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Chiappa Model 1911-22 Target Review

by Stan Trzoniec   |  October 23rd, 2012 18

Chiappa-Model-1911-22-Target_001

If you like the idea of having a Model 1911 lookalike in a small caliber, the Chiappa Model 1911-22 might be for you. Chambered in .22 Long Rifle, it offers some neat advantages: It fits into any 1911-style holster; it has all the bells and whistles as the large-caliber gun; and the ammo is less expensive. In addition, since the gun checks in at a mite less than 2 pounds, it is a great field-carry gun for small game.

Chiappa-Model-1911-22-Target_002

The Target has a serrated, adjustable rear sight; smooth, sculpted hammer; and traditional thumb safety. There is no grip safety.

This Chiappa is made in Italy by Chiappa Armi Sport Limited. Presently, the Chiappa Model 1911-22 is available in basic black, a black frame with a desert tan slide, a Target version, and a Tactical model with Novak-style rear sights and a threaded muzzle.

Constructed from an alloy called Chiappalloy, my Target sample looked and felt like the real deal. While this alloy makes the gun feel much lighter than the original, some of the parts are steel and add to the overall heft of the gun. The 5-inch, fixed barrel is, of course, steel and is part of the frame.

The Target model offers the option of a compensator to reduce muzzle rise for really fast follow-ups. If you’ve ever been to a rimfire action match, you’ll see the serious competitors have compensators because it speeds their target transitions. However, during my shooting sessions, the compensator on the Chiappa Target made no noticeable difference in muzzle rise, but I did notice an increase in noise while shooting on a range with an overhead canopy.

The mainspring housing is rounded and adds to the comfort factor of the gun. It’s straight, not arched, and does not incorporate a grip safety. Safeties include the traditional left-handed thumb safety and the firing-pin safety.

There is also a key-operated safety on the right side of the gun. It blocks the hammer from contacting the firing pin when turned to the nine o’clock position.

Chiappa advises against dry-firing the pistol because it can damage the face of the chamber or the firing pin.

On the left side of the gun, a polymer magazine release is in the usual position. I had little problem ejecting empty magazines or loading even though the mag well is not beveled.

The trigger is skeletonized and stylized, as is the hammer. The 7-pound trigger pull is not exactly good for deliberate accuracy trials, but can be managed once you get used to it. It reminds me of a two-stage pull with no overtravel adjustment, which is masked somewhat by the amount of rearward force necessary to allow the hammer to fall.

Chiappa-Model-1911-22-Target_004

You can install a compensator to reduce muzzle rise, although the author found that the comp made no significant difference.

Topside on the slide you find a set of metal sights. The front is a common blade that Chiappa advises to file down to adjust elevation if necessary, although the rear sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation. While the rear notch is a cut above okay, it could be widened just a bit for easier target acquisition. The rear blade is angled and serrated to eliminate glare.

The grip angle is the same as a modern .45 Model 1911, and laser-engraved, wood grips finish the gun.

The gun is easy to field strip because of the rigid barrel. After ensuring the gun is unloaded, the barrel bushing can be removed by hand, then ease out the recoil spring and plug. Cock the hammer, pull back on the slide, lifting it up as you slide it forward and off the frame.

When completely field stripping the gun, pay strict attention to the left grip panel, which, according to Chiappa, “is designed to retain components which include a few important safety features.” Once removed you have to contend with the plunger and a small slide-safety tension spring. Losing either can put a halt to your shooting.

Chiappa-Model-1911-22-Target_003

The pistol looks just like a regular 1911 and is constructed of steel and an alloy called Chiappalloy.

The company advises that you run at least 100 rounds through the fixed barrel before conducting accuracy tests. Chiappa also recommends CCI Mini-Mags for testing, which for me turned out to be the right call as this ammo turned in the best accuracy: 1.25 inches at 25 yards. By reasonable standards, I will take that any day, especially for small game.

After shooting the pistol for accuracy and velocity, I spent the rest of the morning shooting at targets, both paper and clay, at moderate ranges. There were no issues with extraction or ejection—no malfunctions of any kind.

In short, since it doesn’t have the hefty recoil of the .45 ACP or even the .38 Super, the 1911-22 is fun to shoot, and for training younger shooters—or just for your own plinking—I highly recommend it.

  • gunner

    Looks like a piece of junk.

    • fatback

      Looks don"t get it ! How does it shoot?

      • TerryN

        I’ve got 2 of these and really enjoy them. They aren’t a Kimber but they are worth what you pay. Great guns for keeping your accuracy up and fun to shoot. Ammo is a LOT cheaper, too. Hope they come out with one of these chambered in .22 WMR

    • Bud Beeler

      Wow! I think it looks wonderful! And does it shoot? Well, yeah. Stan said he got 1.25 inches at 25 yards.
      Junk? Hardly! It's gorgeous and it's on my wish list.

  • biff

    I own one and find it to be fun to shoot. It is a hefty gun and will surprise you at the weight. Accuracy is like any gun. Find your groove with it but don't expect to be plucking squirrels out of trees with it and 200 yards. It feels like a 1911 .45 without the cost. Fun handgun for the range.

  • JoeBoy254

    I own one. I also own a German Sports Guns 1911 .22lr. The GSG is better made and is more accurate out of the box. It is a much better gun for the same money.

    • TSquare636

      I also own one and a GSG. I also find the GSG to be higher quality. I've only done off-hand shooting so I can't comment on accuracy (either gun is only as good as the weakest link and that happens to be my shooting skill). One thing I will comment on, that the author noted is the trigger. I've encountered many a double action with a lighter trigger. If you plan to "get used to it" as the author suggests, I'd avoid other weapons because the triggers would be so vastly different. To allow some idea of how bad this trigger is, I've had 2 relatives give it back after I offered it to them for free if they wanted it for plinking.

  • Fast Money

    What I don't like:
    • The slide rubs on the barrel and frame on mine leaving scratches. It may be a feature not a bug as the barrel is fixed to the frame and the sights are on the slide and the slide is a loose fit to the frame. So the "rubbing" may be designed in to get a more consistent slide barrel alignment.

    •The billboard size name MODEL 1911-22 on the side.

  • Ralph

    "……….a piece of junk?" Then don't buy it! One man's junk is another man's treasure!

  • bikesrususa

    I gladly traded my Crappa away for a Ruger 1022. The trigger pull is beyond horrible, my Grandson literally couldn't pull the trigger. It's far worse than most double actions. The accuracy- accounting for trigger pull- is bad. The pistol is finicky about ammo. Many,many, many jams with this gun. Quite honestly, I cannot recommend this item for even cheap shooting. Why? Because it's no fun not hitting your target. My recommendation is the Ruger SR22. It's a sweetheart.

  • Don

    I own one and it's a really fun pistol to shoot. My wife actually has as much fun with it (and sometimes more) when we take it to the range. It's a great plinker, and I've had no problems with jams or loading.

  • Fast Money

    "IS WORTH MORE THE OLD KNOWN TO NEW TO KNOW"….that's why I stick to my Ruger MK's .22 pistols. Lots of OEM and after market parts for sale and you can do wonders to the trigger.

  • Ken

    I own one it shoots way to the left at 25 yards had lots and lots of jams.out of 100 shots 5 didnt go off and the Hammer hit on side of slide.but I do like the feel of the gun and it sounds louder than a 22.

  • Rick Hull

    I own the Puma verson and it is so cheep it isn.t funny.
    I have done more repairing on it then shooting.
    The barrel lock broke the pit that holds the action open after the last shot wore out in after a few weeks of use,magazines are made od carbon plastic and are very cheeply made.
    i totaly wish i saved my money!

  • John Foust

    One of the best guns I have shot. Purchased two tan Chiappa's for xmas gifts, took them out ran over 100 rounds through each one. Other than one shell casing hanging up, it was an excellent gun, accurate little guns. No problems with trigger pull, or any problem. These guns are excellent, I have ordered from CIC two boxes of ultra-mags. Great gun.

  • RRJ

    Purchased this pistol, hoping to have an affordable weapon to practice at the range with. After firing approximately 400 rounds of CCI .22 through the pistol, I can honestly report that every other round was either a fail to feed or stovepipe. Be advised: this weapon should never be considered suitable for any kind of personal or home defense. It is simply so unreliable and untrustworthy that it should be removed from the market. In summary, the Chiappa 1911-22 is a loathsome piece of junk. If you are looking for a 1911-style .22 pistol, take a look at the Ruger 22/45 or the Sig 1911-22.

  • DON MAY

    after shooting 500 rds the gun has stop miss firing and no more stove pipes get me the m9 -22 it is going back shot 10rds and it just stop , the firing pin on it is way off it hits right on the edge of the bullet . it looks good feel good but want shoot at all

  • Ron C.

    Mine has a hairline crack in the slide. They are built with crappy
    metal. The slide never stays back the sights came loose many times. The
    gun is crap. Please don’t waste your money. The slide cost 175. The gun
    was $275. Now i have a big paper weight.

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