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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Old Model Charter Arms Undercover .38 Special

I had posted a brief blurb about this pistol 2 months back after I had first bought it. Now for some detail.




This is the old model Undercover revolver in .38 special with the exposed ejector rod.


With the exposed ejector rod, you could grasp the rod and pull it forward to open the cylinder to load or unload the revolver.


The reason why you would want to do something like that?  Look at the cylinder latch.  It's rather small, flat, and has a screw there, which if you weren't practiced with, you would spend minutes pushing on the screw instead of the latch, tearing up your thumb in the process, and if you were in a situation you had to reload fast, I doubt you could do it under stress.


The grips that come the Undercover from the factory are good for concealment purposes, but not that good for comfort if you plan on doing a lot of shooting.


Therefore I got a pair of Pachmayr Presentation Grips for it.  Yes they are larger and hard to conceal, but they are much more comfortable to shoot with.


They were a little hard to find though, as the newer Undercover models have a slightly different grip geometry, meaning they don't "Quite" fit this old model.  Through E-bay, I was able to find a pair of the old style grips which fit perfectly.


In this pic you can see the cutout and the placement of the post which witnesses and helps to hold the grips in proper alignment.


You can see my Barsony IWB holster I've gotten for it until I can have the chance to get a custom holster made for it, along with 2 six round Bianchi Speedstrips.


It actually fits inside the Barsony Holster very good.  My only complaint with the Barsony holster is that I prefer some type of thumb break for better retention.


Next to my old EDC to show you the size difference and why I like the Undercover for CCW.  About my only complaint I have with the Charter Arms Undercover, of this vintage is that I cannot use +P velocity ammunition through it unless I want to run the risk of stretching and damaging the frame.  Newer Charter Arms Undercovers don't have this issue, however you still want to be careful with a diet of +p ammunition.  I would recommend practice with standard velocity ammunition and the +P's for carry.  That was one of the reasons I carried the Taurus for as long as I did and the old Undercover I used to own was a Back Up Gun (BUG) only.  I could run a diet of 100% +P's through the Taurus with no problems and I have put several thousand rounds of +P's through the Taurus.  I just won't do it with my new to me Undercover.

I've already put several hundred 130 gr TMJ's through this Undercover and I am currently carrying Hornady 125 gr XTP's in it.  I just picked up a box of 158 gr XTP's I'll be using to reload my once fired brass which will probably become my carry load in this revolver.

1 comment:

Will said...

I've got the Off Duty model, which is the same gun with an aluminum barrel/underlug shroud. Mine seems to be sight regulated for 125gr ammo. I had the factory install a pocket hammer, since I shoot it double action. Groups nicely at 40 yds.

I would not recommend the old "shoot standard ammo, carry hot" system. The police used to do that, but discovered that actual gunfight performance suffered tremendously as a result of the different recoil, muzzle blast, and shot-to-shot timing. And, that was with duty size weapons. When they realized cops were dying as a result of this, training and carry ammo was mandated to perform the same. This happened in the 70's, IIRC.

Look for the slightly newer factory neoprene rubber grips for the Charter guns. They don't have a steel liner, so they can be modified easily. They are a three finger grip, but if you cut them at, or just below the bottom of the frame to make them a two finger grip, it works nicely for concealment. The backstrap is a bit thin, but you can shave or grind them down a bit to get a wider surface for hand comfort. (I think those grips were actually made in Italy, as I have a virtual copy of it for my S&W J-frame, that is marked as made there)