At just 12 ounces, the Off Duty from Charter Arms is a light, sleek, no-snag concealed carry revolver that packs a five-round fist full of .38 Special. Shown with Crimson Trace Lasergrips and a matte stainless steel finish. Sean Utley Photo

Located in Shelton, Connecticut, Charter Arms currently produces over 70 variations of compact revolvers, with a diverse selection of calibers, barrel lengths and frame finishes. Their revolvers often cost less than their competitors, but this doesn’t make them cheap. All of the parts are constructed in-house or by vendors within 50 miles of the plant.

The new Off Duty is a double-action-only (DAO), 5-shot revolver chambered in .38 Special. The concealed hammer is a tried and trusted configuration providing a sleek, no-snag profile that’s ideal for concealed carry. The judicious use of aircraft-grade aluminum to complement the steel components keeps the revolver’s weight down to just 12 ounces. This is achieved through the use of a lightweight aluminum frame. However, despite its light weight, the Off Duty possesses the requisite strength to handle +P ammunition.

The small rubber combat grip is comfortable and hand-filling. The DAO trigger and concealed hammer combine to make this an ideal pocket revolver. Sean Utley Photo

Charter revolvers use fewer interior parts than other designs, which results in greater reliability. The barrel, underlug and sight are all milled from one piece of steel. Eight-groove button rifling provides a better gas seal and reduces bullet deformation. The frame provides a three-point lockup for the cylinder, and the yoke is locked in place by the frame instead of a retaining screw. Finally, the ergonomics of the trigger have been worked to do away with pinching of the trigger finger.

The Charter Arms Off Duty can accept a wide variety of grips, including a slick polymer “hip grip” (top left) or checkered wood grips (top right). Sean Utley Photo

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