Chiappa’s Beretta 92/M9 .22 Replica

Chiappa has a new rimfire version of Beretta’s M9 pistol called the M9-22,  The heft, balance, and operation exactly mimic the centerfire gun.

Chiappa has a new rimfire version of Beretta’s M9 pistol called the M9-22, The heft, balance, and operation exactly mimic the centerfire gun.

With Wood Grips

With Wood Grips

With Plastic Grips

With Plastic Grips

Truly a beautiful gun with the wooden grips

Truly a beautiful gun with the wooden grips

There is no feed ramp. The magazine’s follow positions the cartridge right in line with the chamber.

There is no feed ramp. The magazine’s follow positions the cartridge right in line with the chamber.

Controls include a safety lever with “safe” and “fire” positions. Flipping the lever to the safe position also decocks the hammer.

Controls include a safety lever with “safe” and “fire” positions. Flipping the lever to the safe position also decocks the hammer.

By Scott Mayer

Many shooters will recognize Chiappa as the company offering the distinctive Rhino revolver. That innovative design fires from the bottom cylinder resulting in recoil dynamics that tame loads otherwise punishing to shoot in conventional snub-nose revolvers. But that’s not all Chiappa has. They also offer a line of dedicated rimfire guns that replicate the look, feel and function of popular defensive firearms including the 1911 pistol and M4 carbine. New this year is Chiappa’s rimfire version of the Beretta M9 pistol called the M9-22.

In 1990, the Beretta Model 92 became the official U.S. military sidearm designated as the M9. For shooters who haven’t served in the military, the civilian Beretta 92 series dates back to 1976 and it was essentially an improvement over Beretta’s earlier Model 951 “Brigadier” that dates back to 1952. Taurus has its popular versions of the Model 92, so it’s safe to say the design is well known and in the hands of many American shooters. To the best of my knowledge Chiappa is the only manufacturer offering a dedicated rimfire M9-style gun.

Ask anyone who is really good at what they do, and they will tell you that practice is the key to refining their skill to a level that sets them apart from their peers. That holds true for shooting, too, as accuracy and good tactics are both perishable skills. But while a boxer needs nothing more than his shadow and a violinist some rosin, shooting practice requires an expensive consumable–ammunition. Dry firing and dummy guns can get you only so far before you have to take the leap to live ammo, and a dedicated rimfire bridges the gap between an empty gun and expensive centerfire loads.

I personally think that the closer your rimfire practice gun is to your actual carry gun, the better, because the movements you develop in practice will spill over to your carry gun. I really like my Ruger MKIII pistol and use it to practice marksmanship all the time. But when it comes to practicing drawing and firing, firing from the retention position, and anything else that involves personal defense-type shooting, I’m using a dedicated .22-caliber 1911 that functions exactly as my personal defense .45.

At first glance, you’d be hard pressed to see a difference between the Chiappa and a Beretta. They even fit the same holsters. Two versions are available–Standard and Tactical. The Standard is just that–standard. It comes with wood or black plastic stocks and drift-adjustable sights. The Tactical comes with only black plastic stocks, has Novak-style fiber-optic sights, and for those who like a little “cool factor,” a fake suppressor.

We had a chance to shoot the Chiappa M9-22 at Media Day. When it comes to how closely the Chicappa replicates the real thing, the best judge of our group was George Wehby who carried a Beretta M9 as a Marine, and a Beretta 92 FS as a Prince Georges County, MD, police officer.

Wehby was adamant that this semi-auto has the same heft and balance as its 9mm counterpart (it weighs within two ounces) that he carried for years saying, “ The way it feels; yes, they got it.” Controls are identical to the Berretta right down to the safety lever that functions as a decocker. Wehby was also impressed with the single-action trigger pull, and thought the double-action was a valiant effort, but remarked that the 92 is Beretta’s “baby” and that Chiappa is not going to beat them there. The safety lever also was not as crisp as Wehby remembers the Beretta, saying it felt “thick” and seemed to hang up some. When those issues were brought up to Chiappa, they acknowledged the double-action pull and replied were still tweaking it.

There are a lot of good rimfire pistols on the market, but the closer one is to your actual defensive gun, the more readily your practice transitions to the real deal. Sure, there’s a lot to be said for having a rimfire conversion to install on your actual defensive gun, but I’m equally a fan of a dedicated gun if for no other reason than it’s an excuse to buy another gun. If you’re one of the many people who use an M9 or Model 92 variant, Chiappa’s dedicated M9-22 is one option to consider for economical practice.

{ 28 comments… add one }
  • lyle knaack February 12, 2016, 1:36 pm

    I have tried many holsters for this gun and none fit. I have went as far as trying my Sheriffs service holster, No fit! The statement in this review is wrong as far as it says the Chiappa uses the same holster as the Beretta.

  • max hoyle December 4, 2015, 12:58 pm

    The haippa that I had was an jam a matic that would fire out of battery, splitting cases an scareing the hell of me!

  • Johnny Callaway January 29, 2014, 5:14 pm

    Bought one of these Chiappa m9-22. Worst purchase that I ever made. The pistol doesn’t cycle well. The only way that it fires is single action not double action. Only 200 rounds fired. What a piece a crap. Shame on me for buying junk. Never will do that again……looking forward to hear your input.

  • Tom December 12, 2013, 2:16 pm

    I’ve put over a 1000 rounds through mine, mostly cheap ammo (it’s all I have because of the ammo shortage). Things I’ve noticed (listed bad to good):
    1. Grease, oil, lubricate the crap out of this gun all along the slide rail. Because it’s a .22, the recoil spring doesn’t have enough oomph to get back to battery if there’s any friction in the slide.
    2. Mine does NOT like full magazines. If I load a full 10 rounds in the mag, the second round (first chambered by the pistol’s action) will ftf. The magazine spring has enough difference between 9 rounds and 8 that it causes the round to tip up in the magazine before the slide tries to strip it and it 3-point jams. It seems that a little longer feed lips would help keep the round down, but I don’t have a good solution to this other than to load 9 instead of 10 in each mag. With full mags, I get an FTF more than half the time (2nd round only), with 9 rounds loaded I get an ftf about 1 out of every 20 magazines, again almost exclusively the 2 round in the magazine.
    3. Also, having a full magazine, the slide won’t always go home by using the slide catch/release for the first round, sometimes it has to be tapped forward whereas if I use a magazine with 9 rounds, it seems there’s just enough force in the recoil spring to not cause an issue.
    4. Failures to eject. Yes, it happens, not often. Maybe about once every 5 mags or so. Generally I have found this happens when the gun is dirty. I find that if I drop some CLP on the rails every 50 rounds or so, I don’t get a problem. Again, I’m using cheap ammo, the one time I used CCIs I didn’t have this problem.
    5. Failure to fire. For me this is an ammo problem. About 1 out of 50 rounds I get a dud on first strike. Extract, turn the round and re-chamber and they’ve always gone off. The big problem here is that the extractor doesn’t work if the round doesn’t fire, so pulling on the rim of a .22 makes me queasy to say the least. The rounds don’t usually fall out because (I think) the lead is already engaging the rifling.
    6. FTE/FTF. I’ve had it happen 5 or so times when the spent casing falls/ricochets back into the well as the slide is going forward. One of those times it went under the round being chambered and caused a 3 point that took a few minutes to safely clear. Another time the spent shell was reversed and to the left side of the round being chambered and I didn’t see it for a good 30 seconds while trying to figure out why the slide wouldn’t go forward. I don’t know what to blame this on, extractor?

    Not a problem but:
    7. Wood grips are way too thick. I bought this to supplement training with my 92F at a cheaper cost. Because of these grips, it does not have the same feel. Worse, it does not take regular Beretta grips and I can’t order Chiappa M9-22 plastic grips. I have an email in to their customer support.
    8. Double action trigger pull is at least double the weight of the Beretta. Single action trigger pull is spot on however.
    9. Safety/Decock action is not as smooth as the Beretta. I don’t notice much of a difference taking the safety to off, but placing the safety on is very noticeable.

    The good news:
    1. Accuracy. It’s not a competition pistol, I know that (I shot competition .22 and air pistol for years). But I’m impressed that I get good accuracy out of this pistol.
    2. Weight, feel (other than grips) and dimensions are good at replicating the M9. I use the same kydex holster and it retains the same.
    3. Shooting .22 is always a big money advantage to shooting 9mm. After about 1000 rounds, I think I’ve got my return on investment.
    4. FTF/FTE training. My Beretta doesn’t jam on the range so I don’t get failure training, although clearing malfunctions in the Chiappa is a bit different than the Beretta.

  • Donald May October 20, 2013, 8:16 pm

    do not buy a chiappa m9-22 junk got one i clean it . it shoot the first 10rds it stovepipe and that was it now it going back hope i can get my money back

  • Jacob March 24, 2013, 3:32 pm

    I purchased the m9-22 today. I tried to fire about one hundred rounds through it and probably had about thirty fte’s and ten ftf’s. I’m hoping it’s just a break in period or bad ammo. Has anyone kept with this gun and put a serious amount of ammo through it to see if it is a break in process? I also noticed some heavy scrapes in the barrel and I think it’s from the tear down process.

    • Ralph June 5, 2013, 12:22 pm

      Got the M9-22 a few days ago. I have read a lot of bad reviews about the ftf’s and fte’s. I to had the same problem with the first 50 rounds ( federal bulk ammo). Then I tried cci min mags. 0 fte’s and 1 ftf’s out of 100. It also seems to like Remington gold, after 250 rounds I gave federal a try again same issue as I first had. Seems this gun wants good quality ammo and some break in time.

  • Jack Pevey December 13, 2012, 12:38 pm

    I bought a Chiappa M9-22 the other day. I wanted to field strip & remvoe the grip panels. While cleaning it, the trigger transfer bar fell of. After puting the gun back together, it will not “DOUBLE ACTION”. Where dit I go wrong.???????? Thx. Jack

  • Howard Walth August 6, 2012, 8:55 pm

    I thought I’d add my experience with the Cheappa M9-22. I put less than 50 rounds of quality ammo through it. It started out working well, but soon after the slide never stayed back when the clip was empty, rounds misfed, rounds didn’t eject. Most of all, the pistol completely stopped firing. There is an issue with the firing pin where it puts a very small divet in the rim of the cartridge, but not enough to make it fire. Fortunately, my dealer is giving me credit for it towards the purchase of a MUCH BETTER pistol. I would recommend staying far, far away from this piece of junk.

  • Rob May 31, 2012, 9:03 pm

    Still no gun. I will call them tomorrow to see how things are comming along. I would rather wait 4 months for a gun that works then to ship a second gun back to the factory. I was thinking about dropping by the factory one week on my way to or from Michigan, I’m not sure how that would go over.

  • Brian Sindelar May 26, 2012, 12:25 pm

    I bought one with several defects (misaligned glued-in barrel liner) and misaligned firing pin that barely struck the edge of the cartridge rim. Sent in back and received a replacement. It soon began to fire 3-4 shots per trigger pull, also many jams and f-t-fs. Sent it back and gave up on the M9-22. Poor quality and poor performance. On the plus side, it handled and felt just like my Beretta and is a spitting image other than the shape of the plastic grips. I was disappointed in having to give up on the Chiappa. I handled some of their other firearms as the SHOT Show and was impressed with quality of several of their western style guns. The 1911 clone is a real dog, however. I am now reluctant to buy Chiappa. The Colt Umarex-Walther 1911 clone that I now have is terrific.

    • Rob May 31, 2012, 9:12 pm

      Cool, full auto!

  • Rob May 15, 2012, 8:56 pm

    Still no gun! I didn’t think it would take this long for a replacement.

  • Rob schlotterbeck April 3, 2012, 4:57 pm

    Update, I contacted the factory today to inquire about turnaround time for repairs. They stated that my original M9 had a problem during manufacturing and when the next productions come in they would ship me a brand new gun. When I get the new M9-22 I will let everyone know how there new production model is working.

  • Rob March 14, 2012, 7:22 am

    I paid $330 out the door, after 23 shots the thing went back to the factory in Daton Ohio. Did you notice the paint scraping off the barrel too? After the 23 rounds the paint was gone all the way to bare steel. In some of your photos I see this issue but not sure how many shots it took to get it to that point! I liked the gun for the day I had it, if the gun comes back from the factory with all the problems fixed I will love it. I just have a feeling the paint being scrapped off the barrel will be an issue for a long time to come.

    • Robert Schlotterbeck March 25, 2012, 7:26 pm

      Scott Mayer,
      I notice the top photo in your review has the same issue I had with my M9-22, just behind the front site post the paint is missing on either side of the barrel? The other thing I noticed was this was not mentioned in your review? How many shots did it take to remove the paint where the steel (Chiappa metal) would show, mine took about 20 shots to make it look the same as yours. Did you ask the factory about this problem? If so what did they tell you? Chiappa told me mine was the first time issue they seen like this. I know this shouldn’t be the case because yours looks as bad as mine, the Chiappa YouTube video where they are shooting a real M9 and the M9-22 in the same frame has again the same scraped paint missing from the barrel. Like I said, I contacted Chiappa about this problem and wanted to know if you (As a gun reviewer) have reported this problem to the customer support line at Chiappa? Any additional information from your origination about your experience with this M9-22 would be helpful. I only had my firearm for a day before sending it back to Chiappa in Dayton. I’m a little surprised to not see anything listed in your review about this (what I would consider an important defect) obvious quality issue. I read your review before ordering this $330.00 firearm, if I would have been informed of this before buying this Chiappa M9 I would have spent my money on a different plinker. I’m sorry I seam upset but I thought gun reviewers were to inform posiable buyers of the defects they experienced while testing firearms, to have photos of an issue (that is hard to see if you wernt looking for them) and not inform your readers is disturbing to say the least. I would hope to get a reply but expect to have this post removed as soon as it is noticed.

    • Donald May October 20, 2013, 8:29 pm

      only 10 shoots these guns suck

  • Gary Scallorn January 23, 2012, 8:43 pm

    Will the M9-22 be in the gun store’s yet? I haven’t looked here in Nashville Tennessee yet. How many rounds does
    the factory mag hold? I never would beleive Beretta would build a gun under $400.00???? It looks nice!!!! I have
    2 of the 92’s, & 0ne 96. I think they are fine built Weapons!!!!!! For the money!!!! I really enjoy you keeping us
    up to date on all the products. Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!

    • Administrator January 23, 2012, 8:52 pm

      It isn’t a Beretta. It is a Chiappa, ask your dealer to call MKS Supply.

  • Vince Radzieski January 23, 2012, 2:48 pm

    Thanks Scott

  • Scott Mayer January 23, 2012, 12:24 pm

    Suggested retail on the basic M9-22 is $319. Yes, they do have 1911s. If you go to the main Guns America page and search “Chiappa” you’ll see several listed for sale.

  • Robert Goldman January 23, 2012, 10:37 am

    Nice. Is the fake suppressor treaded and what is rifling pitch? Retail? Thanks.

  • Vince Radzieski January 23, 2012, 10:24 am

    What is the MSRP and availability?

  • Michael Collums January 23, 2012, 8:24 am

    Will you be selling the Chiappa M9-22 and if so how much? Also, do they have a 45 in a 1911? Again
    where and how much can it be purchased for?
    Michael Collums

    • bruce Swartz January 23, 2012, 10:10 am

      I’m an FFL in Nebraska. Have the Chiappa 1911 on hand and will ship for $310.00 New in Box 2 clips.

  • TwoGunMojo January 23, 2012, 8:17 am

    As with Chiappa’s 1911-22 this looks to be a Bruni/Voltran/Kimar/Ekol 9mm P.A.K. replica blank firing gun converted to fire 22 LR. Having used these replicas for years now, I can say they are pretty nice!

  • Boyce Hamer January 23, 2012, 7:56 am

    Looks like they did everything but a threaded barrel. How much?

  • Gabriel January 23, 2012, 7:50 am

    So, are these shipping yet?

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