• Chiappa Firearms LA322 rifles: the total fun take-down lever guns

Chiappa Firearms LA322 rifles: the total fun take-down lever guns

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Chiappa Firearms LA322 rifles: the total fun take-down lever guns

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A more or less traditional lever-action rifle with a twist at modernity: this is the Chiappa Firearms LA322, a .22 rimfire takedown carbine

Chiappa Firearms LA322 rifles: the total fun take-down lever guns

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.

Side view of the LA322 Deluxe rifle

Side view of the LA322 Deluxe rifle

Side view of the LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle

Side view of the LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle

The LA322 Deluxe rifle, disassembled

The LA322 Deluxe rifle, disassembled

The LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle, disassembled

The LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle, disassembled

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 two .22 Long Rifle caliber Chiappa Firearms LA322 rifles variants tested: top, the Deluxe; bottom, the Kodiak Cub

The two .22 Long Rifle caliber Chiappa Firearms LA322 rifles variants tested: top, the Deluxe; bottom, the Kodiak Cub

The loading process starts by rotating and unblocking the magazine follower

The loading process starts by rotating and unblocking the magazine follower

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.

Rotate the magazine front cap, unlock the follower and extract it from the magazine tube

Rotate the magazine front cap, unlock the follower and extract it from the magazine tube

Extracting the magazine follower exposes the cartridges' loading window

Extracting the magazine follower exposes the cartridges' loading window

Cartridges are loaded one by one, via the loading window under the magazine tube

Cartridges are loaded one by one, via the loading window under the magazine tube

The cartridges are in: once back in place, the follower will push them towards the receiver

The cartridges are in: once back in place, the follower will push them towards the receiver

The polished black chrome finish receiver of the Chiappa Firearms LA322 Deluxe rifle

The polished black chrome finish receiver of the Chiappa Firearms LA322 Deluxe rifle

The matte white finish receiver of the Chiappa Firearms LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle

The matte white finish receiver of the Chiappa Firearms LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle

Pistol grip stock for the Deluxe rifle; straight grip for the Kodiak Cub rifle

Pistol grip stock for the Deluxe rifle; straight grip for the Kodiak Cub rifle

Wooden stock for the LA322 Deluxe rifle

Wooden stock for the LA322 Deluxe rifle

Polymer soft touch stock for the LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle

Polymer soft touch stock for the LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle

Checkered wooden forearm for the LA322 Deluxe rifle

Checkered wooden forearm for the LA322 Deluxe rifle

Polymer soft touch plain forearms for the LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle

Polymer soft touch plain forearms for the LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle

The half-buckhorn rear sights, adjustable in height and vindage (losening the fixing screw)

The half-buckhorn rear sights, adjustable in height and vindage (losening the fixing screw)

Front view of the half-buckhorn style rear sight, very good for all kind of informal shooting

Front view of the half-buckhorn style rear sight, very good for all kind of informal shooting

The front sight is protected inside a tunnel hood, which can be moved forward or backward

The front sight is protected inside a tunnel hood, which can be moved forward or backward

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.

The hammer at full cock: it also acts as a manual safety, when slightly moved backward, engaging the first cock notch

The hammer at full cock: it also acts as a manual safety, when slightly moved backward, engaging the first cock notch

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 LA322 are take-down rifles

The LA322 are take-down rifles

By losening the big external screw on the right side of the receiver, the gun breaks open, exposing the internal action

By losening the big external screw on the right side of the receiver, the gun breaks open, exposing the internal action

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.

Disassembling 1: open the action by fully moving forward the loading lever

Disassembling 1: open the action by fully moving forward the loading lever

Disassembling 2: losen the big external screw on the right side of the receiver (side view)

Disassembling 2: losen the big external screw on the right side of the receiver (side view)

Disassembling 2: losen the big external screw on the right side of the receiver (top view)

Disassembling 2: losen the big external screw on the right side of the receiver (top view)

Disassembling 3: separate the stock group from the bolt/barrel group (side view)

Disassembling 3: separate the stock group from the bolt/barrel group (side view)

Disassembling 3: separate the stock group from the bolt/barrel group (top view)

Disassembling 3: separate the stock group from the bolt/barrel group (top view)

Disassembling 4: the action is open (right side view)

Disassembling 4: the action is open (right side view)

Disassembling 4: the action is open (left side view)

Disassembling 4: the action is open (left side view)

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 LA322 Deluxe features a polished black chrome-finished frame and oil-finished, checkered walnut stock and forearm

The Chiappa LA322 Deluxe features a polished black chrome-finished frame and oil-finished, checkered walnut stock and forearm

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 LA322 Kodiak Cub features matte white chrome-finished metal surfaces and soft touch black finish stock and forearm

The Chiappa LA322 Kodiak Cub features matte white chrome-finished metal surfaces and soft touch black finish stock and forearm

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.

The Chiappa LA322 Deluxe on fire test

The Chiappa LA322 Deluxe on fire test

(the rest: Caldwell Fire Control Front Rest)

The Chiappa LA322 Kodiak Cub on fire test

The Chiappa LA322 Kodiak Cub on fire test

(the rest: Caldwell Fire Control Front Rest)

5 shot group at 25 yards (from rest) with the LA322 Deluxe rifle

5 shot group at 25 yards (from rest) with the LA322 Deluxe rifle

5 shot group at 25 yards (from rest) with the LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle

5 shot group at 25 yards (from rest) with the LA322 Kodiak Cub rifle

The Chiappa LA322 lever rifles are fun to shoot!

The Chiappa LA322 lever rifles are fun to shoot!

Chiappa LA322 Take Down rifle - Specifications

Manufacturer
Model

LA322

Typology

Take-Down rifle

Caliber

.22 Long Rifle

Action

Lever-action

Trigger system

Single action

Safeties

Manual, on hammer half-cock

Capacity

15 rounds, tubular magazine

Barrel

470 mm / 18.5"; 6 grooves, RH, 1:16" pitch

Sights

Fixed hooded front sight;
Half-buckhorn style adjustable rear sight;
Dovetailed frame for optical sights

Overall length

90,1 cm / 35.5"

Weight (empty)

2,5 kg / 5.5 lbs (empty)

Materials / Finishes

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

Price

$ 629.00 (United States MSRP)
€ 576,50 (Europe MSRP)

Pistol grip for the LA322 Deluxe model; straight grip for the LA322 Kodiak Cub model

Pistol grip for the LA322 Deluxe model; straight grip for the LA322 Kodiak Cub model