Do The Work, Then Ask

Dear Technoid,

Is there any appreciable benefit from using a Skeet invector choke in my nice little Browning 28 gauge BPS on the skeet range? Presently, the gun has a IC choke which seems OK, but others have recommended popping for the skeet choke to give me a better chance at breaking the clays.

The gun did not come with a Skeet choke, and being cheap, I hate to pay for something I may be able to do without. Your thoughts are always appreciated.

FYI: I did read your technical notes, but still feel undecided since I am rather new to the subgauge business (but like it a lot other than the overpriced shells).


Dear Roger,

Sk choke or IC for 28 on the skeet range? Well, that depends. How does your IC actually pattern? What percentages do you get at 21 yards when you pattern the gun now? What does your IC choke measure? What would the new Sk choke measure? I like a skeet choke tight enough to draw a little smoke on a perfectly centered bird. Some people think that’s too tight, but it’s really the only way to insure that you are getting the maximum pattern area. All patterns are hotter in the center than at the edges. If a pattern is just right in the center, it’s bound to be too thin at the edges. Most people don’t understand this.

Let me give you some numbers that might help. Using Lowry’s and Johnson’s program, if you start with 435 pellets (a standard 3/4 oz load of #9s) you will have your largest possible killing pattern (20″) if you average between 80% and 95% of those 435 pellets in a 30″ circle at the distance at which you shoot the target, ie 21 yards. Anything less or more than this diminishes your killing circle. This is a based on a 6 square inch area of an edge on target and a probability of 95% chance of a one pellet hit, which is mathematically equal to an 80% chance of a two pellet strike.

Since it is normal for repetitive patterns to vary by ten percent, you would be wise to choke for an average performance half way in between 80% and 95%, say 87% or so. Remember, shoot your 21 yard pattern, THEN draw the 30″ circle so as to encompass the most pellets possible. No fair gerrymandering like they do with congressional districts!

As to 28 gauge shooting in general, this is definitely a reloading situation. I reload 28 gauge for about $3.00 a box. Even if you don’t reload, make sure to buy Winchester of Remington STS 28 gauge shells. You will be able to sell the hulls for ten cents each to a reloader.

Best regards,

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

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