Tags Posts tagged with ".357"


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The phrase “.357” has a certain connotation that goes along with it. Many people thing of it (as in “.357 Magnum”) as a tough guy gun, something only rough and ready guys would carry. And there may be some truth to that, but, if you love innovations in pistols, then you may want to check out the Chiappa Rhino whether you think of yourself as a tough guy or not.

Emilio Ghisoni apparently likes to put a twist on the weapons that he designs, and the Chiappa Rhino is no different. Andy C gives us some details:

The Rhino isn’t cheap, retailing for an MSRP between $1500 and $1100 depending on the model. Sold in a variety of barrel lengths, finishes, and calibers (including rimless cartridges like 9mm) [and including .357], the Rhino is a double-action revolver that mounts it’s firing chamber at the six o’clock position in the cylinder, and places the barrel low on the gun. This, coupled with a futuristic styling, makes it stand out in aesthetic and function.

Andy also notes that the gun weighs less than two pounds due to being made mostly of aluminum and that, unlike many pistols, this may not be a gun that you want to take apart yourself for cleaning purposes due to the complexity of parts inside. Aesthetically, the Rhino is it’s own weapon, and you’re not likely to confuse it with any other gun. You’ll likely either love it or hate it.

But, what you’ll really want to know is how it shoots. Andy tells us more:

Obviously, the low-slung barrel makes a difference compared to most revolvers. The first time I fired my Rhino I started laughing because the recoil impulse is so strange I didn’t know what to think. Does it diminish recoil? No. The gun’s low barrel axis and very light frame mean you just feel it differently (it doesn’t make a .38 Special feel like a .22 LR). It pushes the gun back straight into your strong hand.

Does it allow for some fast splits? Absolutely. Is hot .357 ammo punishing? Very much so, especially given the trigger and trigger guard’s shape, which are prone to biting your hand a bit.

But the low barrel axis isn’t the most notable thing about the Rhino when shooting it; it’s the trigger. The trigger is horrible in double action. It’s heavy and inconsistent, the worst of both worlds. Sometimes I find myself staging the trigger because the pressure required to advance it gets so heavy. I’ve measured the trigger requiring 18 pounds of pressure to drop the hammer. Make no bones about it—the double action trigger is horrible.

So, there you have it: an unusual looking revolver with a recoil that will feel different than probably any other weapon out there, but which you may not be able to use (even if you like everything else) because the trigger is so uncomfortable.

Still, if you’re one for something out of the ordinary, the Rhino may be a revolver for you to get. Especially if you want to look tough by buying .357 ammunition.

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Recently Colt “snake” guns have surged in price. From the King Cobra to the Anaconda, Colt’s massive stainless steel revolvers are a hot commodity these days. For the first time this century Colt has started making “snake” guns again.

It’s called the Cobra and it fits right in with all the other Colt classics. According to American Rifleman, this isn’t just a cheap knock off, either.

Look at what O’Keefe from American Rifleman says about the trigger on the new Cobra:

If you haunt, odds are you have seen the prices of Colt revolvers skyrocket. Anything with a snake name has been going for big money—sometimes ridiculous money. My friend Steve Fjestad from Blue Book of Gun Values recently wrote about this. While some of the lunacy has subsided, it is clear that the guns Colt used to make still have tremendous power in the consciousness of American shooters.

Even though double-action revolver manufacture has been dormant in West Hartford since the 1990s, there are still some guys who worked on double-action revolver projects in the engineering department. And one of the last double-action revolvers to come out of Colt in the mid-1990s was the SF–VI. Ask anyone who owns one, and they will tell you it was and is a nice little revolver. It was intended to replace the Detective Special once the cost of Detective Special manufacture was judged too high and not worth it anymore. The last DS-IIs (they changed the SF-VI’s name) were made in 1998. Thankfully, Colt went with Cobra (made from 1950 until about 1980) name for the new gun, not DS-3. The latter sounds like where I last lost my truck in the parking garage of Dulles Airport.

They used the SF-VI as the starting point for the Cobra. But thanks to modern engineering software they were able to make some improvements. The things that one wants in a Colt double-action revolver are there. There are six holes in the cylinder of this .38 Spl. And, of course, it is rated up to +P. And with the materials Colt is using, modern matte finish stainless steel, I imagine that a .357 Mag. would probably be something to look for in the future. Be patient.

When Colt stopped making these guns back in 1998, demand for all revolvers was saturated. You could pick up a King Cobra new in the box for less than $500. It’s tough to pull that off these days for less then $1000.

With “snake” gun mania going on now, it makes perfect sense, that Colt would create a new must own wheel gun for the snake lover in all of us.


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