I used to prefer fixed chokes, too - all the old salts had me convinced that they patterned much better. But I couldn't help noticing those suckers with choke tubes were hammering targets real well and started having second thoughts. Then in 2002, I bought a new KX-5, a gun that did not offer fixed chokes.
It didn't take long for me to change my opinion. If I wanted to experiment with a different constriction or even different brand of choke, changing was easy and "non-invasive" to my gun. And if the new choke didn't suit me, it was quickly and just as easily reversible and I could even sell the unwanted choke tube if desired. Once a reamer cuts into your barrel's bore, there's no going back.
Today, I won't buy a new shotgun without choke tubes.
I have both fixed choke barrels and choke tube barrels. Both types work well. However, my favorite barrels are a fixed full and fixed modified 870 TB/TC barrels. They get almost no plastic build up from plastic wads and give great patterns.
I have been to many a "games" shoot where old Model 12 fixed full chokes win the match. Plus, the fixed full choke in the 870 comp barrels are also very effective.
Get the right gun. Get one that fits, get a fixed choke that works for you. Keep it simple and turn your attention to the targets not on second guessing the equipment, if you do it right the first time. If you like to fiddle with the equipment then get all the options and unlimited adjustbility. It will probably drive you crazy. Most guys that think they need to adjust stuff, really just need to be a better shot. Practice with what you have, again and again. Spend your money on more ammo. Rant done.
Not to mention all the choke-tubed bbls I've seen bulged or blown apart over the years.
Beyond about 35 yards there is no constriction more open than Full that will give you a more optimal pattern than Full. Inside 35 yards I should be able to center the target up so that any choke works fine. When I can't center a target up I want to figure out what I'm doing wrong, not try to fix the problem by increasing the number of "fringe pellets" in my pattern.
C-tubes are great in some hunting guns but for pure target shooting, make mine fixed, M, IM or Full.
In my trap guns the chokes might as well be fixed but are not, they stay the same chokes, IM & Full. I will agree with zzt about the interchangeability for other shooting sports, I wouldn't have it any other way either. Messing with chokes will mess with your head. Along with making alot of adjustments. Sighting in a rifle and looking at shot pellet holes are two different things.
BustClays, you could of not said it any better, I agree with you 100% In trap I believe a Full Choke FIXED is the best for singles and Handicap. In Sporting clays For all the different presentations I will change chokes, and there Choke tubes are helpful..
I strongly prefer fixed chokes to the point any gun I had that had tubes have been sold ... I don't like porting either and don't own a gun with porting, have in the past and sold them ... Adjustable ribs and combs are the best things that ever happened to shotguns, in my humble opinion ... Choke tubes and porting create mind games and excuses ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
I shoot a BT100 that is fixed full and I have another BT100 with choke tubes. I generally kill em with the fixed full and have issues shooting Annies from 35 to 40 yards when I use tubes. I agree with the fixed full choke barrel theory, no mind games with it. I am also a new shooter, at it only 9 months.
i cant remember the last time trapshooting i had a desire to change chokes--but i've had enormous desires to change guns--i have a trapgun and a "games"money gun,or maybe several of each!!!! -- i like changing POI over choke restriction!!
how about asking the all-americans if they need to change , or do mfgers just make chokes available and they dont use it!??
has anyone said the famous quote from leo?
"i dont care what choke you use-just as long as its full"