Charter Arms Pit Bull .40 S&W Rimless Revolver

The Charter Arms Rimless Revolver was originally announced, along with pricing, about two and a half years ago. I never thought the day would arrive when the gun would actually go on sale, but it is finally here.

The Pit Bull .40 S&W Rimless Revolver allows the use of .40 S&W cartridges without the need for moonclips. Richard Johnson had the opportunity to handle the revolver earlier this year and wrote about the rimless system

Ecker explained that the revolver headpsaces off of the case mouth, and that the “plungers” that hold the rimless cartridges float. Working with some dummy rounds, the .40 S&W cartridges dropped right in the cylinder, and ejected just like any other rimmed cartridge. Frankly, it is a neat system.

The Pit Bull is built on the same frame as the Charter Arms .44 Special revolvers. The cylinder holds five rounds. The barrel is 2.3″ long and it weighs 20 ounces. A double-action-only (DOA) hammer option is available on request. The MSRP is $455.

From the press release …

After firing, this unique system allows the shooter easy ejection of spent cartridges for immediate reloading. Charter Arms has taken the difficulty of rimless loading and ejection to the simplicity of the rimmed cartridge in the revolver industry.

Nick Ecker, president of Charter Arms, said, “The Pit Bull is the ideal revolver for law enforcement officers to use as their back up, because they can now carry a revolver that utilizes the same ammo as their sidearm. And for the .40 caliber enthusiast, it gives them the first revolver that shoots their ammo without utilizing moon clips.”

Earlier today I spoke to the PR firm representing Charter Arms. The acronym CARR (Charter Arms Rimless Revolver), which was used in the press releases over the past couple of years, is not longer in use by the company. It is officially called the Pit Bull.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Mechman

    Do want.

  • Erwos

    The 9mm version is going to be my first revolver.

    Now, where the hell is the 9mm version!?

  • JC

    Oh yeah, I remember this from like 2-3 years ago. It looks like a neat concept, but I wonder if it will actually work.

  • carl

    They originally talked about a 9mm and .45acp as well.
    Could you find out if revolvers in these calibers will also be made?

  • If they made a 10mm version would it still be able to fire .40 S&W?

  • Sian

    @ The Brickmuppet

    10mm vs .40S&W is essentially just like .357Mag vs .38spl. Longer case, higher pressures, and interchangeable if chambered for the more powerful round and not in an autoloader.

    *considering the Bond Snake Slayer derringer in 10mm now*

  • Rex

    As soon as a 9mm or .45 hits the shelves, I’ve got one with my name on it. So dear Charter Arms: GIDDYUP!

    (seriously, why release .40 first? Do they hate making money or what?)

  • CW

    Sounds similar to the old Medusa Revolver system of holding rimless cartridges. It would have been nice if it was rated for both 10mm/.49 S&W.

  • Slim934

    Yes, when does the 9mm version get released?

    Also: you used CAAR when you meant CARR in the very last paragraph.

  • Hrachya Hayrapetyan

    The Brickmuppet
    I think 10mm won’t shoot .40S&W , as they say cases are headspaced in case mouth…so .40S&W will drop too deep in 10mm cylinder …just like it would be in pistols.

    • If this is true then how does the smith-wesson 610 fire both the 10mmm and the 40 cal round?

      • Woodroez

        That S&W can do that because it doesn’t headspace on the case mouth, like this Pit Bull. In a roundabout way, that gun headspaces like any old revolver that shoots a rimmed cartridge. It’s just that the rim of the cartridge in that S&W is being held by a moon clip instead of the cylinder proper.

  • Hrachya Hayrapetyan

    Nice ! I like it ! It’ll be better to make also one chambered in .357 SIG … it’ll be headspaced in shoulder and will be even more reliable !!!

  • Zach

    How does this compare in size with a Smith J-Frame?

  • Hopefully it won’t take another 2 1/2 years to release the version I really want (.45 acp). And if they made one that took moon clips that would be even better.

  • Woodroez

    Hrachya is correct; since the cartridge headspaces on the case mouth instead of the rim, this gun made into a 10mm would not also chamber a .40SW correctly.

    That said, Hrachya…I would not hold my breath for a .357 SIG made by Charter Arms.

    As CA President Nick Ecker says in the article, this gun is being marketed first and foremost to law enforcement. I don’t know any numbers or statistics, but it’s my understanding that most agencies use .40SW, so it seems like a good choice if they’re going to pick one. I would like to see one in 9mm as well, though. Since they’re using the Bulldog frame, which can hold 6 .38 special cartridges, hopefully they can and will make a six-shot 9mm.

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    Interesting. Wonder how the extraction system compares to the (patented) system S&W used on their 547 revolvers.

  • Plain and Simple

    9mm please. Thank you. Put me down for a pre-order.

  • Woodroez

    Oh, Zach, this is the Bulldog frame, designed originally for five rounds of .44 special, so it is at least somewhat larger than the J-frame. I have not seen a Bulldog in person, but I assume it is roughly equivalent to a K-frame.

  • Sian

    @Hrachya Hayrapetyan

    You are correct that in an autoloader, .40S&W headspaces on the case mouth. But in a revolver, it works just like .38vs.357, as the rim/groove is held securely by a moon clip. In the case of the Charter, the extractor *might* be proper for .40/10 if they made it to headspace correctly, but it isn’t guaranteed. Currently the only revolver I know of that can shoot 10/40 uses moon clips. (the S&W 610)

  • Doug

    I think it’s good they started with .40s&w. That way the law enforcement market can try it out first, and you know they typically don’t employ tools without knowing they can trust their lives with it. As an LEO I was very interested by this concept, I just need $400 now.

  • Sian
    You are right .. moonclips will let to fire both 10mm and .40 S&W. But this revolver is advertised as not using moonclips ,and headspaced on case mouth (because they are rimless and can’t be headspaced like .38/.357 do), taht’s why I say it won’t shoot both cartridges just like an auto pistol wouldnt. I don’t exactly know if extractor is designed to headspace…if so , then it must be spring loaded to catch the rim cut ???

  • Great option as a back up for those who carry a .40; however, the hammer really needs to go. I’d really like to see them make a 9mm air weight hammerless.

  • Bryan S

    interesting way to keep wheelguns relevant I guess. Kudos to them for trying and thinking.

  • Woodroez, My Bulldog fits in a J-frame holster just fine. The bulldog is only a touch larger than a J-frame, closer to a Colt Detective special.

  • Raoul O’Shaughnessy

    No one at Charter seems to recall the last time they had a “Pit Bull” was their ill-fated 9mm Federal revolver. Remember the 9mm Federal? The rimmed 9mm cartridge that, surprise, would fit into a break open .38 S&W revolver and turn it into a hand grenade. As I recall, the collaboration with Federal and Charter on the project came to a halt when Charter went into one of its semi-regularly scheduled bankruptcy/sale cycles.

  • Woodroez

    Hrachya, you are right. This particular gun headspaces on the case mouth. The reason this gun is interesting is because it was made specifically to not require moon clips. I don’t think it’s cut to even allow the use of moon clips, if you look at the pictures in the article linked in this post. The extractor’s just an extractor in this particular snubby.

    Speaking of that linked article, just gave it another read and noted that they are going to use a .38-sized frame for the 9mm model, whenever it may come out. It will have five round capacity.

    Joe Barrett, There is a DOA version that will be available.

    Mark Horning, I figured it was bigger than that! Wow. How do you like it?

  • Woodroez
    Absolutely agree with you !

  • I couldn’t wait for a CARR 9mm. I bought a Taurus 905 SS. After two trips back to Taurus at no cost to me, I am happy with its performance. Economy of 9mm ammo, 22 oz. wt., and stainless steel were some of the things I wanted.
    After about 250 rounds I have worn out three stellar clips. I learned to be very careful when loading and removing rounds from the clip. They can be easily bent. Obviously a 9mm revolver that does not require clips is a big plus.
    I added Hogue grips and removed the hammer spur to make it more pocket friendly.
    I would like to see Charter Arms produce a 9mm revolver, 5 or 6 shot, all stainless, 2 or 3 inch barrel, full size soft grips, spurless hammer, for under $400.


  • Josh

    Hey all – I am a FFL, and asked Charter about the release of all three (40, 9mm, and 45). As everyone knows, 40 is here. They said the 9mm was later this year (2011) and 45 looked liked right after that (which I assume means early next year.) Hope that helps.

  • DB

    I don’t understand the reason to have a backup revolver in .40 caliber, why not just carry a second semiautomatic so you can use the same magazines? It would be just as concealable.

  • Nix

    I’ve no interest in a 2.3″ barrel high pressure cartridge, but I will buy the 45 acp if they ever build that model dependant on the barrel length.

    Give the 45 a 3″ barrel & I’m in like Flynn.


    I own the 40 and it shoots to point of aim at 25′ with little recoil.I look forward to the 9 and maybe the 45.I presently own 2 S&W .45revolvers but I can make room for one more.I use RIMZ instead of steel moon clips for the .45 Smiths they load and unload real easy. Charter probably
    would make a s—t load of money on a 9mm revolver.