How to Take a Charter Arms 38 Special Apart

by Keith Dooley

The Charter Arms company has been in business since the mid 1960's producing a range of revolver firearms. Charter Arms' first offering was the .38 caliber Undercover model. This first model was, at the time, the lightest revolver on the market and was eventually used widely by civilians as well as law enforcement officers. Taking apart a .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver such as the Undercover model is often necessary for routine cleaning.

Remove all ammunition from the Charter Arms .38 and visually inspect the gun to make sure it is completely unloaded and safe to handle.

Locate the screw in the center of the left grip and loosen it with a blade screwdriver but do not remove the screw completely. Press on the extended screw head to force the handle on the right side of the pistol loose. Remove the screw completely and remove the grips from both sides of the pistol.

Pull the hammer back so it is fully cocked and held in place. Locate the small hole in the bottom of the main spring guide rod. Insert the straightened end of a paper clip into the hole in the spring guide to hold it in place and prevent if from flying loose and causing injury.

Release the hammer to the uncocked position. Remove the main spring, seat and guide rod from the Charter Arms .38 pistol.

Locate the frame assembly screw to the rear of the hammer. Loosen the screw with a screwdriver and completely remove it from the frame. Locate the frame assembly pin below the hammer and remove it from the frame.

Hold the Charter Arms pistol so that the trigger guard is accessible and remove the cylinder stop retaining pin located just in front of the trigger guard. Hold the pistol firmly and remove the butt from the pistol frame.

Complete the disassembly process by locating the hammer screw on the right hand side of the pistol. Loosen the screw with a screwdriver and remove. Pull the hammer free from the frame of the pistol.

Items you will need

  • Blade screwdriver
  • Paper clip

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.