Look familiar? No? Check out the hexagonal barrel. Yup, it’s a weapon designed by the same Italian gunsmith behind the Chiappa Rhino. Wikipedia gives us the inside dope on Emilio Ghisoni’s previous foray into oddly shaped barrels and unconventional firing systems: “The Mateba Mo. 6 uses the recoil from firing to rotate the cylinder and cock the hammer, unlike conventional revolvers, which depend on the user physically pulling the trigger and/or cocking the hammer to actuate the weapon’s mechanism of operation. The Mateba Autorevolver’s barrel alignment is different from most other revolvers. The barrel is aligned with the bottom of the cylinder instead of the top . . .
This lowers the bore sight (line of the barrel) which directs the recoil in line with the shooter’s hand thereby reducing the twisting motion or ‘muzzle flip’ of normal revolvers. The gun’s entire upper assembly (barrel, cylinder and frame) are mounted on rails on the lower frame, which houses the trigger, hammer, and grip, and recoils approximately 7/8 of an inch/22mm on firing. The rearward motion of the upper assembly cocks the hammer, and the cylinder is rotated on the forward stroke.
fourdeuce82d over at thehighroad.org owns a Mateba Autorevolver. He cites concerns but gives it a thumbs-up (well, he did buy it).
One additional problem that relegates this gun to a “range toy” as opposed to a hunting/self-defense weapon- there is no decocker, nor is there an external safety. From the first round until the last, each “bang” leaves you with a cocked, light-triggered gun until you manually lower the hammer. Not my idea of an especially safe SD gun.
GREAT fun to shoot- the recoil system and low bore axis reduce the recoil, and send it straight back- tight double traps are a breeze- you hear a very loud noise, and you know something exciting is happening up at the front end of the gun…but the muzzle doesn’t rise at all!
If the similarly (though not identically) configured Chiappa Rhino revolver can tame the kick of a proper .357 load, well, second time’s a charm. Meanwhile, a Mateba Autorevolver can be had for about $800 depending on condition. If the Rhino takes off, look for this Mateba to become a valuable collector’s piece. If not, not.