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Old 08-24-2020, 07:37 AM
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How difficult would it be to take off a poly choke from a shotgun, cut the shotgun barrel shorter and then reinstall the poly choke ?
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:47 AM
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When I lived in KY, Paducah Shooters had a machinist/gunsmith that shortened a lot of shotgun barrels with screw-in chokes to 25" for the goose hunters to better fit in covered goose blinds. Beautiful work when he finished, but no job for me to tackle if I cared about how it looked, IMHO.
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Old 08-24-2020, 10:37 AM
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Another option and a better one, in my opinion, is to have a qualified gunsmith shorten the barrel and thread it for Briley or other brand of choke tubes.
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Old 08-24-2020, 11:46 AM
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Polychokes are installed by threading the bbl with a very fine thread.
We actually used to do the threading by hand with a large threading die set and handle/holder that was adj and self centering. Threads are on the outside of the bbl.

It can also be done on a lathe if it's large enough to accept the bbl length and cut threads. Usually a 36" on center lathe is minimum in a shop for bbl work.

Also, polychoke would supply sleeves that were threaded for the P/C on the outside. That sleeve was soldered to the end of the bbl after turning the end to the correct OD for a slip fit.
Hard solder (silver solder) is best and that heat used will discolor the bluing on the bbl when done. So a reblue of at least the muzzle end of the bbl,,a couple inches of it is necessary. We used to Quick Rust Blue the muzzle ends and they matched up nicely.
Then the Poly simply screwed onto that sleeve.

Proper allaignment is always important. If mounted even a few .000 off, the pattern will be several inches off center or more at 25yrds. Same as any fixed choke.

If the orig install was done with a soldered on sleeve, that sleeve can be removed from the old portion of bbl with enough heat to melt the hard solder. The sleeve cleaned up and reused in the new install.

A lathe is nearly a must have as you will be turning the muzzle end of the bbl to the right dia to accept that sleeve. It's nice to have for cleaning up the old solder inside the sleeve as well.
For the orig style install, lacking those P/C factory provided hand tools (P/C provided them to shops that were 'approved P/C dealers and installers),,a lather is about the only way the turn, true and then thread the muzzle of the shot bbl to accept the P/C.

Note that some P/C's on some guns were Factory installed. In most of those instances the bbls are swaged to a slightly larger dia at the muzzle to accept a propietary attachment (usually a simple hard solder connection). But that larger dia attachment base used makes them often un-usable once the bbl is cut back and that swaged/enlarged portion is lost.

People must find the orphaned polychokes useful. Ones that I have cut off of shotgun bbls along with the short section of the bbl in order to make Riot Guns of the former field guns,,Those P/C's have sold easily on Ebay in the past.
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Old 08-24-2020, 03:14 PM
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I was advised that using the modern plastic shells with a poly choke was a bad idea ?
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Old 08-24-2020, 03:31 PM
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Why would that be any different than any other choke? The PolyChoke is an adjustable collet, with lengthwise slots, but that shouldn't hurt a plastic wad any.
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Old 08-24-2020, 06:15 PM
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Some of the other adj chokes of the same era used a different system where the wad and shot load has to jump a gap betw the end of the bbl muzzle and the actual choke tube,,all that being inside the choke devise.
This design primarily just after WW2.

That gap is seen on the outside of the choke system usually as a slotted compensator. This to lower recoil (It also makes them very loud to the shooter and those around you.

When these were designed, it was at a time when shotshells were loaded with cardboard and fiber wads. Shells were paper.
Plastic wads weren't even a thought.

Those card and fiber wads jumped that gap with ease as did the shot load which was an unprotected one,,no wrapping around it of any kind to protect the bore,,just bare lead shot. (remember when shotgun bores got leaded?)

Occassionaly a stray pellet would zoom out the side of the choke devise through one of the compensator slots or holes. It was just thought of as the price of having an adj choke on the gun. No big deal and a rare occurance by anyone;s guess.
The wads went through w/o a hitch and were slowed slightly by the action. That was something deliberate so as not to break up the shot pattern as it exited the muzzle.


Enter plastic one piece wads in the mid 60's. Slightly earlier was the one piece plastic 'gum wrapper' for the shot charge.

These improvements in the shells didn't exactly work as well as the older card and fiber wads in these older open gap choke devises.

Some of the wads,,and not all of them,,would start to open the shot cup petals as soon as the front of the shot cup got into that gap.
When that happens and depending on the mfg of the wad and the load,,the wad could sometimes open up enough to have the petals actually jam into the compensator slots in that gap area.

The plastic petal pieces are ripped off as the rest of the wad forces it way forward and the shot and remaining wad exit the bbl.
Those sheared off petal fragments get stuck in the compensator slots and actually build up in them to the point where you have to pick and poke the plastic out.

Again,,not all loads will do this. But a few of the 'new' at the time plastic wad shells did and the word got out.
The HighStandard Power-Pac choke was one of the common offenders.
You still find them on the JC Higgins Mod 20 and the later H/S equivilant that I can't remember the model # of now.
These are late 40's guns,,before the FliteKing models.

Weaver made an adj choke as well that used the same idea of jumping from the bbl to the choke tube. Can't recall it's marketing name.
The Cutts actually is that way but you don't hear many complaints. Maybe because hardly nobody even wants one anymore! When they were popular,,it was paper shells w/ card and fiber wads in use and those didn't cause any problems.

I personally think the old chokes are just fine and if a little plastic from the wads happens to build up in the compensator slots, dig it out and go on. Change shells and it'll likely go away.
No need to hacksaw the devises off if you really like them,,and a good many people do.

The PolyChoke uses no Gap, just slotted fingers that adj open and closed as the choke is twisted tight or loosened.
The Compensator, if that's the Model purchased, is in front of the choke portion on the P/C in stead of behind the choke.

Long live the Coke Bottle. Though they do tend to destroy the value of some nice classics!
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Old 08-24-2020, 06:32 PM
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I’ve had a couple with older polychokes and they worked really well. I liked them and used them in the dove fields. The fingers and birdcage things would build up a thin plastic film after a little while that would just sorta peel off during cleaning. I never saw any ill effects from it.

If you were to shorten the barrel I would not attempt re-installing the polychoke at home. I’ve heard stories about polychokes being poorly installed even at otherwise reputable gunsmith shops. Good way to ruin a nice shotgun if done badly.
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Old 08-24-2020, 07:05 PM
WR Moore WR Moore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
Some of the other adj chokes of the same era used a different system where the wad and shot load has to jump a gap between the end of the bbl muzzle and the actual choke tube,,all that being inside the choke device. This design primarily just after WW2.
..................................
That gap is seen on the outside of the choke system usually as a slotted compensator. This to lower recoil (It also makes them very loud to the shooter and those around you.
.......................................
The PolyChoke uses no Gap, just slotted fingers that adj open and closed as the choke is twisted tight or loosened.
Hit the nail on the head. If you don't have a Cutts Compensator or other similar system, you shouldn't have a problem.

My younger boy picked up a shotgun with a Poly Choke on it and it worked fine with modern shotshells. But, point of impact changed when you adjusted the choke. Ended up having it reworked for screw in choke tubes and we now have no issues with wandering patterns. Due to a thin barrel had to use the Tru Tube or whatever they call it for the thinner barrels.

Frankly, I wouldn't try to re-install the Poly Choke. I expect the factories/specialty shops had special setups to keep everything lined up with the bore. Those are likely museum displays, paper weights or door stops now. If you shorten the barrel, I'd do choke tubes.

Last edited by WR Moore; 08-24-2020 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 08-28-2020, 12:56 AM
GBertolet GBertolet is offline
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I bought a cut off Polychoke, with the barrel stub still attached, as I had a SS shotgun with a barrel ID over .730, which is the cutoff size for screw in chokes. I think I paid about $15 for the Polychoke. They come in several different thread diameters, tailored to the OD of your shotgun barrel. I think they all are 36 TPI.

I tried every which way to get that barrel unscrewed. Kroil and heat failed to budge it. I ultimately chucked it in my lathe, and with a boring bar, gradually reduced the ID, until the remaining barrel threads collapsed, and fell out, leaving the choke threads undamaged. I had to turn my shotgun barrel down quite a bit at the muzzle, to match up to the small diameter size of this particular Polychoke. I added the threads to the barrel, and screwed the choke on. I had to adjust the shoulder on the barrel to get the choke to clock right. Each time I screwed it on it was crooked, to the same side, unbelievable. I know I threaded it straight. Anyhow, I made up a mandel, fitting snugly in both choke and barrel, and ran it up. It was straight then. Some red loctite sealed the job.

I took it out back to shoot it, and it patterned low. About a foot at 25 yards. It was due the the front bead on the choke being raised higher than the original bead. I asked what does Polychoke do on their installations? I found out, they bend the barrel. I went off to the 12 ton hydraulic press, made some wooden blocks to support the barrel, and bent it upwards. The pattern is centered now. Job complete. With a .742 barrel ID, I can get some super tight patterns, being squeezed down through the choke, if I want, or nicely spread ones for the closer targets, just by twisting the choke. I think I can go down to about .680. That's .062 restriction. The gun is an old 12 ga Stevens, that had a damaged barrel. Too big of a barrel ID for screw in chokes, so an external one was a practical solution. It makes a wonderful truck gun.

Last edited by GBertolet; 08-28-2020 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 08-28-2020, 06:25 AM
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I would suggest that you send the barre, or shotgun, to Briley and as them to remove the choke and convert the barrel to the Briley thin wall choke system. As for why, it's because polychokes are ALL rather heavy and will upset the balance of a fine shotgun. BTW, there are web sites out there that are devoted to Shotgun Handloading using classic components and paper roll crimped hulls. So if you want to use your shotgun occasionally it is possible to build ammo that is compatible with a polychoke. Note, the kit's for doing these loads are mostly whackamole kits, so hand loading will probably only yield about 25-40 hulls per hour.

BTW, if having this done is too expensive then just make that shotgun a wall hanger and purchase a new Mossberg, or used Remy 870, to shoot.
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