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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Shotgun chokes

There is an article by Michael Macintosh in the new Shooting Sportsman magazine titled "things we could do without". Macintosh says there is no need for anything but cylinder boar in upland game shotguns except for specialized turkey guns and waterfowl guns(perhaps). He makes the point that since the inception and use of plastic shock absorbing cup wads we are shooting tighter patterns regardless of the choke since the cup wad tightens the pattern by one choke size so those shooting a modified choke are actually sending out the pattern of a full choke and thise using full chokes are now sending out the pattern of an extra full choke. That equates to having a too toght choke and a smaller pattern circle for most upland species. It is good food for thought and he makes sense. If you have a chance to read it I urge you to do so. I tried to cut and paste the story from the online mag but they intentionally don't allow that because of copy right infringements.




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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 07:03 PM
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Re: Shotgun chokes

I guess that makes sense. I think I remember that when I started hunting back in the early 60's that folks with sxs had them chocked Mod/Full or Mod/Cyl. Back then I had a Rem 870 16 ga that had a fixed Mod choke. We all did just fine on small game. My 2 cents relative to chokes and their popularity is what I call technology creep. A technology has been created making a vast array of chokes available and so people find a need to use them. This example has nothing to do with upland hunting but i think it illistrates the point I am trying to make. Not too long ago I was with a bunch of guys at sporting clays place. One of the guys changed chokes at almost every venue. He had a brace of chokes and a menue of what worked best in certian shooting situations. In all fairness, he shot the pants off of everyone but while we were enjoying the day, and the cheap cigars we had, he was calculating lead and wind and probably barometric pressure figuring out what choke to use. Along with design of the modern shotshell I would suggest that modern propellents have a good deal to do with the density, consistancy and effectiveness of patterns. With that all said, I must admit that when I shoot trap I am ready to change chokes in the good old BT99 depending on a number of conditions. Not the least of which is how I am hitting them on any given day and how much money is down in the clubhouse coffee table .

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 08:59 PM
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Re: Shotgun chokes

I totally agree. Most people use too much choke. I like to consume what I take in the field and I sometimes question what's left to eat for others when I see pheasnts swatted hard that go down in a burst of feathers.

Whenever I have friends come bird hunt with me who don't hunt often, they are surprised at the choke choices I recommend to them should they ask. I always lean to the most open of chokes. If I have a double with removeable chokes tubes, I always have a CYL ot SKEET tube in the bottom barrel. Maybe IC or MOD in the top barrel as my second shot. As weather gets colder, I will move to a tighter choke in the top barrel (usually MOD) since cold air is denser and does affect shot patterns to a minor degree. I have never used the FULL choke tubes in any of my guns except on the trap range for doubles.

My favorite fixed-choke gun for upland game is one sporting an IMP.CYL. constriction.

Some of my older fixed choke shotguns throw devastatingly tight patterns with modern shotcups, but they are overly tight for upland game over a bird dog. They are handy for long shots on pheasant, doves or crows though. It should be noted too that a bit more work went into making older shotgun barrels' fixed chokes than those made prior to the advent of removeable choke tubes. Some chokes were as long as 6", with a smooth transition to the choke and then with a lengthy parallel bore which further eased shot transition. Not to mention they usually were regulated and patterned at the factory. If the barrels didn't pattern well or to the point of aim, they were scrapped and redone.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Shotgun chokes

Back when they used over the shot card and felt wads choke was more important than today with plastic cup wads because a lot of shot was deformed from the igition of the powder and being scrapped along the barrel walls. With the plastic cup wad, that doesn't happen and therefore there are less fliers and a smaller pattern.




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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2010, 10:59 PM
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Re: Shotgun chokes

I used to shoot trap with a couple of chaps who were so into the sport that they even buffered their shot with corn meal and other stuff so as to avoid deforming the pellets. I've seen load data with this buffering process as an option but I always opted for the hard shot vis soft stuff. Don't know if it makes a difference, but it makes me feel better to use the harder shot.

Good night Chesty, wherever you are......
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 09:20 AM
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Re: Shotgun chokes

I agree that most guns are over-choked. In my sxs I use the imp cyl and mod unless out for waterfowl.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2010, 09:36 PM
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Re: Shotgun chokes

I wish my savage 20 gauge pump didn't have a fixed full choke. Should almost have rifle sights on that thing. Way to tight to hunt in the fall when leaves are still on the trees.

I only have one shotgun that has removeable chokes. It almost always has the improved cyl choke in it. The way I look at it I have a better chance of hitting it with a more open choke. There will also be a lot less BB's in it. If it is still flopping then it gets it with the 22 revolver.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 12:12 AM
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Re: Shotgun chokes

Quote:
Originally Posted by hunt/fish365
I wish my savage 20 gauge pump didn't have a fixed full choke. ..... Way to tight to hunt in the fall when leaves are still on the trees.
If you use it for upland game you could have the barrel cut just behind the choke and it would be cylinder bore.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 06:13 PM
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Re: Shotgun chokes

Quote:
Originally Posted by John S
He makes the point that since the inception and use of plastic shock absorbing cup wads
You probably remember spears for T Rex's don't ya John?

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Shotgun chokes

We didn't have spears we couldn't aford them. We sat in trees and dropped rocks.




When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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