What Are Modified Chokes For?

by Joe Shead
Modified chokes screw into shotgun barrels. They constrict pellets as they come out the barrel.

Modified chokes screw into shotgun barrels. They constrict pellets as they come out the barrel.

Modified chokes, like other shotgun chokes, screw into a shotgun barrel. They constrict pellets as they leave the shotgun barrel to make a tighter pattern. Exact specifications vary by manufacturer, but modified chokes are usually .01 to .02 inch narrower than the shotgun bore. They are a good all-around choice for general shotgun hunting.

Choke Purposes

A choke constricts the pellets. Constricting the pellets forms a denser pattern. A tighter pattern is desirable for taking longer shots. Less choke is desirable for shorter shots or for hard-to-hit targets, such as grouse in thick cover. Then you want the pellets to spread as far as possible. This maximizes your chances of hitting the target and also prevents meat loss due to too many pellets hitting the target.

Choke Spectrum

Shotgun chokes come in a wide spectrum. Going from the widest constriction to the tightest, the types are: Cylinder, skeet 1, improved cylinder, skeet 2, modified, improved modified, full, extra full and turkey. There are some variations within this and some highly specialized chokes. Most shotguns come with three chokes: improved cylinder, modified and full.

Modified Choke Uses

Because modified chokes fall right in the middle of the choke tube spectrum, they are a good all-around choice for general hunting. They constrict pellets somewhat for decent long-range shooting, but still provide a fairly large pattern for close-range shots. Many hunters shoot modified chokes most of the time because of their versatility.

Changing Chokes

Most modern shotguns accept interchangeable chokes. They screw into the end of the shotgun barrel. You can remove and install chokes in seconds with the choke tube wrench that comes with your shotgun. Most modified chokes will be flush-style chokes. They screw in flush with the end of the barrel and require a wrench for removal. Extended-style chokes project beyond the barrel. They have knurled edges that provide a good grip. They can be removed by hand.

About the Author

Joe Shead is a freelance writer specializing in outdoor writing. He has written for numerous national and regional outdoor magazines on various topics from hunting to fishing to his pet subject, shed antler hunting.

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