Chiappa T-Series Review

My friend Steve is that guy in my group of friends who is always rolling up with something new, which is great because it means we get to reap the benefits of his impulse buys and spending sprees. The other night my gang and I were sitting around my shop having a few adult beverages as we often do (fireworks, firearms, and firewater would be an appropriate credo for us) and Steve came in with his characteristic grin and an odd scabbard on his shoulder. He made some room on the table and plunked this little number down and immediately it took me back in time to the 90s when I remember watching Terminator 2 on VHS tape and being blown away as Arnold did that incredibly awesome shotgun flip.

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Steve joked that it was his zombie rig as the rest of us dared him to try to flip-cock it like the Terminator (which could break your hand if you don’t have an enlarged loop, but he knew this). Still, a young me was screaming that I had to test this thing out, even though I don’t have a Harley Davidson motorcycle. I asked Steve if I could give this thing a whirl and he said absolutely and let me take the scabbard home.

The T-Series is a souped up Model 1887 shotgun that features a 5+1 capacity, a rubber birdshead grip and forend, and an 18.5 inch barrel so it is not subject to NFA registration! The action and receiver are beautifully machined as well, and the lever cycles very smoothly unlike the Norinco models which in my experience are a bit rough.

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Loading is accomplished by opening the lever and pushing shells into the magazine tube. I must admit that it does feel a bit awkward to load this gun as every shotgun I have ever owned loads from the bottom. Nonetheless once you get the hang of it you can load and fire this bad boy just as quickly as you can any other pistol gripped short shotgun.

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The T-Series also features a traditional bead in the front and a groove milled onto the receiver to serve as a rudimentary iron sight:

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But the real question is how does it shoot? Well I dug around and picked up a smattering of different shells to test including slugs, buckshot, birdshot, and some steel not pictured:

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All in all I would say that I am an experienced shotgunner thanks to going skeet shooting about twice a week when I was at university and dove hunting as much as my license permits, but that doesn’t really matter when you are shooting a gun like this that completely changes the dynamics of how a shotgun is conventionally set up. Regardless, I rattled off a few shots of bird and buck to get acquainted with the gun before I had an idea. The place where I shoot is a small tract of private land with about 50 members that we affectionately refer to as “The Sand Pit”. Hours are whenever you want to go, and the only rules are don’t shoot yourself, anyone else, or bring alcohol which I think are pretty reasonable. So I showed up on a Wednesday morning and my friend Jon was out with his lovely wife shooting a few of his toys. I asked if they wanted to give the T-Series a whirl and Jon eagerly jumped at the chance. He admitted that he did not have much experience with shotguns, but gave it a go regardless. These are the results with a slug:

Ready

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Aim:

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Fire!

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Ok so that did not go as smoothly as predicted, but in Jon’s defense he DID hit the target! After this first shot he reevaluated his approach and got the hang of it:

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The gun with the Remington rifled slugs was accurate, as you can see Jon landed the shots on that hanger:

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Next up was Jon’s better half who had learned from watching her husband shoot. I also lended her a pair of gloves. Mind you, this was her first time shooting a shotgun and she surprised us both as she rang the gong with some buckshot and peppered it with some #8. She asked us how to aim it and we both laughed and responded that you don’t while telling her just to point it in the general direction of the target.

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You do have to pull the lever a bit violently to get a spent shell to eject, which took her a few attempts to get the hang of:

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But she continued blasting away!

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All in all we put about 100 rounds of various ammunition through the gun collectively and it worked very well. No problems to speak of with either high or low brass, the gun did what it was supposed to, and it put a big smile on all of our faces. As for a bullet point review:

The Good:

  • This thing is ridiculously fun to shoot
  • Based on firearm genius John Browning’s design/action
  • Easy to hold and maneuver
  • 5+1 capacity makes this a viable home defense or truck gun

The Bad:

  • 2 & 3/4 inch shells only
  • Recoil will smack you in the face if you are not prepared
  • Lever action shotguns take a bit of getting used to

The Ugly

  • Some may find it ugly
  • The MSRP is $995.00, which is quite a lot compared to other short shotguns

 

So there you have it, the T-Series gets a big thumbs up from me and I may just put one on my Christmas list!





Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


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  • Samuel Suggs

    I could not possibly be more with them on the whole replica 1887 thing but I would never buy this. this orginal with most of its case color on the other hand must be mine

  • Anon

    Didn’t they come out with this after one of the Modern Warfare games had a similar thing in it?

    Wouldn’t mind getting one if they offered it with a full stock.

    • The only one I handled at SHOT was just like this one. I didn’t see any with regular stocks.

      • Cymond

        Yeah, the crazy thing is that they’d probably sell more with a stock than without. It would be SO easy to offer a version with a stock, so I really cannot understand why they’re not interested.

          • Samuel Suggs

            they sell quite a few in Australia thats why you see seve lee with one in most of his videos also they banned pump action shotguns

          • Alex C.

            They did not and have not banned pump action or even semi-automatic shotguns in Australia. They are category C firearms and if you are a serious clay/competition shooter you can get one. Steve has a nice bunch of category C firearms and I have been lucky enough to talk with him about it.
            Earlier this year I lived in Australia for about 4-5 months and saw plenty of folks blasting clays with semi automatic shotguns, albeit it was a bit of a status symbol to have one.

          • Samuel Suggs

            I was aware of the licenseing system however I was under the impression that pumps where far more diffcult to get then they actually are. how are lever action shotguns classed

          • Alex C.

            Category A. The politicians forgot to put lever action on the ban list so everyone has a Norinco or Chiappa 1887 copy. The Chiappa 1887 guns are big sellers in Australia but I have not seen one (other than the T-Series) here in the US.

          • Samuel Suggs

            interesting why did you live in australia for 4-5 months sounds like a good time was this during a time in which you could have visited the Lithgow arms factoryhttp://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/05/23/lithgow-arms-la101-crossover-civilian-firearm-mass-produced-australia-decades/. did you get to take a look at any of their miltarys small arms specifcally their modernized Steyr AUG’s like the thales F90 http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/06/12/new-thales-f90-5-56mm-assault-rifle-next-gen- steyr-aug/

          • Matt

            I was in australia in february and visited lightow. They had the 1887, but the guy who is authorized to show it ( it is not on display in the “standard ” museum ) was not there….

          • Samuel Suggs

            I know for a fact that you got to take a look at my favorite submachinegun while over there http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/02/03/made-in-australia-the-owen-submachine-gun/ on a side not whats your opinion of magazine mounted exstactors

      • Matt

        You can purchase the standard stock as a spare. I did in this way when i purchased mine.

    • If you check the website they have several configurations http://www.chiappafirearms.com/products/69

  • JT

    It might make for a handy gun if it had a metal loop for a single point sling so you could compress the thing forward like a pdw

  • Slicer

    Fun looking gun. Question is: Where did he get the scabbard?

    • Alex C.

      Voodoo Tactical I believe.

  • Ron

    Do you know the manufacturer of the machete? Thanks.

    • Alex C.

      No, but it felt like a cheaply made Chinese one so I would not worry too much about it.

  • Bill

    I have a sneaking suspicion the Samuel Suggs is either a TFB employee who’s job is to inflate the comment section and create dialog or he is a really lonely dude who has waaaay to much time on his hands. Give it a rest man, its not all about you.

    • Samuel Suggs

      I post like twenty comments a day like ten of which are posted out of my own intrest in the content the rest are responses to people who wanted to talk about what I took away from that content. recently however I decided to include humrouse posters and usefull images this has lead to everyone suddenly decideing that I think its all about me. their is some legitmate douchieness in the comments of this website ofcourse it only comes out of its hole when they post somthing about racist ammo or Israel. why is the realtive size and number of my posts an issue and why are you trying to police me why dont you have diqus acccount so you can actually know when I respond to your attempts to get me to shut up

      • gunslinger

        It looks like you started posting about a week ago. your post count is already 363, or about 51 posts a day. some might think of that as spam/excessive posting. especially when there are about 5 new articles aday. very rarely do i notice anyone who posts more than 2-3 times in an article, unless it’s a genuine debate between a few people.

        most of your comments seem to be little quips in response to just about every post that’s made. it makes the inbox go bonkers with all the new post notifications, and yet i bet many feel that your posts don’t add to the conversation.

        but hey, that’s just me.

        • Samuel Suggs

          this account was signed up 14 days ago and most of my coments are image based and humourouse I was unaware that adding humor to the sitiution equalled basement troll who isnt “contributing to the conversation” also me and Sam Suggs are the same person but I had to create a new account because I changed E-mail addresses I dont get how I can accuratly be accused of being a TFB employee hired to juice the comments and somone who isnt contribution to the conversation in the same day. anyway how is this comment not a “Little quip” “nu-uh…. if it was a glock, it would have stopped the tornado!! amirite?” and how is that comment of yours any different than any of my postings aside from the lack of images and actual humor and how dose it “contribute to the conversation” bye your defintion of the term. why do postings that inclde images and humor that occur freqently garner more hate than this comment by Tim Baldwin “we would be safer if blacks were made illegal, since about 85% of violent crimes are committed by blacks…..guns don’t commit crimes but blacks do, as well as browns, whites and yellows…..but again, you asked and statistics bear out this information there you go guns are incapable of action unless used by a living person, blacks on the other hand are the living human. And it’s MOLON LABE its Greek said about 3500 years ago by a great Spartan King.” bye the way this is the only comment this guy has posted period

    • Samuel Suggs

      also its you whos downvateing all my posts uneccisarily isnt it

    • Samuel Suggs

      who are these ten to thirty people who show up and upvote anyone who exspresses a personal distast for my behavior

    • Alex C.

      I would like to assure you that to my knowledge he is not an employee. We all post as our pen names on here, and the only real full time employee is Steve. The rest of us are just normal folks with day jobs who like firearms and try to help out the community by posting reviews and our opinions on various things. Really though it is you readers that motivate us to do what we do; I enjoy reading your positive comments and constructive criticism to help improve the quality of my articles and hopefully help you guys decide what to buy!

    • I can asure you that Mr. Suggs is not now or ever has been an employee of TFB. None of us know him outside of his post over the last week or two since he joined. That is actually a bit irritating that anyone would even hint at such a thing. We have a code of conduct and consider ourselves to be honorable and above board in our dealings with all readers.

      • Samuel Suggs

        they blame everything they dont like on some conspracy theroy about TFB employees excactly what do I do that elcits this reaction

  • Lance

    When does the Terminator’s brand 12ga auto loader and Uzi 9mm come???

    • Alex C.

      I did an article about Uzis a while back, but I don’t own a spas-12. Anyone want to lend me one? I promise I will be gentle 🙂

      • Alex I did own one back when they were a hot commodity around 1986. I can answer most questions on it.
        If I still had it I’d let you use it:-)

        • matt

          Well, well….
          I got an AMT longslide, this chiappa 1887 ( + the norinco’87), the spas 12, the uzi ( carbine, unfortunately) is being purchased right now ( have to find a damaged stock to sacrifice for the ithaca 37)……

    • Sid Collins

      I think they are waiting for the production of the pulsed plasma rifle in the 40 watt range to begin. Then, all four weapons will be sold as the T-1 package.

  • j

    Isn’t it a 5+2 capacity?

    • Micki Mahoney

      I thought it must be 4+2 if it’s faithful to the originals.

  • Tim U

    2.75″ only? No stock?

    Pass. Pass. Pass.

    Not even on my list if I won the next lottery jackpot and money was “no object.” Add the fact money IS an object and I’d much rather have any number of better choices.

  • “gunner”

    what i enjoyed was NOT seeing “the little lady” get knocked on her bottom by unfamiliar recoil, and enjoying shooting something different.

  • “gunner”

    the machete looks like an old g.i. collins, if so, and in good condition its good gear

  • Cuban Pete

    The most important rule on owning a machete is that (1) the machete must look mean.
    That machete is one mean lookin’ machete.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    You mention that it’s not covered by the NFA because it has an 18.5″ barrel, but that is not true. This isn’t covered by the NFA because it doesn’t meet the legal definition of a shotgun or an AOW. Without a shoulder stock, it’s not actually required by federal law to have an 18″ barrel as long as the OAL is at least 26″. If it was at least 26″ and had a 16″ barrel, it still wouldn’t be NFA. It would only reach into NFA territory if the OAL fell below 26″ and then it would simply be an AOW and not an SBR.

  • Zius Patagus

    As long as SS continues to pollute the comments section with his drivel, I’m outta here.

    • Samuel Suggs

      ok thats your choice, what do you find drivilish about my comments

    • Samuel Suggs

      I am not going anywhere so you can do what you must. I am open to critisism but not being called a basement troll

  • Frosty_The_White_Man

    Where can one purchase a larger loop?

    • Samuel Suggs

      why is this your avatar

    • Samuel Suggs

      well these are pictures of the orginal prop from the terminator movie it was cut and welded with decent skill like every prop gun form the 80’s

    • Matt

      Is better you go with a norinco, the loop is not integral as in the chiappa.
      go check, i think a gunsmith in florida can do. read the comments on this video.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VWTf1bo9fg

  • Nick

    I had heard that these guns have really crappy ejectors, and most of what I saw people shooting them had the shells hang up in the receiver. You didn’t seem to mention that in your review, though. So did this one not have that problem? If so, I might try picking one up. I just don’t want a jam-o-matic.