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Joined: Nov 2006
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This is probably a dumb question that I have simply not thought through long enough to figure out the answer for myself, but here goes.

A standard shell, say a 12 gauge, still has a standard shell diameter today, and a 12 bore barrel at one time had a defined standard inside diameter, and chokes were measured in terms of constriction from the bore diameter, which they still are today.

But the inside diameters of barrels from different manufacturers today vary a fair amount for any given standard gauge, plus some manufactures additionally overbore their barrels to, in theory, reduce recoil by reducing velocity. So I guess you might conceivably end up shooting a 12 gauge shell in a 13+ bore barrel. Yet it’s choke is still determined from constriction to this oversized-for-gauge barrel.

Doesn’t this make the definition and measurement of choke as the constriction from the actual barrel I.D. now fairly meaningless? Wouldn’t it make more sense now to re-define the choke size on any 12 gauge barrel as the inside diameter of the last 1 ½ - 2 “ of barrel, and wouldn’t this be a better predictor of what to expect in pattern? It seems hard to believe that the same amount of diameter reduction on two widely differing barrel diameters would both meet the practical desire of specified choke size which is percentage of pellets within the measuring circle for that shot load.

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Yes and No

If you are of the opinion that choke is measured in constriction then it really doesn't matter what the bore dia. is. The shot column will fill out to whatever bore dia you have. So the constriction will still work.
But in my opinion the actual choke constriction means nothing.
What matters is how the gun puts a certain load on the pattering board. Example Gun A might pattern a given load at 70% at 40yds but only have .020 of constriction but gun B but may have to have .045 of constriction to do the same thing.
So constriction is only a starting point, actual patterning is the only answer.


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I believe it the old days it was more of pellet count on paper than 20 or 30 points of choke.Fourty was concidered full once we started thinking more in thousands than pellet count.Now many think of 30 points as full which was the old I/M. Barrel stamping gives some idea to the average hunter and they probably hold the stamping as true but we know the pellet size and speed and hardness and many other factors realy tell what choke you are getting from your gun no matter what its stamped.I remember many choke makers twenty years ago made chokes and said something like these fit Winchesters. Now if the man buying the choke didn't know his older tubed 101 field had a 6thou. different bore than his 101 Sporter and figured it was a good deal that one set fit both guns he might just be suprized at different results from the same tube in his two guns.I remember Rhino was one of the first to ask the buying what gun he was shooting in a brand as they knew bore diameter was different and it mattered and for sure with the then choke changeing every station sporting shooters.
Basicly pelltet count is the only way to realy know what your gun is shooting with a given load at a given place at a given time of year.If you evr got to shoot the fifty at fity shoot at Delta Junction your gun did not pattern the same on that day as it did in the summer with the same targets. No it wasn't fifty birds on your fifteth birthday it was fifty at fifty below and I ain't talking sea level. The shoot never realy took off,go figure.

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I'm not buying that a modern gun of quality manufacturing reputation will have drastically different effective choke results vs. another of similar quality shooting the same ammo when constrictions are identical. Guns made by the same maker will have same/similar patterns for the same choke constriction unless something is amiss in the bore/choke.

If it weren't so, buying a gun or Briley chokes by constiction would be meaningless.

I dunno about you guys, but all the guns I've patterned gave pretty much expected patterns for their respective constrictions.

I'm guessing the development of chokes pursued the maximum density patterns that could be achieved, then lessor constrictions were made available.

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We need just remember back twenty years ago when a maker would sell field guns with a standard .729 bore and high dollor target guns with bores up to .745 in which case yes Briley tubes interchanged between the same makers guns were worthless as far as tube marking went.Thats also why Briley was more than happy to make tubes just for your gun so you got what you thought you were getting.

Chuck H #101380 07/06/08 05:42 PM
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[quote=Chuck H I dunno about you guys, but all the guns I've patterned gave pretty much expected patterns for their respective constrictions.[/quote]

Me too, and I have spent a lot of time hanging around the patterning board behind a major after market choke tube shop for the last several years. So predictable, in fact, that the owner can predict with great reliability what size shot will give a certain pattern out of his chokes and any commonly made gun.


"With one foot in the grave ..........and one foot on the pedal, I was born a Rebel" T.P.
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I've experienced the effect of the rarified air at a 9000 ft trap shoot where a skeet choke would break birds out 40-50 yrds. But that effect applies to all chokes.

If constriction is meaningless, guns should be bought with the maximum choke safe to shoot and the shooter should have them openned to his desired effect. That ain't the case cause a .010 choke performance in a modern well built gun will provide pretty predicatble results. Not 'count the pellets, it's a IC by the book' results with all loads, but a result that can be reasonably predicted with most ammo.

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Close is good enough for most shotgunning. I always figure if I miss a bird its by at least 18" because if I shot correctly the bird would have been centered in a 36" circle of shot.Shotguns, horseshoes and hand gernades

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And Det Cord and C-4- and the Claymores facing outwards- sorta like telling the guys laying sod "Green side Up- brown goes down"!! All my shotguns are Full choked (I guess) except the 20 ga. M12 I got on my 12th. birthday- that's marked Mod.- I have NEVER pattern tested any of the guns, just shot 'em and watched the birds drop (most of the time) BUT- I am basically a pass shooter (occasional decoying) on mallards and Canadas, and where we hunt fezzants in SD and MT there's always a heavy wind and the birds flush at range. If I were a serious clays shooter, or a upland hunter (grouse, quail, woodcock) then I'd go for an Imp. Cyl. or Imp. Cyl. and Mod. in a double gun. I love to rake down what the Brits call 'Archangels' soaring barn pigeons- aka- airborne shitwagons- and to see incoming crows disappear in a ball of black feathers- and the tight chokes and AA reloads do that- but as they say- 'different courses for different horses'!!

Last edited by Run With The Fox; 07/07/08 04:00 PM.

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With modern reloading you can make just about any choke do what you want it to do.If you read the shell boxes you can do about the same thing with store bought shells.Like I said whats stamped on the barrel or tube is close enough for most all shooting.I'm also saying whats stamped ain't fact untill its proven and there is only one way to do that and counting pellets is the way.If you get the desired results with what you have then facts don't matter what ever they are as your hitting what you shoot at.

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