Beauty or Beast

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Joined: 06/03/2010

Beauty or Beast
          In the shooting world there are some really neat looking weapons. Highly decorated rifles, shotguns and handguns abound and some command high prices when sold or auctioned. There are also some weird weapons and some that are useful but probably considered ugly or at least not very pretty.
          As boy growing up in the 1950’s in Upper Michigan I did a lot of hunting and most of my friends did too. I procured a Stevens pump 12 gauge when I needed a shotgun and my older brother bought a Stevens 311 12 gauge as his preferred gun. Some of my friends had different shotguns and one in particular had a Mossberg bolt 16 gauge with an adjustable choke device (Mossberg C-Lect-Choke) that allowed different choke constrictions for different shots. It could be called “ugly” by some.
          Several other manufacturers had bolt shotguns also ( Mauser 98 rifles were even converted to shotgun) but my experience was watching my friend with his Mossberg. These guns were cheaper to make than pumps and doubles and they were well made so they provided a cheaper alternative to the person who didn’t want to spend a lot on a shotgun and these bolt guns also provided a little extra bonus in they usually held three or four rounds as compared to a single barrel single shot or a double gun. The variable choke models provided a little more versatility in the range of choke pattern for different game.
          In later years Mossberg offered a special purpose turkey variant and also one for goose hunting but those were discontinued as were the rest of the Mossberg bolt shotguns by about 2003. Marlin once offered a 10 gauge bolt Goose Gun but I ‘m not sure if it is still offered. I may be off a bit on the dates but basically bolt shotguns seem to have fallen off the shotgun rosters unless you find a good used one somewhere. The users who have a bolt shotgun generally keep them as they value them for their durability and usefulness.
          The other “ugly” is that adjustable choke whether it is the Mossberg C-Lect-Choke or a Poly Choke or perhaps the old Lyman Cutts Compensator. They all provide some choke changeability for different shooting applications. Do they work; it depends on who you ask but generally, yes.  Do they look ugly; it depends on who is looking at them. Most of the old Poly models offered up to about nine settings but I think the newer models offer a few less. The newest Poly model is a screw in device that can replace a screw in choke tube on single barrel shotguns. I am not sure if the Lyman model is still available but I think the Poly Choke is still made in several models.
           Do you want one? That depends on whether you want to have an “ugly” device on your barrel and have your friends refuse to stand by you when shooting/hunting or if you want a choke that allows some versatility. If I was installing one on an extra barrel for a particular shotgun I think it would be great. I am not sure if I would install one on a real expensive shotgun that I couldn’t change the barrel on but I am a bit of a purist snob when it comes to looks, but aren’t we all if you think about it, otherwise adjustable chokes would be as common as flies in the summer!