Shotguns > Break-Action

Chiappa Arms Triple Threat

This three-barrel, 12-gauge shotgun shows it has both flash and class on the shooting range.

1/14/2013

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. 

The overall fit and finish of the Triple Threat was superb. The release lever and hinge of the action were tight and smooth. The matte finish of the metal components was evenly applied and free of blemishes. The forearm and grip both feature high-quality hard wood and diamond-pattern checkering. The wood-to-metal fitting is expertly done and completely free of the gaping, rough spots or loose fit problems that show up with inferior craftsmanship. Even the interior of the receiver was precision cut and coated.

At the range, the Triple Threat proved to be more comfortable to shoot than expected. Short-barrel shotguns with pistol grips can be punishing to shoot. When testing the Chiappa 1887 T-Model last year, the nearly straight grip shape made it necessary to keep the T-model snugged into the hip with a support hand locked over the top of the barrel.

The Triple Threat was a different story. The forward weight of the three barrels mitigated felt recoil without feeling overly nose heavy. The support hand can comfortably ride under the barrels with a good grip around the forearm. The trigger provided a crisp, short break for all three pulls. Cutting down a shoulder stock to form a pistol grip turned out to be a brilliant solution for this shotgun.

A little trick that makes shooting shotguns, especially compact pistol grip models, more comfortable is to create a push-pull tension between the firing hand and the support hand. Push the forearm forward, while pulling back on the grip. The grip shape of the Triple Threat allows this push-pull tension to be used because the shooting wrist is straight in line with the barrels for maximum support. Leaving the grooved fin of the shoulder stock in place (instead of rounding it off) provides a natural indexing point to form this all-important solid, straight grip.

As a result, the pistol-gripped Triple Threat is surprisingly manageable to shoot. Testing started with hip shots using mild birdshot rounds, and ended with eye-level shots fired with full power buckshot shells. No shooting gloves were required. Just to be sure that I was not biased about the recoil levels, I invited some folks on the shooting range to try the Triple Threat with some of the hot buckshot I had on hand. They agreed with me that the gun had a much more moderate level of recoil than they would have expected from such a compact platform.

The Triple Threat fed, fired and extracted every test round fired, from bulk sporting loads to premium defensive loads. Like other break-action shotguns, this one was reliable and simple to run. The Triple Threat's safety does not automatically re-engage each time the action is closed, as is the case with some break actions. Whether or not this is a good feature depends on one’s preferences. This shotgun has a triangular extractor that lifts all three spent cases so they can be manually removed from the barrels. Would an ejector be better? Again, it's a matter of what a shooter prefers.

Pistol-gripped defensive shotguns are not intended for long range combat. With this in mind, test targets were rolled out to 7 yards to see how the Triple Threat patterns. With three barrels and five chokes to choose from, the barrel/choke/ammunition combinations were too numerous to include every possible permutation. Using the Skeet, Improved Cylinder and Modified chokes with birdshot and buckshot loads generated shot patterns ranging from 4 to 9 inches. All three barrels placed shots center-of-mass at this range, but with a little deviation from point-of-aim to the right and left for the two lower barrels, as would be expected from side-by-side barrels.

Shooting the Triple Threat reminded me of an interview I saw years ago with one of my all-time favorite movie actors: Peter O'Toole. There he was, all good looks and high-class sophistication, when the interviewer asked him why he became an actor. I expected him to reply with some deeply intellectual commentary about the importance of his art or the nature of the human condition. Instead, Mr. O'Toole leaned back, smirked (as only he can), and replied that he became an actor for the same reason that all actors do, so that he could stand up in front of the whole world and shout, "Look at me, look at me, look at me!" 

There's no doubt that Chiappa's Triple Threat is a “look-at-me” shotgun. It oozes cool and has that Hollywood wow factor that generates big smiles at the shooting range. But under all of the flash is a shotgun with class. Think of all the best qualities of a high-end side-by-side and add one more shot to the mix. It’s a winning combination that shooters will enjoy. It was so fun to run the Triple Threat with the pistol grip that I'm looking forward to trying it with a full-length shoulder stock installed as well.

Importer: Chiappa Firearms; www.chiappafirearms.com
Manufacturer: Akkar Silah Sanayi Ltd. (Turkey)
Model: Triple Threat
Action: Break Action
Caliber: 12-Gauge
Finish: Matte Black Barrels & Receiver
Stocks: Wood
Sights: Gold Bead
Barrel Length: 18.5”
Choke: Rem Chokes (5 Choke Tubes Included)
Overall Length: 27.75” (Pistol Grip), 35.5” (Shoulder Stock)
Length of Pull: 14.25” (With Shoulder Stock Installed)
Weight: 7.5 lbs.
Capacity: 3 Rounds
Accessories: Choke Wrench, 5 Removable Chokes,
Suggested Retail Price: $1629

Chiappa Triple Threat Shotgun

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23 Responses to Chiappa Arms Triple Threat

strongarm wrote:
February 14, 2014

Locating the two barrel underside is really a very clever preference since being on line with shoulder and giving only sidewards swings but not upward barrel jump at instant of firing. And by means, the upper single barrel which is on third sequence with non selective trigger, can be held on the target with minimum of deviation. However, the non selective trigger may be a nightmare if the barrel opened but not reloaded, since the trigger mechanism will go to reset and the user will go to have to pull the trigger as dry firing until to reach to the loaded barrel. Barrel selector is a must for this gun.

Doc wrote:
January 03, 2014

like the gun,very unique home defense,three shots and you ain't leaving any emptys on the ground like a semi auto or pump.

Ben wrote:
July 19, 2013

kind of interesting for duck hunting but $1600 for a Turkish made shotgun? I think I'll pass...

strongarm wrote:
June 10, 2013

Check the barrel for live loads remained and you are in a trouble for a quick shot in an emergency use.

Me wrote:
May 06, 2013

Yes but the have drop in rifle barrels not mentioned in this article. Which is kind of awesome!!!

scott moon wrote:
April 28, 2013

chiappa makes very interesting guns, I am a very proud owner of the 6" black rhino, by far my most favorite pistol to date... I would love to have a triple threat.maybe some day.

David padgett wrote:
April 25, 2013

It's a duck hunting gun 3 shots is all you can have so it will be great for that ! An duck hunters have way more money then they know what to do with ! So $1600 is no sweat !! If I see one n pawn shop for half prob. Pick it up

Will Matney wrote:
April 20, 2013

As a gunsmith with 30 years experience, I would dread to have to resolder the ribs on this gun, and try to re-register it. A double is bad enough, but to keep three barrels in line, I cringe.

Kevin wrote:
April 17, 2013

Don't know you all carring on got just come to australia and see what we have pay for the very same american made weapon's only one catch all you can legally buy is bolt action,lever action, under/over,single barrel and side by side shot gun and all cost a bloody fortune now just the ammo that if you can get anything now there is a bloody shortage coming into australia because you all are buying up what is not bolted down this is what I got to pay for ammo for my Ruger M77 338win mag I paid $26 a box of 20 winchester at my local shop with bare ammo shelf's the cost of 338win mag s now a bloody $140 a box of 20 even worst if you have the 338lapua magnum which is hitting $350 a box of 20 so stop the complaining at what you pay in the state's because the way my country is going you will have a new american citizen very shortly because I love american and it's culture more importantly I get to have my AR10 back that I had to hand in because of the people we had running the country at the time

L.Dickerson wrote:
April 12, 2013

Yeah at $1600+ I think I'll pass.

wustershiresauce dude wrote:
February 12, 2013

George if you cant get a job at an arms company in the usa now you probably never will Ill buy any gun i want

George wrote:
February 05, 2013

Why would you support forgin company's and not US made when we are hurting for jobs

Zulu wrote:
February 03, 2013

Great looking weapon and looks fun to shoot. Sure price is high, but when you buy a firearm it's to add a unique piece to your collection, not for economic value. I'll definately keep that on my radar.

Brandon wrote:
February 01, 2013

Interesting concept, but is that 1629 good American dollars, or 1629 Turkish Lira?

frank wrote:
January 30, 2013

Nice idea but the price point is way off. That gun needs to be in the MSRP range of $400 to $500

prankola wrote:
January 28, 2013

wow cool article i love me sum guns

Scotty wrote:
January 28, 2013

Go for a Mossberg 500. Holds eight shells and only costs around $350.

Paul wrote:
January 25, 2013

To pricey,not made in the U.S.A.!

Gil wrote:
January 24, 2013

That price To high priced, I would expect to pay that for a triple barrel rifle in combo calibers.

David wrote:
January 23, 2013

Nice to look at but way too much $. I can get a good pump gun for a lot less $ & have more shots too.

neil wrote:
January 22, 2013

way too much money far an extra barrel

DHConner wrote:
January 15, 2013

Far too high priced for a gun like that. And what's it good for? I have a pistol grip stock for my Win 97 and twice as many rounds to boot. I paid $150 for it a gun show years ago, and have had it set up the way I want. Chiappas seems to be a woodworker's company: they do know how to gouge. Like the $4,000 they want for the 20 round modified 10mm they brought out. By widening the frame at the grip section they think it's worth $4K? For the wealthy indolent, maybe. But for the average American, no way!!

Glenn A. wrote:
January 15, 2013

Sounds like a NEAT gun, but a little too pricey for me.