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Ive also just inherited one from my grandfather. Serial number 148xxx. It really is a nice piece.I dont know much about it. I cant wait to shoot it!
They were really nice guns and were very popular. I would date them a little older, late 60"s early 70"s. For a while they give S&W a run for the money because they cost less than a chief"s special. Later Charter ran into business problems but nothing wrong with their early guns at all IMO.Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Had a tough day yesterday with my Dad who is not in good health. Sadly, my mom and I decided it was time for him to relinquish his 2 revolvers. Like taking away the car keys, this really sucked. Both are Charter Arms (1st Generation: 593xxx; 798xxx) Undercend .38 (one blued the other stainless) that have less than 25 rounds and have been kept in superb shape - built in Stratford, CT. I gather from some quick research that the revolvers are probably 20-25 years. Any experts with first-hand experience with these beauties?
Send an email to Charter Arms" customer service. They told me mine was from 1968 and they sent me an exploded view and a parts list.
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Found this info on the web by someone who had done alot of research (unable to credit source):The very first Charter Arms Corporation production began in1965 in BRIDGEPORT CONN - earliest pieces - mostly Undercover model will haveeither NO address on the right side of the barrel or will have BRIDGEPORT CONNAround 1974, address was changed to STRATFORD CONN - allpieces made after mid 1974 will be marked with that address on the right sideof the barrel and all will have CHARTER ARMS CORP. as the first line. Sometimein 1991, Charter Arms Corp. ceased operations. This was the end of the FIRSTGENERATION.Around mid 1991 (may be as early as 1988????), the companywas re-organized under new leadership and became known as Charter Arms Company- CHARCO, and was located in ANSONIA CONN. All second generation pieces will bemarked on the right side of the barrel with that name and address in two lines.This is the SECOND generation and apparently the period which caused the mostdamage to the Charter name and reputation.In 2000, the company was again reorganized as CHARTER 2000and relocated to SHELTON CONN. All pieces made during this THIRD generationwill be marked with the SHELTON address. Early production of this generationseems to have been spotty and reputation still lagged. About a year and a halfago, the company re-reorganized under the direction of MKS Marketing and seemsnow to be if not flourishing at least it is progressing in quality and marketshare.From the limited data set that I have been able to assembleso far the following serialization seems to be valid: (NOTE: model name andcaliber will be stamped on left side of barrel on all pieces)FIRST GENERATION0001 - ~13500 - ~315,000 - SECOND GENERATION>1,090,000 - ??? 1991 - 2000? CHARCO over ANSONIA CONN-marking THIRD GENERATION000001 - to date 2000 - 2011 CHARTER ARMS 2000 over SHELTONCONN marking.This is the updated (4/12) serial number info that I have -based upon around 1050 data pointsThe earliest 1st Gen - ~0 to ~13,500 have NO barrel ADDRESSand s/n is on lower right corner on right side of frame. CA company founded in1964, first production pieces of the Undercover model produced in 1965 Bridgeport CONN address - ~13,500 to ~315,000 1967 - 1974 Stratford CONN address - ~315,000 to ~1,090,000 1974 - ~1991All marked as Charter Arms Corporation2nd Generation - CHARCO, Ansonia Conn address - 1,090,000 to??? ~1991 - 1996?3rd Generation - CHARTER 2000 - Shelton Conn - 0 to whereever they are today. 2007 Charter Arms/ MKSFrom the 26 pieces in my collection (all 1st Gen) and fromdozens more that I"ve had the opportunity to observe and handle, I"d say thataround s/n 600,000 the finish was made a lot finer - although the integrals(lock work, action) was at least as good as the earlier ones. I have or haveread magazine articles that cover pretty much of the production life of the 1stGeneration, and during that period (around late 1980, early 1981) it seems thatCA attempted to capture more of the market by doing so, also in April of 1981,they introduced Stainless Steel revolvers into the mix, for the first time.Some of the articles lamented that the earlier pieces, although rough finish,were rather inexpensive (~60-65% of S&W) and when CA began their "modernization"process, the finishes got better but the prices increased to about 85 to 90% ofthe S&W line for comparable models.During the 2nd Generation, the CHARCO (Charter ArmsCOMPANY), under new management and reorganized, the quality was definitely morespotty and haphazard. I"ve seen CHARCO produced guns with Stratford markedbarrels, obviously using up old stock. The earliest CHARTER 2000 pieces I had the opportunity tohandle (some fairly early 4 digits s/ns - were uniformly, poorly fitted andfinished and had some horrendous and gritty actions. That seems to have beenrectified under MKS"s (circa 2007) new leadership and the most recent piecesI"ve handled - s/n"s in the high 100,000 range have been "decent" butnot as fine in finish and action as the mid years of the 1st Generation. Thisis simply my studied opinion based upon experience.