Back in the day, TTAG had high hopes for the Rhino. A steampunk .357 revolver that shoots like a .38? Yes please! Trigger-time with the upside down wheelgun proved that no marketing campaign plan survives first contact with the internet. Not to put too fine a point on it, the Rhino’s trigger sucked. It was as heavy as John Stuart Mill’s turgid prose, making a mockery of my marksmanship. The second gun’s go pedal was as light as protist poop, leaving many a primer unmolested. Our request for the new, improved, “this is the one” trigger went unanswered, raising questions about the gun’s inherent design. (If Chiappa wishes to rebut, they know where we live.) Meanwhile, the firearmsblog.com has just cottoned-on to the fact that Ron Norton’s mob offer all their Rhinos in .40S&W. If the .40-cal Rhino shot 10mm as well, well then. Even so, to be fair, a .40S&W Rhino revolver is a genuine novelty firearm. How great is that?

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43 Responses to [Not So] New from Chiappa: Rhino Revolver in .40S&W

      • We all have our prejudices, sir. Mine happens to be a distaste for wonder-cartridges, like .40 short and weak, 6.8 SPC, 6.5 Grendel, .458 SOCOM, etc….

        And Glocks. I don’t really care for Glocks. Nor H&K.

    • 40 S&W’s faster velocity makes up for it’s lighter bullet grain weight to the point that many 40 S&W defensive cartridges have a higher pounds per foot rating than 45 ACP. It’s mass x acceleration, not just mass and girth…

      • So… Let me make sure I have your argument straight; You’re comparing defensive loads in .40 Short & Weak to straight 230 grain ball loads in .45 and giving the crown to .40. You’re comparing apples to oranges.

        The fact of the matter, is that, with comparable defensive loads, all three major handgun calibers (9mm, .40, and .45) are all fairly close performance-wise.

        My scorn for .40 comes from the fact that it’s somewhere in between 9mm and .45 in just about every major way; Ballistically between the two, but closer to .45 (but there’s no really major difference between the three anyway, so no points for .40), size wise it’s closer to .45 (so low magazine capacity), and price wise it’s pretty much dead on with .45.

        So basically, you end up with a gun that does about as well as a .45, gives you slightly more capacity (only minimally), and costs the same high dollar amount to shoot.

        Seriously, .40 and .45 generally go for 17 bucks a box and up, while good factory 9 can be had for around 10 bucks a box.

        Really, what I’m saying is that I can understand both 9mm and .45, and even 10mm, but not .40. Not .40 at all.

        • “So… Let me make sure I have your argument straight; You’re comparing defensive loads in .40 Short & Weak to straight 230 grain ball loads in .45 and giving the crown to .40. You’re comparing apples to oranges.”

          No, I’m comparing defensive loads of 40 S&W to defensive loads of 45. Examples? CCI Blazer in 45 has a muzzle energy of 365 ft. pounds. In 40, it’s 475 ft. pounds. Why? Because the 40 is about 330 FPS faster out of the barrel of the gun than the 45.

          “all three major handgun calibers (9mm, .40, and .45) are all fairly close performance-wise.”

          Thus proving your comment about 40 being “short and weak” to be an absurd comment, unless you concede that 45 is, too, short and weak.

          “Really, what I’m saying is that I can understand both 9mm and .45, and even 10mm, but not .40. Not .40 at all.”

          Move to a restricted state and carry a sub-compact handgun, 40 starts making sense pretty quickly. I agree with the balance of your post, since I think 9 MM makes the most sense if for no other reason than because you can stockpile it like no other.

    • Does it matter? It can’t be reprogrammed, won’t provide any information about the purchaser if pinged and any information recovered is likely in Italian anyway or alphanumeric that corresponds only to their databases. It is law in Italy it’s not just Chiappa, but other larger firearm manufacturers like Pederosoli, Berretta and Benelli that will eventually have to comply. If it is made in Italy, sooner or later it will have an RFID inventory tracking device. It really is not a big deal. Do you check your tires, grocery’s, electronics, or other items that come from large big box stores that use RFID to track their inventory? Did you sweep your car for the inventory tracking tags in the door sill? I’m betting you didn’t. SO why are you hyper –concerned about the inventory tag on a pistol?

      • Do you check your tires, grocery’s, electronics

        No, but then again, there’s no Federal Bureau of Tires, Groceries and Electronics trying to take them away.

        • Well no, one agency doesn’t regulate all three; each item has its own governmental regulatory agency. The Dept of Agriculture, Dept. of Transportation, The UL and The FCC regulate those items. The UL isn’t an agency but a U.S. Gov. funded independent research lab, however they are responsible for developing product standards and testing procedures. And each agency heavily regulates everything before the consumer gets to it.

        • I can’t even imagine trying to hold onto a pistol that small that fires a round that large. I would bet I would loose the damn thing in my pocket before I even got a chance to fire it.

          As for high risk warrants, the Dept. of Agriculture and DOT both have their own SWAT teams. The FCC is a little behind, but with most of the high end electronic manufacturing being done overseas it seems more like a job for the CIA anyway.

        • I imagine that the NAA judgement day would leave an interesting dent in the middle of your forehead after it went flying out of your hand 🙂

      • Does it matter? Yes.

        “It can’t be reprogrammed”

        Precisely what the State Department said about the new RFID passports, until hackers reprogrammed them.

        “If it is made in Italy, sooner or later it will have an RFID inventory tracking device.”

        Guess Italy’s off my gun list then, isn’t it.

        “. Do you check your tires, grocery’s, electronics, or other items that come from large big box stores that use RFID to track their inventory?”

        No, but then again an over zealous prosecutor can’t reprogram my tires’ RFID chips to say that a particular tire was the murder weapon in a murder case, can s/he? I’m also not that worried that police will come into my home during a disaster and use an RFID tracker to locate my tires and take them from me right when I need them.

        • Paranoid? I’m an attorney, so yeah. Let’s go over recent history:

          (1) The government confiscated legally firearms from American citizens’ homes during the Katrina disaster;

          (2) False convictions are NOT rare (http://www.innocenceproject.org/Content/Facts_on_PostConviction_DNA_Exonerations.php);

          (3) Not all false convictions are accidental and many involve prosecutor and / or police misconduct (this one from 3 days ago, for example: http://rt.com/usa/news/planting-utica-car-pocket-215/)

        • So if a shady prosecutor wanted to get you why would he go through the lengths to make sure you had a firearm with an rfid chip, when he could just hide a kilo of dope in the trunk of your car?

          Its not like the Rhino is the lawgiver from judge dredd imprinting your dna on every round fired. All the RFID will tell them that the serial numbers match and other manufacturing information. So unless you’re planning on tampering with the serial numbers of your firearms they can’t be programmed to do anything malicious.

          If you’re that concerned about the Government tracking your firearms with rfid tags then store them in a faraday cage.

        • “So if a shady prosecutor wanted to get you why would he go through the lengths to make sure you had a firearm with an rfid chip, when he could just hide a kilo of dope in the trunk of your car?”

          Maybe, since firearm enhancements can easily be added to a slew of crimes and since they are more serious in some states than drug crimes (e.g. New York), it may make a good deal of sense to mess with someone’s firearm to make it match a gun at the scene of a crime. You really don’t think cops have planted guns in the past, you must never have heard of a throw-down gun….

          As for the balance of your post, it’s RFID today and bullet imprinting tomorrow. If RFID doesn’t add anything and it can be manipulated, why have it?

        • Haha, I live in utica, its a crap hole, and that is standard operating procedure. Utica was owned by the mob in the late 70s. The mob is just the police now.

        • Why don’t you watch the video of the whole stop? The cop pulled that dope off of one of the suspects while searching him in front of the camera. I have no clue why he pulled it out of his pocket and put it in the car, but the video you posted was edited to only show the portion that would make it appear that the cop was planting evidence.

          For an attorney, you apparently don’t do much research for your citations.

          http://www.policeone.com/patrol-issues/articles/4925371-NY-cops-seek-legal-action-for-planting-evidence-video/

        • Precisely what the State Department said about the new RFID passports, until hackers reprogrammed them.

          No they didn’t. They proved that you can clone the information on the chip and use that information to create another passport using someone else’s information. But once the chip has been locked you cannot reprogram it with new information.

          I’m also not that worried that police will come into my home during a disaster and use an RFID tracker to locate my tires…

          What exactly is an RFID tracker? They make RFID readers but not trackers. The RFID chips do not create a signal to track. The chip can be hidden by this magical metal known as unobtainium, oh wait it’s not that it’s……tin foil. Or any metal really like the radiant barrier installed in your roof, or the steel that surrounds your gunsafe.

          So your fear is that the US government will scan these RFID tags, record the information on them and associate it with your information. Then create a registry that has all of this information and make it available to feild agents who will then be armed with readers and laptops to search your home for a firearm.

          That seems really complicated when they could just write down the serial number on the firearm, collect your information that you supply on the back ground check and track you using your social security number. Or even simpler they could just pull up the CHL registry and locate you that way. But hey if you place the revolver underneath the tinfoil hat your wearing they won’t be able to read the information anyway.

        • I think you’re all missing the obvious one: RFID detectors are cheap and read from a reasonable distance. Looking for a gun to grab, or guns in a house to rob? Just bring the reader you stole last week and hang by the door of your favorite minimart. It won’t matter until RFID chips in guns are much more common, of course. Given the way many people carry, though, skip the reader and just look for the print UNLESS, laugh, you really want a RHINO, and therefore want a read of the chip before you punch the guy and take his gun. I’m an attorney, but I also stayed at a Holiday Inn last week.

        • Reprogramming doesn’t mean rewriting. The early RFID passports were being cloned with ease: http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/08/71521?currentPage=all

          You really want to risk someone cloning your firearm’s RFID information and cloning it to a gun that’s used in a crime? I don’t, since that seems to be the definition of probable cause.

          “What exactly is an RFID tracker? They make RFID readers but not trackers. ”

          Better tell companies like DPL, since they’re selling products that are designed to track and locate RFID equipped products….

          http://www.dpl-surveillance-equipment.com/1000066086.html

          “But hey if you place the revolver underneath the tinfoil hat your wearing they won’t be able to read the information anyway.”

          I find it amazing that people find it to be a conspiracy theory to think that the government may want to (1) seize the firearms of private Americans, (2) distort the truth to incarcerate innocent people, or (3) target unpopular speakers with specious charges. If it’s really that hard for you to believe, I simply say (1) Katrina, (2) GitMo and the NDAA, (3) Julian Assange and Lenny Bruce. I rest my case.

  1. I can’t imagine how that grip and trigger arrangement would work well even if it was butter smooth.

    Looks neat, but call me when someone builds something better than my 629. And if it isn’t in .44 Mag, don’t call.

    • Have you fired one of these? I have. Its like comparing a 2012 Porsche to a 1962 Corvette. The “629” S&W Corvette may be pretty to look at, but performance-wise, well, not so much. Granted, the trigger issue we had on the Rhino test gun was unfortunate, but I definately see a bright future for this gun once they get the bugs worked out. I own a Colt Python, a Colt Anaconda, a S&W something-or-other .357, a Ruger Redhawk, and an old Dan Wesson, and I can honestly say the Rhino was the first revolver I really enjoyed shooting.

      • I haven’t, no, but the combination of a very high grip and a low barrel seems an ergonomic nightmare. I wouldn’t mind being proven wrong, as it is a neat looking thing.

        As to the S&Ws, my 629 and 686s are the most accurate, easiest to shoot revolvers I own, by a very wide margins. I have thousands and thousands of rounds through each.

  2. Man, is that one ugly gun or what? A rhino, all right…as though a rhino mounted a chihuahua and produced this thing.

    • Or it’s short for Rhinoplasty ’cause the last two inches of barrel look a bit like a botched nose job…. or maybe that’s “looks like it needs rhinoplasty”?

  3. this thing looks a like a blade runner space gun or something. that and then PR tone deafness over the handling of the rfid chip i would abstain. The company name is a little too close to the word “cheap” as well. if i needed something relatively inexpensive in 40SW i’d go with the charter arms revolver in 40.

  4. No. This is not an ugly gun. An ugly gun is a Glock, or an XD. But a Glock (or XD) is a very wonderful gun to own and shoot. Very practical, and reasonably priced, too. Not so sure about this Rhino. And the company PR appears quite sub-standard for its intended audience.

  5. These use moon clips for 40 S&W I believe. Might be a fun IDPA revolver.

    Rescind Voight-Kampff and rapidly retire those rascal replicant targets, relying on Jerry Miculek like reloads when required.

  6. It’s my impression that they’re facing an issue w/ quality consistency more so than design. I’ve shot a Rhino that performed very well and the DA trigger was very good. But I’ve also been hearing stories of problems w/ the DA lockwork where it will gradually become stiff and then break and fail to reset. Apparently the pins can work loose, or something like that. Unfortunately Chiappa is probably not an appropriate company to introduce a complex revolver design because they are not otherwise known for their attention to quality. They’re primarily a marketer of novelty guns.

  7. Is there any interest out there by anyone in doing this right? The idea seems interesting, flipping the action of a revolver upside down to get the bore as far down as possible. In the hands of someone who can actually manufacture pistols that fire, this could be a pretty cool weapon.

  8. I’ve got a Rhino snubbie (gift from wifey at Christmas). I really like it. The concept of reduced felt recoil by moving the bore axis to the bottom of the cylinder DOES work…. Tremendously well.

    I’ve only had one range session with it. I need more time to sort out whether it will be reliable. It’s on my hip right now as I type. 🙂

  9. 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.

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