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As with firing a rifle, good shotgun marksmanship begins with proper preparation, which includes adjusting your gun and ammunition for maximum performance and mastering shotgun techniques. You also must choose the proper choke.

  • 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.
  • Here are the four most common chokes, ranging from most open to tightest.
    • Cylinder (unchoked)
    • Improved Cylinder
    • Modified
    • Full
Example of cylinder choke on a shotgun

Cylinder Choke

Example of improved cylinder choke on a shotgun

Improved Cylinder Choke

Example of modified choke on a shotgun

Modified Choke

Full choke

Full Choke

  • Unit 3 of 9
  • Topic 3 of 5
  • Page 2 of 11