I Carry: Charter Arms Bulldog Revolver in a Galco Holster

Today on "I Carry" we have a Charter Arms Bulldog revolver in a Galco holster with a custom Buck knife.

by
posted on December 23, 2022

Firearm: Charter Arms Bulldog (MSRP: $452.20)

We’ve got an unconventional choice for today’s kit in the Charter Arms Bulldog. While we’re no stranger to five-shot revolvers, they are almost always in the .38 Special or .357 Magnum variety. Some people prefer, as the cliché goes, a firearm which has a caliber starting with “4.” For those people, this is their small-frame revolver. The Bulldog is chambered in .44 Special, yet is barely larger than a .38 Special revolver. That’s definitely different.

With a 3-inch barrel, 7.5-inch overall length and 20-ounce weight, the Bulldog is not substantially larger or heavier than most common concealed-carry handguns. The main difference, of course, is in the capacity: 5 rounds versus the 15 found in most compact semi-autos. With the .44 Special chambering, the Bulldog does allow a wide variety of ammunition types, with everything from super heavy, hardcast projectiles to lighter, “cowboy” loads intended for easier practice. There’s even snakeshot available for those who deal with no-legged critters.

It’s the mix of the 3-inch barrel and double-action/single-action operating system that makes it particularly interesting. As we’ve covered previously, the 3-inch barrel allows an ejector rod that can completely eject spent brass while still remaining on the easier side to conceal. The trigger, even when fired double-action, is not unduly heavy, and the single-action option does allow for more precise work if needed. That it’s the same size as comparable .38 Special/.357 Magnum revolvers is a bonus.

The Bulldog family covers a wide variety of shapes and sizes, with barrel lengths ranging from 2 to 4.2 inches, shrouded hammer and hammerless configurations and even a .45 Colt variant. It’s an unconventional choice, that’s for certain, but for those who prefer big-bore revolvers, the choices are limited. Charter Arms offers an affordable big-bore in the Bulldog for those who are looking for something more than .38 Special.


Holster: Galco Combat Master Belt Holster (MSRP: $109)

While the Bulldog is certainly small enough to carry inside the waistband, the five-shot, .44-special cylinder is of a large enough size that outside the waistband will be more comfortable. Galco’s Combat Master Belt holster performs this task admirably, offering a robust, well designed holster that will spread the weight of the pistol across a larger section of the belt while still allowing decent concealment given the contoured shape that keeps the rig close to the body.


Designed with a butt-forward cant for a faster drawstroke, the Combat Master can fit belts up to 1 ¾-inches wide. The beauty of the 3-inch barrel of the Bulldog is that it maintains an even balance above and below the beltline—often, snubnose revolvers carried outside the waistband can be top-heavy and have the potential to tilt away from the body. The downside, of course, is that a longer cover garment is needed. Combat Master holsters are available for a wide variety of pistols, in right- and left-hand configurations, and in black or tan leather.

 

Knife: Buck Custom Shop Spitfire (MSRP: Starting at $75, $134 as configured)

Since the Bulldog is a personal choice, why shouldn’t the knife match as well? Buck Knives offers a Custom Shop experience where the user can take one of a number of popular Buck folding and fixed-blade knives and change, well, just about everything. We’ve started with the Spitfire, a thumbhole-opening folding knife with a 3.25-inch, drop-point blade.

In the options menu for the custom Spitfire, you can choose the blade construction, serrations, handle and hardware. For this particular knife we’ve chosen S35VN steel with a Cerakote bronze finish, gray G10 scales and tumbled-black hardware. The steel choice adds the bulk of the increase in price, as the S35VN steel is known for increased toughness and is considered a higher-quality steel to begin with. Even so, $59 extra for a custom knife is a pretty sweet deal!

Latest

Galco Underwraps Elite
Galco Underwraps Elite

First Look: Galco UnderWraps Elite Belly Band

Carry your defensive firearm when you can't carry in a conventional manner.

Keeping The Proper Perspective

A firearm is only part of the defensive lifestyle.

New 2011 and 1911 Pistols for 2024

The double-stack 1911 bandwagon keeps rolling right along.

First Look: SIG Sauer 1911-XSeries Pistols

Red-dot ready, right from the box.

Infrared Aiming Devices For Rifles

Using infrared technology can be challenging even with the best equipment, which is why the U.S. Army runs intricate training scenarios to familiarize its Soldiers with these IR devices.

First Look: SB Tactical SBA5 Brace

The latest iteration of SB Tactical's game-changing pistol brace.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.