Charter Arms .44 Spl. Boomer Revolver

posted on August 23, 2016

When Charter Arms decided to build the new Boomer revolver, the company took its classic Bulldog revolver and completely stripped it down to the bare essentials. Nothing extra, just a few modifications to make the revolver even more concealed-carry friendly. The new Boomer is small and compact and, like the Bulldog series, is chambered in a serious defense cartridge. It is a fistful of power.

(l.) Unlike some other revolver cranes, the Boomer’s cylinder pivots out on a protected arm. (r.) While not completely concealed, the hammer is streamlined to the frame.

Revolvers are simple. Pull the trigger and, if it fails to fire, pull the trigger again. It’s that simple. The exterior of the Boomer is smooth and snag free, exactly what you want in a concealed-carry defense weapon. It employs a double-action-only (DAO) trigger, a stubby barrel and a rounded walnut grip that is nicely checkered and does not print on concealment garments, like shirts or jackets. Yet, the grip affords a good hold when unleashing .44 Spl. loads, especially in this lightweight, compact revolver. Early limited-run Boomers wear the wood grip, but production guns will be equipped with a round butt, finger-groove rubber grip that’s checkered. The Boomer uses a one-piece frame unlike some other revolvers. Both Smith & Wesson and Taurus use a sideplate to access the mechanism, whereas Charter (and also Ruger) use a monolithic frame. The mechanism of the Boomer is accessed via the bottom of the frame. Such construction makes the Boomer—and all of Charter Arms revolvers—exceptionally strong and lightweight.

(l.) Ports help reduce muzzle flip and facilitate faster follow-up shots, but can stain the barrel’s exterior. (ctr.) Serrations on the trigger allowed greater control of the press. (r.) A slot cut in the topstrap is the only sighting mechanism present.

The Boomer employs features found on other Charter Arms DAO revolvers, like a bobbed hammer flush with the rear of the frame so there is no hammer spur to snag on a shirttail or coat pocket on the draw. The front edge of the cylinder is nicely beveled to aid in reholstering. The 2-inch-long barrel is tapered and does not have a front sight, but it does have two oblong ports cut into the topside at the 11- and 1-o’clock positions. Those slots divert burning gases up to counteract muzzle flip when a shot is fired. While these ports may be new to Charter Arms, they are actually part of snub-nose revolver history, and the Boomer picks up the tradition of large-bore, snub-nose revolvers and sets it squarely in the 21st century.

Providing solid purchase, the rubber stocks are interchangeable with wood variants.

The Boomer is constructed of stainless steel and wears a matte-stainless finish, meaning no glare even in direct sunlight. The trigger is grooved so when your finger starts its press, your fingertip sticks to the trigger and does not slip. The DAO trigger measured slightly more than 12 pounds but it feels much lighter, no doubt due to the smoothness of the trigger pull. The Boomer uses a coiled mainspring and only a perceptible amount of stacking was encountered during trigger press. I think this is well-thought-out trigger-pull weight for a concealed-carry revolver. The cylinder latch is coarsely serrated so your thumb does not slip when pressing it forward to swing out the cylinder. The ejector rod is not enclosed in a shroud. An operator can also pull the ejector rod out by tugging on the knurled end of the ejector rod. The rod also has a sleeve, which snaps in the front of the frame when the cylinder is closed. This locks up the front of the cylinder, while a pin in the center of the ejector fits into the rear of frame, locking up the rear of the cylinder.

With an assortment of .44 Spl. cartridges, I put the Boomer through its paces. Aiming a revolver with no sights seems an oxymoron, but the Boomer is a point-and-shoot defensive revolver made for very close work. Most five-shot groups averaged a 4-inch spread, but when I did my part I was surprised to get clusters of two and three shots that touched or nearly touched. No doubt the Boomer is accurate but I was not expecting precision with it, nor should it be used like that. Point-shooting is where the Boomer excels. In rapid fire, the ported barrel allowed me to get back on target faster with less muzzle flip. Doing a few draw drills at very close range, I fired the Boomer from the side of my rib cage to simulate a face-to-face encounter. The checkered walnut grips fill the rear of the trigger guard and give the user a nice handle that is not too large or too small, and made recoil quite comfortable. The rubber grips with finger grooves actually fit my fingers, but I still needed to curl my small finger under the butt. The rubber was more forgiving. I carried the Boomer in a DeSantis Cozy Partner IWB holster and found the wheelgun sits well.

The Charter Arms .44 Spl. Boomer offers a lot of firepower in compact, concealable package. It is made for close work, and at 10 yards I could shoot groups that I could cover with my open hand. A Crimson Trace Lasergrip will increase the effective distance and might be a viable option for some shooters. The Boomer is a revolver stripped down to self-defense essentials. 


handgun facing right
handgun facing right

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