View Full Version : Choke preferences with various game

December 28, 2006, 11:36 PM
To find out the best choke/load combinations for a specific game animal I know it is best to pattern your own shotguns. But here, I'm hoping to get a thread going that will give people a good place to start when choosing a particular choke for their shotguns. So...... What choke (or even choke/load combo if you'd be so kind) do you prefer for rabbit, dove/woodcock, partridge, squirrel and/or any other game?

Sorry if this will be one of those things that have been done to death... I just got a new O/U shotgun for christmas and was looking for this type of information.


December 28, 2006, 11:57 PM
I prefer a modified choke for everything you listed. For deer improved cylinder. I don't believe I've ever used my full choke inserts and I've never owned a full choke barrel when all you could get was fixed chokes.

Fat White Boy
December 29, 2006, 07:29 PM
I put in a 26" barrel with an Open Cylinder choke in my Remington 1100 about 20 years ago. I have only taken it out for cleaning... I shoot quail, chukar, waterfowl and dove using only the Improved Cylinder.

December 29, 2006, 07:54 PM
Don why would you shoot a deer with an improved choke???

I use modified on squirrels,rabbits and first season doves.....improved at times on rabbits and late season doves...full on deer and XXX full on turkey

December 29, 2006, 11:07 PM
Don why would you shoot a deer with an improved choke???

I've always found improved cylinder patterned 00 buck better and shot rifled slugs better for me than a cylinder bore. I've never owned a rifled slug barrel. Growing up in SW Michigan shotgun was mandated for deer. I've used the same shotgun for 25 years and just bought my first deer rifle last year.

December 30, 2006, 02:36 PM
What shot size/choke do yall use for geese, ducks and prairie chickens

I was planning to use 3 inch shells for geese and 2 3/4 for ducks and chickens

Fat White Boy
December 30, 2006, 07:24 PM
Jseime- I use 7 1/2's on dove and quail, 4's on chukar, pheasant and ducks(steel) and F or T steel on geese...

Art Eatman
December 31, 2006, 11:24 AM
For birds, choke selection is more for the expected distance than anything else. Up close, as is typical with quail, a more open choke. "Out yonder" for ducks and geese, full choke is common.

For doves, it will vary: If you're at a pond and catch them coming in, a lot of folks use IC. For pass shooting, Modified.

Shot size depends on the bird's size. #8 or #7-1/2 for quail and doves, generally. Larger for pheasants, ducks, geese and turkey.


T. O'Heir
January 2, 2007, 03:25 AM
"...a new O/U shotgun..." With what chokes?

January 2, 2007, 06:05 PM
It's the remington SPR 310. It came with 4 chokes. C, IC, M, F.

January 2, 2007, 08:06 PM
set it up so my 1st bbl had the mod and the 2nd full if shot are long.
set it up so my 1st bbl had the ic and the 2nd mod if shot are short.

January 3, 2007, 01:17 AM
glad to hear it, your second scenario is how I have it set up now... Rabbit, partridge, and woodcock are my intended game. Almost all shots will be what I would call short distance.

January 3, 2007, 03:51 AM
I spent many years out in the field with a SxS double with IC/MOD chokes (12-gauge) and with #6 shot, that seemed to work well for all small game. When we were shooting geese, I switched to #2 shot, same gun. The bigger one, with MOD/FULL chokes is strictly for the trap range. Relax, you'll do just fine.:)

January 3, 2007, 08:41 PM
Full choke for everything except quail and woodcock, improved cyl for them.

January 3, 2007, 09:24 PM
71/2 shot IC on dove, rabbit, quail, woodcock, pheasant in 12 GA
8 shot Modified in 410 GA on squirrel, rabbit
Full coke whitetail (Indiana is shotgun only)
Full choke Duck, Goose in 10ga.

January 4, 2007, 12:04 AM
I use a modified choke for all small game, and I have another gun for duck with full chokes(steel full chokes).

January 10, 2007, 05:27 PM
As stated above...I hunt doves, wabbit, and quail, and prefer improved cylinder for the most part, w/ 7.5 shot. Late quail, and Late dove, and on really windy days, I bump it up to a #6 @ 1 1/8th oz of shot.

For turkey I swear by 3" mag #5. great density, lots of shot on full choke. They make some turkey tubes, but I have not tried them. My farthest turkey (not shot w/ a rifle) has been 26 yds. The closest was around 5 yds...at that range, it just takes their head off...:eek:

January 10, 2007, 09:42 PM
I use full choke for everything except deer (modified), and quail (improved cylinder).

Blue Duck
January 16, 2007, 11:33 PM
With today's shells, for upland game, at close range, even cylinder choke will work pretty good, and a cylinder in the first barrel improved cylinder in the second is not bad. Or go cylinder in first barrel and modifed in second barrel.

I have a CZ 28 gage side by side with screw in chokes and I found at cylinder and improved cylinder worked great for 30 to maybe 35 yards tops on pheasant and chuker. That little gun killed all out of porportion to it's size.

Normally I use a 12 gage Winchester mod.23 side by side with improved cylinder and improved Modified, that works very well also. But to be quite Honest I also have an L.C. Smith in modifed and full that kills very well also, but I do sorta need to let stuff get out there a little bit farther for the patterns to open up.

The down side to too much choke is when you are hunting with someone that is a quick shot using open chokes and not taking turns. He will drop them every time, while you are still waiting for your pattern to open up.

January 17, 2007, 12:36 AM
Years ago I drew some bird-sized targets on the back of wrapping paper and shot them from different distances (from the shoulder, not the bench) with different chokes to see what would work best. This was before I understood what choke actually meant. I did this with a Mossberg 500. Based on that information, the ic was going to be my choke for both pheasant and grouse - plenty of pellets on target from 15 to 35 yds. Thirty-five yards out is quite a ways when you see it measured.

So, several years and several guns later, I have some time to kill during the summer (schoolteacher) so I start going back and patterning my chokes. IIRC, I had read some article that said chokes are what they say they are about 60 % of the time. Sure enough, many of my chokes did not consitently deliver the pattern that they were supposed to.

Long story short (too late for that) you gotta put the pellets to the paper if you actually want your question answered for your gun and your chokes. Or, you can take your best guess, go to the field and see if the birds drop. If they do, great, if they don't... change. :)