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What are the differences between the "Stratford" era Charter Arms "Undercover" 38 revolver and the Charter Arms "Off Duty" 38 revolver? I have seen guns with both names listed on Gun Broker and they look identical to one another. I have an "old school" Off Duty 22 and I am looking for a 38.

Thanks!
 

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Charter Arms has gone into bankruptcy and been resurrected several times over the last 3 decades and that is probably a large reason for the change in names. Too, Charter Arms is merely an importer who buys guns by contract from often different companies making a gun that appears the same externally potentially have a very different internal look.
If you are looking for a gun to use for personal protection, I would look for something else. At best Charter Arms imported a lower quality gun and many were worse. One needs to look very closely and be very knowledgeable on the various manufacturers and manufacture dates as well as a decent familiarity of reading the gun itself to have the best chance of separating the wheat from the chaff in this "brand." Even then there is no guarantee as the parts quality can be up for grabs. For only a little more money in most cases, one can frequently find a similar S&W in good operating condition on the used racks.
 

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I have a .22 Charter Arms Pathfinder and did own a .44Spl. Bulldog, both offerings from the original company. Both had a tendency to shoot loose the little screw on the breach face and result in balky opening of the cylinder. They were serviceable little things for casual plinking but not for serious work.
 

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I love the .44Spl with good handloads. I had the Bulldog for several years, using it as a knock-around holster gun when rambling in the woods and doing chores around the cabin. It's light weight was nice for carrying, but it jumped around a lot with moderately loaded 240 grain semi-wadcutter ammo. I loaded some .44Spl shot-shells that was good medicine for the pit-vipers around here.

I'm trying to get my hands on a S&W Model 396 Night Guard to see if I like the way it feels enough to pay the steep price.
 
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