First introduced in 2015, the 1892 Trapper Skinner carbine is one of Chiappa's most versatile and maneuverable lever-action carbines: a great companion for brush hunting, sport shooting, and so much more!
Replicas of historic firearm designs always were, and still are, the core business of the Italian-based Chiappa Firearms company – a brand so increasingly popular in north America that it recently had to open a subsidiary in Dayton (Ohio, U.S.A.) to handle the U.S. and Canadian markets.
The Chiappa Firearms group is still undergoing an almost decade-long phase of innovation in concepts and manufacturing: a true revolution that refreshed the company's view of the needs and tastes of modern hunters, sport shooters, collectors, and gun enthusiasts at large. Hence why the Chiappa Firearms product catalogue was recently enriched by several firearms that combine a classic design with a marked spirit of versatility that can entice a wider plethora of customers if compared to how Chiappa's own classic products used to fare in the past.
The Chiappa 1892 Trapper Skinner lever-action carbine is one of those classic yet versatile products: a shorter, lighter weight modern version of Winchester's legendary lever action rifle that revolutioned the metallic cartridge repeating arms market in the late 19th Century and went on to become a true icon of the gun industry in the following decades.
The Chiappa 1892 Trapper Skinner lever-action carbine takes is aptly named, given its very compact design – a 16-inch barrel, perfect for brush or battue hunting – and given the use of a Skinner adjustable rear peep sight and a front interchangeable-blade, fiber-optic sight. Skinner sights are manufactured in the State of Montana, mostly conceived for Marlin rifles and carbines, and are described by the manufacturing company as "unexpensive, but not cheap". And that's exactly what they are: affordable, solid, and very accurate.
What tells the Chiappa 1892 Trapper Skinner apart from many other lever-action rifles and carbines of U.S. or south American manufacture is its average quality: we are not talking about a "collector piece", yet, much of the final controls at Chiappa Firearms are still made by hand, particularly when it comes to the company's classic product line. The Mod.1892 Trapper Skinner lever-action carbine is one of Chiappa's highest end companies, and is priced accordingly.
The Chiappa 1892 Trapper Skinner lever-action carbine is 863,6 mm (34") and comes with a 406,4 mm (16") barrel. This makes it just long enough to be classified as a rifle, rather than as a "Short Barrel Rifle", by the local, State and Federal gun laws in the United States.
The 16-inch barrel makes the Chiappa 1892 Trapper Skinner perfect for most modern hunting specialties, with the only exception of long-range hunting. The magazine tube is loaded through a classic feeding port located on the right of the frame, and the rifle capacity is 7+1 rounds.
The sample we had a chance to test was chambered for the .44 Magnum caliber – which is hard-hitting enough for most small- to medium-sized game in Europe and for varmint shooting in north America. The Chiappa 1892 Trapper Skinner lever-action rifle is also available in .357 Magnum and .45 Colt caliber.
All the variants of the Chiappa 1892 Trapper Skinner are excellent choices for hunting, home or property defense, target shooting, plinking, training, and for CAS/OWSS/SASS shooting. Depending from the rules of the various shooting specialties and competitions, modern calibers such as .44 Magnum or .357 Magnum may not be viable for official competition, but .45 Colt is a historically correct round, accepted for cowboy shooting competition in all disciplines. The 2016 edition of the shooters handbook of the Single Action Shooting Society explicitly allows the use of all rifles with a barrel not shorter than 16 inches and chambered for all popular revolver calibers – and overtly names .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum and .38 Special among the allowed calibers.
Aesthetically speaking, the Chiappa 1892 Trapper Skinner lever-action rifle is a beauty to behold and a very desirable object for any discerning gun enthusiast. The stock and handguard are made out of a very appealing, veined walnut; all metal components – including the frame – are machined out of stainless steel. The octagon barrel comes with six right-handed grooves and a 1:19" twist rate. The standard finish for all outer metal surfaces is matte black, but a beautiful case-hardened version is also available.
The working system of the Chiappa 1892 Trapper Skinner carbine remains the same as designed by John Moses Browning well over a century ago for the Winchester model 1892 lever-action rifle: a lever-actuated, sliding bolt group with upwards ejection and an oversized, easy-to-handle finger loop. The single-action, single stage trigger is extremely light at around 2 kilograms (4.¾ lbs), and features a minimum overtravel. There is no dedicated manual safety: the hammer can be half-cocked to act as such.
In 2017, John Moses Browning's lever-action rifle design enters its 125th year. Despite its iconic status – mostly due to the massive use of Winchester 1892 rifle variants in western-themed films – when the design was launched on the market, the American Frontier had long disappeared. It however served in more or less significant numbers with the American military during the Spanish-American war in Cuba and during the repression of the Moro rebellion in the Philippines; in the early 20th Century, the design was also a favorite of Pancho Villa's Mexican rebels. Today, it enjoys a well deserved cultural icon status.
Chiappa's 1892-series rifles are among the best Winchester-based lever action rifles available on the commercial market, and the 16" Trapper Skinner carbine is by far the most practical and versatile of all. If you're looking for a lever-action rifle, consider the Chiappa 1892 Trapper Skinner carbine. It's definitely more expensive than a Rossi or a Taurus, but it's worth every penny.
Chiappa 1892 Trapper Skinner - Technical specs
1892 Trapper Skinner
.44 Magnum, also available in .357 Magnum and .45 Long Colt
Manually operated repeater (lever action)
Single-stage, single action, external hammer
Half-cock hammer position dubbing as manual safety
5 rounds or 8+1 rounds
406,4 mm / 16", octagonal
6 grooves, RH, 1 twist in 19"
Adjustable Skinner rear sight
Fiber-optic, replaceable blade front sight
863,6 mm / 34"
2,49 kg / 5.5 lbs
Blued or case-hardened, machined stainless steel barrel, magazine tube and frame
Walnut stock and handguard
See your local dealer for availability and pricing