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  • I need help for info on my first shotgun

    Hello if theres anyone who can help tell me what choke i can use for steel shot or slugs on my shotgun which is a mossberg 500a 1990s model wood stock etc. The barrel is smooth bore and has internal screw in for chokes which i have improved cylinder, full, and modified. Im not an expert on chokes and what they do i have shot lead game shot size 4 and 5 for recreational use only for now this is the first gun i bought if anyone can help thanks.

  • #2
    Welcome to the site! Here's what I use:

    Improved Cylinder for slugs to hunt deer and pigs
    Improved Cylinder for 00 Buck as home defense
    Modified for hunting birds or squirrels either lead or steel shot
    Full for hunting Turkey, and I guess for pass shooting at Waterfowl... but I confess, it's been decades since I last hunted ducks.

    I don't use buckshot for hunting, but if I did, it would probably be with a full choke.

    Bass Pro Shops has a good basic article on chokes:
    https://1source.basspro.com/news-tip...un-choke-tubes
    Last edited by PigHunter; 05-12-2020, 10:27 AM.

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    • #3
      Mossberg makes chokes for steel.....they are not flush fitting.

      They were/are called " accusteel " if I remember correctly.

      These would be used for waterfowling. They extend a little bit to keep the stress off the barrels thread area when constricting the shot.

      I dont remember if the regular flush fit accuchokes were rated for steel shot up to a certain size or not

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      • #4
        Here's the answer per the use of steel shot directly from the Mossberg manual:

        http://www.mossberg.com/wp-content/u...-English_V.pdf

        Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          The factory Mossberg chokes I have say “for lead only”( or something to that effect ) if they aren’t rated for steel.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by fitch270 View Post
            The factory Mossberg chokes I have say “for lead only”( or something to that effect ) if they aren’t rated for steel.
            I'm not familiar with Mossberg specifically but usually only the full choke tube says "lead only" on it. The other chokes typically have two constrictions marked on them, one for steel and one for lead (e.g. "modified for lead" and "full for steel"). Steel generally tends to throw a tighter pattern than lead through the same choke.

            Anyway, do not use full choke tube with steel. For many guns it can damage the barrel. In any event modified usually gives a better pattern.
            Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 05-12-2020, 02:01 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

              I'm not familiar with Mossberg specifically but usually only the full choke tube says "lead only" on it. The other chokes typically have two constructions marked on them, one for steel and one for lead (e.g. "modified for lead" and "full for steel"). Steel generally tends to throw a tighter pattern than lead through the same choke.

              Anyway, do not use full choke tube with steel. For many guns it can damage the barrel. In any event modified usually gives a better pattern.
              OHH, just curious, what shot sizes and choke restrictions do you use for:
              Geese, ducks, pheasant, dove?

              Thanks in advance. I may try some duck hunting this Fall.

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              • #8
                For steel shot in duck sizes, 2-3/4" or 3" I've found modified gave a much better pattern than full in standard chokes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by PigHunter View Post

                  OHH, just curious, what shot sizes and choke restrictions do you use for:
                  Geese, ducks, pheasant, dove?

                  Thanks in advance. I may try some duck hunting this Fall.
                  For waterfowl: steel shot only; usually modified choke but I have done well with IC (standard chokes i.e. lead shot pattern); shot size: BB for geese, #2 for large ducks and #4 for medium (woodies, pidgeon, etc.). Many advocate #5 or #6 for teal but I'm never gunning for them specifically. Never shoot steel shot larger than BB as it may stress the barrel. Never shoot steel shot slower than 1500 fps muzzle velocity. Speed kills with steel, especially for waterfowl. 3" twelve gauge with 1 1/8 oz shot is the preferred load for geese and large ducks.

                  For pheasants: These birds are tough but not nearly as tough as heavy feathered waterfowl. Usually lead shot is the choice but federal refuges require steel shot. Anyway, the hunter typically has a lot more flexibility in ammo because the birds aren't armor plated. 2.75" twelve gauge is plenty, sixteen gauge ideal, and twenty gauge 2.75" will suffice (3" twenty = 16 gauge). Most prefer modified choke (IC for steel shot), but if hunting over a good pointer (especially the first week or two of season), skeet will work well as shooting is usually close. I prefer #5 shot but have done well with #6 and #7.5 (nothing smaller than #6 in steel). Phil uses #4 lead to reduce potential of tooth damage. He thinks less shot in the pattern = less chance of biting shot. Problem is we never know how much shot from previous years the bird may be carrying. They heal up amazingly well. Countless times when preparing for the pot I have discovered shot buried deep in the flesh with no sign of trauma. No scarring, nothing to indicate the bird was previously shot. Every year my butcher's metal detector turns up a half dozen pellets in my boned goose meat and I know most of it is not my stuff (wrong shot size, nickle plated, etc.). Anyway, I'm not going to tear the birds up unnecessarily no matter how convenient it might be. So no, I don't advise shooting pheasants with anything larger than #5. Fancy high speed ammo is not necessary if taking reasonable range shots. I have made low base #6 steel work well ... very well in fact. High speed lead shells will punish the shooter too much and cause flinching. I stay with about the same weight and velocity I shoot every week at trap/skeet: one ounce shot @ 1200 fps is fine.

                  I don't hunt doves so no advice there. Sorry.

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                  • #10
                    These are the chokes i have one of them says accu steel

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Maxium5408 View Post
                      These are the chokes i have one of them says accu steel
                      Just like CD2 mentioned in his post, notice that one has an extended forcing cone compared to the other two. When in doubt about steel, perhaps it will be safer to purchase two new chokes if you want to use IC or FULL. But, you probably should 1st check your shot patterns with the extended one. It may be adequate for all your shooting.

                      By the way, you should consider using thread lube such as this from Birchwood Casey.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Maxium, we can give you more detailed advice if you tell us what exactly you are planning to use the gun for.

                        Chokes affect the spread of the shot allowing the pattern to open quickly or farther out. What type of shooting you do will determine the most common choke used.

                        Slugs are a different deal, as mentioned above with a smooth bore barrel an improved cylinder is generally used.

                        The longer choke you have pictured is a modified for steel shot. There appears to be some rust on the threads which is why Pighunter recommened the choke tube lube. The other two pictured are both marked Improved Cylinder, again see Pighunter's first post up top.

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                        • #13
                          If I may interject here.
                          Before lubing that choke tube, I'd give it a good scrubbing with a fine bristle brass brush and at least some WD-40.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post
                            If I may interject here.
                            Before lubing that choke tube, I'd give it a good scrubbing with a fine bristle brass brush and at least some WD-40.
                            Yep, and a matching gauge brush and mop to clean out the barrel thread was well.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Are those Mossberg chokes same as old style Browning Invector chokes and Winchester Winchokes? Sure looks like it. Yep ... I checked. Lots of Browning Invector (Winchoke) chokes available on Ebay. They are all good for steel except full. Unless hunting turkeys or shooting trap I see little use for full choke these days as waterfowl require steel shot and full choke is really too tight for upland birds. Personally I have always felt modified is the most versatile choke but most olden days pumps and autos that predate choke tubes have fixed full barrels.

                              I should qualify the above statement. Those foolish enough to hunt pheasants with .410 or 28 gauge should probably use full choke. A full choke will throw the same diameter pattern through a ten gauge as a .410. The latter will simply have a MUCH less dense pattern. So when hunting tough birds with toy guns, one should use a tighter choke producing sufficiently dense pattern to ensure they don't fly away banged up. And learn to be a very good shot!

                              The jury seems to be out on whether extended chokes produce better patterns than flush mount tubes. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Their biggest advantage is quick change without using a wrench. Disadvantage is a significantly longer barrel which can be cumbersome in the field or blind. DO NOT buy ported shotgun chokes if hunting with friends ... or you soon won't have any friends to hunt with. BOOM!! Good way to get thrown out of the blind!
                              Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 05-12-2020, 11:35 PM.

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