In the world of firearms, choke tubes are a constriction that tapers the bore of a shotgun, placed at the end, or muzzle, of the weapon.
These choke tubes are used largely to modify or improve the performance of the weapon, usually for sport shooting or modern hunting purposes. The device acts to spread the shotgun pellets after they are fired so that they achieve better accuracy and range.
The invention of choke tubes dates back to 1866 when a patent was issued to an American gunsmith, Sylvester H. Roper, but the invention also has previous versions dating back to 1827.
Interesting Facts About Choke Tubes
Choke tubes are used by shotgun owners to alter the shot pattern of their guns by controlling the pattern diameters at different yards. A pattern is the grouping of the pellets discharged from the shotgun at different distances measured by yards. This pattern grouping is measured by the diameter if the pellets in a circle.
The goal of using a choke tube is to improve the efficiency, and in order to be efficient, the pellets must be arranged in a certain number within a given area. The layout of the pellets in the pattern is called distribution, as this term indicated how the pellets are distributed within the pattern.
A shotgun is constructed by using a long pipe, or shotgun barrel that shells are fired through, after being loaded into a chamber. This pipe has smooth bore, or rather the pipe has no rifling or grooves along the interior of the barrel. The choke area is located at the muzzle end of the gun, and choke tubes restrict the pellets as they leave the shotgun, making the diameter of the pattern of pellets smaller as they travel away from the gun. This creates improvements in accuracy, so that they will hit more of the target, and range, so they will travel in tighter formation for greater distances.
Some Great Choices in Choke Tubes
There are many different models of choke tubes available, each used with different types of guns and offering a varying range of performance characteristics.
With so many choices it can difficult to understand what you would need for your particular shotgun. However, remember in essence the goal of using a choke tube is to create great accuracy and range, making the gun more efficient, allowing you to hit your target with more efficiency.
In sport shooting, your target would be clay targets or clay pigeons, and if you are hunting it would be prey, such as ducks or rabbits. The better the choke tube is for your application, the more success you will have. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at several of the main choke tubes by brand available in the general marketplace today, and see what features and benefits they provide here:
1. Carlson Chokes
These chokes are offered for a variety of different applications, such as waterfowl, coyote, and others. These chokes are suitable for hunting various animals and can be also used for other purposes, as there are many different models. Some of the features these choke tubes offer include:
- Stainless steel construction
- Chokes tubes for close range, mid-range, and long-range applications
- Case is included on some models
- Some are suitable for lead, steel, and heavy shot while others are not
- Optimized for certain types of ammo
- Titanium coated on some models
- Some models include choke wrench
There is a wide selection of Carlson choke tubes, so be sure to read all of the features over carefully, as they vary widely by model.
2. Muller Chokes
Muller chokes are among the best in the world, and they are used for sporting clays competitions for many clay shooting enthusiasts. They can also be used for many hunting applications. This brand of choke tube has a number of different models, but here is a list of features they commonly share that set apart Muller chokes from most other brands:
- Patented composite metal materials are half the weight of titanium and are the lightest in the world for choke tubes
- Offers less than 2% carbon or plastic build-up
- Outer-fringe, extremely efficient design
- Military grade ceramic infused Teflon design makes it the cleanest and hardest choke tube on the market
What to Keep in Mind When Selecting Choke Tubes
If you are an avid or even an amateur hunter or clay shooter, you will want to study enough about the specifications of the various offerings in choke tubes to be able to determine what you and your shotgun require for your specific needs.
Every choke tube presents different features and benefits, so immersion in the subject as part of your training for using firearms, as well as part of the instructions for sport shooting or hunting, is strongly advised before you make any purchases. You will find however, that the use of a quality choke tube will significantly improve your overall shooting performance.