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Choke constrictions vs labels: changed over years?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Porcupine, Aug 20, 2008.

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  1. Porcupine

    Porcupine Active Member

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    This could be a loaded question, but have the labels 'Modified, Improved Modified, Full' et cetera pertaining to choke constriction always been in the same relative ranges (plus or minus) where they are now? For example, is a 1940 Model 12 choked 'Modified' similar in constriction (again, plus or minus) to a current vintage shotgun, say, with a 'Modified' choke tube? Thanks for any insights.

    LA
     
  2. Gregg535

    Gregg535 Member

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    It would be easy to find quite a few examples where the answer would be "no", especially if choke tubes are taken into consideration. In particular, the Browning factory supplied black colored flush tubes will run more open than most other guns from the skeet up through the imp/mod --- the "fulls" run pretty good at about 0.031 or more.

    SKB choke tubes, both flush and extended, run a little more open then typical also--- with Imp/Cly running 0.005 and Mod running 0.015 and fulls running 0.025 etc.

    Most older fixed choked guns that were labeled as "full", and especially the trap models, are usually quite tightly choked, often from 0.037 on up to in the 40's. I think that as far as full choke guns go, the trend today with both fixed and changeable, would be slightly more open than in the past; most aftermarket tube makers list their full tubes at 0.035, but some are less, such as TruLock being 0.030, etc.

    For fixed choke trap guns, I think that quite often the typical new Perazzi fixed uses their #8 constriction, which is about 0.032, again slightly lighter. But a lot of the smaller custom trap gun makers still choke really tight.
     
  3. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Porcupine, way back in time, you know, when Britain was still a world power, they defined choke performance. They used incredibly stupid names like Full choke, 3/4 choke, 1/2 choke and 1/4 choke, plus Cylinder (no) choke. Imagine actually using nomenclature that gave the user a clue as to what to expect.

    Then come the Yanks who are math deficient and decide names convey more meaning than numbers. So they invent a different system that uses Full, Modified, Improved Cylinder and Cylinder. They even went further and assigned pattern percentages to those names. Full choke had 70% Pattern Efficiency (PE), Modified choke had 60% PE, Improved Cylinder choke had 55% PE, and Cylinder chokes had 40-50% PE depending on who you believed. Now think about this for a minute. Four choke designations covered the gamut from the most open pattern to the tightest pattern you could get at the time.

    As components and technology improved, so did the performance of shot shells. The old designation became meaningless. I had a Superposed barrel with a .024 choke (Improved Modified) that threw 82% patterns. That's way better than the Full chokes with yesteryear's ammo.

    So, since choke performance with modern ammo didn't match the old descriptions of chokes, some manufacturer's decided to start making chokes with a restriction that was less than "standard", but threw a standard PE pattern. Browning and Beretta were guilty of this. So anyone familiar with choke performance would take a look at a Mofified choke, assume it wa, or was close to the standard .020" constriction, then figure it would shoot 70%+ patterns with target ammo. But noooo, B & B decided to slip in a .012" choke and call it Modified because it threw 60% patterns, just like real Modified chokes did with old ammo.

    So the only thing you can take to the bank is the marking on a choke is a figment of someones imagination. A choke is as a choke does. If you want to know what your chokes do, you'll have to pattern them.
     
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