Mateba Unica 6

I love odd looking guns. And when I saw a Chiappa Rhino I wanted one. Then my friend told me about its predecessor, the Mateba Revolvers. has some good information regarding the revolvers designed by Emilio Ghisoni.

Here is a video of a .357 Unica 6 being fired. The amount of variety in barrel options and caliber changes for one revolver is staggering.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • i guess vash the stampede cosplayers just got more accurate.

    • Azril @ Alex Vostox

      Vash? Meh, I’ll stick with a Togusa from Ghost in The Shell.

      • LCON

        … Otaku-isum I always found inverted revolvers a attractive rarity.

      • BattleshipGrey

        GiTS was my first exposure to the Mateba and it made an impression on my early arsenal. I didn’t buy one but it opened my mind to revolvers even more.

    • BryanS

      Thats one of the reasons my wife wants one, and part of the conversation the spurred this post 🙂

      Not for cosplay, but to have as a fun range toy.

  • William Johnson

    I vaguely remember one of these with a shoulder stock being used by an assassin in a movie years ago.

    • DrewN

      The carbines are awesome (looking, anyway). I love the MTR-8 carbine and would love to have one, but I’ve never seen one in person. I did see a Grifone at a gun show once, but it was under glass (with some other movie guns so maybe ?) and not for sale.


        It’s almost as mythical as a Walther WA 2000. It’s pretty much a unicorn with a scope on its horn.

      • Cymond

        There were some on Gunbroker a few years ago, and they were available (and NOT selling) for far less than the handheld revolvers. I was tempted to buy one and SBR it, but there were issues. Aside from the high financial cost ($2,000?) and federal paperwork, I was concerned that a SBR would probably have a different recoil spring than the carbine, and information is so hard to find that I couldn’t even determine the spring weight I would need.

      • Squidpuppy

        I have a Grifone in .357 Magnum. It’s a beautiful firearm, but I don’t shoot it much. These are pretty delicate instruments, and they go out of tune annoyingly quickly; high maintenance – Italian super model. Not a service sidearm by any means. And with the carbine, your face is so close to the action that every time you cap off a round, you get a blast of hot gas in your face, and sometimes hot particles. Light load .357s will hink it up.

        However, they are incredibly accurate, easy to shoot well, and a lot of fun. Pride of ownership? Worth way more than I spent on it.

  • dan citizen

    great article!

  • RoninTheDog

    This guy’s channel is also full of all sorts of great reviews on oddball firearms. He’s also got in some cases, the only examples of certain Mateba’s in the US or one of less than 10 that were ever imported.

  • 1leggeddog

    Wait a sec, before firing the first shot, the trigger pull seemed pretty long, but the followup shots looked like… the gun switched from double action to single action… but it’s a revolver?

    Am i missing something here?

    • Edward Franklin

      Yep, the Mateba Unica-6 is actually an autorevolver. Upon firing the upper ‘slide’ of the pistol recoils, the cylinder rotates, and the hammer is cocked for the next shot. The initial DA pull of the Mateba isn’t spectacular but it’s SA is pretty good. A nice benefit is the recoil is pretty diminished and a .357 Unica-6 is quite pleasant to shoot.
      The end result of this however is the Unica-6 is an absolute nightmare internally, even swapping the recoil springs is a drawn out process. Of interest is the little oddity that the muzzle brake on that particular Unica-6 indexes upside down. Although near as I know that’s the only example of a compensated .357 Unica-6 known to exist so no idea if it’s intentional or a flaw.

    • Dropship Ace

      Yes. The Unica is a semi auto revolver.

  • Jai


  • steveday72

    I love the look of the Rhino revolvers, but apparently they’re very unreliable. One blog I read is written by someone who works in a gun store/range that has one for rental …. it’s spent most of it’s time being repaired and waiting for parts. Shame.

    • totenglocke

      I have a model 1892 from Chiappa that’s been back several times for repairs (under warranty). They finally agreed to just replace it (as soon as I get it back, it’s getting sold) but are waiting on a shipment from Italy. Never buy Chiappa.

  • Giolli Joker

    I have one! 454 Casull… Awesome toy!

    • gunslinger

      big boy!

  • Giolli Joker

    Btw, the name is 6 UNICA, not UNICA 6, because in Italian it reads as “sei unica”: “you’re unique”

  • ColaBox

    If I could have one revolver….

  • GuyWhoOwnsA6Unica

    For all those lusting over the 6Unica: don’t give up hope.
    I found mine, an 8-inch .357, during a spur-of-the-moment trip to my local gun store; a collector was selling it to the store and I bought it up immediately (and luckily, the store didn’t know what they had and I got it under the current market value).
    As to the shooting characteristics:
    The weapon is heavy as it was targeted (no pun intended) at the target-shooting/competition market. There is substantial material around the barrel, both to support the interchangeable barrel and to reduce climb; which the placement of the barrel and the weight do excellently.
    When fired, it can feel strange to feel the weight shift back into your hand but not up, as you would with normal recoil. Instead, there was a clear sensation of the barrel/cylinder moving but not much in terms of force from the round itself; it felt more like the transfer of slide weight when shooting a 1911 then what is expected with a revolver.
    The trigger is good, very smooth and crisp, with a very short reset due to hammer being reset by the slide/cylinder. The double trigger pull is longer and weightier than most automatics, but is shorter and lighter than most revolvers.
    The grip fit well in my slightly-larger-than-normal hands and the shape made the weapon easy to hold, point, and helped to ensure that most of the barely felt recoil was directed towards the webbing between the thumb and pointer.
    The downside: 90+ parts to keep track of if you ever decide to open it up fully and you can’t afford to break anything. Oh… and they aren’t making new ones for me to buy.
    In my dream world: S&W buys the patent (currently held by a German company IIRC) and builds new 6Unicas with interchangeable barrels… I would buy so many.
    (hope this provides some insight into the weapon)

  • Rick

    sadly, the barrel options have gone from “staggering” to practically nil as they’re hard to find anymore. What is available, is expensive.

    Ive wanted one of these for years. Then found CA won’t let me get it. Oh well, I’ll send it to my parents out of state LOL

  • Boring Nitpicker

    Hi I just wanted to mention that it’s probably “6 Unica” rather than “Unica 6”, this being because in Italian 6 is written the same as the secon person of the verb “to be”: the name translates as “you are unique”. I’ve had my eye on this thing for a while now 😀