.22 caliber carbines: Chiappa M1-22 and Mfour-22
The .22 rimfire caliber Chiappa M1-22 and Chiappa Mfour-22 carbines are visually faithful replicas of the famous Winchester M1 carbine and the Colt M4 carbine, listed in the Chiappa Firearms catalog for a few years now and still global top sellers. Let's give a look to these two trainers which allow to "shoot down" costs, consequently increasing the fun
Many so-called "experts", enthusiasts and shooters hardly stomach the existence of rimfire, .22 Long Rifle caliber variants of famous centerfire handguns, rifles and carbines. Sometimes that's because they aren't "manly" enough, but more often than not the (real or supposed) lack of details on the rimfire replicas it's enough to raise more than an eyebrow.
And yet many modern-day shooters fail to realize that .22 Long Rifle training rifles have been used by major militaries worldwide for decades, generally to provide recruits and conscripts with basic marksmanship training before passing to regular service rifle training.
On the civilian side, .22 caliber rimfires have been used for training of novices for over a century, and when it comes to small game hunting, competition shooting, or simple leisure plinking, .22 Long Rifle is the undisputed king.
The Italian gun industry has a long history in the production of .22 rimfire versions of military-style rifles and carbines for civilian shooters: in the 1970s and 1980s, rimfire versions of designs such as the M16, the AK, the Galil and the FA-MAS were manufactured in northern Italy and distributed worldwide under several famous brands, including Mitchell Arms in the U.S.
This background should be more than enough to make connoisseurs come to the realization that Italian-made .22 rimfire carbines such as the Chiappa M1-22 and the Chiappa MFour-22 – two long-standing mainstays of the Chiappa Firearms line – are an excellent choice for training, range shooting or plinking.
Chiappa Firearms M1-22 carbine
Developed by the Winchester company in 1940 and entered in U.S. service in 1941, the .30-caliber M1 Carbine was by far the highest-produced firearm of World War II, with over six millions made during the war alone by tens of companies.
With such a massive amount of samples available, it's no wonder Uncle Sam kept it in service up until the Vietnam war.
The sheer number of manufacturers engaged in the production of the M1 Carbine after World War II made sure it would remain in use with many Armed Forces and Law Enforcement agencies to this day – notwithstanding the tremendous popularity it gained among collectors, hunters, and sport shooters worldwide.
The Chiappa Firearms M1-22 carbine is a rather faithful rimfire reproduction of the original M1 Carbine, working system and (some) materials aside. Chiappa's M1-22 ditches the original short-stroke gas system and rotating bolt assembly in favour of a much simpler straight blowback operation that's much more apt for .22 Long Rifle.
The entire receiver and trigger group of the Chiappa Firearms M1-22 are faithful replicas of the components found of the original M1 Carbine; the rimfire replica also retains the controls configuration of the original – cocking handle, magazine release button, safety switch, and so on – making it easier to familiarize with for those shooters who are already familiar with the manual of arms from the original M1.
The Chiappa Firearms M1-22 semi-automatic carbine feeds through a single-stack magazine that's a polymer replica of the original 15-rounds magazine of the .30 M1 Carbine, albeit easily distinguishable by the feed lips and the markings on both sides; it is available in a standard 15 rounds version and a reduced ten-rounds model for those jurisdictions with capacity limitations.
The stock of the M1-22 is manufactured entirely in-house by Chiappa Firearms and is available in wood or black synthetic, and secured to the barrel and receiver in the same way as the original M1 – with a metal barrel band and a rear screw. This allows the Chiappa Firearms M1-22 to accept all standard and aftermarket .30 M1 Carbine stocks, including the M1A1 "paratrooper" style stocks with a folding butt and a pistol grip.
The steel barrel of the M1-22 sports a 1:10" rifling pitch, specific for .22 Long Rifle, but is manufactured out of .30-caliber blanks, so that it retains roughly the same profile as the original. As a result, the overall weight of this rimfire replica ranges around 2,5 kilograms (5.5 lbs) when empty, basically the same as the original. A bayonet lug is also provided.
The sights on the M1-22 carbine are polymer replicas of the original fixed front post and adjustable peephole rear sight – basically the same found on Chiappa's own Little Badger folding single-shot rimfire survival rifle. Just as many post-WWII commercial M1 Carbines, Chiappa's M1-22 comes with guides milled on the receivers for scope mounts or Picatinny adapters.
Chiappa M1-22 - Technical specifications
Target shooting, training, leisure
.22 Long Rifle
Manual safety located in front of the trigger guard
10 or 15 rounds in single stack detachable magazines
457 mm / 18"
6 grooves, RH, 1 turn in 16"
Fixed front sight, adjustable rear sight, 11mm rails for scope mounts
890 mm / 35"
2,5 kg / 5.5 lbs
Steel barrel and moving parts; black anodized aluminum receiver and trigger group; wood or black polymer stock
Chiappa Firearms MFour-22 carbine
The MFour-22 semi-automatic carbine is currently one of Chiappa Firearms' top international sellers. First introduced in 2011, the original MFour-22 evolved in a series of improved variants dubbed the GEN II – currently in distribution, including a standard variant and a railed forend, flat-top GEN II Pro variant – as well as in a very funny and practical pistol version.
The MFour-22 carbine is built around a black polymer upper and lower receiver; the 16-inch barrel and some small components are still made out of steel.
The lower receiver comes with a standard AR-15 type pistol grip that can be replaced with any AR-compatible grip currently available on the market. The MFour-22 is built to retain the classic manual of arms of the M4 carbine, and as such it comes with a T-shaped charging handle, a safety switch on the left side and a fenced magazine release button on the right side.
The polymer stock of the MFour-22 retains the look and feel of the classic M4 carbine buttstock in all variants, but the MFour-22 GEN II rifles are not compatible with original or aftermarket M4-type stocks, as they feature a single polymer mold buttstock, all in one with a fake buffer tube and available only in what would be the fully extended position.
The MFour-22 GEN II PRO models, on the other hand, offer full MIL-SPEC compatibility – and this includes a fully collapsible stock, adjustable on six different positions, mounted on a buffer tube.
In all variants, however, the Chiappa Firearms MFour-22 is a straight blowback-operated design, employing a cast aluminum bolt carrier with integral recoil springs whose design was inspired by the Ciener Atchisson MKIII .22 conversion unit for AR-15/M16 rifles; as such, it does not require a recoil buffer.
The hold-open release button is a dummy, molded in the polymer lower receiver: the bolt of the MFour-22 carbine remains open when the magazine is empty, but locks in position automatically when the magazine is removed and a new round must be chambered manually.
The MFour-22 feeds through a proprietary polymer lower magazine, with a body dimensioned to STANAG 4179 specs but a tighter top portion, and a rimfire-specific follower and spring. Magazines holding 5, 10 or 28 rounds of .22 Long Rifle ammunition are available.
The upper receiver is a replica of a classic A3 upper, coming with a removable carrying handle featuring an adjustable peephole-style rear sight installed on a molded Picatinny rail.
Also featured are a spring-operated dust cover, a brass deflector behind the ejection window, and a spring-loaded dummy forward assist which is not connected in any way to the bolt carrier but can be used to simulate the use of a forward assist device in training.
The MFour-22 GEN II carbine comes with a classic two-parts polymer handguard, a Delta Ring and an AR-15 front sight base; the MFour-22 GEN II Pro ditches all of the above in favour of a full-length top MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail for optics and a monolithic quad-railed free-float handguard molded into the polymer upper receiver.
The GEN II variants with a classic handguard and front sight also offer other cosmetic features such as a step cut barrel, a front sling swivel, and a fake bayonet lug that is not compatible with any existing bayonet; the GEN II Pro carbines come with a heavy profile barrel instead.
In all cases, the barrel is 16-inch long and comes with six right-handed grooves, a 1-in-16" rifling pitch, and a fake flash hider given how the .22 Long Rifle caliber does not develop a significative muzzle blast. The simulated flash hider is kept in place by a screw and can be removed to be replaced by a functional flash hider or (where legal) by a silencer.
Chiappa Mfour-22 - Specifiche
Target shooting, training, plinking
.22 Long Rifle
AR15-style manual safety
10 or 28 rounds in detachable single-stack polymer magazine
406 mm / 16"
6 grooves, RH, 1 turn in 16"
- MFour-22 GEN II rifles: adjustable rear sight on removable carrying handle, fixed front sight, railed upper receiver for optics
- MFour-22 GEN II PRO rifles: no factory-issued iron sights, full-length MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny rail for optics
870 mm / 34.3"
2,5 kg / 5.5 lbs
Barrel and small parts in matte black steel; cast aluminum bolt carrier group; black polymer stock and receivers