Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - By Dave Work­man

Char­ter Arms has added a Black­ni­tride fin­ish to the Pit­bull, and one is a 9mm won­der.

With the con­tin­u­ing “resur­gence” of re­volvers for con­cealed carry, Char­ter Arms has added an at­trac­tive and rugged Black­ni­tride fin­ish to its lineup of wheel­guns, among them a slick 9mm Pit­bull that has a real bite.

Cham­ber­ing re­volvers for semi-auto car­tridges is noth­ing new. As far back as World War I, Colt and Smith & Wes­son of­fered large frame double-ac­tion re­volvers for the .45 ACP car­tridge. The com­bi­na­tion proved it­self in bat­tle, and lots of those guns are still in cir­cu­la­tion.

Char­ter de­vel­oped a mech­a­nism that elim­i­nates the need for moon clips, and it hon­estly works like a champ. I found that out a while back and when Char­ter added the Black­ni­tride fin­ish to the Pit­bull se­ries, it seemed pru­dent to have a close look. It was not dis­ap­point­ing.

Char­ter Arms owner Nick Ecker is pleased with the re­cep­tion these guns cur­rently en­joy, and when we checked on avail­abil­ity, it looks like the company is sell­ing ev­ery black gun it can pro­duce. At the time of this writ­ing, Char­ter was of­fer­ing the fin­ish on the Pit­bull and some other mod­els, in­clud­ing the Bull­dog and Un­der­cover.

Pit­bull re­volvers also come in a stain­less fin­ish, but these black guns; well, there’s just some­thing about that Black­ni­tride that gets my juices flow­ing a bit.


Char­ter has earned a good rep­u­ta­tion over the past sev­eral years un­der Ecker’s own­er­ship. His fa­ther owned it years ago and Nick worked in ev­ery facet as a young man. The company went out of busi­ness un­der dif­fer­ent man­age­ment and Ecker bought the as­sets, de­ter­mined to pro­duce qual­ity re­volvers at com­pet­i­tive prices.

The company chugged along, and then some­thing re­mark­able hap­pened. Char­ter in­tro­duced a pink fin­ish in 2006 and it caught fire. Thanks to the ad­vice of his fe­male em­ploy­ees, Ecker went with a “hot pink” fin­ish as op­posed to what he called “Pepto Bis­mol” pink. At the var­i­ous shows, women be­gan ask­ing for other col­ors, in­clud­ing laven­der and turquois, he re­called. The Chic Lady line was born, with highly pol­ished com­po­nents rather than Char­ter’s tra­di­tional bead-blasted fin­ish.

And now comes the Black­ni­tride fin­ish. It cer­tainly stood up to the Pa­cific North­west en­vi­ron­ment, which means it will han­dle just about any­thing, any­where. While I didn’t abuse the test gun, I didn’t cut it any slack, ei­ther. Let’s say it got a shower, Washington-style! It’s not just the fin­ish that is tough. Char­ter Arms re­volvers have es­tab­lished a foothold in the hand­gun mar­ket be­cause they work. That’s im­por­tant to the armed cit­i­zen whose life may de­pend on the gun they are car­ry­ing. Some­one who owns a hand­gun that is not de­pend­able is not likely to be car­ry­ing it when it is needed.


Two things about Char­ter Arms re­volvers should be pointed out. They have a one-piece frame. There is no side­plate and the ac­tion comes out the bot­tom.

The crane, which is that arm on which the cylin­der ac­tu­ally swings out of the frame, does not mount on the lower front of the frame, but ac­tu­ally locks

in­side the frame when the cylin­der is closed.

Ecker re­called that one store in Texas won­dered about the dura­bil­ity of a Char­ter Arms re­volver. They ran 5,000 rounds through a gun with­out a sin­gle mal­func­tion.

I didn’t have 5,000 rounds to burn up in my test gun, but I did have enough am­mu­ni­tion to re­ally put the re­volver through its paces. In­cluded in my car­tridge se­lec­tion were loads from Rem­ing­ton, Black Hills, Sig Sauer, Arm­scor, Amer­i­can Ea­gle (Fed­eral) and Brown­ing. I fired enough rounds to work up a blis­ter on my trig­ger fin­ger, if that means any­thing.

One thing I dis­cov­ered al­most im­me­di­ately is that the cylin­der re­lease latch on the left side of the frame must be pressed all the way for­ward to allow the cylin­der to pivot out of the frame. This is a plus in my opin­ion, be­cause it means that cylin­der is not go­ing to sud­denly pop out un­der re­coil or in the un­likely event some­thing should un­in­ten­tion­ally press the latch slightly for­ward.

My test gun had a tex­tured rub­ber grip that re­ally sucked up the re­coil. Let’s be hon­est, the 9mm is no pip­squeak car­tridge, and in a small hand­gun it can pack a sur­pris­ing wal­lop to the hand.

The Pit­bull 9mm has slightly larger di­men­sions than a J-frame Smith & Wes­son. I tried it in a cou­ple of hol­sters for a J-frame, and the re­volver

would not fit. That’s not a bad thing, of course. Over­all, the 9mm Pit­bull mea­sures just un­der 7½ inches and weighs 22 ounces empty. The bar­rel mea­sures 2.2 inches and it has a fixed low-pro­file blade front sight. The rear sight is a tra­di­tional square notch at the up­per rear of the frame.

It has a grooved trig­ger and ham­mer spur with a trans­fer bar sys­tem and the fir­ing pin is in the frame. My only com­plaint about the trig­ger on my sam­ple gun was that it comes down to a rather nar­row edge that bit my trig­ger fin­ger a cou­ple of times dur­ing re­coil.


What the 9mm Pit­bull did on the range is proof pos­i­tive that it will per­form in an emer­gency on the street. Af­ter all, a de­fen­sive hand­gun is a piece of emer­gency sur­vival equip­ment, and loaded with 9mm hol­low­points, or even typ­i­cal 124-grain FMJs,


the Pit­bull has a bite.

Due to the fixed sights, it is im­per­a­tive for a shooter to sam­ple dif­fer­ent loads and choose the one that works best. I dis­cov­ered that the Black Hills 124-grain JHP de­liv­ered sur­pris­ing ac­cu­racy at 10 yards. While I was not able to fire a full five round string of any the loads I sam­pled with­out at least one flyer, three or four rounds in a de­cent cluster is noth­ing to whine about in a de­fen­sive sidearm.

Ecker does not rec­om­mend +P am-


mu­ni­tion, but not for the rea­son one might think. The gun can han­dle such loads, but in Ecker’s opin­ion, it’s a lot of muz­zle flash with very lit­tle ben­e­fit. Av­er­age shoot­ers might find the re­coil makes the muz­zle jump too much, and be­cause of the bar­rel length, one doesn’t get the full force of a +P round be­cause the pow­der won’t com­pletely burn be­fore the bul­let leaves the muz­zle.

My test gun tended to shoot high with what­ever load I used, and that might have been partly due to the low-pro­file front sight. Once I started holding at 6 o’clock, groups came in closer to the 10-ring.


Is the Pit­bull up to street duty? You bet. Find a good hol­ster, whether leather, ny­lon or Ky­dex, and you will be well pre­pared for an emer­gency.

Top Right: Front sight is a low-pro­file blade type and Work­man thinks it might be a lit­tle higher to nat­u­rally bring down the muz­zle be­cause his test piece shot a bit high. Bot­tom: Char­ter de­signs the Pit­bull with a trans­fer bar mech­a­nism.

Left: Au­thor Work­man liked the tex­tured rub­ber grip that comes stan­dard on the Pit­bull. It won’t slip when wet.

Bot­tom: One thing Work­man dis­cov­ered is that the cylin­der re­lease latch must be pressed all the way for­ward in or­der for the cylin­der to be ro­tated out of the frame.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.