Choke Stuff

Dear Technoid,

Good day, just curious really, I have a Browning 325 30 inch fixed choke sporter 1/4 and 3/4. When the chokes are measured the reading is 1/4 and 1/4. I was told that Brownings have the restriction 2 – 3 inches further up the barrel and this seems to be the case, when I am cleaning the barrels, the 3/4 choke barrel does seem tighter a couple of inches from the end. Or is it more likely. as I suspect, simply been bored out by the previous owner?



Dear Ian,

I can’t really tell what’s been done to a barrel without properly measuring it. It sounds as though you used a dial mike and just measured the front bit of the chokes. You really have to go in further to measure correctly. An extended bore mike would let you go all the way in and know for sure.

Most solid chokes have a taper section at the rear and then a parallel section at the front. The tighter the choke, the longer the taper and parallel should be. Tighter chokes need more length because it takes time to settle the shot down for the greater amount of squeeze. Skeet chokes can be quite effective when short because they have less constriction.

Unless some pretty exotic choke work was done on your gun, it is highly unlikely that a choke as tight as 1/4 would have a recess at the front. Normally, the choke parallel at the muzzle is the tightest part of the choke. Some cylinder bore skeet chokes do have a flare cut at the muzzle, but anything tighter shouldn’t have that.

There are two ways to figure out what you have. Both involve some effort on your part (and none on mine).

1) Pattern the sucker! That’s the only way you know for sure what you have. Inconvenient as it may be, it is performance, not measurement which determines choke. A choke which mikes Full, yet throws a Modified pattern with a certain shell, is indeed a modified choke with that shell.

2) If you are more concerned with measurements than performance, then you have to get a proper bore mike that can reach down at least six inches. Pushing a cleaning rod through and estimating the friction really isn’t good enough. It is not at all uncommon for solid choke guns to have barrels with different bore diameters. I’ve seen differences up to .005″. With a used gun, you never know what has been done to it without properly measuring things. I never buy a used gun without getting someone to mike the entire length of the bores. You would be amazed at what I’ve found over the years.

I envy you your 325 solid choke gun. All the Japanese Brownings we get in the US have those monstrously heavy Browning Invector Plus chokes. They add an extra 2 full ounces of road-hugging weight right underneath the front bead. The solid choke guns like yours are far better balanced. Many American sporting clays shooters buy the Miroku solid choke trap guns from the UK because they are better balanced than the Japanese Brownings we get.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)

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