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 Post subject: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:11 pm 
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I have always used skeet chokes for skeet. So when I purchased my Winchester 101 that uses invector plus chokes, I bought a set of skeet chokes for it. They work great, but seem to shoot a little tight. Recently I have seen people using cylinder choke tubes in the invector plus guns because they say with the back bored barrels the skeet chokes are to tight. So I would like to know which is better and what brand of chokes are best for skeet in the invector plus.

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:12 pm 
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I just got a Beretta with Optima barrels/chokes, their answer to Invector +.

I used the Cylinder choke that came with the gun for skeet the other night, and while the farthest targets didn't turn to dust like the closest ones, I found no reason at all to choke down any tighter, other than for more demanding practice.

That leads me to a question for those who know more than me: is the very slight Skeet constriction really intended to make a smaller pattern than Cylinder, or just to make the pattern consistent?

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:56 pm 
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Redmudd,

Unless and until you can consistently break 95 or more out of 100 skeet targets, stick with the Cylinder choke. My last 2 rounds of skeet, I broke 25 and 23 targets and I use Cylinder all the time.

I'm convinced that until you get GOOD at shooting skeet, the Cylinder choke will help you far more than it hurts you. When you start regularly breaking 24's and 25's, then it may be time to tighten up the choke a little (about .005").

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:18 pm 
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Quote:
then it may be time to tighten up the choke a little (about .005").


That is my question, though.

Why?

I understand, for practice, some people shoot a Full, so that they really tune up their shooting and it seems easy in competition. But otherwise, why go .005" tighter? Does it clean up the pattern?

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:21 pm 
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redmudd wrote:
I have always used skeet chokes for skeet. So when I purchased my Winchester 101 that uses invector plus chokes, I bought a set of skeet chokes for it. They work great, but seem to shoot a little tight. Recently I have seen people using cylinder choke tubes in the invector plus guns because they say with the back bored barrels the skeet chokes are to tight. So I would like to know which is better and what brand of chokes are best for skeet in the invector plus.


Redmudd,
I hate to bust your balloon, but those barrels are NOT backbored. Over bore, YES, but not backbored. Strictly marketing hype. Browning has been touting that for years and it's absolutely untrue. Browning owns Winchester, I guess you know.

Browning AND Winchester have barrels of .740 diameter, (supposedly +or- .001). It's rare to find them more than .0005 either way.

Aftermarket Skeet chokes are .005 constriction, (.735), and are all I have used for nearly 20 years in my Brownings. Briley does now make a "Lite Skeet" choke in the Invector Plus Choke style which I think is .003 constriction, (.737). That would probably work OK, but you do not want Cyl. chokes. I had some by Briley and they were simply too loose for good patterns. I traded them back to Briley for Skeet chokes, and have been happy ever since. Were I you, I would stick with the Skeet chokes. They will do a great job for you, but remember, You have to do your part too.

DLM

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 4:44 pm 
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BarryD wrote:
Quote:
then it may be time to tighten up the choke a little (about .005").


That is my question, though.

Why?

I understand, for practice, some people shoot a Full, so that they really tune up their shooting and it seems easy in competition. But otherwise, why go .005" tighter? Does it clean up the pattern?


I don't know what you mean by "clean up the pattern". A choke of .005" will tighten up the pattern a little, but that is only needed, IMO, by someone who can shoot about 95% or better consistently.

Pattern size is always a tradeoff. The more open the pattern, the less accurate your shot placement has to be. But, the flip side of that is that the more open the pattern, the more likely a target will slip through the pattern. For the recreational or casual skeet shooter, that should not be a major concern.

For a shooter who is getting serious about the game and can regularly break 24's and 25's, then he needs to make sure that a well placed shot doesn't allow a target to slip through by a pattern that is too open.

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:07 pm 
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By "clean up the pattern" I meant, keep it uniform, with no holes.

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:01 pm 
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The reason most will say pattern your gun and see what you like or have is because there are so many variables it's next to impossible to give you even an attempt at useful answer. The major issues with "choke" is most assume a clean transition from bore to choke and with choke tubes this just does not happen. There is a bell at the skirt of most chokes which can be .010 over the bore ID. Look at a typical invector plus; .740 bore and .735 choke tube. 005, right?, Not so fast; it really is .740 bore, .750 skirt / lead, then .735 choke. someone could argue that is not a .005 restriction but a .015 restriction. That argument is even stronger with long choke tubes and gradual entries. This is what is known as 'Jug" in a choke. It's where there is a section of bore which is larger before the choke if there is even a choke at all, cyl. The jug effect of choke tubes changes everything and can tighten up what you think is a "skeet choke and make a Cyl choke work like a skeet choke.
Custom choke tubes can be made to eliminate the jug; I'm having some made right now, as a mater of fact. Some guns just will not open up and give a skeet choke pattern with jug in the bore.

Put the gun on paper; paper doesn't lye. It is what it is and work from there.

By the way, I have Browning invector plus barrels which shoot tighter with stock Briley CYL Ext chokes than my fixed choke Remington 1100, with a fixed "skeet" choke which measures .008 restriction. This, I feel, is the affect jug has on patterns.
Of course it heresy to promote fixed choke barrels since gun manufacturers will never go back there again but many feel they are the real deal for pattern consistency. No one wants to talk about choke tubes which actually match and mate to the bore as this require fitting beyond an off the shelf screw it in deal.

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:42 pm 
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Thank you for that!

I had wondered if choke tubes had "jug", though I didn't know what it was called. I only have accurate calipers for centerfire reloading, nothing that will reach into a barrel and measure .0005".

It makes sense that it's not the difference between the bore and the smallest point in the choke that determines what the choke does, if you're talking about a .015" constriction in a relatively short distance, on what is ostensibly a .005" choke. That would also help explain why different wad designs can pattern differently, all else being equal.

I tend to like fixed-choke guns, but you're right: now they're only available in the high end. Perazzi, Krieghoff and the like are available with fixed barrels...:) So I've only had the older guns with fixed chokes that were once common...

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:32 pm 
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I have not found that small gap where the choke tube meets the bore to be a problem or to adversely affect the pattern on the various guns I've checked.

I thoroughly check the patterns with every choke tube I own. I have found that you can't always rely on what is stamped on the tube to be an indication of the amount of choke.

But, with regard to chokes, I've found that my chokes which are marked "Cylinder" generally give a larger pattern than chokes marked "Skeet".

I suggest that you put all your chokes on paper (pattern) and select the one that is the largest for your skeet shooting. In general, my Cylinder chokes will give about a 30" pattern at 20 yards, and that's allowing for about 5% to 7% of the pellets outside the pattern as "fliers".

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Ulysses wrote:
I have found that you can't always rely on what is stamped on the tube to be an indication of the amount of choke.
This is why we measure them.

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:18 pm 
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dugout wrote:
Ulysses wrote:
I have found that you can't always rely on what is stamped on the tube to be an indication of the amount of choke.
This is why we measure them.


I measure them too, but even that is not a 100% correlation with the pattern they will produce. The only way to know for sure is to put it on paper with the load you plan to use.

I have a Beretta Mobil choke that measures about .004" constriction and is marked Skt I, but when I put it on paper, it throws a bigger pattern than any Cylinder choke I've ever patterned. I can't explain why. It just does. :shock: :D

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:16 pm 
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Ulysses wrote:
I measure them too, but even that is not a 100% correlation with the pattern they will produce. The only way to know for sure is to put it on paper with the load you plan to use.
I think if you read the previous posts that was the point being made. Put them on paper; the paper doesn't lie or care about what it says on the choke. what you get, what I get, or what the OP gets will most likely all be different

The only way to truly get what one wants is to send the gun to one of the true choke gurus, tell them what shells you shoot, or send them a flat, and tell them not to send it back until it's acting right.

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:23 pm 
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Best choke for skeets? You can't have a best choke for all the skeets. If you have the best choke for 3, 4, and 5, you will have less that best for the other, closer skeets. And if you open up a bit for the closer skeets, you will be a little less than best for 3-4-5.

Some want to make sure they have enough choke so that if they do their job, i.e. put the core of the pattern on the skeet, the skeet will break. But others think, why have the best choke for only 6 of the skeets, or maybe only 4 skeets if you shoot H3 and L5 pretty quick, then have less that best for the 19 to 21 others?

As I write this I'm thinking I miss a lot more at those closer skeets that I do at 3-4-5, so maybe I should open up. But then, I don't want skeets at 3-4-5 slipping thru my pattern, so maybe I should tighten up :roll:

I guess I could use one open choke, and one tighter choke, and try to use the barrel selector to pick the best choke of the two for the skeet at hand. But that's too much for this brain to keep straight. :oops:

But...but... :idea: between skeet choke and cylinder choke, if either of those is best for a particular skeet, the lesser than best will still be plenty good :). It's not a choice of best versus inadequate, but a choice between good and gooder; and it's never certain which will be good and which will be gooder.

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:59 pm 
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Quote:
You can't have a best choke for all the skeets. If you have the best choke for 3, 4, and 5, you will have less that best for the other, closer skeets. And if you open up a bit for the closer skeets, you will be a little less than best for 3-4-5.


Sorry, but I can't agree with that. Unless by some strange coincidence, the chokes that other people own shoot WAY differently from the many that I"ve owned and tested, then we can safely say that a Cylinder choke at the longest yardage (about 21 or 22 yards) on a skeet field will put about 88% to 90% of the pellets inside a 30" circle.

I would like for someone to explain to me how putting 88% to 90% of the pellets inside a 30" circle is not adequate for skeet when a FULL choke at 40 yards (properly placed) will crush targets all day long with only 70% of the pellets in a 30" circle. :? :? Besides, with a skeet load, a 90% pattern of #9's would be more than 500 pellets inside the 30" circle, while with #8's on a 40 yard shot, 70% would be less than 300 pellets. Something just doesn't add up with your argument. :o

Why would anyone want a TIGHTER choke when the Cylinder choke is more than adequate for the longest shot on the skeet field? And it goes without saying that a Cylinder choke is the best choke for the shorter shots on the skeet field.

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:12 pm 
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I agree with em here, as the distance for a L1 is so much different from that of a L4, depending of course, on where you break it.

Ulysses, you agree that paper is the only way to know what any gun or choke is doing. Yet you quote figures of % from your gun and draw the conclusion that cylinder is the best choke for everyone. My experience is cylinder is too open for my gun. I have found that with some ammo, and some gauges .003 is best, for other ammos or gauges .005 works best. The 410 I am choking .009 and only use one ammo.

It would seem cylinder might be best for your gun, your chokes and your ammo, but i could not also say that it is best for everyone else.

I have learned to set my chokes on the quality of the breaks. If I'm seeing dust at 4, the chokes are too tight for my liking. Others would say they were just right. :shock: If I am getting to many broken in half birds from 4, I would tighten the chokes a bit, if i am convinced my pattern placement is good.

Also, quite a few shooters change chokes for the shoot-off's, were the second shot from 4 can be a bit longer.

My suggestion is, choose the chokes that work best for you, but they may not be the chokes that work best for me.

Jim

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:34 pm 
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Ulysses,
Can't buy that statement either. As I stated before, I had a set of Brlley Extended and Ported Cyl. chokes that I tried in my Brownings and all I got out of them were sorry breaks. Nothing solid and target smashing. Traded them back for Extended Skeet chokes, (.005), and my breaks were again solid and positive. Work very well on shoot off doubles too, (if I do my part). :mrgreen:

I fully intend to try a set of the new Lite Skeet Chokes that Briley has, which I think are .003 constriction. They just may do the best job at regular Skeet, but I'll wager the .005 will still be best for the second shot on shoot-off Doubles.

Bottom line is use whatever you are comfortable with, but you couldn't give me a set of Cyl. chokes if I had to use them in my game. Patterns are too scattered and full of holes. My Skeet chokes deliver patterns of approx. 30 to 32 inches, (not counting the few fliers), at 21 yards, that are evenly dispursed with no holes of any size. Picture perfect as far as I'm concerned.

DLM

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:40 pm 
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D L Marcum wrote:
...Bottom line is use whatever you are comfortable with, but you couldn't give me a set of Cyl. chokes if I had to use them in my game. Patterns are too scattered and full of holes....
DLM


You sum it up perfectly for me DL.

Best choke for skeet? The one(s) that works best for you.

Jim

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Last edited by DrJim on Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:50 pm 
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My experience is cylinder is too open for my gun. I have found that with some ammo, and some gauges .003 is best, for other ammos or gauges .005 works best. The 410 I am choking .009 and only use one ammo.


Sorry. I assumed that we were talking about a 12 gauge and based my figures on a typical 1 ounce load. If you are referring to a .410, then obviously the numbers for pellets in a 30" circle and/or pattern size would be considerably different.

BUT, if we consider either a 12 or a 20 gauge, and further if we find that either of these guns/chokes combos will put about 90% of their pattern in a 30" circle at 22 yards, would you agree that this is a tight enough pattern for skeet?

It seems that everytime we get into a discussion about pattern size and/or pellet density in a pattern, no one wants to talk about specific numbers. Everyone wants to say "pattern your gun and choose what you like best." That's fine, of course, but it's not very specific.

As far as I'm concerned, if I can put 450 to 500 pellets inside a 30" circle at 22 yards and still have perhaps 40 to 60 pellets outside the 30" circle, then I don't need any tighter pattern. I'm sure I would gain nothing and probably LOSE targets by trying to put that many pellets into say a 24" to 26" pattern. But of course, if that's what someone else wants, then that's fine. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Best chokes for skeet
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:56 pm 
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My Skeet chokes deliver patterns of approx. 30 to 32 inches, (not counting the few fliers), at 21 yards, that are evenly dispursed with no holes of any size. Picture perfect as far as I'm concerned.


Sounds just like the Cylinder chokes I've patterned in 3 or 4 Brownings, 2 Remingtons, 2 Weatherbys, and probably a few other guns I don't recall at the moment. :D

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