Tuesday, October 28, 2014

REVIEW: Chiappa Double Badger Folding .22 Long Rifle/410 Shotgun

Back in July, I wrote a review on Chiappa Firearms' new Double Badger 410/22 Magnum Folding Shotgun/Rifle. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a great vehicle\aircraft-based survival gun, an off-the-grid small game-getter, and a great alternative to the increasingly expensive and hard to find Savage Model 24 Camp Combo guns. 

After being impressed with the .22 Magnum Double Badger, I soon became curious about the .22 Long Rifle version. Although I prefer the .22 Magnum over the .22 Long Rifle for survival purposes (read this to find out why), the .22 Long Rifle Double Badger could make a potentially great "woods-walkin" gun for off-the-grid small game hunting, plinking, etc.

Another distinct advantage the .22 Long Rifle Double Badger has over its .22 Magnum sibling is the ability to shoot ultra-quiet rounds such as Winchester's .22 CB Long Match ammo and CCI Quiet .22 Long Rifle ammunition. These rounds, when fired through the Double Badger's 19" barrel, are amazingly no louder than a pellet gun.

This feature makes the .22 Long Rifle Double Badger a great stealth small game hunting weapon in a survival situation, and if necessary, a great way to control pests at your off-the-grid property without annoying your neighbors.

Thanks to Chiappa, RMB was able to get hold of a .22 Long Rifle Double Badger and put it through its paces out in the Colorado wilderness......

The Gun

The .22 Long Rifle version of the Chiappa Double Badger is virtually identical to it's .22 Magnum sibling except for the difference in caliber. Since the guns are identical, this review will only focus on the performance of the Double Badger's .22 Long Rifle barrel. To check out the rest of the Double Badger's features, as well as a full review of its shotgun barrel, check out our July 2014 review of the .22 Magnum Double Badger.

The folded .22 Long Rifle/410 Double Badger, a spitting image of its 22 Magnum sibling:
(click to enlarge)


Trigger Pull

Right out of the box, the .22 Long Rifle Double Badger's trigger pull was unusually heavy. So I decided to drive over to Arkansas River Guns in Poncha Springs, Colorado and have them test its trigger pull to see just HOW heavy it was.

When they tested it, the trigger pull weighed a surprising 9.2 pounds. By contrast, the trigger pull on the .22 Magnum Double Badger used in the first review weighed just 3.5 pounds. Just for a reference, I asked Arkansas to test the the shotgun triggers of both guns. Both came in at exactly 5 pounds even.

My guess is that this .22 Long Rifle Double Badger had escaped factory quality control testing, because I've pulled the trigger on at least two other .22 Long Rifle Double Badgers (one at SHOT Show, and the other at a local sporting goods store) and both of their triggers were much lighter, more like the .22 Magnum Double Badger I reviewed.

Having such a heavy trigger pull, I knew it was going to be hard to extract maximum accuracy out of the Double Badger's .22 Long Rifle Barrel during testing, but I gave it my best shot anyway.


Using a Nikon ProStaff 3 Laser Rangefinder to measure yardage, and a Champion Portable Folding Target holder, I went to a favorite wooded spot and tested the Double Badger's .22 Long Rifle barrel with a variety of ammo. All results are from a seated position on the ground, using my knee as a rest. Here are the results:

25 Yards

CCI Mini-Mag 36gr HP/Remington Yellow Jacket 33gr HP 
(click any photo to enlarge)

Winchester M-22 40gr Bulk Ammo LRN/Winchester Super-Speed 37gr HP

CCI Velocitor 40gr HP/CCI Mini-Mag 40 gr LRN

Remington Golden Bullets 36gr HP (these are both 5-shot groups, but the Visi-Shot target tended to obscure the small .22 holes when they were close together)

CCI Stinger 32gr HP:

Federal 550 Round Bulk Pack 36 gr HP:

RWS 40gr Subsonic HP/Ely Sport 40gr LRN:

Even with the heavy trigger pull, the .22 Long Rifle Double Badger showed exellent accuracy potential as evidenced by the quarter-sized group it produced with RWS\Dynamit Nobel 40 Grain Subsonic ammunition. With a lighter trigger pull, like the .22 Magnum Double Badger, I think it's possible that this gun could produce holes through holes at 25 yards using this ammo.

Among the high velocity ammo tested, results were fairly consistent with Winchester, Remington, and CCI ammo. The exception being any kind of Federal ammo and CCI Stingers, which the Euro-Centric Double Badger seemed to really dislike. In fact, I tried several types of Federal ammo, and the groups were very poor. I was also getting flyers with some types of otherwise accurate ammo, but I think it had more to do with the heavy trigger pull and an occasional mountain wind gust than with the ammo itself.

The Double Badger also seemed to shoot to the point of aim most accurately with Winchester ammo, followed closely by CCI Mini-Mag HPs and Remington Yellow Jackets.

50 Yards
(click any photo to enlarge)

At 50 yards is where the trigger pull became more detrimental to the Double Badger's accuracy. The groups opened up considerably with all ammo, though surprisingly, I still managed to get a nice group with CCI Mini-Mag 36gr HP. Here were the best results at 50 yards:

Remington Yellow Jacket 33gr HP/CCI Velocitor 40gr HP:

CCI Mini-Mag 40gr LRN/CCI Mini-Mag 36gr HP:

RWS Subsonic 40gr HP/Ely Sports 40gr LRN:

Ultra-Silent .22 Ammo

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, one of the big advantages of having a .22 Long Rifle barrel is the ability to shoot ultra-silent ammunition. This could come in handy in a survival situation because you'd be able to hunt small game quietly without scaring off other animals. It's also a feature that helps keep noise to a minimum when doing pest control on rural property, etc.

As I expected, both of these rounds offered their best accuracy at close range. My guess is that the range would be extended by 5-10 yards if this Double Badger didn't have such a heavy trigger pull on it.

CCI Quiet "Segmented" 40 Grain .22 Long Rifle 

20 Yards

25 Yards

Winchester .22 CB Long Match 29gr LRN:

30 Feet/10 Yards

75 Feet/25 Yards

Game Getter

Below are two rabbits that were harvested with the Double Badger. These were taken on private land. The landowner has a serious problem with rabbits destroying her crops, so she allows me to hunt these problem rabbits. 

The small rabbit was taken with the .22 Barrel using CCI .22 Long Rifle Quiet Segmented ammunition, and the larger one was taken with the shotgun barrel using Estate 2.5" #7.5 Birdshot ammunition. 

These rabbits provided good food, and their furs were harvested for bushcrafting purposes. The Double Badger proved to be an excellent game getter during my testing.


Unfortunately, the heavy trigger pull on the .22 Long Rifle Double Badger prevented me from discovering its ultimate accuracy potential. My guess is that this gun was a fluke and escaped Chiappa's quality control. Out of several Double Badgers I've held in both .22 Long Rifle and .22 Magnum versions, this is the first I've seen with a heavy trigger pull. Maybe other Double Badger owners can chime in and share their experiences?

Even with the heavy trigger pull, the accuracy I did see was very good. I believe that with a normal trigger pull, the .22 Long Rifle Double Badger would be a fantastic gun for off-the-grid small game hunting or as a survival weapon for those who prefer the .22 Long Rifle over the .22 Magnum.

Cheers, Jason

APRIL 26th, 2016- LONG TERM UPDATE- Chiappa Double Badger Folding .22 Magnum/410 Shotgun

About the author
Jason Schwartz is the founder and senior editor of Rocky Mountain Bushcraft. He is a former Red Cross certified Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor, and has taught bushcraft and wilderness survival techniques to the Boy Scouts of America, interned with the US Forest Service, and studied wilderness survival, forestry and wildland firefighting at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, Colorado. Jason has also written for magazines such as The New Pioneer and Backpacker, including writing the "Tinder Finder" portion of Backpacker's "Complete Guide to Fire," which won a 2015 National Magazine Award (NMA). Email him at rockymountainbushcraft @ hotmail.com (without spaces)

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