Charter Arms’ new Pit Bull

Chambered in .40 S&W, Charter Arms’ new Pit Bull is a stainless five-shot powerhouse

Charter Arms Pit Bull Revolver

The Pit Bull’s cylinder holds five rounds, but by the time they’re gone, you’ve definitely got someone’s attention!

Story and Photos by Dave Workman

Chambering revolvers for semi-auto cartridges is hardly a new idea. Does anybody remember the Model 1917 revolvers that handled .45 ACP cartridges in full- or half-moon clips? Yet, the new wheelgun from Charter Arms features a unique design improvement that makes this stainless five-shooter a winner right out of the gate.

Not only does the new Pit Bull have a bite for personal protection applications, it is just the right size for packing on the trail. Carried in a handsome high-ride pancake-style holster from Gene DeSantis, it is the kind of serious revolver one could carry as a primary defensive sidearm. Tucked in an ankle rig or upside down shoulder holster, it could also be an effective backup gun.

Charter Arms Pit Bull

The Charter Arms Pit Bull is a compact revolver that fits well into the average-size hand. Chambered in .40 S&W, this five-shooter is a powerhouse.


With a smooth double action, an exposed hammer, all-stainless construction and fixed sights, Charter’s Pit Bull is chambered for a serious fight-stopping cartridge: the .40 S&W. How Charter does this without steel clips that hold the cartridge at the case head is a bit of design and engineering genius. More about that in a moment.

Charter president Nick Ecker told me in a note that accompanied the test gun I was sent (Serial # 11-12764) that, “I originally envisioned chambering the Pit Bull in .40 caliber because of its popularity with law enforcement officers who already carried a .40 caliber and could use the Pit Bull as a backup revolver, using the same ammo as their [primary] sidearm.”

For the armed private citizen, the Pit Bull may be all one needs. Revolver fans here in the rainy Pacific Northwest or along the damp Gulf Coast, Eastern Seaboard, New England, Southeast Alaska or anywhere else where the elements can turn bad, will find that the Charter Arms Pit Bull makes sense. Built from 416 stainless steel with a matte finish on the same frame as Charter’s .44 Special, the Pit Bull wears a full wraparound rubber grip with molded checkering and finger grooves.

The Pit Bull also sports a smooth trigger. There hammer has cocking serrations, and the rear sight notch is squared and ample for the un-grooved, ramp-style blade front sight. The cylinder pin is long enough to allow a full press rearward for complete extraction of spent cases from their chambers.

To read this article in its entirety, pick up a copy of Gun World’s January issue, available on newsstands now.

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