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I have been offered a very nice looking hammer gun by John Rigby. It has lovely damascus barrels and a pretty action. I’m very tempted but the seller told me it has True Cylinder in both barrels. I want to shoot game and I’m worried I need more choke. Should I wait for a gun with more choke to turn up or will this be okay?
DIGGORY HADOKE replies: Before 1875 choke boring was not scientific and most guns had open chokes. I use a gun with 30” barrels choked 3 thou and 7 thou – almost nothing in practical terms. The gun shoots game beautifully and with good quality shells I shoot pigeons at 50 yards in Africa, achieving clean kills. Most people use too much choke and blame the choke when they are actually off-line on the bird. Try patterning the gun with two or three different loads and see what kind of patterns you get.
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