Chiappa Triple Threat 12 Gauge Review + Melon Smashing

In this episode of TFBTV, James reviews the gnarly and intimidating Chiappa Triple Threat, a three-barrel 12 gauge shotgun designed with close quarters combat in mind. James starts with birdshot, then works his way to 3″ BB and eventually 3″ 00 buck rounds, testing the effect of buckshot on a watermelon. With an MSRP of $1600, is this gun worth the price or is it just another gimmick? James finds out in this video.

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Transcript …

– Oh hey, I hope I didn’t startle you guys with these three glory holes of 12-bore, but it’s me, James again, TFB TV and today, I have the Chiappa Triple Threat 12-gauge shotgun for review.

Now many of you know Chiappa from the Chiappa Rhino, Chiappa the Italian company, however this shotgun is the Triple Threat, is imported from Turkey.

Chiappa is specifically geared the Triple Threat towards home defense.

I’ll leave it to you guys to debate the merits of a three barrel shotgun, with three rounds of 12 gauge, as a suitable home defense weapon.

But, I will say this, it is certainly a, are you going to take my daughter to prom style shotgun.

This thing is just scary to look at.

Now as I’ve mentioned, it’s made in Turkey, and you usually have a mixed bag when it comes to guns being imported from Turkey, but the Triple Threat is actually pretty well-made.

A lot of people might understandably think, hey it’s a three barrel shotgun, it’s going to be a gimmick, it’s going to be cheaply made, and it’s going to be sold for, this gun, $1600 MSRP.

But, it’s going to be a $1600 piece of shit.

That’s actually not the case at all.

Now, this isn’t a Merkel, this isn’t a top-of-the-line, fit and finished shotgun.

There’s no fancy engraving.

I’ve got to say, the quality of the furniture, the fit and finish, the finishing on the barrel, on the hardware, this gun really do take it outside the realm of strictly a gimmick.

In fact, I’m kind of glad that they make the Triple Threat in an all-synthetic stock version as well, because it almost seems like this furniture is too nice to be on a shotgun designed for home defense.

Starting from the front and working the way back, this gun comes with, it actually has three, removable chokes.

It also has a fiber-optic front sight, which is very nice, no rear sight, so you’re just lining up the peg and shooting.

But the fiber-optic front sight is a nice touch and it definitely gets your attention, if you’re on this side of the barrel.

The front hand guard is very easy to remove, there’s a lever right here, it just pops right off.

And after you do that, you can break the gun open, and the whole thing breaks in half for shipping, storage, whatever you want to do.

And it’s very easy to put back together, as well.

The bluing is decent enough, it looks just like something you’d get on say…

like a higher-end, like a Wingmaster 870.

The lever to break the gun open, you push to the right.

It’s pretty substantially sized, you push to the right, the gun will break open, and then it’s got an extractor, not an ejector, so it’ll pop your shell casings up, and then you can remove them manually.

I would have preferred the ejector to fire them out, but it’s not really that big of a deal and preferences vary among shooters.

Tang-mounted safety, very straight forward, the trigger…

now I know everybody, the first question I get asked about this gun is, does it fire all three barrels at once? No, it goes right, left, top.

One, two, three, and you’re done.

Whenever you open the action, it resets.

That doesn’t matter if you shoot one round, if you shoot two rounds, if you shoot three rounds, every time you break the action open, it resets and you’re going to shoot the right first, then the left, then the top.

Many of you may have noticed the seam at the back, the seam here.

Actually you can remove the rear portion of the stock to make this a pistol-grip shotgun and because, even when you do that, when you remove the rear portion, the gun still, I believe it’s…

about 27 or 28 inches long after you remove the rear portion of the stock.

So, that way you can still, you don’t need a stamp, you don’t need to do anything special in order to fire this gun with the pistol-grip because it exceeds the overall length requirement.

The barrels of the Triple Threat are threaded to accept rim choke style choke tubes and five are provided, ranging from skeet to full.

The barrels are 18 1/2 inches long and the overall length of the pistol-grip version is 27.75 inches.

It’s got a 14 1/4 inch length of pull with the shoulder stock installed.

And it weighs roughly 7 1/2 pounds.

The suggested retail is $1629.

I used a trigger scale on the Chiappa Triple Threat, and the trigger pull came in at about 7 1/2 pounds every time.

The fore end and the stock are made from a good quality hardwood, expertly fitted, I mean, there’s no gaps, nothing rattling.

The fitment is excellent.

They’ve got some checkering on, you can see, on the fore grip and on the stock.

Anyways, I don’t think I’ve been this excited to shoot a shotgun for a review in a long time.

So let’s get this thing to the range, and let’s see if it shoots as good as it looks.

So one thing I wanted to note, right out of the gate, is that the action, doesn’t really break open by itself far enough, to just drop a rimmed shot shell in, you can see, you got to, you know, give it a little, watch.

Got to give it a little push to get it in there.

Let’s see how it shoots.

And again, you see, you have the extractor, not an ejector, so you have to manually remove your cartridges.

Again, a minor point, but not something I’m particularly fond of.

Shooting three inch turkey shot is significantly more abusive, I guess, would be the better term, than bird shot, for obvious reasons.

I’m shooting 2 3/4 inch bird shot, which is really pleasant, the three inch turkey shot out of this gun, it’s a little bit harder.

It’s still, this gun still has pretty decent weight to it, you know, roughly eight pounds, so that does help with the recoil.

It’s got a pretty robust recoil pad, so it’s definitely manageable.

Now remember, Chiappa does say that this gun is designed for home defense, so what else are you going to shoot in home defense gun, other than double ought buck.

Here we go, I’ve got this thing loaded with three, three inch double ought buck rounds, and I’m not looking forward to it, but let’s see how it handles it.

I guess let’s see how I handle it.

Wow.

That had….

significantly more thump, than the bird shot or the turkey shot, which should surprise no one.

But, you know, it’s manageable.

That’s firing three, rapid fire shots.

I suppose if you have a problem, that three rounds of double ought buck can’t fix, I don’t know what to tell you.

It is what it is, it’s not a semi-automatic, so you have no recoil, no blowback action.

You’ve got nothing between the shot and your shoulder, other than the butt and stock, to soften that recoil.

So if you’re going to harder hitting rounds in, I would definitely say, take it to the range, shoot it first, familiarize yourself with it, because it’s going to kick a little bit harder than you’re probably used to, especially if you’re used to shooting hunting loads, 2 3/4, if you’re used to shooting semi-automatic.

Alright everybody, got two more rounds of three inch double ought buck, in the Triple Threat and I’ve got a melon product, so let’s go a little Gallagher on ya, and let’s see what happens.

So yeah, that handled that, pretty well, I would say. Anybody want a smoothie? Ok, now I’ve got three rounds of bird shot in here, I’ve got a target set up behind me at 10 meters.

I’m just curious to see how this thing patterns.

Hopefully you’re not going to be using bird shot for self-defense, but just for fun, let’s see what the patterns look like at this distance.

Looks like at least two feet, 24 inches, of spread, from 10 meters, damn.

But I guess that’s about what you would expect with the factory chokes on an 18 1/2 inch gun.

Final thoughts on the Chiappa Triple Threat.

Now I guess there’s two ways to frame this discussion, one is the Chiappa Triple Threat as a side-by-side, plus over-under, which is more or less what it is for $1600 MSRP.

And the second part of that discussion would be using this gun for self-defense.

I guess let me talk about the self-defense part first, just because I’m going to keep it simple and for me, it”s…

I suppose if I was gonna use a side-by-side or an over-under for home defense, this would be the one I would use, I mean because you have three shots, instead of two, and it’s that simple, and it’s a nice gun.

I mean, I have been impressed with this shotgun all day today, but that said, generally speaking, I’m not big on the idea of a break-open shotgun for home defense.

Now there are some jurisdictions where that might be your only option, and I don’t know if this is legal there, maybe this is your best option.

But, and it wouldn’t be a bad one, it does shoot well and like I said earlier, if three shots double ought buck can’t handle your problem, I don’t know what can.

You know, it’s a tricky proposition and at $1600, It’s kind of hard to justify not just getting a Remington 870, or something else.

You know if you have a specific purpose for getting this, or if you just think it looks cool, I guess go for it.

And then, as far as it being a $1600 over-under, the second context of this gun, it’s a $1600 over-under side-by-side is what it is.

I actually think you’re getting a pretty good deal.

If you got one of the models with a longer barrel, one of the sporting models, I think you’re getting a good gun.

It’s got great fit and finish, the wood looks good, I like the bluing, now it’s not the best you’re ever going to see, I’ll tell you that much, but you’re also not going to be ashamed if you break this out at the country club or wherever the hell you go to break out your shotgun.

So all in all, I guess what I’m trying to say is I want the Chiappa Triple Threat to do well.

I think it, it has performed very well.

It’s got some little things that bothered me, for example the fact that when you break it open, it doesn’t swing down all the way, you got to kind of, push it down yourself to get those bottom two shells in there.

It doesn’t have an ejector, it uses an extractor, so you have to manually remove your shell casings.

Those are two things I didn’t like, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal.

It worked reliably, looks cool as hell, so anyways, what I guess I’m trying to say is two thumbs up for Chiappa Triple Threat.

I just hope that the Chiappa can find a niche where it’ll be embraced.

Anyways, thanks for watching guys, I really appreciate it as usual.

Thank you to our subscribers and I’ll see you next week.

(big band music)



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Vizzini

    I don’t understand who the market is supposed to be for this gun. It’s too expensive to snare many of the types that just don’t know any better.

    Is the “I collect oddball firearms” market enough to support this gun? It better be.

    • wetcorps

      It supports Chiappa as a whole apparently.

      • Vizzini

        Well, they do have a number of quite traditional designs. I’ve got a SA .2@LR/.22WMR revolver (Puma/Chiappa) that’s an OK plinker. They make some lever-actions, and the Rhino seems to have real mainstream appeal.

        • randomswede

          Are they actually selling that many Rhinos though?
          I always figured it’s the revolver everyone looks at when available but then buy something cheaper.

    • gunsandrockets

      Market? For someone in Australia, it’s about as good as anything they can still get.

      • Vizzini

        Yes, I hadn’t considered outside the U.S. It’s a shame that’s the best some people can get.

    • Steve Zahn

      It’s for people who want to hunt bird with an over under, but are also constrained by the three shell limit.

      Boom, three barrel over/under. Actually makes sense to me. I love hunting with my over/under just because I like the gun, but really wish I had that extra round sometimes

      • Vizzini

        That makes sense for the longer-barrelled models.

        • Steve Zahn

          Agree completely. This shorter version though… That falls in to the WTF category.

  • Vhyrus

    1600 dollars is a freaking astronomically high price for a 3 shot 12 gauge. You could buy a DP12 and have enough left over for an 870, or just go whole hog and buy a benelli m4. I just do not understand how they decided to make this gun.

    • Tyler Shaw

      I agree, I am perplexed by the pricing of most Chiappa guns. I think they are doing some interesting things, but novel does not necessarily justify the prices.

    • USMC03Vet

      What is the weight fully loaded of the db12 like 15lbs? It will come down in price just like the db12 which was $1600 MSRP.

      • Zachary marrs

        Pretty sure the chiappa triple threat has been out for about 2 years

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    $1600 for three glory holes?
    Sounds a little steep to me.

    I could get four in Thailand for a thousand.

    • USMC03Vet

      Buy me drinky?

    • kipy

      You sir are a TFB treasure

  • USMC03Vet

    3 barrels but 3 guns. James are you registered as any other weapon?

    I love these reviews. Some of the best TFB content by far.

    • Giolli Joker

      James is great, I first watched the shooting part of the review on youtube and his replies to the comments are definitely hilarious.

      • BattleshipGrey

        I rarely watch TFBTV on youtube directly so I miss out on those discussions. I should start reading them too. 🙂

      • USMC03Vet

        He is a good sport about it that’s for sure.

    • James R.

      No, just a registered sex offender. None of you guys live within a mile from me, right? If so, I think this constitutes notice.

  • Slim934

    Side quesiton, who makes a reasonably good quality double barrel for self-defense nowadays?

    Yeah yeah I realize it makes no sense compared to an 870/500/whatever. This is a curiosity question more than anything.

    • Vizzini

      Stoeger, Century. But I’d just go with a low-end Mossberg or Stevens pump if I wanted an inexpensive home-defense shotgun.

    • gunsandrockets

      Stoeger also makes an over-under version with an MSRP of $479

      • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

        I second the Stoeger

  • Looks like it is a 3 shot then a single shot after that since extracting the fired cases out of the bottom barrels is not easy.

    • Sianmink

      Russians have been in love with revolving shotguns for a while.

      • iksnilol

        I daydreamed about buying one of those to saw down to magnum revolver size (cause .357 and .44 are too expensive to plink with)… then I saw they cost way too much to do that to.

  • Camilo Emiliano Rosas Echeverr

    Well, in Europe is marketed towards hunters in legilsations where you cannot hunt with more than 3 cartridges at the ready. So that usually means a double barrel, or a semiauto with two in the magazin and one in the chamber.
    In the USA they do things… different.

    • Gabe

      You might be surprised to find out the USA also has 3 round limits. Depends on location of course but federally, it’s illegal to hunt waterfowl with a shotgun that can hold more than three rounds. A magazine plug can be used to limit a gun designed to hold more.

      • Camilo Emiliano Rosas Echeverr

        Oh, I wouldn’t have imagined it, thanks.

        • Erich Von Topp

          In fact I don’t know any state where you can hunt with more than 3 rounds in the gun and it must be plugged to not accept more than 3 rounds. Centerfire rifles are restricted to 5 rounds most places.

          • Gabe

            Very true however it seems some states have removed a lot of restrictions for “pest” species like feral hog. Seeing some guys in TX hunting with full auto, but they aren’t technically hunting. Closer to pest control really, tasty, tasty pest control.

  • Ryfyle

    1600$ for a 250$ coach gun with 50% more gun? Why?

    • gunsandrockets

      All the new coach guns in my area are more like $450 than $250.

  • gunsandrockets

    It’s a City of Highland Park legal “assault weapon”.

  • Devil_Doc

    I thought James was supposed to do a video wearing UDT shorts, or silkies. That would be operator AF…

    • James R.

      LOL dude I would be chased off the internet with pitchforks and torches. I think the Branch Davidians on Youtube are already having a collective aneurysm over those Patagonia Baggies.

  • TDog

    Get a DP-12 – it costs less and carries 13 more shots. 😀

    • Giolli Joker

      It’s uglier, though.

      • TDog

        To paraphrase Cartman from South Park, “It’s not ugly! It’s just big boned!” 😉

  • KestrelBike

    ugh, that extractor over ejector just irks me. Especially at $1,600. No-likey.

  • BattleshipGrey

    I think I’ll wait ’til I can put a suppressor on it.

    • Giolli Joker

      Now I want to see a chopped down Triple Threat with three Silencerco Salvo 12s attached with a 120° angle between them.

      • Billy bob

        Game changa!

  • Gorilla Biscuits

    Chippidy CHOP!

    • John

      You sir… are a genius! I’ve never wanted a Chiappa more until now. What barrel length did you chop it to? Any chance you’ve ever reviewed it on youtube or forums anywhere? Would love to see how it performs! So tempting…

      • Gorilla Biscuits

        Unfortunately this is just a case of Google Images. I just wanted to see if anyone had cut one of these down, and it looks like there are a few out there. So it has been done, is it worth it? Mmmmmmmm yea, I think so! Hahaha.

  • randomswede

    So I was thinking [insert eye roll here]:
    1) Mill to accept moon clips
    2) Make the extractor an ejector and allow the hinge to open enough for easy ejection
    3) Dress in lightweight synthetic furniture with a folding or retractable “emergency” butt

    4) Optionally chop the barrels to AOW/SBS length

    Hopefully making a nice lightweight semi-auto door breaching shotgun (hinge-hinge-lock).
    Question being; how would it stack up against a “super shorty” in the same role.

    The first two I would have put in the original gun if at all possible of course.

    • Giolli Joker

      It would not be semi-auto, but I like the crazy tacticoolness of the idea.

      • randomswede

        Well no, but as in “it fires a shell per (the first three) trigger pull(s) without action in between”.

  • Erich Von Topp

    It would be interesting to see what would happen if Joe-Stick-Up-Man was looking down the ugly ass 3 piper and decided that wasn’t a real gun.

  • Damocles

    I think it is an attractive looking shotgun if you have the money to splurge on a toy. My Mossberg 500 pump action has an 8+1 capacity and cost me about $335.

  • Sulaco

    Hickok 45 started out being skeptical about it but ended up liking it on his video review…He did note the price was a non starter though…

  • Ranger Rick

    Review was spot on. Well made and definitely not junk. BTW there are more jurisdictions than Australia where the Chiappa is your only recourse for a multi-shot weapon to protect yourself.

    PS: Steve, the reason for the nonejectic and automatic reset is so if you only fire one or two shots you just reload that barrel(s) and your back in action. No waste of precious ammo when you may need it.

  • Ben Warren

    I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but the biggest letdown was that the action didn’t open far enough to easily extract the bottom two shells. Steve’s reloads looked awkward as hell.

  • Mr Silly

    Nicely made. Mauser set up a factory in Turkey well before WW1- the Germans and Austrians have been their main suppliers, but lately BAE Systems have stepped in for the Turk tank projects.