Charter Arms Pitbull in .45 ACP

Charter Arms Pit Bull 45 ACP

Charter Arms will release a .45 ACP version of the Pit Bull revolver early next year. The gun is the third caliber offering in the Pitbull line, with the 9mm and .40 S&W already on the market.

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.

General Specs

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.

Prior Experience

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.

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

13 replies on “Charter Arms Pitbull in .45 ACP”

Thanks for the review, I talked with Charter Arms and then stated this would be available by March 2015. On the down side they stated they did not recommend +P ammo not because the gun would not handle it but because of the 2.x” barrel is too short to effectively burn the powder. I am hoping that they will consider a 3″ preferably or 4″ variant.

I am a big fan of the 3″ barrel for CC. Charter Arms seems to be resistant to offer a 3″ as when it was requested on the Bulldog they went to a 4″ instead. Maybe if we get enough of us asking we might see it happen. Thanks

I owned a Bulldog with a factory 3″ barrel in all SS. Best shooting .44 I ever carried. Shot as well as a S&W 29 in 4″.

I got off the phone with Charter Arms about 1 hour ago and was told the .45 ACP version will not be available until the end of the summer! :o(
(they are waiting for the next shipment of barrels to arrive)

After this long of a wait I hope they have worked out all the bugs,don’t want the 9mm,40s&w extraction problems on release.

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