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Full choke

Built-in or attached to the muzzle end of the barrel, the choke is a constriction that controls the shot string. The most common chokes are Full, Modified, Improved Cylinder, and Cylinder (unchoked). A choke allows you to fine-tune your shotgun for the type of game you’re hunting.

Pattern density

No two shotguns will shoot identical pellet patterns. To select the ammunition that provides the best performance, you must “pattern” your shotgun. The goal is to produce a pattern of pellets with even density and a sufficient percentage of the load within a 30-inch circle.

Hunter with shotgun

Using proper shotgun-shooting techniques will help improve your accuracy. The four fundamentals you should master are standing in a relaxed, balanced shooting stance; shouldering the shotgun by bringing the stock to your cheek and then back to your shoulder; pointing the gun with your eye sighting along the top of the barrel; and pulling the trigger quickly as you continue to swing the gun.

Leading the target with swing-through method

The two most common methods of leading targets at long distances are swing-through (best for beginners) and sustained lead. A third method is snap-shooting.

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