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What is the deal with chokes for 3-gun?


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#1 JPT

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 07:14 AM

I am starting to research a purchase of a shotgun that will be used exclusively for 3-gun. I will either get an FN SLP, or Winchester SX2 Practical - or I will cheap out for now and get a Mossberg or a Rem 870 for 300-400 bucks and see if I really like doing matches first.

But, I am overwhelmed by the choke situation. It seems all the "tactical" models have a fixed cyl. choke - but so many on this forun say that they use IC, or modified, etc. Some posts have talked about getting a Turkey gun.

If this is a dedicated purchase for 3-gun in a pump - what should i look for? Is the Rem 870 Synthetic 7-round w/ a fixed cyl choke a good choice: http://www.remington...round_specs.asp

It appears that is will cost about 1/4 what the FN would run me. I know, it's a pump, but I just want to try 3-gun out a couple times before I spend more on a shotgun.
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#2 Polytech

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 07:41 AM

I'd get the express turkey with the 21" vent rib, and then throw a extention on it to get 8 rounds in the mag tube. But I like vent ribs better than bare barrels with beads.

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#3 TMC

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 08:44 AM

I've had an IC in my shotgun since I started shooting 3-gun 5 years ago.

I had trouble only once on a devilish stage set up by outerlimits with Texas Stars at 30+ yards. #6's would have done the job but I didn't have any. The #7 1/2's didn't have enough pattern left for that small a plate at that distance.

Edited by TMC, 11 July 2008 - 10:54 AM.

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#4 ken hebert

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:27 AM

<--- has SX2. Comes with an improved cylinder, works for damn near everything. Although in my bag I have a cylinder for hosing and a light mod just incase of some plates at distance. I almost exclusively shoot 7 1/2's.


Now that this has come up, I might go out and pick up some 6's for the Benny Hill 3-gun coming up, it'd be just like him to do someehing like that... :mellow:

Edited by ken hebert, 11 July 2008 - 10:27 AM.

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#5 kellyn

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:59 AM

Chokes are important, they add a huge amount of versitility to your shotgun shooting. I want all my competitors to shoot cylinder bore!!

If you are stuck with one choke, I'd go with modified. But why when we can change them? I mostly use IC but this year I've used a full choke in two major matches (Blue Ridge 3 gun for long shots on clays and IBPO 3 Gun for a no shoot situation). In the past I've seen bent up poppers at the USPSA nationals that were inconsistenly going down so I put the full choke in and had no problem.

I would really recommend that you avoid a cylinder bore shotgun. They're good for 75-80% of 3 gunnning and are utterly abysmal for the the rest. If this country ever started running shotgun matches like the English with a great many technical kind of shots, that percentage would be even less for cylinder bore.
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#6 ddjm

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 12:04 PM

Use what you already have if you are not sure you will enjoy 3gun. Or borrow a friends sg. I would have no problem lending my sg for a match that I'm shooting to someone in your situation.
Otherwise, chokes (a little choke IC or light MOD will make a huge difference) & a tube that will hold 8 shells definitely. That was the easy part.
Which sg, that depends on who you ask. Do a search and you will find a wealth of information on this site.

Why limit only to 3gun? A sg properly setup for 3 gun will serve you well in most if not all situations and all types of matches.

It's not like you will need multiple sg's to play. I use mine for 3gun, ipsc, knockdown steel, etc. Spend the money once instead of buying something you will likely change within a year. Buy once, cry once! A properly setup sg for 3 gun will be great for home defense or can be easily sold if you don't like the sport.
I personally prefer the M2 or M1. It's nice to shoot a match like NC recon or CTI and only have to clean the chrome lined barrel which takes two minutes with a bore brush hooked up to a drill. I like to keep the bore clean and check the choke for lead build up. Yes, enough lead may build up under the choke and cause it to deform. Just a friendly reminder for those that shoot slugs a lot and clean there M* annually.

Just my two cents. I see too many people spend more money than if they just bought correctly the first time.

There are many sg's to choose from and many opinions. Good luck.

Darren

Edited by ddjm, 11 July 2008 - 12:16 PM.


#7 shooter steve

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 01:24 PM

I have a Rem CM and FN and both of them use adjustable chokes. In an afternoon you can pattern your gun with different size shot and different choke tubes. For most local matches I shoot the most open pattern that I can with 7 or 8 shot, as we are breaking static clays or just hitting steel plates. When you go to a bigger match, it will pay to know what each load does with each choke so you can be a little more selective downrange. Like others have said, it is frustrating to be hitting hard set steel and it stays up because your load is open or your shot is small and just doesn't have enough energy to get the job done. If you have a friend that is shooting, maybe you could go with them to a match or two and look around and see what you like before you start spending your hard earned money.
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#8 Joe4d

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 01:36 PM

I see recommendations of buying this that or the other shotgun, then adding this that or the other, extending this extending that etc etc. I reccommend taking a good hard look at a semiauto Remington 1100 Tac 4. It comes out of the box ready to go. 21 inch vent rib, fiber optic bead, extended 8+1 magazine, 3 included choke tubes, allready drilled and tapped for optics, for an extra $25 I got a rifled tube for sabot slugs, the gun runs great has an extremely long track record, and with a simple change of ammo and choke tubes I can deer hunt, bird hunt, small game hunt, play shotgun games. etc etc. All said I bought one this spring for $725 NIB.

#9 rc2125

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 05:29 PM

But I like vent ribs better than bare barrels with beads.



Ditto!

#10 JPT

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 11:56 AM

But I like vent ribs better than bare barrels with beads.



Ditto!


One of the guns i am looking at has a vent rib (Mossberg 930 - semi-auto - $400 new). What kind of sights can you add to a vent rib that would be a good choice for 3-gun? Does one try to get rifle sights on there? Or are fiber optic beads that come on this gun a fine alternative?
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#11 gotm4

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Posted 13 July 2008 - 12:12 PM

I have a FN SLP Mk1 and use Briley extended Light Modified and IC. I use cheapy Federal 7 1/2s and 8s, I plan to pick up a Briley extended Skeet choke.
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#12 outerlimits

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 07:40 AM

I've had an IC in my shotgun since I started shooting 3-gun 5 years ago.

I had trouble only once on a devilish stage set up by outerlimits with Texas Stars at 30+ yards. #6's would have done the job but I didn't have any. The #7 1/2's didn't have enough pattern left for that small a plate at that distance.

c'mon, todd...it was 26 yds!

at R&R this weekend, every shotgun plate (and there were hundreds) was a little 5" round. cool target, and most ran modified for almost every stage. better have IC, Mod & Full.
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#13 Chris

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 10:37 AM

at R&R this weekend, every shotgun plate (and there were hundreds) was a little 5" round. cool target, and most ran modified for almost every stage. better have IC, Mod & Full.


Except me :) I ran IC for most of the match except for the star on 'Corridor', used a M for that one and some Winchester Super Handicap 7 1/2's (1300 FPS).

#14 sslav

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 11:21 PM

One of the guns i am looking at has a vent rib (Mossberg 930 - semi-auto - $400 new). What kind of sights can you add to a vent rib that would be a good choice for 3-gun? Does one try to get rifle sights on there? Or are fiber optic beads that come on this gun a fine alternative?


Before selecting vent rib or not, you should probably decide what reloading method you are going to use. If you are going to be flipping that gun over for reloading - a heat shield makes for nice accessory and it will not go over a vent rib. You can also wear a glove, but I like heat shield better.

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#15 mpeltier

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 06:25 AM

In my opinion you might avoid the pump and go strait to a FN SLP Mk1. The Semi auto is in my opinion a lot more fun than a pump, and unless you plan on shooting Hvy-Mtl, the pump wont be very competitive. You will not need to purchase anything further with the FN either.

as far as chokes go, my routine is to first experiment with which of the most open choke gives me good accuracy with slugs. It almost always ends up bieng either skeet or IC. Then pattern that choke with 7 1/2 or 8 shot. to see if it patterns well. It usually does. That is the choke I then use for all close, frangible and slug shots. If the shot is farther or is heavy/stubborn steel I will switch to a Light Modified or modified choke.

Almost always the guys that show up at our club with fixed cylynder bore shotguns have trouble getting their hits.

Edited by mpeltier, 19 July 2008 - 06:31 AM.

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#16 sslav

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 08:14 AM

In my opinion you might avoid the pump and go strait to a FN SLP Mk1. The Semi auto is in my opinion a lot more fun than a pump, and unless you plan on shooting Hvy-Mtl, the pump wont be very competitive. You will not need to purchase anything further with the FN either.


I disagree with that. I shoot a pump and am fairly competitive with it. The guys that I get beat by I would get beat by even if I shot a semi with possibly a tiny handful of exceptions. It all depends on how quick your transitions are. Mine are slow enough that I can easily chamber a shell during the transition. When I feel that my pump is slowing me down I will switch to a semi. So far I've been shooting it for two years and I am not there yet.

Almost always the guys that show up at our club with fixed cylynder bore shotguns have trouble getting their hits.


I shoot 3-gun and knockdown steel. I use cylinder most of the time. I switch to modified for if I see that a stage has longer/tighter shots. I also carry an IC and a Full - but they rarely get used. I do use IC for slugs but have been eying a threaded choke for that.

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#17 ddjm

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 12:08 PM

sSlav.......Semi......you know you want one!!!!! :lol:
You do kick A** with that pump though.

JPT do yourself a favor. Get a barrel that accepts chokes. If you don't, you will wish you had.
Beware....3gun is highly addictive.

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Edited by ddjm, 19 July 2008 - 12:09 PM.


#18 spd522

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 03:55 PM

I have two shotguns for whatever class I shoot. Usuallly it's the Benelli M1 with std rifle sights and 8 rd tube. Then I have a Chinese 870 knock-off with ghost rings and extended mag tube for HM and games that require a pump. It is only cyl bore so I always bring some heavier loads just in case of longer targets. I have been able to get by but using heavier loads adds recoil and is slower. I would rather choke down when necessary.

Recently, I have been converting my 870 Express Turkey gun (haven't turkey hunted in years) for HM class. It came with a 21" VR barrel. I put on a 4 rd mag tube to bring it to 8+1, cut the wooden forearm to clear the receiver for a side saddle, added a Limbsaver recoil pad, and replaced the front bead with a HiViz FO sight. The mods cost me maybe $80. I already had the shotgun and choke tubes (since 1992). I have only fired it at home but it seems like it will work quite well. I really like the VR/FO setup and the versatility of the choke tubes. I will put it to the match test for the first time in a few weeks at the NRA LE 3 Gun.

I agree with the others- get one with choke tubes.

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#19 shooter steve

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 06:11 PM

If you went to CTI this weekend and didn't have choke tubes, you were crying the blues. :goof: I had a full choke at the house and I wish I had it with me big time. I didn't know that "that guy" was going to bring his 45lb weights to use as shot gun targets. Yes of course I'm joking but I honestly do wish I'd had my choke. I just didn't figure I'd need one that tight. Now I know. If you are thinking about buying a gun to shoot matches with, and it doesn't have changable chokes, you will be sorry at some point down the road. It only gets worse when it is a big match with a good prize table!
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#20 Brian Payne

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 06:15 AM

I just picked up an FN SLP from Tanner's Sporting Goods (off Gunbroker) for $679.00. Added a Progressive Machine extended bolt release, picked up extended Skeet and IC chokes (it comes with Mod and IC) and am looking to get a Nordic +1 tube to give me 9 in the mag tube.

It comes with 8 + 1 tube, 22" barrel with fiber optic front sight and flip up iron sight for slugs (these work VERY well) and the gun has been 100% reliable.

So far the only knock on the weapon is that I really like the option of a 9 round tube. This really comes in handy when shooting a slug stage as some of the slugs are long enough to allow only 7 in the factory tube.

Sorry for the thread drift. Keep Skeet, IC, LM, and M chokes close to hand. Pattern your shotgun and chokes with shot and slugs. Know your hold over on slugs out to 100 yrds. You should be good to go.

Edited by Brian Payne, 30 July 2008 - 09:33 AM.

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#21 Polytech

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 08:24 AM

I see recommendations of buying this that or the other shotgun, then adding this that or the other, extending this extending that etc etc. I reccommend taking a good hard look at a semiauto Remington 1100 Tac 4. It comes out of the box ready to go. 21 inch vent rib, fiber optic bead, extended 8+1 magazine, 3 included choke tubes, allready drilled and tapped for optics, for an extra $25 I got a rifled tube for sabot slugs, the gun runs great has an extremely long track record, and with a simple change of ammo and choke tubes I can deer hunt, bird hunt, small game hunt, play shotgun games. etc etc. All said I bought one this spring for $725 NIB.


I would go with the FN SLP mk1 before I would go to the remington, I think it will be a more reliable gun in the long run, and you can still do all those other things like hunting, you'll just have to have a longer plug to keep you legal ;)

And at the price payne got his at puts it under the rem1100 anyway :D

ETA: Payne, I've got one of the nordic +1's and its worked great with the factory spring :D

Edited by Polytech, 30 July 2008 - 08:35 AM.


#22 shooter steve

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 02:06 PM

I've had the FN for a couple months and run about 400 rds through it. Didn't puke on me untill I went to CTI, where I had major Pukeage (is that a word?) any way, it cost me about 30 seconds of match time. Just goes to show you, Remmy, Benelli, FN... they are all voodoo cursed, and are just waiting to rear their ugly heads. Won't do it in a local match, or at practice, they are masters at waiting for the worst time to get you :surprise: Sorry about the thread drift
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#23 ken hebert

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 05:45 PM

Tell us about it. Want to know what to try to not let happen to us.
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#24 Hank Ellis

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 05:41 AM

Well.... If you want to go inexpensive, go with a Rem 870 Turkey model. 21" vent rib, order no. 25573. Add on a Choate 8 + 1 mag extension and you can play. A really good guy running a pump can put the autostuffers to shame. If 3-gun don't work for you then it becomes a really good home defense gun.

Myself, I tried the Rem 1100 route and it came up a dead end. Went with the FNH SLP MKI and it worked out of the box. Couldn't be happier. CDNN at www.cdnnsports.com had them for around $750,

Nobody but nobody buys a shotgun today that has a fixed choke. Clays, 3-gun, tactical. Nobody. With an adjustable or interchangeable choke you can tailor the gun and load to the target. Is it inside 23yd? A skeet will work. 35yd. Modified. 50yd and beyond. Full. Oh and what choke works with slugs. Mine happens to prefer modified. Yours might prefer IC. Screw in chokes opens up the possibilities of what the gun is capable of.
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#25 Polytech

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 07:13 AM

I've had the FN for a couple months and run about 400 rds through it. Didn't puke on me untill I went to CTI, where I had major Pukeage (is that a word?) any way, it cost me about 30 seconds of match time. Just goes to show you, Remmy, Benelli, FN... they are all voodoo cursed, and are just waiting to rear their ugly heads. Won't do it in a local match, or at practice, they are masters at waiting for the worst time to get you :surprise: Sorry about the thread drift


I would also like to know what cause the malfunction, load? piston? gun? environment?




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