Chiappa Rhino range report.


September 25, 2010, 11:11 PM
Finaly saw a Rhino in person at the gunshow today. I felt like taking a risk, and I'm a sucker for a unique design, so I took it home ($699). Its ugly, and handsome all at the same time. comes with a nice hardcase and a Galco-like leather holster. Its blocky and heavy, but feels great in your hand. The trigger pull is pretty good, but not S&W DA revolver like. Reminds me a little of the LCR, not overly heavy, but stacks. The single action is exquisite. The exposed hammer looking thing is not a hammer at all. The real hammer is internal, the exposed hammer is a cocking lever. The lever dosnt rise and fall with the trigger pull, but simply serves to cock the internal hammer. There is a little red button that pops up when the internal hammer is in SA mode. The fixed sights are crisp and shot to POA. Accuracy was surprising and frankly shocking. I have lots of revolvers and several snubbies, and this little ugly bastard outshot any DA revolver I own!! I shot a golfball sized group at 20 yards offhand. I'm not sure if its a matter of mechanical accuracy or if the low bore axis, and superior ergonomics just make it more shootable. Speaking of low bore axis...muzzle flip is non-existant as most have speculated. You cant change the laws of physics, so magnums still smack you in the palm a little, but still have almost no flip.
Size..hmmm. N frame sized gun, J frame sized grip....more comfortable and balanced than it sounds. really unlike anything you have ever felt.

I dont think it will replace any guns I currently own, or even see much use outside of plinking. But it is fairly fasinating.
Its weird and ugly, but shoots like a champ....currently awaiting the longer barrel version!!

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September 25, 2010, 11:45 PM
could you post some photos from different angles? all I seem to find are profile photos.

September 25, 2010, 11:49 PM
Do want!

September 26, 2010, 08:02 AM
Carbon 15

Very interesting revolver you've got there. I definitely agree with your take on the design: weird, ugly, and unique. Not sure about the handsome part, but from a function over form standpoint, I guess I can see that. Not crazy about the short barrel models but would be interested in the 6" barrel one for some unexplained reason.

September 26, 2010, 10:01 AM

Lucky Derby
September 26, 2010, 10:46 AM
Something I have wondered about. If the revolver is cocked. Is there a way to de-cock it? Since there is an internal hammer and the exposed hammer is only a cocking lever, does it allow you to de-cock without discharging?

September 26, 2010, 11:49 AM
WOW, what can I say, it is different.

September 26, 2010, 12:02 PM
Decocking....fairly intuitive
pull the cocking lever back and hold it, pull the trigger, lower the cocking lever

September 26, 2010, 03:30 PM
Carbon, thanks for taking the risk and for posting the results. I've been very interested in the Rhino since they hit the market.

I don't mean to be a bother, but could you post a pic of the Rhino and another carry revolver (if you have one) perhaps from the top view? One of the selling points is supposed to be a thinner width, just curious by how much.


September 26, 2010, 03:52 PM
Cool write up, butt ugly gun. I'll probably buy the first one I see just to have it.

September 26, 2010, 09:20 PM
The Rhino is seriously growing on me...
put another 200 rounds through it this afternoon and am still amazed by the accuracy and shootability of this gun. One hole groups are the norm, .38's feel like .22 magnums, balances like a Ukranian Gymnist, comfy grip...I absolutly love shooting this little basterd. This one is going to see alot of range time!!

Thickness...its definatly thinker than a j-frame (but you get one more shot) and loos about the same as a K frame. I dont think its any THINNER, but it is quite a bit FLATTER, I will try to get some pix and measurments soon.

September 26, 2010, 10:06 PM
I've wondered about this pistol since I first heard about it. Thanks for a very well written review.

September 26, 2010, 10:16 PM
I want one, let me know when you get tired of it and decide to trade it off :D

September 26, 2010, 10:50 PM
could you post some photos from different angles? all I seem to find are profile photos.

OnPointFirearms posted a whole mess of pics here

More and more I think I want one of these ugly little buggers ... considering I currently pack a Dan Wesson 14-2 snubbie, I doubt the Rhino would be any bigger or less comfortable/concealable.

October 30, 2010, 10:26 PM
Could you take any pics to compare it to other guns?

October 30, 2010, 10:49 PM
So where is the cylinder release at?

October 31, 2010, 12:29 AM
Thanks for taking the risk. I too am intrigued by this gun, especially with its focus on the low bore axis. That new Caracal pistol also goes for a low bore axis, as does the M&P. I know some people debate how much of a difference it makes, but based on other accounts I've read, including this one (with a really low bore axis), it seems to make a fairly significant difference. Hopefully it's a new trend.

Pete D.
October 31, 2010, 08:31 AM
butt ugly gun.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I've liked it's looks since I first saw one.
Great report. Thank you.
How available are they? I haven't seen one to hold.

October 31, 2010, 10:22 AM
Is there a sight cut in the hammer? Hard to tell from the angle.
And is the barrel in a shroud and staked onto place?
Could be a couple of "potential" issues there. (loosening, misaligned)

All in all I really want to see and shoot one.

October 31, 2010, 06:54 PM
Silly the hammer is internal..what cut? Read this thread it explains it.

November 1, 2010, 02:13 AM
Ok, the "Cocking Lever" in the middle pic has a notch in it. Is that to be used with the rear sight since the "Cocking Lever" does not stay back but returns to a forward position

November 2, 2010, 09:02 PM
Got a call today from my FFL dealer that my Rhino will be in soon:D

November 2, 2010, 10:25 PM
I actually like the look of the 6" model. It would be terrifying to have that thing pointed at you. I put $50 that the 6" will wind up in movies!

Click Image to Enlarge

Big Bill
November 2, 2010, 10:59 PM
The Rhino is seriously growing on me...You mean, like a fungus? :D I think I have some spray here somewhere that will cure fungi outbreaks.

November 2, 2010, 11:08 PM
This video shows the cocking mechanism working:

Shadow 7D
November 2, 2010, 11:18 PM
Um, Look up the Mateba, the Rhinos Semi-auto (yes a revolver) older brother.

Already been in the movies

November 3, 2010, 02:34 AM
I wish it was a little less expensive then it could join the safe because it was odd and it was an easy impulse buy. I was always intrigued by the Mateba and was happy to see Chiappa bring it back.

November 3, 2010, 05:42 PM
I may be weird, but I actually like the looks of the Rhino. It caught my eye right away. I'm glad to see a happy customer. Please remember to give us a durability update down the road after you have dumped some rounds through it.

November 3, 2010, 08:13 PM
That six inch version needs to be in any Blade Runner remake...

November 24, 2010, 03:34 AM
I actually like the look of the 6" model. It would be terrifying to have that thing pointed at you. I put $50 that the 6" will wind up in movies!

Click Image to Enlarge

I saw a similar weapon (I believe it was a Mateba Autorevolver) in an "Alias" episode (Parity, Part 1 ( At the time I thought it was just stupid prop people who had a fake gun, but now I see it's a valid idea. Who knew!

Sydney Bristow as the gun is being introduced:

November 24, 2010, 12:02 PM
Now make it in 41 mag and I'll buy one.

November 24, 2010, 12:59 PM
I fondled one in the store the other day. They feel very solid and are yet not too heavy imo. They make a pure dao version too. I could tell a difference in the trigger pull between the coc-kable and the dao's trigger pull. You know how sometimes dao have a better trigger pull. My lgs actually had nine of them I fondled up four of the nine. Quality seemed consistant.

They are odd looking for sure, but from a functionality standpoint I like their design. Some good ideas have been slapped into the bugger. I am still not sure I need one yet, but I am working on convincing myself. I am curious how they will hold up with more roinds, how the finish will do with lots of carrying, etc. The flatness of the cylinder does not buy much imo since this is too big and heavy to pocket carry. Now if they cake out with a smaller aluminum framed verson for pocketing, even if only in 38 I might really need one. I am actually rooting for their success. I kinda like em for some reason.

P.S. think ruger as far as build feel and what not. They feel very solid, but unfortunately have less of a melt if you will, having more shar edges than say a smith and wesson revolver.

November 24, 2010, 01:03 PM
Oops, I meant to say I could not see a difference in the trigger pulls.

November 26, 2010, 10:43 PM
just like a HK P9s it sounds

Jim Watson
November 26, 2010, 10:47 PM
There was a Rhino in the IDPA Nationals line count.
Looks like it has made the big time.

November 26, 2010, 11:04 PM
I shot a golf ball sized group at 20 yards offhand.With that kind of accuracy, who cares what it looks like?

Surely not the person you're shooting at in SD,
which is all that matters.


December 8, 2010, 01:26 PM
I have been in the market for a .357 snubbie for a while and the Rhino keeps catching my eye. Price point is a little higher than I would like but I can see myself picking one up eventually.

December 8, 2010, 05:55 PM
Definitely been keeping my eye out for this one. Originally I wanted one of the full sizers, but I think the small one appeals to me more now. After I get my 627, this will probably be my next purchase if it ever makes the CA roster or someone has one I can do a PPT with.

December 8, 2010, 06:26 PM
fwiw, there's one for sale in the For Sale section, brand new.

December 8, 2010, 07:34 PM
What is the grip made of? Is is soft enough to absorb recoil?

December 8, 2010, 09:45 PM
What recoil?

December 9, 2010, 08:45 AM
Bubba, you may be tuff, but I'm not. Don't enjoy shooting +P 38's much less 357's. My LCR came with a soft spot on the grip where it goes against the web. Helps a lot.
Thats why I asked if the Rhino grip is soft. Its just weird looking enuf to strike my fancy.

December 10, 2010, 06:07 AM
that gun looks like it feel out of an ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down, then was run over by an 18 wheeler, then beat on with a 5lb sledge hammer,:eek: not something i would want, too strange looking.:what: but i guess i am the only one that feels that way. imho.:barf:

August 11, 2011, 01:48 AM
I know this is an old thread, but all the newer ones just reference an older one. :)

to op: Thanks for the review! I'll have to look into the cocking lever part, that seems strange to me.

I've been wanting to shoot this gun ever since I first saw one. I love the idea of the low-barrel. I like the squared edges and flattened cylinder. It looks new, fresh and interesting! I think the longer barrel ones look awesome!
The majority of compaints (that I've read on THR) against this gun are all about it being 'ugly'. I read the exact same comments from the revolver people about the polymer guns. Bottom line is: if it shoots well, I can love it.

August 11, 2011, 02:21 AM
Looks like something from shadowrun I love it.

August 11, 2011, 01:00 PM
Do want.


August 11, 2011, 06:08 PM
Cartoon gun. Used for self-defense, all you gotta do is show it and your adversary will die laughing. Would look good in the next "Hellboy" movie.

Sorry. I know it's an old thread, revived by someone enthusiastic over the thing. I just can't get over the looks. To each his own.

August 12, 2011, 12:25 PM
People say the same thing about Glocks. lol

August 12, 2011, 04:53 PM
They say Glocks look ugly. The Rhino looks ridiculous.;)

August 12, 2011, 09:35 PM
Today, 03:53 PM #49; Dogguy
They say Glocks look ugly. The Rhino looks ridiculous.

Ugly is in the eye of the beholder!
Most folks think my Encores are ugly.
But four of my six barrels will hold a 5 shot group within a .5” group at a 100 yards!
The two barrels that don't hold a .5” group at a 100 yards are a .45 caliber ML barrel and my 12 gauge shotgun barrel.
IMO there is NO such thing as an ugly, accurate rifle or pistol!!!

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