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Thread: Screw-in chokes vs. fixed

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Screw-in chokes vs. fixed

    Seems to me I get better results with a fixed choke on a barrel than I do with screw in chokes. What's the science say???

  2. #2
    Boolit Master UNIQUEDOT's Avatar
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    Fixed chokes generally have a much longer taper leading to the final choke. In older guns designed around card wads they were sometimes one long taper leading from the chamber to the muzzle. It is possible to buy tubes that offer even patterns equal to those fixed choke barrels and trulock is probably the least expensive quality tubes, but even then you would need to buy their specialty or higher end tubes.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master OnHoPr's Avatar
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    UNIQUEDOT wrote: Fixed chokes generally have a much longer taper leading to the final choke. In older guns designed around card wads they were sometimes one long taper leading from the chamber to the muzzle.

    The older barrels can produce better patterns at times because of the long tapering of the choke. Though a lot of times it just takes a bit of reloading test rounds and with all the choke tubes it can be bewildering to get a good pattern with the choke tube. Though, once you find a load for your specific intention it can be very good. Carlson choke tubes are about a 20 spot and can be very good. I don't know what type of load your throwing though. With my buckshot load I use the factory mossberg mod choke and with my turkey load I use a carlson's tube.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    IG, I'm talking about pellet count on paper - buckshot in particular and wad slugs. The long taper has my vote but I really appreciate other input. You are dead on right about pointing better!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master UNIQUEDOT's Avatar
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    I have never got patterns as good with choke tubes and buckshot as I have with fixed choke barrels, but there are expensive specialty tubes available today specifically for buckshot...or at least I remember seeing them a couple years ago and these tubes may change that...I have not used them. I also have not done any testing with the flight control stuff either.

    Carlson choke tubes are about a 20 spot and can be very good.
    Carlson's tubes are decent tubes for the money...I do own and use them, but they are not on par with trulock tubes.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Just won a full choke barrel on gun brokers for my Remington 870. I know browning barrels but I will have empirical evidence to present for a comparison in 10 days or so.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master shredder's Avatar
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    Great info! I have always wondered about this too.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Not sure where people are getting information on the length of choke in fixed choke barrels , but it is my understanding tht only the last 3-4 inches ( maybe less) of a barrel have any constriction since at least WWII. This would be especially true in mass produced repeaters. Very expensive double barrels are another matter. Long taper chockes would preclude the installation of Cutts Compensators or Polychokes that were quite popular prior to screw in chokes. Fit of the choke tube will effect how well it patterns. The chamber end ot the tube needs to be absolutely flush with the barrel or larger in diameter (Tula chokes). Also would suggest that heavier barrels swing better than light barrels. Think of duck guns with 28-30 inch barrels verus upland guns with 24-26 inch barrels. The duck gun gives a smooth consistant swing of a bird flying straight (teal are different) and the upland guns lets you chase a bird that dodges behind trees. There are some fairly expensive double buns being made with screw in chokes. Just some things to think about.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master UNIQUEDOT's Avatar
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    I've accumulated my information from various publications and from guns I've owned. Even some of the cheaper single shots sold in the 70's had long tapering. Even fixed chokes with 3-4 inch of gradual tapering still beats factory flush tubes and there is no bore to choke diameter variants...if it's stamped full choke then it should very well throw full choke patterns at 40 yards with the loads it was designed around.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I have never had a shotgun that listed the load its choke was designed for. I would be curious to know which cheap single shot guns had/have long tapering chokes. There are some many variations of specialized useage of shotgun it is almost impossible to make a blanket statement about any shotgun. That being said I believe that All Remington, Winchester,Browning and Mossberg shotguns designed primarily for hunting all have screw in chokes, at least in 12 and 20 ga. If there was a marked difference in screw in and fixed chokes I would think you could still buy fixed choke guns.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master UNIQUEDOT's Avatar
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    I have never had a shotgun that listed the load its choke was designed for.
    Well an old pump with a full choke for example would throw a full choke pattern out to 40 yards with a standard or magnum commercially available load using the standard card and cushion wads of the era and those same guns will generally throw an extra full pattern using modern loads of today.


    That being said I believe that All Remington, Winchester,Browning and Mossberg shotguns designed primarily for hunting all have screw in chokes, at least in 12 and 20 ga. If there was a marked difference in screw in and fixed chokes I would think you could still buy fixed choke guns.
    It hasn't been that long ago since choke tubes became a standard and it was for the simple fact that they were much easier to store and carry than were extra barrels and the biggest factor in their favor was being able to change your pattern in the field as a variety of small tubes could be carried.

    I would be curious to know which cheap single shot guns had/have long tapering chokes.
    Measure the bore of an old run of the mill savage and compare it to a modern gun.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have an answer, undeniable for MY 870 & MY loads, may be different for your gun, but holes in paper don't lie. Got 30" full fixed choke barrel and compared w/screw-in 28" full choke, same loads, 2 shots from each barrel. To my surprise, the Screw-in Remington was the winner. I frankly expected the opposite, so shot several more from each barrel. At 50 yds the screw-in consistently put 3 -4 OO pellets in 12" circle, the fixed only 2 - 3. Have not tried with smaller shot yet but to me the question is answered.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check