Charter Arms Pathfinder Surprise


It’s been awhile since I last made a post.  Well, it’s been more than awhile… it’s been a long time.  17 months later, I’m still here.  In that time, my wife and I welcomed baby #3, I changed jobs, etc.  Basically, a busy life became even busier.  However, I just had a chance today to shoot a new little fun gun I recently purchased… the Charter Arms Pathfinder!

I’ve been thinking of a .22 revolver for some time.  I own a Browning Buckmark, so I didn’t need just another rimfire.  But, I wanted a double action .22 that my young boys can learn on in the future.  Something fairly small, light weight, yet accurate and easy to use.  Oh, and it had to have a good trigger.  All signs pointed me to yet another S&W.  That is, all signs except the dollar signs!  I love my Smiths but at $600 (for a used specimen), I couldn’t justify a purchase for something I wanted as a “knock around” revolver.  The Taurus 94 seemed to be the way I was going until I pulled the trigger on a couple in the fun stores.  In single action, the pull was a little stiff but fairly crisp.  In double action, the Incredible Hulk would grimace.  Now, I’m no wimp, but I know a good trigger pull when I see one and, frankly, the Taurus was so far from a good trigger that it was knocked out of contention immeidately.  Then, one day, I happened upon a little pistol I had never heard of… the Charter Arms Pathfinder.

The Pathfinder is a 6-shot traditional DA/SA revolver.  It has the standard shell loading and ejection process as a S&W and, basically, handles the same.  No, it’s not as smooth and refined, but at less than $350 and with a decent trigger it showed promise.  Plus, I liked the matte stainless finish.  The trigger does have a slight “hitch” before it fires… almost like a 2-stage trigger.  In that respect, it doesn’t bother me at all.  Especially since it only takes 3 1/2 pounds of pressure to send a .22 bullet down range in SA pull.


I like the recessed chambers in the Pathfinder.  They aren’t necessary but they are there… which is a nice touch.  As you can see, as stated, ejection is the same method as any other standard double action revolver.


I took the little Pathfinder out for the first time today for some informal shooting.  Alas, I do not have targets to show, groups to measure, or quantitative analysis like many of my other posts.  But, I have some basic anecdotal observations.  I like this pistol. While not as smooth as refined as a Smith, it works just fine.  The trigger pull is a decent weight, and even in DA mode at around 12 pounds it isn’t as stiff as a Taurus.  The little gun managed to throw a group of .22 bullets into a fairly tight pattern at 30 feet.  And, it worked just like a revolver is supposed to: reliably and predictably.

In conclusion, I’m happy with this purchase at this point.  Time will tell whether or not the Pathfinder stands up to the use of my growing boys, but as long as nothing breaks, binds, snaps, or bends, it will be just what I was looking for:  a budget priced revolver that can be used to each fundamentals, hit what it’s pointed at, and not induce uncontrollable wailing from yours truly if it takes a nick or scratch along the way.


About martowski

Garden-variety professional with one too many hobbies.
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2 Responses to Charter Arms Pathfinder Surprise

  1. Nice little revolver, I am heading out to do a little shooting today for the first time in almost a year. No new hardware to try out but I have a few hot loads I worked up to play with. Hopefully I can put a blog together too. Been awhile since I posted also. Congratulations on the new baby!

  2. martowski says:

    Thank you! Yes, other aspects of life have dramatically truncated my shooting time as of late, but I hope to find more time over the upcoming year.

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