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Old November 24, 2018, 12:27 AM   #1
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What chokes do I have?

I just purchased a Fox model B 20 gauge and according to what I have read, the 28" barrels it has should be modified/full. However, the gunshop I bought it from said it was improved cylinder/modified. So I patterned it today by shooting at a 3 ft x 4 ft plywood with a 30" circle. I was using 7 1/2, 7/8 ounce shot which should have about 306 pellets. The right barrel produced 315 holes with 212 in the circle. The left barrel produced 301 holes with 214 in the circle. That translates to 67% in the circle with the right and 71% in the circle with the left. Improved cylinder is normally 55%, modified is 65% and full is 75 %. Looks to me like the gunshop guy is wrong and they are indeed, modified/full. I was hoping for the IC/MOD since this will be a quail gun, but I do like the way it feels, so I'll hang on to it.

Last edited by AL45; November 24, 2018 at 12:40 AM.
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Old November 24, 2018, 07:35 AM   #2
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Chokes - meaning what is made/claimed by the manufacturer - often pattern tighter than the standard. The standards were established way back before plastic shot cups and the like. I think your barrels were actually choked IC and Mod. Different shells with different loads and shot sizes will also yield various results. Generally lighter loads of small shot will pattern tighter.
It is an inexact science. The only way to know for sure what chokes you are shooting is to pattern your own gun as you have.
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Old November 24, 2018, 08:00 AM   #3
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old gun

Older guns have tighter chokes, a Virginian mentioned. Usually the old Stevens doubles are M/F when they have 28" barrels.

Why not have the chokes opened to what you need? Mike Orlen is a sponsor of the forum, and a real gentleman.

Guns that were built prior to plastic shot cups tend to be choked tight. Opening them up is the right thing to do.

It's pretty easy to do, you only need ship the barrels thus it's a standard package rather than being a gun.
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Old November 24, 2018, 11:21 AM   #4
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Back in the day most doubles with 28" or longer barrels were modified and full. All the 26" guns were IC and modified. I'm sure there were exceptions and yours may be IC and Modified. Shoot it and see.
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Old November 24, 2018, 12:31 PM   #5
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Very much doubt there'd ever be an IC on a birding gun.
This is what Chuck Hawks says about how it came out of the factory.
"Chokes: 30" and 28" barrels Full/Mod. (12 and 20 gauge); 26" barrels Mod/IC (12 and 20 gauge); 26" barrels Full/Full (.410 only)".
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Old November 27, 2018, 03:56 AM   #6
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You don't mention what brand of shotshells you tested with. But you might want to experiment with loads a bit and see if some of the cheaper shotshells will shoot a little "looser".

Both S&B and Fiochi shells shoot looser patterns in my old Savage double than better Rem/Win/Federal loads.
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Old November 27, 2018, 08:07 AM   #7
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If you want more open chokes, then have them opened by a gunsmith to whatever you want.
"Choke" is merely an approximate starting point; a lot will depend on the ammo selected.

You did not mention what distance your pattern board was.
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Old November 27, 2018, 12:18 PM   #8
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The traditional patterning board is a 30" circle at 40 yards.

Different ammo will pattern differently.

Older shotguns, especially pre-WWII doubles can be any choke, either what the factory offered, or what the customer ordered.

I have a 26" Ithaca 12ga choked FULL/FULL. Why? because that's what my Grandfather ordered, in 1909.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old November 27, 2018, 09:29 PM   #9
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I shot from 40 yards away. The shells were Federal 7 1/2, 7/8 ounce that Federal calls "Target" loads.
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