Reviews

The 5 Best Choke for Pheasant Hunting

It wasn’t until we had missed our 5th bird that we realized that we needed to up our game. Choke tubes are a great way to gain better control over your view when out hunting pheasants.
Like us, did you spend a bit more for improved shotgun shells? Remember any instances when you left work early to spend some quality time looking for things to shoot down. Mostly, did you see a bird keep flying that you could’ve sworn you dropped?

As you hear the bird flutter in the distance and your face twists into a frown, you must be wondering why this happens? Perhaps your shotgun isn’t choked properly. Let’s talk about the best choke for pheasant hunting and why it will make a fine choice. Stick around to the end to find a buying guide that will help you make the best decision when purchasing one for your gun.

Our Top 5 Product List

01. Carlson’s Beretta/Benelli Mobil 12 GA Sporting Clays Choke Tubes

Carlson's Beretta/Benelli Mobil 12 GA Sporting Clays Choke Tubes

Description

Carlson’s Beretta/Benelli Mobil 12ga Sporting Clay choke tubes are constructed from the finest quality 17-4 heat-treated stainless steel. These choke tubes are precision machined to form a product that has better patterns than a regular choke tube. Thanks to the 25% longer parallel section, it can throw consistent patterns – more than your average choke tubes.

Extended choke tubes safeguard the end of the barrels and feature knurling towards the end to facilitate quick and easy installation and removal. Every choke tube comes with a constriction laser indicated on the end for convenience.

You can use lead, nickel, steel shot, copper-plated, hevi-shot, tungsten or bismuth in these tubes.

Review

One thing we absolutely loved about these choke tubes would be that the diameter, length, threads per pitch and inch are identical. It’s very well made and fits like a glove. We also found that it significantly improved our trap shooting. Anti-seize on the threads prevents galling.

We also enjoyed the knurled ends for easy installation. You don’t need a wrench for installation. Overall, nice event patterns make this a strong contender for best choke for pheasant hunting.

Comparison

The non-glaze matte finish is specific to this model out of all the other products on our list. It does more for the visuals than the functionality of the choke tubes but we like the extra touch.

Specifications

  • Made from 17-4 heat-treated stainless steel
  • Non-glaze matte finish
  • Knurled head for easy removal and installation
  • Features 25% longer parallel section

Pros

  • Produces even patterns
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Well made
  • Amazing finish

Cons

  • Does not fit all Beretta shotguns
  • No listings explaining different model numbers

Our Verdict

This choke tube blew us away with its consistent, precise patterns. It made catching pheasants quite easy and once you get enough practice, you won’t miss. As this is very well-built, you can expect to get use out of them for some time.

For the price, it will not get better than the Carlson’s Beretta/Benelli Mobil 12 GA Sporting Clays Choke Tubes.

02. Carlson’s Non-Ported Long Range Choke Tube for Beretta/Benelli Mobil 12ga Cremator (11617)

Carlson's Beretta/Benelli Mobil 12 GA Sporting Clays Choke Tubes

Description

Carlson’s non-ported long-range choke tubes feature a stainless steel construction. It comes with Triple Shot Technology (TST) that reduces pellet deformation as well as shot string. It has a long range 0.700 constriction and the tube accommodates Benelli/Beretta Mobil 12ga Cremator. The matter black finish gives it a sleek appearance.

This item will also include interchangeable choke tubes. 3 studded rings effectively restrain the shot column for elevated pattern density at wider ranger. Moreover, the extended tubers add an extra 25% in the parallel zones, meaning you will get tighter pallet distribution and patterns.

Review

We found that the shot pattern was so dense, we could almost see it. In our personal experience, shooting down pheasants and other game was unbelievably easy. This is a great choke for longer ranges. In addition, the spread was great which makes hunting much easier.

Something that many customers love about Carson’s is their unmatched customer service and we are one of them.

Specifications

  • 17-4 stainless steel constructions.
  • No wrench needed to install or remove.
  • No speed or size restrictions.
  • Cannot use the Remington pro Bore Long Range with any steel shot over No. 2.
  • Parallel section is 25% longer.

Pros

  • Great customer service.
  • Fits in Stoeger p3000.
  • 65% to 75% pattern at 50 yards.
  • 85% to 90% pattern at 40 yards.

Cons

  • No wrench given with the product.

Our Verdict

We think this cremator choke can be considered one of the best chokes for pheasant hunting – with a steel shot. It is useful in ranges both long and short. It is safe to say that your pattern will improve when you use this choke.

03. Carlson’s 12261 Rem 12GA IC Choke

Carlson's 12261 Rem 12GA IC Choke

Description

Like most of Carlson’s choke tubes, the 12261 REM 12GA IC Chokes are manufactured from 17-4 heat-treated stainless steel and can be used with any lead shot regardless of any constrictions. Keep in mind that you cannot use steel shots bigger than #BB in chokes tighter than a full.

This product will not work with the Remington Spartan or Remington Pro Bore Models. According to the inscriptions on the choke, you can use it with steel, copper, lead or hevi-shot.

Review

Carlson’s choke tubes are always consistent. These high-quality choke tubes feature a beautiful finish and produce excellent performance. In comparison to OEM choke tubes, these are better value and pattern better too.

We also found it throws a consistent pattern with both slugs and buckshot.

Specifications

  • Gauge: 12
  • Type: Flush mount
  • Choke: Improved cylinder
  • Constriction: .720

Pros

  • Throws consistent pattern
  • A stunning finish
  • Affordable
  • Precise

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with everything

Our Verdict

Although quite standard, these chokes work perfectly fine. It produced precise patterns that helped us catch game pretty easily. As the build is very impressive, we found that cleaning them properly makes them look brand new every time.

04. Carlson’s Choke Tubes Sporting Clays Choke Tubes for Winchester/Browning Invector/Mossberg 500/Weatherby & Savage 12Ga

Carlson's Choke Tubes Sporting Clays Choke Tubes for Winchester/Browning Invector/Mossberg 500/Weatherby & Savage 12Ga

Description

These Sporting Clay choke tubes are manufactured from 17-4 heat-treated stainless steel. Carlson’s precision machines these in such a way that they are able to pattern better than regular choke tubes. These tubes have a 25% longer parallel section around the choke, making the patterns more consistent.

Extended choke tubes keep the end of the barrels protected and feature knurling on the edge to make removal easier. Constriction laser is marked on the end of each tube. Copperplate, lead, bismuth, nickel, hevi-shot, steel shot or tungsten might be used in these chokes.

You cannot use steel shots bigger than BB in any Sporting Clays Choke Tube.

Review

Denser/tighter patterns are thrown by these choke tubes thanks to its longer parallel section. The tubes extend about 1” past the barrel’s end and are knurled thus spinning them is easy and quick. We’ve used Carlson’s choke tubes with other shotguns for many years and we found that they are made from high-quality steel and perform rather well.

One nice touch on these choke tubes is the restriction’s size (in thousandths of 1”) printed on every tube.

Comparison

In comparison to the other choke tubes mentioned on this list, this is the first choke tube to feature a .700 constriction.

Specifications

  • Full/.700 constriction
  • Made from 17-4 stainless steel and precision machined
  • Quick and easy installation and removal
  • Constriction lasered on the end of each choke

Pros

  • Tough threads
  • Stays secure in place
  • Fits perfectly
  • Improves score significantly

Cons

  • Is not compatible with some Winchester and Mossberg shotguns

Our Verdict

Even though it claims to be compatible with every Mossberg or Winchester model, that’s not the case. However, we enjoyed using these chokes. They are built very well and will make sure that you never miss another target again.

Carlson rarely misses with their choke tubes and this is another fine example of a job well done.

05. Carlson’s Choke Tube Beretta Benelli Mobil 12 Ga Cremator Ported Waterfowl Choke Tube

Carlson's Choke Tube Beretta Benelli Mobil 12 Ga Cremator Ported Waterfowl Choke Tube

Description

Similar to the non-ported long range from the same brand, the constriction of the Carlson’s Choke Tube 12 Ga stands at 0.700 for long ranges. There are no speed or size restrictions with Optima HP / Steel Shot. Remington Pro Bore Long Range does not work with any steel shots over No. 2.

Featuring Triple Shot Technology (TST), the choke tube has three graduated rings attached to the taper portion of the tube. The parallel section is 25% longer and produces denser patterns.

Review

Carlson’s Cremator line is in a league of its own. The Beretta Benelli Mobil 12 Ga Cremator Ported Waterfowl Choke Tube is a powerful and precise tool that helped us target fowl very easily. It fits with a wide variety of models and will help you pattern without fuss.

In fact, we were pretty impressed when we saw the differences in the pattern. For the price, it can’t get better than this.

Comparison

Triple Shot Technology or TST is only utilized on two chok tubes mentioned on this list. First is this one while the other is Carlson’s Non-Ported Long Range Choke Tube for Beretta/Benelli Mobil 12ga Cremator (11617). It also helps with muzzle protection which is not done by the rest.

Specifications

  • Quick removal
  • Made from heat-treated 17-4 Stainless Steel
  • Helps with muzzle protection
  • Features Triple Shot Technology

Pros

  • Incredible value
  • Fits like a glove
  • Sleek design
  • High quality build

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Our Verdict

These surely aren’t the cheapest choke tubes you can get in the market but we love anything Carlson because quality is almost always guaranteed. For this one, we love everything – from the pattern density to the pattern percentage.

Undoubtedly, this is a worthy addition to our list of best choke for pheasant hunting.

Best Choke for Pheasant Hunting: Buying Guide

1. Chokes

Shotgun chokes are fastened at the end of almost all shotgun barrels in today’s market. If you have a shotgun that does not allow integrable chokes, you don’t have to worry about this. If your gun is equipped with screw-in chokes, we have to talk a little bit about what chokes do.

In simplest terms, chokes are screwed into the barrel’s end and have a smaller diameter than the barrel. Chokes are available in a range of “sizes”, also termed constrictions. The shot pattern will get increasingly tighter as it leaves the barrel with the increase of constriction.

Common chokes include cylinder – no constriction; improved cylinder – 0.10” smaller than the bore; modified – 0.20” smaller than the bore; and finally, full – 0.35” smaller than the bore. A choke is as tight as the pattern is.

2. Shot size

Most pheasant hunters would say that any shell size between size 1 to size 7.5 would be enough to take a pheasant down. Many people don’t understand the build of a shotgun shell, or what those numbers stand for.

So, to break it down: the higher the number, the smaller the pellets are in diameter. For instance, No. 9 are under 0.9” in diameter with a mass less than 1 grain.

Conversely, No. 1 shot pellets have a diameter of 0.16” or larger with a mass close to 6 grains. This shell can accommodate tons of No. 9 shots but not many No. 1 shots. However, the latter is stronger in comparison as No. 9 shots do tend to lose velocity quicker.

No. 1 shot pellets are stronger and give more of a punch at greater distances, but not a lot of pellets are going toward the pheasant.

3. Shot type

When pheasant hunting ammunition is considered, there are many ammos to choose from. You can get the standard lead shot – sizes ranging between No. 7.5 to 4 shot. In addition, there are specialized shells containing special pellets that help take down a large game bird.

Prairie Storm is a load made by Federal Premium Ammunition and it contains 30% nickel-plated FLITESTOPPER lead pellets and 70% copper-plated lead. This has a ring across the pellet, raising the wound channels. We can also find the steel shot as well as other non-toxic choices ranging from No. 2 shot down to No. 6.

Moreover, you can get better from Prairie Storm from the FS Steel line of Federal, which comes with the same pellet composition but in steel. All of this brand’s box sales contribute to Pheasant Forever.

4. Pattern

Pattern is a very crucial factor as it will determine the chances of hunting the bird. A pattern is noticed after shooting the bird that leads to a specific distinct pattern. Generally, it is either a spread-out pattern or a tighter pattern based on the choke’s constriction.

A tighter pattern is made for reduced diameters. This is perfect for pheasant hunting to take down in 1 shot given the aim is accurate.

The best way to check how the rifle works is by observing a good pattern plate, something to be shot at a length of 40 yards, but ensure that you adjust this to the length you’ll be firing.
Double barrels

For guns with double barrels featuring interchangeable chokes, two ready chokes are the big advantage. Not only do you have a tight flush when you need a large spread to shoot a bird, but there is also something for the second bird flushing at a distance.

We like to choke our first barrel with something that the season calls for. Our second barrel will always be a step stronger in constriction, as our short is not usually as short as the other.
In early season, for example, we will power up a double barrel with an improved cylinder choke in one barrel and a modified choke in the other.

FAQ

  1. What is the best choke for pheasant hunting with a 20 gauge?

This depends on personal preference and what you’re after when shopping. But in our opinion, the Carlson’s Beretta/Benelli Mobil 12 GA Sporting Clays Choke Tubes deserves a special mention. It has everything to upgrade your game while not breaking the bank.

  1. Do I need a choke for pheasant hunting?

If your shots fall between 30 yards, it should be fine as long as you have changed to No. 6 shots. Inside 30 yards, those deliver plenty of energy. Depending on the presentation, the No. 6 shots should work on birds out to approx 35 to 40 yards. Keep in mind that a skeet choke will make a pretty thin pattern.

  1. Is a full choke good for pheasant hunting?

A full choke is used for shots ranging up to 40 yards and will effortlessly reach targets farther away. This long-range choke will perform well at 40 yards whereas other choke tubes generally cannot hold a pattern like this. So, yes, the full choke is good for pheasant hunting.

  1. Is a skeet choke good for pheasant hunting?

If you know that your shot will be beyond 40 yards, you may want to consider a full choke. Some hunters are skilled enough so they will wait for the bird to reach the perfect distance for their specific gun and then take the shot.

  1. Is a modified choke good for pheasant hunting?

Yes. The good thing about a modified choke is that it can shoot steel pheasant hunting shots without affecting the performance.

  1. What choke for 20 gauge pheasant hunting?

An improved cylinder will put the optimum count of BBs between a 20 yards target. This is the least constrictive one. Here, coverage is such that pheasant or bird would sustain a damaging hit. At this distance, finding a hole in the pattern is difficult.

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