I have enjoyed good service from affordable, but well-made, firearms from Italian maker Chiappa. Among the most versatile is the folding .22/.410 Double Badger. This is a neat trick, a firearm that qualifies in some ways as a gentleman’s rifle for small-game hunting and keeping pests off the property, but also qualifies as a backpacking firearm for those on a budget. It is a useful truck gun as well.

There are numerous combination guns with a rifle and shotgun barrel over the other. Some are ‘survival’ guns, minimalist long guns that are frankly not easy to use well. The Double Badger is the opposite. It is among the most useful and easy to use firearms I have fired in some time.

fiber-optic peep sight
The aperture rear sight is fast to use well with the shotgun barrel. By the same token, it allows good accuracy with the rifle barrel.

Double Badger Features

The .410 Bore shotgun barrel is tightly choked, making it effective for small game to perhaps 25 yards with the right load. Birds, rabbits, and squirrels are the natural game to be harvested. Load the .410 barrel with buckshot and you have an effective combination for predators within its range. The choke is tight and places the balls in a good pattern out to 15 yards or more.

With the .22 rimfire barrel, you may train a young shooter in marksmanship or take small game to the limit of your marksmanship. The sights are well-designed and the rifle barrel offers good accuracy potential. Williams fiber-optic sights offer a big advantage. They are fast enough for shotgun use, and accurate enough for rimfire shooting.

A Storage-Friendly Design

A note on easy storage — breaking the Double Badger open is accomplished by pressing the trigger guard forward. Continue levering the barrel and the Double Badger is easily folded neatly in half.

At 5.75 pounds, the Double Badger is light enough for easy storage or carrying in field. As for fit and finish, the blued finish is quite nicely done. The walnut stocks are well-oiled with checkering in the right place, providing good purchase.

The Double Badger is far more versatile than the single-shot firearms offering interchangeable barrels in .410 Bore and .22 LR — we have both cartridge and shell in one firearm. Each barrel is a well-balanced 19-inch length.

Chiappa Double Badger
The Chiappa Double Badger features a 19-inch length in each barrel.

Feel and Performance

The Double Badger is cocked by opening the action. The safety automatically engages. The front trigger is for the shotgun and the rear trigger for the rifle barrel, a good setup. I have enjoyed firing the Double Badger.

In static slow-fire testing, the .410 full-choke barrel landed a pattern on rabbit and like-sized target sufficient for good effect to 20 yards. Firing from a very careful solid rest, I was able to make center hits on the same target to 50 yards with the .22 rimfire barrel. (A .22 Magnum barrel is also available, and even a 20-gauge barrel combination.)

In the field, these results may not be realized, but the rifle is more accurate than most of us may hold. I can see hunting all day with the .22, carefully squeezing off a shot and taking edible game with little damage. Then, as light fails and you are heading home, that last long shot is afforded and the .410 does the business.

This is among the better choices for all-around outdoors use I have tested. This is just simply a friendly firearm, one that offers more versatility than most and a certain amount of pride of ownership to boot.

rifle trigger guard
A practiced eye tells us the Chiappa offers good fit and finish.

Load Testing

Finally, here’s how the Chiappa Double Badger performed with .22 LR (reminder it has a 19-inch barrel):

Cartridge Velocity
CCI Quiet HP 40-Grain 660 fps
CCI Stinger 32-Grain 1,503 fps
CCI Mini Mag Segmented 40-Grain 1,211 fps
CCI Suppressor 45-Grain HP 923 fps
CCI Mini Mag 36-Grain HP 1,254 fps
CCI Velociter 40-Grain 1,401 fps

What do you think of the Chiappa Double Badger? What about the combination gun concept? Share your thoughts in the Comment section.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February of 2021. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and clarity.

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