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Old March 30, 2014, 05:30 PM   #1
Cheapshooter
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To choke an old man, or not!

Well, the "old man" is a 20's vintage Winchester 97 Takedown. I grew up learning to shoot shotguns, and hunt with my father's old "97. Long gone now through a trade he made for a "modern" shotgun. But I have always wanted to get another 97 Winchester. When I had an opportunity, I jumped without much research, or even looking the gun over. Well worn blue, but pretty good wood. Except for some finish wear on the buttstock thanks to a slip on rubber recoil pad. The barrel has been cut and a new bead installed sometime in it's life. Shortened to 26", and I'm sure the "FULL" on the barrel means nothing. It came with a partner as well. A 30's vintage Model 12 20 gauge that has more blue, and pretty good wood. It has been "updated" as well with the addition of a Polychoke. Not the Cutts Compensator that was factory installed on some guns, but an aftermarket Polychoke. I gave $400 for the pair, probably not a great deal, but maybe OK. OK with me anyway.
My question is, since the Model 97 isn't in any kind of great collector condition, and it is now choked to something closer to a spreader, what would you think about having it threaded for a screw in choke. I really don't have a particular hunting use in mind. But thought it might make a decent turkey card gun with the right choke tube.
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Old March 30, 2014, 06:00 PM   #2
jaguarxk120
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I think it is a great idea. You might consider screw in chokes for the model 12 also. The PolyChoke adds some weight the end of the barrel and with it gone the balance may improve.
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Old March 30, 2014, 06:09 PM   #3
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I've known a couple people that had screw in chokes installed on 97's and they worked out just fine.
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Old March 30, 2014, 07:12 PM   #4
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Installing choke tubes in a gun you really like to shoot is a good idea. Greatly increases versatility. I have at least one choke tubed barrel for every shotgun I own.
One caution; make sure it gets done right. A botched job can render a barrel useless until it is corrected.
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Old March 31, 2014, 03:11 PM   #5
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Price it out ....see if its worth it to you / but when they cut the barrel....there is almost no chance its anything other than an open Cyclinder now..so it's not that practical as it is...

I'd call Briley in Texas...and see if they would do it.../ but you might find this is going to end up costing you around $ 250 .... ( I corrected my cost estimate to $300 or so with shipping )

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Old March 31, 2014, 06:52 PM   #6
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Briley has their pricing online

http://www.briley.com/chokeinstallationpricing.aspx

I think you will find the price quite reasonable, in fact, the most expensive are 16 and 410 gauge shotguns, with 3 tubes rated for steel or tungsten

a 12ga gun, thread with 3 lead rated choke tubes is $199.00

plus a little shipping both ways.

If you do go this route, make sure you insure the barrel for the cost to replace the gun unless barrels are easy to find and fit. (I am familiar only with old Ithaca 37's and their cost). Penny wise can be pound foolish. If the shipper bends the barrel and it is not insured, you are out of luck.
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Old March 31, 2014, 06:57 PM   #7
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Wow, those prices are good...( I had bad numbers in my head ..)...
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Old March 31, 2014, 07:36 PM   #8
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Mike Orlen's work is right up there with Briley's, and he costs less and is faster. He does not have all the tooling that Briley has to do some services. Mike and Briley are the only two that I would vouch for. Others may be as good, but I know they are good.

http://i468.photobucket.com/albums/r...ps56ae6444.jpg
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Old March 31, 2014, 09:37 PM   #9
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Mike sponsers this forum

The title says it all. Given that you have plenty of barrel to work with send it off to Mike.
Briley has the tooling for the very thin barrels, Mike does not.

Support those that support our online community. You will get great work, at a reasonable cost.

I sent a Win 101 barrel set off to Mike, he could not do the work due to the very thin barrels. Briley could do the work, for about as much as I had already spent on the gun.........no thanks.

Have not heard a negative word on Mike's work.
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Old March 31, 2014, 11:08 PM   #10
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Jim, old friend, you were probably thinking O/U (2 barrels) prices.
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Old April 1, 2014, 07:59 AM   #11
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Mike Orlen's prices far exceed Briley's.

What Briley's advantage is, they match the tube diameters to the barrel ID. I have an acquaintance that had them tube a 1948 Ithaca 37 16ga, which has a reasonably thin barrel.

Briley did a wonderful job on his and provided the size dimensions to ask for when he needed to get a different tube (other than the 3 provided).

The tubes Mike O. taps the barrel for are the ones as sold by Colonial. The advantage there is cost of course. Lead rated ones are a few over $20.00 ea and non-toxic, extended chokes are a few more.

My 16ga Ithacas that have factory threaded barrels (King Ferry era) use tubes from Colonial and I am more than satisfied with them.
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Old April 1, 2014, 08:59 AM   #12
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I had thought I would just take it to a local smith that has a reputation for doing good work. But with it being a take down model it won't be much trouble to send just the barrel section to Mike for the work.
Anybody know what the approximate turn around time is right now?
Also, for a turkey card gun, does the short barrel really make that much difference? For a little background, I only shoot a couple shoots a year at an organization I belong to. In order to level the field for those who don't have the specialized turkey shoot guns, they use #6 field loads. As I understand, with that large of shot the special super tight turkey card barrels have little if any advantage. I just want to get this old '97 tightened up to something that would put a few more shot on the card.
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Old April 1, 2014, 09:13 AM   #13
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I'm actually considering having the same thing done to my Stevens 311 20 gauge (if there's enough meat in the barrels!)

I bought it from another member here a few years ago, and while I love it, the full barrel seems to be a bit extra full.


Whoa. $429 to have my gun threaded...

I paid about half that for it.

I think maybe I'll just have the full barrel lapped a bit!
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Old April 1, 2014, 11:06 AM   #14
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Have you considered shooting it as is, with some different ammo? While not likely, its not impossible it might pattern acceptably for your purposes (with a given load) as is.

Or, since the barrel has been cut, why not get one of the repo heat shields and make a faux "trench gun"?

By today's standards, the full choke on the old guns is extra or super full. Because the guns where choked full, using the old style shells.

My Grandfather "tested" full choke guns by balancing a dime in the muzzle. And it works in the old guns. However, put a dime in the muzzle of a modern full choke gun, and it falls right in.
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Old April 1, 2014, 11:42 AM   #15
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Cheapshooter,

You won't know until you have paid your money and tried it. My buddy (licensed gunsmith) builds turkey shoot guns. There are all kinds of tricks being used.

They put steps in the barrels/chokes that cut the wadding down amongst lots of other techniques.

BUT you can get a barrel by chance that will work. A local guy bought a single shot 12ga from Gander Mt, took it to a shoot with the tags still on and proceeded to win a couple grand. Needless to say, folks were offering him big money for that cheap gun.

As I said, you won't know until it comes back. My buddy has a choke tube that won him thousands of dollars on a particular gun. But when he screwed it onto another gun, he couldn't hit squat.

He has another tube he made up that didn't work, but he loaned to a friend. Later that day the guy showed up with a turkey, some cash and other stuff and split the winnings with my friend.

Here in Ohio and the surrounding states "turkey shooting" is a big deal and people pay lots of money in search of the holy grail of turkey guns. AND there are no guarantees.

Out there where you live, are the folks shooting with scopes ? You wouldn't believe some of the turkey shoot guns I have seen locally.
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Old April 1, 2014, 02:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Out there where you live, are the folks shooting with scopes ? You wouldn't believe some of the turkey shoot guns I have seen locally.
Some do. I haven't been to many other than the two per year an organisation I am a member of hold. I've been told the use of #6 shot rather than 7 1/2, or 8 eliminates much of the advantage of the special built guns. It seems to be true because occasionally guys show up with their mile long, scoped "specials" and not do any better than people shooting some of the loaner house guns.
Quote:
By today's standards, the full choke on the old guns is extra or super full. Because the guns where choked full, using the old style shells.

My Grandfather "tested" full choke guns by balancing a dime in the muzzle. And it works in the old guns. However, put a dime in the muzzle of a modern full choke gun, and it falls right in.
Not only will a dime drop through the muzzle, it would rattle it's way through making me think the shortened barrel was never pro-choice in any way. I really don't have any particular use for the old Winchester other than I wanted one. Just thought it might be fun to use to "bring home the bacon" in a meat shoot. Not really into spending thousands to have a single purpose shotgun built for competition. Just be happy to win a ham or two, maybe some steaks, or bacon.
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Old April 1, 2014, 06:15 PM   #17
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Colonial has a bunch of different tubes for really reasonable prices for the different gauges. I am sure for not a lot of money, if you had Mike O. thread the barrel you could come up with something,

For my 16ga guns, I have non-toxic shot rated extended tubes in Full, Extra Full and Turkey Full. Unfortunately you can't use a 16ga at a turkey shoot.

www.colonialarms.com
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Old April 2, 2014, 05:15 AM   #18
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When I was in Ohio one of my machinists was really in to turkey shooting. He had four different 40" barrels and the one he would use depended on the shells they were furnishing for the shoot. He was of course working on more. He wouldn't share the internal differences as to bore, forcing cones, choke, etc. of course. Some of them are REAL serious. He did do an excellent job cutting well over a pound of metal off my 10 gauge BPS. After that, and some judicious removal of plastic from the inside of the stocks, it was the best handling 10 gauge I have ever seen.
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Old April 2, 2014, 01:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Some of them are REAL serious.
Some of them win 1000's of dollars on a weekend. With that kind of money on the line, they are very serious.
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Old April 4, 2014, 09:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Mike Orlen's prices far exceed Briley's.
Do you mean that Mike's prices are better than Briley's? Because what you wrote is that Mike's prices are higher than Briley's.
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Old April 5, 2014, 02:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Mike Orlen's prices far exceed Briley's. IN REASONABLENESS.
I dropped a couple words.

I have an email from Mike from Feb 3rd of this year that quotes his price as $55.00 per barrel for choke tube installation.
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