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Is Choke for Smoke a Joke?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by JBrooks, Apr 19, 2009.

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  1. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    So the question of the day "Is choke for smoke a joke"? I have heard and read choke for smoke ever since I started shooting trap almost 4 years ago. In fact, when I took a clinic from Leo he said "I don't care what choke you use as long as it's full". I do admit that "choke for smoke" is a nice rhyme but is that all it is?

    Obviously, the size of the pattern from a full choke is much smaller shooting targets from the 16 yard line compared to shooting from the 27 yard line. Is this full choke mantra left over from the days when everyone shot fixed choke guns? Why shouldn't you screw in a choke that produces as big a pattern as possible that is still sufficiently dense to break every target that you are more or less centered on from the 16 yard line if you can? After all, a broken target accounts just as much as a smoked target.

    So, Friday, I bought a four pack of Walmart Winchester 1 1/8 8s (because they're closer to 8.5s giving me more pellets than the Walmart Federals I usually shoot), screwed in a Briley light modified (next notch up from a skeet), in my 99 Plus, shot a few 40 yard patterns to make sure my POI was still 100% and then shot three practice rounds with the only three that I missed being definitely my fault. Now granted, I wasn't smoking the targets like my light full usually does, but the targets were being significantly destroyed. Being a one eyed shooter, I certainly don't break the targets very close to the house so the pattern was holding together pretty well.

    On Saturday, I left the light modified in for an ATA shoot. I dropped one target on my practice round but got solid breaks. I then proceeded to run the hundred using the Winchester 8s. However, I almost felt guilty about using such an open choke in defiance of trapshooting conventional wisdom. So, should we be trying to smoke every target or break every target and is it cheating to use an open choke from the 16?
     
  2. Remstar311

    Remstar311 Member

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    You cant tell if I smoked the targets or if I just took on little chip off when looking at the score board at our local shoots. You can only tell how many I hit and how many I missed. At the payout for the end of a league, I don't get any less money for marginal breaks vs. smoke.
     
  3. BAD 303

    BAD 303 Active Member

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    Yes it is a joke. And is usually on the guy competing against Leo. 100 chips are better than 99 smokes. Never understood the smoke mentality. It is 100% an ego thing nothinng else.

    Just like all change is good. That theory went to shit in the white house as you well know.
     
  4. mrskeet410

    mrskeet410 TS Member

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    Somewhere at shotgunreport.com you'll find a article by the Technoid explaining why you must 'choke for smoke'. It made sense to me.

    Try the link above for starters.
     
  5. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

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    I have heard time and again a more open choke makes for a bigger pattern . That is bull sh$t . The question is how much bigger (really) . If you center a target it will break useing a full choke or no choke . The open choke story is just that a story . At 36 yards I have a 29 inch pattern with .035 choke with .024 I have a 30 inch pattern (Big deal) .

    The bottom line is if you can,t hit a target with a full choke an open choke will not make you better .

    ALF
     
  6. Trappy12

    Trappy12 Active Member

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    Up until the middle of last season I always shot a modified. I have somewhat satisfied with my average of around 88 or so. Then I switched to a full choke, and my scores shot up to a 95-96 average. I also shoot my targets right out of the house, usually between a quarter of a second and half a second. I don't know if there is really any correlation between switching chokes and my spike in scores, but that's my experience.
    -Trappy
     
  7. Uncle Sam

    Uncle Sam Member

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    ..........
     
  8. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    "the choke does not vary size of pattern. what it does is effect the density of the pattern"

    Really? Then why do skeet shooters use skeet chokes? Do they need less dense patterns shooting targets that are closer?
     
  9. trapp2012

    trapp2012 Member

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    I have had the same experience as Trappy12. I went to an Xtra-Full choke in my XT right around the West Virginia State shoot and my averages have shot up at least 3 or 4 targets in singles. I shoot my singles well the same way Trappy does out of the house. My handicap average has also gone up 3 or 4 targets. I have been extremely satisfied with the XF in my XT and wont go back to anything looser than a full for a long while.
     
  10. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Pattern size is not significantly increased with an open choke. An open choke will have fewer shot in the central pattern core and more in the periphery of the pattern.

    It is important to recognize if you break a target with the dense central core of it you a just chipping targets with the edge of the pattern. If you are chipping off small pieces, that tells you that you better pay attention or a lost bird is coming soon. this can only be done with a full choke. The full choke can give you a warning that you are getting careless before you lose a bird.

    Pat Ireland
     
  11. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    The better breaks you get with a full give you more confidence, and as Pat says you can tell when you drift off. A mod will make a miss here and there because you can't see an off center hit. Looks the same either way.

    HM
     
  12. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    mrskeet410.

    Are we to give credence to an article chock full of numbers that contains an unsupported statement like this; "General experience has
    shown that it takes 2-3 pellet hits to break a clay target reliably."

    Just how many of us have seen or "experienced" how many pellets it takes to break a target?
     
  13. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    Yep!

    Curt
     
  14. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    "If you are chipping off small pieces, that tells you that you better pay attention or a lost bird is coming soon."

    Wouldn't it be better just to pay attention every shot?
     
  15. KEYBEAR

    KEYBEAR Active Member

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    I could not care less what Skeet shooters do . This is Trap Shot with 12ga. shotguns by people with very different opinions .

    If you think it does it does .
     
  16. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Shoot the choke that gives you confidence.
     
  17. smifshot

    smifshot TS Member

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    I have 3 1100 12 guage guns and 5 barrels. If you think the pattens are about the same for full, modified and skeet .........one of us does not know a Tinkers Damn about chokes. I wont even bring up the patterns out of the spreader tube on the Cutts barrel.........Stroker
     
  18. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Another weekend warrior shoots one good short-yardage score, and is ready to question everything.


    Knock yerself out pal.
     
  19. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    buzz-gun,

    Do you shoot ATA?
     
  20. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    I've tried more open chokes than IM any number of times in the last 25 years and never stuck with them since my scores went down every time. The most open thing that worked at all was a Herb Orre "Super Singles" makeover with about 0.24 choke and that was iffy. My Stan Baker "16" marked choke is hopeless, as is the same thing from Eyster when used in my not-very-fast style of shooting.

    Neil
     
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