Charter Arms Pitbull 9mm snub-nosed revolver won’t back down from a fight.

Revolvers chambering “rimless” rounds intended for autoloading pistols aren’t all that new. These cartridges include the .45 ACP, .40 S&W and 9mm Parabellum. World War II saw several servicemen carrying revolvers that digested the same .45 ACP ammunition 1911 pistols were chambered for—a battlefield expedient necessitated by dwindling supplies of Browning’s famed single-action autoloader.

Most revolver designers pull this trick off with half-moon (sometimes full-moon) clips that rest against the rear of the cylinder. This is an awkward solution that does the job but slows down the loading process. Charter Arms now offers a more elegant solution.

Charter Arms recently began offering snub-nose revolvers specifically designed to digest high-velocity pistol ammunition. The .40 S&W Pitbull was the first Charter Arms revolver chambered for an autopistol round.

The reasoning behind this choice is easy to understand. The .40 S&W cartridge was specifically designed for U.S. law enforcement use, where it enjoys high popularity. A small .40 S&W revolver would provide an excellent backup weapon for someone who carried a heavier autoloading handgun chambering the same cartridge as his or her primary duty weapon. The ability to use the same ammunition in either handgun is obvious. That’s not the only advantage the new Charter Arms guns provide.

The .40 S&W is an excellent round for police work or self-defense. However, the considerably older 9mm Parabellum—which was adopted by the German Navy back in 1904—is more popular with civilian shooters. It’s also a long-established standard in European countries and many other places around the globe. It also happens to be the NATO cartridge U.S. forces adopted when the .45 ACP 1911 was retired by our military. As a point in fact, the 9mm Parabellum is the world’s best-selling pistol cartridge. It wouldn’t enjoy such a widespread reputation if it weren’t effective.

Since it was a European cartridge, some U.S. shooters were not all that familiar with it. The 9mm gained cre-
dence in this country when it was chambered in Browning’s iconic Hi-Power pistol. This was once the handgun of choice among mercenaries and other professional soldiers.

The .38 Special has long been popular with those who have wanted a light-weight, concealable revolver. For many years, guns chambering this cartridge were issued to most police departments in this country. As a result, we’re all familiar with the round. We’re a nation of traditionalists, and the .38 Special is the cartridge that first comes to mind when we think “concealable revolvers.”

If you think the 9mm doesn’t measure up to the .38 Special’s performance, think again. Throwing bullets of ap-proximately the same weight, the 9mm churns up some 200 fps greater velocity than the .38 Special delivers. That’s true with both standard and +P loads. The 9mm is a decidedly serious defensive round that’s known for doing the job.

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