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Old September 27, 2010, 06:39 AM   #1
Artie
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Invector Plus Choke tubes-switch to?

As some of you know, I just bought a new Citori that I'm primarily using for sporting clays right now. The first time out, we just shot some clays out of one of those cheap manual spring operated throwers. The clays were not too tough to hit and the gun performed well using the factory full choke that came in the gun.

Fast forward to this past weekend where we went on an actual course and the results were not as impressive. The longer range clays were tough on me no matter the speed, but the close range ones were ok even at high speeds. Obviously the full choke wasn't ideal.

I'm an experienced bird hunter, but I'm somewhat ignorant on choke tubes and such. I've always used old guns that had no tubes and now I'm using a brand new Citori. My question is what tubes should I be using for sporting clays? I guess the obvious answer would be the tube made for sporting clays, but I've read a couple of articles suggesting that the OEM Browning tubes were not that great. I need to order some tubes that are more suited for this usage, but I'd rather get some advice from you guys before I buy the first thing I see. I'm also curious if you want 2 of the same tubes in an O/U, or if the second barrel should be different?
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Old September 27, 2010, 07:13 AM   #2
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Here ya go - from the folks who own the market:

http://www.briley.com/2009/sportingclays.html

But don't get TOO hung up on chokes and constantly changing them. An IC/M combination will work very well for 90% of all sporting targets. Some places may throw more "in your face" close ones, then go with a cylinder or use spreader loads. Other places play the FITASC game where everything is at a distance - then a M/F, or IM/F might be necessary. MOST courses tend to fall somewhere in between. Focus on the target, and make your plan to attack it rather than look away to change chokes.......

Good luck and have fun - THAT'S the most important part
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Old September 27, 2010, 07:27 AM   #3
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Most of your really good shooters are not choke spinners. They're concentrating on target presentation, hold point, break point. The "C" shooters are usually the ones changing chokes at every station. Skeet will handle everything to 30-35 yds, modified will handle everything else.
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Old September 27, 2010, 07:42 AM   #4
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Just put in two IC chokes and be done with it.
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Old September 27, 2010, 09:40 AM   #5
Omaha-BeenGlockin
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Buy more shells instead of chokes.
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Old September 27, 2010, 12:08 PM   #6
BigJimP
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I think the Browning OEM chokes are very good ...and I use them in all my Browning's ( for skeet, sporting, Trap and bird hunting). For every game, I prefer the extended chokes - and I use the Midas Grade Browning Invector Plus extended chokes. I might consider the Diana Grade extended chokes --- but its more of a look - than function.

Briley makes good chokes as well ...and may make the Browning OEM chokes - although I don't know for sure.

For Sporting - I carry 8 chokes - 2 in the gun and 6 in a plastic "fishing lure box" ... 2 Skeet, 2 Imp Cyclinder, 2 Modified, 1 Improved Modified and 1 Full.

I change chokes depending on the target presentation. The concept of shotgunning is to put a 30" pattern on the target at the kill range .... so at about:
20 - 25 yds Skeet
25-30 yds Imp Cyclinder
30 - 35 yds Modified
35-40 yds Imp Modified
40 + Yards Full

Yes, 90% of the time I probably have Modified in both barrels or IC ...but sure, I sometimes go with IC/Mod ...just depends, and every course is different. The "better shooters" don't change chokes ... not for + or minus 5 yards or 10 yards they don't ---- but they sure do, if its more of a change than that. Besides, it does not reflect badly on you - to change chokes ...you paid your money, do what you want !! If you want to change them on every station - then go ahead and do it ! Changing chokes doesn't hold anyone else up / I'm always ready to shoot when its my turn in the cage ...

Shooting a Modified / when you should shoot a Skeet choke ...does not make you a better shooter ...in my opinion / it defeats the purpose of a shotgun, in my opinion.

On a sporting course - I always carry 8 boxes of shells for a 100 bird course too:
5 boxes of 1 oz of 8's at 1225 fps - for most targets
1 box of 1 oz of 9's at 1225 fps - for mini's or whatever
1 box of 1 oz of 7 1/2's at 1225 fps - for "rabbits"...
and
1 box of 1 1/8oz of 7 1/2's at 1300 fps ( like Rem Nitro's ) - just because ....or if they put a long crosser or something out there ...
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Old September 27, 2010, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Briley makes good chokes as well ...and may make the Browning OEM chokes - although I don't know for sure
I ordered a complete set of Midas grade choke tubes from MGW when my new Cynergy arrived. The blister packs that they came in were clearly marked By Briley.
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Old September 27, 2010, 03:01 PM   #8
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Thanks Roscoe - I had a hunch they were making them ...
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Old September 27, 2010, 07:01 PM   #9
Artie
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Thanks for the responses. I should have clarified that I'm not necessarily trying to cover up poor shooting with choke tube changes. I don't expect a choke tube to work miracles. Basically I was just curious what would be the best setup to do what I do. A "do it all" choke tube if you will.

I don't ever see myself taking it seriously enough to change choke tubes at every stand. I would prefer to be able to make adjustments to my shooting and not my gun. I just don't want to spend money on tubes blindly so that's why I asked.

I saw that some companies were mentioned, but feel free to share the names of places you would recommend doing business with, not just for choke tube, but all things shooting related. I normally buy at the local gun shops, but as my needs get more specialized, I need to shop on the interweb.
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Old September 27, 2010, 07:26 PM   #10
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As I posted, Briley is THE company when it comes to tubes - not saying others are competent, but they ARE the OEM for most companies. For Beretta, Rich Cole is hard to surpass........for case coloring and restorations, Doug Turnbull is the best in North America, and possibly the best in the world. There are many good folks, depending on what you want done, as some folks specialize in certain areas and do things very well.

For Browning repairs, Art's in MO, staffed by former Browning folks, is the place to go to. For stocks, Wenig's is one of the best......and on and on...........when you start to search the web, AND go to several sites, you will glean lots of great places for work, supplies, repairs, etc......
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Old September 28, 2010, 10:50 AM   #11
BigJimP
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I would still stay with local companies where you can ...

but I do shop for parts on Brownells ...but I would either go to Browning or Briley when it comes to chokes.

There is no such thing as one choke that does it all ....that defeats the purpose of a choke .... Go ahead and shoot a Modified ( middle of the road choke ) if you want to ..... but at 10 yards a Modified choke is probably a 10" pattern ....and at 60 yards it may be 8 feet ....( not your best option..)... You can change your loads and open the pattern up or close it up a little ....

but don't let the cost of chokes determine your learning curve. In the bigger scheme of things .... $ 300 for chokes is pretty cheap ... compared to the cost of targets, shells, gas even a 5 - 10 boxes a week ...the cost of chokes is probably the least of your concern...
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Old September 28, 2010, 01:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artie
Obviously the full choke wasn't ideal.
Yep, there are only a few target presentations (see the Briley chart) where a full choke is appropriate for clay targets other than when shooting handicap trap. For new target shooters, the problem isn't so much choke selection but a case of shooting too late. A 21-yard Skeet target easily becomes a 40-yard target if you shoot it at the out of bounds stake. As BigJim indicated, that's the difference between a Skeet and an Imp Mod choke.

Several factors can contribute to shooting late, a few of the obvious ones are: poor body positioning, wrong hold point, bad gun mount, anticipating (jumping) the target, head on-off-on the stock, jerky swing, and not visualizing the proper lead. In other words, anything that prevents you from having good target acquisition, a smooth swing, and shooting when you see the correct lead can cause you to ride the bird too long. Some problems (like positioning) can be quickly eliminated with good initial coaching and others (like learning how to determine your hold points) come only with experience.
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Old September 28, 2010, 02:26 PM   #13
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Changing chokes vs not changing chokes ....

There are a few guys at my gun club - that have great vision, good reflexes, guns that really fit them - and a lot of talent ....and I've seen them shoot Skeet with an Improved Modified choke ....and they shoot pretty well - 22's, 23's .... but station 8 often bites them. Now they do it - partly to "wow the crowd" ...impress the newbies, etc ....or maybe because they just don't like to change the chokes. They are way better shooters than I am...and they can do what they want ...and if it works for them, ok -

Does it make them better --- I don't think so because to change your lead or fine tune your lead to shoot a 15" pattern vs a 30" pattern will really screw you up ....if you're serious about shooting Skeet. Its almost equivalent to shooting a .410 in a 12ga event ....and you can do that....but for most of us mere mortals --- that would give your competitors a significant advantage. I'd rather shoot a 12ga, in a 12ga event, with a
30" pattern ---and take my chances head to head.

Very good shooters can do a number of things that most of us can't do ... like shooting a 20ga in a 12ga event ....and they do it very well. While I understand shooting 7/8 oz loads ( 20ga ) can be good for any number of reasons - the gun really fits, less recoil if things are equal, one gun in 12ga and 20ga events ....

But to me it makes no sense to give up half my pattern by over-choking the gun I choose to shoot. If I wanted to shoot a tighter pattern on a Skeet field - I can see going to IC chokes vs Skeet ....but not tighter than that - unless I just want to frustrate myself ....

So at least drop down to a pair of Mod's or IC's in that new Citori. On any O/U, I always fire the lower barrel first ....puts the first shell more on the center line of the gun, less muzzle rise, etc ...
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Old September 28, 2010, 02:58 PM   #14
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While I maintain a full compliment of chokes for all of my shotguns, I don't really change them that much. In an average course of 100 sporting clays I may change 3 times... I may not change at all. I rented a Beretta at the range a while back, and I didn't have Optima chokes for that one, so I just shot the entire course with the IC/IC that came in the gun. Shot a pretty respectable score too.

I like to have the option, though because you do occasionally run in to the odd presentation where you need perhaps a Modified or an improved modified. I recently went to Fossil Point and was invited to shoot a round of 5 stand. The guy asked me what chokes I had in my gun. I believe it was Skeet and IC. He laughed and said "do you have two Improved Modifieds?" I didn't and installed a modified and an Improved Modified. He was right... I think the closest clay I saw was about 40 yards. Tough, but man, what fun! I shot a 14 and was pretty darned proud of it.
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Old September 28, 2010, 03:11 PM   #15
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I have a Plano box with SK to F inside. Currently, I have an IC and LM in the gun ('cause I don't have an extended M or IM) and I leave them alone. At most I switch barrels if one target is closer than the other. Another guy uses a SK/M, a third uses IC/M, another LM/LM. No one spins chokes in and out much any more UNLESS there is a station with ridiculously close or far targets.

If you choke enough for distance, then you'll be fine for close ones as well

If you're on the bird, you're on the bird, a few inches either way shouldn't make THAT much of a difference.

OP - try what you have, see what works for you - if changing chokes makes you feel more confident in your ability to break a bird, then the mental boost is worth it.
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Old September 28, 2010, 04:03 PM   #16
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"If youre on the bird, youre on the bird..." No more true words have been said.

Im a pretty good shot, and when Im on choke doesnt matter, when Im not, choke doesnt matter either.

Different strokes I guess, I'm a keep it simple kind of person. I think too much emphasis is placed on equipment and too little on technique and visualization. I shoot 1 load, 7/8 oz at 1200fps of 7.5's for trap and sporting, #8's for skeet out of a stock 30" 391 Urika II.
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Old September 28, 2010, 04:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJimP
But to me it makes no sense to give up half my pattern by over-choking the gun I choose to shoot. If I wanted to shoot a tighter pattern on a Skeet field - I can see going to IC chokes vs Skeet ....but not tighter than that - unless I just want to frustrate myself ….
+1
A Skeet choke works wonders on the Skeet field and will smoke-up targets all day long over the center stake (21-yards). And, on occasion, will soft-kill a target just before the boundary stake (up to 40-yards from some stations), but try not to make a habit of the practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LSnSC
"If youre on the bird, youre on the bird..." No more true words have been said.
My mentor used to tell me, "When you see the correct lead, shoot. Because it's not going to get any better, and it might get worse."
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Old September 28, 2010, 04:23 PM   #18
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Different strokes I guess, I'm a keep it simple kind of person. I think too much emphasis is placed on equipment and too little on technique and visualization. I shoot 1 load, 7/8 oz at 1200fps of 7.5's for trap and sporting, #8's for skeet out of a stock 30" 391 Urika II.
Sounds great!... I went from a 1oz load about a year ago to 7/8 with no difference in sporting scores, and recently went down to 3/4 oz. Still playing with the load a little by upping the powder charge I was using for 7/8 and 1 oz loads by a grain, thinking I am pretty close to getting it right - the recoil of what amounts to a 28 gauge load in a 8+ pound O/U is very nice.....and it even works the A400 Beretta semi my wife has - that has a 3-1/2" chamber.....

Light loads break the targets just as nicely as heavy loads without busting up your shoulder - depending on the gun, you MAY need to use one choke constriction tighter as you go lighter......but, IMO, it's worth it....
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Old September 28, 2010, 08:07 PM   #19
Artie
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Well, I just ordered a couple of light modified Diana's to start with. I ordered two of the same thing basically because I don't want to confuse myself with barrels, chokes, ect... I want to master one thing before I move on to the next. I'll see how these work before I buy another set, and I eventually will when I get to know this setup inside and out.

I'm not to the point where I think I need to over analyze things. I mainly use the gun for dove hunting and just for fun sporting clays or trap. I'm not going to be out there with a box of tubes and a range finder, I just want the gun to work well in most situations. I think with my own research and the advice you guys have shared, I now have a pretty good foundation for this new gun to meet my needs.

I have other guns I can use for different circumstances, but every so often I just get the bug to get something new and it's been almost 20 years since I bought a new shotgun. I'll report back with my own unscientific findings eventually.
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Old September 29, 2010, 11:58 AM   #20
BigJimP
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Oh, come on now ....

Everyone needs a good pair of range finder binoculars ...( just for fun ) ...not legal in competitions !!
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Old September 29, 2010, 02:17 PM   #21
oneounceload
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Quote:
Everyone needs a good pair of range finder binoculars ...( just for fun ) ...not legal in competitions !!
Actually, Jim, that very question came up on another forum about using one during either sporting or FITASC, and the general consensus was that it was NOT specifically prohibited, especially if you were NOT on station......so............who knows - that might become the next gizmo sporting shooters will be carrying in their range bags!

One of my courses is owned by a CE land surveyor. he set up a two trap practice field with a high trap shot and a high-arcing chondelle R2L. He placed measured stakes at 20,30,40,50,60 and 70 yards. He's a M class shooter and he couldn't hit either at 60 or 70 yards. It DID give you a real-time exposure though to distance and how often when someone says the targets were 55 yards, you look and they are really about 35 or 40.

Once you get past 35 or so for me, my one distance eye has enough trouble seeing the damn thing, let alone figuring how far away it is.......
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Old September 29, 2010, 02:41 PM   #22
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I think you're probably right OneOunce ...but to me, it sort of falls in the "unsportsman like conduct" area ....to use a range finder at sporting clays or 5 stand.

I'll have to go over the rule book - again - since my memory is so sharp ( its good reading / its a light book / so when it hits you in the face, when you fall asleep ...it doesn't bruise much ) ....
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Old September 29, 2010, 04:02 PM   #23
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If your shooting the close ones with a full choke and missing the distance shots with a full choke its not the choke. My guess would be incorrect leed.

CB
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Old September 30, 2010, 11:48 PM   #24
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I use the same choke for every thing from shooting skeet to trap to ducks and pheasants. I use an Improved

The only time I ever switch chokes is when I am hunting deer then I not only switch chokes but barrels too.
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Old October 3, 2010, 08:14 PM   #25
clemsonbloz
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when I shot clays(I never made it past A),, I rarely changed chokes.. I changed shot sized... I'd carry 8's and 7 1/2's.. It was probably more mental, but I'd use Improved Cylinder, and alternate shot sizes for the distances..

I was a low 90's shooter,, and I found the choke swapping was more of something less confident shooters did..

Last edited by clemsonbloz; October 4, 2010 at 06:53 PM.
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