Chiappa Firearms 9mm Carbine

Post WWII Commercially Manufactured M1 Carbines

Manufacturer

Chiappa Firearms
Azzano Mella,
Italy


Registered Trademark of Armi Sport, Azzano Mella, Italy









 



The Model M1-9

Introduced in January 2014 as a 9mm caliber replica of the U.S. Caliber .30 Carbines, this carbine is somewhat unique in it's design to allow it to function with the 9mm cartridge.

Chiappa Model M1-9 Carbine
Ref. #CaliberStockGroovesTwist RateBarrel LengthOverall LengthWeightMagazine Capacity
500.1369mmwood61 in 1618"35"5.9 lbs10*
500.1379mmpolymer (black)61 in 1618"35"5.9 lbs10*
  *Beretta 92 compatible magazines

The Parkerized type finish is a proprietary finish developed by Chiappa for use on both aluminum and steel parts.

The Chiappa website indicates ""Components are CNC machined and are interchangeable with original M1 parts." Their manual for this carbine has been through several revisions with varying instructions on disassembly which will be covered at the end of this page. The 2015 rendition indicates "...the stock is interchangeable with the original."

Neither of these claims are accurate. While a few small parts are interchangeable with their counterparts designed during WWII this does not include the major components including the stock, handguard, barrel, slide, bolt, trigger housing, magazine catch or hammer which are specific to this replica. The few GI parts that will work will require modifications for the weapon to function properly. One example is the rear sight. The receiver is made of aluminum with a dovetail machined using the metric system. Replacing the rear sight with a milled steel or stamped steel sight made for the U.S. Carbines can damage the receiver if not hand fitted carefully. Additional details related to interchangeability will be provided in the narrative below.

The purpose of this page and this website are historical and documentary in nature. While the design of this firearm will not appeal to some it simply is what it is, a 9mm replica of the U.S. .30 Caliber Carbines produced during WWII. This is not the first replica produced for the 9mm cartridge. Iver Johnson Arms in Jacksonville, AR produced a 9mm version in 1985 and 1986. A page has been devoted to the Iver Johnson Arms 9mm carbine and can be viewed here.

Ammunition

Due to slight variations in pressure caused by the various powders used by different ammunition manufacturers a number of semi-automatic firearms may work better with one type of ammunition than another. If you are experiencing feeding, extraction and/or ejection problems after a break-in period of about 250 rounds try using ammunition from a different manufacturer.

! Notice !

The photographs below required a complete disassembly of this carbine. Before attempting any disassembly please refer to the section of Disassembly/Reassembly at the bottom of this page for further information.

Action

The action operates on the straight blowback principal, eliminating the need for a rotating and locking bolt. The gases generated
when firing a cartridge are contained within the chamber of the steel barrel by the steel bolt, assisted by the weight of the steel
slide. The weight of slide is supported by use of a steel barrel band bolted to the front of the slide. The majority of other parts
were made of plastic and aluminum. Further details on each part are included below under the heading for each parts group.

Chiappa part numbers are present on many of the parts.


Receiver Group


The receiver was cast using aluminum.


The Chiappa M1-9 is manufactured in Italy. The proof testing marks of the National Proof House of Gardone Val Trompia, Brescia, Italy
are located on the top of the receiver forward of the bolt and on the bolt itself. Left to right: 1) Italian date code CM = 2014 ;
2) symbol of the armory Gardone Val Trompia, Brescia, Italy; 3) symbol indicating the test was conducted using Nitro based gun powder



Note the open holes along the path of the recoil spring and recoil spring guide.


The receiver and barrel are permanently pinned to one another.


A plastic shock absorber is mounted in the rear of the receiver where it is impacted by the bolt. Behind the
plastic shock absorber is a hole accessible from the rear of the receiver. The plastic is not intended to be removed.


The sides and bottom of the rear sight were made from aluminum.
The ramp, peephole and adjustment knob were made from steel.


The rear sight is held in place with a metal set screw. Unfortunately this set screw cannot be secured
with Loctite threadlocker due to the aluminum base it screws into. The set screw tends to back out
during firing allowing the rear sight to move side to side. Should you decide to replace this rear
sight with a GI counterpart or a new production adjustable rear sight made from steel, the replacement
should be hand fit carefully to ensure it stays secure but without damaging the aluminum dovetail.


Barrel Group


The barrel has 6 lands and grooves. Green discoloration on the muzzle occurred while firing 300 rounds and
cannot be removed. Note the light hole in the right side of the front sight was not completely drilled through,
leaving sharp aluminum edges. Removing the edges removes the finish on the aluminum in this area.


The front sight on this example was made of aluminum and secured to the barrel using a roll pin (compression pin)
The sight's hole for the pin is drilled lower to allow the pin to engage the cut across the top of the barrel.
Removing the front sight is relatively simple. The cut across the top of the barrel makes it a challenge to
properly align the sight horizontally when it's reinstalled. Some M1-9's have a plastic front sight secured to
the barrel with a set screw, like the Chiappa M1-22 front sights.

The diameter of the barrel is less than it's .30 caliber carbine counterpart. A steel front sight manufactured to GI
dimensions can be shimmed in place but has no means of being secured to the barrel.


Italian National Proof House marks. Left side of barrel forward of "bayonet lug".


Top: symbols of the Italian armory Gardone Val Trompia, Brescia, Italy;
Bottom: symbols indicating the test was conducted using Nitro based gun powder


Located on the bottom of the barrel forward of the "bayonet lug".


The barrel band is made from plastic. This can be replaced with it's GI equivalent but requires the
bayonet lug be shimmed to make up for the difference in barrel diameter.


The cast sleeve that surrounds and supports the barrel at the receiver end was made from aluminum.


The guide ways and dismount notch for the slide were cast into the sleeve. The weight and steel of the slide
can cause damage to the sides of the sleeve during dismounting and mounting. This will be addressed further
in the section devoted to disassembly and reassembly below.


Steel barrel, cast aluminum sleeve, cast aluminum receiver


Slide


The blowback design of the M1-9 requires a slide with sufficient weight to counter the forces
driving the slide rearward. Strengthening the recoil spring alone would be insufficient. Iver Johnson Arms encountered the
the same challenge in the design of their 9mm carbine. Their solution was to weld additional metal to the bottom of their
slide and enlarge the cut inside the stock for the slide. The Chiappa design lengthened and increased the size of the slide
to obtain the necessary weight.


The length and weight of the Chiappa slide required support for the slide at the forward end. This was
accomplished by the addition of a small barrel band (right) that is countersunk into the slide and bolted in place. This design
requires the bolts be removed and the small band slid forward out of the slide to dismount the slide from the receiver. This
will be shown and discussed in the section on disassembly and reassembly below.


Do not attempt to remove the bolts before reading the section on disassembly and reassembly. The notches
in the cross support at the rear of the slide engage the top of the bolt (covered next).



Bolt Assembly


The designer of the M1-9 elected to have the slide move the bolt to the rear by securing the non-rotating
bolt to the cross member at the rear of the slide.


When the M1-9 is assembled the bolt cannot be removed without first removing the slide.


Note the proof marks on the bolt that match those on the receiver.


A strong spring places tension on the front of the firing pin to prevent forward movement until the
pin is struck by the hammer. Then returns the firing pin to the rear of the bolt.


Stock Group


The stock and handguard are Northern European beach wood treated with a walnut stain to darken the finish
and provide an appearance similar to walnut. Northern European beech is a hard wood suitable for use as
firearm stocks and is used commonly for this purpose in Western Europe.


The same wood is used by Chiappa for their M1-22 carbine. The dimensions of the action of the M1-9 differs
significantly from those of the M1-22 and .30 caliber carbines. The M1-22 and M1 Carbine can be placed within
the M1-9 stock with minor adjustments. The action of the M1-9 carbine will not fit an M1 Carbine stock
without significant alterations.


As with the Chiappa M1-22 stock, the cut of the slingwell of the M1-9 stock is inadequate for use with a
sling and oiler. The area outlined in black approximates the cut used on M1/M2 Carbine stocks. Some Chiappa
stocks are starting to appear with a half moon cut in this area to allow use of the sling and oiler.


The same buttplate and buttplate screw are used on both the Chiappa M1-9 and M1-22. Chiappa chose to use a
flat head Philip's head buttplate screw with a sharp point, unlike the standard carbine buttplate screw with
a slightly rounded standard head with rounded blunt tip.


Trigger Housing Group

 

Plastic:

Trigger Housing, Safety
 

Aluminum:

Magazine Adapter,
Magazine Adapter Locking Bottom (slab filler for mag release opening)
 

Steel:

Hammer, Hammer Spring Guide, Trigger, Sear, Pins, Springs,
Magazine Locking Lever, Magazine Release Button, Magazine Adapter Locking Screw.
Trigger Housing pin is a compression/roll pin.


Parts interchangeable with their GI counterparts are the safety, safety/mag catch spring
and plungers and trigger housing pin. While the trigger and sear may appear to be interchangeable
their openings for the sear spring are too short with the GI trigger partially blocking the trigger
pin hole. Inserting the pin forces the trigger into the path of the safety.


The M1-9 utilizes an aluminum insert into the magazine well to position and hold the 9mm magazine
in the correct position.

While the slide design is significantly different than that of the U.S. Carbines of WWII it's appearance is partially
masked by the stock and handguard with the areas that protrude somewhat visually melting into the overall appearance
of the replica. The magazine insert protruding well below the stock line in combination with the design and appearance
of the magazine release button and the Magazine Locking Lever collectively give the appearance of a replica M1 Carbine
crossbred with a low end .22 rimfire version of the AR rifle design.

The need for magazine support would have been better served by a design in keeping with that of the WWII carbine
this replica was made to resemble. One option would have been to shape the outside of the aluminum insert to
replicate that of an M1 Carbine 15 round magazine into which the 9mm magazine is inserted. With a magazine
release mechanism and button visually replicating that of the original carbine.


The magazine release button protrudes from the side of the magazine insert making it vulnerable
to impacts from all directions. The button will be discussed further under disassembly and reassembly below.


Magazine


The MI-9 uses the same magazines designed for the Beretta Model 92 series of handguns, which includes
the military version Model M9. The M1-9 magazine release mechanism does not require
altering the magazines for them to work with the M1-9.

Disassembly/Reassembly

If your purpose for disassembly is cleaning the firearm for proper care and function you should restrict disassembly to what Chiappa refers to as "Field Stripping". Since this a 9mm carbine with a direct blowback mechanism the area to be cleaned is the barrel, breach, bolt and areas around them. The absence of a gas piston eliminates the need to routinely clean the inside of the slide. Removing the slide should not be attempted without first reading the information below under the heading of Complete Disassembly.


Field Stripping


Remove the magazine and make sure there is no cartridge in the chamber.


Before you get started, it helps to know the magazine release button is under spring tension. When you remove the button be careful not to let the spring eject into your eye or somewhere you will not be able to find it.


The first step is to remove the magazine release button by turning it counter-clockwise. You will likely encounter a bit of resistance as the manufacturer uses a "medium" threadlocker to secure the button in place. The smooth outer edge of the button can add to the challenge of unscrewing the button. Remember the spring behind it. Once the button and spring are removed proceed to the barrel band.


Remove the nut and bolt securing the barrel band to the stock and barrel. Unlike the barrel band of the M1 Carbines the M1-9 barrel band nut and bolt separate. Be careful not to lose the nut. Slide the barrel band forward over the barrel band spring. Remove the handguard and lift the action out of the stock.


The trigger housing is secured to the receiver by means of a tension/roll pin used as the trigger housing bolt. Should you wish to remove the trigger housing use a roll pin punch to remove the roll pin. The housing will then slide off the receiver.

This completes what the manufacturer refers to as "Field Stripping" for cleaning.

Note, the manual recommends using a "medium" thread locker when reinstalling the button. Be careful not to strip the button's threads during installation.


Complete Disassembly

You should read this section thoroughly before making the decision to remove the slide.

The manual's instructions for complete disassembly start with removal of the screws/bolts from the bottom of the receiver that secure the band attached to the front end of the slide. Their second sentence should precede the first: "WARNING These screws have been glued with thread locker. In case you cannot unscrew them, please use an industrial dryer or a flame to heat the screws and try again."

The four bolts in question are secured in place with Loctite Green Threadlocker. There are two types of Loctite Green. One is used for wicking and easy to remove. The other usually requires the application of heat. The force used in attempting to remove these bolts without heat can easily strip the inside of the bolt heads. With the bolt heads completely inset into the slide they cannot be turned using force on the outside of the bolts.

To avoid damaging the parts and/or their finish, softening the threadlocker would be best accomplished by the application of heat directly to the heads of each bolt. The use of a soldering iron against the bolt heads is a common method used to accomplish this but failed to work with the M1-9 depicted on this web page.

Delivery of heat to the threadlocker is complicated by:

  • the size of the bolts and their threads (M4x12)

  • the bolts being inset into the heavy steel slide

  • the size, weight and density of the steel slide

This design requires heating the slide to soften the threadlocker. Even with the heat directed to the area of the bolts the slide disperses the heat in directions other than the threadlocker requiring a higher level of heat to soften the threadlocker. This level of heat can alter the finish of the slide (see picture above) and may heat the band below the bolts along with the aluminum sleeve and barrel to a degree they will cause burns if touched.


Original bolts showing extent of Loctite Green application

If your intent is to clean the gun there is no need to go to this extreme better left for a gunsmith.

If you decide to proceed with this process know also the steel slide is much harder than the aluminum it slides back and forth on. Routinely removing and remounting the slide will damage the aluminum guide rails the slide travels on.


If you decide to proceed with complete disassembly once the bolts are removed push down on the front of the slide and up on the small band. Slide the band forward out of the way of the slide. The recoil spring and recoil guide cannot be removed until the slide is moved to the dismount notch and removed from the receiver/barrel.

Reassembly requires positioning the bolt for it's slots to engage the slots in the handle of the slide, placing the recoil spring and recoil guide into the receiver, mounting the recoil spring guide in it's hole in the slide then forcing the slide to the dismount notch while under spring pressure. While rotating the slide into the dismount notch make sure the notches of the bolt and slide engage one another to lock the bolt to the slide. Once the slide is mounted push down on the front of the slide, slide the band into position and bolt it to the slide. Remember to use threadlocker to hold the bolts in place.


The bolts, bottom of the small band and underside of the slide. Keep in mind the thickness of the slide that allows the bolts to be inset into the slide and into the band without protruding against the barrel.


Link to Chiappa web page providing the most current versions of their:
M1-9 manual, exploded view parts diagram and parts list