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Which Two Shotgun Chokes are Best for Hunting Small, Fast, Close Birds?

which two shotgun chokes are best for hunting small? The design of the shotgun chokes is designed to enhance aiming at close targets thereby make the shooting performance a success.

Among the many shotguns, chokes around there are in the market, as a hunter you must be choosey if you want to achieve your goal. We have identified and explained with precision which two shotguns chokes are best for hunting small. However, we intend to give some explanation on the shotguns.

Shotguns Choke Brief History

In the past, smoothbore shotguns used the same diameters in both the muzzle and the core since they used regular cylinder barrels. Therefore its range was just limited to 30 meters. Later on, gunsmiths designed barrels that at their tail end were choked which improved the compact spreads, dense and ballistic performance. This makes the shotguns popular for hunting more so while hunting.

The shotguns choke has been designed to be compact which tightens the pellet pattern depending on the number of pellets in the cartridge. What happens is that the chock constricts the gun’s exit hole.

This enables the bullets to fly more accurately and quickly. Moreover, it increases the spreads’ density and penetration by 25% and also minimizes delay on pellet traveling. This evolution has enabled the hunting experience to be enjoyable and fulfilling.

Purpose of chokes

The chokes are designed to direct the distribution of the shots when it gets out of the firearm to the target. Shotguns designed for defensive use have cylinders for a wide shot pattern. If you like shooting from a particular site, ensure that you have ensured the distance so that you are aware of which choke fits in that particular area.

Types of Chokes

Since there are different types of chokes some may not be having guiding marks on them. One should check with the manufactures manual to understand their meaning.

The type of chokes depends on the distance to be traveled. Some have different shapes and sizes which can be divided into several categories. 

Normally a choker is classified by the number of pellets and then calculated as a percentage of the number in the cartridge that falls in a 30-inch circle within a distance of 40 yards. They include the extra-full chokes which are the best when hunting turkey. They have the densest patterns and extra-tight constrictions.

Second, are the full chokes. Most of this type chokes is used to hunt dove, decoys, waterfowl, bird calls which are at long distances. The range of spread is approximately between 45-50 meters which depends on the skill level of the hunter. 

The modified chokes also called their quarters cover a range of 35 meters delivering 55% to 65% of the pellets. This is the best when hunting distant flushing birds or small ducks. The fourth is the cylinder chokes that do not have constriction and they are used as service guns rather than hunting guns. The pellets are distributed by 40%.

The improved cylinder choke delivers over 50% of the pellets and its design is a copy of both the cylinder choke and modified chokes. The last category is the skeet shotgun chokes which is a design of improved cylinder chokes that can distribute 50% of the pellets on a close range.

The question now remains of the above which two shotgun chokes are the best for hunting. Full chokes and modified chokes fit the bill and answer the question of which two shotgun chokes are best for hunting small. We will discuss these two in-depth.

Which Two Shotgun Chokes are best for Hunting Small

How to choose shotguns chokes

There are some ways you can use to choose a choke. This involves their constriction inch, traditional names, and their purpose. As a hunter do not put much trust in the marking of the choke but by testing it on the gun.

Therefore testing the choke on the gun and hunting loads is the only way you will be able to know how effective it will be in the field. The following steps can be used to identify the best one for your needs.

Taking measurements of the chokes 

This can be achieved by taking measurements of the bore diameter. Different chokes have different measurements with full choke having the largest diameter.

Distance to be shot

Different chokes have different shooting distances ability. Depending on the direction you will hunt from your destination, it matters a lot. For instance, if you are not a deep waters enthusiast, then you will need to shoot from long distances.

Check the inside pellets percentage

You are required to determine the cartridges of the shotguns that you will be using. Then, ensure that the pellets are regulated in the desired percentages which will improve their performance.

Chocking ability

This requires an honest sit down with self and analysis of your abilities. If you spend your time fishing and golf then a wide-open choke is the best option. However, your ability can be improved as you practice and with determination.

Modified Choke

A modified choke hunt is the best when duck hunting. It is the best as it allows an all-around performance for decoy and shots passing. Since it has an interchangeable choke tube, in the morning it could be effective to hunt decoying ducks in the early hours and pass shooting for a longer distance in the afternoon.

Characteristics of a modified choke

This type is even popular for beginners who need to venture into the game. Even the light modified gives good results by opening up quickly while maintaining a pattern density of up to 40 yards.

The modified chokes can be easily recognized by the three notches on its rim. This is the differentiating factor. Hunters use the chokes with shells filled. Though not recommended, if you are in possession of slugs you can use them. The slugs can damage the weapon when they have less constriction.

It has less constriction than a full choke and delivers approximately 60% of a shell’s total pellets.

Full choke

In cases that your shooting will involve long distances, full chokes are the best. However, in short distances, the effects on the game will be disastrous as the damage inflicted on it will be enormous. The full choke is also preferred in instances where the gun cannot be easily modified.

Characteristics of the full choke

The construction of a full choke is 0.03 inches which is good for hunting and setting shooting targets. For boat hunting, it is required that you should shoot a more open choke using steel in comparison to lead at a given distance. The shot holds together even longer making it the best for longer ranges. Full choke requires that 70% of the shot be put within the circle limit. It is the best option for hunters who are ‘young’ in the practice.

Tips on how best to use full choke

  • Inspect your choke and barrels to see if it’s bulging or has signs of swelling.
  • In case there are doubts you can open the choke in a slight modification to get a better result.
  • Avoid using shot sizes that are not their original design.
  • Avoid shooting large shots through a fixed full choke tube.
  • Strive to pattern your shotgun with the choke.
  • Avoid using the full choke for decoying ducks as you are likely to miss the target and inedible the ducks if you hit them.
  • Use the small shot sizes such as numbers 6, 4, and 2.

Determining the maximum effective range 

You need to start shooting a paper at 20 yards and then back off from the pattern board in an average of 5 yards increments. As you increase you keep on shooting. As soon as the percentage of the shot inside the 30-inch circle goes below 65% then you will have exceeded the range for that particular combination.

Another way is to draw the animal in a picture of the critter on a target. From different angles try to shoot it at the usual range. This pattern will help you kill the animal by inspecting if there are holes in the drawn animal.


Hunting can be fun if you get the best results. However, the question of new hunters and the discussion among experienced hunters is which two shotgun chokes are best for hunting. As farmers plan when they want to plant, so as a hunter needs to be equipped with the right tools.

These two chokes have been found effective under different circumstances. However, these two chokes, full choke, and modified choke, being the best when hunting, have their limitations as well.

The most important point is that the choice of the gun varies depending on the ammunition, the targeted distance, the hunting period, and the hunting conditions. 

Changing the chokes may change the impact and it is critical that hunters need to consider this. This question has been settled and now it is time to get to the field for hunting and let the fun begin.

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