Taofledermaus Reviews The Chiappa M1-9 Carbine

The M1 Carbine is certainly one of the most iconic American small arms of all time; historical photos chronicling everything from the storming of D-Day to Malcolm X depict the gun in action. It’s therefore no wonder that gun companies are eager to introduce replicas of the famous Carbine. One such replica introduced recently is the Chiappa M1-9, an unusual replica in that it fires 9mm Parabellum ammunition, rather than the more common .22 LR or the .30 Carbine of the more faithful reproductions. In a recent review, YouTuber Taofledermaus doesn’t seem too impressed with Chiappa’s Carbine, however:

In the review, the rifle demonstrates inconsistent functioning with factory ammo, suffering from several failures to feed and eject, and Tao notes the rifle has an exceptionally strong return spring despite firing a fairly mild round. Besides these problems, the rifle isn’t a faithful replica to the original. A prominent bar connecting the operating rod to a counterpart on the other side of the receiver betrays that the rifle uses a simple blowback mechanism, instead of the tappet gas system and rotary bolt of the original Carbine. Unfortunately, this (for me, at least) significantly hampers ability of the Chiappa Carbine to “look the part”, and with the inconsistent functioning Tao experienced, that makes it fairly hard to recommend.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • Wetcoaster

    I remember reading owners reviews of the fidgety functioning up here (Canada).

    I wonder if Chiappa might have tried to save costs by keeping the same receiver dimensions as their M1-22, leaving insufficient clearance in the receiver for the bolt to cycle without hitting the receiver unless an exceptionally strong return spring was used (in turn causing FTEs and FTLs when firing softer ammo)

  • iksnilol

    That’s a shame, if it worked properly I wouldn’t mind paying the extra money to get one reviewed in Norway so that I could have one for hunting.

    Will have to “settle” for a pump action or something.

    • wetcorps

      Is there such a thing as a 9mm pump action? That would be pretty cool.

      • iksnilol

        No… but, I could build one. At the very least design one and have somebody better build one.

        Main interest is because of the fact that .22 LR can’t be used for rabbit hunting in Norway. And i really don’t want to use a shotgun (they’re kinda loud). + getting my hands on one of the few Marlin Camp Carbines is expensive and hard since they stopped making them a long time ago + they are the only hunting legal pistol caliber semi-auto.

        So something manual action in 9×19 that uses pistol mags would be nice… preferably integrally suppressed. I looked at the various bolt actions but would prefer a pump for ambidextrous operation.

        • Bear The Grizzly

          Might I inquire as to why you’re not allowed hunt rabbit with 22lr? The little fur puffs I’m used to could be easily killed with a cheap slingshot, I’d think anything from a gun would be enough to stop their vegetarian rampage.

          • iksnilol

            The law. In Norway you can use .22 LR on animals up to and including the size of rabbit but not rabbit.

          • HenryV

            What about trolls? 🙂

          • iksnilol


            Or, I wouldn’t recommend it, you call one of your elderly friends who goes on hunting safaris in Africa. Be warned, he will show up with a .375 H&H with a short barrel (like 55 cm) equipped with a muzzle brake.

          • HenryV

            I was thinking of something by Bofors to be honest….. 🙂

          • iksnilol

            Oh, you meant the big trolls.

            We don’t hunt them anymore, something about them being able to sense the blood of religious people. Nowadays we just call the army, they swoop in and fix stuff.

            I mean, the average person doesn’t have the budget to hunt the big trolls.

          • HenryV

            I want to make a joke about Americans and big game that might fight back but I won’t because I think too much of them. 😉

          • iksnilol

            Eh, do the fat people at Walmart count?

          • HenryV

            Steady! 🙂

        • Phil Elliott

          Already saw a couple of these on sale at Gander Mountain used guns.

      • People started making pump-action M1 carbine conversions around 1963-64. You remove the tappet and plug its hole. Then you attach a pump handle to the block at the end of the op-rod.

        • iksnilol

          That’s very interesting, thanks for the info. Might come in handy.

          • Of course, if you combine a caliber conversion with a pump-action or straight-pull M1 Carbine, you wouldn’t even need to fabricate the gas block for the new barrel anyway.

            Check this link for a 1964 vintage article from Gun World magazine showing a pump-action conversion:


  • Bear The Grizzly

    It always hurts me when gun manufacturers make unique and interesting weapons, but they make the thing into a steaming pile of dung only useful for a conversation piece.

    • lucusloc

      I wanted a Rhino so badly. . . I just did not want a steaming pile or Rhino poo, but unfortunately that seems to be all that Chiappa can make. . .

      • iksnilol


        I sorta want one, only revolver I really want (except a top break with a M47 Medusa cylinder, but that’s a pipe dream).

        • lucusloc

          Quality issues, same with everything else from chiappa. I have heard everything from bad timing issues to bad hammer springs to grips that were just not quite actually attached. . .

          • iksnilol

            Ah man, that’s a bummer akin to a stubbed toe. :/

            But it seems workable, I mean, “just” get a smith to look over it and polish it up. It’s just I really like the design, + the 9mm conversion cylinder would make it economical to shoot.

          • lucusloc

            Yeah, that what a lot of people i read about did, but it winds up being really expensive since (judging from their pricing) Chiappa seems to think they are a high mid market brand, not a cheap knockoff brand that sometimes does something original. You wind up paying a premium for the gun out of the box, and then another premium to have a gunsmith make it work right. For something as unique as the Rhino, some may find it worth it, but for most of their generic crap you can get way better for sometimes a lot less.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, it becomes especially hard to justify considering I can find an used Colt Python for almost half the price of a new Rhino.

            Screw it though, I really like the 6 o’clock barrel and the flat cylinder.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Unfortunately, Chiappa decided to become the Taurus of Europe.

        • Darren Hruska

          That’s funny that you mentioned that. Just a few days ago, I had that thought going through my head. A top-break M47 Medusa-esque revolver, but with the bore at six o’ clock. But yeah, “pipe dream.” Not many are willing to try much outside of what already works and is proven.

          • lucusloc

            A big reason for that is that a lot of the strange and innovative designs have been tried and found lacking. Top breaks, for example, do not offer as much strength, yet require more manufacturing. So you basically get less capability for more work. Bottom bore revolvers also crop up quite frequently throughout history and then fade slowly away. It seems that the extra inch in clearance from the cylinder gap that a top bore gives you make a wold of difference for the shooter if you have an oops moment with your grip, so bottom bores wind up being a niche market for competition shooters and collectors.

  • DetroitMan

    The 9mm is a mild round compared to the .30 Carbine. I’m not surprised it’s giving them trouble. It seems like this conversion would require some serious re-engineering of the weapon and Chiappa only went half way. It’s too bad, because it would be nice to have an M1 Carbine replica in a chambering that is cheaper and easier to find than the original. 10mm might be a better fit than 9mm though.

    • For the record, mechanically the M1-9 has nothing in common with the M1 Carbine.

      • DetroitMan

        Right. I watched the video before I posted. Like I said, they tried to re-engineer it and only went half way. I think they would have been better off keeping the original mechanism instead of the kludge-fest they assembled. I’m not a firearms engineer, but I think it would be possible to tune a gas piston system to work with a pistol cartridge. I suggested the 10mm because the whole thing might need a little more energy to run than the 9mm can provide.

        • Oh, I misunderstood what you were saying, sorry.

          I think an M1 Carbine mechanism adapted to fire 9mm (and appropriately scaled down) would be slick as hell.

          • DetroitMan

            Agreed. The M1 Carbine is still very handy and has good ergonomics. I was impressed that Chiappa used a commonly available pistol magazine instead of something proprietary. I was pleasantly surprised to see the 2nd generation carbine sights (hopefully re-calibrated for 9mm). Clearly some good thought went into this product, which makes the mess they made of the action more puzzling.

          • iksnilol

            You’re surprised Italians used Beretta mags?

          • DetroitMan

            They bucked a nasty trend of creating new firearms that use a proprietary magazine that is expensive and only available from the OEM. I’m not surprised since Beretta adopted the same very sensible solution for the CX4 carbine. I said I was impressed by the choice, not surprised.

          • iksnilol

            That I did not know.

          • iksnilol

            Isn’t the M1 Carbine mechanism also really lightweight? Would be a very handy carbine.


          • Brian Fulmer

            It’s a handy 5lb weapon with almost 1000 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. At 300 yard the 110 gr projectile is still pushing 1000+ fps and has 38 SPL pistol power. My sons both loved the Carbine when they were little, once they hit 12 it was Mauser’s and Mosin-Nagants.

        • lucusloc

          I read your comment, and I take umbrage with your choice of words. Chiappa did not “re-engineer” anything (and I am hesitant to say the even “engineered”, I think “bodged” would be a more appropriate term). They took a poorly thought out blowback firearm and dressed it up to look like an M1. Take the stock off and you would not have anything to suggest a link to the original gun, you would just have a trashy 9mm carbine with feed issues (fresh out of the box!).

          • Rick5555

            Well said.

    • mosinman

      yup it’s blowback not gas operated like the original

  • wetcorps

    Come on Chiappa apply yourself 🙁
    They always have cool concepts and somehow manage to half-ass them in the end.

  • Plumbiphilious

    Thank you very much for the summary blurb at the bottom. It really helps me out since I drop in and out of TFB at work, and most certainly don’t want to watch a youtube vid and blow my cover.

  • Matthew

    Sadly, the thing looks like an absolute waste of money. I’d been pretty interested in one, as it takes mags that I already have, has aperture sights, and had a cool wooden stock. I was very disappointed to see this fail so hard.. Ah well. I’ll just buy a CX4 or something that will take my 92FS magazines if I decide I need another PCC.

  • Vitsuas

    I’m shocked, a budget brand company that made a gun with function issues.

  • ghost


  • Jeff Smith

    Rats. I was seriously considering buying one. I hope they redesign it and get the kinks worked out.

  • Alex

    Tao keeps mentioning how he misses the bolt hold open of the M1 carbine – both the last round bolt hold open and the manual bolt hold open. As far as I know, the M1 carbine didn’t have a last round bolt hold open, but rather a manual bolt hold open of dubious value. The M2 had magazines with LRBHO followers, but that only served to inform the shooter that the firearm was empty since the bolt would close when the magazine was dropped.

  • taofledermaus

    I hope other channels will take the time to review this too. I was going in blind when I bought this since the only videos of this gun were some short clips of people shooting off a few rounds. One of the problems with (some) gun reviewers is they have an obligation to post favorable reviews and omit any negative issues since they would burn their bridges to get more guns to review.

  • Jim

    Too bad as I would really like to have had this M-1 replica in 9mm. I wonder how the model in original .30 cal. if it is reliable then I would certainly consider buying one as this is an iconic firearm.

    • JarHead

      Jim, I have a new one that is made by the original manufacturer…I have only taken it to the range so far, and not hunting yet, but so far it is an awesome shooter! And the ammo isn’t all that expensive here (US) either…