another newb question...

Discussion in 'General Shotgun Discussion' started by 95sniper, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. 95sniper

    95sniper New Member

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    So I'm new to shotguns and I want to buy an over under. I basically want to know, with me only occasionally shooting clays and hunting, do I need chokes? This has really been bothering me. I have researched on the internet and cannot find an answer.
     
  2. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    There are different chokes for different purposes / distances. Generally the closer the target, the more open the choke.

    I have friend that installed a modified choke in his shotgun and gave the rest away.

    Basic chokes are

    Most open > Tightest choke

    Cylinder bore. Improved cylinder. Modified. Improved Modified. Full choke

    There are also specialty chokes, for skeet, buckshot, turkey, tactical, slugs, etc.

    I use a cylinder bore / skeet for busting clays. Modified for pheasant. Extra full for turkey.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013

  3. 95sniper

    95sniper New Member

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    I guess my question is do I really need a choke?
     
  4. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    Yes, you need a choke

    If your shotgun comes with interchangeable choke tubes, you need to have the tubes installed A) to avoid ruining the end of each barrel, and B) so that you know approx. how your barrel will pattern.

    If your shotgun does NOT come with interchangeable choke tubes, the choke will be fixed in each barrel and should be stamped on each barrel for your knowledge.
     
  5. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    All modern shotguns come with interchangeable chokes. To try and find a shotgun without them will be nigh impossible.
     
  6. 95sniper

    95sniper New Member

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    The gun I am looking to buy doesn't have a choke, so when I shoot clays do I need a choked gun?
     
  7. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    All smooth bore barrels are "choked", it may be cylinder bore (aka open choke). These are referred to as fixed chokes. Usually the level of choke is stamped on the barrel just in front of the receiver, imp cyl, mod, full, are the most common fixed chokes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  8. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    Well you can just learn to shoot clays with the gun as is, but you do need to know what choke the fixed barrel is.
     
  9. 95sniper

    95sniper New Member

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    Thank you guys, I think I'm going to find one with an interchangeable choke.
     
  10. indy36

    indy36 New Member

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    my 2 cents

    I can clear the snow off my driveway with a broom but it's not as effective as a shovel. Sometimes, depending on the amount of snow, the broom would be hopeless. That applies to shotgun chokes.

    If you want to shoot skeet you by and large need chokes that are 'skeet' chokes. Can you use 'improved cylinder' chokes (or some other), yes, but the game requires a 21 yard shot on average and you need all your pellets inside a 30 inch circle in the sky at that distance to give yourself the best chance at breaking birds. If you want to shoot trap you don't have that same shot anymore. Your average shot is farther away and you need a different choke to hold the pattern of your shot tighter for longer to give yourself the best chance to break those birds. Sporting Clays gives you all manner of different shots so you'll find gentlemen changing their chokes per station depending on what it calls for, hence the extended chokes that you can remove quickly by hand and without a wrench. Could I take my granny's sawed off to shoot skeet? Sure, but I'm not going to break more than 1 or 2 birds and I'll be miffed all day. A shotgun is a tool. You want the correct tool for the job and unless you have lots of money and can buy many tools (one for each thing) you'll want one tool that you can do many things with. To maximize versatility look for something with 28 to 30 inch barrels that comes with a raised ventilated rib and with removable chokes. It can be semi-auto or over/under or pump. Unless you are awesome, my opinion, a pump is only going to handicap you. Semis reduce the recoil but are more difficult to clean. Over/Unders are more expensive but are easy to clean. I'm an over/under man. I shoot a Fabarm Axis RS Sporting with 30-inch barrels and 'skeet' chokes. I shoot skeet and 5-stand. Could I shoot trap or sporting clays with this gun? Sure, but I'd change the chokes. Give yourself the best possible setup to do well in the game you play. Anything else will just leave you pissed off or depressed.
     
  11. 95sniper

    95sniper New Member

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    This is the answer I was looking for, thank you.
     
  12. indy36

    indy36 New Member

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    Hey, glad I said something useful. Once you get into something, which for me was skeet, you learn what you need by seeing what others have. I started with an inexpensive 12 gauge Wingmaster pump with a barrel that had a fixed choke in 'modified'. What did I know? Nothing. Just wanted to shoot skeet. That tool was wrong for the game for a number of reasons. First, pumps are a hindrance for beginners. Shooting doubles is tough and racking the thing can cause beginners to lift their head or shoot behind the bird more frequently. Sure, old dudes are awesome with old Model 12s but a beginner isn't awesome. They need all the help they can get. Secondly, my Wingmaster had a fixed choke barrel and its pattern was not optimal for skeet. I could break some (around 10) but it just wasn't helping me. I cut my losses and moved into a semi-auto 12 gauge Beretta, the A390 ST. This was my first semi and it had the ventilated rib and screw-in chokes. I bought a skeet choke and went to work. I started breaking 15 birds. The gun had soft recoil, which I liked, but it was somewhat heavy and a pain to clean. I traded it for a 20 gauge SKB semi-auto. I liked this gun and it was fun to shoot. I started breaking 18 birds. It was a semi-auto so it was a pain to clean. It got really dirty. Looking at all the guys at the club it became clear that superposed guns (over/unders) were all the rage. Most had barrels around 30 inches. I wanted one. Also, I was getting tired of picking up all my spent shells the thing threw all over after every round. That gets old quick.

    Back in the 60s everyone shot 26 inch guns. I asked and was told skeet is a fast swinging gun game and the shorter guns shouldered more quickly. Back in the 60s people shot unmounted (low gun), calling 'pull' and then quickly mounting the gun to shoot. Later on shooting mounted was allowed and longer guns became more popular. 'Quick handling' was replaced by 'smooth swinging' mentality and the longer guns swing more smoothly. My guns had all been 26 inchers, which is fine really, but I had envy.

    I then happened on a Browning 20 gauge over/under and I jumped on it. It was beautiful. Little did I know that the higher rib on it would require me to float the skeet. I shoot flat and I simply could not adjust to a gun that shot high. It was a bummer moment. The gun had to go.

    I then bought a 12 gauge limited edition special skeet gun from SKB, the 5600. I think I gave like $800 for it. I got it from Gunbroker and I liked it a lot. I started breaking 20 every time I shot...then the forearm cracked. I couldn't find replacement wood for it anywhere. I spoke to a well respected skeet guy in Texas that said this happens a lot with SKBs and thus, I was bummed. It had to go, and I swore off SKB forever.

    I then traded the high-ribbed Browning and the SKB for a new Browning Citori Lightning. Man was I happy. My first brand new over/under. Cost $1795. It was my most expensive gun. What a moment. I put extended Diana grade skeet chokes in it and went to work. I broke my first 25 straight with this gun shortly after.

    Then I did something stupid. I shot a friends Kreighoff K-80. Wow. My Browning felt like a child's toy. Now I don't have $14,000 for a K-80 but I realized I wanted something 'better' than what I had. I happened across an older Beretta 682 Gold Sporting with 30-inch barrels and a palm swell and I bought it for $790. I shot a 24 with it that day...but...it was dinged up a bit and I don't like dinged up guns. Plus, the action was showing signs of lots of use and fixing it was going to be expensive. The next day I went to another range/store and traded my Browning and the Beretta in for a new Fabarm Axis RS sporting. They gave me $400 more for the Beretta than I paid, which is officially the first time I've ever made money on a gun. Now I had a $3000 gun, a nice gun. This time I had a pro shooter and fitter look at the gun and how it fit me. I had been around skeet enough now to realize the 'tool' needs to fit you. The fitter measured and examined and at the end of the appointment I was sure this gun fit me. Now it's all about me. I shot it today for the first time and broke 25 straight on my first round of the day.

    That history, my shotgun history, spans about 6.5 months. I've made mistakes. I've lost money. I've learned as well. I'm a better shot by and large because I've become obsessed and I read and study and watch and ask questions. I have the drive but the proper tool, one that fits you (cast, comb height, length of pull, balance, etc) is vastly important to really be good. It took me 6 shotgun purchases and trades for that to really sink in.

    I still envy Kolars and Kreighoff and Guerinis but they are so dang expensive and honestly, I'm not sure I'd shoot them any better but I still want one. That K-80's higher rib that can be adjusted to shoot 50/50 like I'm used to but with a more heads-up position, well, daddy like.

    It's a journey. Enjoy yours. My advice, you get what you pay for and make sure it fits you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  13. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    The reason the old dudes are awesome with a pump is they started when everyone shot skeet with a pump. If they really got into it they bought a nice double barrel. When I first started shooting skeet the gun in your hand didn't define the shooter. Every club was looking for good instinctive shooters to beef up their team. Now it's all about the money, clubs want members that will blow a bunch of money.
     
  14. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 New Member

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    Id like to get more involved in skeet/trap/sporting clays. Its been awhile. Last time I went with a couple guys (trap im guessing, was 5 stations in front of the thrower house) I got laughed at for showing up with my old Win 1200 and hunting loads, pretty much shot out mod choke. That ole shotgun hadnt even had a bead on it in 12 or 13 yrs. 23 /25 first round, 24/25 next round, 25 last round. 1 other guy finally got 23 on that last round with his very nice 390. They werent laughing long.
    About a year later, took same shotgun to a fancy sporting clays place in Russel Ks for a buddy's wedding reception. More than a few people werent quite upset when that old beat up huntin gun was showin up their fancy rigs. I had a dislocated left shoulder at the time too (im right handed) and it hurt to even raise the shotgun. Buddy and i were tied when we had to stop (his new wife was getty kinda crabby that we were all havin fun without her).
    Id like to get a nice O/U and try my hand at it.
     
  15. mosin762

    mosin762 New Member

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    Most over and under shotguns come with either : same size choke in both barrels, one tighter and one wider, or multiple choke tubes and a wrench. It depends on the gun. If you shoot doubles, the tighter choke should be in the second barrel. If you want a gun that you can hunt with, get a stoeger condor or a savage. If you want a legit target gun, get a Browning citori or cynergy.
     
  16. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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    I disagree, I hunt with my Browning Citori. Knocked down 6 birds with 9 shots on my last day out with it. Citori feather lightning 20 ga.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  17. mosin762

    mosin762 New Member

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    What I meant was the condor is built to be a general use o/u. Most designated target guns are only 2 3/4", the condor is a 3". I personally don't own an o/u shotgun, I have an 870 pump and I prefer the versatility of a pump or an autoloader. My friend has a 12 gauge condor and loves it.
     
  18. indy36

    indy36 New Member

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    The Stoeger is fine for general use. If you start putting 6 boxes of shells through it every weekend won't be long before it breaks. That's the beauty of an old Remington 1100 or any Browning Citori. They can take it.
     
  19. phildenton

    phildenton New Member

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    Actually many modern shotguns come without interchangeable chokes, mostly single shot and interchangeable barrels, you can still buy brand new pump shotguns with fixed choke.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013