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Chokes and Hangers Explained

Krieghoff K–80 Chokes and Hangers

Chokes

There are two types of factory made choke tubes for the K–80, Steel and Titanium. There is no difference in performance between the two but the Titanium chokes are longer and lighter than the steel version. Average weight of a Steel Choke tube in 1⁄2 choke is 23gm. The same Titanium Choke weighs 18gm, a weight saving of 5gm per choke, 10gm for the pair. This may seem insignificant but right on the muzzle of the gun it is not. You would need to add 40gm to the stock to achieve the same effect on balance as a loss of 10gm at the muzzle (based on 32” barrels). A second advantage is that the longer chokes are easier to change quickly on a Sporting layout. Originally conceived for Sporting, the Titanium chokes have rapidly become popular across all disciplines.


Both choke types are available in the following sizes:

Choke Number USA UK Constriction
00 CYLINDER CYLINDER 0.000"
0 SKEET IMPROVED CYLINDER 0.005"
1 IMPROVED CYLINDER 1/4" 0.010"
1+ LIGHT MODIFIED 3/8" 0.015"
2 MODIFIED 1/2" 0.020"
2+ LIGHT IMP MODIFIED 5/8" 0.025"
3 IMPROVED MODIFIED 3/4" 0.030"
4 FULL 7/8" 0.035"
5 SUPER FULL FULL

0.040"


Hangers

What is the benefit of a Titanium hanger?

Just as with choke tubes, the Krieghoff factory produce hangers in both Steel and Titanium. Once again there is no technical difference other than the Titanium hanger is lighter in weight aiding the responsiveness of the barrel. A Steel hanger weighs in at 14gm whilst the Titanium version is only 4g. That is 10g saving just on the hanger. Combined with 10g for the Titanium chokes the total weight saved is 20gm, right on the muzzle and equivalent to about 80gm in the stock.

What do the numbers mean?

The purpose of the front hanger is to allow the user to fine tune the point of impact of the bottom barrel to personal requirements. Standard set up from the factory is both barrels shooting to the same point of aim and the appropriate hanger is fitted to achieve this. Each change of hanger moves the point of impact of the bottom barrel approximately 25mm at 35 metres (Roughly 1” at 40 yards) . Hanger sizes increase in 0.5mm increments starting at #1 and ending at #9. No 1 measures 0.5mm from the top of the bottom barrel to the flat of the hanger, whilst No 9 measures 4.5mm. The bigger the number, the greater the gap between the barrels and the lower the bottom barrel will shoot.

Remember big numbers shoot low whilst small numbers shoot high.
Titanium hangers are not offered for Fixed Choke barrels.

How do they work?

Hangers work by bending the bottom barrel away from, or towards, the top barrel. So fixing a larger hanger bends the bottom barrel down thereby lowering the point of impact. A smaller hanger bends the barrel upwards thus raising the point of impact.

Changing the hanger acts on both barrels equally but the reason only the bottom barrel moves is because the top barrel has the rib attached and this acts as a brace making that barrel stiffer.  The same it true of barrels with the floating aluminium rib but to a lesser degree.  When changing hangers on a floating rib bear in mind that the top barrel may move as well.  Always pattern test any barrel after changing the hanger to ensure the change is what you wanted to achieve.

How do I change the hanger?

Hangers are changed by driving out the hollow cross pin that passes horizontally through the hanger. The pin diameter is 1.5mm and the correct pin punch is 1.4mm. Do not use a larger punch size as this will enlarge the pin hole in the hanger. To refit the pin it is recommended that a 0.9mm pin is inserted through the hollow centre of the pin to provide support whilst it is drifted in. Pin punches in these sizes are not commonly available in the UK but are stocked by Krieghoff Service.

What is the centre hanger for?

There is a centre hanger that ties the bottom barrel to the top.  It tightens onto a serrated block with a locking screw. When making hanger changes of more than one or two sizes it is recommended that this screw be slackened to allow the barrel to move over it's whole length. Tighten the screw again once the hanger change has been accomplished. Be careful, the screw is not strong and can easily be sheared by over enthusiastic tightening. This same centre hanger can be used to affect small changes in the point of impact. Slacken the screw and wedge the barrels apart at the centre with a wooden wedge before tightening the screw again. This bends the centre of the bottom barrel down thereby bending the muzzle upwards towards the front hanger. This makes the bottom barrel shoot slightly higher, about half of one hanger size. Likewise, slackening the screw and squeezing the barrels together in the centre bends the bottom barrel down at the muzzle making it shoot slightly lower.

How do I know which hanger size I need?

The only correct way to determine point of impact is to pattern test the gun. Laser pointers do not give the true picture. A laser can only show where the barrel points when it is static but when it is fired it will shoot to a different point of aim. Pattern test at 20 metres or 25 yards. Take a large sheet of paper and mark a horizontal line across the centre about 2” wide. Parcel or duct tape works well. Ignore right to left as you are shooting to determine the point of impact and it is more successful to concentrate on that only. Mount the gun carefully and deliberately, making sure that your sight picture is what you normally see when you shoot. If you normally sit the centre bead under the front bead, classic “figure of eight” sight picture, make sure you do the same for this pattern test. Likewise, if you sit the one bead behind the other, do the same now and do it for every shot at the pattern sheet. Slowly bring the rib up onto the horizontal line and fire as soon as the front bead touches the line. Do not mount and fire in one movement because you are patterning for impact point not gun fit and it is a different test. If you think you snatched the trigger or pulled the gun off at the moment of firing, scrap that sheet and do it again. It is much easier to pull off than you might imagine. Once you are satisfied with a sheet from one barrel, change the paper and repeat with the other. Look at both pattern sheets and visually estimate where the centre of the pattern is. Measure the distance from the horizontal line and you have your point of impact. You can now work out the difference, if any, between the two barrels and select the correct hanger. The shorter range does show the difference as slightly smaller than it is at say 35 to 40 metres but not significantly.

The reason for shooting at such a close range is twofold. Firstly you need the pattern to be dense enough to easily see where the centre is and secondly, it reduces aiming errors. Until you try this you will not appreciate how difficult it is to consistently centre your shot on a static target. Flinches and twitches are normal.

How important is it to have the correct hanger fitted?

Don't lose sight of the fact that a shotgun is not a rifle. When you shoot at a target you are not sending a single projectile that has to be inch perfect to hit the target. Your effective shotgun pattern is going to be around 25 to 30” so you have at least ten to fifteen inches of spread below and above your aiming point. If your bottom barrel is shooting six inches away from the top barrel it will not cause a lost target. The purpose of changing the hanger is not to hit more targets but to centre more targets in the pattern.

Why does my hanger rattle? Does it matter?

If you fire a lot of shots through the bottom barrel it will heat up quickly, especially in the Trap disciplines. As the barrel heats up it expands in length. The K–80 hanger system allows the barrel to expand lengthwise without bending upwards. To do this the barrel has to be able to move within the hanger. It is completely normal for there to be some noticeable movement and even a slight rattle. This does seem to increase with a lot of use but will have absolutely no affect on the point of impact. If yours is especially bad it can easily and quickly be tightened to reduce the movement.

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