View Full Version : Fixed choke - What's the point?

April 2, 2006, 04:58 PM
Why get one? Isn't this a handicap? I don't understand why there would be any advantage to this.

April 2, 2006, 07:28 PM
I suppose that by todays standards, buying a shotgun without choke tubes is a handicap. The ability of one gun to do everything has been mightily praised. New guns will shoot anything from light trap loads to 3 1/2" magnums. Change the tubes, change the shells and good to go.

However, generations of hunters got by without them just fine. Hunters chose their gun by what their primary use would be. Most hunters were actually more limited in what they hunted. Most people wouldn't drive halfway across the country to chase birds. Guys who were primarily waterfowlers usually went with longer barrels and tighter chokes. Quail hunters picked shorter barrels that were more open. Of course double guns almost always had a choice of choke instantly available - simply decide which trigger to pull.

Growing up and living in Nebraska most of my life, I developed a great love of hunting.The variety of birds to hunt here is fantastic. I shot a 12 guage pump, 2 3/4" chamber, 26" barrel, modified choke for probably about 20 years for everything, size range from dove and quail, hungarian partridge, grouse and prairie chicken, pheasant, duck, geese and turkey. Never felt too terribly under or overequipped. Change of shells for the game to be hunted and I was good to go.

I have bought "a few" other shotguns since then, and had to have tubes and a 3" chamber, but the only times I have ever used anything but 2 3/4" shell and modified choke has been a few goose and turkey hunts. I guess in my o/u I have changed a few times- going from imp. cyl/mod at the start of the pheasant season to mod/full a month later as the birds got "educated" but I would have been okay with fixed mod/full the whole season. I have never changed a tube during a hunt, and I would have been just as well served by a gun without them. Since I have a couple of different shotguns I could have just bought one with a full choke barrel for waterfowl and turkeys, and maybe totally different gun for quail, why carry a longer, heavier 3 1/2" chambered gun on a quail hunt?

So, Do I think a fixed choke is a handicap? No, not really. And I'm glad I only have to keep track of a couple of different types of shells in one length rather than three, and usually leave the tubes at home. If I were to be limited to one shotgun though, I probably would want a 26" barrel 3" chamber with tubes, 2 of them, a modified for most use and a full for waterfowl and turkey


April 2, 2006, 08:24 PM
I think you covered all the bases.:)

April 2, 2006, 09:53 PM
No, it isn't really advantageous, but it is cheaper to make I would think.

Also depends on what the gun is meant to do, my mossberg 500 persuader doesn't have removable choke for rather obvious reasons.

April 2, 2006, 10:30 PM
No, it isn't really advantageous, but it is cheaper to make I would think.

I've been shooting with a Beretta O/U that's $8,000 USED. It has fixed choke so I guess i'm amazed that they wouldn't add the feature in since it's so freaking expensive.

April 2, 2006, 11:02 PM
I think bergie hit the nail on every point. Other than those that simply like to argue a point for arguments sake. Good post bergie

April 3, 2006, 08:49 AM
I've read that in many instances a fixed choke will throw better patterns than a factory screw-in.

Buying a fixed-choke gun avoids the problem of having to look at the ugly flared/bulged/belled muzzle that many factories use instead of using straight barrels & thin-wall choke tubes.