Best Choke Size for Skeet


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Shotgun Dave
January 15, 2009, 05:04 PM
Hey Guys,

Useing a 12ga O/U profile, what size choke would you recommend for a novice clay shooter. I know some of you experienced shooters could use a full-choke and do well. I did not get a full set of chokes with the new Browning I bought, but did order a couple of Briley "skeet" chokes. Right now, I have two IC chokes in it. Going this weekend, useing Rem STS and Win AA, #8's for ammo. We like to shoot 5-stand to warm up and I wondering if a combo selection would be better for both 5-stand & skeet ......ie, IC/skeet? Vise versa?

Help guys, one guy is kicking my, yeah you know!

Thanks, Shotgun Dave

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ArmedBear
January 15, 2009, 05:08 PM
You can get "skeet in" and "skeet out" chokes, or "skeet 1" and "skeet 2". I've just used Skeet and IC.

I've known a really good trapshooter who shot 25 in skeet with a Full choke on a 34" barrel, though. He just knew where to put the shot.

Skeet is more about leads than chokes.

What's nice is having two chokes that are the same, so you don't bother switching barrels around instead of focusing on the shot.:)

oneounceload
January 15, 2009, 05:20 PM
Depends on what your 5-stand targets are like - at most of the places I have shot over the years, all targets were easily hit with a SK/IC combination in my O/U, IC/IC is also good. Sporting clays is a different animal - there you might also want a LM or M as one of your choices

ArmedBear
January 15, 2009, 05:24 PM
5-stand can be set up in many ways.

Some places have bunker targets, or similar, or those nasty batu things that fly out and fast. Skeet choke? No way.

Like oneounce said, it depends on what the 5-stand targets are like. Some guys who set up those things are downright sadists.:evil:

throdgrain
January 15, 2009, 05:59 PM
For skeet, I would have to suggest skeet chokes :)

RUT
January 15, 2009, 06:04 PM
>>For skeet, I would have to suggest skeet chokes<<

Yup, that pretty much sums it up!

rcmodel
January 15, 2009, 06:05 PM
5-stand can be set up in many ways.Are we really talking about "Skeet", or "5-Stand Sporting Clays"?

Big differance.

Or at least there used to be when I was a Skeet shooter.

rc

ArmedBear
January 15, 2009, 06:06 PM
Smartasses!

If I were going to be a smartass, I would have said "12 Gauge" would be the right size for a 12 Gauge gun.

But I'm not a smartass, of course.

ArmedBear
January 15, 2009, 06:07 PM
Are we really talking about "Skeet", or "5-Stand Sporting Clays"?

Big differance.

Well, 5-stand can be set up on a skeet field, and can use the skeet targets as part of the rotation. Those can, however, be combined with the nasty, high-speed mini-clays flying away, rabbits rolling around, etc.

Shotgun Dave
January 15, 2009, 06:13 PM
Not really too concerned with the five stand, that's just warm up! The skeet range is what I am gunning for. I have excellent depth perception, the clays cannot be further out than 25yds when shot. Sure if you wait until the clay is beyond the next stand it may be further. I know you guys are right about the lead, but dang it is hard on doubles! I have led these 3-feet and still miss. With lead moving almost 1300 fps, should not have to lead any further?? I have the flush mount chokes on the Browning and extended ones on my 11-87, both sets are Briley chokes. I also agree that having the same chokes on the O/U is the best, so I am going to practice that for awhile.

Many thanks guys!

Pete409
January 15, 2009, 06:30 PM
The best chokes for 12 gauge skeet shooting are....... NO CHOKE AT ALL. In other words, CYLINDER choke.

In most guns, skeet choke is about .005" constriction. While this may not sound like much, it definitely WILL tighten up the pattern compared to a Cylinder choke. A cylinder choke will give you a pattern diameter of about 33 inches at 21 yards which is the longest shot you should have in American skeet. You certainly don't want the pattern any smaller unless you are shooting for the National Championship or something like that.

Unless/until you get to the "advanced" stage, stick with Cylinder chokes for skeet shooting. I've been shooting skeet for many years and still use Cylinder chokes.

oneounceload
January 15, 2009, 06:42 PM
Not really too concerned with the five stand, that's just warm up! The skeet range is what I am gunning for. I have excellent depth perception, the clays cannot be further out than 25yds when shot. Sure if you wait until the clay is beyond the next stand it may be further. I know you guys are right about the lead, but dang it is hard on doubles! I have led these 3-feet and still miss. With lead moving almost 1300 fps, should not have to lead any further?? I have the flush mount chokes on the Browning and extended ones on my 11-87, both sets are Briley chokes. I also agree that having the same chokes on the O/U is the best, so I am going to practice that for awhile.


I shoot skeet the same way I shoot 5-stand and sporting - low gun and use the "move, mount,shoot" method. By holding my gun 1/3 way back to the house, my gun lead/movement is minimum compared to starting at the house opening

Shotgun Dave
January 15, 2009, 11:16 PM
Pete/One ounce,

Your input is perfect, makes sense, good horse sense! Now a dumb question, I have not seen a "cylinder choke". Do they make one? Dont want to shoot the Browning with out a choke, could possible ruin the threads in the barrel?
The way I shoot now, I need the widest pattern on these clays that I can get. I am not pethetic, shooting hits of 18-19, but want to break 20 plus.
I will look on line some more.

Thank you, this really helped and underscored my thought process. I do appreciate it.

Shotgun Dave

Pete409
January 15, 2009, 11:27 PM
Absolutely they make Cylinder chokes. Any reputable manufacturer of chokes has them. Check out Trulock, Carlson, or Colonial Arms for reasonable priced chokes.

USSR
January 15, 2009, 11:43 PM
Skeet is more about leads than chokes.

+1. That being said, use a skeet choke.

Don

PJR
January 16, 2009, 08:18 AM
Just stick with the IC and focus on stance, foot position, mount and gun hold. These are far more important than choke. As was once observed, "Chokes give you inches, we miss in feet."

oneounceload
January 16, 2009, 09:26 AM
Shotgun Dave - yes cylinder chokes are available from every major after-market mfr., and NO you do not want to shoot "threads only" - it will mess up the threads. From what I have seen, most misses are from being behind the target, or stopping the gun when you fire. In order for ME to not be behind, (especially as I've gotten older), my hold/insertion point is about 1/3 the way from the center stake back to house. I'm looking AT the house. That's what works for me, YMMV. Try skeet with a full mount gun for a while - that will take one more oops-factor out of the equation. Also, have some of the regulars at your club watch you shoot. They may have some suggestions a bout your stance or swing that you can't tell by yourself.

ilmonster
January 16, 2009, 10:34 AM
Skeet chokes are called "skeet" for a reason. Use the skeet chokes for skeet and start shooting some shells! P.S. Todd Bender has an excellent DVD on fundamentals of shooting skeet. With his eye cam, you actually see the leads involved at each station. Good luck!

ArmedBear
January 16, 2009, 10:53 AM
Pete, et al.

It has been my understanding that the point of having that slight amount of constriction is to make pattern density more consistent, not to make the pattern noticeably smaller.

Is this not true?

Pete409
January 16, 2009, 08:53 PM
Pete, et al.

It has been my understanding that the point of having that slight amount of constriction is to make pattern density more consistent, not to make the pattern noticeably smaller.

Is this not true?

It's not true as far as I can tell. Set up a pattern board (as I have done numerous times) at 21 yards and shoot it with a Cylinder choke and 1 ounce of #9. You'll never find a more consistent or more uniform pattern with any choke or load........ or at least I certainly haven't.

Then do the same thing with a Skeet choke. You will still have the same number of pellet hits on the paper, but the pattern diameter will be smaller by about 3 or 4 inches and there will be noticeably more pellet hits in the center of the pattern ......... which is where you DON'T need more pellets.

Also keep in mind that 21 yards (or thereabouts) is the longest shot you should have in American skeet. The AVERAGE shot distance is about 16 or 17 yards which will mean smaller patterns regardless what choke you have in the gun.

Perhaps you could tell me why anyone other than a top level pro would want to take pellets out of the outer portion of the pattern where the pattern is already thin in order to put more pellets into the center of the pattern where they are clearly not needed since the center is already dense enough. :confused: As the old saying goes, "They don't grade the hits, they just count them." Pulverizing a target into dust doesn't count any more than breaking it into several pieces, but a miss by 1 inch counts exactly the same as a miss by 3 feet, i.e. ZERO.

While some may poo poo the idea of an extra 3" of pattern diameter, that represents about a 20% increase in pattern coverage. I don't know about other shooters, but I'm certain I've broken LOTS of skeet targets with the outer fringe of my patterns. Likewise, I'm certain I've missed a bunch of skeet targets by just an inch or two.

I'm not going to try to say what I think the IDEAL pattern size is for a beginning to intermediate skeet shooter, but it's certainly more than 33 inches. And that's for the 21 yard shots. The average shot of about 17 yards will have a pattern of about 25 or 26 inches with a Cylinder choke and an even smaller pattern with a Skeet choke.

There is no doubt in my mind which is best for me, but I'll let everyone analyze the facts and figure it out for themselves. That's what I'm trying to provide here...... some FACTS, not just some cute saying or play on words.

AllAmerican
January 16, 2009, 09:34 PM
IC. For sure. IMO

ArmedBear
January 16, 2009, 11:14 PM
Perhaps you could tell me why anyone other than a top level pro would want to take pellets out of the outer portion of the pattern where the pattern is already thin in order to put more pellets into the center of the pattern where they are clearly not needed since the center is already dense enough.

Same reason people shoot trap with a fixed Full when IC has actually worked for me quite well at the 27? (I did that accidentally once, since IC "won't work" at the back of the field. Changed my attitude about constriction!)

I haven't patterned Skeet vs. Cylinder, though. Interesting. Thanks!

Dave McCracken
January 17, 2009, 05:14 PM
When I commit skeet, which I'm bad at, I use Skeet, Cylinder or IC chokes. I have shot a bit with my old TB and Full. The scores reeked but there was no doubt when I was on them.

Pete409
January 18, 2009, 11:38 PM
I haven't patterned Skeet vs. Cylinder, though. Interesting. Thanks!

No problem. I pattern every choke with every gun and usually keep written records of it, or at least a SUMMARY of it.

Another thing of interest with regard to chokes is that you can't always go by what is written or engraved on the choke tube. A few years ago, I had a choke tube marked "Skt 1" which actually patterned a little tighter than my Light Modified choke. I also have a factory supplied choke marked "Mod" which actually patterns about like an Improved Cylinder choke.

Also, my current clay shooting gun is a Browning 525, and I have a pair of Briley Skeet chokes for it which pattern much closer in size to the Imp Cyl chokes than they do the Cylinder chokes.

If a person hasn't patterned their chokes on paper (preferably with 2 or 3 different loads), then they are only guessing at the pattern size and density of the chokes in that gun.

ArmedBear
January 19, 2009, 12:15 PM
Until recently, I haven't had a good place to pattern shotguns often or a lot. Patterned the guns I used, but didn't shoot skeet, so didn't pattern that choke.

Now I can just drive down the road a few miles. When it's warmer and I have a free hour, I might go pattern everything with every choke I have.:)

Another issue: patterning the gun at a fixed distance does not give you a good idea of pattern density out at, say, 65 yards. The pattern board also doesn't show the pattern as it exists in space, just a 2-dimensional approximation that doesn't let you see the pattern in time and space.

So, even if you pattern, you're still guessing, just with a bit more information.

What I really need is a high-speed video camera, lights, and a crew. Then I could pattern my shotguns for real.:D

Virginian
January 19, 2009, 12:33 PM
Pattern board is only two dimensional, whereas the actual pattern is three dimensional, and the target is moving in three dimensions. Read Bob Brister. Skeet choke is used to change the pattern density for more reliable "hits" when you actually should hit the target.
The guys who routinely run off multiple 100 straights do not shoot with a 'cylinder' choke, believe me, but if there was something they could do to improve their chances by 1/2 of 1/10 of one percent, they would do it. They shoot skeet chokes for a reason.

Pete409
January 19, 2009, 05:21 PM
Pattern board is only two dimensional, whereas the actual pattern is three dimensional, and the target is moving in three dimensions. Read Bob Brister.

I've got the book and read it many times. Brister was concerned with 3-dimensional patterns (shot strings) on long range (50 yards) flying targets (geese and ducks) using large sizes (e.g. #2 shot) of easily deformed soft lead pellets which contained only about 124 pellets in a 1 3/8 ounce load. His main conclusion from his testing was that shot stringing tended to elongate the pattern in a horizontal dimension relative to the flying bird.

Skeet shooting, OTOH, is done at distances of 21 yards or less with shells which contain 585 pellets per one ounce load. The horizontal stringing (relative to the target's flight path) is much less at 21 yards than it is at 50 yards. Any such stringing, when it occurs, would only tend to HELP the average skeet shooter by giving him more margin of error in the amount of lead (forward allowance) required to break the target.

The guys who routinely run off multiple 100 straights do not shoot with a 'cylinder' choke, believe me, but if there was something they could do to improve their chances by 1/2 of 1/10 of one percent, they would do it. They shoot skeet chokes for a reason.

As I've said in several of my previous posts on this thread, the recommendation for Cylinder chokes is not for the expert shooter who routinely runs 100 straight skeet targets most of the time. Different shooters have different needs as far as equipment is concerned. Tiger Woods is probably the best golfer in the world, but his clubs wouldn't be a wise choice for the average duffer to use to hack around the golf course. Likewise, George Digweed is probably the best overall clay target shooter in the world, but his tight (IM and Full) chokes wouldn't be well suited for the average clay shooter, much less a beginning shooter.

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