When the X-Caliber arrived, I was excited about something so strange and potentially the perfect survival rifle, shotgun or what ever it actually is. the X-Caliber is in a class of it’s own so there aren’t really any comparisons to anything out there. Any time I take the X-Caliber to the range, people wanted to shoot it. It is such a novelty that people love it and dislike it all at the same time. It just looks odd.
The X-Caliber is marketed as a survival rifle. The “gun” can shoot both .22LR and 12 gauge. With the addition of any of the eight barrel inserts that come with the gun, it can be made to shoot the following:
- 9 mm
- 40 S&W
- .45 ACP
- .357 Magnum/.38 Special
- .44 Magnum
- .410/.45 LC
- 20 Gauge
The idea is cool. It’s possible you could keep this gun in your BOB, grab some hard cast .44 Mag for the big critters, a box of .22 for the small critters, a handful of 2-3/4″ 12 gauge for the flying critters, and the barrel inserts to shoot anything else you find along the way.
The gun is not light. It has some weight to it and isn’t the easiest to throw around, but that can be an attractive attribute when you do finally run out of ammunition, you can of course beat zombies to death. While the X-Caliber does in fact look futuristic it isn’t the easiest to hold, but for it’s versatility it seems to work, just not as well as a rifle or shot gun that only shoots one type of ammunition, but then again that’s the real benefit to the weapon.
When you break open the breach the inserts don’t allow for quick extraction, simply because that would be nearly impossible. You do need to extract the rounds manually. I would recommend keeping your pocket knife or multitool handy to extract the rounds more easily.
Ok, the real question everyone wants to know, “How does it shoot?” Well it shoots bullets and shot shells. Just don’t expect the rifle to give you a 1/2″ group at a hundred yards. It is a little rough on the shoulder when shooting 12 gauge, since there really isn’t much padding, but it does shoot adequately for what it’s designed for. The shot shells have an effective range of 25-30 yards. Much past that you may not get much lead on target. As for the other calibers you won’t have much better accuracy. the 22lr, once sighted in is much better, but then again at least you have a full length barrel. It does take some getting used to and learning the idiosyncrasies.
I would recommend sighting in the 22lr barrel and the others should be fairly close, but when I say close, it’s a broad interpretation. You’re not going to use this in a sniper situation. I could hit a target at 25 yards with any of the barrel inserts which would be fine for human-sized animals, but poor for small game.
For zombies or those pesky post apocalyptic human trash scum bags trying to take your seed storage, it could be useful. It would be useful if chiappa released a sight that could be adjusted, and locked for each caliber, but I doubt that’s in the production line. The best part about this rifle though, you can shoot whatever ammo is cheapest and most plentiful at that moment.
The rifle/shotgun has decent triggers. Yes it has two. The 22lr trigger is crisp and has about a 4 pound pull. It breaks cleanly and feels really good. the shotgun trigger has a little more pull at 5 pounds and doesn’t feel bad, but has a little more creep to the break point.
The sights aren’t bad either. The bright orange shows up well and easily allows you to find the target quickly. I liked the sights a lot and adjustment are performed quickly.
Specifications: Chiappa Firearms X-Caliber
- Caliber(s): Many!
- 12 gauge – 2¾” – 3”
- 9 mm
- 40 S&W
- .45 ACP
- .357 Magnum
- .44 Magnum
- .410/ 45 LC
- 20 Gauge
- Type: Over & Under combination shotgun/rimfire rifle
- Action : Folding break open
- Feeding : Single shot with extractors
- Barrel : Steel
- Trigger system : Double triggers
- Front sight : Fixed fiber optic
- Rear sight : M1 style adjustable elevation and windage
- Safeties : Top tang manual
- Finish : Matt black; steel and polypropylene foam stock
- Price: $949 with adaptors
The design and look are utilitarian at best. Here’s what we thought of the overall performance. It works. It definitely does everything a gun like this could possible do, but it just doesn’t do any of them extremely well. but then again, that’s not the purpose. It is a gun that allows you to shoot multiple calibers,and it does. It’s not a great shotgun, It’s not a great rifle, but it does allow you to shoot x-caliber of calibers, as the name implies. If I was reviewing a dedicated shotgun or rifle I would give it a poor rating, but since it’s very unique, and does what it’s designed to do, I give it a good rating. With the adaptors it’s about as accurate as a hand gun from the same distance, so I would say it’s performing as designed. You’re not going to win a sharp shooting competition with it.
It has Picatinny rails on the top and sides which would allow you to mount all kinds of accessories, although if SHTF getting replacement batteries may become difficult.