THE ACCURATERELOADING.COM SHOTGUN FORUM

Page 1 2 
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
What good is a full choke?
 Login/Join
 
one of us
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Grenadier:
There is one main benefit to a full choke. It keeps the pattern denser at a greater distance from the gun. The biggest disadvantages to using a full choke are that it makes a smaller diameter pattern and it causes greater deformation of shot pellets. Deformed pellets lose velocity quicker and fly less straight than rounder pellets. Pellet deformation can be reduced by shooting very hard shot and by shooting lighter loads at lower than maximum velocities. Unfortunately, well formed, high-antimony shot costs more than low quality, low antimony pellets. As a result, the best shells for use in full choke guns tend to be more costly premium shells. Anyone shooting the cheapest, heaviest loads available through a full choke at distant birds is working against himself.

Many people mistakenly think that a full choke means the pellets will hit "harder". But the truth is that a pellet going out the muzzle at 1300 fps from a full choke will fly the same and hit with the same energy as a pellet going out the muzzle at 1300 fps from an unchoked gun. That is, all else being equal. If the pellet coming out the full choked gun is more deformed than the pellet from the unchoked gun, then it will loose its velocity and energy more quickly. Tighter chokes and heavier and faster loads cause greater pellet deformation.

Most people choose a choke based on the desired pattern diameter. But that is not the best approach. Instead, the choke should be chosen by the density of the pattern desired. For example, a 40" diameter pattern of #8 will be relatively dense, little distance will separate the individual pellets. But, a 40" pattern of #5 will have a greater distance between the pellets. If that distance is too great to insure good hits on the game, then a tighter choke should be used to increase the pattern density. The object should be to shoot a pattern dense enough to reliably put enough pellets of appropriate size into the bird or target at whatever distance it is being shot.

I will say that I have had some heated discussions with people who believe that the only way to kill a pheasant is to use a 3" magnum shell with 1-1/4 ounces of #4. I will state now, as I have often stated before, that is nonsense. Some insist that you must use that sort of load to shoot pheasants at 50, 60 yards and beyond. Okay, I will grant them that in such an extreme but, honestly, how many are shooting pheasants at 60+ yards and how many really should be? Aside from extremes, consider that the common load for generations of pheasant and grouse shooters in the UK was 1 oz, 1-1/16 oz, or 1-1/8 oz of British #6 shot, the equivalent of US #7. Times have changed. Today, many, perhaps most, British shooters have stepped up to shooting UK #5 shot, the equivalent of a US #6. And the British are shooting at driven birds, regularly flying fast and high.

My personal choice for pheasants is IC or MOD with 15/16 oz or 1 oz of #7-1/2 or #6 shot depending on terrain and the gun I am using. I very seldom lose a bird and when I do it's because I missed. I don't shoot 50 and 60 yard birds but I do shoot 40 yard birds without hesitation. I run into bird shooters who don't believe me. They insist that even their magnum loads of #4 and #5 will often cause the loss of a crippled bird so shooting standard loads of #7-1/2 and #6 is a joke. When I ask them what choke they use the answer is the same - Full. I try to explain to them that they need a full choke to keep their patterns dense enough with the big shot they are using. But the result is a small diameter pattern and they are often crippling birds hit with pellets outside the main pattern area. By using smaller shot and a more open choke they would be easier to keep the birds in the main part of the pattern and the pattern would still be tight enough to deliver multiple pellets to the bird. I also explain that they are fighting against themselves by shooting magnum loads of lead when they don't need to. It doesn't matter with steel because steel pellets won't deform, but lead pellets do, and they deform much more in magnum loads. Occasionally, I win one over but most continue to eat up the tripe the big ammo companies dish out. After all, how can one company have better shotgun ammo than another company unless they make it bigger, heavier, and faster than the competition?

If you are as good as Saeed and can always put the middle of a full choked pattern from a .410 on the birds then more power to you. The vast majority of us cannot.

Here is a link to a wonderful three-part article discussing the merits of choked bores and cylinder bores. It was written a long time ago by a very well known sportsman who shot thousands upon thousands of birds. The guns have changed but the birds are the same.

THE MERITS OF CHOKES AND CYLINDERS


There is more on the subject here:

7-1/2 AS A SHOT SIZE CHOICE FOR PHEASANT SHOOTING

~


UK and USA style of pheasant hunting are very different between the two. UK are mostly pen raised with beaters behind driving them forward, meanwhile in the Western USA it is mostly wild with no beaters.
 
Posts: 1935 | Registered: 30 June 2000Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
My friend Bailey recently pointed out to me if one lengthens the forcing cone and eliminates the choke using absolutely nothing tighter than a skeet choke, a buddy of his routinely breaks clays at 70yds.

Eliminate that which distorts and eliminate the spread. Works for them.

For Lead in my O/U I use IC and Lt-Mod. IC on the bottom. When I shoot steel or Hevi shot I use Skeet and IC. IC on top. I plastered Teal with 5/8oz of #6 Hevi with this combination a month ago. Farthest shot about 35 yards.

Sometimes less is more!

Andy B


We Band of Bubbas
N.R.A Life Member
TDR Cummins Power All The Way
Certified member of the Whompers Club
 
Posts: 2930 | Location: South Texas | Registered: 15 January 2008Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of Grenadier
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Norseman:
UK and USA style of pheasant hunting are very different between the two. UK are mostly pen raised with beaters behind driving them forward, meanwhile in the Western USA it is mostly wild with no beaters.
Yes, there are only a handful of operations offering driven pheasant in the USA. So, nearly all USA shooters walk up their birds, usually with dogs, i.e. rough shooting.

But the birds are the same. Pen raised pheasants are used in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and nearly every other state. Tiny Connecticut, for example, releases about 15,000 birds a day or two before the season. This year the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will be releasing 13,000 pheasants throughout that state's pheasant season. There are a few states with decent wild populations of pheasants but even those states release birds every year. South Dakota is THE destination for "wild" pheasant hunting but shooting operations there need to release hundreds of thousands of birds throughout the hunting season, more than 434,000 roosters last year alone! In fact, according to the Animal Industry Board, only 10% of the pheasants harvested in South Dakota preserves are wild birds. You don't dare tell that to the man who just came back from his South Dakota wild pheasant hunt. So, though there might be true wild "super" pheasant populations in some isolated places, the vast majority of pheasants hunted throughout all the USA are pen raised. I'll say it again, the birds are the same.




.
 
Posts: 10511 | Location: North of the Columbia | Registered: 28 April 2008Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
There are only 4 release sites in Oregon and of those 4 release site of pen raised pheasant, there are only 500 pheasant release per site per year which are nearby large cities.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stop there pheasant hatchery and breeding program in the late 1970's just outside of Hermiston, Oregon. Beside the hunt clubs, most of the pheasants are very wild including the Hungarian partridge, French Red Leggs, Chukar and quail.
Oregon is a cheap ass state where the fish and wildlife is a freaking joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Posts: 1935 | Registered: 30 June 2000Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
I hunt pheasant 6 months a year on a preserve. The birds are raised remotely without human contact. They are very wild and will many times run before flushing at long range. I use one ounce of No 5s in 12, 16 and 20 ga guns and most of them are choked IC and full. The full choke has been very useful on long shots or when I miss with the first barrel.


Quick, Cheap, or Good: Pick Two
 
Posts: 1783 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: 18 February 2007Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
I hunt mostly with my son's and 4 grand-children and I have relegated to shooting backup and with a couple of my grandkids I get a lot of shooting but the downside is I rarely get any shooting inside of 35 to 40 yards and if a bird isn't dead in the air I can have shots closer to 50 yards and nothing is as reliable under those conditions than my Perazzi LiveGame O/U with Full/Extra-Full chokes. I hate to see a bird fly away with a leg handing.

I also shoot Premium ammo with hard shot -- either #5 or #6 in the bottom barrel and #4 in the top.

On the other hand when shooting with more experience shooters and good dogs I usually shoot Skeet & Modified - #6 shot.


DB Bill aka Bill George
 
Posts: 4360 | Location: Sunny Southern California | Registered: 22 May 2002Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Bill/Oregon:

If I need to shoot steel for waterfowl, I'll go with a cheap 870 or a Nova.


Help me out with this statement. Why would waterfowl merit "a cheap 870 or a Nova"?
 
Posts: 2717 | Location: NH | Registered: 03 February 2009Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
Steel shot can be hard on barrels (abrasion etc) and the cost to replace a set of barrels on something like a Browning Superposed or even a decent Beretta.

I don't recall where but I remember seeing some very high speed photography showing the what happens to a barrel as the shot passes thru it and you could see a barrel bulge just a hair as the shot passed down the barrel - no hard with standard lead shot but I would image steel shot which is very hard to lead might do and I guess most waterfowl hunters don't shoot all that many rounds each season.


DB Bill aka Bill George
 
Posts: 4360 | Location: Sunny Southern California | Registered: 22 May 2002Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of Grenadier
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Norseman:
There are only 4 release sites in Oregon and of those 4 release site of pen raised pheasant, there are only 500 pheasant release per site per year which are nearby large cities.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stop there pheasant hatchery and breeding program in the late 1970's just outside of Hermiston, Oregon. Beside the hunt clubs, most of the pheasants are very wild including the Hungarian partridge, French Red Leggs, Chukar and quail.
Oregon is a cheap ass state where the fish and wildlife is a freaking joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have shot pheasant and chukar quite a few times, and at different locations, in Oregon. I don't remember ever using a choke tighter than Modified for any bird shooting in Oregon. I know most of the times I used chokes more open than that and I never had a problem with lost or crippled birds.




.
 
Posts: 10511 | Location: North of the Columbia | Registered: 28 April 2008Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by DB Bill:
Steel shot can be hard on barrels (abrasion etc) and the cost to replace a set of barrels on something like a Browning Superposed or even a decent Beretta.

I don't recall where but I remember seeing some very high speed photography showing the what happens to a barrel as the shot passes thru it and you could see a barrel bulge just a hair as the shot passed down the barrel - no hard with standard lead shot but I would image steel shot which is very hard to lead might do and I guess most waterfowl hunters don't shoot all that many rounds each season.


I dunno what you consider a lot but I shoot at least a case or two per season. My SBEII has many 1000s of round through it and the barrel looks fine.

The idea that anything other than a "cheap" shotgun shouldn't be used for waterfowl doesn't hold any water IMO. In fact, I'd bet 99% of fowlers would say the same thing.
 
Posts: 2717 | Location: NH | Registered: 03 February 2009Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of Grenadier
posted Hide Post
Guns with barrels and chokes specifically made for shooting steel shot don't have big problems. Other guns do.




.
 
Posts: 10511 | Location: North of the Columbia | Registered: 28 April 2008Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
As the late great Michael MacIntosh argued in one of his books, when it comes to birds other than turkey there’s no need for anything tighter than IC. I use Cyl/Cyl or Skt/Skt in all my bird guns regardless of walk up or driven. I have a second barrel for one of my Cogswell and Harrison’s choked IM/Full for turkey purposes.

I have an 1886 David Murray hammer 12 Bore that I have downed over hundreds of birds when I quit counting. It’s choked Skt/Skt. I know that sounds like a lot of birds, but I’ve owned the gun a long time and shoot a lot of preserves where there is no daily limit.

Michael MacIntosh is worth the reading.


JP Sauer Drilling 12x12x9.3x72
David Murray Scottish Hammer 12 Bore
Alex Henry 500/450 Double Rifle
Ruger M77 Full Stock .22-250
Walther PPQ H2 9mm
Walther PPS M2
Cogswell & Harrison Hammer 12 Bore Damascus
And Too Many More
 
Posts: 1766 | Location: Chattanooga, TN | Registered: 10 August 2010Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
Kind of an old thread...

To me, the best thing about full choke is that when you shoot clay birds with it, you get a greasy black cloud if you hit.

In certain circumstances it makes sense to use it on game. It makes the pattern more dense, and the more hits on the bird, the harder the reaction to the shot, generally. Forgetting what I was shooting, a pheasant got up in front of me while I was walking back from a goose blind. I instinctually mounted the gun and shot, forgetting I was carrying a Mag-10 with extra full choke. That pheasant stopped and went backwards... and pretty much all that was left was the breast meat and feet. I think that is what is meant by "hitting harder" not that any one pellet has more energy.

If you are shooting longer distances with larger pellets, in order to maintain adequate pattern density, you need to shoot a tighter choke. Most hunters don't shoot long range on birds- pass shooting geese and shooting crows is my only use of full or extra full on flying game. I do have a friend who is very recoil intolerant- and he uses 12 ga 5/8 oz loads with extra full choke to get the same effect I am with 1.25 oz and a IC or M choke at up to 45 yards.

Bismuth shot behaves very much like lead does, so you might need/want the tighter choke for waterfowl if you are using that. Steel and the various tungsten solid pellets need much less. When I use steel, I will typically use IC or SK choke, but with bismuth I usually have a M or LM choke in, and have used full on occasion.

The down side to heavy choke in shot that takes advantage of it is that you better not shoot the bird too close if you want to eat it... either you try and shoot the bird in the head or just wait till it gets out to over 30 yards away... which is also a problem with TSS in any choke- it patterns very tightly, to the point I find it useless, as I like to eat the birds I shoot, and rarely can I depend on them to fly 60+ yards away and for me to hit them reliably... If you do, its the hammer of thor, but at $5/shell, its just not my idea of fun, with the crippling that happens by not centering the bird in the pattern at that range.

Most game birds are shot at 25 yards to 35 yards, and if you are using a reasonable shot size and charge weight, with adequate velocity, most guys are best off using IC for most shooting. You will hit more, and cripple less along with not mangling your game. Its the guys who are reasonably good, experienced shots who can take advantage of more constriction- and most of them are not worried about getting 1-2 more birds by shooting at extreme range most of the time.

Steel typically doesn't stand as much constriction as lead, but they sell steel "full" chokes, which are really closer to LM level constriction than a lead F. They also tend to be much more gradual in their choking of the bore because steel is more likely to spread instead of condense its pattern if you constrict it in a hurry.

If you look at a steel designed gun, like my older SBE that has had over 10K shells through it through a bore scope, you will see peen marks on the barrel. Steel and the tungsten shells are not easy on the barrel, especially since with steel you need velocity for it to work well, so you are pushing the envelope a bit. With a pre-steel shot barrel, like the one on my Mag 10, you see linear abrasions down the bore from large goose size shot despite the fancy wads- and the old barrel that my dad had on it was extra full when he brought it, and its now maybe IM by measurement after he used it with steel extensively. This despite Ithaca claiming it was steel shot suitable.
 
Posts: 6363 | Location: Minnesota USA | Registered: 15 June 2007Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
Makes it easier to miss.

Dave
 
Posts: 2050 | Location: Seattle Washington, USA | Registered: 19 January 2004Reply With Quote
one of us
posted Hide Post
No use to me at all. I shoot over bird dogs and primarily use a 16 gauge SXS with one ounce of no. 7 or 7-1/2 shot through skeet 1 and skeet 2 chokes. I get good patterns and regularly make shots at 40 yards and a little beyond.

Shooting wild chukars I sometimes use a lightweight Scottish gun choked IC & IM. The tight barrel helps on the second shot on a covey rise at distance.
 
Posts: 816 | Location: S. E. Arizona | Registered: 01 February 2019Reply With Quote
one of us
Picture of MoreBS
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Idaho Sharpshooter:
Norseman,

let me tell you about bismuth shot someday...

Rich
just say no to steel


Check out: https://bossshotshells.com/

I am going to put the old SKB O/U, full-mod back in service with there plated bismuth!


Get Close and Wack'em Hard
 
Posts: 312 | Registered: 15 March 2004Reply With Quote
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2  
 


Copyright December 1997-2020 Accuratereloading.com


Visit our on-line store for AR Memorabilia