Looking for a new polymer framed revolver? The new Chiappa Poly Lite Rhino was recently shown to wholesalers at the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW) Expo. The new gun is a derivation of the existing Rhino line, but with some significant differences.
The PolyLite Rhino will be available only in .38 Special, not in .357 Magnum like the other revolvers in this series of guns. Presumably, the polymer is not strong enough to handle the repeated shooting of Magnum pressures. It is not yet known if the revolver will be rated for the +P loads, or standard pressure only.
The cylinder holds six rounds, and appears to have the same general size as the existing Rhino revolvers. It is likely shortened to prevent the accidental loading of .357 cartridges.
A 2″ barrel model will be first introduced. Currently, there is no information to suggest that longer barreled PolyLite revolvers could be made in the future. The guns use a red fiber optic front sight and a fixed rear notch. Black is the only available color. If the guns sell well, I would not be shocked to see frames in a variety of colors.
Gallery of Guns interviewed Kenneth Vanhoose of MKS Supply about the new Poly Lite Rhinos:
I’ve had the chance to shoot the Rhino in .357 Magnum. The guns are surprisingly easy to shoot with very little recoil. I wasn’t sure I would like the guns, but I fell in love with them once I started putting rounds downrange. Although I disagree with the video’s intimation that women can’t handle recoil, I suspect that this revolver will be very soft shooting. No one is looking for more recoil, so I would expect the gun to be popular with anyone shooting it.
So, what do you think? Is this a gun you would consider buying? Would you carry it for self defense?
January 2014 Update
The following photos and information were gathered at the SHOT Show. All of the information was relayed to me by MKS representatives (the US importer of Chiappa firearms.)
Chiappa is now making a polymer frame version of the Rhino revolver. The polymer frame Rhino works the same as existing Rhino revolvers, but is chambered for the .38 Special +P, not .357 Magnum. The guns hold six rounds.
MKS Supply handles distribution of Chiappa products in the United States. Representatives at both Chiappa and MKS Supply advised the guns were in production and would be imported into the US as soon as possible. I would expect to see these in US sales channels within two months.