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View Full Version : Quick question re: slugs in choked barrels


PDBreske
December 9, 2008, 10:31 AM
My father has an old 20ga bolt action (can't remember the manufacturer right this minute) and three choke tubes marked IC (Improved cylinder), M (Modified), and F (Full).

He would like to fire some slugs through this gun, but isn't sure if firing through one of the chokes is safe.

I just read in another thread that firing slugs through an unchoked barrel could ruin the choke threads, but this particular gun has the threads on the outside of the barrel, so that wouldn't be an issue, although he has also wondered if firing with no choke installed is somehow bad for the barrel.

So, can a shotgun be fired safely with no choke tube installed (provided the threads aren't in harm's way), and if so, can slugs be fired through the unchoked barrel?

Thanks!

Brian Pfleuger
December 9, 2008, 10:52 AM
So, can a shotgun be fired safely with no choke tube installed (provided the threads aren't in harm's way), and if so, can slugs be fired through the unchoked barrel?

Yes. Yes. Assuming the "old gun" is safe to fire modern shells.

crowbeaner
December 9, 2008, 12:55 PM
The best result will be to use the I/C choke tube when shooting slugs; that way the soft lead won't find it's way into the threads and make installation of the tubes at a later date impossible without chasing the threads. Choke tube guns DO NOT benefit from shooting shells without a tube installed, regardless of the type of shell used.

PDBreske
December 9, 2008, 03:07 PM
...that way the soft lead won't find it's way into the threads and make installation of the tubes at a later date impossible without chasing the threads.

I said the choke tubes are threaded to the outside of the barrel (it's an old gun), so there is no way the threads could get fouled from any kind of ammo going through it.

jheitertusa
December 9, 2008, 04:58 PM
Use the Improved Cylinder choke. IC is generally the recommended choke for standard Foster-style rifled slugs anyway. It is the fixed choke on my Reminton 870 deer gun.

On boxes of the Remington Slugger slugs it says "Rifled slugs may be fired through any choke; however, improved cylinder provides best results."

Just keep to the cheap standard rifled slugs. Sabot slugs won't shoot worth a darn out of a smoothbore, as they are made for rifled barrels.

PDBreske
December 9, 2008, 05:08 PM
Thanks, jheitertusa! That's all really good to know.

zippy13
December 9, 2008, 06:02 PM
I said the choke tubes are threaded to the outside of the barrel (it's an old gun), so there is no way the threads could get fouled from any kind of ammo going through it.
Fouling is just one consideration. The threaded exterior choke adds material, and therefore strength to the muzzle area. One might argue that propellant burn out occurs before the muzzle and chamber pressure is falling. Nevertheless, the exterior threads are subject to damage without the choke installed. Why risk damaging an old gun when the IC choke will work well with slugs?

PDBreske
December 9, 2008, 06:22 PM
Why risk damaging an old gun when the IC choke will work well with slugs?

Until jheitertusa's post I didn't know I could use the Imp Cyl choke with slugs. Now I know. Problem solved!

Thanks, everyone.

zippy13
December 9, 2008, 06:38 PM
Please give us a follow-up after your sight-in.
Good luck.