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.

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!


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