With the Rhino revolver Armi Chiappa revolutionized the concept of modern revolver. The first and obvious peculiarity of the Rhino revolver is that while in all the other wheelguns the barrel is aligned with the cylinder chamber at 12 o'clock – that is the furthest away from the shooter's hand – here the barrel is aligned with the chamber at 6 o'clock.This way the natural tendency of the gun to climb when firing is greatly mitigated.
Of course, the upside-down revolver design caused several technical problems, but they were brilliantly resolved and now the Rhino is an example of a gun completely designed and built in Italy that become a real worldwide icon, also appearing in several movies and video games.
The Armi Chiappa Rhino revolver was available so far in .357 Magnum caliber (but also in 9x19, 9x21 and .40 Smith & Wesson) with 2, 4, 5 and 6 inch barrels. At the beginning of 2017 a 3-inch barrel (75 mm) version dedicated to concealed carry for personal defense was introduced.
Compared to the previous model with a two-inch barrel the Rhino 30 DS allows for a better recoil and muzzle flash management, since if it is true that the peculiar architecture of this revolver reduces its tendency to climb, it is also true that recoil is still there, and an extra inch of barrel adds muzzle weight and reduces stress on the shooter's hand. Moreover, the extra barrel inch allows for a better burning of the powder, with a consequent increase in bullet speed and energy.
The Rhino 30 DS revolver put to the test
The 3-inch barrel version measures 190 mm of length with a weight of 770 grams. The monolithic frame is aluminum, while the cylinder is stainless steel. The external finish is nickel-plated. The cylinder holds six.357 Magnum caliber cartridges and can be loaded either one cartridge at a time or using the special "speed loaders" available as an accessory.
The sights consist in a frontsight with fiber optic insert on a ramp pinned to the frame (therefore fixed) and an adjustable backsight, also with fiber optic inserts. The grips are black synthetic rubber.
The list price of the Rhino 30 DS is 1218 euro.
Overall, the Rhino 30 DS looks like a well-balanced gun, where the barrel and the grip are almost the same length.
The fiber optic sights are clearly visible and allow for a rapid target acquisition. The trigger is quite crisp, which is an advantage, considering that such a gun will probably always be used in double action.
Of course, for those who have never fired a revolver of the Rhino family can be unsettling at first, but after a short trial period you can take full advantage of the great accuracy and speed of this revolver, as shown in this video by Mirko Mazza, a very strong shooter.
But you don't need to be a champion to shoot fine with a Rhino revolver: you just have to handle it correctly and focus on the fact that the "live" cylinder chamber is the lowest one of all. It's a matter of getting used to it. Enjoy the video!
Chiappa Rhino 30 DS: technical data
|Chiappa Firearms / www.chiappafirearms.com
|Rhino 30 DS
|fixed front, adjustable back