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Here’s a quick guide so you know what those choke and choke tube names mean in the gun shop.

It should be noted that a traditional 12-gauge barrel has an inside diameter of 0.73”. Chokes are determined or categorized by (1) the deviation or constriction measured in inches from 0.73” and/or the number of shot pellets falling within a 30” circle at 40 yards measured as a percentage of the total pellets in the particular shot charge, e.g. 100 inside/200 total count or 50 percent.

The most common chokes and their uses include –

Choke Name Constriction Percentage @ 40 yards Uses
Cylinder or Cylinder Bore 0.00″ 30-35% Home defense shotguns; Foster-style slugs
Improved 0.10″ 40-45% Home defense; upland birds in heavy cover; trap/skeet; waterfowl over decoys with steel
Modified 0.20″ 50-55% All-around choice; trap/skeet; waterfowl with steel non-toxics; upland birds in all types of cover
Full 0.35″ 70-75% Late season upland birds, e.g. pheasants and prairie grouse; turkeys with high-tech ammunition, e.g. Winchester’s Long Beard XR; buckshot for deer; pass-shooting waterfowl
Extra Full 0.40″ 75% + Turkeys with lead or softer non-toxics; not advised for steel shot

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