• Vintage Shotgun Choke Markings

    Unlike most manufacturers, Savage chose not to mark their shotgun barrels with standard choke markings of Full, Modified, Improved Cylinder and Cylinder. Instead they chose to use a series of asterisk (*) marks as code to specify the choke constriction of a given barrel. This code can be found stamped on the barrel just forward of the receiver.

    = Full Choke
    ** = Modified
    *** = Imp. Cylinder
    **** = Cylinder

    At some point along the timeline Savage switched from using asterisks to using numbers inside of a square box. Like the asterisks, this mark will be found on the left side of the barrel just forward of the receiver as shown in the photo to the right. Choke sizes corresponded with the numbers as follows:

    4 = Full
    3 = Modified
    2 = Imp. Cylinder
    1 = Cylinder

    If your particular Savage/Stevens/Fox shotgun is not marked with the asterisk system you will need to measure the bore diameter at the muzzle with a dial caliper or a choke gauge to determine the choke constriction. The following chart is for Browning shotguns, but the fixed choke sizes tended to be pretty close from brand to brand back in the day.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. FrankBurnell's Avatar
      FrankBurnell -
      I have a Savage 440 12 gauge over under. Barrels are marked with 4 stars on the bottom of the barrels...not asterisks...(cylinder), but barrel measures 0.6875, which puts it in the full choke class....what's what?
    1. ed mo's Avatar
      ed mo -
      How do I find the date of manufacture for my newly acquired Savage FoxB series H 20 gauge SxS?