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On 18/05/2022 at 09:28, Joe180 said:

Hi guys is there  a gunsmith in my area that can bore my top barrel from 3/4 to 1/2 (20bore) I’m Doncaster s.yorks. Thanks.

Try the gun room holme on spalding moor.

Unit 2
New Inn Corner
Market Weighton Road
York
East Yorkshire
YO43 4EE

01430 861065

Me i would leave it well alone and as for steel... fine through a full choke certainly if  any factory bough ammo.  nothing sold here in the uk makes limits you need to be concerned at all about in that or any other gun for that matter.

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  • 2 months later...
On 19/05/2022 at 11:25, Scully said:

If the OP has the choke opened up by Teague they will require it to be sent for reproof ( I’ve asked ) as their insurers insist on it. Other gunsmiths may not however, so he will have to enquire when he finds one. 

I can confirm this is true. I spoke to teague and was disappointed to be getting erroneous advice even though I made it clear I only ever expected to shoot standard steel. Adding £125 to the cost for a cheaper gun just does not make sense. Also as Scilly has said many times before. Why pay for steel proof when you can just go and shoot it to see what happens. Either way worst case is a ring bulge except if the proof house do that they will then send your favourite barrells to the scrap man!

Having said that, and why I wanted it done, by all accounts you will not get good patterns tighter than half with steel.

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26 minutes ago, bigroomboy said:

I can confirm this is true. I spoke to teague and was disappointed to be getting erroneous advice even though I made it clear I only ever expected to shoot standard steel. Adding £125 to the cost for a cheaper gun just does not make sense. Also as Scilly has said many times before. Why pay for steel proof when you can just go and shoot it to see what happens. Either way worst case is a ring bulge except if the proof house do that they will then send your favourite barrells to the scrap man!

Having said that, and why I wanted it done, by all accounts you will not get good patterns tighter than half with steel.

Really?

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17 minutes ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

Really?

Yes. For me as a lowland shooter standard steel looks like all I will ever need and I made that very clear but was told on the phone that if I was having the choke opened up to shoot steel then I would need to have it steel shot proofed at the same time. In the end I've just decided to have it done but "stick with lead" through the local gun shop.

It's a £600 gun so not throw away, but sinking £240 into getting one barrel modified doesn't make financial sense.

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2 minutes ago, bigroomboy said:

Yes. For me as a lowland shooter standard steel looks like all I will ever need and I made that very clear but was told on the phone that if I was having the choke opened up to shoot steel then I would need to have it steel shot proofed at the same time. In the end I've just decided to have it done but "stick with lead" through the local gun shop.

It's a £600 gun so not throw away, but sinking £240 into getting one barrel modified doesn't make financial sense.

So why open up the barrel at £240?

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Just now, TIGHTCHOKE said:

So why open up the barrel at £240?

That was the price including proof. I've gone £90 + shipping for choke modification.

Partly as a steel test exercise before deciding what to do with my better guns and due to the likely impact on the pattern of shooting steel through tighter than 1/2.

In retrospect I should have patterned the gun before sending it off to see if that is tosh as well. Then I would have been able to contribute something useful to the forum and potentially saved everybody money.

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11 minutes ago, bigroomboy said:

That was the price including proof. I've gone £90 + shipping for choke modification.

Partly as a steel test exercise before deciding what to do with my better guns and due to the likely impact on the pattern of shooting steel through tighter than 1/2.

In retrospect I should have patterned the gun before sending it off to see if that is tosh as well. Then I would have been able to contribute something useful to the forum and potentially saved everybody money.

That would have made more sense.

Not had a problem with standard steel in any gun from the Hatsan Escort Semi-Auto my son used with steel to the fixed 3/4 and Full and multi-choke Beretta's I have put it through.

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The issue of using (standard) steel through a choke tighter than half is one that seems to divide even gunsmiths.  As I understand it there are two issues;

  1. Possible gun damage - which seems to be mainly concerned around older and lightly built guns where there is some concern that more than 1/2 choke is more at risk of damage.  All I can really say is that it is logical that old and thinner (i.e. lighter) barrels will be more susceptible to bulging.
  2. Patterns.  I have also read in several places that steel patterns more tightly than lead from a choke - to the extent that tighter than half choke isn't recommended for a decent pattern.  Whether this is due to the harder steel shot deforming less, the more constrictive wad (to protect the barrel from contact with the shot) or some other reason, I don't know.  I have heard that a standard steel load will produce a 'near full choke pattern' from a barrel with dimensions for a half choke pattern for lead.  In other words = 20 thou (I speak 12 bore) which would give you a half choke for lead for a 60% pattern would give you a 70 - 75% pattern with steel.

Patterns are percentages in a 30 inch circle drawn around the perceived centre at 40 yards.

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1 hour ago, JohnfromUK said:

The issue of using (standard) steel through a choke tighter than half is one that seems to divide even gunsmiths.  As I understand it there are two issues;

  1. Possible gun damage - which seems to be mainly concerned around older and lightly built guns where there is some concern that more than 1/2 choke is more at risk of damage.  All I can really say is that it is logical that old and thinner (i.e. lighter) barrels will be more susceptible to bulging.
  2. Patterns.  I have also read in several places that steel patterns more tightly than lead from a choke - to the extent that tighter than half choke isn't recommended for a decent pattern.  Whether this is due to the harder steel shot deforming less, the more constrictive wad (to protect the barrel from contact with the shot) or some other reason, I don't know.  I have heard that a standard steel load will produce a 'near full choke pattern' from a barrel with dimensions for a half choke pattern for lead.  In other words = 20 thou (I speak 12 bore) which would give you a half choke for lead for a 60% pattern would give you a 70 - 75% pattern with steel.

Patterns are percentages in a 30 inch circle drawn around the perceived centre at 40 yards.

  1. Bulging caused by shot bridging, which is more likely with large pellets relative to the bore, if you are shooting small pellets you can ignore as it is unlikely you will ever get 5+ pellets to line up correctly where they lock up and cannot move or it will be 1 in a million, hence in 12b the distinction between an HP pellet (4mm and larger) where a bridge caused by 4 pellets is 1 in a thousand for sake of argument. The Yanks shoot steel through full and superfull chokes with few issues, though they do pay attention to the bridging issue.
  2. Patterns are better, but again it is relative, if you were using 5% antimony (or even better 6% antimony), the patterns are only marginally better as the lead in these loads is hard enough to resist the pressure in the barrel and not deform, if however you compare it to 1% to 2% antimony loadings (a lot of pigeon and mediocre game cartridges) then the damaged lead pellets provide a markedly poor pattern and steel is easily a 2 points of choke improvement.
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2 hours ago, Scully said:

None of the rabbits we’ve bolted complained about poor patterns, regardless of which choke we used. 🤷‍♂️

Do you think that might change if you occasionally hit one? :whistling: :innocent:

3 hours ago, Stonepark said:
  1. Bulging caused by shot bridging, which is more likely with large pellets relative to the bore, if you are shooting small pellets you can ignore as it is unlikely you will ever get 5+ pellets to line up correctly where they lock up and cannot move or it will be 1 in a million, hence in 12b the distinction between an HP pellet (4mm and larger) where a bridge caused by 4 pellets is 1 in a thousand for sake of argument. The Yanks shoot steel through full and superfull chokes with few issues, though they do pay attention to the bridging issue.
  2. Patterns are better, but again it is relative, if you were using 5% antimony (or even better 6% antimony), the patterns are only marginally better as the lead in these loads is hard enough to resist the pressure in the barrel and not deform, if however you compare it to 1% to 2% antimony loadings (a lot of pigeon and mediocre game cartridges) then the damaged lead pellets provide a markedly poor pattern and steel is easily a 2 points of choke improvement.

I only shoot and will continue to do so smaller lead shot so bullet point 1. was outside my comfort zone and not quite sure what that was all about I had a look. I found this but only read as far as I needed to to get the gist of the problem. Having found it I've posted the link on the off chance anyone is interested:

Shot Bridging in chokes, patterns, pellet size vs. bore: thoughts | Dave In AZ (wordpress.com)

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2 minutes ago, wymberley said:

Do you think that might change if you occasionally hit one?  

I only shoot and will continue to do so smaller lead shot so bullet point 1. was outside my comfort zone and not quite sure what that was all about I had a look. I found this but only read as far as I needed to to get the gist of the problem. Having found it I've posted the link on the off chance anyone is interested:

Shot Bridging in chokes, patterns, pellet size vs. bore: thoughts | Dave In AZ (wordpress.com)

🙂 Probably! 👍

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