With three barrels, the Akkar Triple Crown Mammut is certainly out of the ordinary, but is it any good? Rupert Blackwall finds out
When I heard about the Akkar Triple Crown Mammut (a triple-barrelled shotgun) I couldn’t help but smirk! All I could think of was Sergeant Harper from the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell and how this sounded like the sort of gun he would be interested in.
Triple-barrelled guns are unusual in the UK, but not that uncommon in the rest of Europe. Drillings – which are a combination of a shotgun and rifle, with at least one of the barrels being rifled – are used in Europe for driven hunting. They come in various combinations from two shotgun barrels and one rifled barrel or vice-versa. There are a few English gunmakers that have made drilling too, but often as a special order that disappears into a collector’s hands.
The reasons why drillings have not sold over here are, firstly, that the price for a drilling is generally quite expensive, due to the barrel construction and the complex firing mechanism, to make it work reliably. Secondly, and most importantly, we hunt specific quarry in the UK whereas Europeans can hunt ground game and birds at the same time. So when Akkar brought out a triple- barrelled shotgun for a recommended retail price of £1,707 it suddenly makes owning an unusual three-barrelled gun affordable – albeit the Akkar Triple Crown Mammut is not strictly a drilling because it is a shotgun rather than a combination gun.
The Turkish company Akkar are not well-known in the UK, but what they have achieved for the money is good. I tested a 20-bore version, which meant the action wasn’t too large making it fairly wieldy.
The Akkar Mammut is built to a reasonable standard. The action and the internal components are all machined well and internally there are very few machining marks. There’s no engraving and, as a result, the makers have polished the action to a good standard, to make it more attractive.
It is a single-trigger gun, which would normally would not worry me if it had two barrels, but as it has three I was pleased to see the internals were not built like mouse trap! The Akkar has a very simple and well-designed mechanical single-trigger with a pull weight of 6lb 12ozs, which is heavy, but the crisp trigger pulls make it less noticeable. It’s also worth noting that the Akkar has a manual, rather than automatic, safety catch.
The Triple Crown is proofed for steel shot and all the barrels are multi-choked, allowing the shooter flexibility to choose the choke that suits them. The barrels have three solid ribs and the parallel top rib that is vented measures 7mm wide. As well as the 20-bore version that I tested the Mammut is also available in 12, 28-bore and .410, and these will be launched later this year. I look forward to trying the .410 especially as it would add extra fun.
The stock measurements of the Akkar are as follows: Drop at comb: 1⅜in and 2¼in at heel, resulting in a face measurement of 1⅞in Length: 141⁄2in to centre, with a ¾in soft rubber recoil pad.
These measurements are fairly standard apart from the height of the front of comb measurement, which results in the shooter seeing a little more rib. The wood on the stock is of average quality, but a three-barrelled gun wouldn’t be bought for its looks, but rather for its fun factor.
Akkar Triple Crown Mammut on test
I went to the West Oxfordshire Shooting School, where the new lodge manager, Rachel Draper, met me. I got the Akkar out of the gun slip and everyone’s eyes lit up: they were intrigued by the three- barrelled beast.
I used a Hull High Pheasant 25g No.6 shot, which is a medium 20-bore game cartridge. Part of the initial testing process is to check the finality of the single trigger. I am happy to say that however fast or aggressively I shot/ pulled the trigger the mechanism worked faultlessly. The gun weighs 7lb. 12oz, which was a good weight for me and I found it very comfortable and smooth to shoot with.
When shooting I found the gun to be very lively, considering there are three barrels. The trigger pulls are on the heavy side, which caught me out at first, but I shot very well with it. Extracting the cartridges was easy and you could reload it quite quickly. The gun opened and closed very smoothly – an indication of the quality of good machining.
The Akkar is not a gun that every one will want to own, but for those looking for a gun to make their shooting more fun and to add some novelty to their cabinet, I can’t honestly think of any thing else for the money that would give you that. I think when the 28-bore and .410 hit the market properly they will only add to the enjoyment.
I think that most people who buy a Akkar will end up using it as a gun to put a smile on their face.