It is safe to say that shotgun chokes are designed to improve overall shooting performance and, more specifically, the ability to aim at close targets. Thus, you are wondering which two shotgun chokes are best for hunting small, fast, close birds. 

Fortunately, compiled here is everything you need to know to answer your question, including an in-depth explanation of shotgun chokes and a buying guide for chokes designed for hunting small, fast, and close birds. 

Choosing The Right Shotgun Chokes for Small, Fast, and Close Birds

What Is Shotgun Chokes?

Shotgun Chokes History

Since smoothbore shotguns used standard cylinder barrels way back then, they all had the same muzzle and core diameters. As a result, the range of the device was limited to 30 meters. 

Then, English gunsmiths developed barrels with a choked end to enhance tight spreads, density, and ballistic performance. The choked shotguns quickly gained popularity for clay pigeon shooting due to their extended range.

Choke Tubes Benefits

Shotgun chokes have become more compact in recent years in order to tighten the pellet pattern at the muzzle end. As a result, its width may vary depending on the number of pellets in the cartridge, but it must always be less than the bore’s diameter. 

By and large, the choke will constrict the bore and exit hole of the gun. Thus, the bullets will fly more precisely and rapidly. Specifically, it aids in increasing the density and penetration of the spreads by 20% and minimizing pellet travel time.

Types of Chokes

Not every shotgun tube is identical. Since practical chokes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, they will have a varying effect on the hunting results.

They can, however, be classified into six categories:

  1. The extra-full chokes – These units are ideal for turkey hunting due to their dense patterns and extra-tight constrictions.
  2. The full chokes – Most smoothbore rifles should have this type of choke for long-range hunting of decoys, waterfowl, bird calls, or hare. They emit a more centralized spread of light to reach a range of 45-50 meters.
  3. The modified chokes – With half the constriction of a full choke, these chokes will deliver 55% to 65% of the total pellets and 35 meters. These chokes are necessary when hunting distant-flying birds or small bucks.
  4. The cylinder chokes – Without restriction, the cylinders are more akin to those found on service shotguns than hunting shotguns. They will distribute pellets at a 40% rate.
  5. The improved cylinder chokes – The chokes fall between the modified and cylinder versions, each delivering 50% of the pellets. You can shoot waterfowl, close-over decoys, or close-quarters birds with them.
  6. The skeet shotgun chokes – As with the improved cylinder chokes, this final type will distribute 50% of the pellets evenly but at a closer range.

Interestingly, the notches distinguish the shotgun choke tubes. For instance, the number of notches in a complete cylinder, a modified cylinder, and a cylinder choke is 2,3,4,5.

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

Even with all of this information, you may still be unsure which two shotgun chokes are optimal for hunting small, fast, and close birds. So then, let’s proceed directly to the point. 

For small and close birds, you should consider the improved cylinder and modified shotgun chokes. Are you aware why? 

Small, swift birds are frequently found close to shotguns. These tiny creatures are active, and you must exercise extreme caution and precision when shooting. As indicated by the different types of shotgun chokes, the improved-cylinder and modified chokes permit this. They will create board patterns and rapidly spread them in close range. 

Improved cylinder chokes are expected to improve accuracy by 10%, while the bullets will not cause serious injury to the prey. The modified chokes, on the other hand, are recommended for slightly larger birds and ensure that the bullets penetrate instantly.

Even after you’ve determined which chokes to purchase, you shouldn’t rush out and do it. You must complete the following additional steps:

You can determine the size of the chokes required relative to the bore diameter by measuring it. Often, one point corresponds to a thousandth of an inch in the constriction. 

Three to six points are recommended for improved cylinder chokes, while 17-23 to 25-30 points are recommended for modified chokes.

Measuring the constriction alone is insufficient. Additionally, you must be familiar with the cartridges for the shotguns you intend to use. Following that, adjust the pellets to the desired percentages of choke types. This improves the consistency of performance. 

Accordingly, the pellet percentage of the improved cylinder chokes is 50%, while the modified percentage is approximately 55% to 65%.

You can determine the choke diameter for your improved cylinder or modified shotgun chokes using the two inputs listed above. Again, a slight difference in the bore-to-choke distance can make a significant difference in the final results. 

As a general rule, the tighter the tubes, the further the bullets will travel and penetrate the targets.

Final Words

We will conclude the article “which two shotgun chokes are best for hunting small, fast, close birds?” and hope that you now understand shotgun chokes. Save this to your hunting guide notes so you can reread it at a later date.

🤔 What Is Shotgun Chokes?

Shotgun chokes have become more compact in recent years in order to tighten the pellet ...

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

For small and close birds, you should consider the improved cylinder and modified shotgun ...