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TX – GUN NEWS – Shotgun choke tubes may be best of the best gun improvements

We all have an opinion of what the greatest modern advancement in modern hunting guns would be. But as one of the top 5, I would like to nominate the shotgun choke tube. Coming off dove season, I am prejudiced. Although the history of the shotgun choke goes back to the 1860s, your option was one barrel, one choke. My first shotgun had a 30-inch barrel and a full choke. Do not ask me the reasoning except my father had the same set-up on his old Remington Model 31 and never seemed to miss. Also back then steel shot was not an issue, so the gun was pretty good for everything except quail. Winchester is given credit with rolling out the first tube sets in the 1960s, but they pushed the then-price of a pump shotgun up $30 to $200, about $1,400 today. The alternative of the day was typically a modified choke for everything. Other options included separate barrels or guns, neither of which was common when a monthly house payment might run the same price as the gun. As time rolled along choke tubes became more commonplace. By the 1980s, one or two came with every new gun and suddenly a dove hunter was a duck hunter and a quail hunter by simply screwing out one tube and screwing in another. The main drawback, if it was one, was your options were full, modified and improved. Of course with competition shooters getting involved that did not last long as they demanded more options. And as shooters grew accustomed to the concept, many wanted their older guns retrofit for tubes, and that created a cottage industry that flourishes today.  [full article]

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