Q. I’ve only been shooting for a while but have always taken onboard everything I’ve been told regarding protocol and safety whilst shooting. Imagine my surprise, when at a registered shoot, I witnessed a top shooter remove the choke from his gun and shoot a rabbit stand with no choke in. Is this acceptable practice or was I right to be concerned?
A. It is quite simple, (and I’m sure that Beretta, Browning and all the makers of ‘multi choke’ shotguns will confirm this) the removable choke tube in a multi choke shotgun is an intricate part of its design.
There is a tremendous pressure created in a barrel when a shot is fired which is of course released when the shot charge leaves the end of the barrel. By removing the choke tube, which depending on the brand of the gun could well be in excess of 1.5 inches long, you are creating an extreme and most dangerous weakness at the point the shot leaves the gun. I think it goes without saying that this is a most dangerous and stupid practice, which on the long term could well cause the barrel end to flare or ‘banana’ – hopefully with nobody close enough to be injured.
We do cover this aspect of gun safety in our CPSA safety courses, and changing guns or chokes during shooting a stand at a registered shoot is breaking the rules and a ‘no’ ‘no’ which you will find is covered in our CPSA rule booklets.