I need some suggestions for 410 ga O/U choke work. Either open the existing fixed chokes or adding choke tubes. Mike Orlen is highly recommended however he hasn't responded to my email enquiries. Any others out there?
I have reworked chokes in .410 shotguns from the 870 to Merkel S x S, and installed my own custom chokes in plenty of others. I have a Winchester 9410 that patterns tightly enough with 2-1/2" shells to break a TRAP target, and a SKEET load #9 Win. AA can get 20 pellets in a 6" square at 40 yards. Not bad for 1/2 oz. of shot, huh? I tested the pellets for penetration in wood at that distance.
There are options to choking a .410 that are beyond SKEET choke, so realize that somebody may be able to perform work beyond what some shooters have experienced before. The exposure of one is not going to be the same as the totality of the possible.
All my 410's have screw in chokes. What I found was it does not matter what is written on the choke, be it Skeet, Mod, or Lt Mod. What matters is the pattern it throws at the distance you wish to shoot with THAT GUN.
All my 410 is shot at skeet. What I found with my gun, my chokes, and my reloads is that a much tighter choke was needed to produce a good pattern at around 21 yards. I wound up using Full and Full and netting a solid pattern about 16" in diameter...that pattern is a no fly zone at 21 yards. My other more chokes left target sized holes in a bigger pattern...you could be on and still have a target not break...and that was a mental mind bender. I still miss, but it is because I missed and I know it...forget it and move on.
You need to put in the time at the pattern board and shoot all your chokes on paper. That in itself is a mind bender, looking at those little patterns with not very many holes in them! You can also play with your reloads to a point. My best patterns are with a 1250-1300 fps load of 8.5's...9's produced the same size pattern, but it was not as even as the 8.5's. The touch hotter load seems to pattern better too. All the time I spent working with 410 has netted me good hard solid breaks all the way around the field....or clean misses! I know a 2 piece target break still counts....but a hard break is better brain food. While a 410 will not beat on you with recoil...it can do a number on your head if you let it!