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Why the Charter Arms Pitbull is the ideal 9mm revolver for backup/off-duty


Writer: Therese Matthews

By Steve Tracy

A 9mm snub nostril revolver for backup/off-duty carry. Sure, you learn that proper, not a .38 or .357, however a 9mm that takes the similar ammo your division points for follow, qualification and obligation use.

Charter Arms’ distinctive revolver – the Pitbull – masses and ejects identical to normal revolvers resulting from ingenious little spring-loaded clips inside every cylinder chamber. It is even provided in .40 S&W and .45 acp in case that’s your choice of caliber.

Why the snubby is nonetheless an choice

Snub nostril revolvers have lengthy been the selection of gun-savvy cops for on-duty backup and off-duty hid carry. Though lots of at this time’s youthful cops might have by no means even fired a revolver, the compact wheel weapons are nonetheless a viable choice.

Smaller variations of obligation semi-automatic pistols could also be most popular by right now’s officers on account of their similarity to the full measurement pistol on their obligation belt, however PoliceOne Editorial Advisory Board member Mike Wooden’s article “15 reasons to consider a snubby for your backup gun” explains intimately why a compact revolver nonetheless works nicely for at this time’s regulation enforcement officers. Reliability and the revolver’s resistance to neglect), plus the lack of a guide security and its functionality of creating repeated contact photographs work in its favor.

Charter Arms has been making firearms since 1964. The Shelton, Connecticut-based producer is greatest recognized for its .44 Particular Bulldog and .38 Particular Undercover and cops have been carrying them for over 50 years. The Pitbull is an entire new breed of snub nostril revolver, as a result of the proven fact that it chambers semi-automatic pistol cartridges.

Semi-automatic cartridges in a revolver

Most snub nostril revolvers are chambered for the .38 Particular cartridge or .357 Magnum and the cartridge’s rim secures it inside every cylinder chamber and permits for extraction as properly.

Revolvers made for semi-auto rounds date again greater than 100 years to the S&W and Colt .45 ACP weapons produced to make use of army cartridges meant for 1911 pistols. These revolvers offered extra handguns that used the similar army ammo as the issued Colt 1911. Nevertheless, these revolvers require flat metal clips, also known as moon clips (third – 2 rounds, half – three rounds, or full – 5 or 6 rounds), to maintain the cartridges from falling via the cylinder chambers and in addition offering extraction.

Revolver cartridges (like the .38 Particular or .357 Magnum) use their rear cartridge rim to place every spherical in the cylinder’s chambers. Semi-automatic cartridges (resembling 9mm, .40, .45) are rimless and subsequently want the moon clips to extract from a revolver’s cylinder. Another designs headspace a semi-auto cartridge on the mouth of the case inside a cylinder chamber, however a pencil-type object is required to punch every empty case out after firing.

Charter Arms has provide you with a greater concept for firing semi-auto ammo in a revolver, one which mimics the method that revolvers usually load and unload.

The Pitbull 9mm revolver

The Pitbull is obtainable in three semi-automatic cartridge decisions: .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and 9mm. Some officers might ask, “Why chamber a revolver for semi-automatic pistol cartridges?” The reply (and first cause the Pitbull is a sensible selection for regulation enforcement) is interchangeability and availability of ammo. Officers would come to qualification once I was working as a variety officer and ask, “Do you have any .38 Special ammo?” I might inform them I used to be sorry, however we haven’t had .38 cartridges for a few years. We inventory 9mm, .40, and .45 for apply, qualification and obligation difficulty, however not .38 anymore. They might frown and say, “It’s really expensive, too.”

Charter Arms got here up with a singular dual-coil spring meeting in the extractor star which retains semi-automatic, rimless cartridges and permits insertion and ejection in the similar method as rimmed revolver cartridges. No moon clips wanted. A Charter Arms Pitbull in 9mm was obtained for analysis.

The small 5-shot snub nostril is comparatively light-weight at simply 22 ounces with its chrome steel body and cylinder. The shrouded barrel – which protects the ejection rod from being bent – is machined with an integral ramped and serrated entrance sight and measures 2.2-inches. Charter Arms makes use of an eight land and groove rifling twist as an alternative of the normal six to offer higher velocity. The muzzle is properly topped with a recess.

The highest of the body is minimize to offer a bigger sq. notch rear sight that matches up properly with the entrance. The Pitbull revolvers have normal uncovered hammers that function a switch bar security mechanism meaning all 5 chambers could be safely loaded and carried. The firing pin doesn’t relaxation on a spherical’s primer. With the cylinder open, an in depth take a look at the firing pin exhibits that it is manufactured from beryllium copper, and is virtually indestructible. The weapons are commonplace double motion (measuring over 12 kilos as a result of my Lyman digital set off pull gauge solely goes that prime) or they are often thumb cocked to fireside with a a lot lighter single motion set off pull (three kilos, 12 ounces on the similar Lyman gauge). The set off is serrated however not overly sharp, so it doesn’t abrade your set off finger when firing a fifty spherical qualification.

The rubberized finger groove grip covers the complete back and front strap and match a number of officers’ palms properly. Opening the cylinder requires a ahead push on the left-side-mounted cylinder launch latch. It pressed proper up towards the rear cylinder defend, however does its job nice. The cylinder swings out to the left and the ejector rod has a wider flat finish that your thumb appreciates. Empty 9mm instances eject simply identical to .38 Particular instances and the grips don’t intrude in any respect.

Blacknitride+ End

Blacknitride+ end is a warmth remedy impregnated into the metallic of mechanical elements that features firearms. Charter Arms bead blasts its chrome steel revolvers after which H&M Metallic Processing applies its proprietary course of to the elements.

The matte darkish graphite shade is non-reflective and offers a Rockwell hardness between 60 and 70 that is quenched into the metallic floor and won’t chip or flake off. It additionally reduces friction to offer smoother operation and longer-lasting elements. Blacknitride+ software to firearms works for the similar purpose it is utilized in skilled vehicle racing for engine elements, oil drilling, and even NASA’s Mars Rover movement management elements.

The Charter Arms revolvers completed in Blacknitride+ have a pleasingly delicate black end that may hold the firearm from corroding in and out in any sort of climate. Places close to salt water and areas the place chilly air combines with squad automotive heaters or scorching air and air con can wreak havoc on firearms. It’s good to know that fixed upkeep is not crucial since the Pitbull’s inner and exterior elements (together with the inside the barrel and cylinder chambers) are protected by the Blacknitride+ end.

The Pitbull’s end is the second purpose it’s a sensible selection for police use, it requires little upkeep to take care of its reliability and end.

Vary time

How correct can we have to be to shoot a snub nostril revolver? Trick shooter Bob Munden might hit a metal goal 200 yards away with a snubby, however in regulation enforcement we all know that the majority shootings happen at 21 ft or much less. The Charter Arms revolvers are most probably to be in comparison with the S&W J-frame or the new Colt Cobra revolvers with comparable size barrels. Each of these revolvers are priced larger than the Charter Arms weapons and the Blacknitride+ Pitbull’s steered retail worth of $522.

The double-action set off pull on this Pitbull began out with a gritty feeling as the set off traveled from cocking the hammer, by means of rotating the cylinder, after which lastly dropping the hammer. I made double positive the chambers have been empty after which I pulled the set off 300 occasions whereas retaining my offhand thumb on the hammer, stopping it from smacking the firing pin arduous every time. This is the previous “poor man’s trigger job,” which merely causes the inner elements to contact one another and rub out any tiny burrs or microscopic edges.

I needed to see how the Pitbull would shoot double motion at 21 ft for its first 10 photographs. After the poor man’s set off job, I cleaned the bore and cylinder after which oiled the cylinder crane and ejector rod. Then I ran a regular silhouette goal out to 21 ft and loaded the Pitbull with Blazer Brass 115 grain 9mm rounds. After firing the first 5 photographs, I reloaded and fired 5 extra. All however one spherical have been in the ten-ring. I pulled my photographs barely excessive and left (I have a tendency to try this when firing double motion revolvers) and one shot was in the nine-ring. However for its meant use as a backup gun, this Pitbull carried out only a

s wanted.

One other 150 rounds have been fired by means of the gun, together with 115-, 124- and 147-grain 9mm ammunition. There have been no incidents of cylinder lock up or hammer freeze (situations the place the set off is pulled however the revolver fails to perform). It must be famous that Charter Arms doesn’t advocate +P ammunition in the Pitbull. The rationale given is that +P ammo is designed for longer barreled firearms and firing it in the Pitbull will give extreme muzzle flash and recoil. +P masses can’t burn all their powder in a shorter barrel, so the bullet’s power on course is lowered as nicely.

The Hornady Essential Protection 9mm cartridge is made with a quick burning powder to offer velocity briefly barrel firearms and its Flex Tip 115-grain bullet has been proven to reliably broaden in all kinds of media. This spherical fired with wonderful accuracy by means of the Pitbull.

Some officers might view the 9mm spherical as subpar in comparison with the .40 S&W and .45 acp cartridges. This view might trigger some to assume that the recoil of the 9mm spherical in the Pitbull can be a lot lower than one other comparable spherical. Keep in mind that the 9mm cartridge was meant for semi-automatic pistols and wanted to have sufficient energy to cycle a metal slide and overcome recoil springs in pistols. There is nowhere for that recoil to go in a revolver besides straight again into your palm. The Pitbull kicks. It’s not a variety toy for in depth plinking for enjoyable. It’s a very good factor the wraparound grips are rubberized as a fifty spherical qualification course is about all the capturing it would be best to do with this little 22-ounce revolver.

Loading the Pitbull is easy so long as you keep in mind that pushing every cartridge into every chamber requires just a bit little bit of strain to beat the spring-loaded clips that retain every spherical. There are not any speedloaders made for the Pitbull, nevertheless Tuff Merchandise does make its QuickStrips to carry 9mm rounds. These polymer strips maintain six to eight rounds in a flat, concealable format for straightforward and fumble-free reloading.

Unloading the Pitbull is simply so simple as another revolver. A correct ejection drill holding the gun with its muzzle up and urgent the ejection rod downward together with your thumb expelled all 5 empty instances each time they usually cleared the rubber grip as properly. A number of shooters tried the Pitbull they usually all loaded and ejected the fired instances with no drawback after being instructed to only give every spherical that additional little push into the chambers.

Vary time proved the third purpose why the Pitbull is the greatest 9mm revolver. It was straightforward and intuitive to load, hearth precisely, eject empty instances after which reload. It was quick and didn’t require moon clips and it functioned flawlessly.

Remaining ideas

When you already perceive the benefits of revolvers – reliability, lack of guide security and skill to fireside repeated contact photographs – you could discover the Pitbull to be the gun for you. Regardless of in the event you carry a 9mm, .40, or .45 on obligation, you’ll be able to match a Pitbull’s semi-automatic ammo together with your obligation pistol.

Police departments ought to situation ammunition for on-duty backup firearms and most do. However it is comprehensible that departments can’t inventory each caliber out there on the firearms market. In case your division shares 9mm ammunition for follow and qualification, the Charter Arms Pitbull in 9mm is an choice that holds nice attraction. 9mm ammo is inexpensive than .38 Particular ammo, so it’s a greater deal in case you are paying for your personal ammo.

The Charter Arms Pitbull is out there in chrome steel and the Blacknitride+ end. It is a well-made, dependable revolver in contrast to others because of its distinctive capability to load and hearth semi-automatic cartridges with none particular adaptors.

About the Writer Steve Tracy lately retired from the Park Ridge Police Division (which borders the northwest aspect of Chicago) after 30 years of service, 28 as a firearms teacher.