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Old March 8, 2005, 12:24 AM   #1
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Buckshot and chokes

What is the optimal choke for buckshot? Will a modified work? I am asking because I am considering going after deer this year with my Winchester 1300, and also for self-defence while I am shed hunting (a lot of cougar sightings lately, many at close range .)
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Old March 8, 2005, 12:30 AM   #2
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I'm glad you asked that!

Unfortunately I can't answer! Sorry! I have been wanting to shoot some coyotes with buckshot out of my 16 guage!
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Old March 8, 2005, 12:34 AM   #3
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What's the best choke for buckshot depends on:
The individual gun.
The individual choke.
The brand of shells.
The size of shot.

I have a friend who's "into" shotguns, and his Remington shoots #4 buckshot best from a Improved Cylinder and #00 buckshot from an Open Cylinder.

To complicate things, it shoots Winchester brand 00 from the Cylinder Bore tighter than Remington brand, but it's the other way around with #4 and the Improved.

Bottom line is this. Most manufactures have gone to the Improved Cylinder for buckshot guns.
To get the best patterns, you have to test a variety of brands of shells, to find the ones that work best in your individual gun.

If you already have a Modified gun, buy shells and test pattern until you find a combination that give good patterns from your gun.
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Old March 8, 2005, 01:29 AM   #4
Jeff Loveless
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Location: Arkansas
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To deer hunt with at ranges out to 40 -50 yards? FULL CHOKE. Play around with shot size from #1 to 000. Pattern at 40 yards. Your barrel will most likely prefer a particular shot size. You want the best pattern, whichever size does it.

I may be wrong, but I think Dfariswheel is commenting on home defense shotguns.
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Old March 17, 2005, 12:22 PM   #5
Join Date: March 16, 2005
Location: Lisbon, Maine
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Home Defense - inside of 20 yards - improved cycilder or open choke

Deer Hunting - Full choke and pattern different brands and sizes, If you are shooting 3" shells or better I would shoot 00 or 000.
If you are shooting 2 3/4" shells I would shoot 0 or 00.
If you do it right your gun will let you know what you should be shooting. Start your patterns at 50 yards and then move out farther.
To answer your original question though, yes a modified choke will work. Just do your homework and determine your effective range, brand and size of buckshot
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Old March 17, 2005, 02:30 PM   #6
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I have a Remington M870 Wingmaster with a 26 inch barrel. In my experimenting phase with it, I was trying to turn it into a 40 or 50 yard ground squirrel gun. In my experience, the full choke was enough to get lead on target but the smaller shot sizes weren't getting the job done and I was seeing alot of ground squirrels with patterns centered on them that managed to fall over and scurring down their holes before they died. I started experimenting with larger shot sizes all the way up to 00 buck. Even with a full choke these loads appeared completely safe out of my shotgun. Federal's 9 pellet load could keep all 9 pellets in a 10 inch pie plate at 25 yards most of the time and the bigger pellets did much better when they hit. However, the buck shot was too expensive for my weekly squirrel busting escapades so I have ended up with an extra full turkey choke shooting 7 1/2 shot and keeping ranges limited to 25 yards. Even here I still wish for larger shot and have been trying to talk my dad into stepping up to number 6 or 4 lead in his reloads.
So in a sentence (or two), in my experience, shooting buckshot through a full choke is safe but not a feat to be attempted with slugs. Full choke will give the best patterns and the most pellet strikes, which is what you're going for if you're hunting big game or using your gauge for self defense against 90 pound cats.
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