I have a Browning Citori 20 ga. superlight choked M/IC. I am interested in having the chokes opened up. I do not want to invest in screw-in chokes. A local reputable gunsmith says he can open-up the chokes with no problem. I would like to know if is this a straightforward operation that would be wise to entrust to a general gunsmith, or should I send the barrel to a specialist like Briley or Hastings?
The charge would be about the same regardless of which way I go. However, I am more comfortable dealing with someone I know locally than with sending the barrel a couple of thousand miles. What do you say?
Opening chokes is no problem at all for a COMPETENT gunsmith. The Citoris do not have chrome bores, so it should be a relatively simple matter. I have no way of knowing where your gunsmith rates on the “blacksmith to artiste” level of gunsmiths so I cannot advise you there. Ken Eyster performs superlative work, as does Jess Briley. Although I have had a great deal of work done for me by Briley, some of it quite involved, I have never had them cut solid chokes. However, the work that they did for me was always good and I am sure that they would do a good job on your solid chokes. I have no experience with Hastings shop work, but their aftermarket 1100 barrels were well made.
Before I have choke work done, I always do two things:
1) I measure my existing chokes accurately, so that I know that I am getting what I request and
2) I check each barrel for convergence before and after the choking.
If your barrel convergence is not correct (the top barrels of O/Us often shoot higher than the bottom) a skillful gunsmith may be able to correct it during rechoking. If both of your barrels converge correctly before the rechoking and do not afterwards, you want to know that too!
Shotgun Report’s Technoid