Chiappa Rhino Revolvers: The Ultimate Guide

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Unconventional yet contemporary, the Chiappa Rhino revolver has a striking appearance. It’s aesthetically pleasing, though. So expect to turn a few heads at your gun when you bring this to the range. I, myself, couldn’t take my gaze away from these revolvers.

But aesthetics aside, the Chiappa Rhino lineup has a reputation for being reliable and accurate and sporting a low recoil.

Let’s talk about four of these champs: the 20DS, 40DS, 50DS, and 60DS. But first, let’s have a quick discussion about the brains behind this gorgeous revolver.

What is the Chiappa Rhino?

A lifelong gun enthusiast, Ghisoni aspired to be a gun designer. His father invented the well-known Macchine Termo-Balistiche (Mateba). First, he learned the ropes and created the Mateba Autorevolver. There are similarities between the design of the Chiappa Rhino and that of this particular automatic revolver.

One feature connects the two revolvers: they both shoot from the cylinder’s bottom chambers. In other words, a better-regulated recoil and a lower barrel axis result.

Emilio Ghisoni and Antonio Cudazzo partnered to produce something really unique. They also partnered to fulfill their desire to increase the accuracy of firearms used in rapid-fire events. Production of the Chiappa Rhino began in 2010 and continues to this day.

The company now has a wide variety of models. Lever-action weapons, pistols, shotguns, and rifles are all available through the brand. Sporting, self-defense, and air weapons are also on the list of included weapons.

Chiappa takes great pride in its ability to provide high-quality products for its customers. It is also constantly improving and creating new quality products.

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The Pros and Cons of a Chiappa Rhino Revolver

Pros
  • Design: The Chiappa Rhino lineup sports a futuristic revolver design that looks sleek and unconventional.
  • Recoil and barrel placement: The barrel sits at the bottom chamber of the revolver, which results in less recoil.
  • Action: Most Chiappa Rhino models come in single-action and double-action modes.
  • Build: Aside from the promising look of this revolver, it is also made of premium materials, making it durable and reliable.
  • Lightweight: The Chiappa Rhino revolvers are incredibly lightweight despite their hefty appearance.
  • Service: The brand provides excellent customer service and a guarantee for factory problems.
Cons
  • Expensive: All models of the Chiappa Rhino come at a hefty price. It usually starts at $1,000.
  • Heavy trigger: The triggers have a heavy pull and have an awkward feeling, especially on DA mode.
  • Small grip: The grips may be a bit short, too small for those with large hands.

Here’s a summary table to compare the Chiappa Rhino revolver models we’ll review today:

Chiappa Rhino RevolverBarrel LengthCapacityWeightOverall LengthMSRP
20DS2 inches6 rounds1.5 pounds6.5 inches$1127
40DS4 inches6 rounds1.87 pounds8.5 inches$1230
50DS5 inches6 rounds1.97 pounds9.5 inches$1279
60DS6 inches6 rounds2.06 pounds10.5 inches$1295

What’s So Great About the Chiappa Rhino Revolvers?

The names of the Chiappa Rhino models are straightforward. It’s easy in a way that their names tell you immediately the barrel length of the revolver. For instance, the 50DS has a 5-inch barrel, while the 40DS has a 4-inches barrel length, the same for the other models. The number indicates the barrel length in inches.

I happen to get my hands on four kinds of Chiappa Rhino – the 20DS, 40DS, 50DS, and 60DS. I noticed that each Chiappa Rhino model outfits itself with an aluminum alloy body that is CNC-machined, adding durability. They also have a black anodized frame finish and a blued hexagonal cylinder. Some models also come with moon clips and a removal tool which is pretty sweet.

Another cool thing about the Chiappa is that it feels good to open its package. It’s like a gift from me to me – the materials scream premium. It comes in a hard case. You could say that the company put effort into presenting this unique revolver.

What Chiappa Rhino Revolvers Have In Common

The Rhino lineup differs mainly on their barrel length, which is represented by their names. But to save you the long read, I’ll summarize the features that the Rhino 20DS, 40DS, 50DS, and 60DS have in common. They are the following:

Appearance and Design

Different Rhino Revolver Models
Different Rhino Revolver Models; Image source: Reddit

First, they all look unconventional, it’s just the barrel length that differs, but the design of the barrels looks the same. Each revolver also features finishes made of high-quality materials and a low-bore axis for reduced recoil when shooting.

The grips are also highly textured. I can see lots of scallops on the handgrip to place my fingers securely while holding the gun. The cylinders have a hexagonal shape, and they all have a different grip compared to traditional revolvers.

Aside from the excellent grips, I had to mention the wood grips available for this revolver. Using wood grips gives the gun extra stun points. So, if you just want to add the Chiappa Rhino to your arsenal, go with the wood grips – they’re gorgeous.

Also, the revolvers come with a red cocking indicator to let you know if it’s ready to go bang. 

Accuracy

Rhino 20DS Target
The Chiappa Rhino 20DS at the range; Image source: The Truth About Guns

At the range, all kinds were pretty accurate. I guess the barrel design really works. But to get the best shooting experience out of this gun, practicing the grip is essential. Even though this rifle is quite precise and shoots really well, the sensation of the trigger is somewhat unnatural. Using it for just a few rounds might be exhausting due to its weight.

Reloading is very easy, especially with the moon slips. You can successfully do quick reloads with these when you practice at the range.

Reliability

The Chiappa Rhino revolvers are, as I have mentioned before, very unconventional. It has a different grip, unusual design, and it’s very untraditional. So you need to practice using it a lot before trying to own it for self-defense purposes. However, in terms of the accuracy department and the weapon’s durability, I could say that it is very reliable in shooting practices or bullseye shooting.

Trigger

The revolvers have both SA and DA options. However, I have one complaint, which is the heavy and awkward DA mode. The trigger is heavy in the revolvers, and the DA mode will most likely be the least favorite thing of gun owners when shooting this firearm.

Maintenance

Chiappa Rhino Take Apart
The Chiappa Rhino 60DS taken apart; Image source: forums.brianenos.com

The company has given warnings for taking these revolvers apart, especially if you want to make modifications or take a peek at what’s inside – don’t do it. Why? The Rhino revolvers have tiny parts. It’s difficult to put these parts together unless you are willing to spare a couple of hours to put the little pieces together.

I found the revolver to get dirty quite quickly, but it’s easy to maintain. Simply clean it after each use, and lubricate the parts to keep it going bang efficiently.

Aftermarket Parts

The Chiappa Rhino lineup has many aftermarket parts or accessories available. It has a rail below the barrel where you can add optics or red dot sights. Holsters and speedloaders for some of the models are also available.

Price

Each Chiappa Rhino costs a little or less than $1,000, depending on where you purchase them.

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The Chiappa Rhino Revolver Lineup

Now let’s quickly talk about each of the four Chiappa Rhino variants:

Chiappa Rhino 20DS

Chiappa Rhino 20DS Chiappa White Rhino 20DS
Chiappa White Rhino 20DS; Image by moto4moto4 from Flickr

The Chiappa Rhino 20DS has a barrel length of 20 inches and is the shortest-barrelled revolver of all Rhino models. So with this in mind, I think we can all agree that, as I have said in the full 20DS review, it is the ideal concealed-carry revolver with its compact design. 

Concealed carry works best with holsters, for the Rhino 20DS, I recommend using the Premium Leather OWB Holster.

I mentioned in my Chiappa Rhino 20DS review that I had a lot of fun shooting this revolver as it can also chamber 9mm Luger rounds. It’s a snub nose revolver that is also an excellent firearm for plinking and self-defense use. It has a standard front sight but has no rear sight. I’m not a fan of its trigger pull. This pistol, despite being long and heavy, still works efficiently.

Chiappa Rhino 40DS

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

Next, for the Chiappa Rhino 40DS, if you could remember, I mentioned in my review that I thought it was heavy upon the first time I got my hands on this gun. But I was wrong. It’s lightweight and sports a sleek look. Plus, I love the versatility of its load. I can shoot a .357 Magnum, .40 S&W, or even a 9mm Luger using this revolver.

It’s easy to fire, reliable, and performs superbly. And compared to the other Rhino models, I think that the 40DS is the ideal size for me. It’s not too long, and not too short. It’s also plenty accurate, fun to shoot, and the recoil is low. For self-defense, I’d choose this one.

If you want to step up your shooting, then I suggest getting a laser sight. I recommend the accessories I mentioned in my 40DS review, like the Crimson Trace Rail Master Pro. It’s quite pricey, but it’s worth it. But if you prefer using holographic sights, then go for the Eotech 512 and EXPS2-0. Both sights are the best in terms of durability and impact resistance.

Chiappa Rhino 50DS

chiappa rhino 50ds
Image source: Chiappa Firearms website

Add one inch to the length of the 40DS barrel, and we’ll have ourselves a Chiappa Rhino 50DS revolver. It chambers both .357 Magnum and .38 Special. I also said in my hands-on 50DS review that it is also aesthetically pleasing, especially when paired with wooden grips. Easy to reload, accurate, reliable, and has exceptional recoil – the 50DS is ideal for target shooting.

The downsides? It heats up fast, DA is awkward, the trigger is heavy, and it’s expensive.

I wouldn’t recommend it for self-defense as it requires an experienced Rhino shooter to use it in emergencies. It has a different grip. So, if you’re used to traditional revolvers, you might need to give more time to practice shooting the Rhino.

Chiappa Rhino 60DS

The Chiappa Rhino 60DS
The Chiappa Rhino 60DS photographed up close on the right side.
(Image by Rezz Guns from Flickr)

Next is the longest barreled revolver of the models I mentioned, the Chiappa Rhino 60DS. It comes in elegant colors such as gold or black shades. In addition, it comes in a multicolor variant, which is really eye-catching.

In my review, I stated that the only trouble with the 60DS is that it’s awkward to grip on. So, I recommend getting lots of practice when gripping on this gun as it makes you look like you’re pointing upward, though you think you’re pointing it straight. It’s also fun to reload, but if you want to do it faster, then try using the HKS Revolver Speedloader, and you’re up to shoot the next rounds in no time.

Also, I find the wheelgun trigger wide. This revolver is best for those with large hands. It also has a long trigger pull. Therefore, practice is also essential in using this gun. Nevertheless, it’s fun to shoot, accurate and its recoil is top-notch.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I think the Chiappa rhino is worth it. It is not only because of its unique design but also because of its low bore axis barrel that helps reduce recoil. Therefore, making shooting loads of fun. However, the hefty price tag may be too much for some, as getting a traditional revolver for a fraction of the cost you’re used to operating might be a better option. Nevertheless, the Chiappa Rhino revolvers are very accurate and reliable to shoot.

So, it’s an excellent revolver to own, whether you want to shoot it at the range for fun or add it to your arsenal.

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