BlackBore Shotgun Choke Articles
As soon as the shotgun owner purchases a new shotgun, he (or she) knows that it will usually come with at least one or more choke tubes. The chokes may be of the flush type (when seated, it is even with the muzzle) or one with an extension past the muzzle of some length when properly installed. You will also notice that the choke will have a set of threads located at a certain location on the choke that will mate with threads in the barrel.
So, how tight should I tighten the choke when installing the choke in the barrel of the shotgun? Do you use the choke wrench supplied with the gun or just hand tighten? Is there a rule of thumb that one can fall back on? Just so we understand what is involved, we need to take a moment to consider what happens when we tighten a choke into the barrel.
The most important dimension from the choke/barrel point of view is the distance from the muzzle to the "shoulder" inside the barrel that the choke seals against when the choke is screwed into the barrel. This dimension is the shotgun manufacturers choke length that is very important to the proper seating of the choke! If the choke is screwed into the barrel, but it doesn't quite make it to the shoulder, there is a high probably of combustion gas blowing into the space between the choke body and the barrel itself. In extreme cases, there is the possibility of damaging the choke and the barrel.
But what happens when the opposite occurs? That is, the choke is screwed in so tight that the thin edge at the bottom end of the choke is jammed into the shoulder. This stresses the threads of the choke and barrel and may even contribute to stripping the threads over time. When the choke is screwed in too tight, the shooter will have a hard time removing the "dirty" choke at the end of a shooting session.
So, how tight is too tight? A little common sense goes a long way here. Be SURE you clean the threads on the choke and the threads in the barrel before you install the choke. Use a good gun oil or choke oil/grease to lube the threads. You will be pleasantly surprised how easy they go in and easily removed (make sure that the gun is unloaded and not pointed at you or anyone/anything else).
For flush chokes, the only safe way to install and remove the choke is with a choke wrench that fits the notch pattern in the choke (they are not all the same). With extended chokes, slowly, but firmly screw the choke into the barrel and make sure you continue to do so until the sealing shoulder in the barrel is reached. Be sure the choke is SNUG against the shoulder, but not so tight it would take a gorilla to get it loose. Be aware of the length of the inside portion of your choke so that you know how far it needs to go into the barrel to be snug and tight.
Are there chokes out there that won't shoot loose during a shooting session? If there are, I have never used one. Most shooters use a lull in shooting to reach up to the end of the barrel and check the tightness of the choke (again, be sure the gun is unloaded and safe). I would rather hand tighten the choke every so often then have it jammed in there so tight that the choke is hard to remove or becomes damaged.
Sorry, there just is not any hard and fast rule on how much is too much! And speaking of chokes, if you are looking for "the cutting edge in choke design", please take a look at BlackBore Chokes for those that want a choke that will give the shooter the utmost in performance!
Now that we have considered the question of flush chokes versus extended chokes, let's discuss the related but equally controversial subject of ported versus non-ported chokes. Both sides have their advocates and detractors, but it pretty much boils down to personal preference more than anything! But the question is still unanswered so lets take a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of both types.
For the non-ported folks, there are these to consider:
1. There is no sideways blast to distract or buffet the shooter and anyone to the side of the shooter.
2. Noise levels are less than ported chokes.
For the ported choke side, this can be said:
1. Reduces felt recoil (subjective).
2. Attentuates muzzle rise (subjective).
We can pretty much all agree that these few points are valid arguments as far as they go for ordinary ported chokes. But what if the ports in the choke actually help the shooter better their shooting game?
Obviously, BlackBore Chokes is in favor of ported chokes because of specialized ports (patented) that work for the shooter and enhance their shooting abilities. Yes, there is a certain amount of blast and noise associated with BlackBore Chokes, but it is not all that objectionable with quality hearing protection that one would use anyway while engaging in the shooting sports. That is just prudent and common sense. And, I don't know anyone that positions themselves so close to a shotgun shooter that they typically fall into the "blast zone", so to speak.
But what about the so-called enhanced features of the BlackBore Choke port that makes it a better choke than any other? I am glad you asked!
1. The BlackBore port is cut during machining in such a way that a knife blade is formed in the port. This blade slices and dices the wad as the wad/shot column leaves the barrel through the choke. You will actually see bits of the wad in the air and on the ground after shooting.
2. The wad is momentarily slowed down just enough that the shot completely exits the barrel without the wad. Without this "resistance" inside the choke, the wad would follow the shot out of the barrel and "blow" through the shot column causing fliers of the pellets.
3. Another benefit is that the pressure wave of the combustion gases behind the wad is prevented from "buffeting" the shot as it leaves the barrel. This further reduces the possibility of interference of the shot column by the "blast" wave as the shot leaves the barrel.
One other added benefit is that customers have told BlackBore that cleaning the choke is very easy! The ports act as "jet nozzles" that blow the carbon out of the choke leaving very little to remove from the port and choke body!
There you have it. BlackBore's take on ported chokes. Take a look at them if you are in the market for a choke that will help the shooter get better at his game!