Let’s take a look at what we expect the Pitbull to be…
What’s the Deal with “Rimless”
The Pitbull revolvers are designed to chamber “rimless” cartridges typically used in semi-automatic pistols. Cartridges designed for revolvers typically have a rim that extends beyond the width of the case. This rim is what interfaces with the extractor star to allow for an easy removal of fired cases.
When a revolver is chambered for a rimless cartridge, the manufacturer typically designs the gun to use half- or full-moon clips. These clips are thin pieces of metal that hold the cartridges and allow them to eject from the revolver as a group.
Since the clips hold multiple cartridges, they are sometimes used by competitors as they act as natural speed loaders. Similarly, some people prefer them for self-defense purposes.
A few companies have used other means to properly shoot and extract rimless cartridges from revolvers. Charter Arms is one such company.
The Pitbull uses a special mechanical system to engage the cartridges under the recessed rims. This allows a shooter to insert and extract the rounds in a manner nearly identical to regular rimmed cartridges.
(Frame) Size Matters
When I spoke with company president Nick Ecker in 2012, he said the 9mm Pitbull revolver is built on the company’s .357 Magnum frame. The .40 S&W version of the gun is built on the same frame the company uses for the iconic .44 Special Bulldog. I expect the .45 ACP version of the Pitbull will also be built on the Bulldog frame.
The revolvers will have a stainless finish and have black rubber grips.
A fixed ramp with serrations will serve as the front sight. The rear will be a wide notch. Since the sights are very rugged, there is little chance they could be damaged enough to throw off the point of impact.
The cylinder will hold five .45 ACP rounds, and the unloaded weight of this gun will be 21 ounces. The MSRP will be just under $498.
According to Ecker, prototypes of the guns are up and running. He said the company plans on starting production of the new guns in January.
I previously reviewed the .40 S&W version of the Pitbull, but had some problems with the extraction. I did not find that the gun was reliable enough for self-defense at that time. However, more than 2.5 years have passed since that time, and I would expect that any bugs have been worked out of the system.
Based on my interactions with Charter Arms, I have found them to be a quality company that is genuinely interested in providing good customer service. I suspect that any lessons learned with the early guns have been incorporated into the new .45 ACP Pitbull.