Skeet Chokes


Technoid:

Recently a friend was talking about chokes on his shotgun and mentioned that he has “skeet I and skeet II” in his double gun. I’m familiry with cylinder, modified, etc and their variations, but where do the skeet chokes fit in???

Lowell

Dear Lowell,

Skeet 1 and Skeet 2 are the old Winchester designations. Before that, they were also called Skeet “In” and Skeet “Out”. When skeet shooting started, it was common to build a gun with two different chokes. Today, both barrels of a modern skeet gun are choked the same. Of course, shell quality has improved greatly since the early part of the last century when skeet was born and that has a lot to do with it. So also does the fact that skeet today permits a pre-mounted gun which makes it much easier then the original game which required low gun.

Skeet 1 is roughly equivalent to today’s standard skeet choke. In a 12 gauge gun it is often .005″ constriction. It’s supposed to deliver the optimal pattern of #9s at 21 yards.

Skeet 2 is about equivalent to today’s Light Modified 12 gauge choke and often has a constriction of .015″. That’s in between Improved Cylinder and Modified as they are measured in the US.

Different countries have very different choke conventions and names. “Skeet” in Europe is often pure cylinder bore. IC in England is much closer to our skeet and their “quarter choke” closer to our IC.

I’ve often considered Skeet 1 and Skeet 2 to be just about the ideal 12 gauge upland bird chokes. They should give you about equivalent patterns at 20 and 30 yards. These are very realistic hunting distances in the real world for shooting over pointing dogs or woodland hunting. I think that these chokes cover 90% of general upland wingshooting in the East and South. Not bad for timberland or decoyed ducks either. Out West with skittish mountain chukars, you might want more.

I’ve also become a firm believer in .005″ and .015″ in 20 and 28 gauge field guns. In my experience you still get the 20 and 30 yard range, though with the 28, that’s about it. I recently wanted to rechoke an FN 20 gauge that I like. It had Mod and Full chokes, too much for what I hunt. I went on a couple of the net shooting sites and asked around just to see what other people thought. Those same numbers kept popping up. .005″ and .015″ Many shooters consider them to be something magical. So I bored that 20 out to .005″ and .015″ and never looked back. They seem ideal.

And will that .015″ whack a 40 yard pheasant with Remington Nitro Mag 3″ 1-1/4″ of buffered #4s!

Best regards,

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

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1 Response to Skeet Chokes

  1. Charles Wright says:

    Very good informed opinion on the upland game, and I agree Technoid. One other note though. We shooters, like golfers, etc who have technical pastimes, have the tendency to get caught up in that 95th percentile of success. Hit the bird, ball, (whatever) as you should and almost all of the finer points of equipment fade into that last 5% where they belong.
    My obsessing over chokes and loads resulted in skeet/modified chokes and 1 1/8 oz. payload, with light target velocity of #8s in the skeet barrel, and faster heavy target 7 1/2s in the modified. If I need that modified going away shot, I give myself a millisecond more concentration time.

    I won’t look back, Regards Charlie

    Like

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