Shotgun Chokes

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by freestoneangler, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,135
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +791 / 1
    Just received my set of extended chokes form CZ for my Canvasback. The gun came with two flush fitting chokes; according to the ID markings in the CZ manual, Mod is in the top and Imp Cyl in the bottom barrel. At the trap range last week, I was shooting my bottom barrel first. I wasn't paying too much attention to which barrel I was scoring better with...scores of 15-17/25 doesn't exactly lend itself to correlating statistics :eek: . I only shot once at every clay. I did find that, rather than trying to acquire and get the target quickly, I seemed to have a little better luck delaying just a bit.

    Being very new to trap, I'm not sure if that's the best technique or not, but it would seem that I'd want to perhaps put the Imp Mod in the bottom and Full in the top to keep energy and grouping a bit tighter further out... right?

    Lastly, changing out the ones that came with the gun with the new ones, I realized how dirty the area between the barrel and the choke OD is...I did not pull the chokes when I cleaned the gun. I think I know the answer now, but I'll ask anyway just to give the seasoned guys on the forum an eye-level slow one to hammer :D .... always removed the chokes when you clean, right?
  2. Upton O Blind hog fisherman

    Posts: 2,171
    out of state now
    Ratings: +220 / 0
    The issue with choke tubes is to make sure they have a very (VERY) light film of tube grease on the threads when you screw them back in after cleaning. Nothing causes greater angst than a tube stuck in a barrel.

    As for shooting (and folks just never want to do this) it is a great idea to pattern each of your chokes at 30 yards with several different loads so you can get an idea of what your gun is throwing. Get someone to help you so you can do it correctly.
    Blake Harmon likes this.
  3. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,245
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +1,031 / 1
    The tighter the choke the less the margin of error. I've shot trap with Imp Cyl and it works. I also clean under the choke areas periodically but not every time. I do lube them before I screw them in. I have two Bobwhites and one DeHaan Huglu. If we're talking 5 Stand... I shoot that with Cylinder in one barrel and Imp Cyl in the other. Since I'm a hunter I reversed the tubes so that I fire the bottom barrel second. I'm right handed and have a tendency to push the safety off to the left.
  4. Benjy Active Member

    Posts: 309
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +57 / 0
    I never have. IMO they are so precision fitted that you don't need to. I'd worry that the threads would get gunk on them during cleaning and unless you want to change constriction you should leave them in.
  5. Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    Posts: 2,413
    Columbia Basin
    Ratings: +692 / 0
    I remove my tubes periodically, re-lube, & reinstall. I also check for tightness following an outing. Since I hunt a great deal in a variety of covers, I also frequently change tube configurations, but in every case, the more open tube is always in the first barrel (which for me is the bottom barrel of an O/U). As Karl stated, patterning loads in a shotgun is important . . . some combinations just don't pattern well in certain guns. For example, RST makes fine ammunition imho, however this doesn't pattern at all well in my Red Label O/U 28, but performs great in my Bobwhite & Legacy. My hunting partner shoots an old Wingmaster, has never removed the choke it came with, and is typically a deadly shot on birds. After a recent outing during which he couldn't touch close-flushing birds, he wanted to swap tubes; guess what? He couldn't. Maintenance involves more than cleaning the bore, occasional lube, and wipe-downs. Off to "The Swamp" for the traditional last-day-of-Pheasants campaign in this veritable & frustrating late-season gold mine . . . Hank in his GPS collar & both of us tired when we're done . . . but it's a good tired!
    Blake Harmon and Upton O like this.
  6. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,336
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +895 / 0
    Pattern first, like Karl says; it's the only way to determine if things are really working the way you want them to. You'll find you get vastly different patterns by just changing the wad/shot collar setup, let alone the powder, primer or hull. And shot speed/chamber pressure isn't an indicator of pattern effectiveness whatsoever! I shoot RST low-pressure loads in my vintage 28bore hammergun, and the thing patterns superbly with them. My neighbor used RST 2 3/4 inch low-pressure loads in his CZ Bobwhite, and they, too, pattern superbly. These are basically low power, relatively slow loads, but they really bring home the birds from the field. You might check them out, and on a per-case cost, they're not any more expensive than anything else.
  7. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,135
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +791 / 1
    Lot's of stuff yet to learn about this new hobby... thanks for the responses! I only have target load ammo presently. When we hunted on the ranch in OR a couple years ago, they let us use whatever. I'd like to hear what your favored ammo is -- specifics please as there are so dang many to choose from. I haven't studied the reg's in detail, but does all bird hunting in WA require non-lead shot?
  8. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,314
    Glenraven Ranch
    Ratings: +796 / 1
    Lead shot use is dwindling these days. Any pheasant release site requires non-tox as does any waterfowl hunting. In the forest, for grouse, lead is still largely legal. Some other public areas are lead legal.

    For starters most commercial ammo is fine. Once you get to the finer points or decide to venture into reloading, you can fine tune loads for pattern, recoil, pressure, and other variables. For now just keep your hulls from the range just in case.
  9. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,245
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +1,031 / 1
    Depends on where you hunt and what you hunt. All migratory except mourning dove is steel shot. There's a fair amount of state and federal owned land in the state that's steel only. Other areas are your choice of metal.

    Steel means no lead but not strictly steel only. There's other non-lead matrixes that are legal.
  10. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,135
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +791 / 1
    I'm fairly certain I will not be doing any ammo making...for hell sake, I'm challenged enough with hooks and feathers. As I plan to pick up some ammo here and there (for hunting), I was just looking for some suggested ones to look for. Sounds like buying non-lead is the safe play; kinda like always fishing barbless and never having to worry about it.

    I suppose I could start keeping the hulls and give them to you guys one day when we hopefully meet up for some time afield.
  11. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,245
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +1,031 / 1
    I try and make my lead loads go 1200 fps and my steel loads also at 1200 fps. The lead I shoot is usually a 1 ounce load and 1200 fps which is a fairly light load. If the birds are in the pattern they go down. If not in the pattern it doesn't make much use how big the shot charge is.
  12. Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    Posts: 2,413
    Columbia Basin
    Ratings: +692 / 0
    Nice shot makes some great non-tox loads . . . 1 oz in 2&3/4" 20, they hit hard and seem to pattern consistently in all of my shotguns. They can be a tad spendy, but when hunting Pheasants in WA State, it's not like you get multiple shot opportunities on public ground . . . fortunately AND unfortunately, depending on your perspective when using spendy ammo, lol . . .
  13. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,336
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +895 / 0
    Well, the problem here is that with shotguns, you really need to practice, so you're going to spend on ammo. Winchester AA-"double A- ammo is about the cheapest decent ammo out there. It's cheaper that I can reload--FOR NOW! However, .410 is definitely NOT! The nice thing about being able to reload is that you can match your lead and steel speeds so you don't have to change how you lead the bird. Loading steel isn't something I will do, however. Complicated, and no room for fudging!

    Steel isn't very effective compared to lead; too light, not enough mass, and won't carry any distance for long shots. Lead works best, especially given the outrageous expense of bismuth and other non-tox shot.
  14. aaronk Member

    Posts: 47
    Bow, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    If you're shooting regular trap you should only be loading one shell per turn, so it won't matter whether you have your more open choke on the top or bottom, assuming you have a selective trigger. Most people will tell you to shoot trap out of the bottom barrel because of recoil. Take the time to make sure you have a good gun mount before firing, the speed will come with time. My old roommate could pick up a clay and break it in no time flat, I was always amazed. Me on the other hand, I'm not slow, but I like to take a little more time.

    Oh, I'll clean my chokes every 2-3 cleanings if I'm shooting trap a few times a month. If I won't be shooting again for a while I'll take them out and clean them and the gun.