Chiappa Rhino 40DS [Revolver’s Review]

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Chiappa Rhino is one of the sexiest, best-shooting, and most innovative revolvers on the market. We’ve already discussed some of the Rhino revolvers, including the 20DS and 60DS. Now, I’d like to talk about the Chiappa Rhino 40DS. It has an amazing 4-inch barrel length, which is an ideal size for home defense and target shooting use.

You’ve likely seen this revolver in a film, and it’s a well-known revolver among gun lovers. The Chiappa Rhino 40DS has now become popular among competition handgun shooters. It also makes a fantastic daily carry gun. I personally adore mine and have put it through its paces. I have decided to describe what you can expect from this revolver.

Pros
  • Design: This futuristic design is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The design allows the revolver to fire from the lowermost chamber of the revolver.
  • Recoil: Unlike any other gun, this revolver recoil is manageable. There isn’t much muzzle flip when you shoot.
  • Grip: The walnut grip is laser engraved to provide a comfortable grip when shooting.
  • Action: You can fire in single- or double-action mode when needed.
  • Lightweight: It weighs only 1.87 pounds and is incredibly lightweight.
Cons
  • Trigger: The trigger is a little heavy and could use a little work.
  • Customization: Looking for speedloaders and holsters for Rhino is a bit challenging.
  • Price: The Rhino comes with a price tag of around $1,200, which is a little high for a revolver.

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Chiappa Firearms: The Brand

“Making History, Past, Present, Future.” It’s the mantra of Chiappa Firearms, the manufacturer of these classic revolvers. The company was before known as Armi Sport and was founded in 1958. They produced pistols and long weapons to target shooters. During that time, they also catered to cowboys and hunters. Since then, they’ve developed vintage firearms, with the majority of them being replicas of earlier muzzle loading guns like Winchester rifles and other designs like the .22 LR variants. But Chiappa also made an original revolver — the ever one-of-a-kind Chiappa Rhino.

Chiappa opted to broaden its reach. The company established a United States headquarters to serve the American firearms market. Through the years, the Chiappa Rhino has become one of the hottest firearms in decades. Many revolver fans find the Rhino revolver to be an intriguing weapon. It varies from a regular revolver in that it fires from the lowest chamber of the cylinder. Many people, including myself, want to experience firing through it. We’ll look at the Chiappa Rhino 40DS and its performance in more depth later.

Chiappa Firearms have earned many people’s hearts. Yet, a quick internet search reveals a flood of customer service complaints. Some claim they failed to respond to customers’ concerns. However, in my opinion, it still relies on who is assisting you. Others praised customer service while others criticized it. Even so, Chiappa makes good guns, which is still a plus.

Why Choose the Chiappa Rhino 40DS?

Chiappa Rhino 40DS Chiappa Rhino 40DS (White Rhino) and 200DS
Chiappa Rhino 40DS (White Rhino) and 200DS, Wikimedia Commons

The Rhino, refusing to be held back by custom limits. It has innovations that bring the revolver into this era. In terms of appearance, it’s out of the ordinary but, in terms of performance, it delivers. The Rhino is available in a variety of variants. The model numbers state barrel length. It comes with 2 inches, 3 inches, 4 inches, 5 inches, and 6 inches. This revolver is simple to carry, thanks to its aluminum alloy frame and barrel shroud.

The Chiappa Rhino is ideal for both self-defense and target shooting. When I initially got my 40DS, all I can say is it was impressive. When I buy guns for range use, I pay attention to the function and feel. Plus, I enjoy the look of this weapon. Despite the fact that many people think the Chiappa Rhino is ugly, I find it cool. There’s no way you won’t like the Rhino if you like futuristic and unconventional weapons.

Additionally, this revolver is quite light. It appears to be heavy, yet it is very light. This gun has amazing recoil and almost no muzzle flip. This gun’s fiber optic sights are also adjustable. Unlike traditional revolvers, it fires through the lowest chamber. The gun works for me and meets my shooting needs.

Altogether, this pistol is quite pleasant to use and performs admirably. Shooting the Rhino has a unique feel to it. It’s difficult to put into words until you try it. All I have to say is that it’s a fantastic design. Let’s look at the gun’s full specs to get a better idea of what else it can do.

Chiappa Rhino 40DS Specs

Chiappa Rhino 40DS fires full-powered .357 Magnum rounds. It can also fire .40 S&W and 9mm Luger. Moreover, you can fire it either in single- or double-action modes. Here are the specifications:

TypeRevolver
Caliber.347 Magnum
Capacity6 rounds
MaterialMachined 7075-T6 alloy frame/ Steel cylinder & barrel
FinishBlack anodized frame; Blued cylinder
Weight1.87 pounds
Length8.5 inches (216 mm)
Barrel Length4 inches (101 mm)
ActionSingle/ Double
Front SightFixed red fiber optic
Feed SystemHexagonal cylinder
SafetyInternal
ExtractionManual

Chiappa Rhino 40DS In-depth Review

This Italian classic gun is very adaptable and has a high overall performance. There’s much to discuss, so let’s get right into it.

What’s in the Box?

First, I give this gun a bonus point for its package. It displays their desire to deliver a great experience from unboxing to the range. When it comes to packing, Chiappa Firearms goes above and beyond. My Rhino 40DS arrived in a durable black hard case with a handle. You’ll see the Chiappa Firearms logo printed on the side and the case has a simple yet elegant appearance.

Inside the box, you’ll find the gun wrapped in plastic and well-covered. It also comes with a trigger lock and its keys. Lifting the foam inside, you’ll find the Rhino revolver’s manual. Along with it are extras including moon clips, stickers, some tools, and a cleaning brush. There are also firearm safety booklets, which are particularly useful for novice shooters.  

Appearance

Chiappa Rhino 40DS The Chiappa Rhino 40DS
The Chiappa Rhino 40DS; Image by moto4moto4 of Flickr

At first glance, this Chiappa Rhino 40DS revolver looks so cool. The medium walnut grip pairs well with the black anodized frame and blued cylinder. They also have the White Rhino, which has a nickel-plated finish with a medium walnut grip. Its front frame is skeletonized, which is most likely to save weight, and it appeals to me. Meanwhile, the cylinder is hexagonal and the reason they made it like this is for easy carry. As a result, it reduces bulk and makes it more compact, which helps. Conventional revolvers with a round cylinder take up a lot of room and are quite hefty. That is a great touch for a revolver. 

The Rhino revolver has a lower bore axis than other revolvers. The barrel is parallel to the shooter’s hand, and wrist, in this position. The alignment also provides a more perfect point of view for the shooter.

Chiappa Rhino 40DS Chiappa Rhino 40DS barrel close-up shot
Chiappa Rhino 40DS barrel close-up shot;
 Image by moto4moto4 of flickr

Take a look at the rail beneath the barrel. I’m delighted they added it to the 4-inch, 5-inch, and 6-inch versions now. Installing lights or lasers is a breeze now. This is a plus because rails are an uncommon feature on revolvers. Also, its front and rear sights allow you to shoot more precisely at your target. 

Chiappa Rhino 40DS Chiappa White Rhino 40DS Walnut Grip Close up
Chiappa White Rhino 40DS Walnut Grip Close up; 
  Image by moto4moto4 of Flickr

While many people consider the gun’s grip to be a positive feature, others don’t like it. This is a challenge, especially for shooters with small hands. I don’t have any issues with its wide trigger. The trigger is fine for me, not particularly unique in the world of revolvers but more than acceptable. Overall, the Rhino’s one-of-a-kind design slims down the profile. It also improves grip comfort and functionality.

Features

Revolvers are becoming popular as concealed carry weapons. The Chiappa Rhino taking the center stage. This revolver’s hexagonal cylinder is what makes it easy to conceal. The way the cylinder was inserted is fantastic. It’s also simple to release. Press down on the little notch, then push with your finger to release it. For each reloads, the Rhino’s cylinder holds six rounds.

Bottom feeding, an inbuilt Picatinny rail, and compact design are all the best features of the gun. But the intriguing elements of the Rhino don’t stop there. The Chiappa Rhino is a DA/SA revolver that fires from the bottom cylinder. Most revolvers generally fire from the upper cylinder, which makes this one distinctive. If you’re not aware, the DS in Rhino means “double” and “single” action. 

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Ease of Use and Operation

The tiny frame and compact design make concealing and handling easier. Many Chiappa Rhino owners have praised the handle for its simplicity of use. For revolvers, the handle can be so enormous that smaller hands can’t get a good grasp on it. Thus, this is a useful feature for a revolver. In the case of the Chiappa Rhino, users may grab it and feel confident in their control.

On this revolver, Chiappa got the build right. This revolver is lightweight and comfortable to hold, thanks to its aluminum and steel design. I get that holding a heavy revolver can be intimidating, but if it’s as light as the Chiappa, it won’t be as much of a problem. Yet, the majority of those who have tested the Rhino seems to have some function difficulties. When used for extended periods of time, the gun becomes hot. It has certain trigger difficulties that raise concern.

Furthermore, releasing the cylinder is simple and without hassles. Bullets are also easy to position and remove because they aren’t too tight. Plus, the reddish indicator next to the hammer indicates whether the weapon is cocked. If the indicator is pointing up, it’s cocked. If the signal is down, it’s not.

Maintenance

When it comes to cleaning guns, I make it a point to do so as soon as possible. As a result, I clean and disassemble everything myself. With the Chiappa Rhino 40DS, cleaning is simple. However, putting everything back together may be challenging. To begin, make sure your revolver is empty. You may start with the frame, cylinder, and muzzle. Use a brush and cleaning patch and soak them in cleaning solvent. Make sure the bore brush gets through the barrel, out the other end. Then, return in the opposite direction through the barrel. You can also do the same to the frame and cylinder.

It’s also simple to take the grip off. To remove the grip from the handle, unscrew the little screw that holds it in place. To maintain your revolver functional, you’ll need the correct cleaning supplies. Our post on the best gun cleaning kits includes a range of suggested choices.

Shooting the Chiappa Rhino 40DS

Accuracy

Shooting a Chiappa Rhino is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. I put the Rhino to the test as soon as I got it, and it’s fairly accurate. The gun can hit small targets from a distance of 25 yards. With the.357 Magnums, I did rapid-fire, and the 40DS is rather great. I praised the lower bore axis because it allows for more precise follow-up rounds of rapid firing. My only concern is the trigger, which is a little stiff, and you’ll notice it if you use this gun all day. As a result, if your hands become weary due to hard trigger pull, it may affect accuracy. That’s why I only shoot it for leisure and always have my Ruger LCR on hand at the range. Overall, this is a gun that could go the distance.

Recoil

We know that the first goal of Chiappa Rhino was something with lower recoil. The barrel’s alignment with the bottom chamber also results in better point-ability. Because it fires from the bottom cylinder, the recoil reduction technique is possible. The rebound is sent back into your hand rather than your arms or shoulders. You’re still aware of it, but it’s in a different manner. 

When compared to S&W .357 Magnum, the Chiappa Rhino proves reduced muzzle flip. To give you an idea, check the video below shooting both revolvers with 357 Magnum and 9mm Luger.

Reliability

I’ve shot a lot of revolvers and have a lot of experience with them, but this is by far the easiest revolver to fire all day. The caliber is .357 Magnum. The gun is completely reliable and performs admirably. You have the option of firing 9mm, .38 Special, or even the full-power .357 Magnum. Look, that’s well-known ammunition, and you’ll never run out of it. Although the trigger is a little heavy, the gun functions well overall. Firing this revolver is an unmistakably distinct experience. I’d give the reliability a 4 out of 5 ratings.

Chiappa Rhino 40DS Retail Cost

Think of the design’s complexity, paired with the materials used. Because of the cost of Italian workmanship, this revolver isn’t cheap. But even Smith & Wesson revolvers cost between $700 to $800, so Chiappa is still worth the price tag. The Chiappa Rhino 40DS in black anodizing has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price, (MSRP) of $1,230. Its nickel-plated version or what they call White Rhino cost $1,352. 

Who Else on the Market that Competes?

For me, the Chiappa Rhino 40DS is the ideal length ― not too short, not too long. The Smith & Wesson 686 SSR is a classic revolver that I like to relate to the Rhino, especially the White Rhino. Let’s look at the specs:

Chiappa Rhino 40DS vs. Smith & Wesson 686 SSR

RevolverChiappa Rhino 40DSS&W 686 SSR
Caliber.357 Magnum.357 Magnum
Capacity6 rounds6 rounds
Barrel4 inches4 inches
Weight1.87 ounces2.8 ounces
Length8.5 inches9.5 inches
MSRP$1,230$1,026

The difference in appearance is rather evident. The 40DS fires from the lowermost chamber, whereas the S&W 686 SSR fires from the topmost cylinder. Also, the difference in weight is noticeable. The Rhino is the lightest revolver I’ve ever fired. The 686 SSR has muzzle flip and recoils upward while the .357 Magnum does a fair job of moderating recoil. The 40DS Rhino, as promised, features minimal muzzle flip and manageable recoil. I’d also like to point out that both revolvers’ triggers are a little heavy to pull. Lastly, both grips are simple and easy to grasp.

The Chiappa Rhino 40DS is the gun for you if you want a gun with a unique appearance. It’s a decent revolver for quick firing and has low recoil. The 686 SSR, on the other hand, is for people who want a classic Smith & Wesson. It’s a weapon for those who aren’t concerned by a slight muzzle rise.

Here’s a demo of firing both guns with .357 Magnum. Check it out for yourself!

Chiappa Rhino 40DS Accessories

There are plenty of inventive ways to customize your revolver. Rhino users can also change out their grips and sights. Other revolvers that have limited opportunity for attachments. The Rhino is special. Many Rhino users utilize the Picatinny rails to attach a variety of accessories. There are also custom speed loaders or moon clips that will work with the Rhino.

Chiappa Rhino 40DS Chiappa Rhino 40DS with Crimson Trace Railmaster Pro
Chiappa Rhino 40DS with Crimson Trace Railmaster Pro; 
Image by Jesse Tischauser of Flickr

For sights, I recommend Crimson Trace Rail Master Pro. Although a little bit pricey, it works well with the Rhino.

Holographic Sights are another useful accessory for the Chiappa Rhino 40DS. The Eotech 512 and EXPS2-0 are some of the best. These sights aren’t only compact but are also durable and impact resistant. They’re also simple to mount and well-suited to mid-range combat. You can’t go wrong with these sights if you’re looking for sights and optics for your pistol. 

For my revolvers, I normally get moon clips for fast reload. I prefer moon clips rather than speed loaders. This is a good thing, as it’s already included in the box. But if you’re looking for speed loaders, the K-frame S&W speedloader does work. But there are also custom speed loaders made for the Rhino.

Chiappa Rhino 40DS Chiappa Rhino Bedside Lock
Chiappa Rhino Bedside Lock
Image from Amazon

Looking for a Chiappa Rhino 40DS holster? I’m glad there’s one on Amazon. The Galco Combat Master Belt Holster is made of leather and fits the 40DS 4-inch model perfectly. Although, for a holster, it is a little costly. This one has butt-forward cant and full slide/barrel coverage. The open-top design allows for a quick draw and presentation. Its precise molding also provides a firm grip. 

Chiappa Rhino 40DS Galco Holster for Chiappa Rhino 40DS
Galco Holster for Chiappa Rhino 40DS
Image from Amazon

Wrap Up

The Chiappa Rhino 40DS is a remarkable revolver whose looks can only be outdone once it’s been to the range. The revolver is both sturdy and accurate and can be used for a myriad of purposes. If you’re looking for something unusual in the revolver category, this is an amazing buy. Plus firing with a .357 Magnum through this gun is fantastic.

Check out the Best Revolvers for Self-Defense, Hunting, and Plinking for more revolver alternatives. Interested in .357 Magnum revolvers? Check out our article on the 12 Best .357 Magnum Revolvers.

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