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Chiappa Firearms Rhino 9mm Revolver: One of the Worst Guns Ever?

Chiappa Rhino 60DS. Image Credit: Creative Commons.
Chiappa Rhino 60DS. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Chiappa Firearms Rhino 9mm Revolver, Explained: Okay, dear readers, you can breathe a wee-bitty sigh of relief, as my Editors and I have gotten the 5 Worst Firearms lists out of our systems for now, eh! But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re done talking about crappy individual firearms just yet! 

As I’ve mentioned before, I genuinely appreciate it when our readers hit me up for topic suggestions for future 19FortyFive articles.

Accordingly, one of our readers, username “T Paine” (obviously channeling the name of the great American patriot), in response to my piece on “The 5 Worst 9mm Handguns On The Planet” – wherein I included, among other guns, the infamous Hi-Point – commented “How the heck did you miss the Chiappa Firearms Rhino?” 

Well, Mr. Paine, before you posted that, to be honest, I’d never ever heard of the brand name before. But in the spirit of “The More You Know” and the proverb of “You learn something new every day,” so, with that in mind, I did some research for this article…

Charging Rhino Revolver 60DS Gun and Manufacturer History and Specifications 

The 9mm Parabellum cartridge is, of course, an autopistol cartridge first and foremost. But revolvers in the caliber have been around since at least the 1980s, among them the Ruger SP-101, which is best known for its .357 Magnum and .38 Special chamberings

So then, going to the manufacturer’s official website, the specific gun in question is listed as the “Charging Rhino Revolver 60DS (Black Anodized) 9MM/6″BBL.” It’s a double-action only (DAO) revolver with a total length of 10.5 inches and am empty weight of 0.9 kilograms (1.98 pounds or 31.74 ounces) with a traditional ammo capacity of 6 rounds. The trigger is described as a  “Competition Trigger,” the grips as “Grey Laminate,” the rear sight “Green Fiber Optic Adjustable” (no detailed description of the front sight for whatever reason), the material composition as “Machined 7075-T6 Alloy Frame” along with Steel Cylinder & Barrel,” and the finish as “Black Anodized Frame” and “Nickel Plated “Cylinder.” 

As for the manufacturers themselves, they are based in Brescia, Italy, with a U.S. subsidiary headquartered in Dayton, Ohio.

The About Us section of the website elaborates: 

“The history of the Chiappa group begins in the late 1950s, when Ezechiele (Oscar) Chiappa founded his own company called Armi Sport. Initially born as an artisan workshop, the company has continued to grow over time until the establishment of the Chiappa Group…Thanks to the great technical experience gained in over 60 years of activity, the ability, courage and entrepreneurial spirit of the president Rino Chiappa and the total dedication to the work of the family members, the new industrial reality immediately met with enormous success. A path that still stands out today for the attention to technological development, the understanding of market needs with the constant introduction of new models and the constant support to clientele.”         

But Just How Bad Is It, Really? 

Actually, not bad at all, according to Caleg Giddings in a June 2022 article for Athlon Outdoors: 

“Making a gun easy to shoot requires a combination of factors. Weight helps manage recoil, and the Charging Rhino is not light at 2+ pounds. The great trigger helps and the unique barrel position helps. Lastly, the last piece of the shootability puzzle is the sights, which are also great. The Charging Rhino features fiber optic sights both front and rear. The red fiber up front is contrasted with two green fiber optics in the rear, giving the gun a high contrast sighting system that’s easy to align…Shooting 9mm out of the Chiappa Rhino 60DS is Fun…Shooting 9mm rounds out of a six inch revolver is already a pleasant shooting experience. Plus, the unique design of the Rhino makes it even more so.” 

Hmmm, makes me wonder why our reader Mr. (Mrs? Ms?) hates the gun so much; he/ (she) wouldn’t elaborate any further, so hopefully if and when he/she reads this, he/she will provide us with some details.

Want Your Own? 

Earlier last week, a Facebook poster by the name of Dan Robinson shared a link from GunBroker, wherein the seller, by the username of  “GmanSport_com”, is auctioning a “CHIAPPA RHINO 357MAG 3″ 6RD NEBULA” with a starting bid of $2,799.00!  As Mr. Robinson aptly puts it, “Here we have another money hungry company…These sellers are getting worse.” Boy, is that ever an understatement! Granted, that’s for the .357 Magnum chambering, not the 9mm, but still… 

For basis of comparison, True Gun Value states that “A CHIAPPA CHARGING RHINO pistol is currently worth an average price of $1,070.74 new. The 12 month average price is $1,070.74 new.” 

MSRP is $1,624.00.                    

Christian D. Orr is a Senior Defense Editor for 19FortyFive. He has 34 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011.  In his spare time, he enjoys (besides shooting, obviously) dining out, cigars, Irish and British pubs, travel, USC Trojans college football, and Washington DC professional sports. If you’d like to pick his brain in-person about his writings, chances are you’ll be able to find him at the Green Turtle Pasadena in Maryland on Friday nights, singing his favorite karaoke tunes. 

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Written By

Christian D. Orr is a former Air Force officer, Federal law enforcement officer, and private military contractor (with assignments worked in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kosovo, Japan, Germany, and the Pentagon).