Neil Winston posted some results that showed that chokes as tight as .050-.060 continued to produce tighter patterns, despite current thinking on the subject. Worth searching here and digging them up...good read.
If you don't put it on paper you'll never know where you are. If you mess around on paper too much you'll get yourself confused. Some shells will pattern differently. If you reload this will help. Your reloads will be better than any promo junk out there. More consistant and better shell, better components and for less money. I do believe the high quality shell produced better AA's, Nitros, STS's than promo stuff. But, most guys are trying to duplicate that with their reloads.
I fell there is more to it than changing tubes. Just go put some 30" circles on cardboard slip sheets and play with your tubes. I think you'll find shot shell consistancy is not gonna be like bench rest shooting your deer gun but, you will be surprized that there is and will be holes.
I have mostly used Remington 870's for trapshooting through out the years. I do extensive patterning, as the trap 870 barrels were usually .042 choke.
I do have a standard 870 TB barrel that is .045 choke though. The way a barrel hits a target is difficult to predict as I have seen some barrels with very tight constrictions throw some great patterns.
An all American once told me something that till this day is difficult for me to understand. I had asked him if I would be better off using a modified 870 choked barrel compared to a fixed full choke barrel?
He said and I quote "I have seen numerous shooters shoot 870 barrels both modified and full choke. If you are a beginning shooter I feel your scores will go up with a modified choked barrel. But, if you are an experienced shooter your scores will mostly go down using the modified barrel, compared to a full choke barrel".
I asked him how can that be? He said I know it sounds strange, but that's what I have seen through out the years. He said he could not explain it either, but that's what he has seen in running a gun club.
When asked how tight a choke should a 27 yard shooter use, he said find the tighest choke you can find. When asked what size shot to use from 27yards, he said hard 7 1/2's. He said there is a reason why the ATA allows no larger than 7 1/2's.
Dr. A C Jones has many studies of effective patterns that pretty much verify the earlier work of Roger Giblin. In those studies Giblin came to the conclusion that the most effective chokes were those that produced a 75% - 80% pattern in a 30" circle at the distance you break the target. For my own shooting I use 32 yards for a 16 yard choke and 42 yards for a handicap choke.
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