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The Chiappa 1911-22 lineup of 10+1 single stack M1911-type .22 LR semi-automatics is worth a good look. Italy’s Chiappa Firearms is located in Brescia, in northern Italy and has built arms since 1958. Chiappa is known for making clever, innovative guns like the .357 Magnum Chiappa Rhino Revolver that feeds its barrel from the bottom of the cylinder and the M6 folding shotgun with its foam-filled steel skeleton buttstock. But it also makes more traditional guns like the 10+1 capacity Chiappa 1911-22 semi-automatic. Well, this pistol is not quite traditional. As you might have guessed, it looks like a blued M1911 down to the double-diamond wooden grip panels, but it is chambered for .22 LR.

The nice thing is this gun gives the look and feel of the timeless classic 1911 but in an affordable gun that uses affordable ammunition, making it perfect for plinking.

The 1911-22 comes in two sizes. One is the 5” barrel full size and the other is the 4” barrel compact. The 5” gun also has a Target pistol variant and then two color schemes: olive drab (OD) and tan (which is basically field dark earth/FDE). We’ll come back to those in a moment.

First let’s cover what the 4” compact, 5” standard and 5” Target models share in common. All three have alloy slides and alloy frames. All are blued, with stippled walnut double-diamond grips, a medium beavertail, a thumb safety, finger recesses behind the trigger, round magazine release just behind the trigger, vertical grip serrations on the back of the slide and none on the front, etc.

Hence the differences begin. The 5” standard has a solid trigger, fixed front sight and a standard rear one. Overall length is 8.5”, and it weighs 2.1 pounds. The 4” compact also has a solid trigger, but it has an adjustable for windage green fiber optic sight and an adjustable for windage twin red fiber optic sight in back. Overall length is 7.5” and the gun weighs 1.97 pounds. The 5” Target has an adjustable for windage green fiber optic sight in front and a fully adjustable for windage and elevation Williams green fiber optic sight in back. It also upgrades the hammer to a loop hammer and adds a three-slot Picatinny accessory rail under the muzzle/recoil spring housing.

The olive drab and tan guns are the same as the 5” standard gun except their slides and frames are painted in the aforementioned colors. Also both feature black Hogue rubber grips. These popular grips have three nicely contoured finger recesses, textured flanks and reach up to the slide, just like the wooden grips on the other models and on the M1911 originals.

All Chiappa 1911-22 semi-automatics come with a pair of 10-round single-stack magazines. For such reasons, this Italian M1911 is a compelling .22 LR.

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