Charter Arms goes big, introducing the Bulldog XL in .45 Long Colt and a Mag Pug in .41 Rem. Mag.

The word on these new revolvers:

  • The XL is a new configuration of the Bulldog with a large frame.
  • Both 5-round revolvers have 2.5-inch barrels.
  • The Bulldog XL weighs in at 22 ounces, the new Mag Pug 23.
  • Each is outfitted with full-sized rubber grips, fixed sights and a standard hammer.
  • The MSRP on the revolvers is $433.

Life in the 40s is difficult if you’re a revolver fan. There are some downright dynamite cartridges when it comes to these big-bore brutes, at the same tick, there are some nasty catches when it comes to gun selection. This is particularly apparent if you want to carry one for self-defense.

Charter Arms Bulldog XL in .45 Long Colt.
Charter Arms Bulldog XL in .45 Long Colt.

Generally, revolvers in this caliber decade are a hefty lot and typically configured for chasing game or banging steel. The ones designed for concealed carry, in recent years at least, are more and more hitched to the .45 ACP. A solid choice, but one with a lot of semi-auto competition.

Charter Arms is the noted exception in this large-caliber muddle. The Connecticut wheelgun maker cut from the herd long ago and made the .44 Special one of its premier chamberings. And after all these years, its very concealable Bulldog continues to catch eyes among those who want a bit more lead to get the job done. Though this year, the faithful old watchdog might get a run for its money, from its own kin nonetheless.

A break from the ordinary, Charter Arms has dusted off a pair classic .40-caliber rounds to expand two of its popular lines of 5-round revolvers. As its name implies, the Bulldog XL is a large-frame version of Charter Arms’ popular wheelgun and comes chambered in .45 Long Colt. And the Mag Pug gets what can only be classified as a red-hot addition with a new .41 Rem. Mag. model. Slinging that kind of lead, there little arguing Charter Arms’ latest big-bores have stopping power in spades, but not at the expense of concealability.  

With that said, the 22-ounce Bulldog XL and 23-ounce Pug will likely be handfuls, particularly the .41 Mag. with hotter loads. The cartridge is renowned for its snappiness, even out of heavier guns. Charter has taken mercy on shooters in both cases, designing the guns with full rubber combat grips, so there should be plenty to hang on to.

Charter Arms Mag Pug in .41 Rem. Mag.
Charter Arms Mag Pug in .41 Rem. Mag.

Self-defense ammunition is potentially also a tricky proposition when it comes to the .41 Mag. There are rounds out there and not hidden on the back shelf, but by no means is there a cornucopia like you’d find for the .357 Mag. or .38 Spc. Given its extensive fan base, he .45 Colt should prove easier to feed. Ammo for it runs the gambit, from mild cowboy loads to hard-hitting defensive rounds.

There aren’t many surprises in either revolver, outside a few minor tweaks to optimize them to their chamberings. Outside of its large frame, the Bulldog XL is configured like its more established predecessor including a 2.5-inch barrel, fixed sights, stainless steel frame and cylinder, and standard spurred hammer. On the .41 Mag Pug the only notable change is a slightly longer barrel, 2.5 inches compared to the 2.2-inch standard .357 Mag. But the lines have proven winners for Charter Arms for some time, so it’s logical the company would keep what works. That includes price. Charter remains one of the most affordable American gunmakers and doesn’t change course with its recent releases, each with a MSRP of $433.

For more information on the Bulldog XL and the new Mag Pug, please check out: www.charterfirearms.com

Bulldog XL Specs
Caliber: .45 Long Colt
Weight: 22 ounces
Frame & Cylinder: Stainless Steel
Finish: Stainless Steel
Grips: Combat Full Rubber
Hammer: Standard (spur)
Sights: Fixed
Barrel Length: 2.5 inches
Capacity: 5 rounds
MSRP: $433

Mag Pug .41 Rem. Mag. Specs
Caliber: .41 Rem. Mag.
Weight: 23 ounces
Frame & Cylinder: Stainless Steel
Finish: Stainless Steel
Grips: Combat Full Rubber
Hammer: Standard (spur)
Sights: Fixed
Barrel Length: 2.5 inches
Capacity: 5 rounds
MSRP: $433


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