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johna1 Offline OP
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Good evening guys. I have decided to throw caution to the wind and try to thread this old barrel for screw in chokes. If nothing else, will serve as my wintertime project, though, I think I can do this without too many issues.

As you guys are well aware, the dilemma is the lack of reamers and taps and chokes for the 16 gauge. You can find them all day long for 20 gauge and 12 gauge, but there's no love for the old 16 anywhere.

I've seen a few companies offering threading services, but the prices are more than the old gun is worth, so I'm going to try to do this myself. I'm generally handy with tools and have enough experience with metalworking tools and lathes to get myself into trouble. wink

The gun is an old Noble model 60. Specifically, a Montgomery wards xmh something or another. I only gave $95 for the gun after it sat all the way at the end of the gun rack in the back corner for months. The gun is good, and has a lot of the same design that you find on mossbergs and old winchesters and 100% steel parts even including the trigger guard, but having been out of business for 3+ decades, simply don't have the following or demand as some of the other names. So, I got a good deal on it.

Getting back on subject though, I have threaded multiple 12 ga barrels, so I have a working knowledge of how it works. I'm going to try to use a 20 ga REMCHOKE tap after waiting in line for my turn (4d told me it may be a couple more weeks before they could ship it because there are a few others who have already paid to rent the tool in front of me, so it may be the end of Jan or early Feb before I can complete the project).

But, in the meantime, there's a few things that I can do while I wait.

First, cutting off that dang adjustable vari-choke pineapple off of the end of the barrel. Seriously, I hated that thing. There was nothing that I liked about it. It was big and bulky. And what's worse, regardless of how tight or loose you cranked it down, the patterns essentially just shot the same regardless. Only thing that happened is when it was tighter, would snag more plastic wadding and make a bigger mess inside of there.

So, not much made me happier than to cut that barrel down and eliminate the old variable choke hanging off the end of it.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

At least now the profile looks right. I didn't want to cut it to the 18 inch minimum, but still wanted something short that I can use in the woods too without being cumbersome and long while going through brush and briar thickets, so I chose to cut it at 22 inches.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Next up, measuring to see how tall of a front sight I was going to need. Considering the taper of the barrel and the old bead mounted atop the old pineapple, very tall. Taller than anything I could find online to get the bead up even with the top of the receiver so I could see and use it.

I chose to do an old school front ramp, similar to what you would find on a rifle or even kind of 870'ish riser. While not exactly proper for this gun, I used a CVA muzzleloading front sight that a friend of mine offered up for the project. I still had to shorten the height of of a little bit, but that was easy enough. I didn't even use the mill. I simply used my bench sander.

I also made a makeshift front sight for the time being using a #6-48 bolt, which I drilled through and put a green fiber optic sight. While I may end up buying a commercial fiber bead for it, this one is serving the purpose just fine.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

OK, now to get back to the choke. I'm sure several of you were either shaking or scratching your head earlier when I said I was going to try to use a 20 ga remchoke in it.

I am.

There's a few reasons why. For starters, the outside diameter of that specific brand (remington) choke is .702" (upwards of .705"). That is well larger than the 16 bore and gives adequate thread and clearance into the barrel itself.

Secondly, the inside diameter of a 20 ga remchoke cylinder choke is .620". (mine was .620" on the dot).

A 16 gauge full choke, just so happens to turn out to be .624" diameter.

So, while 4 thousandths of an inch smaller is going to be considered an xfull bore I guess if you want to get technical about it, reality is, the two diameters are so close to each other that I think they will essentially perform exactly the same. There's often more variance than that just between different brand of chokes.

The biggest thing that I will need to do to the 20 ga choke is to taper the mouth of a choke where the wad/shot enters into it more.

I am going to achieve that with an MT2 Morse taper reamer. If you're not aware, all screw in shotgun chokes have a taper. They have to, otherwise the smaller diameter would snag the wads and cause bulging and blowouts. So, I will need to further open up the mouth of the choke a little more but that will be the last step of the process altogether.

Here, if you look close inside of this choke, you can clearly see where the taper stops.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Here is a pic of the tool that I will be using to do that step.

[Linked Image from images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com]

The only other thing left I can do in the meantime while I'm waiting is make my custom barrel bushing for the reamer/tap tool. Since it has to be a precise fit for the barrel itself, obviously I can't use the 20 ga bushings that comes with the tool rental. So, I lathed a piece of brass to the proper diameter of the bore. The last multiple passes are always the most stressful because it really does need to be precise and I'm very OCD when it comes to that. It has to fit inside of the barrel with virtually no slop, but not so tight that it's a press fit either. That would be equally as bad. I will need to drill out the center of the bushing once I get the cutter tools in hand, but again, that too has to be a really precise cut. Any slop there, would be just as detrimental as it would be if the outside was too far off.

I just love freshly turned metal. Always so shiny and untarnished. It'll look completely different a year from now once it ages and gets some patina on it.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

And a quick pic of the bushing inside of the barrel.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

I went ahead and started the topic in case anyone else is interested in following along. Or has already went down this path prior to me that may have some advice that I'm overlooking.


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Where are you at in the process. Yes I am scratching my head on this one. I am no machinist but I have been present when my buddy gunsmith has done a few for me. When he did them for me the first reamer cuts the barrel larger inside and a for a shoulder where the choke stops. Second reamer cuts threads. Im not sure how this will all work for or against you
How are you measuring the bore? And using a 20 ga choke do you expect a difference in pattern density versus what is marked on the 20ga choke?
A comment if it all works. I would have the exterior of your chokes laser engraved. So never any confusion of what chokes belong to what gun. I would also have engraved with something like johna16 ga custom chokes.

Last edited by 338reddog; 01/23/23.
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johna1 Offline OP
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At the moment, it's stalled waiting on the reamer and tap. I should be getting pretty close. 4d rental told me it would be around the end of this month before they can ship it.

I've threaded 12 ga barrels before, but never had to get this into it.

I have a lathe and will be using a taper reamer to open up the rear of the 20 ga choke so it doesn't snag the wad. Essentially, opening the mouth to the diameter of the 16 bore. There's not a lot of extra meat around the external of the choke tube, but it just has to be enough.

Since I have an open cylinder bore barrel at the moment, that's how I am measuring the bore.

I only plan to use this one choke, so I'm not going to engrave it with anything since it will stay in the gun. And I also don't have any threaded 20 ga barrels either, so won't be a problem.

The biggest concern is taper reaming the mouth of the choke itself. I'm not concerned about boring and threading the barrel. There's a lot of meat around the barrel wall.

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My 20 gauge IC RemChoke measures .625" ID at the lead and .600" ID at the outlet.

I think you are going to have an issue with the transition from the bore diameter to the inlet to the choke?

The smooth step at the inlet is .662" OD which is the same diameter as a nominal 16 gauge bore.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by mag410; 01/23/23.
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Originally Posted by mag410
My 20 gauge IC RemChoke measures .625" ID at the lead and .600" ID at the outlet.

I think you are going to have an issue with the transition from the bore diameter to the inlet to the choke?

The smooth step at the inlet is .662" OD which is the same diameter as a nominal 16 gauge bore.

[Linked Image]
This is where I was trying to go

IC-A B3

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johna1 Offline OP
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I genuinely appreciate both of your replies. Sincerely. That's the only area that concerns me.

I do have a lathe, and can give a aggressive cut at the mouth. Or reprofile the choke itself if needed.

Mag410, is there any way you can measure the reamer OD at the transition?

And if you don't mind, the inside diameter of the bushing

Last edited by johna1; 01/24/23.
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My reamer is for TruChoke/Colonial chokes which are are smaller in diameter than RemChokes.

What is your bore diameter?

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johna1 Offline OP
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the remchoke is slightly larger diameter than the truchoke.

My bore diameter is .65 something.I'm wanting to say .658" off the top of my head. It is smaller than .662" for sure.

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The dimensions in my rough drawing are of a Remington RemChoke.

At .658" that only leaves .002 thickness for the skirt which I don't think is going to work.

I suppose it "might" work to permanently install the choke with Loctite 680?

Another issue is that you are going to have to bore the choke. .658" bore reduced to .600" equals .058" of constriction. 16 ga full is nominally .025-.030" of constriction.

Might be a good idea to make a practice run on the stub of the barrel you cut off?

Your gun your decision, but I don't think it will turn out well. If gas gets under the skirt, the best thing that is going to happen it will spit the choke out.

Santa Claus said ti Ralphie. "You'll shoot your eye out, kid."

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johna1 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by mag410
Might be a good idea to make a practice run on the stub of the barrel you cut off?[/color]


I don't disagree. There's not a lot of meat there. And is my main concern.

My whole intention was to make it a permanent (full) choke however. It was never my plan to have a bunch where I could change it out on a whim and I have other 16 ga if I were inclinded to use one with a mod choke in it.

Shame that it's impossible to get a 16 ga reamer and tap. However, that is not an option. I gave $95 for the old gun years ago and I'm not sinking $250 to have someone else thread it. That's simply more than the gun is worth.

As for your numbers about the constriction, the choke tube itself is .620" inside. (20ga cyl). I've checked it and it's dead on it. I'm unsure where the .600" is coming from. The chart that I saw, said a 16ga full is ~.624", so .620" is near enough the same that I doubt the wad or the shot density is going to notice.

IC-B B4

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Sorry, I didn't catch you have a Cylinder choke, I measured an IC choke.

Good luck.

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Good luck with your project. It's way above my pay grade. I bought a 16 ga 870 that looked like someone had removed a polychoke or something similar from the barrel. The rest of the gun was solid and real cheap so I brought it home. I sent the barrel to Colonial to have them make it screw-in ready, rather than have it sleeved. Back then (15 years ago) it was about $125 and they gave you a tube. It came out great and I bought a turkey tube for it too. The bad part was you had to use a ramp for the bead. Had a "gunsmith" do one for me that fell off after a few years. I sent it to Shotgun barrels and stocks and had them install a vent rib. I took it out grouse hunting last weekend, I got one shot and connected. Weighs 6lb 10oz and isn't bad to carry.

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johna1 Offline OP
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Just wanted to update and kill the thread so if anyone comes along later wouldn't leave them hanging.

After waiting a month for 4d rental to ship the tools I ordered back in the end of December, I contacted them to ask how much longer it may be, and was told they could not provide me with an ETA and they didn't know how much longer it would take, so I chose to cancel the order at this time.

Sucks too because I've already spent another $50 for the 20 ga choke and brass rod to make the barrel bushing and the taper reamer to complete the project. I can't say that I'm really thrilled about that but it is what it is I guess.

Oh well. Live and learn. But, when I placed the order was told 3-4 weeks to ship them to me. Now, after 4 weeks +, was told they wouldn't even give me an ETA from this point.

To 4d rentals credit, they did respond to my email and I got an email notification of the refund within about 30 minutes of asking them to.


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