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Dumb Question

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Dave T:
I'll start this by saying I'm not a serious shotgunner. I carried an 870 Riot gun in my car all during my LEO career and had an old hammer double 12ga I shot in CAS. They are both long gone but about a year ago I acquired a used (but not much) Mi-Val double barrel, double hammer 12ga. I wanted to shoot black powder in it so it took me about 6 months to locate some brass shells. Once I had them I ordered the necessary wads, but it took me another month or two to find shot. All I could come up with was #5 but that's fine 'cause all I'm shooting are steel plates in the desert.

Now comes the problem and probably dumb question. The gun was used but I got no paper work with it and the seller didn't know any more about shotguns than I do so he was clueless about barrel choke. Because it's a 28" barreled gun I suspect it was intended for hunting and am guessing it might be Improved Cylinder on the right barrel and Modified on the left as that barrel is harder to clean out to the muzzle.

Can anyone smarter than me tell me how to determine what the chokes actually are and how or where can I get them reamed to the same thing. Improved Cylinder would be fine with me and would make cleaning easier.

I considered getting it chopped down to something like 24" to 26" to solve the choke problem but everyone I talk to about it screams I would be destroying a fine Italian double. I think it's more of a middle of the road Italian shotgun but like I said, I'm no expert on shotguns.

Any education or information any of you might pass along would be appreciated.


PS: Tried to post a picture but that never works for me on CAS City.

Reverend P. Babcock Chase:
Howdy Dave,

I seem to remember something about holding a dime in the muzzle and that can tell you what the choke is. That's the part I remember. I don't remember how to tell the choke based on how far in the dime goes. I'm sure someone here will help.

As a suggestion, just shoot the gun as is and see if you feel it's a disadvantage for CAS. I suspect it will wok just fine.

Rev. Chase

Kent Shootwell:
I agree, at CASS the pattern won’t be much different that close. To make cleaning easier pore lots of  water threw the barrels first then a very wet patch. That will take the bulk of the fouling out then clean as normal. The Hollywood skatter guns may make a three fit pattern but real life shooting shows a sawed off is tighter then that!  ;D


if its english or belgian make I would expect to find the choke stamped un the underside of each barrell along with the proof marks (dunno what the italians did) also most of those old cheaper field guns were bored full choke both sides unless they were something special. Even some of the better ones were -- I have an LC Smith (its a specialty grade single trigger gun) marked full choke both barrels - previous owner had the right barrel opened to about a modified bore.
The tightest bored shotguns I ever shot were those single barrel brazilian ones - ten yards better range than anything else around but hard to connect up close .   

Dave T:
Well, I know the answer to what chokes my shotgun has. Located the exact same MI-VAL model for sale on GunsInternational.com, and for a good bit more than I paid a little over a year ago. The chokes listed are Mod/Full, which is why I've been having some of my cleaning accessories hang up on the left barrel.

Now to repeat my original questions, does anyone know someone competent to ream out the chokes to something more usable for me or does anyone know of a custom smith who could competently cut the barrels down to 24" to 26"?



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