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Thread: fixed choke to replaceable choke

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    Member TMCKEE's Avatar
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    Default fixed choke to replaceable choke

    Need some expert info...

    Can you take a shotgun with a fixed choke (Win Model 12, 16 GA), open it up and tap it for a replaceable choke? If this is possible, then what would I reasonably be expected to pay?

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    With some exceptions- YES it can be done. Expect to pay $100- $150 to have the barrel fitted. Plus the cost of the choke tubes you want on hand. Some gunsmiths include one or two chokes as part of the initial cost.
    I had one of those 'exceptions' guns. Was able to get it done but had to send it to a specialty gunsmith out of state. Two barrels (O/U) plus two chokes ran me right at $220 (done 5 years ago).

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    Quote Originally Posted by TMCKEE View Post
    Need some expert info...

    Can you take a shotgun with a fixed choke (Win Model 12, 16 GA), open it up and tap it for a replaceable choke? If this is possible, then what would I reasonably be expected to pay?
    I had an A-5 done a couple years ago by John Bengle in VA. Excellent work and if I remember correctly, it was $90 with 3 tubes. The work should be readily available here in AK, but shipping the lone barrel is not a hassle to anywhere in the U.S. I can give you Bengle's contact information if you like; send me a PM.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Member TMCKEE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    The work should be readily available here in AK, but shipping the lone barrel is not a hassle to anywhere in the U.S. I can give you Bengle's contact information if you like; send me a PM.

    I don't own the shotgun yet, knowing whether or not this could be done (and if it was cost prohibitive) was keeping me from buying one. I grew up hunting with an old Model 12 in 16 GA, and I've seen a few at the local gun shows, just would like a little versatility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TMCKEE View Post
    I don't own the shotgun yet, knowing whether or not this could be done (and if it was cost prohibitive) was keeping me from buying one. I grew up hunting with an old Model 12 in 16 GA, and I've seen a few at the local gun shows, just would like a little versatility.
    The walls of the barrel will dictate what exactly must be done. The A-5 required thin wall tubes; perfect for lead shot, but all others must fly from a different tube/barrel combo. The only question for you is the damage it may do to the value. Briley Manufacturing LINK can perform this and their quality and name recognition may actually increase the value of the gun. A model 12 isn't exactly a Rolls Royce, but it's no Pinto either. Their price seems reasonable and the quality of the work and availability of their chokes is really unmatched. For a beater of an A-5 the cheaper route made sense, but for the Model 12 I'd give it a think before rushing into an irreversible procedure.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Thanks for the insight and the links. I hadn't really considered the affect on resale value, but honestly I doubt I'd sell it anyway. I'm purely interested in this as an upland gun with a little nostalgic value (and some choke versatility for those days when the ptarmigan hold for the dog).

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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Not many outfits in Alaska will be tooled up to do screw-ins on 16ga. 12 and 20 ga will be fairly common, but that is due to demand for that work on those gauges. Not many folks want choke work on 16's. Briley is probably your best bet.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    I concur with the recommendation of Briley. Here is their website. They're the best of the best, but not cheap. On the up side, their work is so good, you'd never guess it's not factory original. I've had them do half a dozen shotguns, both doubles and singles, and their machining is flawless. Their own chokes are nothing to sneeze at either.

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    Have you thought about a Poly-Choke? I put one on my 870 (LH) 12 ga. and it's worked fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post
    Have you thought about a Poly-Choke? I put one on my 870 (LH) 12 ga. and it's worked fine.
    where can you get a poly choke and what all is involved in installing one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RC23 View Post
    where can you get a poly choke and what all is involved in installing one?
    poly choke website.

    they provide their original system as well as a screw in one. Personally I never liked them on a plain barrel. On a barrel with a vent rib which brings your eye up over the chokes outer ring they didn't seem to bother my eye.

    Brownells used to carry them, but they do not list them now. Neither does Midway USA. That or my searches were faulty.

    I would recommend sending the gun to either Briley (cheaper than they used to be) or to Colonial arms and have threaded tubes installed. This gives you way more options in after market tubes.

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    I sent the barrel to Poly-Choke and they put it on. Looks like they: cut the barrel to length - length of choke, cut "slits" in side of barrel end, some kind of dia. machinging on front of barrel, install a "base" unit, screw the choke part onto the base. Note: I'm neither a machinist nor gunsmith, going from memory of when I had the thing apart for cleaning.

    AK Ray makes a good point on the sighting plane. My 870 has a rib. I have other shotguns with and with out ribs and with external chokes (Poly-Choke and Cutts); all seem to kill birds. I have extra fixed choke barrels for the 870 and I think the smooth lines of these barrels is better to the eye, but the Poly-Choke is a lot more versatible.

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