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.


    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.



    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.


    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:


    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:


    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:







    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:



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


    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.



    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:


    But she continued blasting away!


    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.