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Chiappa Rhino "Competition" Trigger Job


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Understanding full-well that I might be the only person here who's a big fan of these guns... I thought this was interesting, and not something people get to see often, so I figured I'd do a quick write-up.

 

I recently picked up a Rhino 60DS (6") in .40S&W to run next season after competing this year with a 50DS (5"). I had Chiappa install a "competition" trigger in the 50DS when I bought it and I noticed they seemed to be replacing parts rather than tuning anything, so I figured I could swap the kit into the longer gun. It looks like they install a lightened hammer (it still has the normal part number on one side, and a new on on the other) and a spring that's dimensionally the same but rated differently. If you're unaware, the spring drives both the hammer and the trigger return.

 

Factory parts on the left, "competition" parts on the right:

 

50738036788_125379bfa1_b.jpg

 

 

The sear has to be swapped from the current hammer to its replacement; to avoid fitting issues, I re-installed the 50DS's sear on its factory hammer and installed the 60DS's sear on the lighter hammer (you're seeing the passenger side of the heavy hammer and the driver side of the light one):

 

50738772376_68f5d7cdca_b.jpg

 

 

Everything installed (this is actually the "before" but I promise the parts did all fit) :

 

50732240266_335fce75c3_b.jpg

 

50738772471_042ef790e7_b.jpg

 

 

Everything seems to function, though I'm taking a trip to the range tonight to confirm. The competition trigger in the 50DS was breaking in the upper 6-lb range; it feels heavier in the 60DS, but that gun has never been fired and probably needs some time to smooth out. I'm planning to keep the 5" in its factory configuration and bring it to matches as a backup in case I run into ignition issues. It's never happened as long as I use Federal primers but I don't mind having the safety net.

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My pleasure! I should have pulled apart the Charging Rhino when I had one. They're DAO, and I'm curious if they just remove the cocking lever "arm" or if the sear setup is different. My understanding is the sear I photographed is the double-action sear, and that "Y" shaped part that sits behind the trigger is the single-action sear. I need to play with it a little more to confirm.

 

These things are tough to open. The old "bang on the grip" trick we use for S&W's doesn't work too well because the chassis is aluminum (and the banging unseats some of the linkages - ask me how I know).

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After messing around with rugers, colts, and checking out the inside of the rhinos, it makes me really appreciate the simplicity of how a Smith and Wesson works. Only a few moving parts, simple to take apart and work on, and IMO works the best. 

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  • 1 month later...

I completed the DAO conversion on the 6" gun:

  • Replaced "cocking lever" (hammer) with spurless version
  • Removed cocking linkage and spacer
  • Removed single action sear and replaced it with a bushing from Chiappa

 

50899829461_a85db0b96d_b.jpg

 

 

Quite honestly, it doesn't change much (if anything) about the trigger pull. I believe this is because the hammer/linkages don't interact with the single-action components unless you actuate the cocking lever. 

 

 

On 12/22/2020 at 2:57 PM, alecmc said:

After messing around with rugers, colts, and checking out the inside of the rhinos, it makes me really appreciate the simplicity of how a Smith and Wesson works. Only a few moving parts, simple to take apart and work on, and IMO works the best. 

 

S&W is certainly the simplest. I like the Rhino now that I've been inside of it a bunch; my main complaint is the mainspring. Since one leg drives the hammer and one leg drives the trigger return, it's very difficult to tune - all adjustments are relational instead of direct. Chiappa also doesn't sell the lighter "competition" spring by itself so I've been mangling one of the two copies I have. They sell the stock spring, and I've tuned one of those down a few pounds, but it's rated differently and impossible to get as light as the competition one.

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  • 3 weeks later...
1 hour ago, Carmoney said:

I want to know how the range test went! 

 

(In other words, I want to know if it was reliable with a sub-6# DA pull.)

 

Absolutely!

 

I wound up bending the spring a bit before I even took it to the range; the reset was way too slow and it was easy to short-stroke. I wound up somewhere between 6.5 and 6.75 and the gun has been perfectly reliable at that weight. I'd accept a slightly higher pull for a faster return but, again, it's a single spring system so it's hard to adjust the return without affecting the hammer weight. Someone smarter than me could probably figure it out.

 

Interestingly, I have my 5" Rhino running with a marginally higher pull (6lbs, 13ish oz) with all of the factory components and a slightly re-bent spring. That was last season's gun and it has a lot of rounds through it. I think these really smooth out with time as the components wear in. To wit, my 4" Rhino that I've used in IDPA for years has the best trigger feel out of all of them. 6.5 pounds or less and smooth as glass with a fast return. I tried swapping the hammer and mainspring combo from the 5" to the 6" and everything stayed the same, leading me to believe it's the rest of the system and not just those components.

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7 hours ago, matteekay said:

 

Absolutely!

 

I wound up bending the spring a bit before I even took it to the range; the reset was way too slow and it was easy to short-stroke. I wound up somewhere between 6.5 and 6.75 and the gun has been perfectly reliable at that weight. I'd accept a slightly higher pull for a faster return but, again, it's a single spring system so it's hard to adjust the return without affecting the hammer weight. Someone smarter than me could probably figure it out.

 

Interestingly, I have my 5" Rhino running with a marginally higher pull (6lbs, 13ish oz) with all of the factory components and a slightly re-bent spring. That was last season's gun and it has a lot of rounds through it. I think these really smooth out with time as the components wear in. To wit, my 4" Rhino that I've used in IDPA for years has the best trigger feel out of all of them. 6.5 pounds or less and smooth as glass with a fast return. I tried swapping the hammer and mainspring combo from the 5" to the 6" and everything stayed the same, leading me to believe it's the rest of the system and not just those components.

I purchase Rhino 40DS .357 October 2020 - using that in IDPA also.

Now February 2021 shooting that 6500 rounds .38 special. Trigger pull is about 6,5 pounds, not doing anything for that yet... but planning open and bending springs, or even made new one a little thinner wire..

 

I understand you having many Rhinos. Is something you using mostly and how many rounds now gone with that?

 

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8 hours ago, akjack said:

I purchase Rhino 40DS .357 October 2020 - using that in IDPA also.

Now February 2021 shooting that 6500 rounds .38 special. Trigger pull is about 6,5 pounds, not doing anything for that yet... but planning open and bending springs, or even made new one a little thinner wire..

 

I understand you having many Rhinos. Is something you using mostly and how many rounds now gone with that?

 

 

The 4" has probably seen the most use. I think it's reasonable to assume that it's over 10k rounds of .40 at this point. That one has a Chiappa trigger job as well.

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5 minutes ago, SteelShooten said:

If you essentially have to make your own spring, gotta wonder if there is enough space to make independent half-springs (for the hammer and trigger respectively) so they could be tuned independently.  

 

That's what they've done with the Charging Rhino Gen II:

 

prodotti_immagini_immagine_1267.jpg

 

I think the hammer and return linkages must be updated, as well. They wouldn't be able to accept a coil spring in their current configuration. 

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10 hours ago, matteekay said:

 

The 4" has probably seen the most use. I think it's reasonable to assume that it's over 10k rounds of .40 at this point. That one has a Chiappa trigger job as well.

Sounds good. I´m sure at end of this year going get over 10k rounds also. Still going well with rhino and .38....👌

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5 hours ago, matteekay said:

 

That's what they've done with the Charging Rhino Gen II:

 

prodotti_immagini_immagine_1267.jpg

 

I think the hammer and return linkages must be updated, as well. They wouldn't be able to accept a coil spring in their current configuration. 

Noticed before this Charging Rhino gen 2. If thinking doing that kind of trigger job, have to drill two holes on frame and also make couple parts. Interesting idea if can made this kind like DIY. 

Have to planning.... 🤓

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Many thanks for the Rino info. Interesting gun, to be sure. 

 

What about parts availability? And the cost of parts? Any aftermarket grips for it?

 

Pat, the gold version is for the man who has everything. Kinda like this: 

external-content.duckduckgo-3.jpg

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5 hours ago, Prange said:

Many thanks for the Rino info. Interesting gun, to be sure. 

 

What about parts availability? And the cost of parts? Any aftermarket grips for it?

 

Parts are iffy. They seem to get shipped from Italy in waves; there will be nothing available, and suddenly the Chiappa site is re-stocked with most everything. They're very reasonable when available - a mainspring is about $1.50, most screws are a few cents, and replacement cocking levers (the thing that looks like a hammer) are about $10. No options for different sight heights, unfortunately, so Protocall made me some custom front sights to match my load.

 

Grip options have become more abundant lately. Chiappa now offers a variety: rubber (S), standard wood (S-M-L), Charging Rhino (M only, two colors), White Rhino G10 (somewhere between S and M), and Hogue Big Butts. Like everything else with Chiappa, availability fluctuates. David Tillander offers resin clones of some of these styles but every copy I've ever bought has cracked right under the trigger guard. I think the resin is too thin/weak/brittle in that spot and wood doesn't have that issue. There are now a number of sellers on eBay and GunBroker selling 3d-printed grips in a few sizes in both hard plastic and rubber. I use Hogue Big Butts on my USPSA guns and (after a fair tipple of bourbon) cut down a third Hogue to use for IDPA.

 

You didn't ask about holsters but I'll throw out that info anyway. There are several manufacturers who do kydex holsters for the 2"-5" models - holsters drones exist for these and they're actually all the same aside from length. Most are geared toward concealed carry (AlienGear, GameFace, eBay sellers) but I like my Dara for IDPA. They've since removed the Rhino from their line. Fewer manufacture for the 6" Rhino because there isn't a drone on the market and it's the only model with the top rail midway down the barrel. For that, and competition holsters in general, Ghost is the best. Nice shells with lots of mounting options, and even a Rhino-specific race holster if that's your bag.

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Quick group shot to demonstrate the grips (the baby Rhino isn't shown since it sleeps in the bedroom safe):

 

50974703451_32d9c3e3dd_b.jpg

 

IDPA specifically forbids using the Big Butt grip on revolvers but I wanted to maintain the same grip profile. So... I took my oldest Hogue and gave it reverse-Kim Kardashian surgery, then refinished the wood section (the "handle" is micarta). I can still apply pressure with my support hand pinky by wrapping it under my strong hand.

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7 minutes ago, matteekay said:

Quick group shot to demonstrate the grips (the baby Rhino isn't shown since it sleeps in the bedroom safe):

 

 

IDPA specifically forbids using the Big Butt grip on revolvers but I wanted to maintain the same grip profile. So... I took my oldest Hogue and gave it reverse-Kim Kardashian surgery, then refinished the wood section (the "handle" is micarta). I can still apply pressure with my support hand pinky by wrapping it under my strong hand.

It’s amazing the number of reasons I don’t shoot IPDA keeps increasing, almost by the month it seems.  I don’t think any of my guns or gear would be legit for hiding under the fishing vest.
 

sorry for the intrusion.

 

mike

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3 minutes ago, MikeyScuba said:

It’s amazing the number of reasons I don’t shoot IPDA keeps increasing, almost by the month it seems.  I don’t think any of my guns or gear would be legit for hiding under the fishing vest.
 

sorry for the intrusion.

 

mike

 

Eh, not for everybody. I like shooting IDPA and USPSA because they're different styles of game and I like the variety.

 

 

Just now, MikeyScuba said:

PS am I the only one who thinks the colour coded rhino diagram looks like it belongs in a doctor’s office??   

 

100%. My favorite thing is that it still shows the original mainspring that would need to be removed for the new springs to work.

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18 hours ago, MikeyScuba said:

It’s amazing the number of reasons I don’t shoot IPDA keeps increasing, almost by the month it seems.  I don’t think any of my guns or gear would be legit for hiding under the fishing vest.
 

sorry for the intrusion.

 

mike

I don't get excited by IDPA, more of a rules issue but they have gotten better, but it does give me a chance to be competitive with my EDC guns & gear.  Something that's just not possible with USPSA or ICORE even.

The biggest positive to me is its scoring system which puts a premium on accuracy.  Forces one to account for every shot, much more realistic to life as each errant shot holds a potential civil suit.  So it's an opportunity to push as hard as I can accurately.  And I don't approach it with any different mindset than at a USPSA match, except focusing on all A's (Zero downs in IDPAspeak) rather than balls to the wall, hair on fire.

 

As for the Rhino's, striking at the very least!

Edited by pskys2
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I shoot ICORE like you do (think we were on the same squad in mid-west reg. back in '19).  EDC is fantasy land up here so IPDA has no practical purpose in Canada. Other than a place for people who don't want to do IPSC or the black badge course (or both)

 

I like balls to the wall, hair on fire, rabid squirrel mode etc.   looking forward to shooting ipsc in open this year. 

 

As for the Rhino the Houge grip looks nice but Pat needs to make it more steampunk to match the aesthetic of the Rhino.

 

 

rhino.jpg

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