When September sets in, trust me, my spirit shoots high up for the doves. That’s no pun even when I say my shotgun gets busy for the season! You got it right. I’m talking about hunting doves, but don’t count me as irresponsible. I like to call myself a responsible hunter with decade-long game bird shooting experience in the Lone Star state Texas, and I don’t leave birds succumbing to their injuries far away from the shooting area because of a wrongly picked choke on the shotgun. You’ve got to choose the right one to avoid that and I’m always serious about my stuff.
People are always asking about the best choke for dove hunting, so, I’ve finally decided to write an article reviewing the top chokes that would be on my list under any circumstances. So, sit tight, let’s jump right into our discussion about the nitty-gritty of the most sophisticated chokes of today.
List of Top 5 Chokes for Dove Hunting
1. Editor’s Choice: Carlson’s Benelli Crio/Crio Plus 12 GA Sporting Clays Choke Tubes
Not every choke that you come across is made from heat-treated stainless steel. This is the most reliable metal that would ensure maximum longevity and consistent performance over a long period of time. Carlson’s Benelli is a thoughtfully designed product that would ensure a 12 gauge system that would do exactly what you intend to do with it.
First off, I liked its Improved .715 cylinder constriction out of 17-4 grade stainless steel. I used my Cryo Plus barrel with this one and it performed like a pro. I didn’t expect a better pattern to be honest. This one comes with a number of other options including full, extra full, improved modified, light modified, skeet, etc.
You will also get a wrench with it for helping you set it up on the barrel. The quality of the wrench was also good, so, no complaint on that part as well.
They aced on the pricing as well. For the money that you have to pay for it is well justified. At this price point, I didn’t find any better choke than this one. On top of that, the company offers a lifetime warranty, it just can’t get better than this.
- Cylinder Size: 0.715”
- Type: 12 Gauge
- Material: Stainless Steel (heat-treated)
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Great build quality
- Lifetime warranty
- Super easy to install and dismantle
- It would be great if they came up with more color options
In short, you can’t really go wrong with this wonderful piece of extension to your gun. It does exactly what it is designed for and it does a great job every time. We tried it on several occasions with maximum results. I can’t recommend it more!
2. Also great: Carlson’s Beretta/Benelli Mobil 12 GA Sporting Clays Choke Tubes
Like our Editor’s choice, this one also comes from the same brand Carlsons and it is the skeet version of the previous model. Skeet chokes are a bit tighter than the cylinder bores. This particular tube is designed to provide more range, so to speak.
So, if you are looking to get more range and a tighter tube, you should definitely check out this model. It adds about 3 to 4 inches to your gun, which is a dope thing to have.
Built from heat-treated 17-4 stainless steel, it’s a strong kit that can withstand rough weather conditions. You wouldn’t have to worry about getting it soaked in rainwater as well. Like our first choice, it’s built to last a lifetime.
Apart from the build quality, what I liked about it was that I could get it off the barrel without any particular tool. Just use your hands and that’s good enough. The throw is more consistent with this choke and you can hope for more games at a further distance than regular.
The pricing of the choke is also well justified. Under 40 bucks, this is going to be a safe buy that you’ll not likely regret at any point.
- Cylinder Size: 0.720” Skeet construction
- Type: 12 Gauge
- Material: Stainless Steel (heat-treated)
- Warranty: Lifetime
- Robust build quality
- Tighter and can heat at a longer distance
- Fully weather-proof
- Easy to install and dismantle
This is a skeet version of Carlson’s Beretta choke tube packing all the goodies of the standard model yet offered at a tighter design. It offers a longer range, so if you are
looking for that kind of stuff, this should serve you well.
3. TRUGLO Double-Threat Dove Choke
If you are looking for a double-thread dove tube with a brand new design, Truglo’s dove choke could be a good option. My team and I have used Truglo tubes before and found them worth reviewing. On top of that, this particular model is a killer, let’s find out why.
Let’s start with the build quality. It’s a CNC-machined metallic construction with precise measurements. It feels strong and premium in hand, the weight adds to its superior build quality.
If you don’t want to carry more than one choke in the field, a dual-position tube is a saver. This one is a premium example of a dual-position tube that allows you to range at different distances..
It comes with installation tools and that makes it even more convenient to mount and unmount the kit without groping for the right tools in your toolbox. Also, its patented Twist and Click design is super simple to mount.
This particular model is compatible with a range of guns including Benelli/ Beretta, Franchi, Stoeger pumps (semi-automatics), and Mossberg Pro-Factor. That gives you tons of different gun options.
- Cylinder Size: Standard
- Type: 12 Gauge
- Material: CNC-machined
- Compatible with: Benelli/ Beretta, Mossberg Pro-Factor, Stoeger pumps (semi-automatics) etc.
- Dual-position design
- Sturdy CNC-machined build
- Compatible with a range of guns
- Logically priced
- User discretion needed before using this product as it might expose the user to potentially harmful chemicals including chromium
This is a must-have choke if you are an avid dove hunter as it is compatible with tons of guns. On top of that, the dual-position design is another useful feature to apply in different hunting situations.
4. Carlson’s NEW White Wing 37505 Choke Tubes
We’ve recently been getting a lot of requests from our followers to review Carlson’s White Wing 37505 tube. Well, here you go.
This particular 37505 tube by Carlson features the brand’s exclusive Triple Shot Technology widely known as TST. This allows the tube to have three specific traits: it reduces its pellet deformation, creates denser patterns, and ensures fewer amount of flyers.
Talking about the construction, this dove choke is crafted out of 17-4 stainless steel and is designed to generate the best patterns for improved results. When trying it out, it performed with great accuracy.
When using a shotgun, the muzzle jump and recoil issues are pretty common. This particular choke helps reduce both, that’s another key selling point right there.
It can also handle a variety of shot compositions including lead, TSS, steel, and Hevi-Shot. We were pretty impressed by the cost of the kit, and still, it offered much more.
Dimensions: 8” x 4” x 2”
Weight: 1.6 Oz
Material: 17-4 stainless steel
Shot Composition Capacity: TSS, Hevi-Shot, lead & steel
- Robust build quality
- Triple Shot Technology
- Effectively subdues muzzle jump and recoil
- Handles a variety of shot compositions
- Offers good accuracy
- Wouldn’t be easy to obtain it outside the US
The package comes with a wrench for fitting it on the gun. That is another good move by the company. Carlson’s White Wing improves the accuracy and it’s highly effective for dove shooting. Highly recommend it.
5. TRUGLO Double-Threat TG1002D Dove Choke
Like every other tube on our list, this one is a masterpiece. It’s a much-loved choke used by experienced dove hunters. From build quality to performance, this model outshines its peers in all categories. No wonder why we had to put it on the list.
First of… the CNC-machined metal construction makes it extremely sturdy. It’s built like a tank and you can expect it to last a lifetime. So, we don’t have any complaints in that department.
The Twist and Click construction makes it super easy to adjust this kit on your gun. It’s a patented design that makes it super convenient to use. You can do all sorts of adjustments without removing your choke tube.
Truglo’s Double-Threat TG1002D maintains the brand’s signature feature “PASS” and “DECOY” shooting modes activated by a single twist to the kit. You get to access two different range options where Decoy allows you to attack a bird at a closer range and Pass enables you to dismantle distant targets.
In terms of compatibility, this model covers a wider range of guns than the TG1005D model on our list. For example, it fits perfectly on Winchester model 1200, 1300, and 1400 Winchoke, all models of Browning Invector Series, Maverick Arms 88, Mossberg models including 500, 535, 9200, and 930.
They’ve also added the much-needed installation tool with the package. That’s a good move from the brand.
- Package dimensions: 8.07” x 4.33” x 1.73”
- Construction: CNC-machined metal construction
- Compatible Guns: Winchester, Browning Invector Series, Maverick Arms, Mossberg, Ithaca models, New England Firearms, SKB, Stoeger, Weatherby, Pro-Factor™ PF1, etc.
- Sport type: Military & Tactical
- Precise CNC-Machined construction
- Compatible with a wide range of guns
- Multiple ranging coverages
- Highly effective for dove hunting
- Contains potentially harmful chemicals including chromium
For the money, this is one of the best dove chokes that you can get. With dual-range shooting mode, you can switch between your games at varying distances. Mode changing is made easy by its clever Twist & Click design. The construction is also superb. Just be aware of handling it, we recommend using gloves.
Choke for dove hunting: A Comprehensive Buying Guide
Chokes make dove hunting even more effective and effortless. In fact, these are game-changers in the sense that you no longer let an injured bird escape the scene and die pointlessly. Chokes help you take down your game effectively. And that is why experienced shooters are more into chokes. However, for beginners, the following points might help.
Different types of hunting chokes
As you know, a shotgun barrel is a perfect cylinder from the back where the shell is chambered all the way up to just before the muzzle. Now, most shotguns that you are going to buy these days have a removable choke in the front. Now, what a choke does is basically choking down the cylinder that is your barrel.
So, on one end of the spectrum, you have your full chokes or the super full choke, which is the tightest you are going to get, this will ensure the tightest pattern. On the other hand, you are going to have your skeet choke. In the middle, you are going to have ‘improved’, ‘modified’, and then it moves up to the ‘full choke.’
Now, the choke that you want to select really depends on what you want it to do or how far you are going to shoot. Now if you want to shoot at timbers or shoot the doves coming through there and your shots are less than twenty yards, probably a ‘modified’ or an ‘improved’ is going to be best for you.
If you are pass-shooting ducks or doves, and they are out there pretty good ways, maybe you want a ‘full choke’ right there. But if you go with a full choke in a tight-shooting situation, just remember your pattern is going to be so tight, if you hit the bird, you might damage it to the point of no use at all.
The level of constriction is vital when choosing a choke. It is considered to be an important variable in order to achieve a clean shot. So, how do you make your choice? Well, the choice depends on your needs and purpose.
For example, if you are out hunting in an open field, you’ll need a choke tube with a tight pattern. That will ensure higher accuracy. When you are aiming for a distant target, you can do much better with chokes that have wider diameters. A larger pattern will ensure that. Here, the pattern of the shots matter a lot, and the constriction decides the shape of the pattern
Now let’s explore some of these chokes in details:
1. Improved Cylinder
Improved Cylinder, also known as IC, are mostly preferred for steel shots. It provides a wide shot for the near targets. If your targets are around 20 yards away, an improved cylinder would help you nail it in the best possible way. Little restriction design makes this type of choke an ideal choice for short distances.
If you are into duck hunting, you should go for modified chokes because it’s the best choice for that. Still, many would agree that it’s an all-around option as it can be used during the entire season. You can use it for upland games and waterfowls for greater performance. Beginners also love this choke for its ease of use.
3. Light Modified
Light Modified (LM) chokes, also called “forgotten constriction,” are not complicated when it comes to construction. They are liked by many for being highly effective in almost all situations. You can use the LM versions for ducks, doves, sporting clays, etc.
One of the features this category of chokes has is that they open up fast maintaining the required pattern density intact during close-range shots. They perform best for targets appearing at around 40 yards range. Users love them for maintaining the consistency of their pattern that is denser than the modified versions. So, if you plan on taking down doves at close or mid-range, grab one of them.
5. Improved Modified
This particular type of chokes is designed with narrower tubes in contrast to their modified peers. Such chokes pack enough power to kill birds instantly, partly because they have a greater number of pellets when contrasted to Improved Cylinder types. Presently, this model sells like hot cakes on the market.
Earlier, IC was more preferable as hunters used them to protect their barrels from getting damaged. As technologies improved and more and more protective wads were introduced, improved modified chokes took over the market for their better capacity to adapt to speed patterns in high velocity.
6. Light Full
You may have heard about Light Full chokes. They are abbreviated as LF. It might appear that they are pretty uncommon of a choice, but they can be highly useful. In fact, you will find most Full chokes to have a Light Full design. They are safe for steel as they’ve got denser patterns. Such a pattern makes them ideal for shooting ducks or fouls that are high-flying.
We recommend you adapt BBBS or B, BBS for better results. The only downside of such chokes would be to have a narrow constriction. This is why they are not suitable to handle the pressure of high-velocity.
Skeet chokes are designed to open up super fast. They work like magic on the incoming dove flock at a range of around 22.5 yards. You can use this type on early-season doves as well. Improved cylinders are the second-best option for these birds. We’d highly recommend this one for the first rounds in two-barrel shotguns.
8. Choke materials
Chokes have to deal with a lot of pressure and heat. They have to be very tough to do their job properly. This is why manufacturers put a lot of effort into picking the right material for them. The pricing of these kits also depends on the kind of materials they are built from. High-quality metal compounds are put on the list. The metallic body has to be CNC-machined for achieving the most precise shapes.
On the fields, birds have great eyesight. They can detect the slightest glare or reflection of light from far apart. So, the material of the chokes cannot be bright or reflective. Chokes built with Black Oxide and similar compounds are widely preferred as they reduce the glare to a significant degree.
Steel is an essential component when making a choke. There are different grades to it. We recommend 17-4 PG stainless steel for its toughness and durability. Dove hunters often have to go through rough weather conditions. So, quality steel lasts much longer than any other metals.
Shotgun Ammunition & Seasons
Downing doves doesn’t take more than a few pellets although there are etiquettes to maintain. So, if you can choose the right shot sizes, it will not be hard to take down doves. The primary goal of a dove hunter is to create denser patterns and for that to achieve picking small shots would be ideal. This even works on the fast-moving flocks effectively. We recommend shot sizes not exceeding 7.5, 8, and 9 for dove hunters.
The most popular all-around shot-shell in 12-gauge would be around a one Oz load of 7.5. You can go for no. 8 shot-shell during the early season. It happens that many wouldn’t use 9 and 8 shells for not packing enough power to take down doves. In fact, these shells pack just the right punch to down early September birds.
For those who carry the ‘Sweet Sixteen’ or light 20 gauge need to go for the ⅞ load, although a 1 Oz load is more preferable. As the season progresses, hunters can load heavier shots for better results. However, it’s always crucial to maintain the shot-shell and choke combination to get the best out of the season.
The size of the shot needs to be taken seriously as much of the hunting process depends on it. Hunters can easily prompt to loading 6 or even 7 sizes if the situation allows. From our experience, we found no. 8 pellets to be perfects for the early hours of the day. If you want to knock the white-winged Eurasian collared larger birds down, you can pick no. six, seven, or even the 7.5.
Weight for chokes draws a lot of attention. Experienced shooters avoid chokes that are heavy. It makes the gun top-heavy, making the aim unstable. On the other hand, if the choke is too light, it might not withstand the heavy load of the shots. So, it’s always better to keep it in the Silverline zone.
An extended tube will make your life easy by letting you unmount the choke without needing a dedicated tool for it. It’s not practical to carry a choke wrench around all the time. It’s also time-consuming. This is why we always recommend you to use an extended choke tube in order to cut on time. Birds won’t give you enough time to change your choke.
So, what’s the price range for chokes? You should get a decent choke within a range of 25 to 50 USD. The price range is pretty much justified for the quality of chokes they offer.
Tips for Dove Hunting
The success of Dove hunting depends on a list of things. Check the boxes and you are good for the game! Let’s keep it simple and follow the list.
Use of the Right Choke
Make sure you do not pick the wrong choke during shooting. We’ve given you a list of superior chokes that you should pick from and there’s no way you can go wrong with any of them. Just make sure the size and weight match your requirements.
Dogs can make it way easier for you
They have a point when they say that the dogs are man’s best friends. A dove hunter couldn’t agree more! This is why just like other essential hunting gear, dogs have become an inseparable part of dove and bird hunting. However, breeds like spaniels, labs, and pointer retrieve doves skillfully.
The highly sensitive nose of dogs would find out each fallen bird from every corner. One of the worst parts of dove hunting is losing many injured birds in the bushes and woods. It’s not even practical in some landscapes to retrieve every fallen bird. So, have