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Muller Choke Problem

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Uncle Screech, Jan 28, 2013.

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  1. Uncle Screech

    Uncle Screech Member

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    First and foremost I want to stress up front that this post is only so others who may have Muller chokes can check and be safe. I am NOT making any judgements, I DO believe that accidents don't just happen and I am sure I contributed to the problem (although I don't know how just yet) and I will be putting the replacement choke back into my barrel when I get it. I like Muller chokes, plain and simple. With that said...

    Sunday morning here in Northeast Ohio I was out to shoot a few rounds and see if I couldn't freeze off an appendage or 2. It sunny and cold, in the single digits early Sunday and no breeze to speak of. I was shooting my standard reload of 1 oz in an Fed GM hull with 21 grains of PB, Winchester 209 and a Federal 12S0 wad. The flat they came from was stored in my basement and was only in the cold on the drive to the club and while shooting, maybe 45 minutes total time. I was by myself practicing my trap shooting super powers when during the 5th box on the third station (round #114) I called for the bird, BROKE IT (yea me!) and out of my lower peripheral vision saw "the wad" land about 10 feet in front of me! Since I was by myself I didn't hesitate to open the gun and walk out to pick it up out of the snow. Lo and behold it wasn't the wad at all but the exposed portion of my Muller U4 choke tube. The rest of the choke was still in the barrel.

    I obviously stopped right there and broke the gun down taking the barrel into the club house. There were a few people there and finally after some attempts we were able to get the rest of the tube out. The entire tube had split down the length as well as the exposed portion coming off.

    The following are opinions and to be considered just opinions, NOT FACT, just guesses. None of us are metalurgists and we seem to have misplaced all our X-Ray diagnostic machines and other special equipment.

    First opinion was that there was a build up of grease/oil below the threads that caused the tube to "deform" just enough to catch the wad and break it.

    Next opinion was that it was a combination of the extreme cold combined with unforgiving ceramic coating and rapid heating and cooling from firing more than a 100 rounds quickly.

    I should also mention that the broken portion of the tube looks like it was starting to fail some time ago. Part of the exposed metal has a "powdery gray" appearence, like it was just exposed and the other half of the metal is "shiny" and was rubbing/polishing itself as it was cracking. Again, I am not an expert, that is just how it looks to me.

    So, what I hope to accomplish here is for Muller users to

    1. Check their chokes for any possible stress cracks.

    2. If you use oil or grease on your threads, STOP. Put them in dry like it is recommended you do.

    3. Since it's still winter and will be for a couple more months, keep your choke tubes in the plastic tube and keep that in your pants pocket until you are ready to shoot. Keep those tubes warm (and dry).

    Below are a couple images I took when I got home.

    Thanks and break 'em all...

    Greg Sliker


    unclescreech_2008_11101.jpg



    unclescreech_2008_11102.jpg
     
  2. 4th. down

    4th. down Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    653
    I've had 2 cracked Mullers. However, they were one of the first ones in production and were replaced - I still shoot them.
     
  3. Husky44

    Husky44 Active Member

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    Out West
    I have a cracked U-4 waiting to send back..
     
  4. rwtii

    rwtii Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    216
    Mullers are nice very light chokes. They weigh less than the titanium cokes from Briley or Extreme. When i have titanium chokes, I know the barrel will fail before the chokes. Aluminum is nice, but is no where near as strong as Ti.
     
  5. claybrdr

    claybrdr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,262
    If they break because its cold or because there was grease on the threads they're junk as far as I personally am concerned. There are just too many instances being reported about these chokes for there not to be a serious problem. What would happen to your $3,000 barrel if you didn't notice that you had one of these brand X chokes break off and stick in the barrel? Chances are good it would look like a banana! If you want light chokes that aren't junk and that can be used in cold weather or with grease on your threads....
    claybrdr_2008_0303240.jpg
     
  6. JONNY D

    JONNY D TS Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    152
    yes u are not alone, i hade a no2 split from end to end they were replaced though and shiped to me in ozz strait away,they work real good but i must admit no manufacturer will replace my barrel if it goes pear shaped a!! im using new helix from briley.
     
  7. 687_SP_II

    687_SP_II TS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
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    To all that have had a Muller choke crack. What is the REV. letter of the choke that cracked. My U3 is a REV. D. The REV. is on the side of the choke tube. Trying to be pro active.
     
  8. 687_SP_II

    687_SP_II TS Member

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    Muller just got back to me. REV. D is the latest revision.
     
  9. Uncle Screech

    Uncle Screech Member

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    Oct 11, 2008
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    I just went over the 2 pieces and can find no REV information on the tube at all. Just has the U4 on it and MAXIS at the bottom to indicate it's for a Caesar Guerini. Perhaps this means it is an early version?


    Greg
     
  10. 687_SP_II

    687_SP_II TS Member

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    On my Optima choke the REV. is located just below the threads on the body of the tube.
     
  11. goose2

    goose2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
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    2,037
    This is not a good thing. I would demand from Muller what the cause of all these tubes to crack. I would also look into using another brand of choke. I have used Muller chokes and they are not any better than any other tube and the others won't potentially cause you or someone else bodily harm. They could give you a new one and it could also split so why take the chance or have that on your mind while you are trying to shoot a good score.
     
  12. CharlesK80

    CharlesK80 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    400
    Muller probably uses 6061-T6 tempered alum which is very strong, and hard to machine. It is frequently used in aircraft parts. But...

    No GUN mfr sells, or recommends, alum choke tubes, to my knowledge. Nor makes alum gun barrels. Must be a reason. Aside from the fact that it is not as strong as Ti or gun steel.

    Alum absorbs and radiates heat at a different rate than steel. It also expands at a different rate than steel at a given temperature.

    Alum will not rust so oil is not needed for that purpose. But oil or grease may be needed to cushion the tube from the shock of being struck by the payload.

    Claybrdr has posted a picture of the safest way to go.

    Why did Muller make the barrel “pinch point” choke out of a material that is not as strong as the rest of the barrel? Seems to me the removable choke ought to be stronger, or at least as strong as the barrel.
     
  13. Avaldes

    Avaldes Well-Known Member

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    1,876
    Location:
    Central Coast of California
    This looks like a classic brittle failure. Titanium can get brittle when it work hardens and Aluminum can get brittle if the alloy is not suited to the loading conditions.
     
  14. straightshooter1

    straightshooter1 Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Jun 23, 2007
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    Darn! This thread just won't die. I just sold my BT-99 and had two Muller chokes (U4 & U3) I was gonna put on here to sell.

    Guess I'll stick them on a shelf and bring them out later in the year (If this thread finally dies).

    Of course, once on the shelf, they are probably lost forever.

    Bob
     
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