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
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.
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.
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.
|PMC Predator HP
|Winchester DynaPoint HP
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 www.chiappafirearms.com.
For the location of a Chiappa dealer near
you, click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order quality rimfire ammunition online,
go to www.luckygunner.com
a look at the extensive line of quality Leupold optics, go to www.leupold.com.
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