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Not sure which choke system your gun has? Check out our Choke Interchange Guide to find out!


Any time is a great time to talk “Choke Tubes”, but turkey season seems to bring about the most discussion.  
So, what better time to tackle the questions we get about choke tube selections than turkey season?  

At first glance, looking at the selection of turkey choke tubes can seem daunting.  Which one do I choose?  Where do I start?
There are Long Beard Choke Tubes, TSS Choke Tubes, Extended Turkey Chokes and even Tactical versions.  You can even choose ported or not.  Where does a person even begin?

This is a quick guide to making that selection, and understanding what it all means.

When selecting a Choke Tube, we always have a person start with selecting the correct Choke Tube system for their gun.  
That’s a quick stop to the Choke Tube Interchange Guide (click for an online version).

 The very next question is “what ammunition are you shooting?”
If you see a Choke Tube (and we always try and capitalize that word around here) with a brand name on it, such as “Long Beard” or “TSS”, that simply means we have done some leg work for you.  Our TSS Choke Tube, for example, has that name lasered onto the side because we have tested that choke system, in that constriction, with TSS ammunition and found it to produce the best pattern.  The same is true for Long Beard.  We have done the same with waterfowl and upland game ammunition like Black Cioud, Prairie Storm and others.
If you are shooting any of these, your choices become pretty easy if you want the best performance.  Simply choose the choke tube that matches the name of your ammunition.

 If you are shooting something else, no worries!  We have you covered!
Let’s say you are shooting lead, or copper plated lead, Hevi-Shot or even steel….   Let’s cover the first options, and circle back on the steel later.
For anything other than steel, you’ll likely want something that’s “Extra Full” or “Turkey” constriction.  That gives you a tight pattern, extends the range, and betters your chances of bring “Ole Tom” down after you’ve done the hard work of calling him into shooting range.   

Again, we have done the testing for you, to some degree.  Selecting our turkey or extra full choke tubes is a great place to start.

Steel Shot and Turkey Chokes:
On the subject of steel shot.  Non-Toxic or steel shot is required in some places.  If you find yourself in that position, here are few things to remember.

  1. Steel shoots differently than lead or heavier-than-lead shot.  It typically patterns one constriction tighter than what is listed on the choke. 
    * Meaning:  If you are shooting a “Full” with steel, it will pattern like shooting “Extra Full”.  
  2. Steel is also a little tougher on the barrel and choke especially.  To handle this, we construct our tubes from 17-4 heat-treated stainless bar stock.
    * Some companies manufacture their tubes from steel tubing, or even lesser grades of steel.  
    * Carlson’s wants to give you the best product possible, and that starts with the best materials and processes.  
    * We also stand behind them with a lifetime warranty.
    * Warning:  DO NOT shoot Steel shot larger than #4, or steel loads faster than 1550 fps through any of our full or turkey choke tube constrictions.

If you get stuck, and want to get advice on the best choke for your gun, ammo and situation – as always, you can dial us up (or email) and get the straight scoop on what choke will work best with your situation.   

Once you have your choke, ammo and your gun, it’s time to head to the range and pattern.
Look to our Shotgun Patterning video and article for information on getting set-up for your hunt.

Patterning Your Shotgun with Scott Carlson: