Gun Review: Chiappa Firearms Rhino

What’s new about the Chiappa Rhino .357 Magnum revolver? Everything. Forget everything you ever thought you knew about magnum revolvers, or snubnose revolvers, or handgun recoil, or concealable stopping power. If Chiappa can iron-out a few wrinkles in its execution (ergonomics, anyone?), the Rhino could be to conventional revolvers what HMS Dreadnought was to capital ships. Even the Ruger LCR already seems quaintly backward by comparison . . .

TTAG’ers already know that the Rhino’s a small six-shot .357 Magnum with a funky design that puts the barrel at the bottom of the cylinder, instead of the top. Some lucky TTAG’ers got to shoot it at The American Firearms School last month. This lucky scribe got to shoot it yesterday. I think it just might change everything in the revolver world. Did I already say that? It’s worth repeating then.

The Rhio conceals nearly as well as a snubnose .38 Special. It spits out death and destruction like a full-size .357 Magnum service revolver. And it recoils like, well, nothing. I’ve never shot a centerfire pistol that recoils so gently, except maybe my old 6” Taurus Model 66 firing .38 special target loads. Try concealing that. Or stopping an attacker with a .38 caliber lead trashcan poking along at 750 fps.

The Rhino also offers outstanding inherent accuracy—if you can sidestep its ergonomic shortcomings. For instance, if you dab the front sight with Sight Bright and fire it single-action, pretty soon you’ll be rewarded with groups like this:

Except for that one flyer at the top of the X-ring, it just doesn’t get any better than this. In Single Action (SA) mode, the Rhino consistently grouped under 2”, and the sights were perfectly regulated for full-power 125-grain .357s. In fact, the Rhino was more accurate in SA fire than our reference .357, a 4” L-frame Smith & Wesson 686. Yep: the 25-ounce alloy-framed Rhino with inferior sights and a 2-inch barrel was more accurate than the 41-ounce forged stainless S&W with better sights, a bigger grip and a 4” barrel.

Here’s the best group from the 686 [top target]:

Cocking the Rhino’s external hammer is actually fairly difficult; the hammer is small and smooth and the mainspring is extremely strong. We gave up on SA shooting and fired the Rhino a few times using a deliberate, slow, ‘staged’ DA pull. (Just the kind of action that Chiappa president Ron Norton told us not to do.). It actually worked fairly well, although it was neither fun nor practical. The groups opened up to about 4”, and stayed reasonably centered at the point of aim.

Slow shooting is for paper targets and tin cans, however, and the 2” Rhino is meant for concealed carry. So how does it shoot when seconds count? Very quickly; here it is with full-power 125-grain .357s. Muzzle climb? Gone. Target?  Shredded.

And here’s our reference .357, a 4” Model 686, with the same loads. Wayne isn’t going for speed with this group, but it does show the difference in muzzle climb. The 686 was considerably more difficult to shoot quickly, due to the increased recoil.

But as we sped things up, some ergonomic problems started to make themselves felt and the Rhino’s groups opened up.  Our 2” SA groups spread out to 4” or even 6” when we switched to quick DA shooting, and they started to move downward from the point of aim.

This is partly due to the design of the gun, and partly due to our own erroneous technique. The Rhino’s trigger pull is not straight back, as with conventional revolvers; it is back and slightly upward. Look at the angle of the finger groove in the frame for reference. When you pull back on the trigger (inconsistent and very heavy, at least 15 pounds) it levers the muzzle downward.

Then combine this effect with my own instinct to muscle a big pistol down from recoil and back onto the target. This is probably a bad shooting technique, but when I’m shooting a big pistol quickly it’s what I tend to do.It seems to work with conventional pistols, but with the Rhino it’s just not needed because muzzle climb is nearly nonexistent.

Yanking the trigger thusly, I tended to group low and stay low:

My friend Wayne, however, started perfectly centered on the target and then walked his successive shots downward and off the paper:

This is basically the reverse of what an untrained shooter does with a conventional pistol under the recoil of rapid firing, as the muzzle climbs higher and higher with successive shots.  But that’s what you are when you pick up a Rhino for the first time: a noob, with some bad habits to unlearn.

We’d tried to borrow a conventional snubnose .357 (a S&W Model 60) to test against the Rhino, but had to settle for a .38 Taurus snubby instead. I was amazed that the Rhino kicked less with .357 loads than the steel-framed .38 snubby kicked with standard 158-grain FMJs. Watch for yourself:

Conclusions:

Our test gun is pinpoint accurate and built like a brick shithouse. We couldn’t duplicate RF’s accuracy problems, possibly because I have long pianist’s fingers and Wayne is simply a giant.

Reliability was 100% through over 200 rounds fired. (We had planned for a longer shooting day, but the weather went from bad to worse and we bugged out when the drizzle turned into steady rain.) It even ejected long .357 cases with authority, which is extremely unusual for a concealable .357.

The Rhino lives up to its hype. It carries almost as lightly as a steel J-frame although it’s a bit chunkier, and it shoots with the ballistic authority and the accuracy (almost) of a service revolver. And it does all of this with almost no recoil.

It sounds too good to be true, and it almost is. The ergonomics are pretty awkward, and if there’s a single deal-breaker it’s got to be the DA trigger. It’s probably the stiffest I’ve ever worked, and it’s got two or three distinct stages before it stacks up even harder and finally breaks. This trigger pull renders the gun’s outstanding inherent accuracy all but inaccessible for defensive shooting.

And that’s a pity. Such an inherently accurate and mild-shooting gun virtually screams for a smooth DA trigger, even if it’s heavy. The Rhino punches well above its weight, and if Chiappa can smooth out the trigger pull, this will be a gun that truly does it all. Accuracy, ballistics, firepower, concealability and mild recoil. All in one package. If the Rhino is a success, the future might hold a 5-shot .44 Magnum snubnose, that recoils less than an all-steel 1911 and hits like a .30-30.

The Rhino’s unconventional geometry puts it decades ahead of conventional revolvers. The best of the rest, like the S&W 686 and the Taurus .38, are superior executions of an inferior and obsolete design. If Chiappa can get the Rhino just right, and at the right price point, it will eat them alive.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Caliber: .357 Magnum
Barrel: 2 inches
Overall Length: 6 inches
Weight (unloaded): 25 ounces
Grips: Rubberized black synthetic
Sights: Black ramp front, fixed black hammer notch rear
Action: DA/SA revolver
Finish: Anodized alloy
Capacity: 6
Price: $795

RATINGS (Out of Five):

Style * *
Brutal Klingon aesthetics make it cool but still don’t make it pretty.  I don’t care.

Ergonomics * *
Low-visibility sights and an inconsistent 15-pound trigger almost cancel the juicy goodness of this recoilless hand cannon.  Nothing feels right *until* it goes bang, and then it all feels perfect.

Reliability * * * *
This pistol is rock-solid, but subtract a star because it doesn’t have a production track record.  That will probably change.

Overall Rating * * *
Challenging trigger and ergonomics keep it from redefining what a concealment pistol is capable of.  It’s only a trigger pull away from greatness.

41 Responses to Gun Review: Chiappa Firearms Rhino

  1. avatarPelle Schultz says:

    Sounds like this could be a paradigm-changer if Chiappa can do something about that trigger. For the sake of comparison, I just measured the DA pull of my S&W 686 SSR (which has about as sweet of a DA pull as any stock .357 out there, and as good as any I've ever fired). A hair over 10 lbs, with a crisp, barely staged pull. In SA, 4.5 lbs. with a break that would shame any 1911 short of a Les Baer. Sounds like that's what the Chiappa needs to be a truly killer app.

    • avatarChris Dumm says:

      The grapevine is whispering that Chiappa has developed a trigger upgrade, and I hope it's true. Just as you say, there's nothing inherently wrong with a heavy DA trigger, as long as it's smooth and not *too* heavy.

      If the Rhino becomes popular, it's a gimme that Wolff Springs will sell a spring kit (probably not user-installable) that could lighten the trigger pull by a few crucial pounds. Wolff springs can work miracles on pistols with balky triggers.

      • avatarVivian says:

        When we sent my White Rhino back to Chiappa because I could hardly pull the trigger after the 4th shot, they said it was fine and if they put a lighter spring in it, I’d need to use rounds with sensitive primers in them, or it would likely misfire. I have my White Rhino back as it was, wishing I’d not gotten it. I am a senior female and have small hands, so I don’t have the strength it takes to shoot this revolver. It’s more of a novelty and I wish they’d have really engineered this gun to be a smoother shooter because it’s a dream with hardly any muzzle flip at all even with .357 rounds.

        Also, Do NOT get your finger over the gap in the cylinder because the gun fires from the bottom of the cylinder and it will bite you with weaker rounds, but would tear your finger open with larger caliber rounds, so watch where you place your thumb of your support hand.

  2. avatarroger says:

    I just picked up a Rhino yesterday. The SA is pretty light. However the DA is pretty heavy. Ilike how ell the gun is made and finished,. Reminds me of the quality of my H&K PSP, Even comes with a quality leather holster. The clock work is very different from Colt or S&W revolver. Not sure how to change springs to improve the DA.

  3. avatarGemini Sporting Goods says:

    Am an FFL andwould like more info on ChiappaRhino.
    Availability, dealer cost etc..

  4. avatarMark says:

    Thanks Mr. Dumm for accurately identifying the Rhino’s appearance:
    “Klingon aesthetics”!
    I live near Chiappa’s U.S. location and have been waiting for the Rhino to become available for sale. The trigger seemed likely to be the weak point as it appeared there were too many moving parts between it and the striker. Hopefully, someone can simplify the mechanism.

  5. avatarD Y Sanchez says:

    Dude this thing is awesome, just picked one up at kellys pawn in sanchez montana and it rocks, walked out the door with one in a 380 cal for 119 plus tax, must have put like 20 rounds through it at thr range would like to get one in a 22 cal for my wife to carry

  6. avatarDick T says:

    Great gun 2 inch Rhino, I have one, however Distrbutor in Ohio’s lack of customer support will doom the Rhino. They don’t respond to e-mails or phone calls. Unable to purchase support items or ask tech questions….2 thumbs down…Rhino will fail without customer support!

    • avatarGwolf says:

      I feel your pain Dick T. The lights are on but no one’s home. It would be a shame if such a spectacular innovation disappeared because the company is too small for the big time. They seem to be resolving things like the trigger, mines pretty smooth. A lot of parts doesn’t bother me, a swiss watch has a lot of parts too. Lets hope they are hireing on more staff to handle what I predict will be the glock of revolver designs.

      • avatarDavid says:

        I agree, I bought my Rhino 2 weeks ago and everyone says the same thing, if the trigger was smoother, this thing will make all other revolvers obsolete. Its dead accurate in SA but when you hammer down it goes down and to the left for me since im left handed. Im untraining my normal grip and stance and its getting better. you have to forget everything you know about revolvers to make this gun work right. But for 357mag power with 0 recoil, im doing it. im able to rapid fire it and hold a 10 inch group at 21 feet now compared to a 16 inch group when I first got it. And thats taken me over 400 rounds to do it. Ive seen it done online and kept in a 4 inch group but im gonna have to practice more to do that.

        • avatarVivian says:

          Since Chiappa is Italian, the style of the revolver has a European set to the grip and you will find you need to hold it differently because if you hold it like a US-made revolver, it will shoot high. You need to hold it with your wrists cocked at an angle to bring the muzzle down. Not too hard to do.

    • avatarGlenn says:

      Pretty much right on about factory support. When I got my new DS 200 I loaded it with six rounds of .357 Magnum ammo. Of the six rounds, only two went off. Of the two, one case split the full length. On inspecting the primers, the firing pin strike is off center. Yes it hit the primer but not close enough to center for reliable ignition. I am a retired tool and die maker and have kept my precision measureing tools. Loaded, new ammunition measures .375 in diameter. The chambers of my old Smith & Wesson measure .380 inside, while the Rhino measures .386. No wonder why the case split.
      I sent the gun back, heard nothing from them for a bit over a week. Took several calls to have a live person pick up. Was told that the gun was to be replaced. Couple weeks later, called again. Several calls needed, finally left message, was called back. Waiting for parts from Italy. Tried calling four times on May 3rd. four more times on May 4th. answering machine only. Called a couple time today May 7th. Finally left a message, was called back. They hope to be assembling guns later this week. May be getting one in a couple more weeks.
      Nice gun, great concept, poorly exicuted. Poor customer support, poor factory support. My advice, wait a year or two till they get the bugs worked out before you buy. With all the monkey business wish I could get my money back and get something from a more reliable company.

  7. avatarwillem says:

    Just got mine. The factory trigger pull is smooth as silk; fluid, firm and solid. The SA is is absolutely sublime. Note the cylinder breakover? Maybe they just got lucky. The breakover engineering is second to none. It’s the reason the DA repeating fire stability is so exceptional. The breakover character is the most remarkable feature of the revolver.

    It’s the 1911 of wheel guns. Even the manual cocking feels perfectly tuned for the task. The sights are no problem. The weapon presents effortlessly and flawlessly IF you treat it like a pistol and forget about it being a revolver.

    Best part of Rhino’s CC advantage is the incredible mass and facial sections of the build with the barrel located on the bottom. It’s the mother of all clubs. One could avoid the aftershot legal mess altogether should they whip out they Rhino and whoop it up the side of they assailant head. “Damn” was the first thing I thought when I picked up my Rhino for the first time. “I may not even have to pull the trigger. They way it fit my hand, my whole body knew I could pistol whip a perp into dreamland — or the afterlife — and never pull the trigger. It’s so solid and so totally locks in the hand, it’s still a lethal weapon when empty. Could this be the first triple-action CC revolver? Maybe so. You’ll know it when you hold it.

    • avatarVivian says:

      It is now 2014 and I haven’t had my White Rhino very long and I wish mine were smooth as silk.

      • avatarTX Gun Gal says:

        “It is now 2014 and I haven’t had my White Rhino very long and I wish mine were smooth as silk”

        Very few revolvers are going to have a smooth trigger pull new. Dry fire all (except .22lrs, use snap caps on rim fire revolvers)

        It has been my experience dry firing center fire revolvers will smooth out the trigger pull. Apllies to .22lr revolvers as well, justhave to use snap caps with rimfire revolvers to keep from breaking the trigger. I keep spent shells to usefor drying. It takes at least a 100 trigger pulls to smooth out the trigger. The more you dry fire, the smoother the trigger and the lighter the trigger pull will feel. I have Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Charter Arms and .a Chiappa. Rhino D/S action with 2″ barrell. revolvers. All without exception start out with less than ideal trigger pull, the more you pull the trigger, the smoother it will become, weither live rounds or dry fire.

        .

  8. avatarFrank says:

    I have to say that if you need a gun for ‘retiring’ replicants, this is obviously your first choice. Just make sure they fail the voight-kampt test first.

  9. avatarStanley Tate says:

    I have shot the Rhino in .357 Magnum and I like it. My question is, in the interest of my wife, when might the Rhino be available in 22 LR ?
    Thank you

    • avatarKat says:

      Not likely to ever produce in a .22 caliber. What would be the point? Shooting single action .38 + P will feel like a .22 on muzzle flip and recoil.

      Have her try your ..357 with .38 ammo.

      I had a ton of fun shooting .38 std. wadcutter ammo. Big holes!

  10. avatarTheMrBillShow says:

    Bloviating About The Chiappa Rhino
    ——————————————————————————–
    Review by Bill Schroeder – November 2011

    In 2010 Chiappa released the Rhino Revolver. Initially this product was available in very limited supply and quality control was far from stellar. That problem now seems to be solved, and the two Rhinos I now own work flawlessly. I have two of the Model 200D, this is a 2 inch, black, fixed sights, double action only (DAO), with the standard medium grip of a molded “rubber-like” material.

    The Rhino’s design is revolutionary in that it has the barrel aligned with the BOTTOM chamber of the cylinder rather that the top chamber. It is chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge, the cylinder release is a “down-press” thumb lever, the six tube cylinder is a hexagon, the trigger is smooth, and almost 1/2 inch wide, the aluminum frame is mid-sized with steel inserts as needed, weight is only 25 ounces, easily concealable size at 6.25L x 4.85H x 1.35W, the grip is at an odd angle, and the grip itself is some kind of rubber.

    I’m going to call this design a Bottom Barrel Revolver (BBR, or BB Revolver), it seems like we need a new name for this handgun design.

    What I will now tell you about this gun YOU SIMPLY WILL NOT BELIEVE, unless you actually spend an hour with this gun, and shoot 100 rounds through it. I have shot other versions of this gun, and they do behave somewhat differently, specifically the SA/DA version. All of my observations here will be in direct reference to the Rhino Model 200D product, with serial numbers greater than 2800.

    This gun generates very little muzzle flip or perceived recoil upon firing, even with 357 Magnum loads at rated at 500-600 foot pounds of energy. This fact, and the unusual ergonomics that cause almost natural pointing of the weapon are the features that make this handgun design unique and desirable.

    I want to state something that no one else has put forth about the Rhino because I think they have missed the most important point about this gun. I believe that whether you love or hate this implementation of a BBR, it makes no difference to the fact that this gun is going to change firearms history… It is not that THIS gun is perfect (because it is not)… but it is clearly a PROOF-OF-CONCEPT… After shooting it a bit, even the dim bulbs among us will realize that this BBR design WILL be pursued. Taurus loves to try new things and copy things, with their own twist, so they are likely to be next to offer a BBR, but don’t be surprised if S&W, Ruger, Springfield, Colt or some of the minor manufactures offer up their own visions and versions of the BBR after this true proof-of-concept firearm lights a fire under their firearms engineers.

    Some users have complained about the trigger on the Rhino. I did try Models 200DS and 400DS that each had serial numbers below 800, and they were terrible in Double Action, and very difficult to cock for use as Single Action. Although after the hard cocking the single action trigger was pretty good. However, I would not own a DS Model of this gun. After you cock it for single action this “cocking lever” (that looks like it is the hammer) goes back to what looks like a definitely uncocked firearm. There is a little red flag that pops up on the left rear of the frame to indicate the cocked condition, and that is fine… IF YOU CAN SEE IT… IF YOU NOTICE IT… and IF YOU KNOW WHAT IT MEANS… This is not a safe system. It would have been just as easy for them to have the “cocking lever” stay back to look like a “cocked” conventional revolver, and then fall forward on firing.

    My two Rhinos are the “D” models, which are true DAO guns. They contain none of the SA action system parts or cocker. The triggers on mine are just fine, for self defense use. They are fairly smooth and consistent at 10-12 pounds.

    You will learn to shot a Rhino WELL in 30 minutes or less. Even a novice shooter will put all six rounds in a 9 inch paper plate at 25 feet by the end of first box of ammo. You can pull it from it’s provided holster and fire it before you even raise it and hit a near target, every time. As you raise it to a target it comes naturally to the target, no long term training or weekly practice needed with a Rhino. The weapon is almost magically deadly.

    After you have put a couple of boxes of ammo through a Rhino… try this… Load it and pick it up in you WEAK hand and quickly empty it at the target… again you will be deadly with the Rhino, weak handed, no practice. Think about how life saving this could be if your strong hand or arm were injured when critical defense action was required.

    Both of my Rhinos have been 100% reliable out of the box. I have fired only factory ammunition, about equal 38 Special and 357 Magnum. Over 2,000 rounds through one and about 1,200 through the other. Both of mine have serial numbers in the 2800′s.

    It is a fact that it is very, very unlikely for the average person, or even police officer, to ever find themselves in an actual gun fight. But if you are, the chances are very high that it will be a 3-3-3 event… that is – it will last 3 seconds or less, involve 3 or less shots from you, and have your opponent at 3 or less yards of distance… and if that is the case then the perfect weapon for the average person is a BBR in 357 Magnum, loaded with strong 38 +P or moderate 357 defense specific ammo.

    This is the ONLY firearm I have ever used where I can confidently say that the average shooter, CCWer, Soccer Mom, or LEO could actually be very effective in its use, every time, even if they shot just a single box of ammo once a year.

    The BBR is much more than a fad or a novelty… for CCW and LEO the BBR is a giant step forward… now we just need the BBR design concept to evolve…

    As the BBR design develops it would be nice to see a 35-40 ounce version, in all stainless, 4 inch barrel, as a “service” revolver, and a 6 incher for hunters (drilled and tapped for scope mounts or a rail). The 2 inch version that I have would be perfect if it had a little lighter trigger pull, lost about 4 ounces of weight, and lost about 1/8 inch of width.

    The .357 Magnum is without a doubt the most versatile revolver chambering, but hopefully the future will bring some different chamberings to the BBR world.

    One other thing that must change in the BBR world is the grip availability. My Beretta PX4 Storm pistols all came with 3 backstap inserts. That is what BBR guns are going to need, as the grip size and trigger reach are very important to user acceptance of the BBR design. It must fit you correctly (like a shotgun). A BBR should come from the factory with a medium grip installed (as the Rhino does) and it should be supplied with easily user changeable “small” and “large” versions of the grip, as standard, included accessories. This would make the gun a winner for 90-95% of the market instead of the 40-50% that the gun properly fits with the standard grip. The standard medium grip on the Rhino happens to fit me perfectly, but the trigger reach is way too much for my wife.

    If I am ever in a situation where I must be the one forced to stop the continued actions of one or two really bad actors, then I want to be pulling out a 357 Magnum BBR… and for now that means the Rhino 200D.

    Last point… a BBR is certainly NOT a full-on “combat” weapon… it is a civilian type emergency defense weapon, suitable for carry and use by persons that rarely engage in weapons training or practice… if I have the need for true battlefield combat weapon, I would always turn to a quality semi-auto pistol in 45 ACP… but that’s just me…

    ~TMBS~

    Bill Schroeder – November 2011

    • avatarArdent says:

      I’m going to reply to all of that with a prediction: The BBR is a fad and will fade from existence with the exception of companies that produce one to entice people who don’t know any better.

      I’m going to go all out and say that neither Colt, nor Smith, nor any other well known company will ever produce a BBR and that if they do it will be as a novelty (defined as one model and rapidly discontinued).

      I really thought the bore axis wars were over in the 90s, when the high axis HK outshot basically everything in it’s class. I suppose that the graphic representation AND the physics behind it just doesn’t register for some people. What follows is a primer.

      Actual recoil is the equal and opposite force of delivering the bullet given it’s weight and velocity, back to the shooter in accordance with Newton’s 3rd law.

      Felt recoil is the perception of force over time and can be managed in various ways. Weight, bore axis to weapon contact, angular deflection and a host of other properties play into perceived recoil.

      The chief advantage of a straight recoil design (over angular recoil deflection) is a reduction in muzzle rise. Note, this does not affect perceived recoil force.

      Lowering the bore axis to align with the parts of the body required to absorb the recoil is an old idea that has largely been abandoned because angular physics has shown that the effects of recoil are more effectively offset by superior grip design rather than lower bore axis.

      In magnum handguns the use of compensated or ported barrels has proven more effective in reducing muzzle rise and perceived recoil than lowered bore axis, partially due to the use of the weight of the pistol to absorb the recoil over travel distance. Directing full magnum recoil in a straight line proved such a flawed idea that after initial testing it was abandoned by every serious gun manufacturer in existence.
      (It turns out that bottom chamber firing revolvers aren’t new, just a bad idea (still).

      This ‘thing’ is presented as a revolutionary weapon (which it would have been 80 years ago) and also as an advance over traditional revolver design (which it isn’t and which will be proven out by the disappearance of this design). However it’s offered with admittedly bad ergonomics, specifically the grip. This alone is enough to doom it as junk. This pistol in particular. The fact that 100 years of gun making and the immutable laws of physics indicate it’s a novelty ensure that both A. It’s a terrible investment, and B. it will be available for a limited time from this single manufacturer never to be reproduced on a large scale.

      It isn’t that the market doesn’t like new designs, on the contrary, but the market does reject inferior designs most of the time.

    • avatarArdent says:

      I’m sorry, I just reread that and the ‘magically deadly’ part made me literally laugh out loud.

      I hate to belittle a person in particular (though it bothers me not with groups) but even to say that a particular pistol is ‘magically deadly’ is just absurd unless it actually possess properties which don’t make sense on examination.

      Then there is the idea that a 10-12 lb DAO revolver is so easy to shoot that ’95%’ of new shooters are putting full cylinders on target inside 50 rounds. That would be a miracle gun that would have to be self aiming AND self correcting.

      Such an assertion can only ever be either hyperbole or an outright lie (with the latter strongly favored).

      One more time, a complete piece of junk supported only by either paid shill or a horribly uniformed person regarding that which is applicable to self defense.

      I happen to notice that I’m 2-nearly 3 years late in my other response. . . and oddly BBR don’t seem to exist from every manufacturer. Do you suppose that they don’t like to make money or that this just sucks as a revolver design and is so bad that reputable manufacturers wouldn’t sully their reputations with a single offering of this albatross? Perhaps It’s a vast conspiracy to keep us from owning truly effective handguns?
      Or perhaps it’s a failed ploy with a bad idea at solving an unsolvable problem.

      • avatarVivian says:

        I’d rather fire my hubby’s 8-shot .357 revolver than my chiappa. The action is so smooth on it and, though my hands are small and the revolver is a bit too large for an ideal grip on it, I fire it very well and accurately.

        It’s amazing, the power that comes from a .357 round, but the weight of it and my Ruger GP-100 makes the recoil so much less.

  11. avatarShaun says:

    I have been following the progress of the Rhino and have a question…. Why does every article tout the Rhino as “revolutionary” or “ground breaking” while consistently ignoring the Russian AEK-906 and AEK-906-1 revolver developed and built two decades ago? I’ve also scoured the net for info on the AEK-906 and have found very little in the way of details. Can someone please do an article about the original “revolutionary” revolver and give credit where credit is due?

    • avatarPrinnyKnight says:

      Because as far as I can tell, the Mateba Autorevolver 6 preceded the AEK-906 and the Chiappa Rhino is pretty much a modified and simplified Mateba made to be mass produced for the US market as it is designed by the same person. the Autorevolver 6 runs around $1000-$1500 right now so the Rhino is the closest most fans of the 6 o’clock design will get

    • avatarokto says:

      Because “revolutionary” means “causing a radical change in thinking or action”, neither of which the AEK-906 did. The reason you can find hardly any information on it is that it was a prototype that never went into production.

    • avatarGeorge Liquor says:

      FLAME DELETED.

    • avatarShaun L. says:

      Besides the fact that George is a juvenile moron who adds nothing to the conversation(as well as the gene pool I’d guess) I would still like to see where the AEK-906 fits in the mix. Even the name “nosorog” shows that the Russian revolver was very likely connected to the design of the Chiappa Rhino in some way. The Unica may well be the original basis for both revolvers but the information is sketchy enough that I’d like to see more. I’d also like to see where you(okto) got your information regarding the AEK only being a prototype, in several years of research I have NEVER seen anything about it only being a prototype.

  12. avatarCam says:

    My concern is with the complex internals. We could go back and forth about the apparent reliability of the weapon based on torture tests and whatnot, but I wonder how easily, if at all, the internals could be accessed for cleaning. What if mud or sand or all kinds of other crud gets down into the clockwork? Can the handle be removed and all the moving parts be cleaned easily if it gets all dirty down there? Will the gun still fire if it’s less-than perfectly clean? I live in Alaska, and when you’re out in the field you get dirty, wet, and cold real quick.

    In my opinion, reliability is more than simply making a bullet come out of the barrel every time you pull the trigger. It’s also about how well the weapon performs in austere conditions.

  13. avatarJames Franko says:

    I just bought a Rhino and I love it. It is the perfect CC firearm for the everyday gangsta. I cannot wait until I can bust a cap in the first fool that steps up at the local wzally M.T. Believe Bruv.

  14. avatarNewguy says:

    When they say 9mm/357 combo, what do they mean? moonclips for the 9mm? would the 357 rounds require moonclips? This would be the first revolver I plan on buying if I can find it. I like the looks of the big ones but the snub seems more practical.

  15. avatarjoe says:

    I have the rhino. 50Ds and I love it shoots smooth and at 20 ft I hit a gatorade bottle all six shots longer barrel is better

  16. avatarThe Snake says:

    You guys act like a”.38 special with 158 gr. lead trash cans plodding along at 750 fps”, wont get the job done. That is the original self defense round,designed over 100 yrs. ago for stopping foolishness from hombres a lot tougher in everyday life than any of you dweebs can even imagine.Of course it will recoil less with a 125 gr. bullet than a .38 with a 158 gr. bullet,most recoil is generated by the third law of motion.Get a life,get back to basic marksmanship.All this crap is, is more marketing for people who dont know anything except what they read on the internet. THE SNAKE

  17. avatarArdent says:

    What? Another crappy prototype released as a production pistol? Oh wait, this is old, so it’s just somewhere in the pantheon of crappy prototype pistols reviewed as game changers. Here’s a thought, when it comes back out as a smooth, ergonomic revolver let me know. This thing has down sides so monstrous as to put it in the ‘not a serious weapon’ category.

    Then I have to comment on the post just above mine by The Snake:
    .357 in a relatively reasonable pistol (not aluminum or scandium) just doesn’t kick much unless you’re afraid of it. As always, shoot it more, then shoot it some more. Air weight snub nose Smiths aren’t cause for concern in .357 even in my piano players slender long fingers and girlish wrists. If you want power AND concealment, expect discomfort. This is the way of things. I think this offering rates right up there with adding garbage to improve ‘accuracy’. (The latter being the failure of the shooter to shoot enough to generate accuracy of the platform involved.)
    Maybe I’m an old stick in the mud, but like the judge and governor, it’s just a solution looking for a problem. In this case is a poor solution looking for a problem.

  18. avatarMike Pavuk says:

    8/26/13
    I got my Rhino about 4 weeks ago, since then I have been to the range 2x I fired about 100 rounds each time here is what I experianced.
    1, it is a very dirty shooting gun, take rubber gloves if you are going to shoot this thing.
    2, for a revolver is is a bit fussy about the ammo you put thru it, typically a revolver is not that fussy at least mine is soon to be was!
    3, If you reload shoot ONLY FMJ ammo, leading is a major issue, you will loose your salvation cleaning the gun. I do NOT load anywhere near full loads.
    4, The gun is accurate.
    5, Firing 357 loads is a pleasure, almost like a 38 Sp.
    To sum it up I could put up with the dirty soot from firing, but a gun I have lost faith in is a gun not in my collection esp. a revolver which are very dependable guns.

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  20. avatarErnie Higgins says:

    I just purchased the Rhino D60 in .357 this week and fired it at the range for the first time last night. I carry a Kimber Pro .45 caliber from their custom shop and also a Baretta PX4 Storm in 9 mm. I have owned multiple guns since I was 6 years old and generally hone my skills at the range at least twice monthly and hunt for game as often as possible generally with long guns, so I am very familiar with how a quality weapon should feel and perform. I utilized Hornaday Critical Defense .357 FTX factory loaded ammunition in the Rhino. In single action or in double action it would only fire two (2) shots and then lock up. The cylinder, the hammer and the trigger would lock up. Impacts on primers were off center, the cylinder bores were of unequal diameter, and in the attempt to make the gun lighter, it appears that the cylinder locking mechanism is actually moved by the force of the shot and becomes lodged against the barrel. The gun shop that I purchased the Rhino from the day before would not accept its return as a defective weapon, because this serious lack of reliability is what costs you your life in a critical defense situation. I am also an engineer and I will state with full faith that the trigger mechanism contains faulty engineering, and yes the “red flag” system to indicate a cocked and loaded firearm is just plain dangerous. The upper hammer should stay cocked until the firearm is discharged in single action mode. The Rhino manual states that you cannot remove the grip or covers and clean or service the internal parts of the revolver, so we can forget being able to use a Wolf spring and reduce the trigger load which is very cumbersome and heavy enough to pull you off target in double action mode. Finally, I removed all ammunition, and reloaded with different shells, and then attempted to fire the weapon. Same result. Two shots and then the gun would fully lock up. The gunsmith at the store where I purchased the weapon(and the same place as the firing range by the way) immediately tested the weapon with the same results, then looked at the weapon and said it had to go back to the factory, and I could expect to hear from them in three weeks or so. This is so very lame for a 6 hour old weapon that costs nearly $1,000.00. It was marginally more accurate than a Smith and Wesson Model J60 .357 magnum with a 2 1/2″ barrel at 15 and 25 yards but no perceptible difference at 5 and 7 yards. Recoil was the same but it was redirected to the butt of the hand instead of some into the fingers as with the S&W, however the Rhino with a 6″ barrel is not a concealable weapon.

    I have been taken and can write this weapon off as I do not now ever expect reliability and customer service. I should have purchased the Kimber Eclipse or Stainless LTE in 10 mm which has approximately the same ballistics as the .357 magnum, and does not fail and has reliability that is acknowledged throughout the industry with less perceptible recoil than the Rhino and comparable if not better accuracy. If a revolver is supposed to be one thing it is non complicated and extremely reliable and with a 6″ barrel you would expect extreme accuracy. The Rhino is none of these and I can only hope that it becomes a collectors item because it is entirely unsuitable as a personal defense weapon or a serious hunting pistol for local game. Run completely from the store if someone attempts to sell you this weapon, or just light up a thousand Dollars and enjoy watching it burn. And by the way my purchase did not come with a holster and I have been to three gun shops to attempt to find one for it and they had nothing that fit the gun because of its odd design and dimensions.

  21. avatarWithanee Andersen says:

    I purchased the .387 magnum and I have to tell you how completely disgusted I am with not only the gun but the company! I am a 26 year old female, 115lbs and it is so important to me to carry a reliable handgun. I have never liked automatics so the appeal of the Rhino was great because the recoil shooting the .357 bullets was fairly minor even to someone my size. I paid $1,000 for the gun and have regretted the purchase ever since. I took a 4 day defensive handgun course and it didn’t even make it through the second day. I hadn’t even put 200 rounds through it when it totally locked up. I couldn’t pull the trigger, nor could I get the chamber to open up. The instructors at the course couldn’t either, were baffled, and sent me to a gunsmith. He took the thing apart and put it back together and it seemed okay. So, I went back out and tried again….but every fifth shot would misfire. Every single time. So, I sent the gun into Chiappa. They were such a pain! You cannot call them, they will only correspond via email. After a month or so they sent the gun back, claimed that they fixed it and that the problem was “the cylinder hand was slightly too tall causing offset on the primer strike, he (gunsmith) fit the cylinder hand and tested 100% with Federal American Eagle in .357 mag and .38 spl in both single and double action.” Ok. I received the gun back from them incredibly dirty, which really seemed unprofessional to me, but carried on with the trust that they had fixed the problem. As soon as I could get out to shoot I did. I shot the first six shots just fine, reloaded, and fired two more shots before the gun locked up AGAIN. I was unable to pull the trigger or open the chamber. Yet again I sent the gun back, this time asking for a replacement so that I could take it back to the dealer and get a refund. Chiappa refused. After I sent the gun back and started bugging them, they finally replied with this explanation: ” He (gunsmith) has evaluated the firearm and found that there was an extra roller found loose in the lock work causing the intermittent binding. He removed the extra roller and reassemble and tested good. The only thing he can think of was that the last time he worked on it, he accidentally dropped an extra roller inside the gun.” Obviously, this wasn’t true because it stuck before I sent it in the first time. After that comment, I asked to speak with the manager who promised to call me the following Monday. That was over a month ago and I have heard nothing. I tried contacting them again, and they promised they would talk to the manager and he would call. He hasn’t. He won’t, and I am SOL. The concept of the Chiappa Rhino is awesome, but the product is garbage and the company doesn’t treat their customers with any respect whatsoever. I was incredibly patient and kind with them, but have completely given up hope on getting a new gun to be able to have it refunded. $1,000 down the drain. Save yourself the hassle of this company and go another route!

  22. avatarMean Joe Greene says:

    That’s unfortunate Withanee, I think you should reconsider automatics and give a Glock 19 a try, if you can’t bear the thought of having an automatic, I would suggest a Smith and Wesson revolver in .357 mag, they can also shoot .38 specials if recoil is an issue. Good luck!

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