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As with rifle shooting, good shotgun marksmanship begins with proper preparation, which includes adjusting your gun and ammunition for maximum performance and mastering shotgun techniques.

A choke allows you to fine-tune your shotgun for the type of game you’re hunting. Built-in or attached to the muzzle end of the barrel, the choke is a constriction that controls the shot string, thus affecting pellet density at various distances.

The tighter the constriction, the greater the distance that the cluster of pellets stays together. The looser the constriction, the faster the shot pattern spreads. Recall that the most common chokes, ranging from tightest to most open, are:

  • Full
  • Modified
  • Improved Cylinder
  • Cylinder (unchoked)
Full choke