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The Taurus Judge is an excellent home defense shotgun for people who don’t want all the bother of a home defense shotgun. Thanks to Winchester’s PDX-1 ammo, the 410 shotshell-firing Judge (or .45 Colt) is a lethal mo’ fo’. You know; close-in. Further out, I’d want just about any gun chambered in 9mm and up. And if I want a shotgun, I want a shotgun. But never mind all that. The Judge’s core appeal lies in its bad-assitude. It’s an ice cold weapon. And so is the new Chiappa Rhino. Not the headline model: the two-inch barreled bad boy making the rounds on the company’s press release looks freakishly freakish. I’m talking about the four-inch model above. This one could be a BIG hit . . .

Not only does the Rhino look different—in a post-Taurean market where different is no longer the kiss of death—but it’s practical. Whereas you have to buy odd ammo for the Judge, the Rhino fires .357 magnum cartridges.

In case you didn’t know, the .357 is the Mack Daddy of stopping power. It’s got a well-deserved rep for ending gun battles. Equally important, .357 is a commonly available, not ridiculously expensive round that comes is a wide variety of strengths, including ones that don’t punish you for practicing. And that’s cool because the Rhino already promises to reduce the enemy of pistoleros everywhere: recoil.

The Rhino’s low barrel design ergonomically shifts recoil energy into the center of the palm of the hand and in line with the forearm thus greatly reducing the effects of felt recoil. Traditional revolver design (semi-autos too) place the barrel above the hand. When the gun is fired the leverage applied by that design forces the recoil into the web area of the hand between the thumb and trigger finger causing significant muzzle snap. Not the Rhino! Due to this new design a shooter can now fire very fast and accurate repeat shots.

If that’s true, and we hope to have our tester soon, the Ergal-framed (a high-strength aircraft aluminum alloy), Rhino could be the next big breakout hit. And yes, I could be wrong about which model goes ballistic. Maybe it will be the snubbie.

Anyway, did I mention that the Rhino’s hexagonal-shaped cylinder creates a flatter profile which is “especially handy for legal concealed carry”? How cool is that?

UPDATE: The ATF just approved all barrel lengths for the Rhino (2″, 3″, 4″, 5″ and 6″). The imported guns should be in country within three weeks.

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  1. Very Battlestar Galactica; even more so if your light, laser, etc. could be mounted in that otherwise-empty space above the barrel. Revolvers are, eventually, evolving.

  2. I'm fairly new to this site. Have somewhat mixed feelings about it, but keep reading.

    I'm a wee bit surprised at the kinda glaring error about which caliber 'Dirty Harry' was referring to, as mentioned above. It was the .44 Remington Magnum, not the .357 which had been around about 2 decades before the .44 came on the scene in the mid-50's.

    Maybe Robert will want to try to fix that before it is published in GUNS, and produces possible ridicule. He's probably just too young to remember the movie clearly. I was young. Once.


    • Welcome! And yes, I occasionally get it very badly wrong. Thank god for Al Gore's Interent! Readers can keep our copy factual, honest and off the streets. Text amended. How great is that? And don't forget that we always welcome new and better informed than I writers. Email [email protected]

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