A more or less traditional lever-action rifle with a twist at modernity: this is the Chiappa Firearms LA322, a .22 rimfire takedown carbine
The Italian Chiappa Firearms company first introduced this model to the international marketplace at the 2014 edition of the IWA expo in Nuremberg, as part of an extensive product line upheaval that saw the introduction of a plethora of new and interesting pistols and rifles for hunting and sport shooting.
The Chiappa Firearms LA322 take-down lever-action rifle is one of the many new products that the Italian company launched since then, followed by an unprecedented levels of popularity. Most of Chiappa's current products are aimed to a more modern target without forgetting the Company's tradition of historic replica gunmaking. And the LA322 is no exception.
Albeit chambered for the small .22 Long Rifle rimfire cartridge, the Chiappa Firearms LA322 is still just as long as a Winchester Mod. 92 or 94 rifle, from which it inherit the general aspect, although adopting a totally different mechanical structure.
The barrel, magazine tube, and frame of the Chiappa Firearms LA322 take-down lever-action rifle are precision-machined out of steel, as well as the two bands that secure the front sight and the handguard.
The only non-steel control is the cocking lever, which is machined out of aluminum.
The chrome-lined barrel has 6 right-handed grooves with a 1-16" twist.
The barrel is 47 cm / 18.5" long, with a full length magazine tube underneath, with an ammunition feeding brass tube inside, blocked by a knurled front cap.
In reality, the cap is the front head of the the ammunition feeding tube: by rotating it you unblock and extract the feeding tube and proceed with the round-by-round loading.
The magazine tube holds up to 15 rounds of .22 Long Rifle ammunition.
The Chiappa Firearms LA322 take-down lever-action rifle comes with a fixed hooded knob front sight and a half-buckhorn style rear sight that's adjustable for windage and elevation.
A dovetailed ramp is machined on top of the receiver, allowing snap-on aftermarket Picatinny interfaces or 3/8" rings, making the gun optics-ready.
The steel hammer is the only manual safety device for the LA322 lever-action carbine. When half-cocked, it will block both the cocking lever and the trigger: to use the gun, the hammer will have to be manually pulled all the way back to full cock, or gently accompanied manually back forward, in its rest position.
The quick takedown capability is the most peculiar feature of the Chiappa Firearms LA322 lever action carbine.
The easy takedown feature is meant to speed up ordinary cleaning and maintenance; to ensure secure long-term storage by allowing the two halves to be stored separately, for additional safety at home; and to allow to legally transport the rifle also in those conditions/places where the law obliges to have the gun disassembled.
Once the gun is unloaded and the chamber is clear, the shooter must push the cocking lever all the way forward to lock the bolt in its full open position: now you can loosen the large takedown screw located on the right side of the receiver.
Once loosened the screw, lifting the stock will separate the rear half – the stock and the trigger group – from the front half, which comprises the cocking mechanism, the barrel and the magazine tube.
Reassembling the Chiappa Firearms LA322 lever-action carbine is just as easy as going backwards through the entire process.
The only disadvantage of the field-stripping procedure is that it will expose the lubricated inner components of the gun: it should therefore be avoided in all those conditions and places where external elements could enter in contact with the mechanisms.
The Chiappa Firearms LA322 take-down lever-action rifles are a real fun at plinking, but good as well to introduce the new generations to the basics of shooting and safe handling of firearms.
The Chiappa Firearms LA322 take-down lever-action rifles are available in different configurations: in the pictures of this article you see the LA322 Deluxe and the LA322 Kodiak Cub variants.
The Chiappa Firearms LA322 Deluxe variant is available with a case-hardened or polished black chrome-finished frame, oil-finished walnut stock and forearm.
Other features include a pistol grip, diamond-pattern slip-proof checkerings on the contact surfaces of the wooden parts, and a rubber recoil buttpad installed on a black polymer support at the rear end of the buttstock.
The Chiappa Firearms LA322 Kodiak Cub looks like instead as a "small-sized" variant of the Chiappa Model 1886 Kodiak full-bore lever-action hunting rifle.
The LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle comes with matte white chrome-finished metal surfaces (exception made for some black-finished details) and a soft touch black finish on the forearm and English-style straight stock and a rubber recoil buttpad.
Chiappa LA322 Take Down rifle - Specifications
.22 Long Rifle
Manual, on hammer half-cock
15 rounds, tubular magazine
470 mm / 18.5"; 6 grooves, RH, 1:16" pitch
Fixed hooded front sight;
Half-buckhorn style adjustable rear sight;
Dovetailed frame for optical sights
90,1 cm / 35.5"
2,5 kg / 5.5 lbs (empty)
Chiappa LA322 Deluxe: polished black chrome or case-hardened steel frame; blued barrel and magazine; oil-finished, checkered walnut stock and forearm
Chiappa LA322 Kodiak Cub: matte white chrome frame, barrel and magazine; black Soft Touch, straight English-style stock and forearm
$ 629.00 (United States MSRP)
€ 576,50 (Europe MSRP)