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Can you really over-choke buckshot & bulge a barrel?

This is a discussion on Can you really over-choke buckshot & bulge a barrel? within the Ruger Shotguns forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; I'm enjoying my new 12 gauge Remington 870 super magnum. My wife hates the camo paint scheme on it but it suits my new "trans-redneck" ...


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Old March 25th, 2017, 06:19 PM   #1
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Can you really over-choke buckshot & bulge a barrel?

I'm enjoying my new 12 gauge Remington 870 super magnum. My wife hates the camo paint scheme on it but it suits my new "trans-redneck" identity. For years I've hunted upland game with my old fixed full choke shotguns from the 1970s, which I still love, but I'm looking forward to expanding that to waterfowl with this new-fanged "steel shot" stuff the Feds apparently mandated a while back.

I'm out shooting at the patterning board with various loads to see what the 870 likes best, and want to test pattern some 00 buckshot through it.

Here's the question, then.... A few "experts" on the internet claim that you can over-choke big buckshot and damage your barrel. Anything to that? Anyone actually experienced that firsthand?

I like an Improved Modified choke for most everything from upland game to trap shooting, but was wondering if I.M. is too tight for buckshot too, or if that's just an urban legend.




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Old March 25th, 2017, 07:36 PM   #2
 
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Buck shot fired in modern steel traditional chokes of full, mod, Ic and cyl will not bulge a barrel ...with that said it is possible to slowly open a choke up with slugs and buckshot but you would have to shoot more rounds of buck than your billfold or your shoulder would stand
But I assure you you do not want to shoot 00 thru a full choke simply because the pattern is terrible
As a handloader of ammunition for many years I have built #4 buck and #00 buck loads
I perfected my buck loads by placing a cardboard divider lengthwise down the shot cavity and hand packing OO buck on one side of the divider then copper washed 00 on the other ...then marked the outside of the case where the divider was on the inside as well as marking which 1/2 was copper wash
...then single load the shell in the gun with the copper wash on the bottom
I then shoot a target with seasoned oak behind it at the range I want my best pattern to be at ...then I look at where my copper washed buck went as too much choke will cause the buck to cross ...it could cross at 15 yards and be a heck of a wadded up pattern ...but since it was coming together at it's densest pattern at 15 yards it begins to rapidly exit the pattern center and can easily be 3-5 times the diameter of the 15 yard pattern at say 30 yards
..IC or Mod IC will shoot the best ...I even went so far as honing the choke until I got the results I wanted at the yards I wanted maximum pattern at

One sidebar ...remember no lead around waterfowl areas ...in fact I think BBB or just BB are the largest shot size now allowed

Good Luck
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Old March 25th, 2017, 07:45 PM   #3
 
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The opening of a choke is mainly a problem on very old double guns with steel shot or such.
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Old March 25th, 2017, 07:59 PM   #4
 
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Also note that the advice i always was given about steel shot was to use no more choke than modified. I was told that steel shot didnt like being choked that far and patterned terribly.

My experience is not that extensive. I gave up waterfowling many years ago after getting caught in a hurricane and having to swim/push the boat back across the channel...

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Old March 26th, 2017, 05:26 AM   #5
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Thanks guys.

For steel I'll keep it fairly open choked. The main question is about traditional lead 00 buckshot. Wondered if Improved Modified or Full is "too much" but it's not sounding like it.
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Old March 26th, 2017, 08:30 AM   #6
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FeralCatKillr, I used to shoot a lot of 00 Buck and found an Improved Cylinder or just a Cylinder choked barrel provides the best shot patterns. As chokes get tighter, the opposite of what you would expect happens .... the pattern gets wider and less uniform. Why? As the buckshot reaches the choke. it literally bunches up and distorts the shot pellets. This causes "flyers" that produce wider and more erratic patterns. Nice round pellets are much more predictable and only happen in an open cylinder choke when shooting buckshot.

I wrote an article on shotgun chokes, posted it in the Forum Library, and it addresses your exact issue. Here's a link for a free download: http://rugerforum.net/library/83808-...ed-issues.html
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Old March 26th, 2017, 02:34 PM   #7
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Thanks, Iowegan. I should have thought to look in the forum library first!
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