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Briley Takes on the Amusing, Confusing Browning DS Choke System

Choke tubes have long been a source of bewilderment, for the markings on a choke tube or a barrel don't mean anything, specifically. There is no universal agreement on how to mark a choke and there likely never will be. That's why recommending a choke without the caveat of patterning your individual shotgun, not anybody else's, and your shells, not anybody else's is the hot ticket to sillyland. Above are silver factory Browning Invector DS extended tubes, right next to their Briley Spectrum Black Oxide counterparts.

While there are basic parameters of constriction, there is no agreement on that either. http://www.randywakeman.com/ChokeConstrictionReference.htm documents a few of the differences. Just what is a .025 in. constriction choke? Anyone?

According to Krieghoff that is a “Light Improved Modified” choke in twelve gauge. This wondrous choke designation is so mysteriously effective that most have never, ever heard of it. According to Nigel Teague, that is about a 5/8 choke. According to George Trulock, it is a real “Improved Modified,” not a “Light Improved Modified.”

With a Teague choke in the Beretta Mobil Choke flavor, a Full choke is about a .040 in. constriction. With Krieghoff, Full is .035 in. constriction. With George Trulock, full is a .030 inch constriction. George Trulock and Nigel Teague are two of the most trusted names in choke tubes. If they don't agree on dimensions, gunmakers that supply the “highest quality” chokes made by old world craftsmen from the lowest anonymous bidder from anonymous materials are in a far worse condition. Of course it is puzzling, as the fellow that suggests you use a “Full” choke in your gun with your shells has absolutely no clue what he is talking about.

Browning, in my opinion, has done a fabulous job with the 725 Citori, the best O/U they have ever offered and the best in its class on the market today. But. The “but” is the ridiculous choke tube performance. The lower barrel of the 725 Sporting measures .739 in., the upper barrel .738 inches. The inside diameters of the choke tubes are SK = .742 in. IC = .739 in., MOD = .732, IM = .726, and Full at .701 inches. Only the Full is designated as a lead-only choke tube. The Skeet tube is no constriction, actually a reverse constriction choke, while the IC tube is either no constriction, or a .001 in. constriction contingent on what barrel you screw it in to. By common standards, the Mod and the Improved Modified are actually nominally IC and Mod tubes, while the Full at .037 - .038 actual constriction really is a Full. For comparison, the flush DS tubes of the 725 Field came in at IC = .739 in., the Mod at .731, and the Full at .702 inch, essentially the same nominal dimensions at the extended tubes either the same (IC) or within one thousandth of an inch (Mod and Full).

If you have a headache, I'm sorry. Browning Invector Double Seal factory “modified” choke tubes have a .007 – .008 inch actual constriction. Yes, they are marked modified but have less constriction than a typical choke tube from Krieghoff, Trulock, Briley, virtually any reputable chokemaker that has .010 inch as a nominal “Improved Cylinder.” More to the point, that's exactly how they perform with Winchester AA and B & P target loads as well as Federal, Kent, and Winchester #5 shot hunting loads. If you think you want to throw a pattern approximating a “Modified” percentage, you likely can't do it with anything that came in the box of your new Citori 725. It is amazing and dismaying that the French choke tubes that ship with Citori 725 (and the new A5) are so far off the mark. I did report all this to Browning in 2011, and they said they were looking into it. Deafening silence ever since.

It isn't quite as bad with Browning as it is with Beretta, for example, that subscribes to the theory of “When all else fails, thread a tube differently and maybe make it a bit shorter or a bit longer for the fun of it.” Browning has had only Invector and Invector Plus choke tubes throughout the line up to this point.

The Citori 725 and now the new A5 is going to make a lot of aftermarket choke tube makers very, very happy. I have no idea who will offer them eventually, but Briley has them right now and Trulock is said to have them in the works for release late 2012 or early next year. For now, Briley is the first mainstream chokemaker out of the gate and no, despite rumors, the OEM chokes are not made by Briley, but somewhere in France. Briley offers nine different Invector DS approximate constrictions in your choice of two styles, the extended Spectrum or the black oxide extended Spectrum.

My new A5 is apparently, finally in transit, so I'll pattern what is supplied by Browning directly alongside these Briley Spectrum “Invector DS” chokes in conjunction with the A5 review. For now, I can tell you what the Briley chokes look to have in terms of dimension via Skeets bore gage.




I have to pick a specific barrel to offer approximate constriction, so the .738 inch upper barrel of the previously tested 725 Citori Sporting is what I'll use. Based on that, the Briley Spectrum DS chokes deliver these actual constrictions.

MOD = .019 inch constriction (called .020 in. constriction by Briley)

IM = .025 inch constriction (called .025 in. constriction by Briley)

FULL = .033 inch constriction (called .035 in. constriction by Briley)

The rest will have to wait until I can pepper innocent, defenseless posterboard at 40 yards when the new A5 Hunter makes its grand appearance. So, until then.

Copyright 2012 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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