Charter Arms Pitbull 9mm Rimless Revolver

9mm_pitbull_july_2012_photo-tm-tfb

When the long promised and frequently delayed Charter Arms Pitbull Rimless Revolver was finally launched, it was only made available in .40 S&W, to the disappointment of many 9mm shooters. Charter has finally announced that it is now available in 9mm Luger/Parabellum.

Specifications
Caliber 9mm Luger/Parabellum
Capacity 6 rounds
Finish Stainless Steel Glass Beaded
Grip Neoprene
Barrel 2.2″
Overall Length 6.75″
Weight 22 oz.
Other Features Spurred hammer

The MSRP is $465.

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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.


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  • Woodroez

    I didn’t think they’d manage to get six rounds in the thing. Neat. I came pretty close to getting that Classic edition Bulldog but just couldn’t over Charter’s uneven reputation (and the cost of .44 special).

    My understanding is that, as of now, their quality has come to a point where something breaking is not really an issue to fear, but you still may have to put some loctite on the frame’s pins and such to keep them from rattling loose during firing. Just not good enough for me, if that’s accurate.

    • Beaumont

      Points well taken; however, I own a S&W 625 that also has to be Loctited to keep the screws from backing out. That issue isn’t unique to Charter.

  • Ian

    I’m curious if the cylinder is shorter to better account for the automatic cartridge length, thus giving the possibility of lengthening the barrel.

  • West

    Why havent more revolvers been chambered in 9mm?

    • Asdf

      Cause it’s rimless?

      • West

        Got it, thanks.

    • MarcW

      The Korth .357 has a 9×19 mm conversion cylinder.

      • mr_lorenco

        And the FN Barracuda also has a conversion cylinder for 9mm.

    • Whatever

      There are revolvers in 9mm, they go by the name of 38 Special or 357 Magnum.

  • Mr. Fahrenheit

    The only Charter Arms I own is a Pathfinder in .22.

    I did have some issues with the cylinder becoming hard to turn after shooting about 50 rounds. The same kind of issues other manufacturer’s .22 revolvers had. Charter Arms customer service had the gun back to me in under two weeks and functioning flawlessly.

    I’ll be giving this 9mm revolver a try – even if only for the novelty.

  • Patrick

    I had a Charter Arms Undercover for awhile and loved it, this looks like an interesting gun

  • Bryan S.

    As long as it wasnt like the last one I picked up in a store, a lefty .38, with machine swarf and chips in the action.

    • Beaumont

      Any dip in the action to go with those chips? If so, what flavor?

  • Tim

    What in the world is the point of a revolver that shoots rimeless catridges?
    The *whole point* of revolvers is their simplicity & elegant design. No unnecessary moving parts, springs & slides.

    It’s like having a battery-powered candle or an electric “wood stove”. Who needs it?

    • 6677

      There aren’t additional moving parts for it to function as a 9mm…

      • Tim

        Are there not add’l spring-actuated clips in the extractor to hold rimless catridges in place? And if they fail, you could have loose rounds sloshing around in the cylinder, waiting to jam?

      • Komrad

        Probably uses faull/half moon clips.

      • http://about.me/andrewkwise Andy

        Looks like it doesn’t use half moon clips, the cylinder uses the extractor to hold the ammo in place, look at the article on the .40 version.

        So it may not drop empties as easily, but it doesn’t look like they have really added any mechanical complication.

      • David/Sharpie

        Tim: No, there are grooves inside the cylinder to be able to stop the case from dropping down past a certain amount.

        At least that’s the way it is on the 9mm Ruger conversion cylinder.

      • Evan

        Actually, Tim, that’s Charter Arms’s whole philosophy.
        They are famous for using as few moving parts as possible while still having hammer blocks, etc. They only make affordable, snubnosed and short barrel revolvers, of decent quality.

        Also, for reasoning for 9mm revolver; price. Supply and demand, dude.

    • RickOB

      Price of ammo.

    • hikerguy

      Who needs it? Here a a few reasons why someone would want a rimless cartridge revolver:

      1. Ammo compatibility with one’s automatics. Hey…one cartridge fits all.
      2. For those who like revolvers but prefer performance of 9mm to the .38 special.
      3. It’s just plain cool.

    • ahil925

      The “point”? The point is that I can shoot in a cheap, economical, and effective caliber without having to dick with magazines or moonclips. I don’t have to stock up on yet ANOTHER caliber if I want to shoot a revolver. I can use a cartridge that’s more potent then your average .38 Special that’s cheaper too.

      Here I thought the *Whole Point* of a revolver was to send bullets down range…

      • Tim

        “The point is that I can shoot in a cheap, economical, and effective caliber without having to dick with magazines or moonclips.”

        Yeah, back on earth we call that a “.38 special”. And honestly, let’s not discuss the ballistic superiority of 9mm over the .38 special.

      • Cymond

        Tim,

        If you look at commercial ammunition, bulk 9mm is cheaper than bulk 38 spcl. I found CCI Blazer 9mm for $10.95/50 and 38 spcl for $14.95/50. The same site has several loads of 9mm in brass cases for $11.95/50 while the cheapest brass cased 38 spcl loads are $16.95/50. Those are just examples, but it generally holds true. $0.10/round is a pretty significant price difference across the life of a gun.

        9mm usually operates at higher velocities for the same barrel length & bullet weight than .38 spcl. It’s been a few years, but I did a head-to-head comparison for a relative who was complaining about 9mm while carrying a 38 spcl.

    • Trev

      If you think a DA revolver is simplistic, check again.

  • marcos

    Still not a pretty as my 9mm Ruger Speed Six.

  • D

    So you have 9mm, a round who’s entire selling point is “you can fit lots of them in a gun, so it doesn’t need to be particularly powerful like a .45 ACP”. You then design a gun..that holds 6 rounds of 9mm. You even lose the ability to reload quickly like a magazine-fed gun.

    It’s like a solution desperately searching for a problem to solve.

    • junyo

      …Or I have a gun that shares a caliber with my primary sidearm as a reliable backup, giving me weapon redundancy and not requiring me to stock another caliber.

      …Or, I have a a gun that gives me comparable (if not better) performance to .38 Special in an easier to obtain and cheaper to shoot, and train with, round.

    • Burst

      Let’s frame this another way- how many single stack, short barrel 9mm pistols have we seen in the past few years?

      This weapon offers a pocket sized fixed barrel with revolver reliability, and none of the questionable features. It is harder to AD than any safe-action, and easier to deploy than any manual safety.

      • JMD

        @Burst- there’s no such thing as an AD (accidental discharge). There are only Negligent Discharches. If a loaded firearm discharges while someone is holding it, it’s their fault. Period. Safe Action, double action, or any other system doesn’t factor into the equation.

      • Burst

        Which would be a valid point, if trigger mechanisms couldn’t be tripped by things besides the owner’s fingers.

        Experience (and assorted hearsay) has shown me otherwise.

    • MarcW

      “particularly powerful like a .45 ACP”?
      Only in the imagination of the .45 ACP fan crowd.

    • Chucky

      It’s a solution for the whole lot of people clamoring for it since the 5-shot .40S&W came out.

  • fred

    Pretty cool.
    Make one in .45 acp I may get one.
    Anybody make one?

    • MarcW

      S&W 625

      • Jager

        Charter Arms is plan on releasing a .45 ACP Pitbull some time mid next year when I talked to them about a month ago.

  • mblakely

    I’m all about cartridge streamlining, now if only S&W would make M&P R8/327 TRR8 in rimless 9 I would buy that.

  • Bill

    not the first the Medusa and the Colt Survivor could shoot multi-caliber though it’s cylinder not just 9mm. Too bad taurus and smith don’t make a 9mm revolver anymore.

  • Bill
  • justdavid

    If the reviews are favorable, I’m going to want one. Hey, if the reviews are favorable, I’m going to want Charter to break out of the pocket/snubbie mold and make 4″ – 6″, N-framed cousins in .45 ACP. That’s already a pipe dream so I probably won’t say, “and 10mm.”

    Does anyone make hammer shrouds for Charter snubbies, like you used to be able to attach to Colt D-frames to turn them into Bodyguard-like snubbies?

    • Anonymoose

      I think they should have made the .40S&W version able to use 10mm Auto as well.

      • Cymond

        I believe that the cartridge headspaces on the mouth. Enlongating the chamber for 10mm would leave 40 S&W held only by the little claw extractor. It would also require bulking up the frame, adding to the gun’s weight and cost.

    • Anonymoose

      Also, I don’t know about hammer shrouds but I’m pretty sure they offer a bobbed hammer for some of their revolvers. Last time I checked it was only available for their .38, .357, and .44 revolvers though.

  • JDD

    I like the concept of not needing moon clips, etc. My only concern is that because you aren’t using the clips and because of the way that you have to insert the cartridges, that it would be a slow process for reloading quickly. If 6 shot will geterdone, then it doesn’t matter. Can anyone discuss the reloading experience with this guy? As a backup carry gun, though, I don’t think you can lose.

    I would really like to handle one of these. Too bad my local dealers don’t stock them. And, I really like the idea that they are American made.

  • Nick Z.

    Sounds great! Now, if only SOMEONE WAS SELLING THEM! I’m starting to think this gun is in the same catagory as unicorns.

  • http://none Anthony DiGiovanni

    Never owned a charter arms due to mixed reviews . But now maybe it’s time to rethink and check out their quality and the nine. I am open to new ideas.

  • http://none Anthony DiGiovanni

    Guys with the courts full , lawsuits getting larger they are protecting the company. I will say this don’t like it don’t lock it. Very easy to do .SIMPLE!!!!.

  • Ramon

    Finally acquired the Charter 9mm revolver and will give you my thoughts on it after taking it to the range.

    Positives:

    Weapon feels very comfortable in hand and when shooting. Recoil is less than I expected and it is easy to keep on target. Average grouping (slow fire) at 7 yards in double action was about 3″ which is as good as I can shoot any revolver (or semi auto). Trigger pull is smoother than expected and less gritty than a similar Charter .22 Pathfinder I own. Finish wasn’t exceptional but about what I had expected from Charter. It is easy to place the sight on target as the front sight is serrated and when looking down the barrel the pattern looks similar to that of a Ruger Mark III Standard and much better than for instance a Ruger P95 or even the Charter .22 Pathfinder. After putting nearly 150 rounds down range in about an hours time I felt that I could shoot it all day with no pain in my wrist or hand. There was IMO considerable muzzle flash but no more than I would have expected from a snubbie. There were very few hang ups when ejecting the shells and probably it was my unfamiliarity with the weapon which caused the few I encountered. None jammed in the cylinder or needed to be forced or pryed out. 95 percent of the time they just dropped out as well as would be expected from any revolver. Before leaving the range I grabbed a handful of spent casings to check exactly where the firing pin was hitting the primer. Most were dead center and those that weren’t were only a hair off.

    The Negatives:
    When I brought the gun home I looked it over carefully before taking it to the range and dry fired it maybe 50 times using Snap Caps. My initial observation was that the cylinder release did not always return to the shooting position once the cylinder was supposedly locked in place. I put in a drop of oil and worked it back and forth for a while until it smoothed out a bit.

    At The Range:

    From both a standing and bench rest position I shot basically the same groupings (3″ at 7 yards) except the gun was shooting about 4-5″ below my target aiming point which could likely be corrected by filing down the front sight. Keyholing was an issue throughout the first 50 rounds or so but I had not cleaned the barrel before firing it. By the time I had reached the 100 round mark there was a definite improvement. I hold myself to blame for not cleaning it before firing.

    Now here are the main issues I encountered. First, once the chambers were loaded and the cylinder locked in place the cylinder release problem again came into play. It did not always return to the locked position and I was unable to pull the trigger back all the way to fire the gun. (More on this later). The second issue is that the gun would intermittently jam when firing for no apparent reason and I had to release the cylinder and again close it before continuing to fire. Lastly at the end of the session the cylinder (when open) appeared to have a lot more play in it than it had when I first started firing it.

    Once I had returned home I called Charter and explained my issues to one of their tech people. After asking me several questions it appears that the main issue could be a small screw that may have been overtightened that allowed for more flex than there should have been for the cylinder (and also affecting the cylinder locking mechanism). This screw is not part of the cylinder itself but at a point where the rear of the cylinder locks in place. This probably only makes sense to someone who is examining the gun and can view the issue first hand.

    The tech asked me to ship the gun into the factory where they would rectify the issues and also test fire it afterwards at 25 yards and ship the target back to me along with my repaired weapon.

  • Ramon

    One additional comment I forgot:

    Hand loading time is likely less than one would imagine. The bullets drop in fairly easy and just need a slight touch to seat them properly. Following advice on some other threads I did take along a magazine from another 9MM weapon and used the magazine as a reloader instead of just sticking the bullets in with my fingers. For the sake of convenience using a magazine is easier as there is less fumbling around to get the bullet pointed in the right direction. Overall though I was surprised at how well the system worked.

  • http://none Larry

    I had a “stock watch” on this revolver on gallery of guns dot com, to let me know when it was available. It popped up in my email, when I was looking at some other messages, and by the time I clicked on the link to get a price quote, they had none in stock. The disclaimer, of course, said that they don’t always get a lot of any item, and that any item can sell out in minutes, but , like Nick Z. said, they seem to be as elusive as unicorns. Thanks, Ramon, for the review.

    • Ramon

      Hi Larry:

      It wasn’t easy to get one for me either. How I obtained it is a long story but I have it back in hand again and believe I should provide watchers with an update.

      I received the gun back on the 4th of December. The first thing I noticed was that the factory had shaved down the front sight. They also sent me a target that had been shot at 25 feet using 115 grain WWB. (They attached the flap from the box to the target.) The pattern on the target seemed too good to be true with all shots landing within 2 inches of dead center. On the target they wrote “hand held.” Enclosed was a note they also replaced the cylinder and trigger.

      I spent a couple of evenings dry firing it with snap caps to break in the trigger and yesterday took it to the range.

      Once there I loaded it with 115 grain FMJ Federal and started plinking away. To say I was impressed is an understatement. The gun ran flawless for over 100 rounds and was dead on out to 10 yards. After I ran through the Federal I threw in some Hornady 115 grain and dropped 3 shots into a group within 2 1/2″ of dead center at about 8 yards. Prior to sending it in the gun was shooting about 4-5″ low. Now it was right on and the trigger pull much smoother than before it went in for repairs.

      Regarding ejection all but 2 of the 100 or so I fired failed to eject on the first try. This happened toward the end of my range time and may have been due to the cylinders being dirty.

      Charter did a superb job of fixing all my issues and made the 9MM my favorite revolver.

  • http://google Peter

    I had the same experience as Larry. I found the email shortly after it was sent. By the time on got on their website it was gone. I called Davidson”s and was told that they had on received 3 of them and they went immediately.

  • http://www.facebook.com/claynpendleton Clay Pendleton

    I know others’ mileage may vary but, I love my charter arms .357 mag pug. I have put quite a few hot .357 mag and .38 +P rounds (110 to 158 gr mag). I have also dry-fired (with dummy rounds) it after every live shoot and cleaning. My personal opinion is that this is a solid revolver (does best in .38 +P). That said, I miss my CCW 9mm and would love to know more about charter arms 6-round 9mm pit bull revolver…anyone have one?