I recently purchased my first shotgun – an Ithaca SKB 500 o/u with 30″ barrels choked modified and full. I am pleased with the condition of the gun and plan shoot clay games primarily. My question to you is this. Given that the choke is quite tight should I consider having the barrels threaded for interchangeable chokes, thus allowing me to shoot various clay games.
Thank you for your insight.
This is very much a personal preference question. If you are going to shoot skeet, trap (16 and handicap) and sporting clays, and want to maximize your effective pattern, you probably will want to use screw chokes. You’d need two skeet chokes (.005″ in 12 gauge), one IC (.010″), one Mod (.020″) and one Full (.035″) at the minimum for all three games.
But choke isn’t everything. There is also stock height to consider. ATA trap is generally shot with a gun which is set up to shoot somewhat high. Clays and skeet guns are generally set up to shoot flat or just a little high. You might be comfortable with a single compromise stock height for all three, or you might not. The solution to that would be an adjustable comb if you want to get into that. I shoot all three games with the same stock height, but I have to cover up my trap targets when I shoot. If you want to float your trap targets, you’ll need more height than you’ll want at sporting or skeet.
Perhaps the best thing to do would be to not change anything for a little while. Get to know your gun and where it shoots for you at all three games. Chances are that you will pick a favorite out of the three and will set your gun up for that game and compromise at the others. The same stock setup will work very nicely for sporting and skeet.
Unfortunately, shooting is like racing cars. A dirt tracker won’t win at Indy. An open wheeled racer wouldn’t last long in NASCAR. You’ll need to specialize if you are going to run with the big dogs. But just to have fun, you don’t have to specialize. You have a nice gun. Enjoy it. Shoot it for a while before making up your mind.
Shotgun Report’s Technoid