Was recently testing a few loads and a few chokes in a new shotgun, hoping it can replace my Benelli Vinci for Turkey duty. After shooting the available combinations, to the eye, the chokes performed very similar.
Choke #1 shot 294(#6) pellets in a 10in circle at 40 yards
Choke #2 shot 251(#6) pellets in a 10in circle at 40 yards
Now at 60 yards, based on 2 patterns of each
Choke #1 averaged 128 pellets in 10in
Choke #2 averaged 100 pellets in 10in
I also shot #5 through both at the same distance the numbers were a bit closer but choke number #1 still outperformed #2.
So to the question. Choke #1 is 95.00, choke #2 is 40.00, would you pay more for the better performing choke even if the difference is marginal?
I look at it in 2 ways:
On one hand, this will be my last Turkey gun, it wasnt cheap. I generally take any favorable odd increase when looking to take game, even if its minute. Basically, the buy once, cry once.
On the other hand, im cheap. Both patterns equal dead birds. Dead is dead. The money saved would cover at least 5 years worth of hunting ammo.
On another foot.....whe you factor in shells, guns, tags, gas and time.....whats 50 bucks?
when doing sporting clays, pheasant and grouse hunting back in the day. I started out testing a box of shells out of a case. This took forever. It, however, showed me that there is enough variance in ammo case to case to the consider margin error in shot gun chokes. if Choke one performs 95% of choke two but costs half as much. A swap in ammo brands and cases of ammo may not significantly change the margin of error. So, I would get the cheaper one, try it on 3-4 brands the whole box out of a case and see if it is really any less effective. My bet is that it is just as effective (with in margin of error) across multiple brands and cases.
Thats a good point, in this particular case, Im pretty much set on this particular brand(Longbeard XR) but I did test boxes from 2 different lots. Obviously differnt shot sizes as well.
I should note Im in the process of doing pattern testing with the same gun for waterfowl, using 3 chokes and 6 different loads. 3 brands comprised of #2 and #3 shot. Im halfway through those tests. Out of the 3 chokes, #1 and #2 are the same as above. Although as you mentioned, its not as conclusive this time as Choke #1 and Choke #2 both had a particular load that performed equally well, but Choke #1 shot most of the loads better.
At this point in regards to the waterfowl loads I jsut need to shoot a few more patterns with each to confirm consistency.
|Res ipsa loquitur|
I would use the better performing choke. You never know what distance you may be shooting and you never know what may cause you to be oh so slightly off where the better performing choke would lead to the more humane kill. I assume, that you were using a choke with the same constriction for the test just different makers?
Isn't it too late to ask this question?
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Yeah, I was leaning that way.
Not necessarily the same constriction. It seems each company has a differnt idea on what constitutes the best constriction for a certain gun or load.
In this case:
-Paternmaster simply has the Code Black for Turkey, all loads
-Carlsons has Turkey chokes but they also make a specific choke for the ammo im using, Longbeard XR
-Trulock has Turkey chokes, they also make a Specific XR choke, to even further this, they make specific XR chokes for each size shot. Unfortuantley the Trulock performed the worst out of the 3.
Nah, all of the choke companies ive ever used, including these, allow you to return them.
To make a realistic comparison across different choke brands, you really should test chokes with the same constriction -- as measured in thousandths of an inch. It would similar to say the that brand A's Mod choke (constriction of .019") is better than brand B's Light Mod choke (constriction of .016"), because A's choke puts more pellets in a given circle size.
Distribution of pellets (the pattern) is also important. Some really tight chokes produce a dense core of pellet impacts, but a somewhat random group of flyers outside of that core. A really good choke keeps the vast majority of its pellets in a relatively compact pattern, as long as the target distance is matched to the choke's intended use.
Good chokes will not change the pattern's core POI. A change in POI is generally due to errors in manufacturing. It can sometimes be determined by intentionally loosening a choke, then rotating it throughout 360 degrees, and seeing if POI changes.
Extended chokes have the potential for producing patterns with more even pellet distribution.
Larger, heavier, and more rounded pellets generally produce tighter patterns, with more even pattern distribution. Ammo can really vary from brand to brand, and from box to box within a given brand.
Ultimately, I think there's way too much mumbo jumbo about chokes. IMO having a decent idea of how a given choke works in your shotgun and having confidence you can point the shotgun in the right direction is really the crux of the issue. Go with which choke(s) gives you the warm fuzzies.
$50 spread over a lifetime for better performance is worth it. You know the first time you take your expensive gun out in the woods, you are going to wish you bought the best.
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NRA Certified Firearms Instructor
ABSOLUTELY. Think of what it costs and time and money to go hunting. Chokes last a lifetime (pretty much). If you buy the cheap choke and miss a bird you think you should've gotten, you will always be second guessing yourself, possibly kicking yourself and end up buying the $90 choke anyways.
A lot depends on the distance you plan on shooting turkeys (field or wood hunting). A choke that's too tight could lead to misses up close. Also more pellets isn't always better if the pattern has holes or open places in it.
You just bought an expensive shotgun, spend the extra $50 for the better performing choke. Two of my birds this year were taken at 50+ yards. You never know what you’ll need when hunting those wily swamp chickens (I hunt in FL).
Im not worried about being to close. My style of hunting pretty much allows for 30+ yards shots. Usually in open timber or corn fields.
A sample of some of the patterns I shot on the Shoot N See style targes @ 60 yards with various loads/chokes. Leaning towards the load on the left(this combo also had a better spread at 40 than the others). The middle pattern isnt terrible but its #6. I did some non scientific penetration tests at 60+ yards and #5 obviously did better so Im leaning on going that way.
1 and 3 are both pretty nice patterns. Looks like you may have pulled 3 to the left a bit. What are those ammo/choke combos?
Considering the cost of the shotgun, tags, travel and your time.....$50 is a drop in the bucket.
1&3 are XR 3.5 #5Magnum, left is Patternmaster, right is Carlsons. Center is 3.5 #6 non mag.
I dont think you need 3.5in shells to kill turkeys, I mainly did it to get the shot count up.
The Magnum loads are running 1050fps and I found that #6 lacked the penetration I wanted. #5 at 1050 was fine but in a 3in shell it didnt have the count I was looking for.
The Patternmaster has outperformed the Carlsons on every pattern I shot.....except on these Turkey targets. Ive primarily been shooting at 27x30 whte sheets of paper. Between Turkey and Duck loads I have shot over 40 patterns this week.
Same combos at 40, the Carlsons look to be a little tighter but in this case I prefer the more open pattern of the PM>
This message has been edited. Last edited by: WARPIG602,
40 more pellets at 40 yards is a pretty big difference. You only hit the bird's head with about a dozen pellets at that distance, if that.
When you hit him with the center of the pattern it's not as big a deal but on a marginal shot it could make a difference.
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With the tightness of the Carlson at 40, I’m surprised it’s not tighter at 60. It may be if you move the whole 60 group right by about 4-5”.
Regradless, that’s 6 dead birds and I think you are GTG with either.
See which shoots best at 75 yards. Some may think its to far, what your doing to those targets a 60+ is in range.
My furthest bird was killed at 74 yards using heavy shot 5s in a three inch gun. Just retooled for Winchester XR 6s in a 3.5 gun.
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