Gun Report

Charter Arms Bulldog No. 14420 44 Special, $414

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With no embellishments, and none needed, the Charter Arms Bulldog was our pick over the Taurus. We liked its tight lockup, slim grip that was much smaller than the Taurus grip, the flat-black finish, and its performance. We'd like even smaller grips for concealment, but fatter ones for heavy loads.

Charter Arms Bulldog No. 14420 44 Special, $414

Gun Details

Model Name
Model Number
Home Defense
Concealed Carry
Caliber Plus Cartridge
Weight Unloaded
Overall Length
Barrel Length
Sight Radius
Overall Height
Front Strap Height
Back Strap Height
Maximum Width
Grip Thickness Max
Grip Circumference Max
Frame Material
Barrel Material
Grip Material
Trigger Pull Single
Trigger Pull Double
Trigger Span Single
Trigger Span Double

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The Charter Bulldog with a set of original wood grips we bought on eBay gives a small profile that's ideal for concealment or easiest pocketing. There's a version of the Bulldog without the hammer spur that makes this comparison even closer. The 2.5-inch barrel on the Charter makes it a bit bigger than the 38 Airweight, and it does weigh a bit more, particularly with heavy bullets, but it's our first choice for a backup gun. Downside: Recoil with those wood grips and our heaviest handload was horrendous.
The Charter's hammer had only crosswise serrations, but we found them to be entirely adequate. The Bulldog was as easy to cock as the Taurus, our test evaluators said.

Read Gun Tests Rating and Recommendation