The chokes are made by Briley but if memory serves me correctly you can also order chokes directly from SKB for less than than directly from Briley. Briley does offer though other chokes for the SKB then the stock chokes.
I did a gun test on an 85TSS last year and noticed that the profiles of all the choke tubes that came with that gun had widely differing amounts of parallel. The longer the parallel section (the untapered part at the muzzle), the hotter the pattern's core. A modified tube with a lot of parallel can throw patterns that are "tighter" than a full choke with minimal parallel. Those SKB tubes had parallels that ranged from 1/4" to almost half of the tube's length! My test gun's "Full" tube threw patterns so tight that I think it would be doubtful that a fringe hit would chip a target. I don't know about you, but I'm not a good enough shooter to handle a choke like that.
I asked SKB about it and the company president deferred the question to Briley, as they make SKB's tubes. The person with whom I spoke at Briley wasn't aware of the variation in parallel but guessed that if they make those tubes to SKB's specs, that could be why it exists.
In summary, my impressions of the gun were very good. The gun in particular and SKB in general received high marks from the 85TSS owners and gunsmiths who responded to my informal survey. I think our sport needs more affordable yet feature-laden guns like the 85TSS. But the first thing I would change if I bought one would be the chokes.
I dont mean to hijack this thread but I have a question for Ed if he is still reading this ...
Ed ... I have been thinking of getting a new 85TSS but honestly cant decide on a Sporting Clay w/ adjustable stock or a trap with adjustable stock. Yeah I know get the trap model but I am looking for an allaround gun and the 2 guns stock specs are so close they are almost exactly the same. I am of course planning/thinking of the adjustable comb for sure but my question to you is this.
Did you shoot one with the ported barrels? If you did what were your thoughts on the porting? Is it worth the $190 for that option or is the cost vs. value not there. Also what gun did you shoot/review and what did you do with the gun when done?
Lumper, I do not think that shotgun porting is effective. There just isn't enough pressure generated by the ammunition to allow the effect of bleeding a little of it off prematurely to be very noticeable. Many years ago, my son and I shot identical KS-5s - his was ported and mine was not and neither of us could tell any difference. Now, on rifles where the chamber pressure is six to eight times that of a shotgun, it really does reduce felt recoil.
Since porting is something that can always be done later if you want it, I'd buy an non-ported gun because porting unfortunately cannot be undone. About all I think it's good for on a shotgun is making more noise and your gun and your squadmates dirtier. Others will disagree with me, but I'll bet most of them bought a gun that was already ported and are simply defending something they own.
I would get the trap model because - for me, anyway - it is easier to adjust to shooting a slightly higher-shooting gun on flat targets than it is to adjust to covering every trap target with the muzzle of a flatter-shooting gun. I own one shotgun that is not a trap model - an 1100 synthetic field - and every time I take it hunting, I have to adjust to not shooting just under my target. But again, that's MY preference.
The adjustable comb is up to you, of course, but I think every production target shotgun stock should have one. There is an excellent stock smith about 50 miles from me, so I'd go with a Monte Carlo stock and have him make it adjustable if I were buying an 85TSS because I don't think SKB offers an adjustable comb on their Monte Carlo stocks.
The gun I tested had a straight stock with a factory adjustable comb. The rear adjustment post was installed in the stock off-center to the left, so if you put both posts on the same alignment mark, the comb was not over as far at the rear as it was at the front (from a right-hander's perspective). I'm sure that is not typical for the gun.
My test gun was a brand-new non-ported 85TSS combo that a friend of mine purchased to replace one he had before and regretted selling. I buy many of the guns I test, but I had to return that one to its owner.
If you decide upon a trap version, I would suggest that you then consider spending the extra money for a combo. If you ever want a single barrel for trapshooting, you'll be glad you bought the combo because SKB does not sell barrels separately.
There are several 85TSS trap guns around here and all their owners like them a lot.
Ed - I am actually thinking of the combo 34"/30" and if not the combo a 32" for sure.
BTW the MC stocked trap gun does come w/ an optional adj comb. I have been wondering though if I should look at one with an adjustable comb or wait and see exactly how the fit is for me in case I would want to go also with an adjustable pad as well and the price w/ adjustable comb upcharged about as much as some of the stock fitters charge for the same adjustable comb.
I'm not actually sure though I would want the MC stock. The regular stock dimensions are only 1/8" lower at the heel on the sporting clay model and that is about 1/2" higher than my current 1100. What would determine the final decision though would be if I wanted a combo or not and weather or not I would want to replace the pad before I shoot. I shoot skeet from the low gun and at times trap, wobbly trap and bunker also from the low gun and a concave trap pad would/could snag/catch when mounting the gun.
Oh well ... if I only had enough money to get a unsingle and an overunder and a 20/16/410 gauge set along with all the shells I would need for a lifetime I wouldnt have to consider anything at all. I wonder what the going rate for plasma and blood is down at the blood bank?
I purchased a unsingle barrel for my old SKB 500 a friend wanted the o/u so we ordered a combo and I got the extra barrel and had it fitted to my old gun. It works great but I have to ad after shooting doubles with the old barrels and swiching to the new unsingle barrel there is a big difference in recoil. The newer barrel is a larger bore and ported and shoot much softer than the old barrels. You can really tell the difference when shooting them back to back.