If you’re hunting waterfowl, like ducks, with your trusty 12 gauge, you either want a choke or want to try choking the duck with your bare hands because you’ll have more chance with that than firing a shotgun spread that won’t land properly. You’ll need a choke to help you tighten those spreads and keep your shots accurate.
We have found five of our favorite shotgun chokes and listed them below with their pros and cons easy to see at a glance. There’s also a buyers’ guide below our list where you can read about what goes into manufacturing a quality choke, so that you can identify and buy better products in the future.
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This is our Winner!
Why its our top pick?
Got your eyes on a not so lucky duck? If you’re in a hurry to get your hands on a choke, let us recommend our top product right here so that you can get out hunting as soon as possible.
We chose the MOJO Outdoors Fatal Shot Waterfowl Choke Tube, high quality, custom-made chokes that are made to be compatible with a wide range of firearms. See why we like them below:
- These chokes not only help you to deliver consistently tight and harder-hitting points of impact for cleaner kills, but they come in multiple range sizes to take on all kinds of waterfowl.
- The chokes can shoot most shot types so there’s no need to carry around multiple chokes anymore.
- Proudly manufactured in the United States of America with durable, high quality 17-4ph hardened stainless steel.
Best Choke for Duck Hunting - Comparison Table
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Best Choke for Duck Hunting - Reviews
Our first choke is the MOJO Outdoors Fatal Shot Choke Tube, a custom choke tube whose product page has options for many choke styles depending on which brand shotgun you have.
It works as any good choke should, by allowing you to deliver dense and consistent impact points so that your shots can be more forceful and your kills cleaner. These chokes are also multi-functional, however, being able to shoot lead, steel, heavy, and buck shots so that these will be the only chokes you need.
There’s also some choice to be made on your part too since these chokes are available in short, medium, and long sizes to take on waterfowl, everything from ducks and geese to pheasant, quail, and grouse. They’re all proudly manufactured here in the USA with durable 17-4ph hardened stainless steel to take the punishment of firing shots off.
There are some gun models that won’t fit with these chokes, so it’s wise to check if your firearm is compatible before making the purchase. Not sure if your shotgun is supported? There’s a handy table on the chokes’ product page which can give you an idea of what guns are compatible. Check out our review of the best duck decoys for more top picks.
Our second product on the list is the Beretta Benelli Mobil Ported Chokes from Carlson’s Choke Tube. The first thing you’ll notice about these tubes is the fact that they’re finished off with an attractive golden color and shine, but don’t let that distract you from the fact that beneath that finish is hardened 17-4 stainless steel.
It’s a tight skeet constriction at .720, which is great for hunting waterfowl with some distance, or as they’re taking off to fly away should your attempt at camouflage fail. The range is also helped by the fact that the parallel section of this choke tube is 25% longer.
The tube is capable of firing many types of shots, including lead, copper plated, nickel, bismuth, tungsten and Hevi-shot. It’s a handy and attractive variable choke tube, but the fact we’ve been referring to it in the singular is because you only seem to get the one tube per purchase, making this a very expensive option.
Our next choke tubes are ones that have seen a lot of attention on Amazon, and for good reason. They’re Sporting Clays Choke Tubes from Carlson’s Choke Tubes again, but these are very versatile models that can fit some of the most common shotguns out there.
This is because it operates with the choke systems of the following firearms, the Browning Invector, Mossberg (29776) 500, and Winchester, Weatherby, and Savage 12 Gauges. Since it’s a cheaper tube on this list too, it’s a great option for a versatile hunter that’s held back by a budget.
It achieves tight groupings thanks to its .700 constriction, and there’s no chance of the choke tubes giving way to muzzle blasts since it too is made of 17-4 heat-treated stainless steel with a non-glaze finish.
Aside from the tubes themselves, if you get your hands on these, they’ll come with a choke wrench that makes fastening and removing the chokes a breeze. This makes it an ideal product for beginners or those in need of tools like this.
Our next choke is the Patternmaster Code Black Duck Choke Tubes, decent-looking metallic tubes that come lauded as an industry standard.
So why so low on this list? The price and scarcity of features compared to others, mainly, but remember that this is our fourth best pick and that lower products are just what we thought were the lowest of the best.
These choke tubes are designed to expel gas faster so that there isn’t so much pressure, and so backward force, pushing back after each shot. This reduces recoil and creates a more symmetrical shooting pattern.
The tubes themselves have a slick brass look to them. This is because they’re coated in a mixture of bronze and titanium that allows them to face both general corrosion and the intense heat of gunfire, and still keep your shots in line.
Whatever firearm you have, there’s a high chance that you’ll find these choke tubes compatible with your trusty gun thanks to a sprawling list of options on the product page that spans gauges, brands, and sub-brand types of barrels.
Those shots, however, shouldn’t be slugs or flight control shots, since flight control shots have wad or shot cup designs that aren’t compatible with these choke tubes. This choke works best with ammunition velocities that score below 1550fps.
Our final choke tube is the Hevi-Shot 12-Gauge Extended Range Waterfowl Remington Tube, which is designed for firing those heftier shots at further ranges. The one that we’ve chosen is for the Remington, but you can find other brands from the same people that will fit with other choke tube systems.
It works with only Remington firearms because it has their trademarked Rem Choke thread pattern. This means it’s perfect for popular models such as the Remington 870, 1100, and 11-87.
It’s designed for use with Hevi-shot’s own, well, Hevi-shot Waterfowl Ammunition, but it can also fire other heavier loads like lead or copper plated lead. This is because it’s built to put maximum-lethality pellets into your target whilst achieving as much range as possible.
Whilst doing that, the ported tube works to release gas, dropping the muzzle pressure and reducing the recoil, allowing for quicker follow-up shots if you miss or are gunning for multiple targets.
Best Choke for Duck Hunting - Buyers Guide
How to choose the right chokes for duck hunting
Here we’ll help you find which choke tubes are better for duck hunting, so that you can make sure that you get the right ones. There are several considerations about the features of choke tubes, like the choke versus the range, their interchangeability, their construction material, constriction, and ported tubes.
Spread V Range
The traditional benefit of a shotgun is the fact it can pepper a relatively wide area with one shot, and this is invaluable for shooting waterfowl. Since your average large American duck is about 30-inches, you’ll need to hit a majority of your pellets into them in order to bag them, as a general rule.
When applying a choke to your firearm, it becomes an equation between that spread versus the range, since it's the range and accuracy that choke tubes promote. You’ll want a balance that you’re comfortable with, with a load and a choke that you’re used to and able to shoot accurately with.
There’s no point in having a very long-range shotgun if they can’t hit enough of the duck, but there’s also no point in having so wide a spread and so little range that the ducks escape unharmed.
This means it’s a good idea to train, by drawing a 30-inch circle and testing different loads and chokes to see which combinations get you a pellet count that you’re satisfied with, and at a steady enough range that the duck shouldn’t get spooked.
Constriction is one of the most important factors to consider, seeing as it’s the degree to which your shots are held together, or choked if you will. It determines how tight the spread gets held upon firing, as well as the pattern of that spread. Take note of the above paragraphs of the guide and, with that in mind, also consider the environment you want to hunt in so that you can get a constriction that’s ideal.
What’s ideal for open areas is a tighter constriction, which allows for distant target location. This is because the ducks will see you too and so you’ll want the distance afforded to you by that tighter choke to get your pellets closer to the ducks. On the other hand, if you operate in areas with thicker vegetation, you’ll want a wider construction because you’ll get closer to your prey, and will want to blast them quickly to ensure you can catch them in a spread.
Not all chokes are interchangeable, so be sure your shotgun doesn’t have its own permanently fixed choke tube, otherwise it won’t have the prerequisite threading in the barrel to screw choke tubes in.
Even if a shotgun has got a threaded barrel, though, there’s no guarantee that certain interchangeable chokes will be compatible since there’s no standardization between the brands. This means that certain brands will make firearms, and then make (or collaborate with other manufacturers to make) choke tubes that only work with certain firearms.
Take Remington, for example, since it features prominently in our product list. Many Remington firearms use their trademarked Rem Choke threading. Take note of the brand of your gun and research into the chokes you want to buy, as third-party chokes can even be as specific as to fit certain firearms in certain brands, often their most popular firearms.
Material is directly tied to durability and it should be fairly obvious that your shotgun choke tubes need to be as heat-proof and durable as possible so that they won’t bend or break when it counts. A favorite in the industry, and a common material above, is hardened or heat-treated 17-4 stainless steel thanks to its simple but effective construction.
The design of the choke will help it camouflage, too. It’s foolish to have a camouflaged shotgun that’s capped off at the barrel with a shining gold-finished choke, no matter how pretty it may look. Duller, less reflective metallics will suffice if that’s what you want, but others can be matte or oxidized into dark colors so that they fit into the environment.
You should also weigh up whether you want ported or non-ported choke tubes. As some general rules, non-ported tubes work better with steel loads whereas ported chokes can handle most other ammunition types depending on the individual chokes.
We’d say that if you’re hunting with a blind, a hunting partner, or a dog then you’re better off going with non-ported since it’s easier on everyone’s ears and there’s less need for reducing your muzzle flash.
So, what do ported tubes do? Ported tubes, as mentioned, reduce the muzzle flash that firearms give off. They do that by venting off the gases that expel the pellets, in turn reducing the recoil and enabling you to fire more accurate, tighter spreads, as well as fire consecutively easier than you would with a non-ported tube.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a full choke good for duck hunting?
Not really, no. Full chokes are specialized for long distance shots, but this can be detrimental to the spread and patterning of those shots. The spread is important, and a full choke limits that spread to its fullest extent. This means that you’ll need to be a crack-shot with a shotgun in order to down a duck, and if you do it’ll be so accurate a shot that the meat will be ruined.
It’s just mostly better to use modified choke tubes since they can fire a variety of shots at different ranges, depending on your loads. A lot of duck hunters use duck decoys to bring them closer too, eliminating the need for long distance shots.
How do you lead a duck?
As hunters get more experienced, leading during aiming becomes more instinctual than intentional. There’s a saying that if you’re thinking about your lead then you’ll struggle to actually lead it.
However, those sayings don’t do much when you’re a beginner and genuinely need some help with your lead, so if you haven’t got the hang of it yet then let us offer up some tips. First off, whilst you get your lead ready, try to position yourself so that the duck is straight from you, so that no lead is required, and you can bag something whilst learning to lead.
Otherwise, there’s a wing to bill method that involves aiming at the closest wing and leading towards the bill, keep leading it past the bill and then fire. That last lead should be more of a swing with your arms, and you need an angle on the duck for it to work, but it can be a very effective method if you know what you’re doing.