Choking A Belgian Superposed


Hi Bruce,

I’m thinking of finding a Grade I Superposed Lightning Trap, having Briley install their Thin-Wall chokes, and using it for Skeet, SC, etc. Briley claims that they can screw-choke about 80% of these guns.

What are your thoughts on such a procedure? My main concern is that I might be convicted of blasphemy/sacrilege on Judgement Day and sentenced to plumb the depths of Hades forevermore!

No less an authority than Gene Sears says that the Superposed is “… the best O/U shotgun EVER made at ANY PRICE!”

Thanks for your attention!

Sincerely,
Richard Fleming

Dear Richard,

Well, it just so happens that I might be of some use to you as I’ve been there/done that.

I think that Gene Sears was right when he commented on the Superposed. Yes, I’ve owned Perazzis and Krieghoffs, but my go-to O/Us are the Belgian Superposeds. That said, I do slightly prefer the Supers made by Fabrique Nationale for the European market as they often have lighter barrels than the Superposed target guns made for the American market, especially in the trap versions. But that’s a matter of personal taste, not of quality.

I had Briley install a full set of flush-mounted Thinwalls in one of my Fabrique Nationale “Special Trap No. 6” bunker guns. I didn’t think that it would be possible to do it as the barrels were so siamesed that there didn’t seem to be any room to cut even the flat threads that they use. Well, I was wrong and Briley did a perfect job. I don’t know how they machined it that closely, but they did.

Did I destroy the value of the gun? No way. 12 gauge Grade 1 American or European market Supers really aren’t that collectible. You can still buy the American import ones for around $2,000 for a nice target version. Adding screw chokes isn’t going to upset that. Sub-gauge and engraved Supers are different. People collect those guns and any change in original condition affects the price. But I don’t think that it does in the grade one stuff. Screw choke it, shoot all the games with it, enjoy! Life is short. You might as well shoot the heck out of the best gun.

I use my FN for all the games: SC, bunker, FITASC, skeet. I modified the stock to fit correctly. I like to see a bit of rib when I mount the gun, so it works for all the games.

Now, I must confess that I didn’t settle for the five chokes which come with the package. But if I had to pick just 5 chokes, I’d get Skeet, Skeet, Mod, Mod and Full. SK/SK for skeet, Mod/Full for trap/bunker and I’d use Mod/Mod for Sporting and FITASC. While Mod/Mod for SC and FITASC might sound restrictive, it really is liberating. Instead of busily changing chokes at each station, you can pay attention to the targets. With both barrels choked the same, there is no worry about which choke to use on which target. Try it and if your son doesn’t like it, you can always order more chokes later.

But, again, I should emphasize that this is just one guy’s approach. If your son is more comfortable swapping chokes at Sporting, so be it. Buy a bunch. But as to having Briley do the work and install the Thinwalls, go for it. It will make a great gun even greater.

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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New Turkey Loads for 2017


Turkey season is right around the corner. Here are the new gobbler-specific loads you need to know about before the spring season arrives.

Source: New Turkey Loads for 2017

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How To Prepare Your Game Birds


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Winchester SX4


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Auto For A Lady


Bruce:

I have been a ‘struggling’ shooter, it seems, for a long time now. I started out with a Remington 1187 and really liked the way it performed for me. Then, my husband decided that I needed a Beretta 303 – and so it was. My shooting score average dropped, and I never could seem to get it back up there.

I have tried everything I could to get the Beretta to fit me properly, including ordering one of the new lady’s Monte Carlo-style stocks from Wenig. Still, not a good fit for me. I then realized, and it was pointed out to me by a gun fitter here in Houston, that the Berettas do have a tendency to shoot high.

Consequently, I went back to the 1187. One of the reasons that my husband (and a lot of other experienced shooters) thought that I should try the Beretta, was the fact that the 1187 continually jams and won’t eject the second shell – hence the famous ‘jamo-matic’ term. I had gotten the gun to fit me perfectly and my scores were rising again. But, I was having so many problems with the gun that I purchased a new 1187. It’s doing the same thing!!

Plus, I have trigger problems with the new one (as well as with the old one). I’m ready to scream.

My question is this…I have been told by several people, including the gun-smith, that the problem I’m having with the shells jamming stems from the fact that the gun is heavy and I don’t have enough ‘shoulder’ for the gun to recoil on in order for it to eject the second shell.

What??? Is this really a consideration? If so, it’s a shame because I do feel confident with the gun fit and hate to start all over again.

I know that there are better guns “mechanically”, out there, but I just don’t know what to try next. I’ve thought about a Browning Gold….but if there is a way to solve the problem with the 1187, I’d rather do that.

What’s your advice?

Thanks,

Martha

Dear Martha,

It is true that you need some “shoulder” to make a semi-auto or inertia triggered O/U work. The gas operated semi-autos (like the 11-87, 303/390/ Gold) are more forgiving than the recoil operated semi-autos in that respect, but they all need something.

I would try two things with your 11-87. First slop up the magazine tube, piston rings and gas chamber with BreakFree CLP. Leave it wet when you shoot. That will really free the gun up.

You don’t mention what kind of load you are using, but obviously the light loads cause the gas guns more trouble than heavier target load do. The BreakFree CLP will go a long way towards curing this. Try 3 dram 1-1/8 oz target loads and see if they work. If they do, then go to 2-3/4 dram 1-1/8 oz loads. Keep going down until you get a compromise that is comfortable and yet still works the gun.

If that doesn’t quite do it, try lengthening your stock by putting a spacer or two in between the recoil pad and the stock wood. Making the stock longer will ensure a firmer shoulder placement and thus more shoulder resistance to work the gun.

As to the trigger, once you get the gun working right, you’ll need a good gunsmith to fix that issue. My previous recommendation is no longer in business.

I have never thought of the Berettas inherently shooting high. My 303s certainly don’t. Perhaps this comment was sparked due to the unfortunate stepped ribs on the initial 390 sporting clays models. A stepped rib is designed to make a gun shoot high. Flat ribbed guns should shoot dead on when you look flat down the rib.

As to the reliability of the various gas guns, I have found that the Beretta 302, 303, 390, Browning B-80, Remington 1100 and 11-87 and Browning Golds all malfunction about the same for me- around 3 to 5 malfunctions per 1,000 rounds. Of course, that depends on whether or not the guns are performing properly to begin with. I keep my guns reasonably clean and I shoot them wet with BreakFree CLP. The big difference that I find in the reliability of the different brands and models is in parts breakage. There is a real difference there.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid at <www.ShotgunReport.com>
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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Belgian Browning Choke Marks


Dear Technoid,

I have a Belgium Browning 20 gauge. My question is the choke, nowhere on the barrel is it noted what the choke is. Can you help me determine what the choke may be?

Thank you, Wylie

Dear Wylie,

On the left hand side of the barrels’ monobloc near the ejectors, you will see some ” * “, ” $ ” and ” – ” markings. These indicate original Belgian factory choke designations.

Full Choke *
Improved Modified *-
Modified **
Improved Cylinder **-
Skeet **$
Cylinder ***

Of course I don’t have to tell the Junior Technoids out there that you must actually pattern to know what you have. Measuring the chokes will give you an indication, the same way that the factory markings give you an indication, but only patterning will tell you how your gun works with any particular shell.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid at <www.ShotgunReport.com>
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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Chokes For Steel Target Loads


Bruce;

I’m the Danish who send you a small amount a while ago. I still use grease on my 390 and it works beautifully. I was less dedicated this year and reached only a little more than 700 ducks.

Now for the question:

I am currently using a Beretta 682 trap for a discipline that looks a little like 5-stand. Everything is shot at distances below 30 yards. There are some trap like targets, but I’m pretty fast on those (also the true pairs).

Currently, the gun is choked IM/F, which gives you some nice dust-balls (we use steel shot), when you hit. Last year I went to a tournament (130 participants), shot 40 of 40 targets and used 42 shots (lack of concentration as all the true pairs (12 true pairs) were smoked). I placed second to a guy who, using a skeet gun, shot 40 in 40 shots. His breaks were quite thin, but as I would rather have thin breaks and win, than have smokeballs and loose, this incident convinced me to alter the chokes. I want to go to modified on both barrels, as I feel it will give me a little larger pattern while preserving density, which I think is important as thin breaks means you’ll have targets that doesn’t break even though they were in the pattern.

Unfortunately, it seems that the gunsmiths here in Denmark are really blacksmiths who would love to get your shotgun on the anvil. Joke aside, the ones I’ve talked to will open up the choke (from behind luckily), but they will just open it, they will not recut it, that is optimize the rearward part of the choke.

Apart from sending it to Briley, what is your recommendations? Will the described operation produce the desired result or do you have bad experiences with that type of choke alterations.

Hans

Dear Hans,

IM/F ought to be really tight with steel. In the US, the manufacturers usually don’t recommend anything much more than modified with steel. Then again, I have no experience with your shells. Perhaps you have something that we don’t here in the USA.

As to what chokes to use for 30 yard shots, I would have felt that .015″ (Light Modified) should give you good patterns. With lead #7-1/2s (.095″ diameter), .015″ is ideal out to 30 yards.

Unfortunately, I have little experience with steel clay target loads. We are still permitted to use lead for upland and clay target. For waterfowl we must use “non-toxic”, which encompasses steel but also bismuth and the new tungsten/polymer and tungsten/iron shells. The latter group closely approximate lead in performance, but the price is prohibitive for clay target shooting. In the US a box of 25 factory lead clay target loads retails for US$6, while 25 bismuth shells would cost over $60 for 25! The tungsten blend shells run around $50/25. Steel target loads are about $12/25 and thus the only viable non-toxic target option. However, the clay target shell market in the US in not elastic enough to support $12/box. If we are forced to go to steel for clay targets, the vast majority of the clubs will close.

Bottom line: since I don’t regularly shoot steel clay target loads, my advice isn’t worth much (if indeed it ever was). If the breaks you saw with skeet choke were marginal, then you ought to be OK going up one or two chokes to Improved Cylinder (.010″) or light modified (.015″). I would pick the latter.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
The Technoid at <www.ShotgunReport.com>
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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