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Adding chokes to Ruger Red Label

nomavennomaven Member Posts: 2 ✭✭
edited August 2007 in Ask the Experts
I am looking to buy my first shotgun and have my eye on a used Ruger 20ga O/U. Price is $750. I have no idea how old it is.

Problem is, it is choked for skeet and I probably want to shoot skeet and trap.

Question is, would I be hurting the resale value by having it threaded for chokes?

Thanks in advance.



  • geeguygeeguy Member Posts: 1,047
    edited November -1
    You would be helping the value by adding screw in chokes. Just view the selling prices on GB for guns with and without chokes and you will see a geat value difference.

    However, why a 20 ga.? You can get light loads for 12ga (easier if you reload)if recoil is an issue, and the 12 ga. is really what you want as an all-around-gun for clays if you only have one gun. 20 ga. is about the same recoil, has worse patterns (debateable item with some), is about the same cost if you are buying ammo, and has less resale value.

    Some will say if it's your first shotgun buy a 20 ga., in my experience go to a 12 right off. Just my opinion.

    Best of luck.
  • nordnord Member Posts: 6,106
    edited November -1
    The older line of 20's had blued receivers. Does yours?

    If so, then the next question I have is about the overall quality and condition of the gun. Early blued frames often came with exceptional wood and finish. These guns are beginning to be appreciated by those not necessarily into shooting. So... Is the gun a mere shooter, or does it have potential as a collector's item?

    20 ga. vs. 12 ga. ... Lots of differing opinions. The 20 will have a longer shot string for the same weight load. What isn't always understood is that patterning against a stationary target is all but useless as the real test is on a moving target and this changes everything.

    My experience has been that if the gun in question fits properly and you happen to be on, then choke and bore size will be of little importance. If you're trying to get a couple of pellets into a clay on what otherwise would be a miss, then you need all the help you can muster.

    In conclusion; If the gun is a mere shooter, then choke it as best suites your needs if that's your wish. On a more personal level, I'd make sure that the fit was perfect and practice until you were certain of a fair score with the chokes presently in place. That being done, then fitting with tubes may be in order.
  • duckhunterduckhunter Member Posts: 7,669 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1 will tell you when the gun was made. Brileys do a great job with tubes.
  • geeguygeeguy Member Posts: 1,047
    edited November -1
    I would not concur with some of the above (everyone has their opinion)about choke and pattern. As a new shooter you need to start with the best you can afford and the best possible pattern for the game. Nothing turns a new shooter off more then to go out and have low scores. As you become a better shooter, the understanding of patterns and clays "shots" becomes easier. A really good shooter can hit Trap with a skeet gun because he understands how "fast" he needs to shoot to optimize the pattern, and the games are to hit as many as possible, otherwise, why play?

    This same concept of starting with a marginal gun is present in many forms of shooting, and there are two thoughts. One is: To be a good shooter you need the best equipment you can afford, the proper type equipment "fitted" to you, practice and more practice, proper instruction, and a little luck also helps. The second: Trial by fire and if you survive and change all the bad habits you formed by listening to all the different shooters, improper or marginal guns, you will learn to get results for all the wrong reasons.

    I'm old and have done both methods. Take the easy way, proper equipment (12 ga.), fitted (cannot say this enough), get an instructional disc or take a few lessons, and practice.

    Sorry for the length of this reply, but this is a more important decision then you may think at this point, unless money, frustration level, and time are no object. I became a AA skeet shooter with bad equipment and no training 40 years ago, and some of these bad habits have effected pistol, shotgun, and rifle shooting to this day. I listen to some instructor friends of mine (everything they say seems to work)now and wish I had learned these things 40 years ago.

    Just shoot and be happy. And you'll be happy if you hit more targets.
  • freddbear4freddbear4 Member Posts: 154 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I own the exact gun you are interested in. By the time you add the cost of the gunsmithing work, you could almost own a new one with the chokes included and the barrels the right length, or a used Remington 1100 in 12ga for trap and use this one for skeet. The big negative for these Red Lables is the safety as far as I'm concerned. Every time you cock it the safety goes on. Forget to take it off when calling for your target and its LOST !
  • rmckuinrmckuin Member Posts: 142 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I sorta hate to jump into this, but I think you are looking for all the information you can gather, so I want to share what I know and have seen about Ruger Red Label shotguns.

    I have shot skeet for about 15 years- competition and lots of practice. I have only know one person that shot a Ruger shotgun for a couple of years and then he traded it off. I have been to lots of tournaments around this part of the country and I just don't see Rugers on the fields! The most common complaint I heard was that they just had too much recoil!! Seems that the stocks are too straight or something and that they are generally pretty light in weight.

    My advice would be like some of the others here: Buy a used gun that fits you and that already has the choke tubes installed. Most of the "beginner" shooters in my part of the world, start with Remington 1100 or 1187's and then move on to a Browning or Beretta O/U with guage tubes and choke tubes. The sky is the limit after that!

    I guess your decision has to do a lot with just how much shooting you see for yourself, in the future?

    I have owned 2 Ruger Red Labels--20 and 12 guages. Didn't shoot them but a few rounds.

    I sure don't mean to hurt anyones feelings about the Ruger shotguns and I know that it is a personal matter--much like the long running debate--Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge vs Toyota etc.

    Anyway, seem to be rambling on, so I will stop. Good luck to you as you make a choice. Please know that most of us didn't get it right the first time either!!!
  • nordnord Member Posts: 6,106
    edited November -1
    And I couldn't agree more!

    The Red Label happened to be the gun that fit me. I was pleased that it was a domestic versus the Citori or others, but it all came down to fit.

    If you purchase a gun that fits, then you'll have much less to worry about when it comes to putting shot on target. Chokes will help, but they're NOT the real answer. The real answer is placing your shot string on target, not adjusting the string so that a few pellets will hit.

    So... Don't pay too much attention to name on the gun. Make sure the gun is pleasing to your eyes and fits comfortably. Go out and enjoy!
  • modocmodoc Member Posts: 474 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Boy O Boy' You got some darn good advice..I have to agree with most of it but the one that stands out in my mind was the ones from NORD.
    Get one that FITS..Too much crap in "which choke do I need".Shoot quick and true..Only way to improve your success..Good luck..modoc
  • laxcoachlaxcoach Member Posts: 1,296 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Once again, Nord and I are on the same page. My first experience with an o/u was with a blued frame 20 Red Label, and I shoot it as well as any s/s that I have ever owned. As to the safety issue, I prefer an auto safety over the non-auto found on other "domestic" o/u's, although the older Red Labels could be ordered either way.
    Whatever you decide, stay away from Winchester o/u's ! ( a little "bait" for

    A real shotgunner would be using a Winchester SxS... a.k.a. a Model 21[:0][^]
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 49,604 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I had Briley fit a Franchi with screw-in chokes, and I get beautiful patterns, but it was not cheap. NOT cheap. You may indeed be better off simply buying another shotgun. DO get one that fits, and have the fitting done by an experienced fitter, do not decide for yourself how it fits.
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