One of the easiest ways to beat up your shotgun? Ignoring your choke tubes. Turning a blind eye to those interchangeable chokes is a great way to find yourself with a rust-stuck choke that even a lot of elbow grease won’t move.
Luckily, maintaining your choke tubes is a pretty easy process. Cleaning your shotgun after every use gives you less grief in the long run. We're not just saying this because we make gun cleaning kits, either. Plus, plastic fouling will affect your pattern and slow your velocity.
As always, make sure your shotgun is unloaded before cleaning and refer to your firearms owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s disassembly recommendations.
Start by removing the choke. How you do this is really up to you. Some folks use a quarter (we don’t recommend this but we’ve certainly seen it done), others prefer a tool. If you’re feeling fancy, we like the Span Shotgun Tool from Gerber. USA Made, portable and versatile- that’s how we do things around here and this tool fits the bill.
Once you have the choke out give it a good spray down. We recommend Shooter’s Choice Shotgun and Choke Tube Cleaner. A mason jar or shoe polish tin will do nicely to let things soak for a bit. If you have plastic build up this stuff really gets after it and melts it down into a gooey grime so take care not to ruin your work surface. AKA: get an Otis cleaning mat.
While your choke is soaking, take an AP brush to the threads in the barrel with a little of the shotgun cleaner. Give them a nice scrub and wipe them clean with a gun towel or patches.
Now back to the choke! That AP brush will clean the outside and threads nicely. Use a bronze bore brush to tackle the interior. Wipe it clean and run a wet patch through with O85 or FP10. Don't forget to go over the outside of the whole choke too. Once this step is complete, you're ready for grease.
Give the threads a nice coat of grease. Right now we really like the MC-10 Precision Applicator Grease Pen. It is a high performance grease that isn’t temperature sensitive, really stays put well and protects your metals. This helps keeps your choke from rusting and becoming impossible to get out.
Reinsert your choke and you’re good to go!
Need a new kit to clean that shotgun? We can help with that too! Check out our shotgun cleaning kits here.