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With the tons of pulp paper being turned, out as of late, by the fad writers on "Turkey Hunting" and their pushing products for sale.....one starts thinking there is some kind of Voodoo magic in chokes.
Today, I want to cut through this BS and go straight to the heart of the matter.
One...Tight center core patterns are the product of the relationship of the wad's diameter to the chokes diameter, combined with the hardness of the shot, the thickness of the wad's wall, and the powder burn. Pure and Simple! Now let's make this simple....the choke is set up for the amount of constriction! My BPS Turkey tube is .695" in a .740" back bored barrel. That's .045" constriction and is much too tight for shot cup/wads that run .710" (like the BP "Turkey Ranger". However, my Full choke tube @ .707"(.033" constriction) throws 95%+ patterns at 40 yards with #4 copper plated 3% antimony shot.
Point!....If your choke is more than .005" tighter than your wad...go for a Mylar/Teflon strip to protect your shot.
Point!..If your choke is larger than the diameter of your wad...Use a thick wall wad (like BP Turkey Ranger) that must be split and never have the four splits less than 3/4 down the side. Otherwords. put the choke into the wad and not the barrel!
Point!....Chokes tighter than .040" constrictions call for shot smaller than #4. Most after market turkey chokes are set for #6 (for neck shots), with #5's a fair compromise
Keep It Simple!....Check the diameter of your choke against against your wad diameter! If your choke is tighter than .005", compared to wad diameter, then go to a Mylar/Teflon strip. If you have choke tubes, find one that is .005" smaller than the wad. Snug thumb pressure is about right. Forget what's written on the choke!
Best Regards, James
 

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James,

This posting is greatly appreciated but what would you suggest for the non-shotshell reloader like myself limited to factory ammo? Specifically I have an 870 Magnum (3" chamber) with a 28" barrel. Choke tubes that would be anywhere near appropriate are standard Rem-Chokes in Modified and the extended Turkey Super Full. So far my patterns have been quite patchy using the Super Full with 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 oz. loads of no. 6, 5, and 4.
As an aside, my buddy's new production Ithaca 37 I mentioned in the past patterns very well at 30 yards with Federal no. 5 and 4, 2 oz. shells.
 

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Bill, I suggest you try patterning with the Improved Modified and Modified and straight full tubes with different shells and see what you get.  I have had excellent results (90% range) with Hevi-Shot and copper plated lead out of my 1100, 3" factory barrel with those two, the IM being just a tad tighter.  Both beat the full with buffered magnum loads.  Can't ever hurt to experiment.  <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo-->
 
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