The argument goes, in some shotgun circles, the wad interferes with tight shot patterns.
According to this theory, the wad strikes the rear of the shot column as it leaves the barrel. This, in turn, leads to a looser pattern and more fliers than many wing and clay shooters are comfortable firing off.
This was Mark Andry’s experience when the sporting-clays bug bit him a few year's back. And he didn’t waste anytime setting about finding a solution.
“Having a mechanical ‘bent', I felt that I could come up with a better (choke) design,” he said.
The result of Andry’s “better design” was BlackBore Chokes. The system aims to take the wad out of the equation by the use of a common choke feature – ports.
Of course, there is a little more to the 10 to 14 ports Andry has milled on the circumference of his chokes – hence the reason they are patented. The twist the inventor/owner of BlackBore puts in the ventilation is the angle at which they are cut.
“(The angle) produces a knife-blade that grabs and strips the shotshell wad from the shot column,” Andry said. “The friction of the blades actually slices slivers from the wad as it passes through the choke.”
The results: “The pattern of the shot at the pattern board is seen as more dense and consistent,” Andry said.
What the life-long shooter is getting at is his chokes put more shot on target. A result few smoothbore fans will argue with.
Andry originally designed the choke for personal use, having a buddy who owned a small CNC machining operation make them up. But another friend – the one he shoots clays with – was captivated by his innovation and urged him to sell it to the public.
Since then, the South Carolina-based entrepreneur has enjoyed growing popularity of his product. And it has not strictly been confined to America, with Andry fulfilling orders with European and South American shooters.
BlackBore chokes are manufactured from 17-4 PH stainless steel, making them corrosion resistant. The chokes are presently available only for 12-guage shotguns and are compatible with some of the most popular shotgun makes and models.
The chokes are available in different models for a number of applications. BlackBore’s options include its Competition Choke, HunterPro HV (for larger game birds), HunterPro TC (for turkey and coyote) and a new Tactical model.
The Competition models retail for $60 on the BlackBore site, while the rest run $65.