I’ve been remiss in reviewing this.

I’m a 10mm fan. Have been since my first Glock 20 back in the ’90s. I’ve got a Kimber Camp Guard that’s superb, I’ve had a Tanfoglio Witness in 10mm that was a solid performer (and they used to be cheap, but no more…), and I’ve fired the Bren Ten and Colt Delta Elites. I’ve got a Aero Survival Rifle in 10mm. As said…a fan.

I was interested in Chiappa Rhino for a while. I like the idea of the six o’clock firing position — similar to the old Mateba revolver, but I wasn’t really looking for yet another caliber to have to buy. The 40DS (meaning 4″ barrel with double/single action) comes in 9mm, .38/.357 magnum, and .40…so was there a 10mm version? I queried Chiappa if they would do it, and got an unequivocal “no”…which is Italian for no.

Lo! and behold! however, there is a group that will modify the Chiappa Rhino .40 to 10mm. Aria Ballistics Engineering, Inc. out of Edgewood, Washington, will do this for you. They bore out the cylinder to accept the longer cartridge (and will do it to 10mm magnum), reharden the cylinder and frame, do a trigger job, and add a rubber grip. They can usually knock it out in a few weeks from when they get the revolver from you or Chiappa directly. I got lucky and they had a few they were working on so I didn’t have to pay the fee for the modification, but paid for the pistol straight off…for about the price the 40DS was online.

Yes, it’s a bit blurry… Size comparison with a full-size Kimber Camp Guard.

The stock Rhino has a great trigger, but the Aria 10mm lowered the trigger pull to 6 pounds in double action and just under 4 for single. The action is glass smooth, just like on a stock Chiappa, and strange due to the six o’clock firing position. The hammer isn’t the hammer; it’s a cocking lever. In single action, a little red pin pops up to let you know it’s ready. Decocking it is just like a revolver — pull and hold the cocking lever, then ease it down. The stock handle has a weird angle and feel, but it aims true.

The downside: You need moon clips for the .40S&W and 10mm. Chiappa sells a 10 pack for a reasonable price. It’s good for reloading quickly, but you can’t just drop rounds in.

The sights needed a bit of tweaking for height, but the rear is fully adjustable for windage and height, and the front is a bright fibre-optic. There’s a Piccatinny rail on the underside of the barrel for a light. In .40 Smith & Wesson, the Rhino has a stout recoil with zero muzzle flip. You get all the recoil inpulse in the thumb joint. That said, six rounds of double action rapid fired gave me a 3″ group at 15 yards. Now, in 10mm..? It hurts. All the recoil hits the thumb joint hard, but it’s accurate with a bit of work out to 100 yards.

With over a thousand rounds of .40S&W and 10mm combined through it, I’ve only had one issue — aluminum case Blazer will jam up the Rhino. The cases expand and bind up on the breech face.

So, is it worth it? A Chiappa online looks to go for about $1200. That’s about on par with the new Colts coming out (which are beautiful, by the way). In .40, the Rhino hits hard enough for most applications. With the Aria modifications, the 10mm is an excellent choice for the back country, but you could more easily go with the .357 magnum version. For me it’s definitely worth it; your mileage may vary.