The Chiappa company’s name is pronounced KEE-opp-a and it is attracting a lot of interest in handgun circles these days with the arrival of a startlingly different new production model revolver. The Rhino, chambered in .357 Magnum, is a radically innovative design by Emilio Ghisoni, previously known as manufacturer and designer of the Mateba Autorevolver (1, 2).
Ghisoni’s Mateba was a kind of modern reinvention with improvements of Lieutenant Colonel George Vincent Fosberry’s Webley-Fosberry automatic revolver, an accurate and intriguing sidearm produced in small quantities a century ago.
The Rhino differs from the Mateba in being an ordinary non-automatic revolver, but retains a number of its innovative design features including firing with the barrel aligned with the bottom of the cylinder.
Chiappa Firearms debuts a new production revolver and concept at the MKS Supply 2010 SHOT Show display (booth 15549).
Called the Rhino (sort of resembles one too) you will first notice that the barrel is actually at the bottom of the cylinder. The gun is designed to fire from the bottom chamber of the cylinder (6:00 position not 12:00 as with other revolvers).
The new design resulted in improvements of the internal mechanisms over conventional revolver designs yielding up incredible reliability, a super-smooth action and improved safety.
The Rhino’s low barrel design ergonomically shifts recoil energy into the center of the palm of the hand and in line with the forearm thus greatly reducing the effects of felt recoil. Traditional revolver design (semi-autos too) place the barrel above the hand.
When the gun is fired the leverage applied by that design forces the recoil into the web area of the hand between the thumb and trigger finger causing significant muzzle snap. Not the Rhino! Due to this new design a shooter can now fire very fast and accurate repeat shots.
The Rhino is designed reduce its carry profile. This design is even carried into the hexagonal shaped cylinder making for a flatter profile when carried (especially handy for legal concealed carry).