Chiappa "Little Badger" 22 Magnum Single-Shot Rifle

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

March 18th, 2014


Click pictures for a larger version.







Barrel is threaded 1/2x28 TPI for sound suppressor or other muzzle device.







Barrel latch.









It has been almost a year ago that I first saw a sample of the Chiappa Little Badger rimfire rifle. As soon as I saw it at the Chiappa booth and one of the large shows (2013 NRA Show, I think), I knew that I had to have one, and put in a request for a test gun at the show. Well, that rifle never arrived as promised, so a few weeks ago, I ordered one from Lipsey's for my grandson for his tenth birthday. That boy has a few rifles already, as well as a shotgun and a couple of handguns, but like his Grandpa, he loves a good 22 rifle, and I knew that he would love this one. I was right.

While I ordered this Little Badger for my grandson, it is not necessarily just a "kid's gun". The Little Badger is lightweight and handy, chambered for the 22 LR or 22 Magnum, folds down into a very compact package, and makes for a dandy little rifle for camping, boating, hiking, or an emergency. The Little Badger would be ideal to have while in the woods as a foraging rifle to put meat in the pot, to stow under the seat of a pickup or ATV for emergencies, or just to have along for some plinking fun.

The Little Badger wears a sixteen and one-half inch barrel that is .565 inch in diameter. The barrel has a threaded section at the muzzle for the attachment of a sound suppressor, flash suppressor, or muzzle brake. The barrel is threaded 1/2x28 TPI to accept standard muzzle devices. Just forward of the non-ferrous receiver is a Picatinny quad-rail for the attachment of an optical sight or other accessories. The rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation without tools. The front sight is a protected post. The sights, rails, buttplate, and trigger guard are made of a black polymer. There is another section of rail just behind the trigger guard for the attachment of a pistol grip, if desired. The wire buttstock is adjustable for length-of-pull, to accommodate shooters of various sizes. Just forward of the buttplate is a cartridge carrier that will hold twelve 22 rimfire cartridges, of any size.

The Chiappa website spec chart shows the Little Badger to weigh three and one-half pounds, but on my scale it weighs in a bit lighter at an ounce under three pounds. The overall length varies with the position of the adjustable wire buttstock, within the 30 to 32 inch range, which makes for a very handy package. The rifle folds handily and quickly to fit into a compact backpack for storage or transport. Folded, the rifle measures around sixteen inches in length, again depending upon the position of the buttstock. The backpack is lightweight, and is included with the rifle. The Little Badger has an excellent trigger pull, with slightly under two pounds of resistance on this rifle, and a very crisp release. I have fired rifles that cost many times the price of this Little Badger that do not have trigger pulls as good as the pull on this rifle. Perfect.

While the rifle shown here is chambered for the 22 Magnum cartridge, it will also fire 22 Short, 22 Long, or 22 Long Rifle cartridges flawlessly. However, the manufacturer does not recommend firing anything other than 22 Magnum cartridges in this 22 Magnum rifle, but if necessary, it is an option if the situation warrants doing so. I really love the 22 Magnum cartridge. it is one of my favorite cartridges, and kills vermin all out of proportion to its diminutive size. One of my favorite loads is the Armscor 40 grain hollowpoint. Lately, there are a lot of 22 Magnum loads on the market that use lighter, faster bullets, and for small pests, these work well, but for larger vermin and predators, I prefer the 40 grain hollowpoint, and that Armscor load is a real performer, besting the velocity of other 40 grain loads by a large margin.

I tested the Little Badger 22 Magnum rifle with a few of my favorite types of 22 Magnum ammunition for velocity and function. The results with each brand and type of ammunition are listed in the chart below. HP is a hollow point bullet, and all ammo tested for velocity used hollow points, as I find them to be my favorite bullet type in the 22 Magnum cartridge for varmint and predator hunting. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of forty-two degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity in the sixty-three percent range. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS), and were recorded ten feet from the muzzle of the rifle. Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
PMC Predator HP 40 1660
Winchester DynaPoint HP 40 1501
Winchester HP 34 1917
Armscor HP 40 1753
Federal HP 50 1416

For accuracy testing, I mounted a Leupold Mark 4 Tactical/Target scope with variable 8.5 to 25 power magnification. This scope is not the ideal scope to pair with such a rifle for field work, but it is an excellent riflescope for me to use to test the potential accuracy of a weapon.  I mounted the scope atop the upper Picatinny rail using an ArmaLite one-piece scope mount.  After bore-sighting the scope with a LaserLyte laser bore-sighter, I tested for accuracy by firing three-shot groups on target at fifty yards. Accuracy results varied from groups as small as five-eighths of an inch with the PMC Predator ammo to as large as one and three-quarters inches using CCI hollowpoint ammo. The best groups fired are pictured, and are representative of the groups fired with each type of ammo shown. The rifle was very consistent in its grouping, and the Leupold scope made seeing the bullet holes very easy.

Reliability was perfect with every type of ammo tested. The cartridges chambered and extracted easily, and there were no misfires with any ammunition tested in the Little Badger, firing either Magnum or Long Rifle ammunition. Again, it is not recommended to fire anything except 22 Magnum ammunition in the 22 Magnum Little Badger.

The Chiappa Little Badger is a dandy little survival, hunting, camping, and plinking gun, for shooters of all sizes. The Little Badger is also very affordable, and I have seen them online in the $150 US range. With a manufacturer's suggested retail price, as of the day of this review, of only $184 US, it is also a lot of gun and a lot of fun for the money.

Check out the entire line of Chiappa firearms and accessories at

For the location of a Chiappa dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order quality rimfire ammunition online, go to and

For a look at the extensive line of quality Leupold optics, go to

Jeff Quinn

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Click pictures for a larger version.





Jeff's grandson Ethan shoots his Little Badger.



Badger comes with a lightweight backpack for storage or transport.



Very good set of rear adjustable and protected post front sights.



The Little Badger proved to be plenty accurate for a hunting or survival rifle.