Are you wondering which two shotgun chokes are best for hunting small, fast close birds? If so, you are in the right place. Here are the two best shotgun chokes for hunting small, fast, close birds.
What is a choke tube?
Before picking out the best choke tube for hunting birds, you need to know what a choke tube is. Chokes are designed to shape how the bullets spread after pulling the trigger.
They work by constricting the shotgun’s bore. The exit hole of the choke will be smaller than the bore size, constricting the exit hole of the gun. When the barrel is constricted, the bullets hit the intended target more accurately and move faster out of the barrel.
You will place the choke at the muzzle end in the bore of the barrel. You can install a choke tube in one of two ways. The easiest way to install a choke tube is with screw-in chokes. These chokes can be easily replaced and cleaned whenever needed. There are also fixed chokes. These chokes are integrated into the barrel.
There are 4 main types of shotgun chokes:
- Cylinder choke
- Improved cylinder choke
- Modified choke
- Full choke
Two Best Shotgun Chokes for Small, Fast, Close Birds
These are the two best shotgun chokes for hunting small, fast, close birds:
1. Improved cylinder shotgun choke:
An improved cylinder shotgun choke offers more constriction than a cylinder choke but less constriction than a modified or full choke. To be more exact, improved cylinder shotgun chokes offer 0.01 inches of constriction in the barrel.
When shooting pellets from an improved cylinder choke, 50% of the bullets hit within the desired target radius at 40 yards. This may not seem like a high accuracy rating, but it is 10% higher than shooting from a cylinder shotgun choke.
If you are shooting at short distances, the number of bullets that hit the intended target radius increases. Additionally, hunting at short distances with an improved cylinder shotgun choke makes the bullet more powerful, ensuring that your target is properly hit.
The constriction of an improved cylinder choke makes it great for hunting small, fast, and close birds. It will increase your shooting accuracy and make the bullets speed out of the barrel. This fact betters your chances of hitting a small, fast, and close bird.
2. Modified shotgun choke:
A modified shotgun choke offers less constriction than a full choke but more constriction than a cylinder or improved cylinder choke. Modified shotgun chokes offer 0.02 inches of constriction.
This 0.01 inch difference from the improved cylinder choke increases the number of bullets that hit the intended target radius by 10%. In other words, around 60% of the bullets will hit the target radius at 40 yards.
This rating means that the modified shotgun choke offers more power and accuracy when shooting. Like with the improved cylinder shotgun choke, the accuracy of the modified choke and power will increase at shorter distances.
The higher constriction of the modified shotgun choke makes it great for hunting small, fast, and close birds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about improved cylinder and modified shotgun chokes:
How do I know what choke I have?
You can determine your choke type based on the number of notches around the rim.
- Cylinder choke: 5 notches
- Improved cylinder choke: 4 notches
- Modified choke: 3 notches
- Full choke: 2 notches
How do I choose between an improved cylinder choke or a modified choke?
Improved cylinder shotgun chokes are best for hunting at closer distances. The lower power of the improved cylinder choke will be offset by the closer distance. The closer distance will also make up for the 10% accuracy difference and ensure that the bullet doesn’t destroy the prey.
A modified shotgun choke is better for hunting larger birds or hunting at a slightly further distance. The constriction of the modified choke ensures that the bullets will reach the intended target accurately. If you are hunting a larger bird, it will prevent the bullet from excessively damaging the bird.
Of course, both chokes are ideal for hunting small, fast, and close birds. The differences in bird size and hunting distance will vary only slightly. You could not go wrong with either of these shotgun chokes.
What about a full choke?
You can use a full choke for hunting small, fast, and close birds, but it may be too powerful. Because of the higher constriction, the full shotgun choke can cause the bullet to hit the target with too much force. For small prey, this strength can destroy the body.
For this reason, full chokes may be too powerful for small, fast, and close birds. It is best to go with the improved cylinder choke or modified choke.
How do I take care of my shotgun choke?
Ignoring your shotgun choke can cause damage to your shotgun. It is imperative to keep your choke clean and well-kept. If you do not clean your choke, your shotgun can rust, causing permanent damage.
Cleaning your shotgun choke is easy. Before cleaning, make sure that your gun is unloaded. Never clean your gun when it is loaded. It is also recommended to check your gun’s disassembly recommendations to further ensure your health and safety.
Once your gun is properly disassembled, remove the choke. You can use a quarter or another tool for removal. Place the choke in a bowl or jar filled with shotgun and choke tube cleaner to let the choke soak in the cleaner. Use an AP brush to clean the barrel while the choke soaks.
After the choke has soaked for a bit, use that AP brush to clean the exterior and a bronze bore brush to clean the interior of the choke. Finally, coat the choke with grease, and you can reinsert it within the barrel.
Knowing which two shotgun chokes are best for hunting small, fast, close birds will allow you to accurately and powerfully hit your intended targets. Our list cites the improved cylinder choke and the modified choke as the best two chokes for hunting small, fast, and close birds.