Welcome to the most revolutionary revolver in modern history. The unique Chiappa Rhino is as iconic as they come, especially considering its innovative and futuristic design. Nevertheless, the Rhino isn’t just a pretty face. The Italian masterpiece also boasts some pretty special versatility and overall performance capabilities. There’s so much to talk about so let’s just get down to business. Welcome to the Gunivore comprehensive review of the Chiappa Rhino Revolver Series.

chiappa 40ds
Chiappa Rhino 40DS Combo

Chiappa Rhino 357 Specs

  • Model: Chiappa Rhino 40DS Combo
  • Caliber: .357 Magnum
  • Capacity: 6-Rounds
  • Action: Single/Double
  • Barrel Length: 4”
  • Overall Length: 8.5”
  • Weight: 30 oz. (1.9 lbs.)
  • Safety: No Manual Safety
  • Finish: Black Anodized
  • Sights: Fixed Fiber-Optic Front – Adjustable Fiber-Optic Rear
  • Price: Approximately $900

Chiappa Rhino 40DS Build

The Chiappa Rhino is defined by its unconventional designs and specs, making it one of the most recognizable revolvers in the world. These extraordinary handguns were originally designed by the renowned Italian engineer, Emilio Ghisoni. His goal was to retain the durability classic revolvers were known for while making it more carry-friendly. In a stroke of genius, Ghisoni confidently built his revolver with the lightweight yet ultra-reliable 7075 aluminum alloy, effectively lowering its weight while also minimizing its perceived recoil.

chiappa 40ds inside
Inner Workings of the Chiappa Rhino

Next, you’ll notice that the Rhino’s barrel is aligned with the lowermost chamber in the cylinder, unlike standard revolvers which line up with the uppermost. Besides for giving it an unusual appearance, this unique feature completely transforms the entire performance of the gun, but more on that later.

Similarly, the Rhino was crafted with a flat-sided cylinder profile and a hexagonal cylinder cross-section. While these may just seem like minor nuances, they significantly boost the Rhino’s adeptness as a concealed carry weapon. In fact, more and more people are turning to revolvers as their CCW and the Chiappa is stealing the show. Besides for the Rhino, I’ve also seen a rise in folks carrying the Colt Cobra, Charter Bulldog, and the Ruger LCR.

Rhino revolver
Unique Build of the Rhino

Chiappa took their innovation a step further with their inventive hammer design. The Rhino’s snag-resistant hammer is not a hammer at all, it’s actually more of a cocking device. In fact, the real hammer is concealed within the internal components because the gun fires from the bottom of the cylinder. As a result, single-action firing is only possible via this external cocking lever which triggers the actual internal hammer.

Lastly, the Rhino is unique among revolvers in that many models feature at least one accessory rail. This awesome addition allows users to attach all kinds of aftermarket accessories, including lights, lasers, and sights.

Chiappa Rhino Performance

The Chiappa Rhino was built to modernize the revolver, and oh boy did it work. The Italian handgun’s state-of-the-art technology and components combine to offer an insanely comfortable shooting experience that you must see to believe. The Rhino’s barrel placement effectively lowers its center of gravity which in turn, drastically reduces muzzle rise and perceived recoil.

Furthermore, the Rhino was crafted to have the bore more in line with the shooter’s arm, which offers a more natural point and shoot ability. These features combine with an extremely ergonomic design to provide shooters with faster follow-up shots and increased reliability.

chiappa holster
Chiappa Rhino with Super Ghost Ultimate Competition Holster

Although the most Rhinos don’t feature a manual safety, most have a nifty cocked indicator to verify the internal hammer’s status. That being said, some models feature hammer blocks, cylinder rotation, and cylinder block safeties. Keep in mind that users can easily remove the Rhino’s side plate and remove the cocking lever to make it double-action only.

Lastly, I can’t stress enough how impressive the Rhino’s versatility is. Chiappa produces these handguns with a variety of sights, barrel sizes, and even calibers (.357 Magnum, 9mm, .40 S&W, and 9x21mm). As a result, don’t be surprised to see Rhinos being used in competitive shooting, 3-gun tournaments, recreational shooting, home-defense, and as an EDC gun. The Rhino is simply smooth as silk, both in looks and in its shooting abilities. Plus, it offers incredible handling and intuitive controls, what more could you ask for?

Chiappa Rhino Accessories

The Rhino actually has plenty of aftermarket options, unlike most other revolvers. First and foremost are moon clips. These nifty little guys basically act like magazines, allowing users to simply drop in 6 rounds and do super-fast reloads. Moon clips are like traditional speed loaders but offer faster and easier performance. Additionally, these clips retain the spent brass, making reloads and cleanups faster than ever.

Rhino users are also afforded the ability to swap their grips and sights, so look there are plenty of creative ways to personalize your revolver. Moreover, many Rhino owners take full advantage of the Picatinny rails and attach all kinds of accessories. I highly recommend the Sightmark ReadyFire LW-R5 Red Laser Pistol Sight or the Crimson Trace Rail Master Pro Red Laser/Light Combo if you’re looking for a serious tactical boost. If you’re in the market for sights and optics, you can’t go wrong with EOTech Holographic sights. I love their 512, 552, and EXPS3-4 models which are all seriously impressive. While they’ll cost you a pretty penny, they’re well worth the money.

moon clips
Chiappa Rhino with Moon Clips


The Chiappa Rhino is simply something to behold. While revolvers are typically classic firearms by nature, this Italian-designed wheel gun is a modern marvel. Plus, with choices from 2″ to 6”-barrel lengths and sight options, the Rhino is truly as multipurpose as they come.

We hope you enjoyed this Gunivore review – Stay tuned for more in-depth reviews of the industry’s most exciting guns and accessories!

Sam M

Sam is an avid firearms enthusiast who loves sharing his knowledge and experience with fellow gunivores.

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