Rifles > Semi-Auto

The Citadel M1-22

This sub-caliber replica of the iconic M1 provides historic fun.


Everybody needs at least one hero. My father is mine for many reasons. One of those reasons was because of his service to our country. He enlisted just before the outbreak of the Korean War. They pulled all his teeth in basic training and up until he was shot multiple times and returned to the States, he had to gum everything he ate. I remember Dad telling me he carried an M1 Carbine in Korea and for most of my life that's how I pictured him when I thought about him as a soldier.

The M1 Carbine uses a short-stroke, gas-piston action and was used extensively by the U.S. military during World War II. This compact rifle, which fired a .30 caliber, 110- grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of about 1,950 fps was not all that popular with troops when it came to putting down the enemy. But, many enjoyed carrying it because it was lightweight and compact. Still, the M1 Carbine is an iconic American military firearm and is quite popular with both recreational shooters and collectors.

Chiappa Firearms is part of the Chiappa Group, which is an industrial corporation based in Italy, and is made up of several companies. The Citadel M1-22 is manufactured in Italy by Chiappa Firearms and distributed in the U.S. through Legacy Sports International, LLC.

When I pulled the M1-22 from the box I was excited to see how accurately it copied the original M1 Carbine; there's even a bayonet lug and the oiler/sling slot in the stock. Of course, this rifle is chambered for the .22 LR, which is what makes it so unique. Sure, the .30 Carbine is fun to shoot but for what a box of .30 Carbine ammo costs, you can shoot the Chiappa M1-22 all day long. And, unapologetically, that's what my son and I did.

There was one issue with the M1-22. The extractor did not function properly; it would not always pull an unfired cartridge from the chamber. I contacted Chiappa and found out the rifle I received for testing was one of the first production models. A replacement was sent out post haste and Chiappa assured the problem had been identified and corrected. The company was right, as the second rifle extracted flawlessly. The little carbine ran like a top and shot well, considering the heavy trigger pull that was just a shade over 8 pounds.

From a rest at 25 yards using the open sights, which consist of a fully adjustable rear aperture and a post front, 2-inch groups were common with all loads tested. The 10-round magazines were easy to load, insert and remove from the rifle and the action was easy to operate. My 12-year-old son had no problems loading or shooting the M1-22.

The trigger issue notwithstanding, this is a firearm retailing for less than $400. Still, the trigger could have been better. Secondly, unlike original M1 Carbines, .22 rifles are of a blowback design and tend to push a lot of powder debris out the rear of the chamber. With most .22 rifles the action is covered on top and excess gas and debris are contained in the action or bleed out the side ejection port. With the M1-22 all this excess gas and powder is blown up and back toward the shooter. You can feel it hitting you in the face.

This is not necessarily a flaw of the Citadel M1-22, rather an inherent problem with the M1 Carbine action—when converted to a blow back design—which Chiappa has copied. The only way Chiappa could circumvent this condition would have been to redesign the M1 action to a side eject version, which would of course circumvented the duplicity of the M1 Carbine. The answer? Chiappa could possibly craft a shield on the bolt or receiver to help divert some of this debris away from the shooter. Regardless, always wear shooting glasses when shooting the Chiappa M1-22 or any firearm for that matter.

In all, this is a neat little semi-automatic .22 rifle that, for most practical purposes, is better than one of the originals in .30 Carbine. Not only is it less expensive to shoot, its lighter and still maintains the historical mystique. And, if you remove the rear aperture sight you'll find a dovetail in the receiver so you can mount a riflescope. Kids should have no trouble with the Citadel M1-22 due to its light heft. If Chiappa will correct the heavy trigger, this is would be a  really nice little .22 plinker.

Manufacturer: Chiappa Firearms, www.chiappafirearms.com
Importer: Legacy Sports International, LLC; www.legacysports.com
Model: M1-22
Chambering: .22 Long Rifle
Barrel: 18”
Length of Pull: 13”
Length: 35”
Weight: 4 lbs., 10 ozs. (unloaded)
Stock: Hardwood
Capacity: 10 (Ships with two, detachable, 10-round magazines.)
Suggested Retail Price: $ 399

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20 Responses to The Citadel M1-22

Ted Percle wrote:
February 21, 2014

Having failure to extract, failure to feed.. All this before I even fired the rifle. Called Chiappa they said Must be the ammo you are using. Then they said the problem is you need to fire the rifle because it is a partial blow back and it the extractor needes the help of the fired round to help it extract. sounds lame to me but am off to the back yard to fire it.

Jon wrote:
January 15, 2014

After reading all the comments I can answer some of them. The company admitted the plastic sights are not the best. However with a trip to SARCO for a U.S. G. I. front & rear sight and the locking shim and pin it can be done. The barrel is smaller but you can go to McMasterCarr for bearing shims for the front sight. You might as well add the real barrel guard and get the barrel shims for that too. The front sight takes a little work. Dremel the I.D. size to the correct size of the barrel. Drill & Tap the bearing shim to fit the old plastic sight set screw hole. Once in place mount the real front sight without the lock & pin. Once you are lined up mark the square hole from the front sight to the bearing shim. Remove the front sight and Dremel a notch for the square locking post in the bearing shim. Now you have the notch that is in the real M1 barrel. Then put it together like a real M1 Carbine. The rear is a 'Dove Tail' so remove the plastic unit and slowly file the real steel sight until it will fit just snug. Don't hard punch the rear steel sight as the receiver is aluminum. Before installing the steel sight that now fits after filing use LocTight. BTW... The rear sling oiler for the sling will fit but you need to do a little wood work to get a stock sling through. It's the easy part. If you like to tinker it's worth it. Out of the box the front plastic sight is too tall so you must set the plastic rear for the 250 YD mark for average shooting ranges. Good luck. It's a fun gun!

Carmine wrote:
January 10, 2014

Where are the extended mags for this? Legacy was supposed to release them.

gene wrote:
November 25, 2013

received my citadel m1-22 from apocalypse arms and have fired 40 rounds through it. shoots great and only one miss fire operater generated. I carried one of the original ones in service from 9-1957 til 3 1959 all over Germany and in beruit Lebanon in 1958. my citadel feels the same as well as I remember. jeff gave me a great deal on mine and a lot less than advertised and much less than a real carbine. very happy

Jerry wrote:
October 08, 2013

Look for a Marlin 99 M2. If you can find one, you can probably get it for less than a Citadel, and have a much better gun!

adam wrote:
August 29, 2013

iv had mine for about 6 mouths and im having the same probloums as tim. Only it gets worse the more i shoot it. Wish i would have got a marlin or ruger but it does look good and its almost as light as my nylon 66

Tim wrote:
June 03, 2013

Just took mine out after months of waiting for it. Having pure hell. Safety failing (won't always engage to fire), fail to feed, fail to eject. Firing pin failing to set. Trigger pull is not great, but okay. It seems fairly accurate, when it would fire. Has anyone else had these issues? Does it take a "breaking in" period. All in all a bit disappointed. $400.00 for a 10 shot 22 with an awful lot of polymer parts is pricey. Looks cool, handles good, shoots straight... but none of that matters when the guns not working reliably! Was shooting Winchester high velocity hollow points. Hope they'll stand behind it and get it fixed for me.

michael wrote:
May 08, 2013

Dose it shoot as good as my remington nilon66? 14 rounds 1.5 inch shot group at 80 yard. Is there any way u can convert it to shoot .30cal

Chris wrote:
March 10, 2013

I just bought one yesterday $360.00 purchase. I need to send it back for some repairs, #1 safety does not work! #2 it does not eject the the empty casings #3 the rear site leaf does not stay still it is broken I should have looked it over better than I did. Now I hope the manufacturer repairs these problems, considering it is/was brand new in the box. On the better side it is a pretty replicated rifle and shoots straight... man I really hope this one is not a lemon.

Phil wrote:
March 02, 2013

Definitely wear glasses.... Actually, I even got one falling on my neck.... I just bought one, fired 300 rounds, and it works better and better. Trigger not so smooth, but I heard it will get better. 2 questions: - Is there a speed loader for the magazines? Can't find one... - Are there better disassembly instructions that the manual...especially for taking bolt and bolt carrier out? Thanks

Bob wrote:
January 21, 2013

Comments...Thanks for the blowback info. I believe I'll wait awhile & see if the problem is correcteed.

Mikey wrote:
January 17, 2013

As stated, never shoot this little gun without shooting glasses. First shot resulted to a trip to the doc, scratched cornea. So make the kids who shoot it wear glasses!

Dr. Bob wrote:
November 05, 2012

Just got mine after 5 months of waiting. Nice shooting - I did all within 6" at 20 yards, but I suck in general. The blowback I felt, yes. The other thing I don't like is the plastic sights, the front plastic sling attachment and the plastic bayonet mount. So no, don't think of mounting the M1 bayonet on this guy. Think I'll look to see if I can get M1 parts to replace the plastic.

John wrote:
August 18, 2012

Are any of M1 parts interchange with this M1-22? Also can this rifle have a flash hider put on it,too.

Shrek wrote:
July 19, 2012

I was in the Army Guard was activated after 911 served with a guy that had to have all his teeth pulled or he couldn't go. He didn't want us to go without him, God bless him, but now they make your dentist fill out a form that says your in good oral health and dont expext and problems within that fiscal year. Its become a big deal, seems Uncle Sam dosen't want to pay for anymore dental work especialy for the guard and researve when called up for active duty.

cookndad wrote:
July 15, 2012

The teeth must have been neglected and beyond saving. Some in my family don,t take time for good oral hygiene as well. I want to go out (eventually) with all my teeth still in place.

Buck wrote:
July 12, 2012

The blowback in the shooter's face is a fatal flaw. The overall concept is good. The rifle needs to go back to the design shop to eliminate the blowback issue.

mr.Tate wrote:
July 12, 2012

Can you attach a regular M1 Carbine bayonet on the M1-22?

Sopater wrote:
July 12, 2012

I second percynjpn's question.

percynjpn wrote:
July 11, 2012

Why on earth did they pull out all your father's teeth?