Rental Gun Stress Test: Chiappa Rhino Follow Up

You may remember a while back when I put up my initial review of the Chiappa Rhino as a rental gun.  Namely when I explained that it didn’t work and we had decided to ship it back to the factory.

A couple weeks ago the Chiappa Rhino came back from the factory.  They fixed it, or something, I think.  They could have cleaned it.  At least it came back really quickly?

In Chiappa’s defense it worked better for almost a week.  The gun was firing .38 Special rounds no problem, it could run .357 magnums single action almost 80% of the time and was even firing .357s double action almost 60% of the time.  (Too bad 60% is still a D-.)  It might not be so bad to fire the gun in single action mode except the lever to do so is extremely difficult to pull.  For the longest time I had to use both my thumbs to pull it into position, now I can do it with one thumb but it’s still not easy.  (Maybe that’s what Chiappa fixed?)

After the Rhino’s streak of “reliability” yesterday happened.  The GSG-5 stopped firing, the PS-90 stopped feeding, a grip screw went missing from the Nighthawk, and the Chiappa Rhino’s reliability with .357s plummeted even further in both single action and double action.

The Rhino is an innovative design.  I appreciate the way the gun shoots, I appreciate the concepts used to design the firearm. I fear that the Rhino will go the way of the Judge: a mostly useless novelty item.  I hope that either this Chiappa is a lemon and the rest of their guns work extremely reliably all the time or that someone takes the core concepts that make this revolver innovative and apply it to a gun that actually works.

1 Comment

  1. I rented a Rhino just to test it out at a range in Vegas. I rather liked the way it shot, I was putting tight little groups on paper in either single or double action mode at 10 yards. The trigger pull was inconsistent though in DA. Sometimes it was heavier than others and I have no idea why. I liked the gun a lot over all but this stress test and the previous stress test make me shy away from it. It’s a great idea that seems to be executed poorly.

    The one I tried was the target model with fiber front sight. Which model did you get because I wonder if the target model is just built better than the regular ones.

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