Normally when you think about a European triple barrel break action hunting firearm you most likely depict a drilling with a triangular orientation of barrels. Karl Hauptmann, a company located in Ferlach, makes triple barrel rifles and shotguns with horizontal orientation of barrels – 3 side by side barrels. This barrel configuration is called “kugeldrilling”.
This is a rather unusual layout and Karl Hauptmann makes both rifles and shotguns with such a barrel configuration. Because their shotgun is chambered in .410 Bore, I suspect that both the rifles and the shotgun are based on the same action.
The company markets their triple barrel rifle for use in driven hunts. In such hunting scenarios you often times have to make several quick shots to hit the multiple running game animals or to make follow up shots on the same target. That being said, this rifle should be the fastest and most reliable firearm if all other factors are considered equal (particularly, the three round capacity). Even the fastest straight pull bolt action rifles can’t come even close to the break action rifles because in this case, all you need to do to make the second (and third) shot is to pull the trigger again. Now if the speed is such a big concern, one can use a semi-automatic hunting rifle. However, despite nowadays we have extremely reliable semi-auto rifles, no automatic mechanism has the reliability of the break action – there is virtually nothing to go wrong here and the misfires are solved with the same simple drill – pulling the trigger again.
For most of the hunters, this kind of extreme speed and reliability is probably not that significant to spend a lot of money for buying a triple barrel firearm like this. Nevertheless, what I want to point out is that such an unusual rifle can actually be a real hunting tool and have unmatched advantages.
Images from www.hauptmann-rifles.com