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Shotgun Chokes – a primer for beginning shotgunners.

Posted on February 15, 2014 by admin Posted in Old Coach’s Corner

Shotgun Chokes – a primer for beginning shotgunners.

CHOKE is a term used to describe a narrowing of the inner diameter of the barrel in its last 2 – 3 inches (just short of the muzzle).

This narrowing is called Constriction. Its purpose is to effect and control the dispersion of the shotshell pellets.

Chokes can be either fixed (built into the barrel at the time of manufacture), or the screw-in type, called interchangeable choke tubes (of which there are many types, sizes, and brands).

The amount/degree of constriction is usually printed on the side of interchangeable choke tubes. It is stamped often in code on the side of the barrel for fixed chokes.

In most cases a Full choke is preferred for distant targets – 45 -50 yards.

Chokes marked Modified are often used for targets at moderate distances. Perhaps 35 – 45 yards.

Improved Cylinder chokes (perhaps the most versatile) are very effective at shorter ranges, 30 – 40 yards.

Skeet chokes are even more open, providing good coverage at yet shorter ranges. 20 – 25 yards.

Cylinder is no constriction at all and is the most open.

The history of shotgun chokes and their current usage is a study in itself, however, this short explanation will answer a few questions for the new or beginning shooter.