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Charter Arms 9mm PitBull Revolvers have always had a special place for me as a firearms enthusiast. They are classic, and their lack of complexity lends to the opinion that they have less malfunctions, and by most accounts that would be correct. But anything mechanical may fail, either by fluke, by misuse or lack of maintenance. I prefer semi auto pistols but variety is the spice of life, and when introducing new shooters to the sport/hobby sometimes simple, is the key to combat apprehension and complexity.
When I purchased my 9mm PitBull it was due to cost of the firearm and cost of the ammo to feed it , and on both accounts it was a 40-50% savings , at $500.00ish for the gun
(Ruger .357=$700-$800.00 and S&W$1000) and ammo that is 30-40 cents around vs 60+cents a round.
I just Wanted a revolver and most of the information online was positive about the PitBull.
Being Canadian can present some challenges to purchasing a firearm (mostly barrel length and availability) when I found a brand new PitBull 9mm 5” barrel on the gun sale forums I made the purchase without ever holding one in my hand (not recommended) when it arrived I was more than happy with the fit and finish , the 5 inch barrel looked out of place compared to all the snubbies you see online in the USA and in the movies, and even seemed long compared to the 4.2inch Canadian compliant barrels on the Rugers I have handled . But I figured more barrel length should only be a benefit to accuracy and absorbing felt recoil .
Nowadays it seems most people understand that there is some issue using rimless semi-auto cartridges in a revolver and vice-versa. Various strategies have been used to allow LEO’s to have a back up gun that uses the same ammo as their service pistol and for the rest of us to use the more cost effective and maybe more readily available ammo. Charter Arms have found a way to retain the rimless ammo with out the use of auxiliary clips and such. They use a spring loaded lip that hold onto the recess at the base of the case. No fuss, no pieces to loose win win.
I have the Stainless Steel version in 9mm ( .40S&W and .45ACP also available) it came with adequate but not comfortable or flattering grips , so I ordered in a set of Pachymar grips, they were slightly bigger and have finger groves , the rubber compound was more supple , better in every way and made the gun look better ($100 well spent)
I am a member at an indoor and outdoor range and have had the opportunity to run several boxes of ammo of all flavours and weights (115g/124g/147g) and never had a misfire , I prefer the slower 124and147g but I shoot whatever is on sale when I go to the gun store. I am not a professional shooter / LEO / military so I have limited experience on what is a good or bad trigger but I find the Pitbull to be relatively smooth but heavy on double action ( which is to be expected) and nice and light on single action , accuracy is mostly on the shooter’s ability and I see no reason to blame the gun or manufacture for my lack of practice , but at reasonable distances 5-10 yards(15-30 feet) I can hit the clay pigeons most of the time , the ones skeet shooters use , albeit I have them as a stationary targets.
The only issue I have with the Gun is extracting spent shells, not always, not even often, but enough to be aggravating, when dumping the empty cases and using the extractor many revolvers sometime the spring loaded clip that retains the rimless cartridge skips over the case and leaves 1 or 2 of the 6 bound up , no biggie it only take a few more strokes on the extractor and maybe a slight rotation of the cylinder to clear them out. (some people have noted more of an issue with this then the slight inconvenience I have had) and I believe that Charter arms have addressed this by reducing capacity to 5 rounds and have improved on the extractor design.
The front site is fixed and oversize , I assume it is to allow for modification for each shooter, the rear site is 2 way adjustable. It is easy to clean and maintain and has given me reason to want more revolvers in my collection to bad the competition is so pricey so I will keep Charter Arms in mind when looking for a .357 or .44 revolver.
- Type: DA/SA revolver
- Caliber: 9x19mm (+P not recommended)
- Finish: Matte
- Frame: Stainless steel glass beaded
- Grip: Black neoprene, combat style
- Barrel: 5 inches, 6 grooves, 1:10 RH twist
- Capacity: 6
- Sights: Fixed Front Adjustable Rear
- Weight: 23 oz. (26 oz. loaded with six 147-grain TMJ cartridges)
- Length: 9.60 inches
- Height: 5 inches
- Width: 1.5 inches