Best choke set up for 20 ga O/U - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Best choke set up for 20 ga O/U

wondering what you grouse and upland guys think the best choke would be for my 20 GA O/U. It currently has a choke with 3 notches ( modified) and 4 notches (improved cylinder). I am not positive on what one is in what barrel but I think that the modified is on the top and improved cylinder is on the bottom.

What do you feel is the best way to set up this set up.? IC on the top, and Modified on the bottom, with the top barrel selected first? I mainly want this gun to shoot grouse, and wood cock in moderate cover, but will also be shooting some quail, chucker and pheasant. I will be hunting dove a few more times this year as well, then I want to have it set up for grouse and woodies. I hunt over a flushing dog if that makes your suggestions sway one way or the other.

Also what shot size do you recommend for the 20 gage and for what game. I don't really trust what is on the back of the boxes for say.

I took 7/8 oz of #8 for dove, but think this will be a little light for grouse. I was thinking that maybe 1 ox of #6 would be good for grouse. I am not sure if 7 1/2 is going to be more light. I would like to have a lot of bb's coming out of the barrel, but the pattern shot I took with my 20 before the dove hunt, looked really spread out with the IC at 25-30 yards.

I am open to any suggestions you all would have, and am eager to get back out there and see what works.

Thanks,

Mike

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 04:09 PM
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Re: Best choke set up for 20 ga O/U

I shoot IC on top barrel and Mod. on bottom in the early season. Late season is usually the same but sometimes I shoot mod. in both.
As far as ammo, I shoot Polywad Spreader loads in 7.5 shot in both barrels. sometimes late season I will put a 6 shot in the bottom barrel out of the modified.
However, regular old 8 shot is plenty to kill a grouse. The only reason I shoot polywads is I am dumb enough to spend the money, but, me and those shells and my gun are a very lethal combination and that is all that matters to me.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best choke set up for 20 ga O/U

Rober did you get my pm?

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 04:39 PM
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Re: Best choke set up for 20 ga O/U

I shoot IC bottom and Mod top in my Red Label. My zoli has choked barrels IC bottom and Mod top. Most guys fire the bottom barrel on an O/U first. I usually just use a standard field load of 7.5 for grouse and 6 for pheasants for my 20's. I use # 8 for grouse and #6 for pheasants in my 16 ga.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 04:50 PM
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Re: Best choke set up for 20 ga O/U

ahh chokes
really the only true way to figure it out is to pattern it.
even then game and conditions alter that finding.
what I have consistently found with the guns I use is that todays perceived chokes are tighter then they were in the past due to shot cups.
for grouse I shoot an open cyl and 7.5s
it throws a pattern similar to an improved choke.
I also use this if I have to shoot chuckers.
for pheasant I prefer an improved cyl and 6s
this puts out a modified pattern with my guns

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 05:40 PM
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Re: Best choke set up for 20 ga O/U

Typically you shoot the bottom barrel first so that would be your IC. Reasoning is that the bottom barrel is more in line with your shoulder so it won't jump so much when fired which allows you to get back on target quicker for the second shot.
Of course if you never need a second shot then you can just forget about getting back on target.....
With incoming shots you'd reverse it and fire the top barrel first to use your tighter choke at the longer range of the first shot.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 06:00 PM
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Re: Best choke set up for 20 ga O/U

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best choke set up for 20 ga O/U

Just picked up a carlsons skeet choke for my gun on ebay for $20.49. Should have it just about covered now. I think the only other one out there would be light modified (skeet 2)

WIll try them out and patern them at different ranges with different loads now and try and find the one that works the best for my gun.

Thanks for the help with this.

The opinions on this are staggering among grouse guys. I also belong to another forum, and have been getting different opinions on both.

I think it all boils down to finding the right load, that shoots out of your gun, and the choke to match the distances you will be shooting.

have had people tell me 8 is perfect for grouse in the thick stuff and some say that 8 is too light and will only would.

We will see. but it seems that it is between 7.5 and 8 and skeet, improved cylinder, and modified, with modified being on the tight side.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Best choke set up for 20 ga O/U

How many pellets do you all think it takes to put down a grouse. I know I am always in the turkey mindset that a tighter pattern with more pellets is best, but it seems that with grouse, quail and dove, and even pattern of 20" -30" or so is desired.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-05-2014, 08:15 PM
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Re: Best choke set up for 20 ga O/U

Depends on where those pellets hit of course, but IME it doesn't take many sometimes 2 or 3 pellets do the job. In a 20 O/U I use skeet choke on first shot with #8 spreader load, this makes for a big pattern on the first, usually closer, shot. 2nd barrel improved cylinder choke with 7 1/2s, for the 2nd, usually longer, shot. I feel this is a good combo in my 20 for grouse and the occasional woodcock. If he's not down by then he's usually out of range or has put too much cover between me and him and maybe I'll flush him again or maybe we get to play another day. I would think a lot of grouse hunters use 7 1/2s as a general starting point with 6s being the largest and some using as small as 9s or 10 shot if mainly hunting woodcock. And yes you can get 10 shot from good cartridge companies over the net that you won't find at your local gun store. Never used #10s myself though.
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