What are the 3 commonly used choke?

The three most common types of chokes are:

  1. Full Choke: tight constriction and a dense pattern
  2. Modified Choke
  3. Improved Cylinder Choke: the most open pattern
Types of shotgun chokes - shotgun choke chart
  1. Full choke
  2. Modified choke
  3. Improved cylinder choke

A choke tube determines the shotgun's effective range. The tighter the constriction of the tube, the farther the range. For example:

  • a full choke is most effective at 40 to 50 yards;
  • an improved cylinder is most effective from 20 to 35 yards.

Note: The choke determines shot spread only. It has no influence on velocity. Always be sure to select the proper choke and ammunition combination.

A choke is designed to alter or shape the distribution of the shot as it leaves the firearm. When a shotshell is fired, the pellets leave the barrel and begin to spread. The farther the pellets travel the greater this spread will be. To control this pellet pattern, shotgun barrels have a choke. The choke is the narrowing at the muzzle end of the shotgun barrel.

A shotgun's choke can be compared to the nozzle of a water hose. As the nozzle is tightened, water shoots out in a long, narrow spray, similar to the full choke on a shotgun. As the nozzle is opened, like the cylinder choke on a shotgun, water shoots out in a wide spray.

Full Choke Shotgun

This choke has a tight constriction and a dense pattern. This choke is the most closed. Full choke produces a tight pattern of distribution of the shot. Commonly used when hunting turkey. Full choke is commonly used for longer range.

Full choke

Modified Choke Shotgun

This choke has less constriction than a full choke. Modified choke produces a more open pattern. Probably the best choke for hunting both upland game and migratory birds like ducks or geese.

Modified choke

Improved Cylinder Choke Shotgun

Improved Cylinder choke produces the most open pattern. Improved Cylinder is even less constricted than modified. Preferred for hunting upland game birds and rabbits that flush in close range.


Improved cylinder choke

Hunter safety course

To learn more about shotgun chokes and all the knowledge you need to go hunting safely, our hunter safety course meets the Safety Course Standards set forth by the Department of Natural Resources and by the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA).