Here’s a Chiappa Rhino 2000DS revolver that has more or less reverted to kit form, kinetically.

Now, you may have seen this before (about a quarter-million people have looked at the original post on Imgur as of now).

Poster saith (on Reddit):

This is a friend of a friend occurrence. This is what they told me: New gun and factory ammo at the range. They fired approximately 70 rounds when this happened. It blew the pad off his index finger. They just finished reconstructive surgery. I’m assuming it was caused by a squib. I’ll post more when I learn more.

And now the money shot…

We’ve got the missing finger for you, after the jump for the squeamish among ye.


No sweat, that’ll buff right out. You can continue shooting but might have to promote your middle finger to trigger.

Shooter claims it was new gun and factory ammo. Original poster may be backing away from that claim:

It happened yesterday so I don’t have a ton of information. They told me it was “just” the pad and they grafted skin … to rebuild it.

Not sure about the ammo. His cousin thought it was factory loads. This happened yesterday so facts are few and far between.

It’s interesting, looking at the detritus of the gun, that the frame is shattered (casting, or sintered alloy, perhaps) but the steel cylinder seems fine. Squib followed by live round? For a squib to lodge in that snubby barrel, it would probably be a zero-powder load. Here’s a discussion from comments:

[–]saka07 Saw the pic with the missing finger pad. Is the barrel at the 6 o’clock position the reason for his finger injury? Seems that kabooms with most other revolvers and even automatics shooters only end up with superficial burns.


Is the barrel at the 6 o’clock position the reason for his finger injury?

Yep. With other revolver kB!s the topstrap blows off. Since this fires from six o’clock, all that force is directed downward instead, right on top of the shooter’s finger.


If you look it did fail at the top strap. The gun is designed with a thinner top strap. The problem is that the gun also failed at the point where the trigger comes through the frame. That part is bent out, meaning it rotated there. You can also see the compression failure at the trigger guard. He most likely got hit with one of these broken pieces.

[–]freckleonmyshmekel[S]  (original poster) 

[Bleeep] me running. Not a well thought out design if you ask me.

It’s not that the design isn’t well thought out, it’s just that there’s a different failure mode, and that’s a tradeoff against the benefits of the lower barrel — reduced perceived recoil, and much reduced muzzle rise, compared to a conventional wheelgun.

In any event, it’s a reminder of the increased risk to ones had of a revolver with the barrel at 6 o’clock in the Rhino, Mateba, etc. style.

This entry was posted in Lord Love a Duck, Pistols and Revolvers, Safety on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

19 thoughts on “Chiappa Chiappa Bang kBANG!


I have no speculation about why it blew up but I will add this to my mental list of reasons not to buy a Chiappa.


I had a squib with factory Armscor 30 carbine ammo once, but I had presence of mind to not load the next round. Primer strike looked normal so I don’t think it was due to head space (my carbine barely doesn’t close all the way on the field guage). Didn’t Hatcher write about revolvers stacking bullets in a barrel? Doubt that could happen with 357 magnum though.

DJ Lahav

I had two squibs in a couple boxes of cheap gun show 30 carbine ammo in the late 80’s. Just enough oomph to cycle (but not cock) the action and put the bullet halfway down the barrel of an Enforcer pistol. I was young and dumb at the time, but I had JUST read a piece by Kokalis in SOF where he mentioned the problem. As a result, when it happened I stopped firing, unloaded, checked the bore, and tapped the bullet out with a cleaning rod. If I hadn’t read the article, I probably would have just racked and fired.

Older and wiser now. And pickier about my ammo selection.


I have seen a photo of a revolver barrel cut open and four bullets stacked in it before someone else had the presence of mind to stop the shooter. Though I cannot find it right know via the photo oracle. (image search) It was a. 357 magnum revolver, but I dunno if it was .38 spcl or .357 mag that stacked.

Tom Stone

Bore obstructions can make life real interesting in a big hurry.

Sometimes people get lucky, the wife of a friend of mine was left a pistol by her late uncle (An MAB P15) quite a few years ago and which had been sitting in a closet for well over a decade.

They had no idea what it was and asked me to take a look at it knowing that I’m a bit of a gun nut.

There was a bullet stuck halfway down the bore.

I found takedown instructions on Ed Buffaloe’s site and gave it a detailed cleaning, it’s an interesting design.

John M.

I’ve never handled a Rhino, but I appreciate innovation in firearm design, and the 6:00 barrel seemed interesting to me. I hadn’t considered the various failure modes of guns. I’m suddenly less curious.

-John M.


And that is just one of the problems. Remember the issues of fire-cutting the top strap of conventional revolvers with stronger loads? With this one, same happens at the bottom, and the fire hits your finger if you use a traditional pistol gripping technique. Yeah, I know, it is a training issue and would probably not have bothered traditional revolver shooters who shoot with bent thumbs, but that one even got Jerry Miculek.

I love the original Mateba design (and I am quite jealous that user 10×25 has one) and I was moderately happy to see this (though it is fugly, imho), but like any modern gun, the Rhino needs a few more revisions.


The Chiappa Rhino frame is made from ‘light alloys’, not steel. Presumably forged or cast aluminum. Even if there were no casting defects, aluminum does not undergo strain rate hardening. Steel does experience a huge strength increase (up to 2x) in high strain rate events due to strain rate hardening. Aluminum, on the other hand, often weakens and becomes more brittle (fracture strain reduced, brittle type fracture) in high strain rate events.

Strain rate hardening provides steel with a huge performance margin over aluminum in high strain rate events such as this. Why aluminum is not used for automobile crash parts.

Ghisoni’s original Mateba Autorevolver design was executed entirely in steel. Mine has fired hundreds of hot .44 Remington Magnum reloads without issue. The Rhino was his last design and executing it in aluminum may have been a mistake.

More information here:


That Aluminium might not be the best choice for a revolver frame I had thought for a long time since I first saw split open aluminium rifle receivers. Aluminium is brittle.

Do you happen to know how Titanium would react? This would also be an option in a light weight frame, but should be stronger than Aluminium.


Titanium alloy strain rate hardening behavior at high strain rates ranges from neutral to some degree of hardening (when compared to the low strain rates of a typical tensile test). The complexity here is due to there being two crystal structures in common titanium engineering alloys (and mixed crystal structure alloys as well), along with a strong response to heat build up during deformation.

Mechanical deformation creates heat (coat hanger bending effect). Titanium has a low thermal coefficient of thermal conductivity – less than half of steel – and this leads to heat buildup at deformation sites. This in turn can dramatically reduce strain rate hardening by facilitating atomic mobility (freeing dislocations, the basic mechanism of atomic motion in ductile metals during deformation).

Thus there is a strong geometric component in the strain rate hardening of titanium. Highly localized strains adjacent to large heat sinks result in strain rate hardening approaching + 40% in alloy Ti6Al-4V. More diffuse strains with limited adjacent metal (no adjacent heat sinks) result in little or no strain rate hardening.

The good news here is titanium does not embrittle at high strain rates like aluminum alloys. Designing for titanium is not completely diabolical, but requires a much higher degree of sophistication than designing for steel (or aluminum, for that matter).

Apologize that I couldn’t come up with a simpler, cleaner response.


I have had very good chemistry teachers in school. I could follow your explanations.

Thanks for making me refresh my rusty knowledge. 🙂

John D

The 2 primers visible appear factory.



To hell with that. Smith and Wesson for me.

John Smith

It blew up because the gun was full of ugly.


Counter argument: Glocks don’t blow up much.

Paul Rain

Now.. if that had been an autoloader, it wouldn’t have cycled, and there would have been that extra cue to the shooter.

Revolvers.. for when you are happy to sacrifice safety for reliable cycling.


Regarding squibs and revolvers, I personally helped my gunsmith pound five jacketed projectiles out of the 8″ barrel of a Ruger Redhawk in .454.(not my gun) There appeared to be no bulging of the barrel but the gun was returned to Ruger The ‘smith was concerned about the possibility of the frame having stretched. I had a hell of a time trying to understand how someone could fire a .454 five times without realizing that there wasn’t anything coming out of the end of the barrel. Never did figure that out.

Hognose Post author

Some people really suck at shooting so bad, it’s a surprise when they get one on the paper?

That sounds like snark, but spend some time on a public range.


Is that a snap cap underneath the bottom grip piece? Could be have had the snap cap on for training, and thought a squib was the snap cap?

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