The key to good trap shooting is allowing your subconscious mind to calculate the lead and gun speed. Once you’ve chosen your stance and gun hold method you need to let your conscious mind do just one thing – focus as clearly and hard as possible on the target so your eyes can feed your subconscious mind the distance, angle, and speed of the target.
Your choice of choke tubes certainly has an impact here. No matter the discipline, skeet and trap shooting enthusiasts usually choose either full, light full, modified, light modified, improved modified, and specialty choke tubes for this exhilarating sport.
If you’re not sure how to find the best choke for trap shooting, we’re here to help. Check out our carefully selected and reviewed models and see which one suits you best!
Our Top 5 Best Chokes for Trap Shooting
1. Top Full Choke: Carlson’s Choke Tube for Remington 12-gauge shotguns, Flush mounted
This Carlson’s choke tube for Remington shotguns has a constriction of 0.700, which gives it a great pattern with every shot. It is made of 17-4 Heat-Treated Stainless Steel, which should give you no doubt about its fantastic build quality.
With this choke, Steel, Lead, and even Heavy shot can be used without any complications. However, you must keep in mind that larger steel shots (than #BB) or speeds greater than 1550 fps should not be used in this choke. As it is mainly a Turkey Choke, you cannot use a Steel shot larger than a number 4.
From our in-depth testing over the course of months, we can safely assure you that this Carlsons Choke tube is great for your Remington 12-Gauge shotguns. As it is a Flush Mount replacement, it can stay completely inside the shotgun, which gives it a cleaner look and feel. In our experience, we have not found many faults with this affordable option.
In relation to the other choke tubes in our line-up, this Carlson’s choke tube does an all-round job at every aspect of a shotgun choke. It is quite reliable and consistent with its shooting performance.
We noticed that these chokes fit just as snugly as the tubes that come by default from the factory. The lettering used on the surface is also much more easily readable than the factory-options. Looking closely at the picture, you may observe that Carlson’s places the diameter information of the tube on the body of the choke. Often the diameters are provided in .005″ increments, which makes it easy to obtain the right pattern for the desired distance. We did several pattern tests and were really impressed by the performance. Therefore, we highly recommend these chokes.
- Constriction: 0.700
- Lead, steel, and heavy shots can be used
- Moulded from Stainless steel that has been heat treated (17-4) for extra endurance
- Good fit
- Better marking than factory
- Great build quality with Heat-treated Stainless Steel
- Compatible with Steel, Lead and Heavy Shot
- Incompatible with a few other shotgun models that were used during testing
2. Top Light Full Choke: 6130723 Winchester Repeating Arms, Signature Extended Invector Plus Choke Tube, 12 Gauge Light Full
The Winchester Signature Extended Invector-Plus is another Choke Tube for 12-Gauge shotguns. It is designed with 17-4 rated stainless steel and you can find it in a natural finish.
The Extended design means that the Choke will stick out an extra 3 or 4 inches beyond the gun’s muzzle. One cool thing about this Choke is it has Winchester’s signature “Red” band on the front edge of the Choke. It is sure to make you stick out from the rest of the competition.
Our testing has concluded that this Winchester Choke is completely compatible with steel shot, lead shot, and even heavy shot. For the price, it is a fantastic Choke with great patterns and great all-round performance. This Winchester Choke does not have the same compatibility issue we have faced with our other models. So that gives it a slight edge in terms of consistency and reliability over the other competition.
With our limited time in testing this Choke, we have no major complaints with the product. The 0.30 Constriction and Extended design allows it to perform consistently, producing a uniform pattern at your target.
These high-performance tubes match the requirements set by the line of Winchester shotguns, and compete with the best choke tubes on the market right now. The Red band at the tip is a cherry on top for us, making you stand out from the crowd while producing top-notch patterns at your targets.
- Constriction: 0.30
- Bore: 0.710
- Ultimate performance with upland hunting situations and waterfowl
- Extended tube, making for easier installation
- Long choke shape to reduce wide shots
- Stainless steel (polished), front bad with red accent
- Weight: 3.2 ounces
- Snug fit
- Compatible with different shots (Steel, Heavy and Lead)
- Good pricing
- Uniform patterns and great performance
- We couldn’t found any
3. Top Light Modified Choke: Browning, Invector DS Choke, Light Modified, 12-Gauge
For those of you looking for a Light Modified choke for your shotgun, look no further than Browning’s Invector DS Choke. It is an excellent Modified Choke for almost any 12 Gauge shotgun.
At the end of the barrel, the tubes fit quite evenly but are longer than those of the competition. The choke has a differential banded gas seal, which eliminates the build-up of residue and makes the choke easier to remove and install. Moreover, a spring suspension that is integrated within the choke keeps the seal restricted yet allows it to expand inside the barrel, making for the perfect fit.
These Browning Choke tubes fit super lush with the end of the barrel but are slightly longer than the competition. Being designed in the United States, it is made with high-quality materials, just like all other Browning gear, making it a reliable choice for anyone looking to upgrade their choke.
This is one of the more unique Chokes on our list, as you can add the extended tubes as an accessory, making the barrel even longer.
From skeet to full choke, patterns tighten consistently and reliably for every shotgun that we have tested. This is one of the more tensile and durable Chokes from our line-up, whether you participate in competitive shooting sports or hunt in your leisure time.
The Extended tubes are available as accessories and are even longer. With the number of accessories paired with the easy maintenance, we confidently recommend these Chokes to anyone looking for a modified 12-gauge Choke.
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Choke Tube System: Browning’s Invector (DS)
- Choke Type: Light Modified
- Dimensions: 9” x 6” x 1”
- Weight: 2.4 Ounces
- Lush fit
- Durable build quality
- Relatively easy maintenance
- Tight patterns for skeet to full choke uses
- Not the best constriction for competitive shooting sports
4. Top Modified Choke: Carlson’s Winchester Flush Mounted Choke Tube, Modified, 12-Ga
Carlson’s 12-gauge Winchester Choke Tubes (Flush mounted) are moulded from stainless steel (17-4) and later hardened. These are manufactured for use with lead shots ranging from all constrictions.
This 12-gauge choke, designed mainly for Winchester weapons is the ideal addition for a competitive shooter who needs tighter shooting patterns. This shotgun choke by Carlson’s has an end which has been knurled, making it much simpler to remove. Even more, the choke provides a constriction diagram which has been etched with a laser on the choke’s side. This allows for easy reference in the field.
In our testing, we have used mainly lead shot at 0.710 constriction, which provided us with surprisingly good patterns. The build material is sturdy, and we have not faced any issues with the choke in weeks of shooting several 12-gauge shotguns of different brands.
One of the popular options from our product list, this Carlson’s Winchester choke has been preferred by many shotgun enthusiasts, especially those who prefer to use Lead shot.
We tried this choke with our Winchester shotguns as well as some Mossberg models. It installed easily and had a great pattern at 35 yards, with Remington 3″ Nitro Turkey shells. It also has great performance from the 40 yards range, making it more than suitable for turkey-hunting fans.
Overall, we are quite happy with this choke and recommend it to anyone looking for shooting tight patterns for an affordable price.
- Constriction: 0.710
- Construction material: Stainless steel (17-4 treated with heat)
- For use with lead shot in all constrictions
- Can be interchanged with Winchester, Weatherby, Mossberg, and Browning Invector systems.
- Great price
- Quality build
- Easy installation
- Consistent and accurate pattern
- In high demand, so not always available
5. Top Improved Modified Choke: Carlson’s Choke Tubes (specialized for sporting clay), used with Browning/Winchester, Mossberg (model 500)
This 12-gauge choke tube from Carlson’s is great for shooters who need their shot pattern to be tighter and more accurate. These tubes are created from highly durable stainless steel. They are also machined with precision to give a choke that produces much tighter patterns compared to other choke tubes from competitor brands.
These chokes offer a 25% bigger parallel section inside the tube that produces a significantly tighter and consistent pattern compared to conventional choke tubes from other competing brands. They are perfect for those looking to get into the competitive side of shooting sports. Although steel shots larger than #BB should not be used, lead, steel, copper-plated, Nickel, buck shot and even Hevi shot shells can be applied with this choke.
The high-quality steel construction and laser etching for easier field reference makes it a no-brainer option for the competitive shooters among you.
Compared to the other products in our list, this choke tube for people interested in sporting clay shooting is compatible with a wide range of shotguns, including all Inventors from Browning, Mossberg (500 model), Winchester and some Weatherby shotguns in the 12-gauge category.
With the life-time warranty from Carlson’s, we do not see any reason to not recommend this amazing choke. It is specialised for those of you looking for tighter grouping with your shots. The choke is able to perform with a more stable pattern than conventional choke tubes since it has a parallel section that is 25% longer than Carlson’s previous models.
- Improved Modified/.705 constriction
- Compatible with the Invector from Browning, Mossberg (500 model), Winchester systems
- Moulded with stainless steel (17-4)
- Knurled edge for easy installation or removal
- Stainless steel (17-4 rated) body for enhanced durability
- Compatible with a large range of different 12-gauge shotguns
- Laser-marking enables easy readability
- Backed by lifetime warranty
- Comparatively expensive
Best Choke Tubes for Trap Shooting: Buying Guide
1. Trap shooting types
- a) Singles
In Singles, you stand 16 yards away from the middle of the trap house and try to shoot down the randomly timed targets that fly at different angles in front of you. Squads of up to five people compete against each other. Singles is the easiest to learn of the three different variations of the sport.
- b) Doubles
Doubles is a modified version of Singles and was added to tournament play in the year 1911. It is more difficult than Singles since you must shoot down two targets fired at the trap house simultaneously. The two clay pigeons also fly in two different directions, one to the left and the other to the right. Moreover, there are no partners in Doubles, and many shooters prefer to use a double-barrel shotgun for this game-mode.
- c) Handicap
Handicap is considered by many as the most distinguished of the three disciplines, and the most difficult of the lot. The purpose of the handicap is to make the competition equal, and everyone gets a fair chance at victory. The handicap is made by placing the more skilled competitors further away from the trap house.
2. Choke tube models
- a) Flush
These are internal choke tubes. They are applied completely inside the barrel of the shotgun and have a significantly lower weight.
- b) Ported
Ported chokes usually come in 20+ mm models and are for those of you who are looking for the utmost comfort. It also offers some recoil-reducing benefits. However, it does come with a comparatively higher weight and requires more maintenance. So be sure to study up guides on maintenance for that.
- c) Extended
Like the Ported category, the extended also comes in 20+ mm models and has a high weight in comparison to the Flush chokes. Extended chokes offer great performance without many complications and a more simplified maintenance procedure.
3. Suitable choke tubes for trap shooting
- a) Full
This type has a very tight constriction diameter that results in a denser pattern. Approximately 70% of the total pellets of a shell are delivered onto a circle of 30 inches, from a distance of 40 yards. The tighter the constriction, the less the spread of the pellets, and therefore, the more accurate your shots will be. Full chokes are perfect for trapshooting but are also versatile.
- b) Light full
Light Full is less popular to the clay shooting crowd but is a fantastic choice for confident shooters in the Handicap trap shooting sport. With its longer range and consistent results from our testing, it outperforms several modified chokes. It is a powerful tool in the right hands.
- c) Modified
This type of choke has less constriction compared to a full choke, delivering around 60% the shell’s total number of pellets onto a circle of 30 inches from a range of 40 yards. Many people use it for shooting hilly land birds and other smaller game animals such as rabbits and pheasants.Modified chokes can be further altered to either Light Modified and Improved Modified. Improved Modified chokes tend to have greater constriction compared to their modified counterparts that make their patterns denser. That’s why so many pro trap shooters go for them to make good shots consistently.
The choke tubes suited for trap shooting usually cost between $15 to $60. You can also get two or more of the same chokes in a package for approximately $35-$45.