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Why Full and Cylinder Chokes?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Johnm1, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I bought a Lefever Nitro Special 16 Ga. Double barrel shotgun in very nice shape. It is the subject of a couple of posts in the gunsmithing section. Factory marking show the chokes to be Full and Cylinder.

    What type of hunting would favor that combination of chokes? Or is it basically two single shot shotguns married together?

    As poor as I shoot a shotgun I can see the usefulness of shooting the cylinder first and following up on the same bird after the inevitable miss with the full choke at the now more distant bird. But I suspect no one would order a gun that way. Well. Maybe I would.

    I'm not familiar enough with the games but what i think I know is it probably wouldn't be a good combination for either skeet or trap. I don't know the course of fire in sporting Clays.

    Thanks.
     
  2. George P

    George P Member

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    Driven birds with the Full for when it is far away and coming at you and then Cylinder when it is right on top of you
     
  3. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    on my o/u shotguns I run imp mod and imp cyl chokes and most of my shots at game are with the imp cyl. I shot a 22 on the 16 yd line at trap with a imp cyl choke.
     
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  4. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    I’m surprised they did a “custom” choke on a hardware gun, I would think pheasant over pointer or some such flushed bird.

    The full choke wasn't as tight with shotshells prior to plastic wads.

    you could try slug and buck on big game with that configuration.
     
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  5. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    As you suspect, the idea behind the different chokes is for first and second shots. First shot at a flushing bird is generally closer than the second, so less choke should be needed. With double trigger SxSs, once one gets familiar with the gun, it becomes automatic to shoot the full choke barrel at a bird a long ways off first and then hold off shooting the other barrel. You need to remember, the majority of SxSs were produced before the advent of interchangeable chokes. So you basically could have a grouse gun and a waterfowl gun in one gun. Those old guns were also made back in the time when shotshells were roll crimped and there wasn't shot cups combined with the wads, plated shot and shot buffer. Thus shot patterns opened up faster and a full choke was more functional than with today's modern shotshells. I sometimes use my old Fox 16ga, SxS for turkeys and like the idea of using a more open choke when they are close.
     
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  6. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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  7. George P

    George P Member

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    My answer was predicated on an older Belgian gun I had for a while choked exactly that way - it was built for the European driven shooting market.
     
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  8. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Got it George. That is also what I was looking for. In my meanderings on the internet I also read that this combination might be correct for grouse hunting. There aren't a lot of grouse in Arizona so I'm not sure what grouse hunting is all about.

    It is possible the guy who ordered this one was as bad a shot with a shotgun as I am.
     
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  9. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Odds are that was the standard configuration at the time. For most vintage hunting SxSs, the standard configuration was Modified/Full. Anything else was special order. Coach SxS guns generally had more open chokes.
     
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  10. George P

    George P Member

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    With older ammo, I suppose it would have worked fine for hunting upland over a pointer - Cylinder for the flush and the Full for the second shot
     
  11. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    I'd concur.

    I have among my shotguns what was and still is an inexpensive 16 gauge. A Savage 311. Now I went to pattern it and it had an odd pattern compared to a much nicer CZ 16 gauge made for upland birds with proper IC and Mod choking. So I checked the 311...

    They were workhorse guns for Average Joe.., so.., the right barrel was really closer to skeet choke. The left barrel was what we would today call Modified/Full, so tighter than true modified but not enough to be actually called "full". It was sold, however as "Improved" and "Modified" choked. I double checked the interior of the bore to be sure that what I read on the caliber at the muzzle was indeed based on a proper diameter bore farther in. So Why?

    Well Average Joe would have an opening first shot that wouldn't be bad on a flushed bird or a close, running rabbit with the first barrel, and the slightly tighter choke would be fine on an upland bird, but also good for squirrels up in trees, and not the best but not bad for ducks too. With fixed chokes the guy who could only afford one shotgun could pretty much do it all. Not sure about buckshot through the right barrel but with the right pellets it might be fine out to 25 yards or so and not FUBAR the "skeet" choke in the barrel. I think the company intentionally tweeked the chokes to give the customer a bit more as far as choices on game were concerned.

    LD
     
  12. George P

    George P Member

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    Except for close plantation quail over pointers, my favorite upland choke combination is IC and IM - in a 12, that would be .010 and .025 or .030; in a 20 that would be about .008 and .022; in a 28 it would be .006 and .018
     
  13. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Yes, an excellent deer gun for close range .. maybe for driven hogs too.
     
  14. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Most doubles I have seen are a mod/full design. With good wads, they are nearer imp mod / extra full. I loved them because there was no winged birds and you better be in your game.
    I could see that being amazing for ruffed grouse up north where you walk logging roads. They are either under foot or way out there.
     
  15. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    That depends. If I am sitting I always have the larger choke available for first shot, if something comes from behind. If I see it coming from a distance I generally switch to the tighter barrel and get it from a further distance (don’t have to walk as far if they fall at your feet) or at least have the larger pattern for when it’s on top of me.
     
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  16. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    BFH - That is exactly what I was after. And I had heard that same comment in my internet search. Not sure if anybody else does this, but when I search a subject I end up reading anywhere from 20 to 100 posts, articles, whatever. And it seems I remember stuff but can't remember where I had read it.

    My gut tells me that this combination was at least fairly common back in 1923 for the several reasons listed above as well as yours. I like the idea of having two very different chokes. It's like having two single shots just choked differently. But I suspect it was a carry over from driven hunts on the Continent that just hung on and fit a lot of peoples needs.

    I gotta figure out what this 'Grouse' hunting is. It sounds like fun. But I don't expect there are many Grouse in the Sonoran Desert. Maybe way up in the North part of Arizona.
     
  17. George P

    George P Member

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    Grouse is a northern thing; where you are, you have those pesky quail that run through those thorny bushes........:thumbup:
     
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  18. Kabic

    Kabic Member

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    Ruffled Grouse
    20180607_Grouse_Kevin_Feind.jpg
     
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  19. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I don't have dogs. Have you ever tried to hunt those Devils (quail) without a dog? They know the range of a shotgun and there are a hundred eyes looking for you.
     
  20. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    Not uncommon for British doubles but unusual for an American double. The Nitro Special was a hardware gun much like the lower grade Ithaca's. The Brits were huge fans of open chokes in the first barrel. I have an old G E Lewis choked cyl and mod. I think they hunted over dogs quite a bit. Cyl is a very good choke for grouse over a dog.

    Maybe the gun was ordered with those chokes by some southern quail hunter. I'm not seeing an application for that combination for much of anything except quail over a dogs. Full is too tight for grouse. Never used a second barrel for grouse anyway. One and done here.
     
  21. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    A fad from a bygone era.

    IC/IM remains a legacy of the fad, better attuned to today's shotgun loads. Indeed, I have a 12 ga thus choked that is great for phezzies over dogs. But IC/M is really a better combo and all my 20s are choked that way. Cyl and IC or LM might work well for Ruffs, but I have never hunted them where a second shot was viable that needed Mod or tighter.
     
  22. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    The second tighter barrel for grouse is used by us Philistines who will shoot at a bird that runs out from under a point, bumped up of course;)
     
  23. George P

    George P Member

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    Try it that way for chukar! Those little @#^$#)(*&%s run uphill between the sage brush afew thousand feet laughing at you all the way. By the time you get close, they either fly down the hill going away - or worse - they tease by flying brush height right past you.

    There's an old saying about hunting wild chukar - "The first time is for fun, every other time is for revenge!"
     
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  24. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    That is just so funny.

    The Northern part of Arizona has some Northern species that I haven’t researched. It’s a long drive for me but that has never stopped me before.
     
  25. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    Simply put, you walk through thick brush, mountain laurel, and grapevine tangles. When you least expect it, mostly when you are tangled up in grape vines or reaching down to pick up your cap, a grouse will flush and scare the crap out of you. Generally, if you manage to get your gun up, you will throw a wild shot or two and miss.

    Fortunately for the hunter most times they won't fly too far, and you can follow them and hopefully get a second flush when you are expecting it. Many times they flush out of range to no avail.

    Grouse have become pretty scarce in PA. When you do hunt them now, flushes are few and far between.
     
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