Some claim the transition form the bore to the choke tube disrupts the shot column and affects pattern quality. Some shooters don't want to mess w/ changing chokes, so why have them. And others think all trap should be shot w/ a full choke, so they keep their head in the game.
It's mostly just personal preference. Choke tubes are fine. But you'll never wonder which choke you have screwed in with a fixed choke. A fixed choke will never come loose. You'll never drop a fixed choke mucking it up. Lead or plastic will never collect where it may if there was a seam between the bore and choke. And fixed chokes better facilitate custom bore/choke work.
It's my preference to go with a fixed full choke, high end or low. cls
Interestingly enough, the vast majority of high end guns come with choke tubes. Fixed chokes is a special order item. I have a Kolar and prefer the tubes as it allows me to shoot other clay target sports. It is tougher to shoot skeet with a full choke. Bill Malcolm
I agree with Rico-12 and Charles L. Schmidt. I now have a tube in my un-single barrel. I feel obliged to take my full choke tube out and lube it once every 2-3 years and screw it back in. This would not be necessary if I had a fixed full choke barrel. My shooting interests are restricted to ATA trap.
Westie, I think one reason high-end guns are bought with fixed chokes is that the shooter who finally decide to invest in one have already had a number of guns, many of which probably had chokes, and decided there wasn't anything to recommend them, score-wise.
I agree with the good Doctor, choke tubes are the way to go.......
Nobody ever said that choke tube guns will improve your score over fixed, so what's that about? The one advantage of choke tubes is that they give your shotgun flexibility that it wouldn't otherwise have. If that's unimportant, why bother? If it is important, go with the choke tubes.
The one question in most of our minds, is why go with too tight a choke when you don't need it, like at 16 yds??? Sure, if you center the target perfectly with every shot its no problem at all, but what about the rest of us who DO NOT center every target in the middle of a tight pattern? What about the mariginal shots we might make where a few more BB's in the outer ring of the pattern might break the bird for us? In a full choke ther are plenty of BB's in the middle of the pattern to break most birds, but what about when we are a little off? That is the reason I, and many other shooters use an Imp. Mod choke when we are closer, like at 16 yds. (Some even use a Mod choke) And of course for the first shot of doubles where we shoot them real close, some like IMP.CYL. or at least Mod. Is there some poor reasoning there???
And yeah,yeah I know, a real tight pattern is supposed to make you TRY harder to center the bird, but what about when you are not good enough ON EVERY SHOT to do that?
"TRY harder" ??? I don't think so. But a full choke does require you to be on_the_target, and not just close.
Which in turn feeds back all that good information to your brain, making it easier to do again and again. I see your logic Ken as making up for less than perfect shooting by going to a more open choke. And that's fine, it's just not for me.
But regardless, the oh so small increase in effective pattern size from one choke to the next, or even when you jump three sizes, is too small for me to concern myself with.
On the other hand I do see the dilemma if you use the same gun for Singles/Handicap and Doubles. I still prefer fixed chokes in an O/U for Doubles, but of course a Full choke is over doing it for the first shot. As that first target is pretty close and usually spot shot (sort-of). cls
I just can't imagine the need for something as tight as full for a close target like 16yds. Maybe it is popular for some just because so many guns come that way new, and a lot of people are used to them. Since I don't run them all the time, it is those shots that are a little off that I worry about!
I guess that I think a lot differently from the norm. I only use enough choke to break the target. I have effectivly used SK1 and an oz of 8's from the 16yd line to break a 98. At that time, I was a C class shooter. I don't care if the target is broken or smoked it all scores the same. I am shooting a shotgun and not a rifle, therefore I will take full advantage of the pattern and the leeway that it allows me.
Now Sam, you should know that trapshooters aren't allowed to shoot anything else, especially that newfangled sporting clays. You should be ashamed of yourself, very ashamed. Repent before it's too late. LOL
Another way to look at it....if you were shooting a rabbit or pheasant....would you want to clean all that lead out....or bite on a piece.You can learn from a "weak" hit, then laugh at not having to "clean" out the lead.
Try it you might be surprised and like it. It's more mental than anything else. Have someone else put your choke in and don't tell you what it is and don't look then shoot 25 and repeat it again. I doubt you could tell the difference.
Let me know when you can win AA singles @ the Grand in the main event and be in contention for high gun. I will then introduce you to one of the best singles shooters that I know! By the way, he uses a LM for singles!
I have had both choke tubed guns and fixed choke guns. Both worked well when I did my job. The drawback with choke tubes has been explained in detail above, and I agree totally. In general, choke tubes are a pain in the butt. Most of the choke tube shooters I shoot with all use only one choke tube in their guns and the others just sit in the case. I shoot a Perazzi DB-81 with a fixed choke. As I write this, the gun is being readied for sending to Tom Wilkinson to have the barrel and choke tuned. Once it's done, that's it. I will shoot it like it is and not worry about what choke I have in the gun. I KNOW I'll have the best choke in it after Tom gets done with it....Dan Thome (Trap2)