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For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about (slaawour to our Kurdish readers), the self-proclaimed Son of Sam serial killer used a Charter Arms Bulldog .44 to murder his victims. Hence his other nickname: The .44 Caliber Killer.

Terrible crimes. Wicked gun. Simple. Powerful. Reliable. Popular.

During the 70s and 80s, the Bulldog was a best-seller. The company that made it eventually bit the bullet…and then rose from the dead. And went belly-up. And came back.

In its latest incarnation, which may or may not have much to do with the original company, Charter Arms offers a line of value-priced revolvers, only one of which has a non-sub-nosed barrel that gave the Bulldog its perfect proportions: the Charter Target Mag Pug (review to follow). Which has a four-inch nose and chambers .357.

Revolver and dog lovers note: Charter Arms is set to re-introduce the Bulldog Classic. Sam…I mean same caliber as David Berkowitz’s weapon (.44). Same three-inch barrel. Same rosewood grip. Same blued steel. It’s due out at the end of June.

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  1. Would make a decent carry gun for somebody on a budget, and concerned about stopping power, but maybe uncomfortable with the sharp recoil of a .357 Magnum. An unfortunate thing that a gun of these proportions is linked to a sick killer.

    • I’m holding a 2.5 inch barreled stainless .44 Charter Arms Bulldog revolver. (Makes it pretty darned tough to type, I’ll tell you.)

      Curse Dirty Harry. Finding soft point ammo is impossible. Not ALL of us need to penetrate engine blocks.

      Fine pillow gun.

  2. Went to Charter Arms' website…found several listings for .44 special, but all were for 2.5 inch barrel, either blued steel or stainless, either bobbed hammer or not. One listing for a .44 special Target with 4" barrel, shrouded ejector, and adjustable sights…I had one of the original .44's back in the 70's, and their target model isn't the same firearm. No bulldog classic listed in .44 special.

  3. Does anyone else see something very wrong about basically profiting off of the notoriety of Burkowitz and the lives he took to turn a buck? That company should be ashamed.

    • Nothing for the company to be ashamed about. They're simply reintroducing a classic and highly popular revolver. That one of the originals was criminally misused is besides the point.
      I nearly bought one in 1980 and I just might get one this time around. I like the 3" barrel. Should carry easier than my 4" S&W .44. I don't like the oversized, shrouded barrels that they have on their "pug" models – they just don't look right, too bulky.

  4. It’s been 8 months since the June deadline. Any idea when this classic is going to become available?

  5. Yeah, Lissa at Charter told me back in January the gun would be available within weeks. Halfway through June, it still isn’t on the shelves.

  6. i have been dealing with a lot of drug users running through my back ysrd.i have done all i can.talked to the police more than 3 times and nothing……my question is will this gun completly stop a man in his tracks and how long of a distance is most accurate?

      • The .357 magnum and the .45 ACP come the closest. They are ranked #1 and #2 for one shot stops. It all depends on shot placement though. That means practice, practice, practice. The FBI quit using the 9mm because it was almost useless and had become a liability to their agents.

    • You don’t need a gun to stop people from running through your back yard. String some clothes line wire about five feet above the ground. It’s as effective as a 12 ga and you don’t have to stay awake for it to be effective.

  7. I actually saw and handled one at Bill’s Gun Shop & Range in Robbinsdale, MN, last weekend. Looked very interesting.

  8. Pretty f***ing stupid to call this a “Son of Son of Sam Bulldog”. You act like nobody ever owned a Bulldog but that filthy murdering slob. I don’t believe Charter Arms ever mentioned an association with that idiot whatsoever when reissuing this gun.

    • Of course they didn’t – it’s the writer of the article twisting things to snare low IQ fools. Remember when sales of Corona beer fell 60% when Covid was called Corona?

  9. I bought the “new” .44 Bulldog w/ 3″ bbl A couple of months ago off I bet I owned 3-4 over the years. This is a correct version of the old .44 except for the rubber grips. I bought the walnut grips direct from Charter Arms. The pistol shoots just like I remember. I carried a bulldog in the 70’s off and on plain clothes duty. Still a good pistol.

  10. Always wanted one,but now that I reload .45acp,I am looking forward to the Charter Arms version with a 2.2 inch barrel,5 round cylinder,full combat grip,will be a great big bore revolver.The only thing I wish that they would add to the inventory is a DAO model,I have a.38 special Undercover DAO,really like it,like the way it carries in a iwb holster,plus the fact it is hammerless.The .44special round is a good round,but it is too hard to find,and when you do it is high,but the .45acp is a tad better round,just add a Tuff speed strip in the pocket and you have a great ccw.

    • Well I bought a Bulldog got tired of waiting for the .45 to come out , plus got it from my son , who needed the money , he has only had it for 6 months , got it for $275.00 , sent it in for a DAO hammer to be installed , bought reloading dies , brass and 240 grain swc bullets for it , plan on using Hodgdon HS-6 loads in it , will use my CA Undercover as a New York backup . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  11. I still have the 3″ Bulldog that I bought new in the ’70’s. I bought it to carry in a pancake during my solo fishing trips into the wilderness. In order not to excite the game wardens, I kept the 1st 2 cylinders loaded with #8 shot capsules.

    I was told back then was that it was developed for the Sky Marshalls’ use inside planes, under the premise that the heavy, slow bullet would not exit a body and pierce the plane’s skin. What BS – that bullet would go through 12 guage aluminum like crap through a goose.

    The little gun has had literally thousands of rounds through it; I can shake it and things rattle inside. Did a trigger job and the accuracy was/is phenomenal. Back then I could place 3 of 5 shots on the paper at 100 yards, even with the fixed sights. Shot it so much everything became instinctive, never even conscious of aiming.

    So, today, it rests in the night stand. Last week, I loaded some ammo for it, as I have not fired it in over 20 years ! Wonder if I still have the touch ?

    • By ‘on the paper’, I assume you mean the paper on a billboard. Anybody can place 3 of 5 shots on the paper at 100 yards in a comment section. Maybe you’d better rethink that and get back to us.

  12. I finally was able to buy one of these Classics a couple of months ago. The blue finish is very good, as is the polishing. Impressive. Gun came with those rubberish finger groove grips, not the original style wood. Cylinder pre timed correctly, and the the barrel was screwed in straight (unlike most of the new production S&W revolvers I’ve seen lately). Revolver is obviously sighted in for the tradition 246 grain bullet, as modern 200 grain loads shoot 4-6″ low at 25 yards. The front sight can be judiciously filed down by a knowledgeable armorer or gunsmith to zero the the lighter bullets. Recoil with factory loads is moderate with the rubberish grips. I tried a set of Undercover small wood grips and the gun is painful to shoot with them. Accuracy with Federal 200 LHP (790 fps) and hand load .44 Russian with 200 GDHP (805 fps) are 4″ offhand at 15 yards. 200 grain lead hand loads at 725 fps shoot into 2.5″ at that distance.

  13. I still carry my Charter Arms BULLDOG .44 SPL 3″ manufactured in Stratford, Connecticut and purchased NIB in 1979. It was the perfect personal protection weapon back then and is today for CCW mode, especially with the more modern commercial loads that are available these days. Back in 1979 the 246 gr. lead solid was about the only round available off the shelf. My choice of ammo is Georgia Arms .44 SPL 200 gr. Gold Dot HP at 850 fps. The optional Charter Arms labeled 400 Series holster that was available back then was OK but these days I use the excellent Bianchi # 5BHL. Keep your loads under 950 fps and this revolver will last a long time.


  14. I am a long time Charter Arms shooter and have owned six different products from .22 lr auto pistols, .32 Magnum revolvers, .357 Magnum revolvers and .44 Special revolvers. I have one of their 1991 Stratford Connecticut 3″ barreled, stainless steel construction Bulldogs. I have had it for years and trust my life to it. On December 25, 2005 I was working as a Security Officer. At about 12:00 midnight, a man arrived on my site, pulling a machete. I drew my Bulldog from my shoulder holster, and held him for the County Sheriff. I went home after my shift.

    I still have the Bulldog and am buying Charter Arms’ new Pitbull in .45 ACP. Obviously I have faith in their products.

  15. I have a 2017 C.A. Bulldog SS. 2.5 BBL, I’ve had ii about it 3 years and you can’t beat it for the money, power, weight it has an excellent trigger right out of the box and now days there’s a lot of different ammo available for the Bulldog. I have a new S&W # 69 2.5″ BBL and it will chamber .44 mag it’s a very nice gun but I still carry my Bulldog the most, The magnum round is too much for self defense and the S&W is considerately heavier and twice as expensive, love them both but if I had to choose just one I’d have to keep my Charter Arms Bulldog. Oh and I forgot to mention the Bulldog is considerably lighter than the Smith and that makes it a lot more usable and a lot more carriable retired law enforcement officer from Jacksonville Florida

    • What does I’ve had ii about it 3 years mean? Also: why do you say considerately in one place and considerably in another?

  16. How much did a pistol cost then 15$. Crazy that inflation never affects killing. Sponsorship is key in the whole guns and ammo world. What is the point if you aren’t on the bubble? Try to work out a deal on smart bullets with Benelli. Pulse fazer mind control like ratchet and clink.

  17. I just saw a documentary on Son of Sam on tv and it claimed that the cops found shell casings at some of the scenes. How is that possible with this particular model?

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