The Holy Technoid,
I read your pages religiously since I am truly a Junior Technoid in training. I’ve shot trap/sporting/skeet for several years now mainly with Browning break action guns (Sorry, I just don’t share your love of the gas pipes). You’ll be proud to know that I’ve tinkered/fiddled/altered/adjusted about everything in my power to do with shotguns.
The one thing that has always been a constant for me is the quality of Briley choke tubes. I love the X2 models and have only had one choke with a thread problem (which Briley promptly replaced) out of the huge number that I’ve bought over the years for different guns and gauges.
Their chokes mic out to the .000 of what they say it is and the most I’ve ever had one off was by .001, which is way more than you can get from factory stuff. I recently bought a new Beretta 686 Silver Pigeon Sporting 12 Gauge and immediately ordered a pair each of .005, .015 and .030 X2’s. My Beretta chokes screw in so easy that I can give one spin with my fingers and they go all the way to bottom. Other folks Beretta’s seem to be the same way and I’ve tried their chokes in my barrels with the same glorious results.
At this point I’ve received 12+ tubes from Briley and only one out of the bunch has been acceptable. Some have been difficult to thread in with fingers only and some have required a wrench and so much effort that I was afraid of damaging my threads not to mention that I wouldn’t put up with that much trouble anyway. At this point my factory chokes still thread in easy so no damage has been done to my barrels.
Briley acknowledges that they have changed their specs to “add some meat” to their Beretta choke threads but have had only a few complaints. I’ve mic’ed my factory chokes and all of the Brileys that I’ve received both inside and out. The OD of both are the same over the threads and over the skirt area. If I hold the chokes up to white paper background with a bright light it’s obvious that my Beretta threads are cut deeper into the choke. Briley is working hard to resolve my problem but still think that my barrels have a problem.
Have you heard of this problem before and given the evidence that I’ve presented what does the jury/judge come back with?
Ah, my son. Many seek, but few find. The lark is in the lemon tree, and that’s the truth.
The Briley choke situation is somewhat more obfuscating than the other great truths of life. My last couple of over the counter Briley X2s for the Beretta 303 were bought one month ago from fresh stock. They thread in normally with a standard amount of friction very comparable to the factory Beretta flush mount chokes. They definitely do NOT spin in with one flick. I use the most excellent Royal wrench and seat them snugly at the bottom.
I do not like finger-tight chokes because they come loose after a bit. wrench tight chokes do not. Also, when the Brileys are wrench tight, they form a good gas seal at the base and I don’t get carbon build up on the outside of my choke from bleeding around the skirt. My Beretta flush mount factory chokes do not form a gas tight seal at the base no matter how hard I hog them on down.
I also find using the wrench to be faster than using my fingers. Of course, I only have to change one choke because I shoot a modern, gas operated piece of space age engineering excellence and not some atavistic Luddite-endorsed manually operated two tuber.
The 2X Briley’s that I got (.000″ Cyl, .015″ LMod and .035″ Full) all mike absolutely dead on in my bores. Of course, I had to root through several of each choke to get ones that did mike dead on, but most of them were close. Briley quality control as to dimensions was pretty good. Then again, my Beretta flush mount factory chokes all mike dead on too after exchanging a few around with the dealer.
So- while I do have an answer (or at least the usual semi-wise mis-information) on most things, I have really not shared your experience with a change in the fit of the Briley X2 chokes. Perhaps some other reader will contribute his experience in this area.
By the way, have you compared patterns between your Briley X2s and your standard Beretta chokes? I ran a few preliminary patterns (three of each) comparing my Beretta and Briley Fulls (both miking .035″) and could not come up with any statistically meaningful difference in performance in the few patterns I was able to make before the lunch bell rang down at the club house. I will have to revisit this aspect and do it right the next time.
Your Guru of Gunning Gear.