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Choke Question

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I use full for clay shooting because it makes me really good at shooting other things, if you miss you miss but, if you hit it there nothing left. so it makes me a better shooter in the feild.
I use modified for everything else and usually am over decoys when hunting ducks and geese. Don't do the pheassant hunting thing. so I can't help you there

[This message has been edited by set the drag (edited 09-23-2004).]

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I use a modified for clay pidgeons. For ducks/geese it's imp. cylider or modified. Whichever shoots the steel best in the gun I'm using.

For pheasants it really depends. In my over under I start out with imp. cylinder/Modified as my dog hunts close. If the birds are flushing wild or I'm hunting corn fields I'll go mod./full for those longer shots.


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You also have to match your choke to your load. For ducks, you could use a improved cylinder with heavier load. For the regular fast steel, you will want to use your mod and make sure you hit it solid. For pheasants, it depends if you are hunting with a pointing dog or not and how late in the season it is. Early season with a dog, use improved cylinder, no dog, use mod, late season no dog use full. The birds flush farther away the later in the season.

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For trap, I talked to a guy that shoots competitively and he told me to shoot the tightest you have.

For ducks and geese, using steel shot I prefer something open. Modified or improved cylinder, whichever patterns best with the load you are shooting.

Modified for pheasants. Once again, depends on the load.

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Already been said but I will add some. It depends on the load and on the gun. Mod in my Remington patterns different than a Mod in Beretta for the same load. So it would be best to pattern whatever you choose.

For trap I use Full in Remington's, Imp Mod or Mod in a Beretta. Skeet I use Cyl or Imp Cyl. Ducks I use Mod with 3", #2 steel. Pheasant I use Mod if shooting steel (#2), Mod or Full if shooting lead (#5 or 4). For Sharptail with an over/under I shoot mod/full (#6 or 7.5).

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I'm not a waterfowler so I won't comment on that but for pheasants, as mentioned earlier, it really varies. Dog/no dog flusher/pointer, birds flushing wild/birds sitting tight, how fast you are, etc. ad nauseum...

Having said that, and assuming you have a 12 ga gun, with a 2 barrel gun I start with cyl in the first barrel and imp cyl or light mod in the second. For a one barrel gun I use imp cyl almost always. Most birds are killed inside of 25yds so I think one should be configured optimally for the 15-30 range. In a 12 ga with the right load, IC should be good to about 30+ yds. After 35 yds most people, and me especially 8^), probably shouldn't be shooting anyway. When you get back to the truck, you can always change chokes if what you selected wasn't correct.

Also the assumption we're all making with this whole discussion is that everyone's gun patterns like the textbooks say they should for each given choke. Most guns don't do that. For example, some IC choked guns really shoot a modified choke pattern. You should really pattern your gun to determine how it really behaves with a given choke and load. Short of that go shoot a few rounds each of skeet and trap with different chokes and see what happens.

With any luck it'll take you the rest of your life to figure out which choke is perfect. That makes for a lot of hunting and shooting which is always good in my book.


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