Charter Arms .38

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by crazyhorse, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. crazyhorse

    crazyhorse Guest

    I have recently acquired a old (as in mid to late '70s) Charter Arms .38 revolver.

    It has some surface rust which is not much of a problem (I have thought about refinishing it later).

    However, It seems as though the timing or some other issue is causing the cylinder not to rotate after pulling the trigger.

    Does any one have any simple ideas as to what the problem could be? I have taken pretty much the entire thing apart as it was not functioning at all when I received it but it seems to be working about 50% of where it should be.


    Charter 38

    Hello all


    If you have Looked at all the Internal parts with the side plate off, I'd say if you did not see any worn or damaged parts, you have a Problem! Timing of revolvers is critical, real precise work! I'd write to the Present Day Charter Arms and see if they are willing to do anything for you? Seeing as this is a Safety issue and It could be a lot of trouble for them in a Law Suite, you might try sending them off a Letter and see how willijg they are to help? Might find they fix it for free or near free or in some case, might just replace the gun as a good gesture? Never hurts to try, plus if not, they might be willing to tell you what parts you need and sell ya those cheap?

  3. FALPhil

    FALPhil Member

    Sounds like you have a broken pawl. Pretty unusual on a Charter Arms. I would guess that the gun was abused if the pawl is broken. Better take it to a revolver smith and let him take a look at it.
  4. 1hole

    1hole New Member

    "I have recently acquired a old (as in mid to late '70s) Charter Arms .38 revolver."

    Old? OLD! Not so!

    My wife has a late '70s C.A. "Undercover" I got her for a carry gun when she sold real estate. It's in excellant condition still but, truth told, it hasn't been fired a lot. Who spends a lot of time practicing with a .38 snubby?

    It's a sound revolver, accurate and well worth you trying to get it fixed.
  5. big_cigar

    big_cigar New Member

    .38 On Duty

    I have a few questions if anyone can help me.

    I see the on Duty retails for 340.00 now.
    Were they higher a year ago?

    Are they discontinuing SS and replacing it with Alum?

  6. superc

    superc Active Member

    I hate taking Charter Arms revolvers apart. The pins are steel, but the frames are a softer aluminum. Like the early M-16s, if you take them apart too often the pins no longer fit properly. Like the M-16 the best solution is to have an array of subtely larger pins on hand so that as the hole wears a 10 thousandth of an inch you substitute a pin that is a tenthousandth of an inch larger than the one before. Keep them in seperate bins of course unless you want to spend all day playing around with dial calipers.

    That being said, there is no sideplate on a Charter Arms Undercover revolver. A diagram of it, and many spare parts are available from gunparts.

    IME, I have seen what you describe before. In that instance a 'wanna be' gunsmith had disassembled the gun taken too many coils off the mainspring (to 'lighten' the trigger pull) and played with sear notches and polished the insides beyond tolerance. The result was sometimes it would shoot and sometimes it wouldn't. I never bothered to figure out which particular mod caused his problem or if it was all of them in combination. I simply offered him $50 for the gun as a paperweight then went to gunparts and jackfirst and bought replacement parts and dropped them in. All the original parts went into the trash. The gun works just fine now. Try doing that.
  7. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Charter Arms is a decent outfit to deal with. Call them and explain your problem. I cant see them not helping you.
  8. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Well-Known Member Supporter

    The frames on older Charter revolvers are steel. Only the grip frame is aluminum.
    Call Charter Arms. They'll fix your gun.