When it comes to power and accuracy, revolvers are my go-to weapon. Despite what haters say, these wheelguns have more than meets the eye. Besides its popularity in movies, revolvers make reliable weapons for self-defense. Plus, they also perform great at the ranch. Today we are taking a look at one of my personal favorites, the Chiappa Rhino 60DS.
Thanks to 7-year military service, I started collecting revolvers of all kinds. From the Smith & Wesson 19 to the Ruger Blackhawk, I’ve shot and owned every single one. But this time, we’ll talk about one of Chiappa Firearms’ revolvers. Some of you may groan thinking about its guns’ high prices, which is understandable. Despite the high costs, many say their revolvers’ performance quality is one of the best. So far, I have one of their infamous Rhino 50DS revolvers, which I bought 2 years ago. From personal experience, I can tell you that the Rhino 50DS has strong firepower.
In today’s article, we’ll focus on reviewing the Chiappa Rhino 60DS. When I browsed Chiappa’s site, many users who own this gun left positive remarks about it. As such, we’ll check and see if this revolver does meet everyone’s expectations. But first, let’s look at its pros and cons. Then, we’ll talk about the brand and the revolver itself later on in the review.
- Design: The bore axis is in line with the palm of your hand when gripped. This gives the gun its unconventional look.
- Recoil: Bullets get fired from the bottom cylinder, resulting in low muzzle rise and less felt recoil.
- Trigger: Trigger is wide enough to accommodate your finger’s size. It’s also crisp to the touch when pulled.
- Action: Could both function as a single or double action gun when needed.
- Sights: Bright optic sights make it fit for both day and night shooting.
- Weight: Despite its hefty appearance, its total weight is only about 2 pounds. This makes it light and easy to carry around.
- Design: When holstered, it creates a noticeable bulge due to its unusual design.
- Grip: The grip is a bit short, making it awkward to fire when gripping. You can replace the grip with one which you’re more comfortable using.
- Bottom cylinder: Each firing shot makes the cylinder release gunpowder residue. As such, your hands and fingers get dirty after rapid firing for long periods.
- Price: Buying this revolver can hurt your pockets. It has a starting price of $1,000 and up.
The Chiappa Rhino 60Ds is a revolver that uses 357 Magnum as its main caliber. Famous for its eccentric design, it sits right with Chiappa Firearms’ Rhino revolvers. Its barrel’s top edge resembles that of a rhino’s nose horn ― hence the name. Since I have the Rhino 50DS and adore it to bits, there’s still much to say about its sibling gun. Is the Rhino 60DS on par with its predecessors?
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Chiappa Firearms and Chiappa Rhino Revolvers
Chiappa Firearms is an Italian gun company established in Brescia, Italy. It entered the gun scene not too long ago in 1958 with Armi Sport as its initial brand name. Despite its revolvers’ influence, its other items spark split reviews among gun enthusiasts. Some say the company’s guns are good, others tell you it’s bad. Again, you have to keep in mind that revolvers are Chiappa Firearms’ pride and specialty. Despite some negative reviews, these get buried down by positive ones.
To summarize, Chiappa Firearms is both a good and a bad gun brand. Despite its rocky reputation, many users still buy its marketed firearms. It doesn’t offer firearms at cheap prices, but it means well with its guns’ performance qualities. Plus, its Winchester rifles and other guns also caught the interest of many gun fans. Although it has a pricey catalog, many still choose to trust its revolvers.
Who Is the Chiappa Rhino 60DS for?
With its general design, it’s obvious who this gun is for. Given its general design, I’d say that it’s ideal for both competition shooting and self-defense. Thus, marksmen can benefit the most out of using this gun. With its sleek appearance, the powerful yet low recoil shots it fires fit well at the range. But all these also make this gun incompatible with hunters and small-handed users. For hunters, they’re better off with shotguns for shooting targets in long distances. Meanwhile, small-handed users might struggle trying to pull its wide trigger to shoot.
Chiappa Rhino 60DS Specifications
The Rhino 60DS is a 6-inch barreled revolver with a smooth medium walnut grip. It can both chamber 357 Magnum and 38 Special rounds. Moreover, you can fire it either in single- or double-action modes. For the rest of its parts, we’ll tackle them all later as we get further down this review. For now, here are the Rhino 60DS’ official specs provided by the manufacturer itself:
|Barrel Length||6 inches (152mm)|
|Front Sight||Fixed Red Fiber Optic|
|Rear Sight||Adjustable Elevation & Windage Green Fiber Optic|
|Length||10.5 inches (266mm)|
|Material||Machined 7075-T6 Alloy Frame/Steel Cylinder and Barrel|
|Finish||Black Anodized Frame, Blued Cylinder|
|Notes||Includes 3 Moon Clips + Removal Tool|
Chiappa Rhino 60DS: Hands-on Review
Now that you’ve read the full specs, let’s move forward and review this popular wheel gun.
Even with the high cost, Chiappa Firearms means well when it comes to its packaging. Upon receiving my order, my Rhino 60DS came in a sturdy black hard case with an easy-to-grip handle on top. Chiappa Firearms’ trademark logo covers one side of the case. The black color and company logo gives the case a straightforward appearance.
When I opened the case, thick black foam surrounds the entire interior. This protects the gun and other inclusions from possible damages like dents. At first glance, you’ll see the Rhino 60DS itself and a trigger lock. When you lift the foam up, you’ll also find the gun manual, a cleaning brush, and three moon clips. You’ll see all these placed in clear plastic, resealable bags for extra security.
Taking over its Rhino 50DS predecessor, the Rhino 60DS is the improved version of the former. Compared to the Rhino 50DS, this wheelgun includes a 6-inch barrel with a weight of 2.06 pounds. Although a bit heavier, the Rhino 60DS still feels light and easy to hold and shoot. Moreover, there are many color options to choose from when buying this gun. For instance, you can get it in either black or gold shades. To add, you can even find a multicolored version of this gun. Also, rails sit at both the top and bottom of the gun’s barrel. This lets you customize it with optic sights, lasers, and flashlights.
Apart from its unusual bore axis design, the Rhino 60DS also comes with a medium walnut grip. Despite its handsome looks, the said grip is a bit awkward to hold onto. For example, clutching it in a firing position makes it look like you’re pointing it a bit upward from the target. To address this, you can either practice holding the gun or replace the grip altogether. Next, its cylinder can house a total amount of six bullets every reload. Also, you can adjust the hammer to either single- or double-action mode when shooting.
Ease of Operation
First, I’d like to point out how easy and crisp it is to pull the gun’s trigger. Unlike other revolvers, this wheelgun’s trigger is wide in size. Pressing it isn’t much of a struggle and leaves enough room for your finger to loop in. Plus, the small red indicator beside the hammer lets you know if you cocked your weapon or not. If the indicator’s up, that means it’s cocked. However, if the indicator’s down, it means the opposite.
Also, unlocking the cylinder is smooth and doesn’t pose many issues when doing so. Putting bullets in is also a simple task as they’re not stiff or sticky to place or remove. But once you fire rapid shots with this baddie, that’s where you can see a setback. Since it fires from the bottom cylinder instead of the top, gunpowder residue spills out. Thus, shooting this for long periods would stain your hands with gunpowder remnants. I tried firing this at my local range and saw my fingers stained with the black matter. Not hygienic and fun at all, if you ask me.
Even so, I like how straightforward the Rhino 60DS operates when you shoot it. Plus, its front and rear sights grant you a more proper aim toward your target. Furthermore, adding accessories like lasers could help you discover its full potential. You can even throw in a speed loader for faster reloading times.
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Ease of Handling
As I’ve said before, the Rhino 60DS feels great and is easy to carry. For large hand-sized shooters, you can grip it using either one or both of your hands. Also, this firearm can cater to both left- and right-handed users. Since I’m an ambidextrous shooter, I tend to shoot this gun using either my left or right hand.
While the gun’s grip is a good feature to many, some may find this as a disadvantage. This, of course, poses a struggle, especially with small-handed shooters. With its wide trigger, you might have a hard time shooting this gun alone. But if you’re persistent, you have to dedicate lots of practice and patience in pulling the trigger to fire.
Although it looks tough and heavy, don’t let this revolver’s appearance fool you. The Rhino 60DS has a total mass of 2.06 pounds. Thus, this gun won’t hurt your arms and hands that much after lifting it for some time.
Like many of today’s popular revolvers, the Rhino 60DS uses 357 Magnum shots as its primary ammunition. Contrary to Chiappa Firearms’ specs, it could also accept 38 Special rounds. From experience, we all know that the 357 Magnum caliber is strong enough to paralyze a target. Due to this, you might second guess getting this gun for the fear of getting huge muzzle flips and high recoils. But good news: this doesn’t happen at all. We’ll explain this further as we advance down the next sections.
One of the best things I love about the Rhino 60DS is its structure as a whole. With its lower bore axis, this keeps it aligned to your hand and arms while shooting. As such, this lets you adjust your aim to home down bullets to your target from 50 yards away. Additionally, the front and rear sights help you set proper eye vision.
Like any other weapon, this gun also has its own set of issues. One pet peeve I have with this revolver is its bottom cylinder. For some reason, firing shots with it leaves gunpowder residue behind. This leaves your hand and fingers charred after shooting, which is an unpleasant sight to witness. To prevent this, I wear shooting gloves every time I use this in shooting competitions. You can check out our best shooting gloves article for more available options.
Taking the Chiappa Rhino 60DS Apart
Now, let’s take the time to disassemble this gun and examine its parts. First, a small screw keeps the walnut grip attached to the gun’s handle. Once unscrewed, you can either reattach the original grip or replace it with a custom one. Second, the inside of the handle keeps several components intact. This includes the hammer and, like the grip, you can detach and replace it when necessary.
Removing the barrel, you’ll find a small muzzle and a 6-inch slim tube. You can also remove the top and bottom rails. Plus, you can see its entire frame by unlocking and sliding the gun’s cylinder to its left side.
Since you can disassemble most parts, customizing the Rhino 60DS isn’t a tricky task. From this, you can replace its grip, optics, and rails.
Like any other firearm, taking care of your gun is necessary to keep it in good condition. However, because of its compact size, it takes about 10 minutes to clean the Rhino 60DS. But before you do any cleaning, make sure to do a safety check first. When picking the gun up, check to see that there’s no ammo inside and its muzzle is not pointing toward you. If it’s loaded, cock your gun then remove the bullets installed. This reduces the chance to harm yourself or those around you while polishing it.
In cleaning your gun, there is no certain order of steps you need to follow to do it. Take note that the muzzle, cylinder, and frame are the most important parts you need to grease and wipe. Of course, you need to have the right cleaning tools to keep your revolver neat and functional. Our best gun cleaning kits article lists down potential options that you can buy.
Shooting the Gun
For a wheelgun, the Rhino 60DS is way more than its design. It might look heavy at first glance but it’s light and comfortable to grip and shoot. Not to mention, it fires powerful 357 Magnum bullets to penetrate targets on sight. Out of all the issues I had with this gun, its grip feels off when held the first time. For instance, it took me two days to master the proper hold and aim for this gun. I once made the decision to replace the grip with another that I’m more comfortable using. But since I learned how to hold it, I reattached the classic walnut grip back to the gun and left it that way.
To make things more interesting, I tested this gun by firing six rapid shots instead of one at a time. At 30 yards, I noticed that the bullets homed in on the target with time differences ranging from 0.50 to 1 second. Also, the six shots I fired stayed close to one another on my dummy paper target. From this, I can say that the Rhino 60DS does have a decent shooting accuracy rate. But to land bull’s-eyes using rapid-fire, you have to make sure your eyes are in line with the gun’s front optics.
One thing that made the Rhino revolver series successful is its low recoil feature. As someone who owns a Rhino 50DS, I couldn’t agree more on how true this is. Hence, this goes the same for the Rhino 60DS. Whether it uses 357 Magnum or 38 Special, this baddie’s recoil is low and soft. Moreover, it doesn’t produce much muzzle flip every time you shoot it. Hence, you don’t need to worry about this gun flying at your face while firing heavy rounds like the 357 Magnum. Many might find this a bit absurd to know but revolvers with low recoil do exist. Trust me ― I also once thought that it’s impossible to find this type of wheelgun. But Chiappa Firearms proved me wrong with their Rhino revolvers.
Ease of Use
Shooting this revolver involves a simple and straightforward process. Shooting with the Rhino 60DS is conventional and easy thanks to its wide trigger pull. Also, the red indicator situated beside the gun’s hammer tells you if it’s cocked or not. Plus, sliding the cylinder off from its place in the frame is smooth every time. Thus, you can do quick reloads with this gun every time you shoot it at the range. Its front and rear sights also have optics bright enough to line your eye vision toward your target.
Despite everything we’ve covered so far, one question still lingers. Is the Rhino 60DS a reliable revolver to use? Before we answer that question, let’s first summarize the setbacks I have with this gun. First, it creates a noticeable bulge when holstered. Second, the grip is a bit short, making it awkward to hold. Third, the cylinder leaves gunpowder remnants behind. Moreover, it costs way more than $1,000 in any gun store you look into. After a careful analysis, each of these downsides has a solution or remedy to fix it. These don’t affect the gun’s general performance that much. The Rhino 60DS is an excellent gun for self-defense and competition shooting. With practice and patience, this gun is worth the sum of money you pay once you decide to have one yourself.
Apart from the Rhino 60DS, the present gun market sells hundreds of top-tier revolvers to boot. If you’re unsure what to buy, here’s this year’s three of the Rhino 60DS’ competing fellow wheelguns.
Chiappa Rhino 60DS vs. Rhino 50DS
Since both are Rhino revolvers, you might say that there’s almost no difference between them. Still, don’t let their designs and specs confuse you from mistaking them as one and the same. Both guns differ in barrel length and weight. With a 5-inch barrel and 1.97 mass, it’s clear that the Rhino 50DS is more suitable for concealed carry. Also, the Rhino 50DS is cheaper with a sale price of $1,029 in the market. Still, both can provide accurate and powerful shooting performance. Thus, both Rhino revolvers make reliable self-defense and competition shooting firearms.
Chiappa Rhino 60DS vs. S&W Model 686
Judging from their general designs alone, you can tell that S&W’s 686 revolver is more compact than the Rhino 60DS. Also, it weighs around 2.08 pounds, making it heavier than the Rhino 60DS for only 2 extra pounds. But grip- and design-wise, I’d rather go with the S&W 686 revolver here. Its longer synthetic black grip makes it easier to hold and aim when firing. Plus, its smaller size is also suitable for inside the waistband (IWB) or pocket holsters.
Chiappa Rhino 60DS vs. Kimber K6s
One of today’s best-selling revolvers, the Kimber K6s is most famous for its compact structure. With only a general length of 6.62 inches, this gun is a better-concealed carry weapon for self-defense. But when it comes to shooting performance, I’d still prefer the Rhino 60DS. This is because the K6s is only available in double action, giving it a limited firing capability. Meanwhile, you can shoot the Rhino 60DS using either single- or double-action forms. You have more shooting options with it than the K6s.
Accessories play a vital role in enhancing your firearm’s shooting efficiency. Before we wrap this review up, let’s consider some of the best accessories you can pair with the Rhino 60DS,
HKS Revolver Speedloader
In self-defense, you might want your gun to have faster reload times while firing. For that, the HKS Revolver Speedloader is your trusty go-to gun accessory. It has a six-bullet capacity and can accept both 357 Magnum and 38 Special rounds. Besides Chiappa, it can fit various revolvers coming from S&W, Charter Arms, and Taurus.
Souforce Adjustable Red Dot Laser Sight
The Souforce Adjustable Red Dot Laser uses metal for its entire body construction. It has a laser wavelength of 835mm to 655mm, and it can illuminate distances ranging from 50 to 100 meters. In contrast to its name, you can buy this laser with either a red or green laser light. Plus, its length of 56mm to 57mm is small enough to fit this laser to your revolver’s top rails.
With its power and accuracy, it’s no surprise if Chiappa Firearms sell thousands with the Rhino 60DS. This provides the shooter with a quirky revolver packed with low recoil and great optics. Although you need to pay around $1,000 to get it, the performance quality you can get from it is superb. Many may have mixed opinions about Chiappa Firearms but its revolvers say otherwise. After I bought a Rhino 50DS from the manufacturer, I fell in love with the specs and performance it offers. Buying the Rhino 60DS didn’t disappoint, either.
If revolvers are your type, consider reading our Best Best 357 Magnum Revolvers article. The Rhino 60DS is one of the best revolvers you can use for self-defense and competition shooting. Who knows ― you might even find your next favorite 357 revolvers beside the Rhino 60DS.