NRAAM 2011 – Revisited / Chiappa Rhino

There are several posts I had intended to make upon my return from this year’s annual meeting in Pittsburgh that I just never got around to making.  

Chiappa Firearms – Maker of the Rhino

I finally had an opportunity to handle this firearm on the exhibit floor. It is definitely an interesting design both aesthetically and mechanically.

The exterior hammer is in fact NOT a hammer. Rather it is an activator for the hammer that allows you to cock the hammer manually. It can be disconnected and essentially turn the firearm into a double-action only mechanism. There is a small red button that functions as a cocked indicator. As can be seen in the video.

Now my first impression of the Chiappa Rhino was – “Wow, they’ve created the first triple-action firearm.”

The trigger pull on the units I tried felt like 30 lbs. It was pretty overwhelming. And not something I’d feel comfortable recommending to anyone without super strong fingers.  I saw a fair amount of discussion in the blogosphere regarding this “triple-action” pull. Had I been left with that as my experience I would have been very disappointed.

Later I encountered another booth with Chiappa Rhino’s on display. When I handled these units the trigger was very comfortable and easy to use.  Literally worlds apart. One was nearly unusuable and the other comparable to the average revolver. When I asked the Chiappa reprepresentative she informed me that these were the 2nd revisions and had a number of improvements. And that the ones I had seen earlier at a dealer’s booth were an early release.

So if you’ve heard that the Rhino requires Rhinoceras strength to pull the trigger. This doesn’t seem to be the case for the newer production models

By far, this gentlemen (on left)  at Alexander arms was the most entertaining individual of the whole event. I swear this is Montgomery Scott’s great-great-great grandfather. First off, the Scottish accent was in full effect. Second, he was a technical/engineering geek. I spent about 15 minutes just listening to him explain to others a variety of technical jargon. Seriously, at the end I was half expecting him to beam up. So wish I had taken a video, in hindsight.

Let’s not forget that a lot of them bitter folks clinging to their guns love cars too!

Once again, a special thanks to the Gun Up guys for letting me crash on their couch.

Lastly, be aware that the NRA gives away free wine if you know where to find it. The NRA wine club had some free samples going and they were fairly generous with the portions.

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