


Lee still makes shell holders for my 30 year old Auto Primer tool. Size 11 for a 44 cartridge.


That tool gives you a finger tip FEEL for when the primer is properly seated.

AND, I cleaned my hobby shop work table off for the first time in 7 years!


rake60 said:
It's just a little LOUD!

Noise is good! Even if you miss, the perp will still dirty his diaper while he makes a new doorway for you!

Good one, Rick. Beats my little J-frame Smith & Wesson :)
It will be interesting to see how repeatable the charges that come out of it are.

Make the old V for victory sign with your index fingers and put them over and under the lever of the power drop, as close as possible to the pivot. Use a sharp wrist motion to hammer both the up and down stop positions, then learn to use the same amount of force each time. For most powders, it will be so repeatable you wont even bother with the scale.
The trick is, the shock on the upstroke makes the little grains fall into place and not jam up. If you give it the same tap every time it will drop consistent. The downstroke tap aligns all the grains to fall back into the hole when it comes around again.
Ball and short grain powders work just fine. Long grain powders you will feel a guillotine effect, and at least with the huge chamber of my rcbs, it wont necessarily cut the same amount of grains, so I wouldn't recommend using long grain powders if your looking for the utmost of accuracy.
You guys have all the luck, being in Auz we can't get that enjoyment, unless you go through lots of bureaucratic garbage

rake60 said:
It will be interesting to see how repeatable the charges that come out of it are.

They will be - and they won't ! As Lakc mentioned method is part of the repeatability.

I had to build an automatic round filling machine using volumetric displacers and I learned two things :-

1) The mass displacement for a given volume varied with the batch of propellant.

So we had slightly different displacers (slide type) marked "A", "B" "C" etc.

When they make the propellant they "score" the sides of the extruded material to try and replicate burning speeds from bach to batch - as well as the cut length, diameter etc. But because of this (to get identical gram for gram burn rates) they introduce differences in volumetric g/cc results.

2) The mass was repeatable (allowing for 1 - above) 9 out of 10 times - about 1 in 10 coming up short (sometimes remarkably short) - that's a problem and forced me to introduce a mass verification with each "shot" bad loads were "dumped" and returned to the hopper.

A final caveat be very careful if you load handgun AND rifle rounds, the burning rates are radically different - load a rifle round with handgun propellant and you will get a banana peel barrel (I don't care that the Mythbusters say this isn't possible I've seen it twice - same cause both times).

Actually had some time to reload a few rounds for my .44 Special today.


Factory round on the left costs $0.80
Reloaded round on the right costs $0.28

The reload is the same Hornady 180 grain JHP bullet over 9 grains of Alliant Unique powder with
a CCI #300 large pistol primer.

They look the same.
We are going to go do some shooting later tonight.
If they are calling me "Lefty" tomorrow, you'll know that had I misjudged the recipe.

I do still have a right hand, but the 9 grains of Unique was a little hot.

We shot 40 rounds and I reloaded them with 8.5 grains of Unique.

Coming from a 5 shot revolver, 50 would be a perfect score on target.
I ended up with a 37.


It's just like machining.
If you're doing it for a paycheck, you had better be perfect every time.
If it's just for fun, a 37 isn't all that bad! 8)

If that target was coming up behind you in a dark alley....they'd all been a "bulls eyes"... ;D

Nice Shooten Tex!

rake60 said:
If it's just for fun, a 37 isn't all that bad!

Gee, I'd be happy with a 3.7 :D

Best Regards