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Thread: Got a Bulldog at auction!

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    tward's Avatar
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    Got a Bulldog at auction!

    Got a Charter arms Bulldog at auction. I picked it up today and cleaned it, wow! Slivers of lead were falling out of the barrel. I cleaned up the barrel and the rifling looks good. I slugged the barrel and got .4305 the chamber mouths are .432. Any advice on loading and shooting would be appreciated. Thanks, Tim

  2. #2
    Boolit Master LAH's Avatar
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    I'm sure others will differ but I'd first try a soft 200 grain at .431 in the 700 FPS range.
    Joshua 1:9

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    On the one I had (wish I had it back) 4.0 grains Bullseye with 250 Keith shot to point of aim. Heaviest load was 7.5 Unique with same bullet. The second load was brisk. May want to start on LAH's advice. Great little gun.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    "I slugged the barrel and got .4305 the chamber mouths are .432."

    That is close to what my Bulldog measures I use coated bullets un sized and stay in the 700 fps range.
    I use 185 gr factory ammo for carry loads which is so pose to do 1000 fps but the 2.5" barrel only gets about 800 fps and is accurate enough for carry loads.

  5. #5
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    Was this the Hessney auction?
    Founder of the Single Shot section.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.


    8 in the 10 ring, then I get a PING. Love my Garand.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
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    Aw Geez,,,,,,,,,you got a Bulldog at auction,,,,,,,,and I am a University of Georgia fan !!!!!!!
    You messed me up !!!

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Yes, it was the Hessney auction. Tim

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Mike Venturino has written that we should size bullets to chamber throats & not necessarily bore size. He's had great luck with Colt SAAs that way. They are notorious for large chambers.
    I like the Bulldog they'll fit in the pocket of a Carhartt vest & offer 200+grs of .44 goodness. I'd size bullets for your gun at .431 or even .432 if I could get a sizer. I'd check diameter of bullets before sizing sometimes they'll drop .432 or so from the mold. A good Alox lube will work & I've had great results with SPG which is normally thought of as a black powder lube. The .44 Special is a great cartridge & I think the Bulldog is WAY underrated. If you exceed about 750gps with a 240-260gr bullet recoil might be extreem. It's a good trail/defense/fun gun.
    Congratulations on your purchase.
    Let us know how it does for you, I think you'll like it.
    U.S.A. " RIDE FOR THE BRAND OR LEAVE!"

  9. #9
    if it has the stock grip, I would suggest looking at an Altamont or the like oversize grip. Had a Bulldog years ago and remember it was stout. Just got a Charter 38 Undercover and put a set of the Altamonts on it and shot it yesterday. Big felt recoil and comfort diff/improvement from the stock grip.

    For loads, one I have had success with is 210/215 grn w/ 5 grns Bullseye. Haven't loaded yet, but might look at 240/250 w/ 6.0 HP38. I like HP 38 for Traditional loads in both 44-40 and 45 Colt, and is also working well for me in a 38 Snubby.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy

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    Your one lucky person. My cylinder throats are .435 and most all boolits shoot keyholes at 7 yards, jacketed are better but velocity is to slow for them to work as anything but FMJ. Like the gun but shooting boolits are a waste in mine. Bought it new as an undercover gun for LEO work when CA first came out with them back in the 70's.

    2shot

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by tward View Post
    Yes, it was the Hessney auction. Tim
    Do you know what size the throats are yet?
    Founder of the Single Shot section.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.


    8 in the 10 ring, then I get a PING. Love my Garand.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by oscarflytyer View Post
    if it has the stock grip, I would suggest looking at an Altamont or the like oversize grip. Had a Bulldog years ago and remember it was stout. Just got a Charter 38 Undercover and put a set of the Altamonts on it and shot it yesterday. Big felt recoil and comfort diff/improvement from the stock grip.

    For loads, one I have had success with is 210/215 grn w/ 5 grns Bullseye. Haven't loaded yet, but might look at 240/250 w/ 6.0 HP38. I like HP 38 for Traditional loads in both 44-40 and 45 Colt, and is also working well for me in a 38 Snubby.


    I like HP38 too & according to Hodgdon it's the exact same powder as WW231.
    tward let us know how it's coming along, I think you'll like the Bulldog.
    U.S.A. " RIDE FOR THE BRAND OR LEAVE!"

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Congrats on the Son of Sam find. I hear Hessney puts on some great gun auctions.

  14. #14
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    I like my Bulldog a lot. Good little revolver for what it is. Recoil is stout in a little gun like that, though.

  15. #15
    HP38/W231 are exact same powder. Likewise H110/W296. Couple others also, but can't recall right now...

  16. #16
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    I shoot the Lee 200 RF from a hollow point mold I picked up from Erik at hollow point mold. I powder coat them and size mine to the cylinder throats at .432. I run them with unique a tad over 700 fps, recoil isn't bad and it's accurate. I've shot the Keith with 7 grains of unique at it's a handful in such a light revolver so I backed off to the lighter boolit and load.
    I had a Bulldog back in 1980 but traded it off for some reason that I can't recall. I had read that the quality of them had went down later in years but my current Bulldog is a good little revolver.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have one of the older 3" Bulldogs and found the current Charter Arms rubber grips that cover the backstrap fit just fine. I ordered them from the CA website for about $25. This helps manage the recoil a bit. GF

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Gray Fox,

    Ditto on the current CA rubber grips comment. These current CA grips work just fine. I've tried just about every CA grip since the CA came out and I like the current rubber ones best. Likewise, the current rubber grips can be easily shortened somewhat to improve its concealability. Bottom-line, a 250gr. Keith CB, with its cutting shoulder and accuracy, loaded over 7.5 gr. Unique is one heck of a penetrator, bone breaker, and "leak hole" generator. Once, for fun, I loaded a 325gr.LBTLFN over IMR4227 and fired it at 7 yds. The CBs slightly keyholed on the target but were all in the area they were supposed to be in. What a defensive close-range round that load was! I just held on tight and let 'er rip. The CA digested that load with no sweat. A fun day was had at the range!

    Best regards,

    CJR

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    CJR I'll bet the 325gr load was stout?
    U.S.A. " RIDE FOR THE BRAND OR LEAVE!"

  20. #20
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    I had the Bulldog and loved it, however, your cat may be a little upset about another animal in your life.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check