View Full Version : About chokes...

March 22, 2007, 10:48 PM
I've got an old Stevens double in 12ga. There is no stampings on it to indicate what the barrels are choked to. I asked my father and he told me an easy way to check was to put a dime in the barrel.

The right barrel will easily fit a dime, but the left barrel is tight enough that a dime will only fit halfway in. Do any of you know what chokes these are, and how they fit into the scheme of things as far as shotgun chokes go?

Until recently, I'd only shot an Ithica auto with a mod choke.

March 23, 2007, 12:05 AM
the dime won't fit in a full choke barrel, but will fit in an improved cylinder barrel with about the thickness of the dime to spare.


March 23, 2007, 12:15 AM
Some of these old side by side shotguns have two different chokes like over-under shotguns.

March 23, 2007, 08:34 AM
If I had to guess, I'd say they are full and mod. Take it to a gunshop and get them to check it with a gauge to be sure.

I've got a Stevens 20 ga. and that is the configuration I have. The old-timers needed tighter chokes since they didn't have poly shot-cups to protect their lead. It would get deformed more and they needed a tighter choke to keep it together.

You probably don't want to shoot steel out of that gun and definitely not through the full-choke bbl.

March 23, 2007, 05:17 PM
I would agree they are probably full and mod.

Remember though that choke is only relative to how much constriction is provided relative to the bore diameter.

March 23, 2007, 06:25 PM
Its a 12 ga, 2 3/4 inch chambers. 24 inch barrels. I assume its safe to shoot buckshot in it though? So far, all i've put though it is No. 8 dove loads.

Dave McC
March 24, 2007, 10:36 AM
The Old Dime TricK, like most myths, has a kernel of truth in it. Back in the days when US shotguns had bores around .725-730, A Full choke ran under .704". Thus, if a dime didn't fit, the choke was likely Full or Fulller.

In these days of overbores and plastic wads the trick is less trustworthy. 30 POC, instead of 40, connotes Full and with the proper ammo, 25 POC oft gives Full densities. I have a 23 POC IM choke that thinks it's a turkey choke with handicap loads.

Your Stevens is a fine old shotgun. I'd not use steel or other hard nontox loads and it'd be a very good idea if a good smith looked it over before use. Some of these have short chambers and others are just plain tired.