I’m not sure if I’d ever need one of these, but if a favorable deal obtained, it’s entirely possible that I’d grab one to play with for a while. This, True Believers, is a Chiappa Firearms Triple Crown, a three-barreled (yes, that’s right, three barrels) 12 gauge. The layout is logical – it’s basically a boxlock side-by-side with a third barrel added on the top, resulting in a triangular configuration that gives a clean, single sighting plane.
The gun also comes in a short-barreled version called the Triple Threat, aimed (presumably) at the home-defense market. Both versions come with all three barrels cut and threaded for the RemChoke choke tube system, and ready for heavy use with 3″ chambers. This being a break-open action, it’s unclear why Chiappas didn’t go the extra half-inch and chamber the big triple for the 3 1/2″ 12 gauge roman candles popular for waterfowling, but it isn’t, and there’s an end of it.
At 8.7 pounds empty, the Triple Crown is on the heavy side for a field gun, and likewise a bit heavy for a day’s constant handling on the trap range. For home defense, it’s likely that the sight of three 12-bore barrels viewed from the dangerous end would likely make any would-be robber suddenly feel a need for clean underwear; but the primary purpose of a shotgun of this type would seem to be novelty. Now, there’s nothing wrong with novelty; the Animal clan gun rack contains more than a few shootin’ irons with more novelty or “fun” appeal than practical application.
The one application that does come to mind is waterfowling. Shooting over decoy, a heavy gun is no disadvantage; Federal migratory bird laws limit any gun to three shots in any case, and if only the gun had that extra half-inch of chamber to handle the heavy non-toxic loads in common use for heavy Canada geese and fast-moving ducks, this Triple Threat would make a great waterfowling piece.
That’s an official suggestion, Chiappas. Think about it.