An interesting picture of a triple barrel shotgun circulating as an internet meme. The meme sometimes has a caption like “Why Three Barrels? Because . . . ” The accompanying picture is of a vintage shotgun with three side-by-side barrels. The triple barrel shotgun in question was actually custom-made in 1891 by the famed British gun maker John Dickson & Son. The gun was made for a British Lord and was dubbed “The Holy Grail.” According to a Tumblr post, it recently sold at auction for over $66,000.
Obviously, a one of a kind custom British triple-barrel shotgun is out of reach for most people. But, the triple barrel shotgun idea is an intriguing idea. Can you buy a triple barrel shotgun today? In the United States, the answer is a resounding yes! Italy’s Chiappa Firearms has long been known for innovative firearms. Headquartered in Brescia, Italy, the company has manufacturing facilities in Italy and Dayton, Ohio. Today, they actually sell two triple barrel shotgun models: the Triple Crown and the Triple Threat. Both models have three barrels in a triangular configuration. There are two side-by-side barrels topped by an additional barrel. This makes the shotgun a little easier to aim and probably a bit more accurate than “The Holy Grail” shotgun. Each Chiappa shotgun barrel has a “Rem-choke” to regulate the shot pattern.
The Chiappa Triple Crown is a 12-gauge made for sporting purposes and has three 28-inch barrels capable of handling 3-inch magnum shot shells. It weighs 8.7 pounds which is a little more than a typical double barreled shotgun like the Stoeger Uplander Supreme which weighs 7.5 pounds. Having three shots is good for bird hunting where hunting regulations typically restrict shooters to magazines with four rounds or less.
The Chiappa Triple Threat is based on the Triple Crown. However, the shotgun takes on a much more intimidating appearance in the home defense model. The barrels are cut down to the near legal minimum 18.5-inches. The Triple Threat also has a stock that can be partially disassembled for an even shorter, more maneuverable, configuration. The Chiappa Triple Threat weighs in at 8 pounds where a comparable double barrel shotgun like the Stoeger Coach Gun Supreme weighs 6.5 pounds.
The addition of a third barrel can triple the price of a shotgun. For example, a double barrel Stoeger Coach gun has a suggested starting retail price of $549 while the triple barrel Chiappa Triple Threat retails for around $1500 according to prices on Armslist.com. However, that third shot can come in handy if you miss with the first two. Some firearms experts say that a double barrel shotgun is not the best choice for home defense because of the limited amount of ammunition carried. However, a double or triple barrel shotgun is very fast to initially load when compared to a tradition shotgun with tubular magazine. This quick response time could be vital in a home invasion or burglary scenario.
No matter what you think of the Chiappa Triple Barrel Shotgun, it is an amazing firearm and it brings a new set of capabilities to firearms enthusiasts.