Choke tubes must be seated flush with the barrel in order to be installed properly and safely. In this guide we’ll discuss reasons why choke tubes aren’t flush and how to correct them.
Choke tubes won’t sit flush because the threads are binding, they are dirty, or the choke doesn’t fit the shotgun. Having a gap between the choke and barrel is a common indication that the barrel or choke threads could be stripped.
Other reasons why a choke won’t sit flush is that debris could be binding the threads or the choke is the wrong type for the choke system of the shotgun. It’s imperative to use choke tubes specifically made for certain shotgun brands.
Related – Looking for a NEW choke tube? Check out the top picks here.
Choke Tube Not Flush with Barrel
Below are the top 3 reasons why choke tubes won’t sit flush with the barrel. This condition is usually indicated by a ½ inch gap after resistance is met. It’s important not to force a choke to sit flush since it can cause the threads to bind.
1) Stripped Threads
The most common reasons why choke tubes will not sit flush is that the threads between the shotgun and choke tube are binding prematurely. Forcing it past this point can cause the threads to strip and possibly result in permanent damage or a stuck choke.
The solution to a binding choke tube is to back the choke tube out of the barrel and examine the threads. Any threads that are bent or appear shiny due to binding should be inspected and corrected if possible so that they line up with the threads inside the barrel.
2) Debris in Threads
Another culprit that prevents chokes from seating flush is dirt and debris. Over time, material such as dust, dirt, and sand can work their way into the threads of both the barrel and choke.
Routine choke removal and installation can cause new debris to be introduced and forced lower into the barrel threads until it prevents the choke from seating flush. The solution is to remove the choke and clean the threads with a soft bristle brush.
Lightly oil the threads to lessen friction and to provide corrosion resistance.
3) Wrong Choke Size
Choke tubes are specifically made to fit certain brands of shotguns. They are not universal. Trying to force a choke tube into a shotgun that isn’t designed for it could cause a choke tube to not sit flush.
Only purchase choke tubes that work with the choke system installed on your shotgun. The threads are designed to mate perfectly and sit flush. The choke system is usually written on the side of the shotgun barrel and also on the choke tube itself.
- Damaged choke tube
- Shotgun doesn’t take screw in chokes
- Defective choke tube
- Damaged barrel threads
- Wrong shotgun gauge
- Excessive anti-seize compound on threads
Choke Tube Maintenance
Choke tube lube is the ultimate prevention method for reducing the chance a choke tube gets stuck due to corrosion and rust. Typically, water will work its way into the threaded connection between the choke and shotgun barrel. If left to sit, the choke tube can essentially become fused to the barrel.
Rather than destroying a stuck choke or potentially damaging a shotgun barrel, routinely applying choke grease can prevent a choke tube seizing up in the first place. Hunting in the rain, over water, or dipping the shotgun barrel in water are all conditions where choke lube should be used.
When hunting over saltwater, choke lube should become a daily or weekly application due to the increased corrosiveness of saltwater environments.
A choke tube not sitting flush with the barrel is a common problem, but it can be easily addressed with some quick tips. To operate safely and efficiently, it’s important that a flush connection be made.
The most common reason a choke tube isn’t sitting flush is that the threads are binding. It’s important to remove the choke and examine the threads for damage. Bent threads should be straightened. The threads on the inside of the barrel should also be examined.
Another reason this condition arises is that debris works its way into the threads and prevents flush seating. Clean the threads with a soft bristle brush and make sure there’s not a slug of dirt or sand preventing the choke from fully seating flush with the barrel.