22 important things to know about choke | Shooting UK

A choke constricts the muzzle of your gun and tightens the pellet pattern. A wide or restricted pattern could make a difference to your shooting. ’Could’ is however the operative word.

  • By swapping chokes, you can use the same shotgun for a variety of different disciplines
  • But most of us don’t shoot well enough to get any real benefit from choke
  • Screw-in chokes arrived in the late 1970s with the Winchester 101 series of guns
  • Good technique and practice are the secrets of good marksmanship rather than chokes
  • Almost every Gun will suffer from a bout of chokechanging-itis
  • Frantic choke changing rarely helps accuracy
  • Novice shooters should forget excessive choke and concentrate on ensuring that patterns are adequate at 40 yards and not over-tight.
  • Look at the patterns to see what choke works best in your gun
  • Tight patterns may give clean kills at long range but at short distances they demand more accuracy
  • Quarter and quarter or half and half is a good choke for pigeon shooting
  • Clean chokes from time to time by immersing in petrol
  • Always throw away a damaged choke
  • Check that your chokes are screwed home fully before using
  • Check chokes are free of foreign bodies like grit
  • The threaded section of multi-chokes should be lightly greased with Vaseline or equivalent before being screwed home
  • Beware of over-tightening chokes
  • If a choke gets stuck, don’t force it. Take it to a gunsmith for removal.
  • Multi-chokes sit in a section of the muzzle that has been specially machined to receive them.
  • Multi-chokes need to be cared for to remain trouble-free
  • Multi-chokes must be screwed in sufficiently so no gap remains between the inside of the barrel and the base of the choke section
  • If a tiny gap does remain serious damage may occur to the gun- this is called “choke pick-up”
  • Multi-chokes have become very popular, both as factory standard and as custom attachments from specialist makers.

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