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Posted By: Jalo Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 07:19 PM
Hello everybody. This is my first post here. I happened to find a Miroku model 500 with 28" barrels, pistol grip and beaver tail fore end. It weighs around 7,5 lbs. I'm planning to use the gun for both waterfowling with steel shot and shooting woodpigeon with lead shot.(Bismuth is not a reasonable option here in Europe right now and I believe it will never be.) The chokes are modified and full. Because of the steel shot I will open the chokes and also lenghten the forcing cones. As here are many knowledgeable double gun people I thought I could find an answer to the question of perfect choke combination. Would it be improved cylinder and modified, light modified and modified, modified and modified or something else perhaps?
Posted By: old colonel Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 07:36 PM
I will speak heresy, consider choke tube if installation of steel shot capable chokes is possible.

While my lead shot wild bird hunting has been .005&.015, and my preserve shooting .000&.010 having the ability to shoot the same gun and change the chokes is something my long gone Citori 16 addicted me to.

Because you are a Waterfowler and Pigeon shooter and If staying with fixed chokes and steel I would consider 005&.015 which is a open IC and open Mod. You could go tighter, but I unless you are a true long range shot (40 yards plus) most of the time you maybe over choked.

Lastly I would say there is no such thing as perfect.
Posted By: BrentD Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 07:49 PM
I would vote withe old colonel, though I don't know the circumstances of your hunting. Will ducks be over decoys?

If they were jump hunted or pass shooting (and I assume that wood pigeons might be the latter), then I would bet tempted go with 0.15 in both barrels if the ranges are normally longish for first shots.
Posted By: skeettx Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 08:10 PM
Hello Jalo
WELCOME on your first posting smile

Yes, what old colonel says

Mike
Posted By: BrentD Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 08:11 PM
Jalo, in what country are you hunting?
Posted By: craigd Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 08:17 PM
Does the gun have to go back to proof after the barrel work? Why not just pattern the modified barrel as is and see what happens before you make a decision? For how this situation is described, Iíd pattern the full barrel too. Whatís the downside?
Posted By: ed good Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 08:55 PM
consider chokes mod and mod and then use spreader loads for more open patterns?
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 09:06 PM
Thanks everybody! I'm from Finland. Fixed choked gun is the only way for me so I guess I should be talking about the "perfect" compromise. My hunting will be all: over decoys, pass shooting and sometimes also jump shooting (ducks). The gun doesn't have to go back to proof. I have done some patterning with lead shot and even the modified choke is patterning fairly tight. Full choke is certainly tight.
Posted By: skeettx Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 09:08 PM
Hello Jalo

If no tubes, I would go with IC/Light Mod as old colonel says

Question, are the bores chrome lined?

Mike
Posted By: Karl Graebner Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 09:09 PM
Jalo,
Welcome to the forum. I believe Micheal has the best suggestion. Most steel shells pattern tight to begin with.
Karl
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 09:10 PM
Jalo, welcome to the forum. Your question is one I considered many years ago, and answered to my satisfaction. I bought a 30" barreled BSS that was also choked M and F. I tend to like tighter chokes than many, so I had the full choke barrel opened to the exact same constriction that the modified barrel was ....... .018". I have shot so much heavily loaded steel through it that I have shot it off face and now have to shim it .003" to keep it tight. But, more importantly, I have never had a reason to regret the choke decision.

IDK if it matters to you but I shoot primarily steel 4s and 3, with a few 2s on occasion. Works great for me, and never a problem with the steel shot. It's plenty tight, but doesn't cause meat damage even on an unexpected close shot.

Best, SRH
Posted By: Run With The Fox Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 09:11 PM
leave it as is, and enjoy the thrill the late Nash Buckingham describe as :"You've had about all the thrill wingshooting can offer when you see a dove, centered in your gun's pattern, crumpled in mid-air"--I use tight chokes in all my 12 bores-- I figured the old time choke and barrel men knew their trade, why tinker with that with screw-in choke tubes> Just like the old days with the *&%%^$# Poly-Chokes and Lyman "steam whistles"-- when you miss a sucker shot, whether at game or clays, it is so easy to blame the wrong choke for your miss-Shoot you gun for 2 seasons before you decide to have it "circumsized" once you have it altered, you can;t take it back. Use the $ you save by avoiding this trap on shells and blast pigeons until Hell won't have it--RWTF
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/07/20 09:17 PM
Thanks!
The bores are not chrome lined. I measured the chokes and they were more like Improved Modified and Extra Full.
Posted By: Old Coach III Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/08/20 01:46 AM
Jalo, based on a fair amount of patterning steel shot and using it for game, I would go with .010 (IC) and .015 (Lt Mod). This is about what the Old Colonel suggested and works very well for steel or lead. Steel shoots much tighter patterns than lead thru the same choke. DO NOT shoot steel larger than #6 thru the current tight chokes!! You risk bulging the barrel just ahead of the choke. I've seen a lot of these bulges in barrels with full chokes.
By the way, you have acquired a very high quality shotgun. The Miroku 500 is a true Anson Deeley boxlock, and is not the same shotgun as the Miroku built Browning BSS which has a thru bolt design. Enjoy.
Sid T.
Posted By: Nitrah Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/08/20 01:51 PM
one of my former doubles was 10 and 20 and that seemed perfect for all around shooting, but I am not sure if 20 thou is too tight to shoot steel?
Posted By: KY Jon Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/08/20 02:08 PM
.015 and .025 if you can shoot lead, .010 and .020 if you must shoot steel as it does pattern tighter wold be my choices. But chokes are a very personal thing to many, just like blond, red hair, brunets or any other hair color you like. Just get into a range like .010-.020 for one barrel and .015-.025 for the other. Then adjust your shooting style to match conditions. Changing chokes might be no fun with chrome lined barrels. Many gunsmiths hate working on them over here. Good luck and enjoy the finding out for your self.
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/08/20 08:37 PM
Great answers. This decision will be a hard one. Perhaps .013 and. 018?
Posted By: old colonel Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/08/20 09:09 PM
Easier to go a little tighter then decide if you want more later, than going too far as putting metal back is impossible. I prefer to avoid jug choking as you lose more wall thickness to get enough choke than I would like.
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/09/20 12:04 AM
Originally Posted By: old colonel
Easier to go a little tighter then decide if you want more later, than going too far as putting metal back is impossible. I prefer to avoid jug choking as you lose more wall thickness to get enough choke than I would like.


That is super good advice, and is the exact reason I have two double guns, that I shoot more than any of the others, that are choked the same in both barrels .......... on the tight side. I figured if I found the need for a more open choked barrel I could always have it opened a bit more, but could never put it back. I just never found the need to open one of those M barrels any more.

Another thought ............. if you start out with a gun choked right M and left F, and decide your really do want IC and M, just open the left barrel from F to IC, and leave the right alone. You will save the gunsmithing costs of opening the choke on two barrels as opposed to one. There is nothing magic about the right barrel being more open than the left. Vise versa works just as well. Anybody with brains enough to use a double barreled gun can handle that. In fact, it's good for a double gunner to go to the rear trigger first at times. It keeps us from getting in a rut on managing the two triggers, or the single trigger barrel selector.

SRH
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/09/20 06:13 PM
I'm sorry but there's no way I could ever consider having the right barrel tighter. I'm too conservative, don't want to learn new things at this point. Besides the gun cost me only 150 euros which is around $170 so I believe I can put some extra money for the changes in the barrels.

The idea of having two chokes of same size is something I've been thinking about. On the other hand it feels a bit strange to have two triggers and barrels with no difference. Those of you that hunt waterfowl with a double, based on your experience do you think that there's some advantage of having two different chokes?
Posted By: Geo. Newbern Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/09/20 07:16 PM
Two chokes, one for close and one for far. I think it's an advantage...Geo
Posted By: craigd Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/09/20 07:29 PM
Thereís quite a difference between what folks think is decoying, are the birds flying full speed and swing by to take a look, or feet down at twenty yards. Same with pass shooting. I still think pattern that modified barrel, with the steel shot of your choice, then I think youíll have an idea what you thinkíll work for you.

I would keep in mind that not all barrel work is just a choke measurement. You can show your gunsmith pictures of the pattern(s) and ask if he can get you where you want to go. From the get go, based on your gun, I figured you are thinking about using relatively small steel shot, and not necessarily the hottest loads. With more info here and there, you may not want to get into significant barrel smithing. Anyway, itíll work out.
Posted By: PALUNC Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/09/20 07:33 PM
I like 1/4 and 3/4. Works very well.
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/09/20 08:06 PM
Originally Posted By: craigd
I still think pattern that modified barrel, with the steel shot of your choice, then I think youíll have an idea what you thinkíll work for you.


That's a great idea. Unfortunately the modified choke turned out to be an improved modified. I do not dare to fire steel through it.

Originally Posted By: craigd
From the get go, based on your gun, I figured you are thinking about using relatively small steel shot, and not necessarily the hottest loads.


You are right. No hot loads, it's only 12/70. As for the size, #2 is the biggest in my list, mostly it will be #4 or #2. Early season #5 also.
Posted By: Geo. Newbern Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/09/20 08:32 PM
Of course you could go to Bismuth and shoot whatever size shot you wanted...Geo
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/09/20 08:56 PM
Originally Posted By: Jalo
Bismuth is not a reasonable option here in Europe right now and I believe it will never be.


If only it would be cheaper...
Posted By: BrentD Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/09/20 09:01 PM
Where is here?
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/10/20 07:02 AM
Originally Posted By: BrentD
Where is here?


I'm sorry, BrentD, you probably didn't notice that I already answered this question of yours. I'm in Finland. In general the prices in Europe are nowhere near to those that you have. Bismuth shots may cost even six times more than the corresponding steel shot.
Posted By: BrentD Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/10/20 06:19 PM
I missed that. Sorry. I was watching on my phone and missed some details apparently.

I ask because I wondered if you would hunt capercaillie with this, and how that would affect your choices of chokes.

I pay about $160 for 10 lbs (~4 kilos) of Bi. I am sure it is more over there, but then most things are. While Bi is expensive, hunting ammunition is not all that big of a deal because I don't need that much of it, though I hunt nearly every weekend.

You could optimize with steel for the common uses and then switch to Bi for just those few instances where you need something else. For years, I shot steel on everything except geese. I bought some Bi for just that purpose and a little goes a VERY long ways when it comes to geese for me. 20 shells lasted several years in my instance.
Posted By: ninepointer Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/10/20 09:10 PM
Jalo, congratulations on your Miroku 500. I've just acquired one in 20ga.
Posted By: LeatherWoodSteel Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/11/20 03:22 PM
I would open to something like LT Mod and Mod. IC and Mod works fine in most applications. I tend to like a slightly more tightly choked gun and I keep a few boxes of RST and Fiocchi spreader loads on hand. I have a Model 32 with IM and Full chokes I have used for skeet shooting Fiocchi #8.5 spreaders. Works great.
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/11/20 07:52 PM
Originally Posted By: BrentD
I ask because I wondered if you would hunt capercaillie with this, and how that would affect your choices of chokes.


Hunting capercaillie means walking mile after mile. That's why I prefer a light gun. Furthermore my hunting is either with pointer or flusher so normally there are no long range shots. Capercaillie is very sneaky bird, running before the dog like a rooster pheasant and often trying to flush behind a tree. It's not easy to get one.

Originally Posted By: BrentD
You could optimize with steel for the common uses and then switch to Bi for just those few instances where you need something else. For years, I shot steel on everything except geese. I bought some Bi for just that purpose and a little goes a VERY long ways when it comes to geese for me. 20 shells lasted several years in my instance.


That's a great idea. By the way, I bet you get more shots on geese than I do on capercaillies.
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/11/20 08:00 PM
Originally Posted By: ninepointer
Jalo, congratulations on your Miroku 500. I've just acquired one in 20ga.


Likewise! Actually Miroku 500 in 20 gauge is the next gun in my wishlist. Would really like to have one. How long are the barrels of your gun? Is it a straight or pistol grip? What about it's weight?
Posted By: Rocketman Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/11/20 08:00 PM
The Brits expended considerable ink and paper in search of the "optimal/perfect" gun. This is strange to me as they were, to my knowledge, first to put effort into making the stock fit the shooter; perfect fit. The arguments over what handling, feel, choke, barrel length, action type, point of aim vs point of impact, rib design, and several not worth mention, made "the optimal" gun. Aside from stock fit, there was scant consideration of physique, reflex speed, muscle speed, strength, and purpose.

I'd suggest you not worry about what makes perfect choke selection but, rather, what suits you. Shoot it as is for awhile before you make changes.

I'm shooting a Woodward BLE pigeon (only one Woodward made) after having it modified to my desires. Addition of a recoil pad took care of stock fit except I need more cast-off and will have that job done locally. The barrels were sleeved from 26" (30" OE) to 32", weight, teeter-totter balance, unmounted and mounted swing effort were to my specifications. Chokes were made mod right and full left so I could adjust them later. Loads for practice are 3/4 oz (21 gram - think 28 gauge). I am shooting it nearly as well as I'd expect for a true 28 gauge gun. I miss a few more skeet targets than with a open bore 12 gauge --- no big deal.

Shoot it awhile before cutting anything.

DDA
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/11/20 08:03 PM
Originally Posted By: LeatherWoodSteel
I would open to something like LT Mod and Mod.


That was my initial idea too.
Posted By: Run With The Fox Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/11/20 09:40 PM
KY- you like blonds? Think you might mean blondes? Hope so.. RWTF
Posted By: Run With The Fox Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/11/20 09:48 PM
I often hunt waterfowl with bismuth loads in my 1928 era L.C. Smith 12 ga. 3" Longrange- choked full and full- back in the pre-1913 era, Hunter Arms catalogues mentioned that their 12 bore guns, regardless of grade or barrel length, were choked F&F as a factory std. Other chokings available at customer's request- Full and Full were advertised as being the "expert gunner's choice" in that pre-WW1 era.

A good friend and hunting pal has a 16 gauge M21 with two sets of 28" factory fitted barrels, one forearm accepts both barrels sets. One is choked cyl, and mod., the other imp. mod. and full. On a grouse and woodcock hunt some years ago, he had that gun with the tighter choked set of barrels and No. 8 7/8 ounce Federal Purple Paper loads- shot 5 grouse and 8 woodcock with 14 shells- all clean drop dead birds, he has never shot that well with that gun before, and you tell me, in the words of the late Elmer Keith-who loved tightly choked Ithacas- "You mean it kills them TOO dead?""-- RWTF
Posted By: BrentD Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/11/20 10:25 PM
I would love to hunt capercaillies in Findland. I have only been there on e, but it was just like home, only different. smile

I am sure I shoot more at geese. The only thing that really limits me in that regard is freezer space.
Posted By: ninepointer Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/12/20 12:39 AM
Originally Posted By: Jalo
Originally Posted By: ninepointer
Jalo, congratulations on your Miroku 500. I've just acquired one in 20ga.


Likewise! Actually Miroku 500 in 20 gauge is the next gun in my wishlist. Would really like to have one. How long are the barrels of your gun? Is it a straight or pistol grip? What about it's weight?


Charles Daly Miroku. Barrels are 26", choked IC/Mod. Pistol grip and beavertail forend. Weight is 6.5 lbs (2.95 kg) with the Pachmayr Old English pad I added yesterday for length. Never thought I'd own a beavertail gun, but...
Posted By: Paul Harm Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/12/20 03:47 PM
My Parker D grade was M/F so I though I'd open up the Full a bit. Well, a brain fart latter the left barrel was a tight IC - .018, or close to LM. The right was actually .022, or a tight Mod. I might have to change a couple other guns to this because I'm really starting to like it. I think LM/IM would be some just about perfect chokes if I could only have one gun. Heaven forbid.
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/12/20 04:37 PM
IM and LM is my favorite choke combination for doves with my 20 ga. 687 SP II Sporting. IM first on incomers, then try for a double with the LM. Excellent combination.

SRH
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/12/20 06:56 PM
Originally Posted By: ninepointer
Originally Posted By: Jalo
Originally Posted By: ninepointer
Jalo, congratulations on your Miroku 500. I've just acquired one in 20ga.


Likewise! Actually Miroku 500 in 20 gauge is the next gun in my wishlist. Would really like to have one. How long are the barrels of your gun? Is it a straight or pistol grip? What about it's weight?


Charles Daly Miroku. Barrels are 26", choked IC/Mod. Pistol grip and beavertail forend. Weight is 6.5 lbs (2.95 kg) with the Pachmayr Old English pad I added yesterday for length. Never thought I'd own a beavertail gun, but...


I really like the fore end. It feels great and together with the pistol grip provides controllability. Besides it is the nicest looking beavertail fore end I have seen.
Posted By: Jalo Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/12/20 07:27 PM
Originally Posted By: BrentD
I would love to hunt capercaillies in Findland. I have only been there on e, but it was just like home, only different. smile

I am sure I shoot more at geese. The only thing that really limits me in that regard is freezer space.


I'm sure you would enjoy it. Capercaillie is the true king of all game birds - at least as far as upland hunting is concerned.
Posted By: 2-piper Re: Perfect choke combination - 04/12/20 08:59 PM
From around 1970 for the next 40+ years until I became physically unable to hunt anymore my Go-To gun was a 12 gauge with 26" barrels bored .012" right & 024" left. By the simple act of changing loads, I successfully took quail, woodcock, rabbit, squirrel (occasionally) duck & a few turkeys. maybe a few others, but can't really recall. This proved to be a most versatile combination for me.

Squirrels I normally hunted with a .22LR standard velocity but had a place I sometimes hunted where rifles were off-limits so the shotgun had to be used. This place had a better population of Fox Squirrels than my normal grounds.
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