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