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factory choke opinions

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by HoosierHawk95, Nov 28, 2009.

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  1. HoosierHawk95

    HoosierHawk95 Member

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    I am waivering back and forth about purchasing an new SKB 85TTR combo or a Beretta 682 combo. I can justify both but only need(and can afford)one. My question is this: how do the factory chokes from SKB (Briley I am told by the SKB folks) and the factory Optima chokes from Beretta compare in delivering consistent patterns. I guess while we are at it you can give me your opinion on which gun to choose as well although it will probably just make the water muddier.
    One other question: is there much difference in a 30" vs. 32" O/U barrel for doubles? Guess I ended up with more than one question, but I learn so much about guns and trapshooting from this board that I couldn't help myself.
    Thanks
    David
     
  2. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry about the chokes. Get the gun that fits you best, that is, lets you hold your head pretty straight (vertically - said another way, eyes horizontal) ) and look straight down the rib. It's really all that counts at the start; all the rest is icing.

    I just tested a 391 with Optima chokes and though the full choke wasn't as tight as I expected, it was just fine.

    Neil
     
  3. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    Let me just say that I'm a big fan of Beretta 680 series shotguns. I have a few and really enjoy them. I have also owned and shot a couple of 85TSS's.

    Choosing a shotgun because of choke tubes is a big no-no. This is one of the easiest and least costly (Ti chokes not included) improvements one can make.

    Go handle each gun and decide which one fits you the best. If you have the oppertunity shoot them and see how you get along with the characteristics that each one exhibits.

    As far as the 30" vs 32" O/U's. You'll have to see which one suits your needs the best. If everything is equal, the 32" barrels are the way to go. This will make the gun easier to sell and at a better price on down the road.

    SKB vs Beretta 682. The 682's have been around for a long time and have a very proven track record. The SKB's have proven themselves very capable and seem to have a descent following. There is a much better aftermarket for the 682 and barrel swaps are a straight forward ordeal and readily available.

    My vote will always be for the Beretta. They are made better and have much better resale value. The other plus, is that I just plain get along with them better than anything else in its price range.

    ss
     
  4. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    David, I like Neil's advice, but it doesn't go far enough. I honestly don't know anything about the SKBs. I've seen them shot around our club, but that's it.

    I do know a lot about Beretta 682 Gold E combos, and I would never, ever buy another top-single combo from Beretta. There are many of them at the clubs I frequent. Some have continuing problems. Others seem not to. The people who like them the best don't shoot much doubles. The Gold E is discontinued, and I've forgotten the new model.

    Here is my beef with the 682 combo. I never had a mechanical failure with mine. I thought the build quality was good. My complaints were with the choke tubes, the configuration of the ribs and the regulation of the O/U barrels.

    First, the rib configurations. The taper of the top single rib is 70/30. The taper of the O/U rib is 60/40. However, since the top single rib is physically lower than the O/U rib, you actual POI is considerably higher unless you adjust your comb. If you do, you have to modify your gun mount a little.

    My next gripe was the regulation of the O/U barrels. The Under barrel shoots considerably higher (4" higher on mine) than the Over barrel. Many people think that is the cat's meow for ATA doubles. That's what Beretta claims as the reason they set the gun up that way. It "helps" with the fast rising first bird, and the flatter shooting top barrel "helps" with the flatter second bird. They use the same logic for the TS. Having it shoot higher yet with the same comb adjustment "helps" for handicap. Forget about using it for singles. They didn't think of that.

    Only 2 out of the 6 Optima choke tubes that came with the gun shot to the same POI. Also, all but one were machined off center.

    Here is what I would do if I were in your shoes. I'd buy a used Beretta 682 Gold e 32" O/U and be done with it. There are a lot of new condition 682s out there, because it seems owners either get fed up with them after a year (like i did) and sell them, or they like them and keep them forever. The point is you can ask for a 3 or 5 day inspection period with a used gun. Then you can take it to the range and test the barrel convergence. Test each barrel with the same choke tube.

    If you like the convergence, buy the gun. Order new choke tubes from Stu Wright or Briley and throw the ones that came with the gun away. You'll save thousands off a new combo, and you'll know what you are getting before hand. If you buy new, you'll have to take your chances.

    I don't know anything about the SKBs. I've looked at and mounted them at shoots, but I don't like the feel. BTW, if you decide on a combo, do not let anyone talk you into a 34/30 combo. You will be really sorry. The 34/32 is much better, but as I said, go with the O/U only and just change tubes as needed.
     
  5. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I would like to add a couple of things to ZZT's advice.

    This is not the first time I've heard that Beretta discontinued the 682. I was at Beretta USA's headquarters in Accokeek, Maryland recently and as the photo below of the break-open target shotgun display in their media conference room indicates, the 682 was one of if not their mainstay production trap gun at that time and a visit to their website will demonstrate that it remains so today. The top two guns are DT-10s while the lower two are 682s.


    [​IMG]


    Next, I've tested three 687 Silver Pigeon II combos; one top single and two unsingles, which use the same Optima barrels as the 682. On all three guns, the barrels all shot to the same POI. I use Wright's chokes in my unsingle combo simply because I like Stu's chokes but the other two guns are shot with the Optima tubes that came with them and break targets as well as any other gun.

    A lot of people feel that because the rib profiles differ on the top single and O/U barrels, they just "can't" shoot to the same POI. In response to a nay-sayer a few years ago, our son shot a round of 16-yard trap with his top single barrel to demonstrate that it was centering targets, then shot another round with the O/U set, alternating posts with the under barrel and the upper barrel. No obvious change in the way the targets broke was noticeable.

    It's interesting that you never hear that about the ribs on the unsingle and O/U barrels. The use of a Shotgun Combo Gauge will show that those two ribs have the same profile relationship as the top single and the O/U set. But because it isn't as easily seen, no one mentions it. If you look closely, you'll see that the same relationship exists on the DT-10.

    I'm not saying that the two concerns do not exist, but the three guns I tested (which were made three years apart) were free of both.

    Having said all that, I also like the SKB. I think that replacement chokes would be a must-do but otherwise, they are a sound gun, especially for the money. Probably the biggest negative about them is the fact that SKB will not sell a spare barrel set, so you cannot make a single or an O/U into a combo. Since I don't know anyone who has bought a used barrel to do that, I can't comment on the amount of fitting that would be involved. I do know that it is minimal on Berettas.

    Ed
     
  6. Dave P

    Dave P TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    I have a fairly new SKB - GC-7 and it has Briley choke tubes. I don't shoot it anywhere near as good as I did my Citori Plus with Brileys. Fit? I don't know yet and no I haven't had time to pattern it. There was a previous post on here that thought Carlson tubes patterened better than the Brileys. I'll re-post when I grt done doing my job.
     
  7. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    I've heard from several sources the 692 Gold E has been discontinued. Joel Etchen has "close out" pricing on the remaining guns. I have seen a picture of what is reported to be the replacement gun. It looks like a gold E but the engraving and checkering are different.

    All I'll say is my barrels certainly did not shoot to the same POI. To put numbers on it, with the same comb setting, the Under barrel shot 1" high at 20 yards. The Over barrel was 4" high and the top single was 5" high at 20 yards. The difference was noticeable while shooting (I used tight chokes). Other Beretta owner's barrels were regulated differently.

    A couple of other things came to mind while I was reading Ed's post. The plastic "memory" comb adjustment hardware that came on the 682 was a pain in the neck to adjust and it flexed. I replaced it with Joel Etchen's conversion kit and that worked flawlessly.

    If you are willing to consider a Beretta other than the 682, give a serious look to Joel Etchen's custom 687 trap guns and combos. He specified how he wants them from Beretta. They have Optima barrels, oil finished wood, and "normal" checkering. Ed has raved about his before. Aside from aesthetics, the only real difference is the 687 does not have replaceable shoulders. I would not worry, because I've never heard of anyone needing them replaced.
     
  8. HoosierHawk95

    HoosierHawk95 Member

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    Thanks to all who voiced an opinion or evidence of issues with the 682. I understand that chokes are not a deal breaker; just wondered what some experienced guys might think about the quality of the factory tubes. The only negative I have heard on the Beretta's is the regulation between the OU barrels. I have had an SKB in the past and it was a good gun; however, after I sold it I thought it might be the time to upgrade. Can someone like Tom Wilkinson correct a problem with poor regulation in the barrels if this turns out to be a problem?
     
  9. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

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    I use the factory flush Optima choketubes in both my Beretta 687s and they work fine.

    John C. Saubak
     
  10. KENENT1

    KENENT1 Active Member

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    I have several Berettas, and like them a lot, and will continue to shoot them......I recently shot a SKB GC-7 unsingle, and broke all 5 birds from the 27, the quality looked good....I was surprised.



    tony
     
  11. bigmike

    bigmike TS Member

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    I have owened 3 682 berettas and still have 2 of them other than a hammer spring and a inertia spring they are still shooting as good as when i first got them in 1993 one gun has over 200,000 shells through it other one alot less . point is they are good guns and will last a long time if you take care of them. shoot well bigmike
     
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