Polychoke opinions

ddrillerddriller MemberPosts: 77 Member
The Polychoke was popular in the late 60's-early 70's. Has anyone ever pattern tested one? I know they look ugly but am looking for on old gun to use as a general purpose beater,foul weather and loaner. I see them on well used Ithaca 37s and sometimes Rem 870s-both solid guns and underpriced when polychoke is present.Not looking for perfection just function.

Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,253 Senior Member
    I grew up shooting a Polychoke on a 16 Gauge Ithaca M37, and I have the same type of gun now. Other than having a butt-ugly bulge on the front of the barrel, they're pretty effective. Another design, the forerunner of screw-in chokes, was the Cutts Compensator. It was a ventilated muzzle brake about 3 inches long, with screw-on choke restrictors at the front end of the brake. I'm not too sure how well they would work with plastic shot cups, as the Cutts was most popular back in the days of paper-hull shells and fiber over-powder wadding.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
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  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,825 Senior Member
    Polychokes (dial-a-choke) tend to function well...BUT they destroy the aesthetics of the gun they are mounted on...having that bulbous thing hanging out there on the end of a shotgun just doesn't do it for me...no matter how well the work...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • DurwoodDurwood Senior Member Posts: 970 Senior Member
    I grew up with one on a 16 ga bolt action...yep, I was cool:tooth: Works fine, looks like:fan:
    You have the right to your own opinion, but you don't have the right to your own facts:guns:
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    I've never seen one that patterned worth a crap.
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
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  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,715 Senior Member
    Polychokes and Cutts Compensators were made for use when shotshells used fiber cushion wads and no plastic shot cups were available. They patterned well with those type shotshells. The plastic shot cups and integral wads don't go well with either system. The plastic shot cup restricts the shot too much as it passes through the collet of the Polychoke making the pattern poor, and if any of the non lead shot is fired through it, being much harder could cause it damage if in the more restricted choke setting. The Cutts Compensator is another animal altogether. As the shot cup leaves the barrel and enters the compensator the shot cup has a tendency to start opening. Then it hits the choke tube and the shot that started to disperse is squeezed down again. I've had a few instances where one petal of the shot cup got laid back over the wad section when shooting through the Cutts Compensator. And that was with a Modified choke tube in place; glad it didn't happen with the Full Choke tube in place. And I wouldn't shoot steel shot, or other harder than lead shot, through either, and own old shotguns with both systems on them.

    Any patterning problems with both systems now are more than likely related to the almost universal use of plastic shot cups. Both choke systems were NOT designed when these plastic parts were in use, and may or may not work well with them. Remember, you're using them with a shotshell system for which they were not designed for from the start.

    And another thing to consider. The old fiber wads used in the paper shotshells are NOT the same diameter as the integral wad/shot cups used in the plastic hulls. You're forcing a bigger diameter hunk of plastic through a choke made for smaller more easily squeezed down fiber wads.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,887 Senior Member
    My first shotgun, a Rem 11-48 had a polychoke and was good for close in shooting with open chokes and though it would tighten down
    to a full choke, the effective range was shorter than a fixed choke barrel.

    This was in the days of fiber wads as Mike discussed. Some pieces of the choke broke out of the ventilated part; maybe for the use of
    plastic wads as Mike discussed.

    Even with a polychoke you have to preselect the choke setting because there isn't time to change the setting when a shot becomes
    available. For that reason, I would use choke tubes which are not so hard to change. They do make a belt pouch that holds 3 choke tubes and a wrench
    if you do not have a knife with a choke tube wrench blade.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • the independentthe independent Member Posts: 52 Member
    Seems to vary.

    Dad had one on a Remington. Patterns terrible. Lucky if it hits the paper.

    My uncle had one on an Ithaca 37 that was as good as anything I have seen. Very nice patterns and you could to the equiv of light modified, improved modified, etc if you wanted to.

    Not sure if it was in the mounting, who did it or ?
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member

    Dad had one on a Remington. Patterns terrible. Lucky if it hits the paper.

    That was my experience with a Mossburg I had back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. I got it for cheap but couldn't hit anything with it.
    But if you want to give it a shot, you can still buy paper hull shells: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Federal-Gold-Medal-Paper-Target-Shotshells-Per-Case/1156670.uts

    100 Bucks a case.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • stepmacstepmac Member Posts: 172 Member
    I have two guns with P-chokes. One is a Remington Model 11 20 that i shoot skeet with, and it is my main gun for doing that. Another is a Browning Auto 5 which shoots terrible patterns. I think the Auto 5 was used by someone who shot steel thru it and screwed up the bore. I called Polychoke, and they said that I should send the barrel to them and they'd see if they could fix it. I have no idea what the cost would be, but not free. I haven't sent it yet. I asked them how good Polychokes actually are. The fellow said they don't shoot as good patters as a standard choked barrel or screw chokes, but they do fine. The guy said he uses one on his gun. He also said that new Polychoke II is as good as the original model.

    I know that Polychokes were very popular in the 40's and 50's, maybe later and I have only had trouble with the one ancient, well used A-5. So I think they are fine. I've been told that the open chokes pattern better than the closed ones.
  • stepmacstepmac Member Posts: 172 Member
    That was my experience with a Mossburg I had back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. I got it for cheap but couldn't hit anything with it.
    But if you want to give it a shot, you can still buy paper hull shells: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Federal-Gold-Medal-Paper-Target-Shotshells-Per-Case/1156670.uts

    100 Bucks a case.

    If you do decide to go after a dinosaur with your Mossy, I suggest you screw that choke down to Full and get in close. I'd shoot no smaller shot than 4's. Worked for me. BTW: those of us who hunt them call them "diny's". Oh, I should have mentioned that before you go out after them you need to chug four very dry martinis. Works every time.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    I know nothing about polychokes, but with the flintlock/muzzleloader community we have what's known as a "Jug Choke". My New England Fowler with the 51 inch barrel is jug choked 29 thousandts, and at 42 yards I'll consistently put 18 to 25 #5 pellets in the kill-zone of a turkey head/neck target. I've not shot a gobbler with it at this range, (or any range actually) but I'll consistently kill squirrels out to 45 yards with 1 1/8th ounce of #6's and 2 1/2 drams of powder.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,715 Senior Member
    Rich, jug choking barrels was done on smokeless shotgun barrels, too. I have no idea if it's done now, but it was done back in the 60s and early 70s. It was done on shotguns for competitive shooting.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


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