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I was just going over my experience with purchasing my first guns and specifically when it comes to my 12 guage, I've had a puzzling question on my mind for awhile now and need some of the wisdom and knowledge some of you have of you dont mind sharing it. So can any of you shotgun aficionados can shed some light on if it makes sense that my 1980's Mossberg 600AT New Haven (basically Mossberg 500 pump) seems to have no threads for a choke? I purchased it used for a pretty good deal but it definitely didnt come with a choke, just interchangeable barrels with a bead for a front sight. One barrel is pretty short (about 16 inches if I had to guess) and the other is very long (24 inches, maybe a little more). Neither barrel seems to have any threads for a choke at all...and do the 2 barrel lengths have any impact on the shot pattern/density? I know the short barrel is more for home defense in the long one is more for hunting and clay pigeons, but if this gun is indeed purposely meant to not have a choke, I'm curious if the physics of the longer barrel keeping the shot group tighter for a longer head start and picking up that little bit of extra speed would possible also act as a poor man's choke. Or basically do I have a shotgun that is always just going to blast a wide open spread of shot each time I shoot it regardless of which barrel I have on it? I would appreciate you sharing any knowledge you may have on this or reasonings with a fella! Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Btw, I'm much more into pistols and rifles so I apologize if this is a dumb question. I couldnt find a concrete answer though and I'm trying to become a little more versed in the world of shotguns.
 

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The barrels should be marked. Typically, the shorter barrels are slug barrels. Does it have rifling? A slug barrel has rifling in it. Your other barrel could be an improved cylinder, modified choke, or full choke. Not all shotguns have screw in chokes.
 

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The bad news is some shotgun barrels are made with no choke threads. It should be marked IC, Mod., full, etc. If it's an IC (improved cylinder) the end will be too thin to thread reliably for removable chokes. I'm not familiar with the AT 600 so I don't know if a standard 500 barrel will fit but I know a lot of gun shows are going on around me and I'd check by where you live. They're usually plentiful and you should be able to pick one up on the cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The barrels should be marked. Typically, the shorter barrels are slug barrels. Does it have rifling? A slug barrel has rifling in it. Your other barrel could be an improved cylinder, modified choke, or full choke. Not all shotguns have screw in chokes.
Oh jeez I'm a dumb*ss. There doesnt appear to be rifling in either barrel and my one buddy who is a lot more into shotguns said mine didnt have one but maybe he meant screw in. I say I'm dumb cuz I never bothered to double check the longer barrel to see if it had anything different inscribed. So my short barrell says "cylinder bore" and my long barrel says "30 inch full choke". Can you explain to me what that means as far as do's and dont's? I know what a full choke is, and I'm guessing cylinder bore means it has no choke, but crap man I had bought steel slugs and tracer rounds and all kinds of stuff and although I've only ever shot a few rounds from it, i cant remember for sure but I think I was firing steel slugs out of the full choke barrel before I knew much about shotgun chokes. Lol good thing it's old and I've only fired it a few times and probably only maybe 4 or 5 slugs. So the long barrell is definitely 100% for hunting small game and for skeet shooting, I do know that now. I guess the short barrell is just for walking around blasting water jugs I dunno
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The bad news is some shotgun barrels are made with no choke threads. It should be marked IC, Mod., full, etc. If it's an IC (improved cylinder) the end will be too thin to thread reliably for removable chokes. I'm not familiar with the AT 600 so I don't know if a standard 500 barrel will fit but I know a lot of gun shows are going on around me and I'd check by where you live. They're usually plentiful and you should be able to pick one up on the cheap.
I figured it out partially at least. The longer barrell is marked differently. Its marked as full choke. Smaller barrell is marked cylinder bore.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Crap, so I should probably avoid shooting steel slugs from the long barrell with the full choke correct? And cylinder bore is just no choke? Cuz I dont see any rifling. It's hard to get the light down into the barrell but I can easily identify the rifling in all of my other guns instantly. So if there is rifling, it's not very easy to identify...
 

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Are you sure the slugs weren’t lead? I have never seen a steel slug. I have shot lead slugs out of a full choke barrel. Out of mine they shot pretty good, and the only downside was a little lead deposits toward the end of the barrel. You need to try it in your gun to see how they shoot. The 30” full choke barrel is best for waterfowl, turkeys, and deer with buckshot. It will hold the tightest pattern for the longest distance of all the different chokes. That other barrel looks like it was home cut to me. Definitely short range home defense if it even legal. Improved cylinder and modified chokes are more for skeet and trap and small game hunting such as dove and squirrel. I haven’t really shot a whole lot of trap and skeet, so I can’t really advise you on this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Are you sure the slugs weren’t lead? I have never seen a steel slug. I have shot lead slugs out of a full choke barrel. Out of mine they shot pretty good, and the only downside was a little lead deposits toward the end of the barrel. You need to try it in your gun to see how they shoot. The 30” full choke barrel is best for waterfowl, turkeys, and deer with buckshot. It will hold the tightest pattern for the longest distance of all the different chokes. That other barrel looks like it was home cut to me. Definitely short range home defense if it even legal. Improved cylinder and modified chokes are more for skeet and trap and small game hunting such as dove and squirrel. I haven’t really shot a whole lot of trap and skeet, so I can’t really advise you on this.
Thanks. Yeah I have the basic understanding of choke levels and what to use them for, but I haven't hunted small game since my teens and I remember having an adjustable choke. So now I'm kind of worried because yes they do make steel slugs meaning that there was no rifling or softness of lead to provide a little bit of give. I know I only shot maybe 3 or 4 of them. Had I shot them from the cylinder bore short barrel, it would be fine. But I don't think that was good if it was shot from the full choke. I don't know, maybe since I only shot arou 3 or 4 I got lucky and didnt do any permanent damage. And dont worry. Both barrels did come with the gun as I was looking it up plus you can just tell the way they are both machine cut and fit the same way and they both have the same brass bead in front and factory writing on the side with no signs of any non-factor cutting or tampering. But the slugs are called steelhead monolit 28 and they are some nasty mofos. I'll attach pictures of one of them as well as the barrels so you can see they are both factory cut, threaded, and marked the exact same. I'm just worried about having shot that steel slug from the full choke barrel last summer when I thought and was told it was also cylinder bore. I'm sure it's fine so long as I know now what barrels to run what shells thru. Check out those steel slugs tho they are nasty buggers. Definitely not your basic rifled soft lead.. Just gotta cross my fingers that since I only shot 3 itll be fine and test it out at the range next time I go.
 

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If you are shooting rifled slugs (which are lead or could be copper plated) then you would likely do best with the shorter BBL that is cylinder bore. Does it have a length on it. Your estimate of 16" is probably incorrect as 18" is the legal minimum. If it was made for hunting I'm guessing 20" is self defense then 18". The technical way the ATF measure BBL length is with the BBL on the gun and action closed drop a long wooden dowel down into it and when it stops mark where it is even with the top of the BBL. Withdraw and measure the length that was inside the BBL to the mark.

Here is an article explaining chokes:

https://www.cabelas.com/product/Understanding-Shotgun-Chokes/532520.uts
 

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The reason I thought it was done at home is because in your first set of pictures it looks like the barrel was cut on an angle. Your latest pictures show it much better.
 

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Show us some steel slugs , sounds like CA regulation ?
Lead slugs , in theory , will not damage a fixed full choke barrel , it may damage a fixed full choke older shotgun with thin barrels.
Keep the longer fixed full choke barrel for shooting birdshot .
The short barrel is good for buckshot and slugs . The Army and Police use them in combat and they were known as Riot Guns , loaded with 00 buckshot and used at close range .
Removable chokes , with the threads, are a relatively new thing... I own many shotguns and only one has threaded choke tubes , all the other are fixed choke and not adjustable .
Lyman and a few other companies made adjustable choke devices that attached to the end of a shotgun barrel , looked like a silencer can hanging off the muzzle , but they did make changing chokes possible ...then the internally threaded, nearly invisable , choke tubes came to be and made changed fixed choke barrels and external choke devices obsolete.
Gary
 

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Interchangeable screw-in choke tubes have been available since the early 1960's but didn't become at all common until the early 1980's and, even then were by no means universal. Remington, the maker of the most popular shot guns, didn't introduce them until 1986 and then not across all model lines.

I expect your short barrel is 18" as that is the shortest length legally required for normal use.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you are shooting rifled slugs (which are lead or could be copper plated) then you would likely do best with the shorter BBL that is cylinder bore. Does it have a length on it. Your estimate of 16" is probably incorrect as 18" is the legal minimum. If it was made for hunting I'm guessing 20" is self defense then 18". The technical way the ATF measure BBL length is with the BBL on the gun and action closed drop a long wooden dowel down into it and when it stops mark where it is even with the top of the BBL. Withdraw and measure the length that was inside the BBL to the mark.

Here is an article explaining chokes:

https://www.cabelas.com/product/Understanding-Shotgun-Chokes/532520.uts
Yeah I got it all figured out now. I appreciate the reply. Like i was saying, I've always shot pistols and rifles almost exclusively other than a few times as a teenager and shooting skeet and those times I was always lent the shotgun to use. I was just really dumb and didnt bother to double check the writing on the long barrell that says it's full choke. The short barrell is no choke. Mossberg 600AT is basically a line of the Mossberg 500 that they manufactured for retail department stores and whatnot so that's why mine is kind of odd
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Show us some steel slugs , sounds like CA regulation ?
Lead slugs , in theory , will not damage a fixed full choke barrel , it may damage a fixed full choke older shotgun with thin barrels.
Keep the longer fixed full choke barrel for shooting birdshot .
The short barrel is good for buckshot and slugs . The Army and Police use them in combat and they were known as Riot Guns , loaded with 00 buckshot and used at close range .
Removable chokes , with the threads, are a relatively new thing... I own many shotguns and only one has threaded choke tubes , all the other are fixed choke and not adjustable .
Lyman and a few other companies made adjustable choke devices that attached to the end of a shotgun barrel , looked like a silencer can hanging off the muzzle , but they did make changing chokes possible ...then the internally threaded, nearly invisable , choke tubes came to be and made changed fixed choke barrels and external choke devices obsolete.
Gary
Yeah I saw a video on youtube of a guy forcing lead slugs through all the different choke adjustments. One of my replies above has pictures of the the steel slugs I mentioned attached to it. Or if you wanna look it up they are called steelhead monolit 28 and they have ones that expand into pedals too that create the nastiest wound channels I've ever seen in my life. I'll see if I can find the article with the pics of the expanding ones and ballistics gel
 

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Interchangeable screw-in choke tubes have been available since the early 1960's but didn't become at all common until the early 1980's and, even then were by no means universal. Remington, the maker of the most popular shot guns, didn't introduce them until 1986 and then not across all model lines.

I expect your short barrel is 18" as that is the shortest length legally required for normal use.
It measure out to 18.5. And thanks for the reply. Even tho I figured out what was going on with my gun, it's nice to still get to absorb all this extra advice and information from you guys so I'm not such a nitwit when it comes to shotguns as I do want to get back into small game and spring and fall Turkey hunting rather than just deer
 

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