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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been shooting my 12ga O/U for all clay games, but would like to shoot smaller guages in skeet (first 20ga, then later 28ga). I am a new shooter, but will shoot between 100-200 shots a week, so durability will be important to me.

The question is, which tubes are a better investment: Briley Fitted or Companion Tubes?

How long would I lose my gun if I go with fitted?

Positives/negatives? Other brand than Briley?

Thanks in advance...

Mike
 

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I bought a single Briley 28 ga. Companion tube for my BT99 to shoot small bore trap with. I like it very much.

On Briley's web site, (briley.com) they don't show a whole lot of difference in the price between the fitted and the companions, so I think if it were me, I would opt for the fitted tubes. They tell me that the fitted tubes are a little harder to install and take out, I don't know....

How long you would have to give up your gun, I don't know, but if you give them a call, I am sure they will be happy to tell you.
 

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I agree. For the negligible price difference, go fitted. I've only used Kolar tube sets and have had no problems, but I shoot with lots of folks that love their Brileys.

If fixed skeet chokes on the tubes are not an issue, Kolar can probably save you a few hundred bucks going that route. IIRC their fixed choke set is around $1200.
 

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Check out Kolar's tubes.

I'm pretty sure they're cheaper and probably just as good as Briley's, not that I have any complaints with Briley, except their cost. I own two sets of their Ultimate Ultralites.

Your best bet always is to call either Briley or Kolar and chat with someone.
 

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So I wonder if someone here can clarify things for me a little bit and help me better understand all this "custom fitted" and "non-fitted" companion tube business?

I shoot a Browning with "custom fitted" Kolar tubes.

My wife has a Beretta 687. Most of my Kolar tubes fit her gun just fine...the 28's and 410's anyway. One 20 gauge tube fits fine...the other will not quite go into her gun.

Since she's just a beginning shooter I opted to get her a set of 20 ga Companions to play with. And they work just fine and her gun never left the house. They were shipped here in less than a week. I eventually intend to add a set of 28's to her "set"...and then eventually a set of 410's.

Yes there may not be much difference in cost but it's a convenient way to spread out the cost over time if one doesn't want to foot the total bill for a full set of "custom fitted" tubes all in one shot. And doesn't want to be without a gun for "X" number of weeks.

A guy at our club recently bought a beautiful new Kreigoff with "custom fitted" Briley tubes. He was shooting them last week in his new Browning Cynergy???????? What's up with that?

And I've seen other guys swapping tubes from gun to gun. So just how "custom fitted" are these things......REALLY????? I'm starting to wonder.
 

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Old Vet said:
So just how "custom fitted" are these things......REALLY????? I'm starting to wonder.
I have two set of Kolars, one 3-gauge set for a K-80, the other for a Winchester 101. In neither can I swap both tubes from one gun the another, and they won't fit my Fox SxS either. They are truely fitted to their respective guns.
 

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Yeah, I'd be very leery of using any expensive fitted tubes in another gun.

Seems to me like a good plan for cracking one or both of them.
 

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I wonder if this is how some of the cracked tubes we've heard about from time to time happened? But no one would 'fess up as to just how they might have happened so as to be able to get a replacement from the manufacturer. Hmmmm? :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK, I called Kolar and Briley...Kolar 3-4 week turnaround; Briley 4-6 week turnaround.

Briley recommended the fitted tubes over the companion version. They said the fitted version results in less rattles and has a more advanced barrel (think they said better material and lengthened cones or something along those lines, but I'm not positive.)

Although there is more name brand recognition with Briley (in my case) I think I may go with Kolar b/c they can get the gun back to me sooner (I shoot winter league trap/skeet).

One last concern when speaking with Kolar was that they may have to modify the trigger b/c I have an inertia driven trigger system. Any problems with this? They said it will not effect my current trigger pull/response.

$ is going to be somewhat equivalent as I still would have to buy the Kolar chokes where I believe Briley includes sets with the tubes.

Keep it coming! I'm ready to send the gun out to either of these guys to get going ASAP. Additional advice appreciated!
 

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Download the price list from both Briley and Kolar and it is evident they are about the same price. One is 3 choke tubes per gauge but they do the trigger job included, the other has 4 chokes per gauge but you pay to get the trigger job. Same price $1495.00 One has Blue and Red colored upper and lower tubes, one is just marked. One has a new style of extractor and Draw-Tite system, the other doesn't. I can't see an iota's differece between them other than one is a Texan and the other is a Cheesehead! :wink: I've had Briley do work for me in the past. Very nice work, but then again, Kolar is not chopped liver! I think I would go with the Briley since I probably do want the new style extractors and the Draw-Tite system. I doubt I'd want the Companions. But since Shotgun Barrels are not really a precision part, give or take a few thousandths, I can see how indeed one fitted tube may or may not fit into any other particular shotgun barrel!

BP
 

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BP, Even though it's still listed on their website, word has it the DRAW-LOCK system has been dropped by Briley. Actually, the words I've heard used is that Briely "no longer recommends" them. I'm not even sure if they've been available for a full year. :?
 

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Well, Mark, the printout I downloaded on 12/6/2005 sure has the term DRAW-LOCK on it. 12 ga Barrels must have screw-in chokes for DRAW-LOCK system. Right below the bold type of the Tube Sets (fitted). I'm not so enamored with the Draw-lock as I am interested in the new Revolution Extractor/Ejector system. That sounds pretty good to me! I shoot and reload lots of the worthless cheapo 28 ga shells. Quite a few times I might add! The Estates, Fiocchi, Kent, Challenger and some others are usually just laying there for the taking. I can't tell the difference in the way My Rizzini gobbles them up compared to AAHS and STSs either. Though I do have a bunch of them too! Why pass on free hulls??? :roll: Actually I like the Cheddites better than the STSs, they get pretty frazzled in a hurry, regardless what powder I load in them.

JUST reread your post, you did say they DID still mention them on the site, Daaaha! That just went right over my head! Before I order any I'll call them again. Actually, I'm trying to decide if I ought to buy a very nice SKB 3 barrel set with adjustable comb rather than tube my 425? Decisions! :roll:

BP
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So now that I'm totally confused on which set to choose, are there any maintenance issues that I should be aware of? Do I have to send the gun to either mfg. for service or can that be done locally since I'm no gun smith.

Also, I'm assuming that if I go with Kolar, then I don't need a "carrier set".
 

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On the surface the Draw Lock tubes sound like a bright idea, but I wonder what the possible metal fatiguing effect of vibration would be on a set of those after many, many rounds, considering they couldn't flex much because they're screwed into the choke threads.

I'd be having some detailed discussion with the folks at Briley on those tubes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jeez, another question...anyone think it is stupid going for the fixed Choke set? I mean, I can save some $ with a set that is choked for just Skeet and I get the 410 as a bonus (Kolars). After all, I am really only getting the tubes for sub ***** skeet....

Maybe I would NOT want the 28 and 410 fixed skeet chokes?

Either I go for the full set, or I just go 20 and 28ga with screw in chokes. Obviously, I am spending all I can and this is an important decision that I am trying to make the right call on!

Remember...I'm new and having a great time shooting, but don't know squat about all the technical aspects!
 

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I talked to Mike last week at Briley. They no longer use the draw lock tubes. Thier tubes have been redesigned to stop the 20 ga cracking. I recently located a set of older tubes made for a citori. I`m going to see if they will work in a cynergy. Personally I think all this fitted stuff is a bunch of crap. I know a person who has used the same tubes in three or four different guns made by different manufactors with NO problems. I do NOT want to chance the wood being damaged by UPS,briley or kolar plus being gone for weeks to months. I`m sure none of them would admit doing it if it did happen. Guess we all have to make our decisions.
 

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mbrody - I have had both Briely and Kolar tubes and they are, in my view, of equal quality and value. Yes, Briely has lately come out with new features (draw-lock, new ejector design) in order to try to discriminate their product from the competition and give people a reason to buy more products, but I am not sure that any of this has real value...at least to me.

When I bought my Kolar gun and tubes, I had the opportunity to get extra chokes for the tubes as part of the dea (they were supposed to be steel chokes, they gave me aluminum by mistake, so they gave me another set out of steel...I ended up with a lot of chokes for the sub-gauge tubes). I never use anything but skeet in this skeet gun. I had one set made in .007 thinking this would be good for practice, maybe doubles...I never shot them in competition, they seemed too tight.

I guess what I'm saying is that if your are sure that all you are going to do is shoot skeet with these sub-***** tubes, you will probably neve regret getting fixed skeet and saving some money.

Stephen
 

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On the subject of fitting and whether its a bunch of "crap", a few years ago when cleaning my tubes I pulled all of the ejectors off and confused which go on which tube. JUST having the wrong ejectors screwed up the fit which I discovered when a number of the tubes wouldn't fit and the rest felt odd/were too tight, etc.

I wonder how many of these fitted tubes that fit all of these guns are being hammered in with a small sledge...you can probably get them inserted in most cases, but how do the outside of those chambers look?
 

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mbrody said:
Jeez, another question...anyone think it is stupid going for the fixed Choke set?
No, I don't think it's stupid. If you were serious about shooting sub-gauge sporting clays, you'd probably want the ability to swap out chokes. For skeet, the fixed chokes will be fine, and all you'll ever need.

Some, like me, change over to a tighter top choke (around .012" vs. the normal .005"), for the 2nd target in shootoff doubles from stations 3, especially 4, & 5. However, most do not and it's more about personal preference. Everybody seems to want 'em, but few use them. I know of many skeet shooters who have never even tried the extra chokes provided with their tube sets.

I don't think you mentioned what gun you plan to tube, but if you're contemplating putting tubes in a $5,000 + tournament gun, I'd probably go with changable chokes. Fixed chokes might affect resale somewhat, but I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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Well, it's apparently a moot point now, since Briley is dumping the Draw Lock tubes, but Winders sent me a PM last night correcting my thinking on how they are draw locked.

It's some kind of extension that screws down on the end of the tubes, rather than the tubes screwing into the gun's choke threads.

Who would know how the hell they actually work if he depended on Briley's totally uninformative website, which not only doesn't explain anything but doesn't even make their dinky images clickable to larger ones that actually show some detail.

I'm getting the fixed Kolar chokes for my 101 Pigeon Grade. I don't need to spend $300 on a bunch of chokes I'll never use, since I don't even shoot registered Skeet and probably would never get into a shootoff even if I did.

And now that I've got these 3/4 oz. loads perfected, I may not bother with tubes at all, since I've got two other guns with full sets of Ultimate Ultralites.
 
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