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>> Turkey Hunting: Selecting Optimum Choke Constriction :: By James C. Gates on 2002-03-28
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With the tons of pulp paper being turned out as of late by the fad writers on "Turkey Hunting" and their pushing products for sale, one starts thinking that there is some kind of Voodoo magic in chokes. Today, I want to cut through this BS and go straight to the heart of the matter.

One: Tight center core patterns are the product of the relationship of the wad's diameter to the choke's diameter, combined with the hardness of the shot, the thickness of the wad's wall, and the powder burn. Pure and Simple! Now let's make this simple - the choke is set up for the amount of constriction! My BPS Turkey tube is .695" in a .740" back bored barrel. That's .045" constriction and is much too tight for shot cup/wads that run .710" (like the BP "Turkey Ranger" available from: Ballistic Products). However, my Full choke tube @ .707"(.033" constriction) throws 95%+ patterns at 40 yards with #4 copper plated 3% antimony shot.

Point! If your choke is more than .005" tighter than your wad, go for a Mylar/Teflon strip to protect your shot.

Point! If your choke is larger than the diameter of your wad, Use a thick wall wad (like BP Turkey Ranger, available from: ) that must be split and never have the four splits less than 3/4 down the side. In otherwords, put the choke into the wad and not the barrel!

Point! Chokes tighter than .040" constrictions call for shot smaller than #4. Most after market turkey chokes are set for #6 (for neck shots), with #5 a fair compromise.

Keep It Simple! Check the diameter of your choke against against your wad diameter! If your choke is tighter than .005", compared to wad diameter, then go to a Mylar/Teflon strip. If you have choke tubes, find one that is .005" smaller than the wad. Snug thumb pressure is about right. Forget what's written on the choke!

Best Regards, James

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