The purpose of a good gun attachment is to prepare the shooter for any sort of situation when on the range. It’s the same for almost all the choke tube attachments out there in the market as well. Why? Well, they all strive and thrive to provide the gunner with better control on the constriction and spread of pellets.
Be it modified or full-choke, finding the best choke tubes for sporting clays is where it starts to get tricky. If you’ve ever gone shopping for firearm equipment, then you already know that the options are just way too many to choose from. And that is exactly why we decided to bring you this guide so that you can skip the research phase and jump to purchasing right away! By the end of this article, you will know which product from the list is most suitable for you and why.
Types Of Choke Tubes
Before diving into the top recommendations, let us discuss the types of chokes available for purchase. This section will focus on the classification along with their differences in both performance and firearm effect. To keep it as simple for shooters of all expertise, we tried to avoid discussing too many stats on the spread.
Note that just because a choke has the largest constriction doesn’t necessarily make it the best one of the bunch. The ideal spread depends on what you’re shooting at. All the pattern percentages in the brackets are recorded after shooting on a 30-inch radius situated exactly 30 yards away. Results may vary largely (not relatively) depending on firearm and bore constriction. Here are the types of choke you should be familiar with (arranged in descending order of choke diameter) –
- Cylinder (60%)
These chokes have zero constriction effect on the projectile. The main uses of such chokes are for rabbit hunting or close-range shooting. You may also notice them on the firearms of most law enforcement officers.
- Skeet (65-67%)
As the name suggests, this sort of choke is usually for skeet shooting and other similar sports. Although stats say that it has a patter percentage of above 60, it may variably drop to 50% depending on its handler as well.
- Improved Cylinder (70-75%)
Widelyknown in the shooting community as IC, this choke is the perfect companion for shooting waterfowls and low flying birds. The constriction on this type of choke is optimal for pursuing targets on a close range.
- Modified (85%)
These have long been the tightest chokes for a long time, up until IMs (improved modified) came into being. Even now, many expert shooters still consider Modified chokes as the king of the bunch due to their compatibility to various sports, namely skeet shooting and sporting clay.
- Improved Modified (90%)
IMs will get the party started even if your 30-inch paper target is a well 40 yards away. In other words, it packs more lethal projectiles than any other type of chokes. However, this doesn’t mean that the spray pattern won’t disrupt the results.
- Full (100%)
Full chokes need very little explaining. The deviation angle on this thing is so small that absolutely no ejection goes outside the said 30-inch radius. As a result, the constriction is maximum and requires more control and focus during usage.
- Extra Full and Super Full (100%)
These chokes seldom make the cut to sports and other shooting events. They offer plenty of linear ejections, so they are often the damage dealers. Any expert shooter will choose this over IMs if he/she has to go turkey hunting. They also have a constriction angle over 0.040.
Best Choke Tubes For Sporting Clays : Top 7 Picks Reviewed
Different products suffice different uses. Some will cater to a recognizable spray, while others will offer the tightness you’re looking for. We recommend our readers to go through all of the reviews to better understand their right pick.
1. Carlson’s Beretta Benelli Mobil Choke Tubes
This choke comes in all available choke types. So there is no limiting your possibilities. Let’s say that you are looking for a new choke to begin constricting your spray. Under such circumstances, a choke like the Mobil 12 GA will definitely give you a good beginner’s boost.
It doesn’t mean that expert shooters won’t find any use of Carlson’s choke. Regardless of your expertise in the field, you are sure to benefit from its tightness. Since the range of variation is also vast, therefore you’ll have fun playing around with it.
Lastly, the manufacturers’ heat treats the firearm to bring about a solid overall build. Again it’s compatibility measures with the Beretta and Benelli makes it a great companion for shotgun users. The choke has long been one of the personal favorites of many intermediate and novice players since their launch.
- Fits all 12 gauge Beretta and Benelli variations perfectly
- Great choke for new users
- Enhanced compatibility measures for easy installation
- Doesn’t require a lot of handling knowledge
- Can be made to fit a Benelli Supernova with the help of gunsmiths
2. Remington Rem Choke Tube Extended Bundle
The Remington is a lead-shot-only choke; therefore, its use among the shooting community is pretty limited. However, this doesn’t pass as a bad choke at all. Since the tube is ported from the outside, therefore it gives an additional helping hand to the shooters.
We do not recommend getting this product if you do not have enough experience in choke handling. But if this isn’t your first choke, then you will face absolutely no problem whatsoever. Again, the Remington chokes do not come with storage boxes, so you will have to designate one for it by yourself.
Extra Full ones will have guaranteed constriction of more than 0.60, which is more than satisfactory for any well-performing choke out there in the market. The price point is also fairly low; therefore, it is affordable to shooters of all budget ranges. But if you have a slightly larger budget, consider moving onto the next product.
- Great choke for intermediate and expert shooters
- Doesn’t require a lot of maintenance
- Low and affordable price point
- No fitment issues
- Doesn’t require expert installation
3. Carlson’s Long Beard XR Choke Tubes
Nothing screams’ Shooting Season!’ more than Carlson. They have long been the market leaders due to their extra-ordinary performance in ensuring build quality and performance. Surprisingly, they have always managed to stay true to their words. This brings us to yet another testimony, Long Beard XR 12 GA chokes.
We all know that chokes are meant to constrict the spacing of the spray. If you’re not able to control the spacing, then there’s no point buying a choke in the first place. And we cannot stress enough this fact. This product has a good balance between control and constriction, making it the best choke for skeet shooting.
However, there are some limitations to the variation. Since they are made with the utmost care, therefore, often all the choke types are not available in the market. So as long as their products are not discontinued, grabbing one for your own is definitely worth it.
- Focuses on precision and performance
- First-class build quality
- Easy installation method
- Slightly expensive and premium than most other chokes
- Optimum balance between constriction and spacing
4. Carlson’s Choke Tubes Sporting Clays Choke Tube
ICs, MODs, Full, Extra Full – you name it, and this choke has got it. Since there are absolutely no limitations in variation, therefore you have a lot to choose from. Depending on your shooting style, you’ll be able to make the right pick without having to sacrifice your preference.
Carlson’s have long been a pioneer in choke construction for shotguns. Due to their reputation, most gunners always expect something outstanding from their side. As a result, they have a lot of expectations to live up to. With that being said, this is definitely not the best choke Carlson has ever produced.
But does that mean that it’s not worth buying? No. Costing nearly the same as the browning chokes, they offer far better performance than them. So if you’re looking for a great midrange killer for clay shooting, then make sure to explore this one. You won’t be disappointed even if this is not the best choke for sporting clays.
- Offers a good number of choke types to choose from
- Fits a wide range of guns for optimum compatibility
- Not rare, therefore available in most gun shops
- Easy to maintain and repair
- Terrific build quality
5. MOJO Outdoors Fatal Choke Tube
MOJO designed this interchangeable choke after carefully studying the spread patterns on guns. As a result, they are more precise than most other chokes. Even the best choke tubes for sporting clays will not perform as sharply as this one (in terms of precision). How do we know that? We tested and confirmed.
If you’re a beginner and looking for a good place to start, then this is it. Since the gear is not over-bearing therefore it won’t be too much for you to handle. Again, the equipment is smooth and offers good overall tightness. So you will not be lost in the middle of anywhere, even if you have zero experience with chokes.
This choke shoots everything starting from steel, lead, buck to heavy lead. Lastly, the state of the art computerized shotgun pattern study has helped this choke become a great choke for all shotgun users. The great balances also help eliminate the need to buy more than one choke for sporting clays.
- Made with careful research of shot patterns
- Focuses mainly on precision
- Substantial choking compared to competitors
- Ideal choke for beginner shooters
- Offers excellent overall tightness
6. HEVI-Shot ER Waterfowl Choke Tube
HEVI-Shots are well reputed for their unique design and handy customer service. Pair it all up together, and you have the Extended Range choke. Since the 12 gauge is widely accepted in the gun community, therefore the HEVI-shot choke also comes as a great addition to any gunner’s collection.
When shooting flying targets, you must understand whether the target is coming towards you or going away from you. If you have good visionary knowledge, then there’s nothing stopping you from attaining the maximum potential with this choke. This makes it no less than the best choke for trap.
Very few chokes on the market carry out this much promise when it comes to precision patterns. Since manufacturers have built it entirely out of stainless steel, therefore there is no chance of cracking or misalignment even after rough use. A definite must-have if you’re a Benelli user.
- Sturdy build quality
- Appropriate for shooting flying targets
- A useful collectible for all Benelli users
- Delivers more precision patterns than other chokes
- Accommodates lead, HEVI-shot, and copper-plated lead
7. Browning Midas Grade Extended Choke Tube
If you have used a Browning product before, then it doesn’t need much explaining that they are true to their durability and commitments. The matter is no different from their market-leading chokes. Be it shooting trap or clay sporting- this equipment takes care of it all.
Unfortunately, this choke doesn’t come in all types like the Carlsons. As a result, they seem to fall behind by a step when it comes to sales. So we can say that the only thing stopping it from becoming the best all around choke for sporting clays is the limitation of variation.
Looking for the most successful MOD in the market? Then this browning product is just the thing for you. Say goodbye to stressful researches on the internet because this rig doesn’t take much time to get used to. Once you get your hands on the equipment, you’ll be having nothing fun with it. You have our word.
- Only offers modified chokes
- Made out of stainless steel with an oxide-finishing appearance
- Optimum performance when paired with Browning Cynergy
- Doesn’t have any threading issues
- Requires a careful installation for perfect output
What To Consider Before Buying Choke Tubes for Sporting Clays
The best choke tubes for sporting clays is not the one with the highest construction or lowest spray. Rather the perfect choke for your purpose is the one that caters to your specific need. Here’s how you can judge whether a particular choke is right for sporting clay or not;
The very first thing you need to bear in mind is whether the choke is compatible with your firearm or not. If the choke doesn’t fit the threading of your gun, then it’s pretty much pointless to purchase it, right? The same goes for almost any other shooting equipment as well.
Not all chokes will fit your barrel. More often than not, shotguns will only be able to host particular threading, brand, or choke tubes sizes. Do your researches on compatibility before you head off to the store.
What condition is your firearm in? Is it brand-new, or has it been in the family for generations? Answers to these questions will help you better determine the perfect choke for sporting clay.
Check and see whether any modifications have been made to the firearm before or not. If yes, then try taking the gun to the same gunsmith that always works on it to avoid any technical issues during installation. In case that’s a no, then make sure that you are well informed about the compatibility factor discussed previously.
If you’re familiar with the types of choke and their difference in performance, then it shouldn’t be too hard for you to make the pick. However, if you aren’t familiar with the types, then feel free to scroll up and take a look at our ‘Types Of Choke Tubes’ section.
Choosing the wrong choke type is pretty much equivalent to not using a choke at all. It can result in a horrendous experience if you’re looking for an IM spray but end up having an open cylinder spray. Think you can go heavy on your pocket? Then buy more than one to be able to experiment and find the sweet spot!
The size of shotgun chokes for sporting clays can differ from anywhere between 0.5 to 1 mm. So make sure the right value of deviation you want on your bullets before making the purchase. If you’re a beginner and are unsure about what size to go for, then we recommend starting somewhere in the middle.
In simple terms, the more the constriction size on a choke, the tighter the spray. Depending on your shooting style, constriction makes a great deal of difference on sporting clays.
Clay molds are meant to simulate the unpredictability of flying birds. So the pattern of scattering at which the pellets hit the target has an immense overall impact. Make sure that you know the hit percentage and spray style of your choke before purchase.
Beginners often start their research by asking – ‘which shotgun choke has the tightest shot pattern?’ Usually, 3-8 pellets are enough to break a clay mold. If a particular choke can give you a ‘hit percentage’ of more than 55%, then we can say for sure that more than enough pellets will be hitting the target.
The overall build quality of your choke decides how much pressure it can endure. On a very quick thought, the build isn’t supposed to matter too much. But in reality, there’s no point buying a cheap multi-purpose choke that will eventually wear out.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Lastly, if you do not have the strength, time, and will to take care of your equipment, then don’t buy it. Yes, you read it right. We are suggesting you not to buy a choke if you can’t maintain it.
However, if you have substantial experience in sporting clays and precision-shotguns, then you already know all the brushing and thread-cleaning techniques. More expensive chokes with tighter constrictions take longer to clean. Try to foresee the amount of responsibility long before you even purchase a choke.
Best Choke Brands for Sporting Clays
Not all brands perform equally. Some brands lead the market, while others try to out-perform it in all aspects. As shooters, we are no stranger to the fact that some brands never even manage to keep their words. Looking for surefire brands to explore? Here are some of the top dogs in the game –
Carlson’s Choke Tubes
Carlson has long lived up to their reputation of being the pack-leader since more than 28 years ago. Apart from analyzing thousands of load and choke combos, they also like to focus on one-to-one communication with their customers.
Shooters feel comfortable using the US-based brand because of the convenience in interchangeability. Their overall approach to the sale of the stainless steel chokes has helped them climb to the summit so early in the game!
If we had to describe Hevi-shot in a single word, we’d choose ‘Premium’ over anything. They have the only leads in the market with substantial weight to pierce into concrete walls. This also means that their chokes are strong enough to channel such energy out of the gun.
The extended range choke tubes have long been their best-seller since launch. Apart from that, the manufacturers also excel in ensuring precision, compatibility, and comfort.
Mojo has, by far, the most fun-to-use chokes in the market. If you’re looking for something that is easy and exciting to use, then Mojo Outdoors is just the right brand for you.
Apart from that, even tier 1 chokes that they manufacture are available at reasonable prices. This further speaks to prove that you do not need to spend a fortune to narrow down your constriction. Looking for an enjoyable experience? Go Mojo today!
If this seems like a broad pool for you to dive in, then consider taking a look at our top recommendations from the brands in the review section above.
Improved Cylinder vs. Modified Choke For Sporting Clays
Two of the most popular choke cylinders used on shotguns are the Improved and Modified Cylinders. Today we are going to discuss the primary and region-based differences between the two. Let’s dive in to get a better insight into the comparison.
- Improved Cylinder
These chokes are the ones that have a very tight pattern. Shooters generally use them for headshots or damage dealing. And the targets are mostly low flying birds. Today, they are also widely popular for sporting clays and other precision shooting events.
- Constriction and Diameter
If you’re from the US, then a 12 bore constriction will mean 0.010”. However, if you’re from the UK, then the same can mean 0.005”. In layman’s terms, ICs have a very constricted spacing, so they can easily act as a damage dealer.
- Usage and Range
If you’ve read through the entire article, then you probably realized that our favorite nickname for the IC is the ‘damage dealer.’ And we cannot stress enough how much it correlates to the usage. When shot at a 30” circle situated 40 yards away, the effectiveness rates to 50% for the IC
- Reputation and Country Variation
These chokes are widely reputed in the shooting community as the ‘tight masters.’ Many manufacturers code them with their initials, IC.
You will be surprised by the number of shooters who don’t know that ICs can vary from region to region. For example – they have very different constriction spacing when it comes to the US and UK.
- Modified Cylinder
Modified chokes have a moderate constriction; as a result, the shot propagation is denser even at long range. Apart from sporting clays, the MOD is also popular for bird hunting as well.
The constriction for MOD does not vary from region to region. As a result, it saves a lot of confusion for sharpshooters and sporting clay players. 0.020 is the value of constriction at which it deviates on a 12 bore constriction.
- Usage and Range
When shot at a 30” circle situated 40 yards away, the MOD rates to an effective rate of 60%. Which is only 10% more than the IC. But this little boost eventually plays a big role in the long run. Other factors such as whether the clay is going away from you or coming towards you also matters in the range.
- Reputation and Country Variation
Unlike the ICs, Modified tubes do not vary from region to region. As a result, they are universally recognized as the same equipment. This is a great thing about the chokes as there are far too many variations already present in the market. The US modified choke is also known as the UK’s half choke.
Tips for Using Choke Tubes for Beginners
There are countless tips and tricks on the internet that promises surefire success; not all of them work. With that being said, the only thing that should matter in your progress as a choke tube user is practice and determination. Here are 5 pro-tips that will enhance your potential by several times.
- Experiment with Safety-Measure
Beginners tend to experiment a lot, and we encourage that. But it’s always advised to have an expert by your side who can guide you through the process. That way, your learning curve will be sharp, all the while maintaining necessary precautions.
- Learn the Consistency Patterns
Different chokes have different consistency in spraying. Try to learn the pattern from the information that the manufacturers provide. This will allow you to have better control over your choke. A quick read of the instruction manual can sometimes make a big difference in output. In other words, read first, shoot later.
- When in Doubt, Start in the Middle
Can’t determine which choke size to begin with? Remember that it’s always safe to start in the middle. That way, you have both tighter and wider options to shift towards.
Many beginner shooters feel intimidated by the wide range of chokes to choose from. If you’re also under similar circumstances, try experimenting with the IC or MOD.
- Get Good Value for Your Unwanted Chokes
Let’s say you buy a choke, and it doesn’t quite fit your taste. Don’t throw it in your gun safe for the rest of its life. Take it to the aftermarket resellers, and they’ll give you a percentage of its resale value back. Good use of scrap equipment!
You can check this video to clean choke tubes properly:
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the point of using Cylinder chokes if they have no constriction?
The purpose of a choke is not just to constrict your bullet but to give you better control of the shot radius. Cylinder chokes come in handy during close combat shootings. Especially where a little spread can be essential to the outcome. For instance – rabbit hunting.
2. How can I find the shot percentage of my choke within a certain radius?
Every choke has a variable shot accuracy percentage. Even two identical types of chokes of different brands can have significantly different results. Again, the type of cartridge you use will also affect the outcome. So the best way to find your shot percentage is to experiment and test it on a testing chart at the range (practically).
3. Which one is a better option? IC or MODs?
MOD has a more constricted shooting pattern. Whereas ICs will layout a bit more dispersion. The better option depends on which one suffices your purpose.
For instance, an IC is the better option when you want a more precise shot. On the other hand, a MOD will cover more ground all the while keeping the precision intact.
4. Are aftermarket choke tubes worth it?
The sole purpose of a choke is to improve your spray pattern. Ask yourself if you really want an improvement in the spraying or not. If yes, then an aftermarket choke will help you out. On the other hand, if you are satisfied with the stock spray of your gun, then there’s no point spending on a choke.
If you have a substantial budget, then go for the HEVI-Shot 12-Gauge Extended Range Waterfowl Benelli. However, shooters looking for a more performance-based choke can opt for the Carlson’s Beretta/Benelli Mobil 12 GA Sporting Clays. Don’t want to spend much? Then the Remington Rem Choke is your safest bet.
Like we always say, the best choke tubes for sporting clays are not necessarily the most expensive one of the bunch. So it’s quite pointless to expect good performance just because you spent a lot of money on it. We only handpicked the few chokes that are true to the commitments they make. Happy Shooting!
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