Cleaning a Charter Arms Pink Lady 38 Special

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2,338
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Magnolia, TX
Back in the early 80's I bought a used Bulldog .44 Special by Charter Arms. It has always been one of my favorite revolvers. Recently, I gave it to my daughter for personal protection. It is accurate and reasonably comfortable to shoot. She tried it and liked it. But as luck would have it, I wanted my Bulldog back! So I bought her one of these: http://charterfirearms.com/products/Charter_Undercover_53830.asp in the standard 38 Pink Lady edition. I showed it to her and she agreed to the return swap. So I told her I would take it home to clean it and then give it to her. Unfortunately, I've never owned a colored anodized aluminum steel frame before. The instructions say 1. no acids or caustics, 2. no chlorinated solvents, no hard rubbing with coarse abrasives. Anodize is considered an amphoteric coating and will be attacked by solutions of high alkaline or acidic nature. One recommended technique is to used an abrasive cleaning sponge with mild dish soap. Maybe drop the frame and cylinder (minus to rubber grip) into a pan of warm water and soap to soak for awhile and then swab and brush the bore and cylinder too. Am I on the right track here from people with experience on these materials. All of my experience over the years has been with blued guns. Also, I've used Hoppes Elite before and seem to remember it being a soapy watery cleaner. It also seemed pretty gentle. Would that work well? Anyways, any help from experience on this matter would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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6,638
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South Florida
Originally Posted By: INDYMAC
Maybe drop the frame and cylinder (minus to rubber grip) into a pan of warm water and soap to soak for awhile and then swab and brush the bore and cylinder too. Am I on the right track here from people with experience on these materials.
Definitely not the right track. Dropping the entire gun into a pot of water is unnecessary and will probably do more harm than good. All you have to do is a gentle clean of the cylinder and bore. Then pop off the side plate and drop a little grease on the contact points - that's it. If you don't get all the water out of it, you will get rust and internal water damage. Many people "over-clean" their firearms and damage them. Don't be that guy.
Originally Posted By: INDYMAC
Also, I've used Hoppes Elite before and seem to remember it being a soapy watery cleaner. It also seemed pretty gentle. Would that work well?
Hoppes Elite and M-Pro 7 are the same company. The cleaners and lubes appear to me to be very similar, although the company says they are different. The Hoppes Elite/M Pro-7 cleaners and lubes are some of the best on the market, and you will do fine using them. The cleaner is very gentle, non toxic, and does a great job. Also, if that gun is just used at home (night stand gun or similar), it is not a very good choice. It is only 12 ounces and has brutal recoil. My wife shot my 12 ounce revolver one shot and then put it back and said "that's enough." Look for a 6 or 7 shot Smith, Ruger, Or Taurus with a steel frame and 4" barrel. Much better manageable home defense gun. Such as this...
 

INDYMAC

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Magnolia, TX
She enjoys shooting my Charter Arms Bulldog .44 special. What makes you think she won't like the .38 special (it's not +P)? Too light? It's about the same weight as the Bulldog with less recoil. When I compared it to the S&W revolvers it felt better in my hand (great balance). I'll let you know after we shoot it whether she'll get the .44 back. Thanks for all the great cleaning tips guys.
 
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5,653
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Central IA
Originally Posted By: INDYMAC
She enjoys shooting my Charter Arms Bulldog .44 special. What makes you think she won't like the .38 special (it's not +P)? Too light? It's about the same weight as the Bulldog with less recoil. When I compared it to the S&W revolvers it felt better in my hand (great balance). I'll let you know after we shoot it whether she'll get the .44 back. Thanks for all the great cleaning tips guys.
First mistake, you bought her a gun that felt good in YOUR hands. Your hands are unlikely the same as hers. And the 44 bulldog weighs in at 21oz the Pink Lady weighs 12oz. So it is almost half as heavy as the bulldog she shot before. 38+p, which you would need to shoot in order to be effective adds more recoil than you think over standard 38 special. She would have been better served by a completely steel revolver like she had before in your bulldog. I can tell you alloy framed revolvers are nice to carry, but unpleasant to shoot and often lead to recoil flinch.
 
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INDYMAC

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Magnolia, TX
Like I said before, if she likes the Bulldog better, she can have it back. I'll use the Pink Lady. When she came to me asking for something she could use for self defense at home a few years ago, I suggested my Winchester Defender pump 12 ga. It's too heavy for her though fully loaded, but is my favorite self defense gun since shot gunning is my thing. Next, I offered my Colt Combat Government model .45ACP. This is my favorite pistol so I'm glad she didn't want it. Next I bought her a Springfield Arms XD9. Both she and I don't like this pistol (talk about a mistake purchase!) The only thing else I had at the time was my Bulldog .44 SPC. She said she liked the simplicity and feel of the revolver and wanted to shoot it...she liked it! Unfortunately, .44 ammo is scarce so she doesn't get to shoot it much. That shouldn't be a problem with the pleasant shooting .38 SPC. Thanks for the cleaning tips too.
 

INDYMAC

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Magnolia, TX
I talked to a lady on the phone today who owns both a .44 Bulldog and a Orange and Black .38 (same frame as Pink Lady). She says she uses FrogLube for all but the bore and cylinder chambers. She uses Hoppes #9 for them. I might try the Elite first and switch to #9 if it's ineffective. It was good to hear her say she loves shooting both revolvers. I ordered some FrogLube today.
 
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I'll join crew and pile on. Steel frame 4 inch for home defense. 12 oz pocket revolvers are a handful. Certainly not "pleasant." Sounds like a good place for a nice ol S&W model 10 or similar.
 
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Delaware
If your daughter is interested in a lightweight revolver, I suggest SHE, tries a Ruger LCR series. In MY hands, at Cabela's, I could imagine the recoil being largely tamed by the different orientation of the gun vs. my arm. It feels very different than my GP-100. If you really want something said to different, look at a Chiappa Rhino revolver. The you tube video is very interesting to watch, but not up to the "standards" of Johnny Rowland.
 

INDYMAC

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2,338
Location
Magnolia, TX
Originally Posted By: INDYMAC
I talked to a lady on the phone today who owns both a .44 Bulldog and a Orange and Black .38 (same frame as Pink Lady). She says she uses FrogLube for all but the bore and cylinder chambers. She uses Hoppes #9 for them. I might try the Elite first and switch to #9 if it's ineffective. It was good to hear her say she loves shooting both revolvers. I ordered some FrogLube today.
I got a call from my daughter yesterday after she had finally shot her new revolver. She loves it! And so did her girlfriend who had previously wanted to buy a Glock pistol. I guess the best reviews come from people you actually know and have used the revolver. But isn't that always the case? Now, I have to get the gun back from her to clean it with the FrogLube...make it look like a pretty Pink Lady again!
 
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