Old Chokes


Do you do old chokes??? If so, read on, if not delete this message or use me as an example to inform the masses.

My shooting buddies have stumbled across two different pump shotguns recently with what appeared to be a Poly choke, but on closer inspection turned out to be a “PowErPac” choke. It resembles a muzzle break attached to the barrel, with a screw-in choke tube at the muzzle end of the device. Both guns had three choke tubes labeled 1) short range, 2) medium range, and 3) long range (we did not measure the tube, but suspect they are cylinder, modified and full). There is an air gap (about 1-1/2″) from where this device is attached to the barrel to where the tube begins. When we got one apart, we found some paper build up around the tube.

The questions we have are: 1) Who manufactured this device and how common is it, and more importantly 2) is it safe to shoot plastic wads through this arrangement?

Thanks for all your help to date. Based upon previous responses, I expect no less than a full Ph.D. thesis on this subject. That is P iled H igher and D eeper : )


As a side note to this post, the two shotguns are 1) Remington Model 31, 20 ga. and 2) Winchester Model 12, 16 ga. … why do people find it necessary to hack up such great guns with these “gizmos”? I’ll never understand shotgun fads.

Dear tj,

Well, I sort of do old chokes. I just don’t do them very well. The PowerPac was very much like the Cutts compensator. It was an expansion chamber welded/screwed/soldered on to a cylinder bore barrel. It had screw in/on chokes just like the Cutts. These things predated the Polychoke and were the only choice in variable chokes for quite a while. Just about all the skeet records of the 40s and 50s were set with Cutts Compensated guns, mostly Browning A-5s. People used them because they worked and that “blob” was comforting to some. I believe that Lyman still makes the Cutts, but maybe not. Kolar makes a Cutts knockoff that has a certain popularity at skeet even today. Wayne Mays, more often than not the NSSA skeet champion in the 80s and 90s used one on his Winchester auto.

Safe to shoot with plastic wads? I don’t have the vaguest idea because I can’t see the gun. The Cutts Compensator and Polychoke have proven safe to use with modern shells.

Why do people do that sort of things to such “great” guns? Probably because those M12 and M31s were considered very ordinary working guns of the day and the addition of a selectable choke was very attractive. Why do people ruin perfectly good guns today by putting ports in the barrels?

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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