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Fixed Chokes Verses Choke Tubes

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by maclellan1911, Sep 5, 2007.

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  1. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

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    Depending on your use of the gun. Unless im shooting other that trap I could live with fixed chokes, IM and Full. I like to shoot skeet and sporting once in a while so chokes are good to have. Im a one gun shooter, XT trap.
     
  2. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Well-Known Member

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    I agree. If shooting nothing but trap, fixed chokes are in my opinion the way to go. (Less confusion and decision making). If you use the same gun for more than one discipline, (i.e. trap, sporting clays, skeet, etc) then the choke tubes make sense. As far as what patterns better; I think, is a question that I feel no one can answer. Ed
     
  3. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

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    Pattern better, thats something you must decide for yourself. If not happy with a pattern on fixed choke? well your fixed. Unless you get chokes installed. Still that doesnt make for good pattern. Thats something the pattern board will tell you.
     
  4. Opion8ted

    Opion8ted TS Member

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    I think that in general fixed is way better but many shooters shoot different games and budget constrains multiple guns. All a matter of priority and dollars.
     
  5. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    I'll offer the old standby - it depends.

    If done well, I'd be hard pressed to see the difference, but the ability to adjust choke to meet a given set of conditions has to tilt the balance in favor of tubes.

    Look how successful the polychoke and the Cutts were...

    Jay Spitz
     
  6. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    For Trap I prefer fixed chokes by a wide margin. For hunting I want GOOD choke tubes. If I was going to shoot one gun for all games I'd buy an International Trap gun with slightly heavier than normal barrels and fixed full chokes. Then I'd send the barrels to Wilkinson for barrel work and choke tubes. That way I'd end up with a soft shooting gun and 5 long tubes that patterned evenly and were matched to the bore.
     
  7. code5coupe

    code5coupe Member

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    Shouldn't make any noticeable difference in patterns.

    If fixed chokes were demonstrably better, why do we see so many choke tubes poking out of muzzles at the bigger shoots?? Most of those shooters have long ago decided which constriction they prefer, and having barrels made up with fixed chokes is relatively simple. On the other hand, if tubes were demonstrably better , why do some stick with fixed chokes for trap and for skeet?

    Choke tubes enable the shooter to tune the gun to the various loads he'll be using....fixed chokes mean you are stuck with whatever you have. Why would Mr. Average Shooter NOT prefer tubes?
     
  8. JGS

    JGS Member

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    I have Briley choke tubes for my Perazzi O/U and they give me outstanding patterns. I recently purchased a Krieghoff K-80 combo and had Krieghoff titanium choke tubes for the O/U barrels. The choke tubes gave excellent patterns. I had the unsingle fixed choke barrel tuned by one of the best in the business and the choke tubes on my Perazzi and the choke tubes on the O/U barrels produced better patterns. However, I suspect that each gun is a unique entity and other barrels might give the opposite results. I prefer choke tubes for the flexibility they provide. J.G.Sayle
     
  9. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I used to think that fixed chokes were "better". That was because everyone said so. But I'd shoot beside someone who was unfortunate enough to have been stuck with those inferior choke tubes and watch them hammer the snot of targets in spite of that obvious handicap. "Poor buggers," I thought.

    Then I bought a new trap gun that came only with tubes. I wasn't nuts about it but I had no choice. Then one day, I wanted to experiment with another brand of tubes because I was getting more plastic accumulation in mine than with the same wads in my old gun's fixed chokes. I learned from Stu Wright about how choke profiles and parallel affect a choke's tendency to rub plastic from wads and replaced my tubes with Wright's tubes that not only didn't accumulate plastic but patterned at least as well in the bargain. I also played around with different constrictions of Stu's chokes to see which one I liked best.

    You can't do that with fixed chokes, In fact, doing that with a fixed choke means having expensive gunsmithing done that cannot be undone if it proves to be ineffective. Now, I'll take tubes every time!

    Ed
     
  10. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    Personally, I prefer fixed chokes that are unmolested and barrels that are not ported ... I have found that different shells produce substancially different patterns in the same barrels without having to modify the barrels themself ... I have never been a pellet counter but judged the patterns by eye balling them while shooting more so for point of impact ... My Father used to do extensive patterning and testing of shells, barrels, chokes, weather conditions, and just about anything else you could imagine way back when he first started shooting trap and he was looking for something magic that would make him shoot better ... He sat for hours on end counting and marking the holes in pattern sheets that he shot and labeled them for future reference ... I always told him that shotgun shells are like snowflakes and there are no two shells exactly alike and therefore they would not duplicate a pattern if he found one that he really liked ... He eventually quit playing with patterns and shot more pratice which helped him shoot better and helped more than all of the patterns he was working on ... If you think choke tubes are better use them, but I have never seen proof enough to convince me they were the way to go or there was any advantage to them ... I feel that the expansion and contraction of the choke tubes from the heat can be detrimental and make them inconsistant at best which would not be the case with fixed chokes ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  11. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    "whether fixed chokes typically pattern better than screw-in chokes?"

    I've read from writers I tend to believe that those with access to data from thousand of patterns concluded that there is no difference in patterns, i.e. a 60% pattern is a 60% pattern whether it comes from a Purdy or a J.C. Higgins. Likewise with any pattern percentage.

    At one time they tell me it was hard to find a screw choke that could actually throw a 70% pattern. I don't know if that is still true, or even important.
     
  12. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    The best patterns I have ever seen from any shotgun came from a Rem 1100 Skeet-B. By "best", I mean uniformity, freedom from holes, clumps and flyers. No other gun, including Krieghoff, Perazzi, Browning, Merkel, Rem 32 with fixed chokes, or any screw-in chokes would throw patterns which were as uniform.

    I was told, but never confirmed, that the choke in those guns was about 12" long, and that's what accounted for the great patterns.
     
  13. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    jnoemanh - At what range did you pattern that Skeet-B?
     
  14. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    It would throw a nice round 30" pattern at 25 yards.
     
  15. bigclown

    bigclown TS Member

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    AveragEd and others have it right. Personally, I would prefer to have fixed chokes for many of the reasons stated, but all fixed choke trap guns I have found are full on top, impmod or mod on the bottom barrel. This seems opposite to what many shooters are trying to accomplish by going to unsingle guns - more direct line of recoil to the shoulder. For price and value, I bought an XT and put my full choke tube in the bottom barrel for handicap (giving the more direct recoil line for heavy handicap loads) and IM or Mod in the top barrel for light loads for singles. For doubles, a more open choke replaces the full in the bottom barrel. I still like fixed choke guns, but, hey, I can sure not do without the flexibility of choke tubes. Best Regards, Ed
     
  16. redhawk44

    redhawk44 Member

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    If a fixed choke is working well for the purpose that the gen is intended, then I much prefer a fixed choke. The reason is that I don't have to worry about what is collecting between them and the muzzle end of the barrel.

    What choke tubes do is allow for a change of mind and also to adapt a gun to more than one use. An example of changing one's mind is, in my case, using IC tubes in a 20 ga. skeet gun and then deciding that skeet tubes was better. (although that particular change involved a change in loads also)

    If one does not want to worry about what is collecting under the tubes, then he could loktite them in place I suppose, but so far I have not had the courage for that. (although if one used loktite 404 I think you could still get them out later)
     
  17. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    jnoemanh - What you say doesn’t surprise me for two reasons.

    A) Now that they are no longer made, the 1100 fixed SKEET barrels have acquired a bit of a cult following in the skeet world. And;

    B) What you say is congruent with some of the other conclusions of the folks I referred to above. They concluded patterns that ‘eyeball’ as very uniform center-to-edge are probably too open. They are just uniformly too open. I guess 25 yards could be at the edge of 'too open' for a skeet choke, but I would have liked to know what you found at 30 yards and beyond.

    The most uniformly patterning gun I have seen was a 20 gauge skeet gun with .000” choke. Its patterns looked like they were laid out with calipers and graph paper. But I got a lot of chips, and I told myself things like 100 chips are better than 99 inkballs, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But I never got many 100s, or even 99s with that gun. Confidence was down, scores were down, wins were down, averages were down. But I had great looking patterns, so I persevered.

    I finally went to more choke. Smoke came back, wins came back, scores and averages went up. Whodda thunk it? I didn’t learn about uniform=too open until later, but it sure confirms my experience.

    I wish I had those pattern sheets, but they were shot on a paint-board.
     
  18. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

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    I have Tom Wilkinson tubes in my trap gun . I only use the full (.34 ) But if I find a good price on number 8 shot I use the next more open choke a (.25) for singles . The full tube will pattern 90%
     
  19. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    Mrskeet410

    Interesting comments. I wasn't able to measure the entire choke in the 1100, but it did have about .005" constriction at the end of the barrel. I patterned at 25 yards because I felt that was just about the longest shot I'd ever need to make. Most skeet shots are, of course, 20 yards and less, and I never felt that gun ever "shot through" a target. It usually appeared to hit them pretty hard. It was actually my wife's gun, and, sorry to say, we sold it years ago. She now shoots an 1100 with choke tubes, and it doesn't look nearly as good on a pattern board, but I think it will break every target. She gets some chips, but I think that's her, not the gun.

    As far as .000 choke in a skeet gun, I have a 101, fixed choke Winchester "skeet". It's actually true cylinder, and throws lousy patterns, lots of holes, clumps and flyers. It's been restocked and fits really well, and I enjoy shooting it, but I do get lots of chips. Whether it's ever "shot through" a target, I don't know, but I'm suspicious.

    But hey, I don't mind chips. They look good when I know I was a foot off when I hit the trigger. I break a few targets with flyers too. :)
     
  20. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I prefer both. I have choke tube in my K-80 that is removed once every 3-4 years. I do not understand why I take it out so often.

    Pat Ireland
     
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