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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been looking at shotguns pretty regularly since deciding to buy my o/u. I am wondering why do most old shotguns o/u and sxs have fixed chokes of modified/full. In that past did people only shoot ducks with their guns or people with more open chokes tend to use their guns more and or not get rid of them. I have seen a lot of good deals for antique sxs and o/u but 70-80% of the time this is the case. Any one have any ideas????
 

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Most of the older ones (including mine) have mod/full. They can de opened to what you want fairly cheap. Or (but pricier) you can have tubes installed. This guy does it for between $35 and $45 per tube so x2, to open them up. $220 for both barrrels. If you know what choke you want I would just have them opened, $220 vs $90.
dickwilliamsgunshop.com//gun_repair_price_list.html
Have heard nothing but good things about him from searches here for some work I need done.
 

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I am wondering why do most old shotguns o/u and sxs have fixed chokes of modified/full. In that past did people only shoot ducks with their guns or people with more open chokes tend to use their guns more and or not get rid of them. I have seen a lot of good deals for antique sxs and o/u but 70-80% of the time this is the case. Any one have any ideas????
The plastic shot cup wad used in current shotshells is a relatively new creation. Ammo right up to the seventies had a cardboard or felt base wad under the shot. The shot rode on the barrel surface the entire length of the bore, resulting in deformed shot, ultimately being squeezed at the muzzle to try and put the pattern back together. The plastic shot cup wad protects the pellets from bore damage, allowing them to fly much truer, as well as holding them together until exiting the muzzle. This alone is usually worth about two choke markings difference. Back in the day, it would be unusual to have a gun with an Imp/Cyl choke as it wouldn't be very useful for anything except very close targets with the ammunition of the day. This is one reason Poly-chokes and the like were so popular.

Modern wads and powder burn rates do such a good job at keeping the shot from deforming, that the tighter chokings can actually hurt your patterns. I typically have seen pattern issues when testing the full and X-full chokes. While the pattern itself may not open up greatly, the additional deformation often causes irratic holes in the patterns.

In short, shells are better than ever, and the need for more choke is greatly lessened in the modern world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you CR, that is exactly what I wanted to know, it just seemed that those were really tight chokes for grouse, woodcock, quail anything except maybe late season pheasants and ducks and geese
 

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One that same note, don't be afraid to buy an older shotgun if you like it. There are all kinds of ways you can get a tightly choked gun to shoot how you like. As mentioned above, you can have the gun modified. But if you prefer keeping that old gun original, there are many loads that may work for you. If you hand load, there is no end to the options.

One think I have noticed on the old shotguns that I'm clueless of the purpose, is the much greater drop at the heel. I've picked up guns that I swear you had to shoot with the stock in your armpit, or you'd never see down the barrel. Those old fellas must have had long necks or something.
 
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