The Charter Arms/Charter 2000/Charco company and their .38 snubs have had a tortured past. The company has often been perceived as producing revolvers whose quality control fluctuates from workmanlike to well below average. This is generally an unfair tag as most of the poor guns were produced during the short-live “Charco” production years. While never a workhorse like the Ruger SP101, the Charter Arms guns do fit a needed niche. When bought used they offer an adequate value at a below average price and will arm a shooter who might otherwise be priced out of the market. Though occasionally demonstrating loose parts and a rough finish, the guns can often be stored in or carried under conditions that an owner might hesitate to subject to a gun with a more polished look. Many Charter Arms guns produce reasonable accuracy at practical distances and a few will occasional out perform their owner’s skill level. They should be checked every few hundred rounds to ensure that the exposed screws and the ejector rod are still tight. Options for improving the base gun are limited and I know gunsmiths who complain that they can do little with them due to the poor quality of the materials involved. Regardless, I have seen some that are decades old and are still keeping up with their higher priced competitors. I admire Charter Arms determination to produce a working revolver at a reasonable price and have often found their staff dedicated and their customer service helpful.

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