Hands-on with the Chiappa Triple Threat

Chiappas Triple Threat Choke

If you follow the online gun scene even peripherally, then you’ve read about the Chiappa Triple Threat: a three-barreled beast of a shotgun that looks like something out of either Mad Max or a steampunk comic. Today I got a little bit of trigger time with this gun, and the biggest surprise was that it wasn’t really that surprising. From reading about the gun online, I got the impression that it’s an high-priced novelty gun that inspires a moderate-to-high level of “OMG want” in many scattergun fans, but that the fit and finish doesn’t quite match up with the $1,600 price tag. And after handling the gun a the SHOT Show’s range day, I can report that this impression a was confirmed.

Chris shoots the Triple Threat. Photos (C) Bryan William Jones

Chris shoots the Triple Threat. Photo (C) Bryan William Jones

First, the good: It really is a nice little coach gun, and yeah, I definitely kinda want one. The fit and finish were a few notches above “workmanlike” — this is definitely not a cheap Stoeger that will need some gunsmithing right out of the box — and I was pleased with how the gun looked despite the fact that it didn’t blow me away with its craftsmanship. It breaks open cleanly, and when closed the fit is tight. The checkering on the stock is good, and the wood’s finish is nice, although not so nice that I’d freak if accidentally nicked it. I shot the model with the full-sized stock, and had absolutely no complaints about the pull length (I’m average height) or the trigger action. I didn’t try any rapid firing (see Chiappa’s video if you don’t know what I’m referring to), but in all it was very pleasant-shooting little coach with recoil on the lower side of moderate.

The Triple Threat. Photos (C) Bryan William Jones

The Triple Threat. Photos (C) Bryan William Jones

As for the bad, the main problem here, as everyone else has pointed out, is price. I own a Pioneer Arms coach gun (#100TW in walnut), which set me back about $1,400 back in 2009 when you could still find one available; in terms of fit, finish, and overall feel that Pioneer one of the finest firearms I’ve ever handled. I thought it was a steal at $1,400, and would have happily paid a grand more for it. The Triple Threat isn’t even in the same league as the Pioneer in the fit-and-finish category, yet it lists for $200 more. I think the Triple Threat would be more appropriately marked between $800 and $1,000, where it would still be as expensive as two great home-defense shotguns from the likes of Mossberg or Remington. But I think the novelty and fun factors would be worth the markup at that price. But for double that? No way no how.

I’ll put it this way — I could see myself actually paying full price for this gun one day in the distant future, after my girls have gone to college and I’m comfortably retired in my mansion on my 1,000-acre ranch, where I spend most of my time looking after my horses and polishing my collection of German sports cars. Until then, Chiappa needs to come down on the price if they want to make this thing more than a conversation piece for rich gun collectors.




Bill J has done many things, but his latest project is his favorite: IronSights.com, a search engine for guns, ammo, optics, and shooting accessories. He also writes for AllOutdoor.com.


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  • noob

    They could get really crazy and make a bull pup break action five barrel. That way the weapon has the minimum legal length, the back of the stock hinges open well behind the firecontrols.

    The five barrel would have a rate of fire faster than any other shotgun action and hold as much as a compact pump action.

    For self defense, it would be awe inspiring?

  • Russell

    What is that little lever action in the third picture?

    • jagersmith

      1887 T-series

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Yes and even the rear grip is steel if I remember correctly.

  • Y-man

    Great report. You didn’t mention the lack of an ejector: or that’s not an issue?
    Also: need to ask: is there a ‘disguising’ factor behind the hoods and caps and glasses? I have seen SEVERAL pictures, not only TFB with these…(Pardon an ignorant African asking! )

    • jagersmith

      18 degrees with ripping crosswinds equals a need for a hood.

      • Y-man

        Whooo! Understood. Had this picture of Vegas as hot and ‘sexy’ all year round…!

        • http://twitter.com/BluegrassGeek Bluegrass Geek

          The Weather Channel had a picture of a frozen fountain in Vegas a few days back. Crazy!

          • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

            That fountain has never frozen before in Las Vegas history. An employee verified he had been there 25 years and never seen it. It wasn’t only the 18F temps when we arrived the wind picked later to probably 30 mph which created some mini dust storms. So you happen to be miserable with the cold and then sand and dust in your eyes and all over you clothing. I talked with the “Gunny” R Lee Ermey and he was about as frozen as the rest of it. He put it ion terms I can’t repeat–LOL!

  • John

    KBP Tula already makes this plus other interesting “hunting” rifles