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dog229 here,
I just came across a old savage/stevens 530a 20g. double barrel in really good condition and would like to know by measuring the choke in both barrels with the gage i got from brownells (brass cone with 12/20 increments) right barrel is cyl. and left barrel shows to be 1/4 (between cyl. and mod.). My question is what is 1/4 ? Did most of guns in the 1950's come in what config. back then and is this not a common config?
I was hoping both to be imp. cyl. but looks like mine isn't. Still, i think it will do good as a dove killer. My gun was made in 1950 which when i took off the rear stock to refinish the wood i found in the drilled hole for the bolt was a 1950 kentucky hunting lic. that showed the guy then was 14 in 1950 when it was purchased for $3 dollars. Just think it has been there all this time and how many people has owned this gun if anymore than the person on the lic. showed.
is my gun choked in cyl. and skeet? My gun's barrel is 28" with twin bead and nice checkering on forearm and stock.
Thanks guys!
dog229 gone
 

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sounds like cyl skeet to me.
 

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Quarter choke is an old way of saying improved cylinder, but the only way to know for sure what you will get as far as choke is to actually pattern the gun. An old gun like that was made back in the days before they had plastic wads with sleeves and so on. Coulld shoot quite differently with modern ammo.
 

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Shotgun chokes (bore diameter at the muzzle) haven't changed in more than 100 years. Any old fixed choke shotgun will shoot the same pattern as a new gun with the same choke when the same ammo is used. For all but 410s and 28 Gauge shotguns, chokes are in .005" increments starting with a "Cylinder" choke that is the same diameter at the muzzle as normal bore diameter.

Most shooters don't have a clue about chokes, shot size, or their intended purpose. In the "olden days" before magnums and plastic wads, fixed chokes were used to optimize a shotgun for the distance to the target. The size of the shot gets larger as distance increases because smaller pellets don't retain enough energy to kill game at longer distances. If the size of the shot is not consistent with the choke, results are very poor ... including non-uniform patterns and terminal ballistics. As an example, using larger sized shot means fewer pellets per load so at a closer distance, it take more skill for a hit and when you do get a hit with larger shot, it will tear up the bird. Conversely, at a greater distance with smaller shot, the pellets would not penetrate enough for a good kill. With normal 2 3/4" field loads, each choke will place a good pattern of shot and will have enough retained energy for a good kill at the following distances:

Cylinder = 20 yards, #9 shot, same as bore diameter
Skeet = 22.5 yards, #8 shot, -.005" under bore diameter (UBD)
Improved Cylinder = 25 yards, #7 1/2 shot, .010" UBD
Light Modified = 30 yards, #6 shot, .015" UBD
Modified = 32.5 yards, #5 Shot, .020" UBD
Improved Modified = 35 yards, #4 shot, .025" UBD
Light Full = 37.5 yards, #3 shot, .030" UBD
Full = 40 yards #2 shot, .035" UBD
Extra Full = more than 40 yards, #1 shot or larger, .040" UBD

Before 1923, there were no established standards for choke "names", however after SAAMI was established, the above "names" started being used by most shotgun manufacturers. Most manufacturers took Browning's lead and only used the five most popular chokes .... Cylinder, Improved Cylinder, Modified, Improved Modified, and Full. Skeet chokes were reserved for actual skeet guns whereas Light Modified, Light Full, and Extra Full were seldom used. Extra Full chokes have been reborn and are now called "turkey chokes".

Side-by-side shotguns were very popular well over 100 years ago. Hunting guns had one barrel choked tighter than the other to give the hunter more distance versatility. As an example for a duck gun .... one barrel would have a Modified choke loaded with #5 shot and the other was a Full choked barrel loaded with #2 shot. If a duck was coming in, the first shot was fired from the Full choke barrel at about 40 yards. If the hunter missed, the duck would be closer so the Modified choke with #5 shot would be more effective. If the duck was flying away, the Modified choked barrel was fired first leaving the Full choked barrel for a longer shot in case of a miss. The same concept was used for quail, pheasants, etc but with different chokes and shot size. Way back when ... it was very common for serious hunters to have several different shotguns, each with different chokes for hunting different game. To this day, fixed choke side-by-sides or over & unders have two different chokes. The exception is dedicated skeet or trap guns where both barrels are the same.

In the early '30s, a company called "Poly-Choke" invented a very versatile device that was screwed on to a single barrel shotgun. This device was a fully adjustable choke that would allow the hunter to dial in the desired choke for what ever they were hunting. This meant a person could use the same shotgun for virtually all hunting needs. Some 80 years later, Poly-Chokes are still available ... slowly but surly being replaced by screw-in chokes that aren't adjustable but aren't nearly as ugly either.

Screw-in chokes add huge versatility to shotguns and can be used in both single and double barreled guns. The older fixed choke barrels pattern much better because the choke starts about 6~8" from the muzzle, rather than 2~3" for a screw-in or Poly-Choke. The slower transition from bore size to choke size causes fewer lead pellets to get distorted and turn into useless "flyers". This is a moot point with steel shot.

The "old timers" were much more successful with bird hunting because they understood the need for different sized shot and chokes. Today, most hunters just buy a box of ammo, screw in one of their many chokes and hope for the best. Granted, magnum shells and plastic wads extend range considerably but in most cases, there are more misses or wounded birds than clean kills. If only today's shooters could understand the choke and shot size concept, their hunts would be more successful.
 

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Shotgun chokes (bore diameter at the muzzle) haven't changed in more than 100 years...
Most shooters don't have a clue about chokes, shot size, or their intended purpose.....
Today, most hunters just buy a box of ammo, screw in one of their many chokes and hope for the best. ....
If only today's shooters could understand the choke and shot size concept, their hunts would be more successful.....
Amen! Most will leave it all to something imagined after a sales pitch, buy shells at a sale, and merrily go "Bang!" What a pleasant surprise they'd get from a day at a patterning board! Who knows? A few might even resort to fitting their guns!
 

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classicballistx, Exactly my opinion too! Seems a lot got lost in the shuffle .... I'd bet not more than 1 person out of 100 really have a clue about chokes, shot size, or shooting distances. Guess 3 1/2" magnums fix everything .... not!
 

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shooters of old sbs shotguns changed chokes by switching triggers.
it was that easy.
how can you beat that?
id like to see a modern shooter do that as birds are crossing with his pocket full of screw in chokes!
yet people today are absolutely obsessed with screw in chokes.
polychoke fixed that problem for single bbl guns. they use to be called dial a duck. one twist changed the choke. no wrenches, no dropping chokes in the water....twist and done.
cutts comps were a little uglier and were called the pickle but required a wrench.
sbs fixed choke guns still have their place in american culture, just not with the mainstream fad chasers.
i just looked in my closet. not one of my guns has screw in chokes.

i sold them all.
 

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classicballistx, Exactly my opinion too! Seems a lot got lost in the shuffle .... I'd bet not more than 1 person out of 100 really have a clue about chokes, shot size, or shooting distances. Guess 3 1/2" magnums fix everything .... not!
And I suspect far fewer have ever used a pattern board to see how their chokes actually pattern, not to mention whether their gun shoots high, low, right or left. I've gotten some nasty surprises when patterning a shotgun.
 
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