What Choke Tube Do You Prefer?
If there is one type of hunting that I enjoy the most while hunting with a group of people, it would have to be waterfowl. From sitting in flooded timber shooting Greenheads, or laying in a cut wheat field shooting geese, it's great camaraderie.
But along with the camaraderie can come some brutal humiliation, especially if the shells are flying and you aren't hitting anything. While the number one reason people miss with shotguns is misreading lead, another reason that is oftentimes overlooked is shot pattern densities. Shot pattern density is what's going to bring the bird crumpling to earth instead of flying away with a few BBs in it. And when you're shooting birds as big as Canada geese you need some dense patterns to do the job.
There once was a time in my life when I thought that the only choke tube I needed was an improved cylinder (IC). I use an IC from sporting clays to upland game. I even used it for shooting buckshot. It's a very versatile choke. I still love my IC for when the birds are dropping into my decoy spread.
But sometimes the birds don't want to cooperate. They might fly over at the outer limits. These are the birds that use to drive me crazy. I knew what lead to hold on them but oftentimes it would just end up being a crippled bird that would take us on a wild goose chase. Literally.
Then I discovered two choke tube manufacturers: Kicks and Patternmaster. These two choke manufacturers changed the way I look at ethical shots on feathered game. When paired with the proper shot size, these chokes throw awesome patterns that crush birds at distances you never would've thought possible.
Also, check out JEBS High Voltage waterfowl choke tube in MAX-5 camo. It shoots great as well. You won't be sorry you purchased it.
Both chokes utilize porting to help reduce muzzle jump helping you deliver accurate follow-up shots. The porting also helps separate the wad from the shot column resulting in very uniform pattern densities.
It's hard to pick just one piece of gear that you can honestly say has changed your hunting outcome. But since I've been using these chokes, I've put more birds in the pot and have had far less cripples get away.
If you're a die-hard waterfowler, you should definitely check them out. They perform much better than the manufacturer's choke tubes that came with your gun.
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[Editor's note: This blog post was first published Sept. 23, 2016.]