TECHNICAL CHOKE OR EXPENSIVE AMMO, WHICH WAY DO I GO?
by Mario Friendly
Folks always ask what chokes to use for waterfowl and I always explain and have been for about 20 years. You can go two different ways, inexpensive ammo and an expensive choke tube or expensive ammo and inexpensive choke. I have always leaned to shooting price point or average costing ammo and a very good choke tube. My go to chokes or in this case Tubes have been the brand Patternmaster.
I have shot this brand for over 20 years of my waterfowl hunting career and have been very satisfied. These are not traditional constriction chokes where they tighten your pattern on the way down range or constrict the tightness of the shot pattern. These tubes have a stud ring inside them which does a few technical things. The stud ring holds up the wad for a fraction of a second to allow all the pellets to come out of the end of the barrel at the same time. This cuts down the length of your shot string. What is Shot String? This is the length from the first pellet out of the barrel to the last pellet out of the barrel heading down range. Traditional constriction chokes have a shot string about 17-20 feet. This gives you a long shot string down range and your target could fly through this long string at some point and get hit with a few pellets. You do kill birds this way but there are a lot of times this results in more cripples or ducks or geese just shaking your hit off and flying away. The Patternmaster tubes give you more pellets on target at the same time, resulting in less cripples and less birds flying off. Now does this make you a better shooter. It does not! You need practice shooting with this tool as your shot string is shorter. This means you need to be right on your target, so no more spray and pray.
Finally, do not be fooled by the pattern on paper comparing this tube to another choke. You cannot visually see the pellets getting to the target as the human eye cannot process that. So, looking at paper on a board only tells a little of the story. If you want to see the pellets in action coming out of two different chokes shoots something on the water and watch the shot string on the water. This will give you the exact view of your shot string and what your choke is doing.
I use the Code Black Decoy Tube for most of the season. I pattern it with Federal Speed Shok 3 inch #2, 1550FPS.
Late season I switch to the Original Mid-Range Tube for bigger geese and a little longer shots. Federal Speed Shok 3-inch BB or Black Cloud 3 inch #1 or BB.
Ever since Federal started up its manufacturing efforts in 1922, shotshells were always its’ bread and butter. Then during its 100-year lifespan, Federal eventually, and meticulously, developed a shotshell for every situation and activity.
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