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Chiappa Rhino .357 Magnum Revolvers

01/17/2011 @ 9:07pm

I got to fire the Chiappa Rhino revolvers today at the SHOT show’s Media Day at the Range.  This review is short because what I wanted most to experience was Chiappa’s claim of “drastically” reduced recoil.  I mean, really, to refer to a .357 magnum revolver as “tamed” is quiet an assertion.  Here are pictures of the guns I got to shoot and if you want to find out how the Chiappa actually shoots, I’ve written my short assessment below.

Chiappa Rhino revolvers models 200DS && 40DS

My experience supports Chiappa’s claims.  In fact, I found myself looking at the pistols in wonderment, trying to figure out how they got the recoil out of the gun.  While certainly louder than a .22, I have to admit that the guns are actually comfortable to shoot.  Yes, I said that: “comfortable.”  I own and regularly shoot .38 snubnose and a .357.  Somehow, Chiappa has drastically reduced the pain and and muzzle flip.  Their site describes the engineering theory and you can click here to get all of that detail.  The pistols are accurate, the ergonomics are very good and you should be able to shoot one all day long.

Yes, the profile is flattened by the unusual cylinder–which is of course no longer a cylinder at all–and the guns’ appearance is unique.  But, that characteristic I most wanted to feel for myself–was hardly there.  MJM is impressed.  You may, indeed, upgrade to .357 power in a snub-nosed revolver.

  • Robb Allen

    Got to fondle one at the local fun-store, but no opportunities to fire it. I’ve seen plenty of videos that show very little muzzle flip. Glad to hear it’s more than just market-speak and special effects.

  • Sharp as a Marble – All that and a bag of chips?

    […] Blog Title Home About Me Contact RSS Login << You see, the term ‘roots’ in ‘grassroots’ implies plural | Home All that and a bag of chips? Guns. Lots of Guns. MJ Mollenhour tries out the Chippendale’s ChiaPet Chiappa Rhino […]

  • Anonymous

    I had wondered if it would work as well as they claimed. I was interested before, and this review has moved it firmly onto my “want” list. Thanks!

    Any idea of what the price range will be?

  • Linoge

    … Dangit. Knew I should have held out instead of purchasing my 686. *sigh* Still, they are not yet out of the “well-tested and honestly not going to break” phase, so it is probably just as well that my pocket book is goin gto force me to wait.

    But that four-incher… Damn, it just looks awesome!

  • MJ Mollenhour

    Gives you time to save up, huh? I am not running right out to get one
    either, but I would consider it if I were in the market for a new revolver.
    Sure was fun to shoot, though.


  • MJ Mollenhour

    Short update: Trigger pull on the full-frame model I handled next day on the showroom floor was a lot harder than on the snub and medium frame models I shot, Robb. Odd. I wonder how much they vary off the production line.

    Michael J. Mollenhour
    1.800.317.9506 office – 1.800.844.0602 fax
    P.O. Box 32747 – Knoxville, TN 37930

  • Nino

    I just purchased the Rhino 50DS (5″) and have a question I was hoping you could answer. I have yet to fire the revolver (not that easy in Canada before purchase), but after reading a number of reviews (including yours) I decided to take a chance, buy the gun, and test it against my 686 Pro. Did you try the 5″ model’s trigger at the Shot Show? How did you find it? thanks very much…

  • MJM

    That’s exciting to hear—that you are getting a Rhino into your hands. I’d like to hear more about it once you experience shooting it and hope you will post a comment here or shoot me an email.

    I see the online comments you are talking about. I did not find it heavier than any other DA trigger pull. The trigger is wider than the usual and I found it to be smooth. Oddly, the larger frame 6” had a heavier pull than the snub nose or the 4″ but still no heavier than my Smith and Wesson 642. The 2″ trigger pull was lighter than my revolvers.

    This was an interesting link and comment on the issue at The Truth About Guns. I’m including it in case you missed it in your own research.

    Hope you find the gun enjoyable to shoot and utterly reliable.

  • Rithees_

     beautiful gun !

  • Sixgun

    The interesting fact about the Rhino is despite the “wrap tinfoil around the gun and your head” shade tree negative publicisty, the guns have enjoyed a 15% to 20% markup on prices since 2007. In fact I invite you to find one under or around the origional $749.00 price tag. to me that says a lot about a firearm in todays market.