Should I pattern my gun? Heck YES!!!!!

January 24, 2011

If you are a shooting competitor or a hunter, you should pattern your chokes.

I hear so many competitors say they have never patterned a gun on paper.  So here is what is mind boggling--these are the same people that are changing chokes at every station?!?!?  How could you put a choke in your barrel for a specific target presentation, at a specific distance to obtain the greatest margin of error to hit that target if you do not know what your pattern is???  It makes absolutely no sense at all!

Here is why I am adamant about this topic.   In the quest to become a top competitor,  I knew I would have to get technical in every aspect to have the slightest chance to compete with the top shooters. (Truth is....I sort of like getting "technical" too.  That is why I've made a business out of aerospace parts manufacturing.  I like precision.) And when it comes to shotgun performance, I've always been fascinated with shot PATTERNS and POI (Point Of Impact).

In 1996 I started patterning chokes and different ammo on paper.  What an eye opener.  The first thing I learned was that my Browning 325 factory chokes did NOT pattern the way they were designated nor did they pattern the way they measured?! Nor did they all have the same POI??  How weird I thought,  how could my Full choke give a larger pattern than my I.C. at 25 yards??  Why was my Modified splotchy with big voids all over the pattern?  Why did my Skeet choke have a more effective pattern at 45 yards than my I.M.??  Why did my L.M shoot 6 inches high and to the left??  It totally blew me away.  Luckily, I was an Aerospace/Defense manufacturer working with exotic alloys, tool steels, stainless steels, etc.  I had knowledge in metallurgy and heat treating as well as very tight tolerance machining.

So after these horrible testing results, I ran to the shop and made my own choke tubes,  holding geometric tolerances in the Millionths of an inch.  Yes, I was obsessed in doing it not only right, but better than anyone had ever done it before.  My thought was that if geometries and tolerances were held to specific ranges, there had to be a "Sweet Spot" for a choke tube to perform amazingly well.  I was correct!!

I made myself a beautiful set of three ( close, medium and far) that patterned so well,  I did not need to make any more, that is until I bought a different gun to compete with and the obsession started all over again, and here is the kicker.....  what worked for my Browning did NOT work for my Beretta 391 Mobile Choke, so, it was back to my drafting table, onto the CNC Lathe, Honing machine, Cylindrical Grinder, Surface grinder, Lapping Machine, you name it...I did it!!  Yes,  I found the sweet combination for my 391 Mobile Choke gun with a bore diameter of .7214"  and I shot those two chokes, Yes, two (One for everything normal and the other for everything beyond normal) for many years and many HOA wins.  As years of competition and thousands of competitors passed, I was amazed at how many shooters (the ones that actually checked their patterns) complained about inconsistent patterns, hot cores, voids, scraping plastic out of gas skirts, carbon build up and choke tubes being too heavy.

Because these were all problems I experienced and corrected for myself,  I knew something had to be done so my fellow shooters could experience the superior ballistics of my chokes.  This is why I created my own "Secret Blend Choke Tubes" in 2005 and tested them until 2010 and I came to realize that undoubtedly these were the cure all of every choke tube problem that has plagued us as shooters from the beginning of time.  I knew after 12,000 pattern results thru 20 gun manufacturers and 13 different bore diameters and numerous HOA wins with over 40,000 targets thru my chokes that were still looking, measuring and patterning like the day I made them, these were the best chokes in the World, so I patented them and Muller Chokes was born in December 2009.