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Fish&Fowl

factory full choke

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Both my Browning and Benelli shotguns have factory full chokes that say you cannot shoot steel through them. I have had people give me a couple reasons but they weren't exactly reliable sources. Also had a buddy tell me he did it in his Gold and never had a problem. Anyone know the reasons why it's not recommended?

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Fish&Fowl:

There are a number of reasons why manufacturers don't want you to use steel shot or "harder-than-steel" shot like Hevi shot or certain Tungsten alloys. Some are valid concerns, some aren't. In the end, it's up to you and a number of variables as to whether or not you follow the manufacturers recomendations.

-Certain choke tubes are made of slightly weaker alloys to save on cost, and over time will "score" both barrel and tube. This looks like small striations or lines on the inside of the tube. Worst-case scenario, esp. with full or XX-full turkey tubes, you'll blast the tube out of the end of the barrel and cause a bulge just before the threads. This is usually with extended intensive use.

-To protect themselves from problems with the ever-evolving shotshell industry and it's pellet of choice, many manf. are not going to warranty such damage period

-I shoot a browning Gold Hunter 3.5" with a factory X-full turkey tube, and push various hevi-shot products through it. This is not recommended by Browning, though they couldn't really tell me why. That said, turkey hunting doesn't rack up the shots like duck-hunting can. I inspect the barrel and tube after each use for problems, and try not to cycle alot of shells thru the gun.

Like I said, it's up to you and how much of a risk you want to take. I deem mine very low, as I shoot hevi-shot through the gun a handful of times each year. For a duck-hunter, I personally would buy a choke tube rated for steel and be done with it.

Joel

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They used to say that steel shot would cut grooves in the full choke guns. I believe they use thicker shot cups now and I don't know if it still happens. I had a gunsmith bore and thread my barrel for screw in chokes to eliminate the problem. It was an inexpensive way to take care of the problem. I don't use steel in anything smaller than a modified choke which is what is recommended.

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Thanks for the replies. I don't plan on doing it, but have always wondered about the reasoning behind it. I bought a duck-commander choke for my BPS which worked great, but I've been looking at Carlson chokes for my Benelli more or less because I can afford one. It's just ridiculous the amount of money they want for some of those chokes, plus I don't want a ported one that's going to blow everyone else out of the blind.

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Carlson's makes good choke tubes without the hype.

I've talked to them on the phone several times, and I'm convinced they do all they say they do. They use a better alloy, and do quite a bit of testing on their tubes. Give them a call and ask their advice, I think it'd be worth your time.

Good luck,

Joel

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Fish&Fowl,

Why are you interested in the full choke? Have you tried different loads with the chokes you are using to get the performance you want? What performance are you trying to obtain? I used to reload my own steel and messed around with a few chokes so I might be able to help.

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Thanks jnelson!

Hookmaster,

I am looking at chokes for waterfowling. I used the IMOD duck commander for longer shots and want to get another long-range choke for my Benelli. For instance I'm heading to ND snow goose hunting this weekend and would like a tight choke, but I don't have time to pattern in anyways so I'm not going to bother now. I have tried a number of brands of shells with my factory mod choke and Kent Fasteel seems to be my best duck load and Federal speed-shok for geese. I just want to have a full choke along to interchange depending on what the birds are doing. I've done this pheasant hunting and have been very glad I had the full along.

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I use a Pattern Master on me SBE. Nice choke and good pattern at 40 yds.

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