Chiappa Little Badger: Is this the ultimate survival rifle?

by Travis Pike

February 20, 2023



Who doesn’t love a good rimfire oddball? The Chiappa Little Badger gives off Mad Max vibes while providing a lightweight and very compact rimfire package. Does the minimalist nature work? Let’s find out.

This rifle is perfect for stashing away in the event of emergency or wilderness survival.

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Chiappa Little Badger Specs

  • Name Little Badger
  • Caliber .22 LR
  • Capacity 1
  • Action Folding Break Action
  • Frame Steel
  • Front Sight Fixed M1 Military Style
  • Rear Sight Adjustable M1 Military Style
  • Barrel Length 16.5 inches
  • Overall Length 31 inches
  • Weight 2.9 lbs
  • Safety None

Chiappa Little Badger Background

Chiappa is well known for their Rhino series of revolvers, but they make a wide variety of different rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Their Little Badger series of rifles present a rather odd but effective weapon. These are single-shot, rimfire rifles that use a break-open mechanism. What’s most striking about these guns is their minimalistic appearance. 

Heck, I purchased this gun just because of the Mad Max vibes it gave off. Well, that and the low price point. The Little Badger uses a wire stock and a simplistic Picatinny rail handguard. It’s not much more than a hammer and barrel. It’s brilliant in its simplicity and neat looking to distinguish itself amongst a field of single-shot rimfire guns. 

I see two purposes for this gun’s existence. The first is for survival purposes. It’s so light and small that it can be tossed in a pack and forgotten about. The rifle weighs less than three pounds and folds nearly in half. Chiappa even includes a cheap nylon bag to carry it. It’s small enough to be easily carried but capable enough to take small game or, in an emergency, even medium game with a well-placed shot. 

Chiappa Little Badger Folded

The second purpose is why I bought it to be a training rifle for young shooters. Being short and light helps here. Plus, the railed handguard makes it easy to attach a red dot. On top of that, a single shot helps prevent mishandling. Young shooters get excited, and when they hit the target, I’ve seen them rapidly turn around and break the 180. If they do this with a single-shot rifle after the shots have been fired, it’s a bit less dangerous.

Chiappa Little Badger Features

Chiappa Little Badger review weapon features
1 Wire Stock

It might not be the most comfortable, but it is lightweight and can hold spare rounds.

2 Peep Sights

The sights leave a bit to be desired, but a peep sight is preferred over a notch and post style.

3 Picatinny Forend

Allows the addition of optics and other picatinny mounted accessories.

4 Threaded Muzzle

The threaded muzzle allows the attachment of a suppressor.

5 Break Action

This simple and reliable system also allows the rifle to be folded for maximum portability.

6 Light Weight

At under 3 lbs, this can easily be carried in a pack for your adventures.

The Other Badgers

The Little Badger is also available in .22 WMR and .17 HMR. Chiappa recently released the Little Badger Take Down Xtreme for an even more compact option. You can also find a Deluxe Rifle version of the Little Badger with wood stock and forend but you will have to find that on the used market.

Chiappa Little Badger –  Our Take

The Chiappa Little Badger is a neat little gun and is so easy to handle. It’s light, but the recoil for a .22LR is basically nothing. Pull the trigger, and the gun barely moves. With the Little Badger, you get a pew and not much more. The light nature of the gun, combined with its light recoil, makes it a great gun for new shooters, especially for kids. 

The length of pull also favors kids because it’s obnoxiously short and doesn’t work well with the peep sight. The super small peep sight means you have to be close, but the length of pull ensures an adult shooter can’t establish a good cheek weld. It’s tough, and if the gun had more recoil, then this would be a major issue. Luckily it’s not. 

Chiappa Little Badger Sights and Handguard

The small Picatinny rail-equipped grip isn’t fun to grab, but you can make it work. The rail does allow you to attach a grip of some kind if you so choose. Personally, I think they should ditch this rail and just make it a pistol grip. The ergonomics of firing are just awkward. 

The peep sights are M1 Carbine style with a good bit of adjustment allowed. The sights in concept are great, but they are made from cheap plastic. Mine has bent itself somehow, and that’s annoying. For purely shooting purposes, you can make some pretty accurate shots. The trigger is a bit stiff, but the pull is short and consistent. It’s easy to make tiny groups within 25 to 50 yards. 

Fun For All Ages

Rimfire guns can be finicky, but the Little Badger doesn’t seem to share that trait. That stiff trigger is there because the hammer hits the rims hard and ignites them. This allows the weapon to fire any .22LR round on the market. It always goes bang with the cheap bulk stuff and the more expensive goodies from CCI. 

The Chiappa Little Badger is frustration-free and very easy to use. The gun opens easily, and you can extract and eject your ammo with ease. At the rear of the stock sits a small bracket that allows you to carry extra ammo for quick reloads as well. 

The Chiappa Little Badger has a threaded barrel, so attaching a suppressor is easy and so much fun. The simple design and single-shot action make for a very quiet weapon. With subsonic ammo, the loudest part of this gun is the round hitting the target. 

The MSRP is $288, but most of the time, you can find the gun for less than $250. It’s not a budget-breaking gun, but a single shot for $250 might seem expensive when a Ruger 10/22 doesn’t cost much more. You are paying for the unique nature of the gun. I got lucky and found mine on sale for $150 dollars, and at that price, you are getting a great gun for the money.

Chiappa Little Badger Pros and Cons 

  • Weight – Super lightweight
  • Shootability – Easy to shoot
  • Aesthetics – Ugly, but In a good way
  • Suppressor Ready – Easy to suppress
  • Sights – Plasticky sights
  • Ergonomics – Short length of pull

Report Card


There is no recoil, and the gun doesn’t have any noticeable muzzle rise. It’s crazy easy to shoot, and any shooter of any experience can pick it up without issue and fire away.


The gun always went bang. If the hammer dropped, the gun fired. I didn’t have any extraction issues. It would be an A+ f the rear sight didn’t bend on me.


The sights are good in concept. They are cheap plastic, but the M1 carbine peep sights are great in terms of function. If they didn’t bend. The trigger is nice, and ultimately, I feel like I could headshot squirrels with the iron sights without issue.


The length of pull is short, the grip is small, covered in a not-so-comfy Picatinny rail, and you have no cheek weld. So ergonomics aren’t high. The controls are simple. The weapon is lightweight, but other than that, you get a true post-apocalyptic feel to it.


The MSRP is 288, and while prices used to be lower, these guns have gotten fairly expensive for single-shot .22LR rifles.

Chiappa Little Badger Rifle Final Grade

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Reviewed by Travis Pike

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Chiappa Little Badger Starter Pack

  • Gun Cleaning Kit: We’ve got a whole article dedicated to gun cleaning kits you’ll need to keep your rifle in tip top shape.  
  • Eye Protection: This should go without saying, but you need to invest in some quality shooting glasses. One errant piece of brass, and you’re in for a bad day. Check out our recommendations for the best shooting glasses!
  • Hearing Protection: You only have one set of ears, so keep them protected. We’ve gathered all of our favorite hearing protection to help you decide the best hearing protection for you.

Chiappa Little Badger Gun Deals

Here are some of the best deals you’ll find when searching for your new Chiappa Little Badger.

Upgrades and Accessories for the Chiappa Little Badger

This is not the type of firearm to deck out in accessories, but an improved sighting system will go a long way in improving this little rifle. I think a small red dot would best for this rifle, and our favorite budget red dot is the Bushnell TRS-25.

Best Ammo for Your Chiappa Little Badger

You will want some low cost bulk 22LR to send through this rifle for fun and some subsonic rounds for when you want be as low profile as you can. Some of our favorites are listed below.

Subsonic Rounds

CCI Sub-Sonic 22 LR Ammo

CCI Sub-Sonic HP 22 LR 40 Grain HP

  • Low noise
  • 1,050 fps muzzle velocity
  • Bullet expands without fragmenting
  • Great performance on small game
Cost Per Round
Sportsman’s Guide $0.11
MidwayUSA $0.11

Plinking Ammunition

Federal Automatch 22LR Ammo

Federal AutoMatch 22 LR 40 Grain LRN

  • Accurate
  • Consistent and reliable
  • Affordably priced
Cost Per Round
MidwayUSA $0.06
Palmetto State Armory $0.06

Other 22LR Rifles of its Class to Check Out

The Chiappa Little Badger is a unique 22lr rifle. If you want a more traditional 22lr rifle, read our Best 22lr Rifle Review and see our two favorites below! 

#1 Ruger 10/22

Ruger 10/22

The Ruger 10/22 sets the standard for what a 22LR rifle should be. 

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A+
  • Reliability A+
  • Ergonomics A-
  • Accuracy A-
  • Value A+

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#2 Ruger 22 Charger

Ruger 22 Charger

A unique pistol extension of the classic Ruger 10/22 rifle platform.

Sold at Guns.comBrownellsPalmetto State Armory

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A+
  • Reliability A-
  • Ergonomics A-
  • Accuracy A-
  • Value B+

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Based on 14 Reviews

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#3 Tikka T1X

Tikka T1X

Tikka T1X

This is Tikka’s first 22LR bolt action rimfire rifle.

Sold at Guns.comBrownells

Check Latest Price

  • Shootability A
  • Reliability A
  • Ergonomics B+
  • Accuracy A+
  • Value A+

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Based on 9 Reviews

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How to Care for Your Chiappa Little Badger

The Chiappa Little Badger is a simple little rifle, but it still needs to be maintained. Watch this video from Precision Rifle Network on how to clean a 22LR rifle.

Looking for some more information on the Chiappa Little Badger? Check out the links below for the manufacturer’s website, operator’s manual, and other neat content.


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About Travis Pike

Travis is a former United States Marine Corps Infantryman and currently a firearms writer, instructor, and works in Emergency Management.

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