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I just tried out my new to me Trap gun...a fixed choke o/u with a .032 bottom barrel and a .045 top barrel.

The bottom barrel (.032) does very well at long yardage..the top barrel (.045) not so well ..at least for me.

I would like the have an o/u that I can shoot singles, doubles and handicap with ...but can't help but notice that there are a lot of shooters that use different guns for at least two or maybe all three disciplines.

I would be curious what the tightest choke anyone uses successfully for handicap...and what the doubles chokes of choice might be.

I have heard that some barrels that have been worked over by pro barrel men are as loose as .018/.028 for doubles and .025 for handicap. But pattern in a 25" circle.

I didn't even know that was possible.

Those of you who have had custom barrel work done,,,Would you please share your experiences (on fixed choke guns especially but not limited to)...and who did the work for you.

Thanks...Stan
 

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Many years ago I sent my shotgun that I shot for years to C.C. Seitz in the off season. It had a 34" barrel with .044" choke. It came back to me back-bored, ported and choked to .032" and the next year I made it to AA and the 27. It was the same gun and all that changed was the barrel work. It would break targets much harder than with the original choke from the back fence. I still have it. Now days you can buy a shotgun back-bored, ported with choke tubes so the need isn't so great as it once was. Does it improve things and worth the cost? Absolutely IMO
 

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Remington 3200, bottom barrel .008, top barrel .023. The faster you shoot them the more open choke you can use. HMB
 

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I had quite a few hundreds back in the day with a Perazzi choked .031/.048. Finally as people were having barrel work done I too caught the bug. Well I just never shot her like I did prior. She was retired after a year of that. My mistake however may have been not sending it to Tom the true guru of the day.
 

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Send your gun to Tom Wilkinson, he can do fixed chokes or screw in chokes. I have the screw chokes in my 34" o/u, it makes my gun very versatile because I shoot all the disciplines with one gun.

Tom's contact # 919-603-0167

Darrell
 

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I shoot at K32 that was originally IM and F from the factory and was professionally opened to .019" and .028" and the .019" will smoke a target from 27 yards. I mostly shoot the gun for doubles and it is still to tight for how I shoot. So yes custom barrel work is a benefit in my opinion
 

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I think Neil Winston did some testing a while back that showed barrels choked more than 0.038, if I recall correctly, don't give you any tighter patterns. On the other hand, they don't "blow" the patterns either.

My first question to the original poster would be, have you done any real pattern testing using Shotgun Insight, or pellet counting, to calculate the pattern percentages you are getting?

The second question is, have you checked the POI on your tightly choked top barrel to see how it compares to the lower barrel? Do they shoot to the same POI? If not, maybe that's why you don't shoot it as well as the bottom barrel?

Before you decide you need barrel work, I would find out what the barrels are doing now.

The factory fixed full choke on my unsingle measures 0.042 choke. I have never had any custom barrel work done, but I know the POI, and I have tested it with Shotgun Insight and I know it shoots 86% patterns at 40 yards. Now, before you all call me a liar, that was done at an elevation over a mile high, so the air is a little thin here. But that's what it tested. No BS.
 

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Why would you want the barrels to shoot to the same POI? The first target is a fast rising target and the second target is flat for most doubles shooters. HMB
 

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HMB, the majority of proficient doubles shooters want both barrels to have same POI. By your advocation, your eyes have to look at two different positions. Easy brain disconnect.
 

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hmb,

I don't think most O/U's come that way from the factory, except those for which there is an adjustment.

At best, you get the same POI.

At worst, you get something different.

But you never know what you have until you check.

And I would take pheasantmaster's opinion over many others. He shoots doubles pretty good.
 

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My post-64 Model 12 measures .040-it smokes targets. Opening that choke up to anything else would be a sacrilege. Put the load where it belongs and tight chokes are extremely effective on any Singles target!!
 

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.040 chokes were the norm untill the invention of the shot cup but with todays ammunition that much constriction is neither needed or a benefit
 

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If your first barrel shoots high and the second barrel shoots flat, you can use the same sight picture height wise for both shots. HMB
 

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I have mostly used 870's and 1100's. Years ago, the standard full choke in these gun barrels were usually .042. No idea what they are choked today?

Most of the guys I know use a handicap choke of .037 to .039 from the 27 yard line. If they only shoot one gun with a fixed choke they use that same choke from 16 to the 27.

I have heard some shooters use very open chokes. Have no idea how they do it? I once asked a 27 yard all American what he would recommend for the 27 yard line? He said look for the tightest choke you can find. That was in the early 70's.
Steve Balistreri
Wauwatosa Wisconsin
 

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If your gun shoots fairly flat 60/40 you can use the same sight picture also. Just stay on that first bird, smoke it and roll to the second. I find it easier to shoot doubles with both barrels shooting same POI, and flatter is easier to shoot doubles than a higher POI say 80/20 for ME, I have had both and prefer flatter gun for doubles. Seems like Mr. Bonillas preferred the same thing and he forgot more than I know. No use reinventing the wheel. YMMV. Scott
 

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If you believe the MYTH that a more open choke is gonna buy you extra targets in Handicap well good luck to you. If you make the realistic judgement that even for the mid yardages you need a choke that will perform at least at 40 yards. If you pattern your gun at 40 yards and actually count holes I doubt that you will ever find a more open choke that has a better pattern than a Full Choke.
 

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A similar thread has gone around before and when I see something of value, I tend to keep it. I hope Tom does not mind that I am printing this on here but his knowledge is something that should be shared. This is from Tom Wilkinson, my opinion, quite the shotgun barrel GURU, and I do have his work. See below::

I have probably done more patterning than most over the years of my business. When trying to achieve the tightest patterns there are some bore and choke dimensions they do achieve the best results. Even with the best barrel dimensions there are several factors that affect pattern performance. If we throw out the ammunition which has it's own problems with shot hardness and deformation, the main factors are distance and air density. Patterning at the 40 yard standard at sea level is really too far to get fair comparisons. Pattern degradation after 40 yards happens quickly. A barrel that can pattern 80 percent at 40 yards is ideal, but not achievable in all conditions. If a barrel smith tells you he can consistently get you a barrel that is above 80 percent at a measured 40 yards, or make a more "even" pattern, you better walk away.

If we take the 27 yard line, it is too far a distance to show a shooters ability under all conditions. Cold weather at lower altitude is the main factor due to denser air, add wind and then things go downhill quickly. I remember several years ago at the Missouri Fall Handicap it was in the 40s with the wind blowing from the north or into the pattern. All long yardage scores were ridiculously low. One of the best All Americans scores were in the 70s - low 80s for all handicaps. I seriously doubt he miss pointed that many targets over a period of a few days of cold weather.

Tom Wilkinson
 
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