Akkar Triple Crown 28 bore
Vic Harker puts the three-barrelled Akkar Triple Crown 28 bore to the test.
With regard to shooting live quarry of any kind, what constitutes sportsmanship as to the number of shots that should be taken at a single bird? My instinctive response, and I suspect that of many others, would be two. My reason being that as most of us use some kind of double-barrelled gun for live quarry, a second-barrel kill is permissible, but a third, not to mention a fourth shot – even if it is a possibility with a semi-automatic – seems somehow gratuitous and unsportsmanlike.
So, what about a three-barrelled gun that is loaded in the same way as a double? Would that also be beyond the pall? This was the question in my mind from the first moment I set my eyes on the three-barrelled shotgun made by the Turkish gunmaker Akkar, which is distributed in the UK by Edgar Brothers. I have to admit, however, that from the beginning, regardless of my delicate sensibilities, the Akkar both attracted and intrigued me.
It’s a 28 bore, and rather than having an appearance of some monstrous implement, this treble-barrelled gun was, to a design, entirely conventional in appearance, and in profile closely resembled a small bore over-under. The small calibre helps of course.
The jointing of the barrels to the action was reassuringly conventional, too. It consists of a forward lump doubling as a barrel hook which pivots on a full-width cross-pin, the rear lump with a single bite engaged with a full-width locking bolt moving forward under the breech face. The trigger mechanism is cocked in the conventional way with a rod operated off the fore-end iron on the opening of the gun. On closure, the three hammers engage with three overhead sears suspended from the action’s top strap.
The three barrels are sleeved into a single monobloc, two sit side-by-side in the conventional fashion and the third sits on top and incorporates an excellent narrow sighting rib. Order of fire is right-bottom first, left-bottom barrel next and then the top barrel. The conventional single trigger simply disengages three hammers instead of two, in the same way as the mechanical trigger in a double barrel gun, and so the number of components involved are minimal and designed on already long-established principles. The action body that houses this mechanism is particularly elegant and looks very conventional in spite of having to engage with three barrels instead of two. There is a total absence of engraving and only the gun’s designation ‘Triple Crown’ in scroll lettering is to be seen on the bottom plate. The action body does, however, incorporate some bold fencing that provides some real character, and this together with the top lever skeleton thumb-piece creates an atmosphere of traditional elegance that is very convincing.
The stocking of the gun is equally well executed and combines practicality with excellent proportions. A generous pistol grip combining a palm swell feels and looks appropriate. The comb is slim and tapered to the front – my only criticism being it is much too low with a drop of 40mm at the face. Executed in a dark figured walnut, it is complemented by a beavertail fore-end which is attached to the barrels by way of an Anson rod fastening.
With an all-up weight of 7lb 10oz, there are a lot of lighter 20 bore shotguns about, but of course this is not the point but rather the novelty aspect of the third barrel. In practical terms, it is also useful as having a third shot available compensates to some degree for the gun being a non-ejector, and the time it takes to reload as a consequence.
The big question, however, is reload for what? Driven pheasants? I think not.
A pigeon hide may have possibilities, though, as in a static position the weight is not such a handicap. Shooting the Akkar is of course fun if you can find someone to provide three simultaneous clay targets. I did, and yes it was fun. And clays only come when you call for them so reloading, not to mention unloading, was not a problem. As for the gun’s handling characteristics, I’ve shot clays with guns far heavier than this Turk and I rather liked the steadiness the heavy barrel assembly provided. Again this was not a factor as clay target shooting is a static game. Nevertheless, in the end you have to ask yourself what is the rather good looking non-ejector for?
Certainly not for any kind of serious clay target shooting (the rules preclude a third shot). For rough shooting, frankly it’s a touch heavy for walking any distance. Driven game shooting I have already mentioned and decided that as a non-ejector it’s a non-starter, but what if it was fitted with ejectors? It would increase the cost, but for birds at moderate range it might well prove to be very effective. There is, however, the three shot factor which is really what the gun is all about; would my fellow Guns see it as unsporting? In fact, I believe most of them would be pestering me between drives for a shot with this ‘cad’s’ gun. The truth, I believe, is those who will buy the gun will disregard all the issues it raises for the same reason I would, because I like it and it is fun – and with ejectors it would be even more so.
Maker: Akkar (Turkey)
Model: Triple Crown 329
Barrels: 28" monobloc
Chokes: five hand detachable supplied
Rib: Ventilated 6mm
Weight: 7lb 10oz
RRP: £1,885 inc. VAT
Distributor: Edgar Brothers