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 Post subject: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:25 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:58 pm
Posts: 69
Location: North Idaho
I have a 16 gauge AYA Matador that was made in 1958. It is choked Mod & Full. I would like to open the chokes to something that would make an all around upland gun for mixed bag hunting in North Idaho / Eastern Washington. This is mostly wild pheasants and California quail but can include huns, chukars, or rabbits. Basically the same sort of hunts that Jack O'Connor used to write about from his home in Lewiston.

My inclination is to have the chokes opened up to Skeet & Light Modified but I'm worried that would be too open. I usually hunt with a 7 & 1/2 or 6 shells. Do you think regular IC & MOD would be a better bet?

Thanks for your thoughts!




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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:56 pm 
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I also hunt with a 16 ga SXS, but most of mine have screw-in chokes. For most of my western hunting in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, I go with LtMod/IMod unless I'm hunting California quail and then I go with IC/Mod. If I was restricted to fixed chokes only, I'd probably go with a halfway in between choke setup like .010"/.020". Back in the Ozarks hunting pen raised bobwhite I go with SK/IC in my guns.

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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:44 pm 
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I like what most Euro guns seem to be choked - the equal of IC/IM; of course, a lot will depend on terrain, dogs or no, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:02 pm 
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Of the two fixed choke-multi-barrel shotguns I've had, both were choked IC/Mod.

I've been happy with them.

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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:38 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:58 pm
Posts: 69
Location: North Idaho
I forgot to add that I have other doubles a 3” 20 ga SKB 100 choked MOD / FULL, a 3” 12 ga Spanish Universal choked MOD / FULL and a trap model Miroku O/U choked IM / FULL. So I’m covered pretty well for tight chokes.


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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:51 pm 
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Are you hunting over good dogs that keep birds close? Then the SK/LM would be great. If your chukar territory was like the stuff I hunted outside of Reno, then I would want a tighter second choke for sure - those tricky, snarky little B&@#$*^s knew what 40 yards was...... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:16 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:31 am
Posts: 266
The big problem with your theory is, when those birds flush they're not going to give you time to run back home and get the other gun. You are hunting where birds regularly flush at full choke distances. The same people who tell you to bore the chokes out of your gun will spend the next day and a half telling you to put in high-power shells to make up for it. If you want to cover your bases why not just open the right barrel up to skeet,improved cylinder, or quarter choke and leave the left barrel alone?

If you shoot a lot of birds you'll notice that they're not as stupid as you give them credit for being. They pick an escape route, immediately put cover between you and them, and more often than not dip back into sight right at full choke distance. Instead of standing there talking about how clever they are, I shoot.


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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:36 pm
Posts: 1289
Location: Northeast Ohio
Any of the following and just about any combo the others have posted would be fine, but once you decide, just shoot and never give it another thought!

.010 and .020...my personal first choice.

.015 and .025

.010 and .025

There is a lot of wisdom in what volleyfire said about leaving the right barrel tight, as it is, too. There a caveat would be that your left barrel might actually be closer to Extra Full than good old "American Full", which doesn't necessarily change the narrative; but those older Spanish doubles are known for being extra tight. I had a neat AYA with the chokes stamped as yours, but it measured Extra Full in the left barrel. I hit very well with it; but did eventually have it opened up to better fit my needs.

The pattern board can be your friend, as well as ammo selection.

If you haven't seen Gil Ash's excellent article with the colored pattern discs at various distances, it would make for interesting reading which directly addresses your situation. I'd link it for you but I am computer illiterate. A search should pretty easily turn it up for you.

Good luck! I hunted in Idaho almost four decades ago, my hunts being very similar to those you are describing. I vowed to return and it may actually be a reality this coming season or the next now that I'm retired and ready to do some travelling and will have a dog again. The gun is almost secondary to having those great upland opportunities available to you. So enjoy!

For what it's worth back then I carried a 26 1/2 inch Superposed Superlight choked .015 and .024 and shot everything from Valley Quail to Chukkars, Pheas and Huns, and never pondered choke at all.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:04 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:58 pm
Posts: 69
Location: North Idaho
Thanks all. I am thinking I will lean more open and go for Skeet/ Light Mod ( 0.005 / 0.015)


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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:46 pm
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oneounceload wrote:
I like what most Euro guns seem to be choked - the equal of IC/IM; of course, a lot will depend on terrain, dogs or no, etc.

I used to hunt with guns choked IC/M, but my two Grulla SxS shotguns are choked IC/IM. I actually prefer the IM for the secomd barrel , when a longer shot is presented. That being said, the IC barrel gets over 75% of the use.


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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:41 am 
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jfkid wrote:
I have a 16 gauge AYA Matador that was made in 1958. It is choked Mod & Full. I would like to open the chokes to something that would make an all around upland gun ...


That already sounds like a great, all-around upland gun. I’ve shot a ton (probably literally) of wild pheasants with a fixed-full 20 gauge and never felt even remotely like I was over-choked.


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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:04 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:19 pm
Posts: 194
Location: Clemmons NC
oneounceload wrote:
I like what most Euro guns seem to be choked - the equal of IC/IM; of course, a lot will depend on terrain, dogs or no, etc.


I have a Garbi model 200. One of the three sets of barrels are choked I/C & I/M.
I really like that combination for most everything that flies that's not a grouse or bobwhite.


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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 9:47 pm 
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How about leaving the chokes alone and throwing some spreaders into the mix when necessary?

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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 10:48 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:34 pm
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Location: Quick! Trace this thread. Where am I?
To expand on Grouse Gunners excellent post, have you patterned your guns? I think that is the first step before changing the chokes. I have had a number of Spanish beauties but there were significant differences in patterns for guns marked IC/Mod. Those differences might have been in the barrels, but even more important is that shells made by different manufacturers threw different patterns.

I did have one of my ladies, a 28 gauge Garbi 103a, modified by Ken Eyster for preserve quail. It was optimized for 21 and 30 yard patterns specifically using H&H shells (paper/fiber wads were required by my club, Sandanona) and turned out to be wicked deadly on almost all preserve birds, who tended to break cover late compared to any wild birds I have hunted. The difference in using Eyster versus a lot of competent gunsmiths is that Eyster modifies and confirms the point of aim and the pattern spread by shooting it a lot before and after making small changes, and then adjusting for results. Not cheap, but well worth it IMHO. I think it was around $400. There are of course other gunsmiths that do it the hard way like Eyster.

Now, Ken did tell me that different shells should not throw significantly different patterns after he tuned the chokes, but there were differences. Not so much at those inside 30 yard shots which the gun was set up for, but longer shots out to 40 yards did show differences, attributable to different shot cup designs. Paper wad shells were not as effective at longer ranges. I suspect that won't surprise anyone.


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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:45 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:11 am
Posts: 267
I have an AyA 16 gauge that I plan to open up to .007 and .020 from as built .028 and .044 constructions.


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 Post subject: Re: Most open chokes to be an "all 'round" upland sxs?
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:09 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:19 pm
Posts: 194
Location: Clemmons NC
saskbooknut wrote:
I have an AyA 16 gauge that I plan to open up to .007 and .020 from as built .028 and .044 constructions.


That would be a very good combination in a 16 ga.




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