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View Full Version : Stupid question about chokes.


Major Miner II
01-11-2006, 7:43 PM
I'm not a shotgun guy, other than what I needed for work with my Mossburg, but I just bought a Mossburg 20ga with a modified choke.

Can someone run down the chokes for me and tell me what you can fire slugs with?

Thanks in advance.

Matt-man
01-11-2006, 9:10 PM
Let's see. If I remember right, from least restrictive to most, the common chokes are:

Cylinder
Improved cylinder
Modified
Full

Cylinder is essentially no choke. There are other chokes like skeet and turkey, but you usually see those on dedicated competition guns or as choke tubes.

Most people say you shouldn't use slugs with anything more restrictive than I.C.

sargenv
01-12-2006, 9:59 AM
Matt-Man... You got the basics right but there are more than that, just not generally available or given out with shotguns sold over the counter. :)

Generally if you purchase a hunting shotgun with the screw in chokes, you will get:

Improved
Modified
Full

The available chokes are:

Cylinder
Skeet I
Skeet II
Improved
Light Modified
Modified
Improved Modified
Full
Extra full/Turkey Full

Now bear in mind that not all manufacturers will sell these chokes, but if you head on over to Briley and look at their custon chokes, you can usually get your gun cut for screw in chokes and they will give you any 3 choices of the above. It also depends on Gauge since the 10 and 12 have the most leeway, you may not have all of the choices listed above for say a 28 gauge or a 410. You will probably get most of those choices in something like a 20 gauge and maybe a 16 since there is enough difference between Cylinder and Extra full.

All of these are listed for lead shot. If you go to Briley, they also have chokes made for steel shot. Generally speaking, Improved Cylinder is a modified for Steel, and a Modified for Lead is Full for Steel. Skeet I would probably be rated an improved for Steel. Most of us here will probably only use Lead, but there are alternatives available for those who are restricted to non-toxic payloads (waterfowl hunting).

Another thing to think about is that with tolerances not being quite the same between manufacturers, or maybe looser tolerances with less expensive manufacturers, your modified may in fact be what Briley rates as a light modified or it could go in either direction.

It can be confusing to someone not in the know, but it gets easier as you read up on the subject. Any of the better books that you purchase on Loading shotshells (lyman, et al) will have sections on chokes, patterning, and usually range expectations and sometimes even ballistics and downrange energy.

As for slugs, those tolerances can change depending on what kind of slug you use. I have a Browning Gold with screw in chokes and I use the S&B Brenneke style slugs. I cut a slug from the shell and was checking tolerances for my chokes. The S&B slug snugly fits through my modified choke and I get the best accuracy with it. Most slugs will rattle around down your barrel and if you have the option of screw in chokes, I'd cut a slug loose of the shell and see which choke it just squeezes through with finger pressure.

I hope I've given way more info than you wanted or at least cracked the egg that is shotgun chokes. :D

Vince

Major Miner II
01-12-2006, 10:03 AM
Thanks guys! :D

-hanko
01-12-2006, 5:35 PM
Degree of choke is also controlled by the diameter of the barrel's forcing cone. If you want very accurate patterns and have some $$, get a good shotgun smith to measure your barrel & tell you what your chokes will do. Briley's website is a good read. Actual choke properties can vary from gun to gun on the same model, not to mention variation between manufacturers.

-hanko

sargenv
01-12-2006, 7:55 PM
+1 to Hanko..

Generally the less you spend on a shotgun, the less barrel work they have done to the forcing cone. If you spend a good amount of money on the gun, chances are it has been back bored or the forcing cone is more tapered than one with a straight taper to bore diam.

Thanks for bringing that up Hanko :)

Vince

M14Gunman
01-13-2006, 2:28 PM
I use a full choke with size 4 shot when shooting animals not intended for consumption. It really extends the range of a 12 guage 870!