View Full Version : Chokes on a O/U or S/S for birds...

November 24, 2008, 08:44 PM
I'm using a O/U for the first time this year on pheasant and was wondering about the chokes. Do those of yall that use a O/U or S/S shotgun, do you use two different chokes with each barrel....and reason for doing so if you do? In my Remington 1100 and Mossberg 500 I have always used the Modified choke and have been pleased with it.

November 24, 2008, 08:55 PM
Bottom barrel on O/U and right barrel on SXS: the more open choke. Use this barrel for birds flushing up close. I use IC or Mod in these barrels for uplands and Mod & Full for bigger game.

Top barrel, left barrel: Tighter choke for birds leaving your area. Mod or Full.

When critters first flush they are normally close to you and are trying to make distance from you. Thus a more open choke for close up and a tighter choke for those that you miss or on doubles.

My doubles are IC and Mod for quail and rabbits, etc. Mod and full for pheasants and bigger birds such as turkey. Also, for varmints that are within range, such as coyotes and foxes.

November 24, 2008, 10:03 PM
i'll agree with ebutler. just remember what trigger fires what barrel. dad has a few savage steves doubles,sxs. both fixed choked barrels. i think one is choked ic and full the other is ic and mod or mod and full.

i have heard and read (can't remember where though) but never applied it. that sometimes hunters put a high brass 1 1/4 oz load in 1 barrel and a low brass 1oz load in the other barrel. using the 1 oz load in the open most choke and the 1 1/4 oz load in the tighter choked barrel. mainly for birds and rabbit. the first shot being close you would want a less constricted choke,it gives a wider shot cloud. if you miss with that one you can fire the next barrel with a larger shot charge and tighter constriction of choke.

November 24, 2008, 10:17 PM
That's what I was thinking was a tighter choke in one of the barrels for missed/further shots, just wanted to know is this was common practice. Thanks guys. :)

Dave McC
November 25, 2008, 08:46 AM
These days, the most common combination of chokes for birds is IC and Mod.

Late in the season, Mod and Full may get the nod.

On a double, you can vary the loads also. Choke and load HAVE to be considered together.

Say the LC Smith your Grandad left you( We should all be so lucky) is choked IC and Mod, but the birds are spooky. You can load 1 1/4 oz of hard 6s in the open barrel and hard, plated 5s in the Mod barrel to give you an effective, hard hitting pattern Way Out Dere.

Or, the birds are getting up over good close working dogs. A trap load of 7 1/2s in an open barrel backed up by 6s was Pop's choice over his GSPs.

All in all, though,if I had to pick ONE load, I'd shoot hard 5s through IC and Mod, but that's just me.


November 25, 2008, 10:42 AM

I love your motto. It reminds me of Robert Ruark's slogan:

"If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost."

Ruark was a neighbor who wrote "The Old Man and the Boy" and several other fine books. He died when I was in my twenties. Unfortunately he was an alcoholic whose life was shortened by the bottle but he was a very good author. He wrote for the younger outdoorsman and I love every page of it.

Every young-un in my family has a cop of his book "The Old Man and the Boy". Great reading.

November 25, 2008, 12:03 PM
+1 on DaveMc's comments above

On my O/U's you can select which barrel to fire first so I may opt to fire top barrel with a Mod / open gun and reload if I need a 2nd Mod shell vs firing the bottom barrer IC choke if its too far out. I always carry extra chokes in a fishing lure box in my vest so I can adapt to whatever is happening in the field in terms of how far, or how close they're flushing - so I can change to two IC chokes, two Mod's or whatever ... (For chokes, there are 2 in the gun, but as a set for a gun I always carry 2 Skeet, 2 IC, 2 Mod, 1 Imp Mod, 1 Full).

November 25, 2008, 12:40 PM
As some have said - what you're shooting, and the distances involved, will determine shot size and choke

for wild flushing pheasants, 1/4 and 3/4 stokes with Fiocchi #5's work very well......for wild quail and doves, 7-1/2's and #6 from 1/4 and 1/2 work well.....for close up plantation/preserve quail, cylinder and 1/4 and standard 8's or 7-1/2's will do the trick

pattern your loads in YOUR gun at distances you anticipate shooting and see how they pattern - then go from there

November 25, 2008, 02:49 PM
My favorite bunny gun is my SXS. Like others have said, I keep mod is with the front trigger for longer shots, rear tirgger is IC for close shots. Works like a dream for my bunnie hunting.
Ebutler, you actually knew RuarK? Wow, one of my favorite authors, gritty but down to earth. I love the passage where the boy is headed out with his fishing mentor and is getting a lesson in women and idle men where fishing gets you away from the women folk.

November 25, 2008, 04:01 PM
He lived in Wilmington but spent most of his time at his grandfather, Ned Adkin's, home in Southport. I was raised near there in the Green Swamp near Southport. He came back to Southport from time to time visiting the old home place. I've been to this home many times. He was around 15 years older than me and sort of felt proud of himself as he was raised poor and made good as an author. He died at his residence in Spain.

He drove a Buick convertible and always had a dog with him. I was not a personal friend but I made an effort to visit when he came to Southport. He loved the bottle, as did his grandfather. Both of them died with cancer.

Few writers have held my attention as he does. He wrote, I believe, fourteen different books. IIRC, the last time he came to Southport, he was driving a Rolls Royce. He earned it.

The house he wrote so much about is well preserved a couple of blocks from the waterfront he wrote so much about.

I well know the places he wrote about in Brunswick County. Remember, Uncle Dan Ward, the fiddle player? He was a friend of my family. If he had left the bottle alone, he probably would have lived a longer life. I have some of his books but "The Old Man and the Boy" and " The Old Man's Boy Grows Older" are the best. "Use Enough Gun" is another good book. They leave me completely absorbed!

I recollect a lot of his advice but one in particular. When women start cleaning, head for the pool room. There you can always find someone to pass the time with until it passes. Dogs and critters you can figure out, they are creatures of habit. But women have a strange chemistry. About the time you get them figured out, they cut you off at the draw. Old dogs and old men smell bad. Plenty more.

I have a couple of photos of Ruark and his wife, Virginia. She is a fine looking lady.

Happy shooting!!