Berretta Mag Eating Chiappa M1-9: Field Stripping and Cleaning

The Chiappa M1-9 is an almost Chiappa clone M1 Carbine from the WWII era with a Walnut stock that is compatible with the original rifle. Reconfigured to shoot 9mm ammo and use Beretta 92F magazines, this gun is much cheaper to shoot than the original .30 caliber American rifle. However, there are some quirks and downsides to the gun. In a previous review of the gun, I pointed out that it doesn’t have a last-round bolt hold open. There is no manual way to hold the bolt to the rear unless you stick something in front of the bolt.

Chiappa M1-9
The 9mm Beretta mag fed M1-9 by Chiappa. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
This is one of the biggest downsides of the rifle I can find. Early reviews revealed feeding problems that would not go away completely. They would get better with certain types of ammunition, but that’s about it. When I first took my M1-9 to the range, I had some feeding problems and assumed I was having the same problems. Since then, however, I’ve had more than 300 rounds through it without a single issue. Chiappa recommends a 100-150 break-in period, and they recommend cleaning and lubricating every 200-300 rounds.

I had cycling issues well past the break-in period, but I had not stopped to clean the gun yet. I broke the gun down and cleaned all the metal parts before applying oil. On my second trip to the range, I had a completely different experience than the first. It ran like a champ and didn’t have any problems whatsoever. Except for it not having a bolt hold-open feature, this gun is a blast to shoot.

Field-stripping the Chiappa M1-9

Field-stripping modern guns makes you appreciate how easy they are to break apart. A Glock pistol or AR-15 can be field-stripped in a matter of seconds with no tools. Most older-style guns are not that easy and require some type of tool during the process. If you have owned an M1 Carbine before, the process of breaking down the M1-9 is a little bit the same at first, but not once you start taking the bolt out. If you are not sure how to do a basic field strip of your Chiappa M1-9, don’t worry. This article will guide you through the basic process.

Step 1: Magazine Release

Chiappa M1-9 field strip.
Taking the magazine release off can be done with a pair of pliers. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Remove the magazine release button as it sticks out far enough to keep the stock from sliding over the magazine well. I used a pair of pliers to do this. There is a spring under the mag release button, so make sure it doesn’t fly away on you. The catch on the opposite side of the release button will also fall out once the button comes off. Remove all three pieces and set them aside so they don’t get lost.

Step 2: Stock Screw and Barrel Band

Chiappa M1-9 field strip.
To take the barrel nut off, loosen the screw and push down on the retention bar. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Next, remove the screw directly behind the bolt with a flathead screwdriver. It’s a long screw, but it should come out without issue. The barrel band is located at the end of the handguard and goes around the stock and barrel. Loosen the screw and press down on the latch before pulling the barrel band forward (towards the muzzle). At this point, the top portion of the wood stock will come off. Lift the receiver and barrel out of the lower portion of the wood stock.

Step 3: Lower assembly

A roll pin on the side of the lower receiver connects it to the upper receiver (see photo below). Use a punch to push the pin out. Pull the lower receiver down and towards the rear of the gun, completely removing it. For some reason, Chiappa does not explain how to remove the bolt and recoil spring from the upper.

Chiappa M1-9 field strip.
Push out the pin on the top left to remove the lower assembly of the Chiappa M1-9. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
Even though the bolt will not come out at this point, Chiappa does not recommend disassembly further than this. I’ve had the entire gun apart before, but it involves far more than I would call a field strip. It’s much easier to clean with the bolt removed from the gun, but it’s more work than it’s worth, in my opinion. I may cover this process down the road, but for today, this is as far as we go.

Step 4: Clean and Reassemble

Some versions of the Chiappa M1-9 have a small button on the top of the charging handle that allows the bolt to lock open manually. If this is the case, lock it open while cleaning. My rifle does not have this feature, so I used a screwdriver bit to hold the bolt back while cleaning. Just make sure to keep your fingers out of the chamber in case the bolt releases and snaps forward.

I used some Slips 2000 to clean the bolt area and barrel. I ran a bore snake down it several times because I couldn’t get a bore brush into the barrel from the breech. Once the gun was clean, I placed some Real Avid Max oil on everything metal. I also placed a little oil on the recoil spring and trigger spring to keep them from getting rusty during storage. Follow the disassembly process when putting the gun back together. Be sure not to damage the roll pin when reattaching the lower assembly.

Chiappa M1-9 field strip.
I used a bore snake to clean the barrel while my driver held the bolt open. [Photo: Jason Mosher]
The barrel band on the Chiappa M1-9 is plastic, so I plan to purchase a metal one in the future. The front sight needs to come off for this, which is not hard. Take the pin out of the sight bracket just above the barrel. This allows the site to come off and the barrel band to be changed.

Cleaned and ready for the range

This is a much longer process than most guns to field strip, and even when stripped, the bolt doesn’t come out. I’ve had the bolt and charging handle off once before, but as I mentioned, it was a lengthy process. Unless you shoot a ton of ammo through the rifle, I would just clean it the best you can from a field-stripped position. Some guns need more oil than others, and this one needs lots of oil. Once I applied plenty of gun oil to every moving part of the gun, I didn’t have any more cycling issues.

I used a variety of ammunition on the second trip to the range but couldn’t get it to repeat the cycling problem I had the first time. I loaded one Beretta mag after another, and it would eat up the ammo as fast as I could pull the trigger. It’s still not the most accurate gun for longer distances, but for an old-school replica PCC, it’s not bad. I put a military surplus M1 Carbine sling on it, and now it’s ready to head to the range for the next fun day of shooting.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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