THE DEFINITION AND USES OF CHOKE TUBES
The introduction of guns with interchangeable chokes in the late 1960’s and early 70’s has been the subject of many articles in the shooting press.
Some of these are useful, in particular for beginners who need to understand the terminology and in which situations they should choose different chokes. By being too specific, however, some articles only serve to confuse.
To generalise, the tighter chokes, marked with 1 or 2 notches (known as Full and Three-Quarters) are for the longer range shots as they hold the shot pattern together over a greater distance. These are also used on the larger quarry species such as geese or foxes. It should be noted that they must not be used with steel shot as a barrel bulge may result.
The chokes with 3, 4 or 5 notches (known as Half, Quarter and Cylinder respectively) are more open graduations, generally suitable for walked-up game where the quarry, such as pheasants, partridges or rabbits, is being flushed at closer distances. They are also suitable for low driven game such as grouse or partridges.
These more open chokes may also be used with steel shot in suitably proved guns.
When cleaning your gun, do not forget to remove the chokes and clean the threads using a good quality nitro powder solvent. Failure to do this over a long period may result in the chokes becoming “baked” in and impossible to remove.
use a quality nitro powder solvent and finish with a fine film of oil. Pay particular attention to choke threads.