Chiappa Rhino 200D .357 Magnum Review

In this episode of TFBTV, James evaluates the Chiappa Rhino, the unique, new revolver from the Italian manufacturer. The Rhino, unlike nearly every revolver before, fires from the bottom chamber of the cylinder, not the top. Chiappa claims that this drastically reduced felt recoil. James gladly puts this to the test in this review. James runs the 200D, a 2″ .357 magnum/.38 special.

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Full transcript …

– Hey guys, James again for TFB TV.

I am really excited today to bring to you a full review of the Chiappa Rhino.

Today I’ve got the 200 DS which is the two inch barrel,.357 version of this gun.

Let’s get the elephant out of the room or should I say Rhino out of the room first and that is the fact that this gun fires from the bottom cylinder unlike every other revolver, pretty much ever.

Now, why would Chiappa do that and the answer’s very simple because transfer of recoil.

Instead of firing from the top cylinder which tends to bring that recoil from higher access over the top of your wrist, with the Rhino, the recoil goes directly backwards into your wrist, your elbow, your arm, so that’s supposed to mitigate the effects of recoil, lead to faster follow up shots and just make it an all around easier gun to shoot.

It kind of makes you wonder, why didn’t anyone think of this before and the truth of the matter is, it really complicates the mechanics of the revolver.

With the revolver that fires from the top cylinder, the traditional revolver, you have an exposed external hammer.

Now while the Rhino looks like it has a hammer here at the top, this is in fact not a hammer but a cocking lever that cocks an internal hammer.

So this is a little bit more complex than your conventional revolver.

Firing from the bottom cylinder brings another issue to bear that you don’t necessarily run into all that often in a conventional top cylinder firing revolver and that is the fact that you want to keep your hands away from the explosion.

(gun shot) Did you get a little? – Yeah.

– [James] It’s not that bad.

– It tells you it’s there.

– Yeah, obviously, you have a cylinder gap, you have gas bleed off in revolvers.

Well typically that, coming from the top cylinder means that it’s well away from where your grip fingers are going to be.

Not so much with the Rhino.

The Rhino comes with specific instructions to modify your grip, to keep your fingers away from the cylinder gap.

They’ve got a little thumb shelf here that kind of helps with your dominant hand and reminding you to keep those thumbs low.

The frame is made out of extremely high grade 70/75 aluminum which is top of the line in terms of strength to density.

The aluminum frame also keeps the weight down on this gun so it only weighs 24 ounces which is a pound and a half.

Pretty impressive for a.357, a six shot.357 Magnum.

Your closest competition for this gun is going to be the Smith and Wesson J- frames that only hold five rounds.

It has a steel barrel insert in the frame.

It also uses a steel hexagonal cylinder What that means is it’s a six sided cylinder that’s flat on all sides to keep the profile low and to keep the weight down.

It also has a steel breach face to the rear of the cylinder for obvious reasons and that is to keep this gun from being beat up too much firing.357 Magnum loads.

It’s got a really nice rubberized grip that has a very high squishy content, I think is the technical term.

It’s got some good bounce to it.

It’s grippable.

It’s not a hard plastic grip but a very flexible rubber grip and hopefully, that also helps dealing with the recoil.

The cylinder release is this little lever here on the left hand side of the gun.

The ejector rod works perfectly.

It’s very smooth and as you can see, it’s pretty long too so it will really get those stuck casings out of there.

But, it’s a little bit flimsier than I would like.

The cylinder also triple locks which is pretty good.

Keeps the cylinder nice and tight and aligned with the barrel.

It’s got a little indent built into where the cylinder arm swings.

It’s got a locking lug underneath the cylinder and then, of course, it locks into the rear of the breach face.

Chiappa’s ingeniously integrated the rear site into the cocking lever at the back of the gun and the front sight is a fiber optic front sight.

A double action trigger is over 12 pounds so I got a no read on my trigger scale.

However, the single action trigger is almost exactly four pounds every time.

The double action trigger’s pretty smooth.

(gun shots) Not a lot of take up, no over travel and consistent pressure pretty much throughout the pull.

It’s a little on the heavy side and a little bit longer than I like but this is a defensive gun so that’s not really that much of a problem to me.

And I’ll also say this, Chiappa has five different trigger packs available from the factory.

Now my only gripes about the gun so far.

When you cock the gun, a little red flag pops out of the rear, to the left hand side of the gun.

This wouldn’t be that big of a deal, in fact, it would be somewhat helpful if it wasn’t the exact same color as the front sight post.

So it can be a little distracting if you’re trying to quickly acquire a target.

Another issue I see, is the fact that it’s got a two inch barrel.

While it keeps the gun pretty compact and easy to conceal which is really the purpose of this gun.

You lose a lot of velocity going from a three inch barrel to a two inch barrel.

When you lose an inch, when you go from five inches to four inches or six inches to five inches, that loss isn’t that great but it’s pretty severe going from three to two.

To put it into context for you, if you’re shooting a 115 grain, nine millimeter round through a three inch barrel plus P, you’re going to get roughly 1,200 feet per second.

Whereas if you’re shooting a.357 Magnum 125 grain round out of this Chiappa Rhino with a two inch barrel, you’ll be lucky to break over 1,000 feet per second.

Maybe, at most, 1,100 feet per second.

So strictly by the numbers, the energy output is going to be pretty similar between a three inch plus P or plus P plus nine millimeter and the.357 Magnum coming out of the two inch barrel.

So that’s something to consider whenever you decide to choose one of these guns.

I don’t know what the MSRP is on this gun but street price, I’ve seen them floating around for seven, 750 dollars and that may sound like a bruiser but you can’t compare a.357 Magnum snubby of this quality to something like a.38 Special J-frame that you can get for three or four hundred dollars.

In fact, if you look at other kind of hybrid metal like aluminum, steel blends, that shoot.357 Magnum, you’ll actually find that the Rhino is kind of on the low to average end of that price scale.

Anyways, enough talking about it.

I really can’t wait to shoot this thing and I may even be carrying it sometime in the future so let’s take it to the range.

– [Voiceover] I mean you got to– (gun shot) get that angle.

(gun shots) – [Voiceover] You get way in the back after that backslash.

– I’m at 10 meters, I’ve got a silhouette target behind me and I am loaded with self defense hollow points.

Let’s see how it does.

(gun shots) So, a little erratic and it’s breathing fire but rapid fire double action, to get those kind of hits at 10 meters, I’ll take it.

(gun shots) I mean, this thing, it performs as advertised, in that you’re getting recoil straight back into your wrist, into your elbow, into your arm and it’s surprisingly light and flowing.

Very effective design.

Another thing I want to note, I did get my thumbs, my secure thumb, right by the cylinder gap whenever I was shooting it and it was unpleasant but that’s how I would describe it.

It didn’t burn, I’m not bleeding, my finger didn’t fall off.

I mean, I think, in the heat of the moment, if you were firing this in a defensive application, you wouldn’t even notice.

– [Voiceover] You got it.

(gun shot) – [James] All in all, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the Chiappa Rhino today.

I would carry this gun (gun shot) without hesitation (gun shots).

So far so good.

Wrapping up my review of the Chiappa Rhino.

I’m having a hard time finding something that I don’t like about it.

Now, I mentioned earlier that while it has a two inch barrel and that can hurt your ballistics, that’s endemic to the sub compact, sub nosed revolver, that class of firearms, not necessarily just the Rhino so that isn’t really a problem with the Rhino per se.

Also, I’ve read some reviews elsewhere where people have complained about the double action trigger and I’ll admit I’ve felt better double action triggers and I’m not using that euphemistically, I mean I’ve literally felt better double action triggers but there’s nothing really wrong with this one.

Especially considering the fact that this is a gun made for carry, for personal defense so you don’t want something too light weight and it’s single action.

The four pound trigger pull is just fine.

I guess the only thing left to complain about would be the 700 to 750 dollar price tag but then again, you’re talking premium build quality with the Rhino and it’s going to be comparable if not less than other guns of similar build quality.

If there’s something I missed, please let me know in the comments but I’ve been impressed with this gun.

I can’t find anything wrong with it.

I’m probably gong to end up carrying one if I ever need to carry a revolver.

And it works as advertised meaning, they call it the revolver revolution, firing from the bottom cylinder and the reduction of recoil.

I’m telling you, it’s the truth.

I had never shot a Rhino before doing this review and I’m going to have a hard time going back to not shooting a Rhino.

So two thumbs up.

Good job Chiappa with this Rhino and I highly recommend it to anybody who’s in the market for a six shooter,.357 carry gun.

Thanks for watching guys.

See you next time.

(lively music)

James Reeves

• NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
• “Co-Director” [air quotes] of TFBTV
• Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
• Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
• GLOCK® Certified Pistol Operator, 2017-2022
• Lawyer
► Instagram: jjreevesii
► Twitter: @jjreeves
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► 500px: JJReeves


  • Nicholas C

    Nice one James. You forgot to mention that the Chiappa Rhino was designed by ‎Emilio Ghisoni who made the Mateba auto revolver. The concept of shooting from the bottom of the barrel came from those guns.

    • Giolli Joker

      Emilio Ghisoni designed the MaTeBa (Macchine Termo Balistiche,
      Thermo-Ballistic Machinery) revolvers (several models actually, although
      the Autorevolver is the one that got more, albeit limited, success);
      Antonio Cudazzo developed the basic idea of the Rhino and patented its
      features together with Ghisoni.

      The Rhino design was offered to a few manufacturers and Chiappa took it
      on board.

      Others who had ideas similar to Ghisoni’s were the Russians, they
      developed some more traditional revolvers firing from hour 6 chamber;
      parallel development in the period of Ghisoni’s first prototypes.
      BTW, Ghisoni sold MaTeBa around 15 years ago or so and he died before seeing the Rhino being manufactured by Chiappa.

      -I own a 454 Autorevolver bought directly in MaTeBa;
      -I know the sponsor behind the Rhino (and owner of IP) well before Chiappa was involved;
      -I met Ghisoni and Cudazzo once.

      • gregge

        Mateba and Rhino revolvers are featured in the movie “Divergent” and its sequels.

        • AlDeLarge

          A lot of Rhinos in anime, too.

          • SteveS.

            Well, Mateba’s and bottom firing revolvers anyway…

          • AlDeLarge

            More often than not, they have the vented accessory rail and horn-like front sight.

        • George Dean

          I first saw this pistol when Jennifer Garner used in one episode of her series Alias, a very good series BTW, My reaction was WTF is that, it looks like a great boat anchor?

          My opinion, a novelty.

        • Cymond

          Ari Tasarov favors a Rhino on the show Nikita, and later in the show, Amanda adopts the Rhino, presumably from Ari.

    • somedingus

      Does anyone know anything about a 9mm cylinder for this gun and if so how it shoots? Chiappas web page would lead me to believe that one is available with the 200DS model but I have been unable to confirm the existence of it anywhere?

      • Its best to call them and ask about the cylinder. Some models you can only use another caliber cylinder if sold with the gun or after you send the gun to the maker such as with NAA mini revolvers. This due to the tuning required on those. Other revolvers you can just pop in an aftermarket cylinder. Not sure which category the Rhino falls in but some say you can fire 9mm out of the 357 mag one since the bullet diameter and case diameter is the same. Obviously you wouldn’t fire 38 or 357 out of a 9mm cylinder.

  • Tyler Shaw

    Thank you for the review. I carried one of these for awhile. I really loved the size and feel of the gun, but personally was not very accurate with it. I decided that more rounds and accuracy were more important for defensive carry. Reminds me of the Blade Runner gun for some reason.

  • SirOliverHumperdink

    Thanks for saving me $800.

  • Darrell


    • Darrell

      Ehh, I hate the log in here. What I meant to say–I handled several Rhinos when they first came out. One, I hated the grip. Two, the trigger was quite different from gun to gun, no consistency at all between them. No thanks.

      • Well Daryl, stick to crossbows. *ba dum tsssh*

  • sk

    how do you decock the gun?

    • Swarf


    • DW

      Empty cylinders, click.

    • sk

      all funny replies
      …but really…a review without basic info isn’t much of a review.

    • joseph

      I owned the 200DS white rhino & was surprised now one else mentioned that +p .38 special loads are better than .357 for sub 3 inch revolvers. Ti answer your question:

      Decocking involves holding the cocking lever down, giving the trigger a mild squeeze, then releasing the lever. The red flag treats back into the frame as long as you get the order right.

      • Hyok Kim

        How is the trigger reset in DA?

  • Bear The Grizzly

    I wish S&W would copy and improve this design the same way they did the Judge.

  • John Yossarian

    James made the same mistake that I first did in reading BBTI’s velocity numbers from a revolver. He’s quoting velocity numbers closer to a 0.41″ barrel than a 2″ barrel.

    From BBTI:
    “In every case with the T/C Encore the length of the barrel was measured from the end of the barrel back to the breech face. This is how semi-auto pistols are measured, but revolvers are measured as the length of the barrel in front of the cylinder gap. Take this into consideration when comparing calibers using our numbers.”

    So in fact, the velocity accrued in a 2″ barrel 357 Mag revolver is much closer a 3.59″ (cartridge OAL plus barrel) T/C Encore rifle.

    • Just checked Buffalo Bore, which makes the hottest .357 available. Out of a 1 7/8″ barrel J frame they are getting 1,109fps w/ a 125gr.

      • John Yossarian

        Underwood is getting 1,500 fps out of a 3″ barrel. If you follow TnOutdoor9’s testing, then you know that Underwood’s numbers are fact.

        But refer back to the BBTI numbers, and look at what their testing shows for a 3″ or 4″ barrel.

        I believe Buffalo Bore’s actually quite conservative on a lot of their loads, which is probably why I don’t buy them.

        • I’m a huge fan of .357 as well. However what I’m seeing with .357 and other high velocity/pressure calibers (5.7×28, .327 federal, .22 mag,etc) is that small changes in barrel length make a big difference, especially when going shorter. There is also the issue of barrel cylinder gap with a revolver which really eats up velocity. 1″ of barrel might not seem like much, but in the case of a 3″ vs 2″ barrel, the 3″ has 50% more barrel length than the 2″.

          Underwood is pretty magical, and if anyone could hit 1400fps out of a 2″ barrel it would be them. And I would be delighted if that were the case.

          In terms of factory defensive ammo however the numbers looks less encouraging. For example Remington Golden Saber 125gr does 1450 out of a 4″ barrel, but only 1067 fps out of a 2.25″ SP101. Testing on the Winchester 125gr out of the Ruger LCR averaged 1,177 fps. Hornady Critical Defense 125gr averaged 1,158fps.

          Now these velocities are nothing to sneeze at, however they are well within 9mm +P territory as opposed to magnum performance. In fact the Ruger LCR 9mm 1.875″ barrel fires 124 gr Buffalo Bore @ 1202fps, and Corbon 124gr @ 1122 fps according to Gunblast’s testing.

          So really for a pocket revolver 9mm might actually be the way to go, while .357 is better with barrels of 3″-5″. Especially when we factor in muzzle blast and flash. 9mm gets the same velocity in these short barrels with 1/3-1/2 the powder charge, greatly reducing the “pocket flashbang” effect of firing .357 out of such a short barrel.

    • Giolli Joker

      Well… you’re right on the numbers, however the cylinder gap has influence and the two effects almost balance each other.
      BBTI however lists some real guns values to get a better feel of the performance of your gun.

    • 2hotel9

      Whatever happened to the Snowdens of yesteryear. Sorry, I just had to.

    • RA

      Too easy to just shoot it through a chrony and get the FPS

  • Boris Pistoff

    James, you failed to mention that the Chiappa Rhino has several bigger brothers in the same calibers: 38 Special, 357 Mag and in some models 9mm. The barrel lengths of these other models are offered in 4, 5 and 6 inches. This is my dream gun though I don’t have the $$$ to buy one, so my present wheel gun – Nagant revolver 7.62x38R (built in 1920 and in mint condition) – is my preferred gun. Please don’t tell me that its a piece of junk. At 50 meters 3″ groups in single action is superb. I have tuned up the trigger to a crisp 5 lbs in SA and the ammo (surplus from the enemy) is armor piercing. What else could I ask for? Answer: a Chiappa with 4 or 5 inches barrel.

    • AD

      That sounds like a sweet Nagant!

      • Just hope he cleans it each times he fires because that corrosive ammo is going to eat the barrel. I have a custom silencer in 7.62 that is about 3 and a half inches in ath waiting for my nagant.

        • Boris Pistoff

          Got you! However, I use graphite grease on my Nagant and all other shooting devices and there no after effects because of that. I also use that grease for the trigger group and that also compliments to the light trigger pull (5 lbs). One other gun I have – a Remington Rolling Block rifle (ca. 1920) that I’ve also tuned up the trigger spring which is very similar in concept to the Nagant I also used that graphite grease for an outstanding 2.5 lbs trigger pull. The RRB has a new barrel caliber 9.3x74R and it’s a peach! This is the graphite grease I use for all my shooting implements; see pic below.

    • iksnilol

      Uh… 7.62x38R Isn’t armor piercing. And using 7.62×25 sounds mighty unsafe.

      • Boris Pistoff

        Gospodin iksnilol. You are confused (hopefully happily confused). My Nagant shoots 7.62x38R (a rimmed cartridge) while the 7.62×25 is an auto cartridge shot originally out of a Tokarev T33 (an auto pistol very similar in its mechanism to the Colt 1911 auto pistol). Please research better and refine your knowledge about guns before making uniformed comments. Photos below: 1st: Nagant revolver; 2nd: Tokared T33 and 3rd: Rhino 6″. BIG difference dear kamarad.

        • iksnilol

          I know what they are, I also know there’s conversion cylinders for Nagants to get them to shoot .32 ACP and others to allow the use of 7.62×25.

          I also know there is no chance that regular milsurp 7.62x38R is armor piercing.

  • Anomanom

    I want one, but i want the 4-inch or longer barrel, since those have an adjustable rear sight, and not really a huge increase in size or weight.

  • Brandon

    I would be really interested in seeing how this design handles the calibers starting in .4

  • VF 1777

    Hmmm looks interesting. Like the reduced recoil. Love the concept (and execution). I’m just not sure I want to trade off everything else I get in a semi auto package (like my new PPS M2) for a revolver that shoots .357 basically at .45 velocities. I would have to change my aggressive grip, I’m not sure I’d dig the ‘blast finger’ thing, and that chamber flag thing alone would probably freak me out. The long DA trigger pull (on any revolver really) kills accuracy/shootability for me, and I’m never gonna shoot it in SA mode in a defensive situation. The bulk makes it more difficult to carry. As cool as the reduced recoil is, and as cool as this revolver is, you’re really trading off a lot to get that reduced recoil: weight, slimness/concealability, capacity/quick reloading, accuracy/trigger, sights, etc. I think I’ll just stay with an aggressive grip on my little mini Ma Deuce instead. Good review though James. thanks!

  • David S.

    Hey James, here is something not to like: despite paying a premium price for any Rhino Chiappa gives a paltry one year warranty. Also, their customer service is bizarre. I called them to get the UPC for a particular item. Despite being put on hold for several minutes I was told “we don’t have that information.” Utter pathetic.

  • ExMachina1

    Nice review. I know you live the gun but you actually ended up convincing me that a compact 9mm is really hard to beat in a similar-sized package.

  • USMC03Vet

    I’ve been wanting to get one of these for a long time now and I’m not a revolver fan. Good review, but needs more tea cup, Chap!

    • Would totally go for the 5″, just for a “look what I got” type toy or home defense (excuse).

      • MR_22

        I have the six-inch .40S&W version and I LOVE it.

  • Stanley Rabbid

    So does the RSh-12.

  • 45N90W

    After I got my CCW permit 4 years ago, the 2″ Rhino was the first gun I bought for carry. It is fun to shoot–38 feels like a 22. Only downside to mine is it’s generation 1–does not have fiber optic front sight standard; need to replace the stock sight. Other than that, love it.

    • Mazryonh

      Was that model compatible with laser sight grips, at least?

      • 45N90W

        I do believe it is because the grip has not changed, but I never really looked into that option.

        • Mazryonh

          With that short a sight radius for the 2″ Rhino, you might as well get a laser sight for “rapid deployment” close-in work.

  • Wanderlust

    With all the effort that went into this I wonder if they could put a little more in and make it like a much better, smoother version of a Nagant revolver where the cylinder moves forward to lock with the forcing cone. Would fix any burns and with todays tech, why not.

    • BattleshipGrey

      The internals are already quite complicated. Good training should also prevent burns (or worse) from getting too close to the cylinder gap.
      I’m glad to see the Rhino has survived this far, but I doubt they’ve got enough sales to generate more complexity for just a slight up-tick in sales due to a more suppressible possibility.

    • AD

      I was thinking the same thing when he mentioned the forcing cylinder gap problem. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s possible to implement such a system without increasing the trigger pull weight (obviously I’d be very happy to be wrong).

      • There are videos out there showing one can do some tinkering and reduce the nagants trigger pull to five pounds.

        • AD

          The double-action trigger pull? If so then that’s very impressive!

  • MrEllis

    Most of the pistols I own have a slightly different manual of arms, none of them require me to change my habits and training that much. I’ve still got two wheel guns in the rotation so I don’t have much issue with that, I’m just afraid muscle memory will get me bit.

    The gun does look awesome though.

    • Giolli Joker

      I tried prototypes of the Rhino together with a much more accomplished revolver shooter than myself… I could hit the target much more easily than him as his S&W tuned muscle memory was not letting him point the Rhino properly.
      You can see JM doing the same while trying the Rhino.
      It just takes practice.

      • MrEllis

        I don’t want to train in different habits over the ones I have. It’s okay to shoot a unique weapon at the range but for a daily carry you want muscle memory to rule the roost. I’d most likely just shoot this one for fun.

        • They have four, five and six inch versions.

          • MrEllis

            Yeah, those would be fun at the range, but how you have to grip and present the firearm is an issue they all have in common. Even my snubbies can be gripped in a similar fashion to my semis with little chance of me getting burned from vented gasses coming from the cylinder gap.

          • Just like any revolver you have to proper grip it or risk injury. On 454 Casull and other huge bore revolvers you risk blowing off fingers if you grip it wrong. You don’t hold a revolver like a semi to begin with. Yet that is often how people get injured with chamber blast. As to why revolver makers haven’t used the gas seal solution like the nagant uses or some other method its beyond comprehension.

          • MrEllis

            If I slip up and do position my hand like I do on my semis I don’t get hurt with my current line-up of revolvers. I would not carry a .454 for defensive purposes. All of my handguns are compact or smaller. My Rugers have never bitten my when I present the weapon and discharge it. Thousands of rounds of shooting them and my semis and no burns or missing digits. I can actually place my supporting thumb forward on the frame and still fire it with no risk of venting gases burning me. The Rhino is an entirely different story and I do not feel like training out good habits for one weapon. I would enjoy shooting one on the range but in a high stress situation I’m going to go with the hundreds of hours of training I have that works with half a dozen weapons fine.

            It’s an opinion. You may be able to pick up any weapon and adapt to it and re-write your muscle memory on the spot, but some of us older guys are more so “old dog new tricks” than you. I know my limitations, the amount of time I’m willing to invest in something that I hopefully never have to use and the level of proficiency I demand from myself if I do carry don’t jive with the amount of time and money I have. I feel comfortable with DA/SA, SA, striker fire and modern revolvers. I don’t think I need to add one more manual of arms to the mix. Neat gun though, love the look of it.

  • Amanofdragons

    So they finally fixed the qc problems and the trigger. I’ll need to pick one up eventually. Right now content with my s&w model 19.

  • BattleshipGrey

    I’ve found that the fiber optic color isn’t a problem. Go to and search for “fiber optic replacement rods” in the diameter you need. Many come in a packet of several different colors.

    I did this to replace the front sight fiber optic rod on my FIL’s HK USP that must’ve come out during shooting. Just make sure you heat up both ends so they don’t fall out.

  • Hugo Stiglitz

    I picked one up 5 years ago and have no regrets. The reduction in recoil with .357 rounds is impressive. Accuracy is acceptable for a short barreled, self defense revolver. I didn’t know that there were other trigger packages available…the 12 pound double action pull is one of my least favorite features of the gun.. I see that the .357 models are now available with an additional 9mm cylinder. I wonder if older models can be fitted for one…

    • somedingus

      THIS! I can’t find any information about the 9mm cylinder performance anywhere! Chiappa lists it as available with the 200DS on the website. Is it true? How does it shoot? Can anyone answer?

  • Chrome Dragon

    So too does the MP-412 “REX” (Revolver for EXport) which is something I’d love to get my paws on, since I have an unhealthy appreciation for break-top revolvers.

  • Will

    The Rhino is one of THE ugliest firearms ever made. I’ve never fired one so I’m running my mouth purely on the esthetics of the revolver.
    Firing from the bottom cylinder does give me a lot of concern due to my grip style.
    I gather from the review that beauty, is indeed, in the eye of the beholder because the reviewer gave it two thumbs up.
    Again, IMHO, life is too short to shoot ugly guns, and drink cheap whisky ( or whiskey if you’re not a scotch drinker).

    • Hugo Stiglitz

      I agree that it’s not a thing of beauty, but it is functional. It conceals nicely (comes with a nice leather owb holster), and handles .357 better than any other short barreled revolver I have tried. If good whiskey came in an ugly bottle, would you drink it? 🙂

    • Giolli Joker

      Check hickok45’s video review.
      You will definitely agree with him on more than one point. 😉

    • iksnilol

      I dunno, I like the sci fi look. Pair it with a 6 inch barrel and a black rubber grip (everything else nickel plated of course) and you have something very sci-fi IMO.

  • gregge

    I recall in the gun magazines some articles about a couple of revolvers some guy had cut the frames and flipped the front over to put the barrel at the bottom, before the Mateba and long before the Rhino. Wasn’t an April Fools gag either. They were reported to shoot very nicely but suffered from a very heavy trigger pull due to requiring much stronger springs so the hammer would have enough force to fire it. The hammer pivot point wasn’t changed so it had a much shorter swing to strike the firing pin relocated to the bottom.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Uh, same guy designed the Mateba and Rhino.

      • Giolli Joker

        Same guy partecipated in the design, but the Rhino is Cudazzo’s brainchild.
        (More details in my reply to Nicholas C.)
        But yes, the revolvers gregge refers to are likely Mateba MTR8 prototypes.
        Mateba was a company, not a model name, btw.

  • Blue Centurion

    Thanks James for a great review. I have been curious how the Rhino stacks up compared to a traditional revolver and you nailed it. The Rhino reminds me of Rick Dekker’s weapon in Bladerunner……

  • Giolli Joker

    OK, you’re right; I have no stake in this game nor I have to defend any theory. I’m no fanboy of either 9mm or .357 as I like them both.
    Yep, I was under the impression that cylinder gap had more effect.
    Curiously BBTI in the page /realgap.html lists Chiappa Rhino 2″ velocities as well, that is very relevant to the discussion.

    • Hyok Kim

      Ballistics-wise, for SD purpose, gap is irrelevant, Nagant proved it. However, when firing at night, especially inside a building, especially with 2″ barrel and .357 at that, it’s more likely to reduce SA for the shooter, given everything else equal, but since it fires from the bottom barrel, it’s less likely than firing from the top barrel.

  • Raymond Miller

    Good Review. I own a Rino and am very pleased with it, in fact the first time I saw it I had to have one. The one thing that bothers me about the article is the velocity issue. My opinion, you are not going to be shooting this gun at long range. It is a CARRY gun the threat will be feet not yards from you. Close up and personal, a loud noise or 1500 fps. isn’t going to make a bad situation better. If the ammo you use makes you flinch it isn’t the right one to use. Shoot an ammo that you can get consecutive center mass hits with, at 15-20 ft. it will do the job. Even target loads will stop a threat if your hits are in the right spot.

    • Hyok Kim

      How is the trigger reset?

      • Raymond Miller

        I have no problem with it, But it is not a target gun and I am not a target shooter. It is a carry gun, I really can’t see looking for the trigger to reset in a fire fight. If you practice with it I am sure you can get used to it if it is important to you. I am not trying to degrade you for the question it is just not something I am worried about in a carry gun. All or Most times the fight will be over before you remember to look for the trigger to reset. Up close and personal and keep squeezing until the threat is stopped.

        • Hyok Kim

          Thanks for your adult answer. I am not particular about light, ultra smooth trigger unless it’s a range toy. However, short, and positive reset is important for fast firing with minimal sight alignment disturbance.

          • Raymond Miller

            Are you a member of any gun clubs in central Jersey ? I would be more than happy to meet you and let you shoot mine. Then you can make an informed decision on owning one.

          • Hyok Kim

            Thanks for the kind words, but I live in Nebraska.

          • Raymond Miller

            You are lucky. It’s to late for me to move anywhere else. When the Grand Children come along you just can’t pry the wife away from them, most of our legislators and the state of New Jersey suck.

          • Hyok Kim

            Well, NE has her share of problems, many are ‘pro-free market’ except when it comes to their government job benefits, and ‘pro-private ownership’ except when it comes to Keystone pipelines, and conservative except when it comes to gun ownership.
            At least you have many excellent pizzas at affordable price, not here.

          • Raymond Miller

            Yes and great bagels, Italian food and beaches. Oh and don’t forget Pork Roll.

          • Hyok Kim

            Well, I learned something new. Pork roll.

          • Raymond Miller

            Pork roll, egg, & cheese on a Kneepes hard roll, oh to die for, almost as renowned as our corrupt politicians and the Mafia.

      • maodeedee

        Trigger “resets” on DA revolver are not really comparable to the reset of a striker-fired semi-auto pistol. It’s not really an issue with DA Revolvers and it’s hardly even noticeable because to begin with the DA trigger pull on a revolver is much heavier than any Striker-fired or DAO semiauto and that also means that the stiff trigger rebound spring that makes the DA revolver trigger pull heavier also makes it’s reset MUCH faster.

        Back in the 1930’s there was an exhibition shooter named Ed McGivern who emptied two revolvers in less than 2 seconds. He set another record , shooting five rounds from a single DA revolver at 15 feet in 2/5 of a second, and was able to cover the group with his hand. McGivern preferred the older “long action” K-frame M&P with the factory trigger and did not do an “action job” on any of his guns..

        No one using a semi-auto has ever been able to attain a faster rate of fire than what either Ed McGivern or Jerry Miculek have been able to do with a DA Revolver. Note that Miculek uses a rebound spring on his rapid fire revolvers that is actually stiffer than the factory spring.

        • Hyok Kim

          “Note that Miculek uses a rebound spring on his rapid fire revolvers that is actually stiffer than the factory spring.
          That’s what I had heard a long time ago once, but then I heard that Miculek changed his mind on that one.
          Anyway, according to McGivern, what matters in fast, accurate shooting with DA wheelguns is that one controls the trigger so that the time it takes to pull the trigger is equal to the time for the trigger reset.

          • Raymond Miller

            How about stopping at you favorite gun shop and asking the owner about trying one. Or ask if he will arrange for you to try one that he has sold to another customer. There must be a way for you to try one of these cool guns.

          • Hyok Kim

            Been too lazy, especially in winter.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    frame is made out of extremely high grade 7075 aluminum which is top of he line

    lol, metallurgy fanboy? 7075 is about the most common “good” alloy I can think of. It’s not as good at 6061/6063 in some applications, 2020-series is also better at some things, 7075 does machine nicely and is great generally consider how very common it is, but… In not possible way is it “extreme” in any way, nor is it “top of the line” in any way.

    There are 8000 series alloys that ARE current “top of the line” that aren’t even NASA-rare so.

    The frame is extremely generic aluminum, it’s not the worst, but far from the best. I’m wondering why even make comments like this at all? I can’t sub ribs the Glenn-Mann effect, I was presented with ridiculous information why would I beleive anything else said?

  • RA

    Great review! No nonsense and legit. Thank you

  • MR_22

    “The Rhino, unlike nearly every revolver before, fires from the bottom chamber of the cylinder, not the top. Chiappa claims that this drastically reduced felt recoil.”

    I have a Chiappa 60DS in .40S&W. Mine is the six-inch stainless finish. In my opinion, the felt recoil is NOT reduced, but is different. The recoil goes backward, into your arm, rather than flipping UP the muzzle. So reacquisition of the target is quicker, but the recoil is still quite stiff. But reacquisition us important, so shooting from the bottom chamber is certainly better. JMO, of course.

  • RickOAA .

    Those guns are a little bulky and awkward, the double action triggers suck without a factory upgrade…and even with that the internals are known for failing long term. No thanks!

    • Hyok Kim

      How is the reset in DA?

      • Swarf

        Will someone tell this man how the goddamn trigger reset is?!

        • Hyok Kim

          The feel of trigger reset is very important for SD, and it is subjective to a certain length, so I want to get feedback from as many people as possible.

          • Swarf

            I know. I’m just playing.

          • maodeedee

            I answerd this question in great detail below. Here it is again. —Trigger “resets” on DA revolver are not really comparable to the reset of a striker-fired semi-auto pistol. It’s not really an issue with DA Revolvers and it’s hardly even noticeable because to begin with the DA trigger pull on a revolver is much heavier than any Striker-fired or DAO semiauto and that also means that the stiff trigger rebound spring that makes the DA revolver trigger pull heavier also makes it’s reset MUCH faster.

            Back in the 1930’s there was an exhibition shooter named Ed McGivern who emptied two revolvers in less than 2 seconds. He set another record , shooting five rounds from a single DA revolver at 15 feet in 2/5 of a second, and was able to cover the group with his hand. McGivern preferred the older “long action” K-frame M&P with the factory trigger and did not do an “action job” on any of his guns..

            No one using a semi-auto has ever been able to attain a faster rate of fire than what either Ed McGivern or Jerry Miculek have been able to do with a DA Revolver. Note that Miculek uses a rebound spring on his rapid fire revolvers that is actually stiffer than the factory spring.

          • Hyok Kim

            “Note that Miculek uses a rebound spring on his rapid fire revolvers that is actually stiffer than the factory spring.”
            Yes, I read that, too. However, I read that Miculek changed his views on that.
            Btw. According to McGivern’s book ‘ Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting’, what matters is that one controls the trigger pull and reset so that the time it takes to pull the trigger equals the reset time, for fast and accurate shooting.

      • RickOAA .

        No idea. I just let go of the trigger. Feeling for a reset is slow and counter productive.

  • totenglocke

    I owned a Chiappa lever action and had to have it replaced four times under warranty in less than two years. Their quality control is appalling (though the ladies who work in customer service there are top notch).

    • Swarf

      I see how it is around here.

  • LS

    This is not a new revolver… I have had mine for years already (2012). In the video they mentioned “Chiappa has five different trigger packs available from the factory.”
    Can someone confirm if it’s true??
    Last time I checked, Chiappa was no selling the trigger packs because they were having issues with light strikes.


  • CJS3

    This weapon has been around for quite a while now. TFB just now noticed it?

    Your first review is dated 12-1-2010. Can’t wait for your review of the S&W M10 M&P.

  • will_ford

    These pistols do NOT TRIP my trigger. IMO

  • SteveS

    Honestly, I’m glad you did a review of this amazing revolver but I wish you had tried out the 4″ model as well. That’s the one I would carry and it has adjustable sights and a rail for lights or lasers. You also should have tried .38’s in it as well because that’s what women would be carrying it in. My wife loves the .357 Taurus tracker loaded with .38’s. Plus as you have already heard from everyone else this revolver is not the first bottom shooting revolver to be on the market. I really wish I had bought a Mateba from CDNN when they were selling them dirt cheap over 10 years ago. Now they are worth a lot of money…

  • Kappy

    Great write-up. I have the 2″ double-action-only (DAO) model in black (I wouldn’t really call it blued) and the “White Rhino” in a 4″ barrel. Both are in .357 mag.

    I’ve carried both of them. They’re seriously light, which belies their handling of full-house loads. I could shoot .357 all day, if it weren’t for the cost.

    Both of these guns handle really well. I was shooting 8″ steel plates “at speed” from 14 yards with the 2″ model last week and hitting fairly well, considering how well I don’t shoot. This is with the rather heavy double-action trigger. Remember that even though it’s a heavy trigger, it feels much better than the weird triggers on LCRs and other such concealable revolvers.

    The 4″ has an awesome trigger. I’d heard terrible things about them, but I apparently got one of the newer triggers. It feels better than any other firearm I’ve purchased. Both triggers (single and double) feel light (but not too light), responsive, and crisp.

    One thing to consider is that cylinder gap. I’ve gotten a bit of carbon on my thumb with .38s. I wouldn’t want to try that with .357s.

    I’d love to see these become more popular and would love to see them with 8-round cylinders and in .44 mag. I don’t think that is going to happen, but while I’m wishing, I’d like to see them FINALLY offer the 9mm cylinder they’ve sort of been promising for years. I’d also like to see better moon-clips, because the ones supplied are a little to bendy to be of real use. i don’t want to have to jiggle, jiggle, jiggle to get the rounds to all square up to the chambers in the cylinder.

  • maodeedee

    Nice guns but pricey. Before I spent that kind of money I’d like to do a side-by-side comparison to one of the new Kimber six shot DA 357’s. I’ve heard a lot of good things about those guns and I’d like to actually shoot both guns to see which one felt better in the hand and was most accurate and which seemed the most compact and easiest to conceal.

    The Kimber is supposed to be controllable with magnum loads in spite of it’s conventional barrel-on-top configuration. Perhaps a future review comparing both these guns in a one-on-one comparison might be something James Reeves might consider.

  • zardoz711

    you don’t think there would be any difference between the $200 budget Colt Ace knockoff and an $800 revolver, built on a completely different product line, probably in a completely different factory?

    The cognitive dissonance here is overwhelming.