9mm Rimfire Shotgun – Chiappa Little Badger Review

 

This week, I’ve played with a gun that is way outside the norm. From Chiappa, we are looking at what may be the smallest of the Italian shotguns. Ever. When this gun first came up for review, I had no idea what 9mm Flobert was, so don’t feel bad if you have never heard of it either. It is a very common European cartridge but is almost unheard of here in the U.S.A.

9mm Flobert is named after Louis-Nicholas Flobert, inventor of the first rimfire metallic cartridge in 1845. The chambering is common in what Europeans refer to as “garden guns”, so named because they are appropriate for garden pests. The payload is so small, some people will even shoot them inside greenhouses. In fact, they are even common in places that you aren’t allowed to own guns. While I was unwilling to test it on my big toe, it is safe to say 9mm Flobert would be less than lethal on human-sized targets in all but the most unlikely of instances.

So what is it good for? Rats or mice in the garden, obviously. It is also used for a peculiar type of hunting. It seems that some delicacies in Northern Italy are made from very small birds, and blasting them with anything else would ruin the meat. A similar sized gun has even been used to shoot moths and other insects, for use later in display.

I was concerned when I got this gun that there wouldn’t be a use for normal Americans, aside from the cool factor. I wasn’t sure rimfire and shotgun would play in the land of punt guns and Dodge Hellcats. But that proved unfounded. There are a few factors about this Little Badger that are actually really nice.

First off, I was able to break static clay pigeons to 20 meters, so it isn’t entirely useless for that. In fact, I would wager that training with the Flobert will make even your 410 game stronger.

Second, for youth training, this thing is awesome. Not only do you get a nice, wood stocked, Italian gun, you get one the right size. The Little Badger is tiny, under 3 pounds. The recoil is non-existent, a must for little ones. And my favorite part, it is very close or below hearing safe. I didn’t have a decibel meter with me, but I take my hearing seriously. The noise produced by the 9mm Flobert is significantly less than a 22 LR, enough that I felt hearing protection was unnecessary. Probably best to double check that with the serious European gun nerds, but it is my belief after shooting it.

As far as safety goes, I like that in the Little Badger too. The shotgun uses an external hammer, that must be manually cocked. And as a single shot, it has the built-in safety against other shenanigans.

Is this gun right for everyone? No. Not even close. But it does have some benefits, and for a certain segment, it is absolutely right. If you are a shotgun guy, check in with Century Arms now. Because these aren’t going to last long.

Visit Century Arms for more information on the Little Badger by clicking here.  Century Arms is bundling 1000 round of 9mm Flobert with each Chiappa Little Badger. MSRP is $475.99

 

***Shop GunsAmerica for your next Chiappa shotgun***

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Left Target: 9mm Flobert at 10 meters. Right Target: 12 Gauge #8 shot at 10 meters.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • ejharb June 15, 2018, 11:10 pm

    Fine and dandy but I think the cents per round cost is going to rival .410. Most will go for a .410 over a .360,lol. Also .410 can be reloaded.a .360 rim fire not so.

  • Alex Zermeno May 31, 2018, 9:59 am

    Well Century is no help about the $475 package. It’s a contact your Century dealer, of which there is none within 200 miles of me. Sheesh Take my money!

  • Norm May 29, 2018, 12:21 pm

    I grew up using a Remington 121SB and I am here to tell you that the .22 rimfire shot cartridge is all but worthless . . . And that’s from a firearm that was designed for it. In a .22 pistol or rifle that goes doubly so. The rifling spins the shot into a pattern resembling the Milky Way, leaving a hole in the center one can throw a cat through, unharmed. As for acquiring one I think I’ll pass. My .410 is quite adequate for the tasks it has been assigned: squirrels and snakes. When less power is called for, I go with the 2 1/2″ shells.

  • Cyrus May 29, 2018, 7:09 am

    . . . trying to figure out what this rifle does that my 10/22 or 22 cal pistol can’t do with a 22 cal shotgun load that is common in all stores that sell ammo.

  • Shawn May 28, 2018, 10:14 pm

    Flobert is correctly pronounced Flow-bear.

  • Blue Dog May 28, 2018, 7:57 pm

    Cute! What do you get the gun guy who has everything?

  • Beachhawk May 28, 2018, 7:08 pm

    To paraphrase other more intelligent writers, this gun is a solution in search of a problem.

  • Todd May 28, 2018, 11:49 am

    Cool!

    I didn’t know the firearms OR ammunition were still manufactured.
    I let a sweet vintage Flobert go in the past for giving up on ammo. Wasn’t 9mm but back then, I didn’t know the 9 was still available either.

    Todd.

  • Kevin McCarhty May 28, 2018, 11:21 am

    This seems to be an instant love it or hate it thing. I love it for training young and new shooters. I live in Alaska – a place where you go grouse or ptarmigan hunting in the morning and come back with a 5 gallon pail mostly full by 10:30am. First thing I thought of after reading this – I want a 10/22 chambered in this, or perhaps a 7 shot pump, and, a single action revolver!! This would be awesome for birding. Of course, for big bear…. you would need an AR-15 with a 40rd mag…. that way if you shot off all the claws and teeth, worse the bear could do is sit on ya or gum ya to death.

  • Darry Hartsock May 28, 2018, 10:11 am

    They make 9mm rimfire ball ammo too. My Anschutz garden gun will shoot both. Will this shoot the ball ammo safely??

  • Benny Teague May 28, 2018, 7:29 am

    Hmm….. It would be nice if it had enough power to kill pesky Squirrels in my backyard and not just wound them.

    • BB May 28, 2018, 10:20 am

      Wounded squirrel is soon to be dead squirrel. Good part is they will go off to die and you will seldom have to pick them up to diepose.

  • Ted May 28, 2018, 6:53 am

    9 mm Flobert shotguns may be hard to find on this side of the pond, but thankfully the ammo is easy to get. Handy round for when you do not want to upset the neighbors. Thank you for writing about it! As a side note, Winchester briefly made a bolt-action 9 mm Flobert single shot shotgun back in the 1920s (model 36) and it was a flop. Great little gun, just not anything Americans really wanted back then or since.

    • Lee Yaun May 28, 2018, 11:20 am

      My grandfather had one of those Winchester models when he was 9 years old in South Georgia. He shot quail with it. I have it now. Very small, and the shells were paper and tiny. Was really neat reading about this. Thanks for adding your comment about the Winchester.

  • Rod May 28, 2018, 6:07 am

    I think I’ll just keep loading 4.5 gr Bullseye in Speer shot capsules with 12 shot, .38 / .357 Mag.

    Starlings (flying Rats) fear me.

  • Terry May 28, 2018, 3:38 am

    Only use I can think of is a snake gun (diamondbacks) for backyards in Southwest subdivisions. Quieter than a .410 or .38 snake shot, although not as quiet as a sharp shovel with a 5 foot handle. How about trap using pingpong balls? 🙂

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