Designed by Rino Chiappa from a concept that had been first tried, a decade or longer ago, for Olympic target pistols, the new Rino revolver was given his name. This 6-shot, .357 Magnum revolver has a smooth double action trigger pull, can also be fired single action, and is available in a variety of barrel lengths from about 2-7-inches. The longer barreled versions are equipped with a rail for the attachment of lights or other accessories.
I had the chance to shoot this revolver at the Range Day event preceding the 2011 Shot Show and was impressed with its smooth functionality and performance. Although a bit “strange-looking” to U.S. customers, this pistol worked very well. It received some adverse comments that its finish was not as good as it might have been and its interchangeable grips (several styles to fit large and small hands) were unusually shaped.
Where it counted, and the only thing that counted in my book in a self-defence gun, was that it worked very well, was controllable even with the .357 and shot better than some similar-sized revolvers that I had struggled with in the past. With prices ranging between $500 and $700 these revolvers are very interesting items to play in the U.S. self-defence market.
Chiappa is mostly noted in the U.S. for its introduction of black powder replica firearms, although not above introducing some new variations such as a scale-reduced model of the Sharps Rifle in .22 Hornet and .38-55 that in the U.S. is being exclusively marketed through Lyman, the maker of lead bullet molds, casting equipment, sights and gun accessories. This little rifle sells for $1,500, and would be a handsome deer-killer in anyone’s collection.