Front Sights Are Overrated: the Charter Arms Boomer

    Charter Arms Boomer

    Charter Arms is now offering an even more compact version of the company’s .44 Special line of revolvers. Called the Boomer, this new handgun is a five shot wheel gun – same as the classic Bulldog – but with a tapered 2″ barrel that is ported and completely bereft of a front sight.

    Meanwhile, the gun is still fitted with full size rubber “combat grips” and is on the company’s large frame. The deletion of the front sight and the removal of 0.5″ of length were done to eliminate any snagging during a “quick draw.” The weight savings is only a single ounce.

    While I applaud Charter Arms¬†for thinking differently, I’m not sure that shortening the barrel slightly, removing the underlug protection for the ejector rod and deleting the front sight is offering any real improvement to concealability. The gun still has a full size grip and a fairly wide cylinder. Sliming down the barrel doesn’t turn the Bulldog into a pocket carry gun.

    I’ve shot and carried the company’s current Bulldog and found it to be a good, but not great, revolver. Compared to a Ruger or a Smith & Wesson, the double action trigger was a bit heavy and less smooth, while the front sight could have been improved by adding a bright orange or green insert. However, it functioned reliably and the single action pull was quite good.

    Frankly, I like the idea of throwing 240 grain lead hollowpoint bullets at an attacker – and I’m a fan of the 9mm for most self defense uses. However, for my money, the Boomer gives up a bit too much for an unrealized effort at improved concealment.

    Also, considering the Boomer is almost $20 more expensive, I don’t see much of an appeal to it. You may have a different opinion, and that’s what is great about the firearms market – there is something for everyone.


    • .44 Special
    • five rounds
    • large frame
    • full rubber combat grips
    • double action only
    • 2″ tapered and ported barrel
    • no underlug
    • 20 ounces (unloaded)
    • MSRP: $443
    Richard Johnson

    An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is