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Armi Chiappa "Rhino" revolver (Italy)
Armi Chiappa "Rhino" revolver with 2 inch barrel
Armi Chiappa "Rhino" revolver, cross-section diagram
|Type||Double Action revolver|
|Weight unloaded||720 g / 1.58 lbs with 2" barrel|
|Length||164 mm / 6.5" with 2' barrel|
|Barrel length||51 mm / 2", (also 101mm/4", 127mm/5" and 152mm/6")|
|Cylinder capacity||6 rounds|
The Rhino revolver is a new offering from Italian company Armi Chiappa. This revolver was designed by Antonio Cudazzo and Emilio Ghisoni, the latter also being the designer of a line of Mateba revolvers, including the Unica semi-automatic revolver. The "Rhino" revolver, which is initially offered in "pocket-carry" self-defense version (longer barreled versions are to follow soon), is designed from the scratch to provide most controllable and accurate shooting, thanks to its specially designed trigger / hammer system and extremely low barrel axis, as the gun fires from the bottom chamber of the cylinder, rather than the top one. It must be noted that while this setup is quite rare, it is not unique - the Mateba Unica revolver also fired from the bottom chamber, as well as the Russian OTs-38. The overall layout of the revolver is optimized for concealed carry, with cylinder made with hexagonal (rather than round) cross-section, to made the gun thinner. The low barrel axis also helps to manage recoil, as its force goes straight back into the shooter's palm, and does not cause the muzzle of the gun to jump up, as it happens with traditional revolvers where recoil force is applied above the holding points, causing the gun to rotate up (jump) under recoil. The result of this layout is that the Rhino revolver has somewhat complex trigger setup.
The Rhino revolver is a double / single action revolver with swing-out cylinder. Frame of the gun is made from "Ergal" aluminum alloy; cylinder, barrel and other important parts are made from high quality steel. Reloading of the cylinder is achieved by swinging the cylinder to the left, then pushing the ejector rod to extract all six spent cases at once. Once chambers are empty, fresh cartridges can be loaded into cylinder, individually or using the speedloader. Loaded cylinder then is snapped into the place and locked. The cylinder latch lever has unusual location, as it installed at the top rear of the frame, co-axially with the cocking lever ("false hammer"). To unlock the cylinder for opening operator must push the latch lever forward with his thumb.
The trigger setup is unusual as it features fully concealed hammer which is located inside the frame. To provide "Single Action" firing mode with manual hammer cocking before each shot, Rhino revolver is fitted with cocking lever ("false hammer"), which is placed at the top rear of the frame, where traditional hammer is usually located on conventional revolvers. This cocking piece / "false hammer" is connected to the concealed hammer via push link. To cock the hammer in the Single Action mode, operator must pull the spur on the cocking piece / "false hammer" back as far as it will go, and then release it. This movement will cock the concealed hammer via internal linkage, but the cocking piece / "false hammer" will return to the forward position once it is released. For Double Action firing, operator can pull the trigger as usual, and this will first cock the internal hammer and then release it at the end of the trigger pull.
In teh basic "concealed carry" version. the "Rhino" revolver is fitted with fixed open sights. Longer barreled versions will be available with fixed or adjustable sights.