Chiappa Firearms is an importer that provides American shooters with a variety of guns from around the world. Many of the items in its catalogue are standard fair that you would expect to see in your local gun shop. But over the last few years this company has insisted on having at least a few interesting options in its lineup guaranteed to turn people’s heads. This year, Chiappa has teamed up with Akkar Silah Sanayi Ltd. of Turkey to launch a series of break-action, tri-barrel shotguns. That’s right, three barrels instead of just one or two.
A few weeks ago I was able to catch up with Ron Norton, President of Chiappa Firearms, to get a sneak peek at these unusual 12-gauges. The two primary configurations launching this year will include the Triple Crown, a sporting model with full-length barrels and a shoulder stock, and the Triple Threat, a compact defensive configuration with a pistol grip or a shoulder stock that converts to a pistol grip. For this review, it was the pistol-grip-only Triple Threat that was available for a test drive.
The Triple Threat is based on a traditional two-barrel shotgun design. The lower barrels rest in a side-by-side configuration with a third barrel set on top. This pyramidal arrangement gives the shooter a single-barrel sight plane for aiming with all three barrels. While most defensive shotguns have fixed chokes, the barrels of the Triple Threat are threaded to accept Rem Choke style choke tubes. Five choke tubes are provided, ranging from Skeet to Full. The barrels are 18.5-inches long, and the overall length of the pistol-grip version is 27.75 inches. These measurements exceed the 18-inch barrel/26-inch overall minimum length requirements, so this shotgun can be sold over the counter without any additional tax stamps or federal forms.
The receiver features a skeletonized release lever, a tang-mounted safety switch and a large rounded trigger guard to house the single trigger. This gun has a matte-black receiver finish that matches the barrels. Opening the action resets the mechanical trigger mechanism to trip each firing pin once. The right barrel fires first, the left barrel second and the top barrel last. If only one or two rounds are fired, opening the action will reset the mechanism to start the right-left-top barrel sequence again once the shotgun is reloaded.