Hi, I have an old JC Higgins Model 20 12 ga. It is a fixed full choke barrel, and I would like to know if it is safe to fire 00 buck out of it, without doing damage to the weapon. It is my only shotgun, and I'd like to know for home defense. Thank you
As long as it is lead shot it is safe and will shoot a tighter pattern than more open chokes."THIS DOES NOT GO FOR STEEL SHOT".Use a steel shot choke for steel shot. ,,, ,,,Mark01-06-2006, 01:38 PM
Brent, you must be just a youngster.
Back in the day, full choke was used with lead shot up to and including size BB. Full choke was also recommended for buckshot up to and including OO. This is LEAD shot! Steel shot brought about a whole new set of rules.
You have to remember lead shot deforms as it passes through the choke. If it looks like it isn't going to fit through the choke as it screams down the barrel, when it hits the choke and gets squeezed it gives.
I don't know what "super full" means. I have a shotgun that has .040 constriction, the other barrel is .035. Not knowing any better, I call it full and fuller. Safe to use with all lead shot and buckshot.
Steel shot does not collapse or give when it hits the choke. Gets to be like a snake swallowing an egg. The steel barrel, depending on it's alloy, will give and continue to give, or work harden and crack. Given enough abuse, most barrels will crack at some point. What is happening to patterns is not even being considered.
At one point in my life I tried turning shotgun shooting from an art into a science. In my experience, there is nothing to be gained by this. What works, works. You have to find out what works.
Lead shot, loaded to within recommended pressures, will work with all standard configuration chokes. My advise is to actually take the gun out and pattern it. If some chart tells you what you can expect with "super full", you have to know what "super full" is. The configuration of the forcing cone. and the inside diameter of the barrel will also matter. That information probably isn't in the chart.
Take the gun out and pattern it. Try different brands of ammunition. Save the patterns, dated, with the brand and specifications of the ammo written on the sheet with the pattern. Try handloading, varying velocity within safe, acceptable pressure limits. Write everything down and after 6 months of collecting data, spread it out and analyze it.
Now comes the good part. Realize there is no predictability or reason to your last 6 months of work. Throw all of it out, go to the store and buy a case of shotshells. Go to the range and with a bunch of friends who also have their own case of shotshells, shoot till you remember how much fun shooting is.
Promise yourself you will never do anything that stupid again.
Samuel...Very useful exclamation you gave! Experience is a great teacher.
Also, when I patterned my "Sweet Sixteen" shotgun I found that to be a fun experience. I had access to plenty of brown butcher paper about three feet wide and an almost endless roll to cut it from. So...I cut 3 x 3' pieces for each of the settings on my "poly choke" and one at a time I placed them on posts about 20 yards away. When shooting I aimed squarely at the middle of the sheet, regardless of where the previous shots hit the pattern. Also, I did not allow for any wind because I wanted to know how the wind affected my shots. Naturally, I wrote the scenario on each sheet, which choke setting, date, distance, approx windage and rolled them up for future viewing and studying. Now...that was a fun experience...and very educational, too.
pattern and point of impact are different. while you have the paper you might as well do both. for POI you shoot 5 shots into one place. this will leave a dence plot of bbs and will let you know where you need to point. DO NOT AIM THE GUN just pull it up, point with 2 eyes and pull the trigger. some guns will shoot 3" high at 40yds some shoot spot on.
Life remains the same until the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of change.