Best Choke for Duck and Goose Hunting: Buyers Guide

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The right equipment is vital to have as a hunter, whether you are pursuing game as a hobby or a profession. No amount of training or practice will beat having the right gear.

Having the best type of choke for duck and goose hunting is integral to your hunt’s success. The trick is in choosing the best one; as of all chokes on the market, only half have waterfowling applications. 

Familiarizing yourself with the best choke for duck and goose hunting will give you an edge when deciding which is best for your hunting style.

How Shotgun Chokes Improve Your Bird-downing Capabilities

Your shotgun can be turned into several bird-targeting guns by the best choke for duck or goose hunting. Of course, you’ll need tips for picking out the right shotgun choke, but you may need to initially understand the effectiveness of the best tube.

The most commonly used choke tubes for bird hunting can change the shotgun’s pellet-patterns and range. Chokes are simple tubular devices. When inserted into a gun’s barrel, they enable shotguns to function effectively in a variety of hunting scenarios.

Shotgun barrels before the onset of the choke had a straight killing range of 25 to 30 yards, and hitting anything beyond that mark would be guesswork. A new age of shotgun was introduced with the use of choke tubes, acting on constriction to charge a gun’s shot together before spreading. 

Much like a water-pipes nozzle, the choke gives a denser shot pattern and elongates the range effectiveness of your shot pellets. 

The higher your choke tube’s constriction, the longer its effective range. While an improved cylinder tube will give you effectiveness from 20 to 35 yards, a full choke will have a kill-range of 40 to 50 yards.

Choke Tubes for Duck and Goose Hunting

Commonly used choke tubes for duck or goose shotgun hunting include;

Extra-Full or Super-Full Chokes

Also called gobbler getters, these chokes are best for short-range duck or goose hunting. Super –full chokes offer dense patterns due to their extra-tight constriction.

Full chokes

A full choke delivers 70 percent of the total pellets in a shell 40 yards as a 30-inch circle. Featuring such as a dense pattern means a tight constriction. Full chokes are best for waterfowl or geese shot loads. 

Modified Chokes

A 30-inch circle will be delivered up to 40 yards, and this dense pattern will consist of 70% of your shell’s pellets. Modified chokes are used for goose and duck hunting or flushing distant upland birds. 

Improved Cylinder Chokes

50 percent of your shell’s pellets are distributed in a tight 30-inch circle for 40 yards with an improved cylinder choke. Hunting your ducks or geese over decoys requires this tube of tube choke. 

It’s also the preferred rifled slug component for your close quarter pursuit of waterfowl or upland birds. 

Cylinder Chokes

A no-constriction distribution of a 30-inch circle of 40 percent of your shell’s total pellets is possible with a cylinder choke. Often used by the military and law enforcement, this choke is also recommendable for waterfowling or your upland bird quests. 

Skeet Chokes

 50 percent of your shells pellets will be distributed in a 30-inch ring for 25 yards. This choke is famous for optimizing close-range shotgunning or skeet shooting.

Specialty Choke Tubes

These are manufactured for a specific type of shot, such as the steel shot preferred by waterfowl hunters. Since steel is harder on your shotgun’s barrel than lead shot, and the choke tube adds strength while constricting patterns. 

Other materials for shot that require specialty chokes include tungsten or Hevi-shot, assisting to hold well constricted or tighter patterns. High specialty tubes are also used when skeet or trap shooting, which requires strong, high-quality barrel protection from heat-stress. 

Quality specialty chokes are responsible for effective range increases in skeet shooting, augmenting a competitor’s edge with well-built tubes. 

The Effects of Various Chokes on Your Shot-String for Different Ranges 

Once you fire your shotgun, the pellets that leave the barrel start to spread out, forming a scatter pattern that grows the further they travel. For your waterfowl hunting, it’s vital to note that steel will pattern differently to lead shot.

A more open or full choke will provide the pattern density from steel shot as you would with lead, for the same range. Check how your shotgun performs with different shots, such as copper-plated versions, teasing each choke to your preferred loads.

Pattern Circle Sizes in Inches to the Type of Waterfowling Choke

Yards Cylinder ChokeImproved Cylinder ChokeModified ChokeFull Choke
5
1019-inch19-inch12-inch9-inch
1526-inch 20-inch 16-inch12-inch
2032-inch 26-inch 20-inch16-inch
2540-inch    32-inch    26-inch21-inch
3040-inch 32-inch26-inch
3540-inch32-inch
4040-inch

Developing a good pattern is a balancing act between the ammo, choke, and shotgun you are using. Your pattern may suffer if one of the components is off. 

Testing your shotgun with a variety of chokes is key to finding the best for water-fowling applications. 

What is the Best Type of Shotgun Choke for Waterfowl or Goose Hunting?

A tube that delivers a consistent pattern and gives your shotgun the know-down capabilities required is the perfect fit for your duck or goose hunting expedition. The right choke must also work well with your preferred shotgun, as well as your ammunition. 

This results in pellet distribution that is even and limits pattern holes where a duck or goose could evade a hit. You might have already found cylinder and light-modified chokes having patterns that are too open, and your full chokes will have resulted in restricted pellets. 

A good duck or goose choke may be modified or improved modified, and it should be able to offer versatility against pass and decoy shooting. The best choke for duck and geese will mitigate guesswork when looking for your shotguns patterning set up. 

Beyond factory choke tubes, here are some duck and goose hunting chokes tubes for exceptional results. 

Best Dense Pattern Waterfowling Choke

Carlson 12-gauge Cremator Ported Benelli

A popular choke among duck and goose hunters, Carlson 12-gauge Cremator features a one of a kind extended ported design. For a fixed choke tube, optical ports are used to mitigate problems that plagued hunters for decades. 

Internal rings within the Cremator strips off the wad during exit from the shotgun barrel. Negative effects are therefore reduced as there is separation from the shot columns during the last second of blast exit. 

This choke reduces the amount of flyer pellets, meaning more pellets will reach your target. The shot string is shorter with the Carlson 12-gauge Cremator Ported Benelli choke tube, and more pellets will hit your target at once. 

Patterns are kept together for up to 60 yards by this choke, which comes in Cremator Ported Benelli Duck and Goose models depending on your hunt application. According to Carlson, there is no performance difference between the Duck and Goose model varieties. 

Pros
  • Ports reduce recoil and muzzle jumps
  • Applications for all steel, bismuth, Hevi-shot, and lead
  • TST rings improve performance
  • Heat-treated 17-4 highly polished steel construction
Cons
  • Pricey compared to its compatriots 
  • Slightly heavy
Product Summary

Featuring new triple-shot technology, Carlson Cremator Ported 12-gauge choke tubes have graduated rings for a more gradual transition before final constriction. This choke is part of the Cremator series that conveys the most duck or goose shooting benefits to hunters. 

These include denser patterns, fewer flyers, and reduced pellet deformation. The premium 17-4 stainless steel constructed cremator carries the Carson lifetime warranty and suits the Crio or Crio Plus Benelli shotgun models. 

Best Extended Choke for Duck and Goose Hunting: 

Browning Invector Plus Extended Choke

Browning Invector-Plus tubes provided extended ported options for your duck and goose hunting. Featuring angled ports, the Invector-Plus helps to reduce muzzle jump and felt recoil by channeling pressure outwards. 

Quickly following up shots becomes easier with the Browning Invector-Plus choke, available for most shotgun brands and gauges. These include offerings of 12, 10, and 20 gauge Winchester, Mossberg, Browning, Beretta, and Benelli shotguns.  

All types of shot can be used with Browning Invector-Plus chokes, including lead, steel, Hevi-shot, Bismuth, and copper-plate lead. This choke tube’s angled ports make it possible for an increased pattern density of 20% at longer ranges.

Pros

  • High-performance construction
  • Extended angled ports that mitigate muzzle jump and recoil
  • Long-range patterns at over 20% density
  • Corrosion resistance from black oxide coating
  • Easy removal and installation

Cons

  • Only available in single choke packaging
  • Not for close-range shooting
Product Summary

Ultimate durability and performance are guaranteed from the high-grade 17-4 stainless steel construction of the Browning Invector-Plus chokes. The knurled edges that extend beyond your shotgun’s barrel facilitate easy installation and removal.  

An excellent pattern with a uniform density is possible with the longer taper for your back bored barrel. The constriction is up to industry standards. 

Best Steel Shot for Waterfowling Applications

Carlson’s Extended Super Steel Shot 12 Gauge Choke Tube

The super steel shot line up from Carlson’s will pattern well for your duck and goose hunting. Key is the mid and long-range varieties that are close to full or modified chokes, delivering 25% patterns at over 40 yards.

Patterns are also kept together by the super steel choke, presenting greater parallel sections for fewer flyer pellets.

Knurled ends on the 12 Gauge Delta Waterfowl Extended Choke Tube make for more comfortable gripping during installation and removal. The Carlson’s choke extends ¾ past your shotgun’s barrel, preventing burn damage.  

These choke tubes are available in .715 close range, .705 mid-range, and .695 long range. The 17-4 stainless steel construction guarantees corrosion resistance and top performance.

Pros

  • Long-range steel shot constriction at .695
  • Stability on shots up to 40 yards and above 
  • All steel-shot compatibility
  • Extends beyond barrel with a longer parallel section
  • Knurled extension for easier handling
  • 17-4 stainless steel and Blue finish corrosion-resistance

Cons

  • Recoil on certain shotgun models not noticeably reduced
  • Not suited to waterfowl hunting beginners
Product Summary 

Designed as a pass-shot duck and goose hunting choke tube, the Extended Super Steel by Carson’s suits all models of Winchester, browning, Mossberg, Benelli, and Beretta shotguns. They are sold in packs of two and three and feature knurled edges for easier handling.

Best Hevi-Shot Waterfowl Choke Tube

Browning Diana Grade 12 Gauge Choke

Most aftermarket shotgun chokes work with the non-toxic tungsten-based shot. Browning Diana Grade 12-gauge extended range choke tubes are, however, available, specifically for Hevi-shot applications.

Duck and goose hunters rely on the effectiveness of Hevi-shot and other heavy density impact loads on their prey. Pressure expansion is dealt with by the choke’s elongated ports, which deliver Hevi-shot ranges over 40 yards.

Durable and resistant to corrosion or harsh handling, Diana chokes are affordable, durable, and Hevi-shot ready for hunting.

Pros

  • Extended 40-yard range with ports to reduce felt recoil
  • Heat-treated stainless steel before machining
  • Hevi-steel or Hevi-metal shot design applications
  • Reduces plastic build-up
  • Titanium nitride coated surface
  • Easy removal and installation with knurled edges

Cons

  • Pricey compared to its counterparts
  • No lifetime warranty 
Product Summary

The Browning Diana Grade 12 Gauge Choke has a threaded waterfowl spread pattern that is compatible with the Mobilchoke, Benelli, and Beretta shotguns. Any Hevi-shot type, be it copper plated, steel, or lead, is accommodated by the stainless steel choke.

Duck and goose hunters use popular models of shotguns with the Browning Diana choke, such as the M4, M1 Super 90, or the definitive Benelli Nova.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the perfect size of a choke for duck and goose hunting?

Depending on the shooting distance, an improved or modified cylinder will give you medium dispersion at 30 to 40 yards. Far-off ducks and geese require a full choke, as these can damage prey at close ranges. 

How do you measure a shotgun’s choke size?

You can identify your choke size by the patterning of shots. Shoot from a 30 yards distance and then observe the pellet density of your shot, using this as a reference point. You can identify most modified chokes by the custom three notches on the rim.

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