View Full Version : Shotgun Question

08-23-2008, 02:47 AM
Im a little confused about chokes and shot how can i tell what shot i can fire. How about slugs.

08-23-2008, 08:26 AM
A choke controls the spread of the shot. You can use any size shot you need for each situation. You can't fire a slug with a choke

08-23-2008, 10:55 AM

08-23-2008, 04:11 PM
Actually, you 'can' fire a slug through a choke but, it's bad for your morale (heavy recoil, sore shoulder), results in less accuracy (slug deformed and slowed at choke), and is abusive (heavy recoil) to the shotgun.
Choke is designated by its amount of constriction. How much smaller the bore gets at the exit end. Designations include Open (or Cylinder) = no choke, Modified = medium choke and Full = maximum choke. There are also many points of choke in between these such as Improved Cylinder, Modified Cylinder, Improved Modified, Turkey Choke and Modified Full.
Confused yet? It gets better. Some mfr's use thier own terminology for choke constriction. I'm not positive but, I think it was Mossberg that advertised the 'Turkey Choke'. It's a constriction designed for a 12 gauge at 28" bbl length shooting #4 shot. Barrel (bbl) length and gauge both play in factors that add to the confusion. Don't get discouraged.

If you're looking for one shotgun to do it 'all', I recommend a pump 12 ga with a Modified choke. You can find a whole lot more info at www.shotgunworld.com .

08-23-2008, 05:14 PM
All good info Cinok. These Guys know their scatterguns. I was faced with a very similar situation a few years ago. Wanted to compete in action combat competition matches and needed the tight group that the chokes provide in order to knock down the heavy steel targets, yet wanted to keep the option of shooting a slug for deer hunting. What to do ? I ended up using a slug called "sabot". It is a somewhat smaller in diameter slug than the barrel, encased in a plastic sleeve that is cut in half so it blows away right after the slug leaves the barrel (the sleeve). The plastic sabot passes through the choke much easier than the larger common slug, and causes much less of the problems described before. You do lose a bit of slug weight, as they are smaller, but they still provide a pretty good knock down punch. The sabot also allows them to be a bit faster due to less drag, so faster is somewhat better. IMHO it's as close to having your cake, and eating it too as you can get. I used a buck load, a slug, then another buck. But everyone has their own preference. Maybe that will help a bit with your delema. :D

08-23-2008, 07:37 PM

I have used conventional rifled slugs through an old, and very tightly choked Mod. 12 Winchester. Yes, those critters do kick a bit, but it was consistently paper plate accurate at 25 yards.(bead sight only) Just tried it to see how that old gun would handle them, just in case I ever needed a slug for a mixed bag hunting season.
The theory involved with rifled slugs and tight bores is that the soft lead rifling on the slug easily choke swages down to adjust to bore constriction. I'm sure that the less distortion on the slug the more accurate it will be, and I'd bet that most smooth slug barrels intended for that use are now bored different than the typical field or "riot" shotgun barrel.
I do have a lot of respect for slugs out of 12's and 20's though. The numbers indicate that either one would deliver a hammer of thor blow out to 100 yards if you were accurate at such ranges. Only the rifled barrels intended for shooting sabots are really honest 100 yard (and more) guns though.
As for recoil reduction these days, there are some low recoil 12 ga "tactical" loads for both slug and buckshot that might be worth a look. They are reduced loads, but still have a lot of smack at short ranges.OzarksJohn

08-24-2008, 12:47 AM
I appreciate all the help I just dont want a face of shot

08-24-2008, 02:11 AM
I appreciate all the help I just dont want a face of shot
Okay. Hang on. I think I may understand your original question, now.
And, it's not an easy question to answer.
For starters, let's leave Slugs out of the equation.
You can put any size shot through any choke without worry of it blowing up in your face (with a modern arm). What you need to factor is what choke that you have and what you want the shot to do. As in, are you hunting Squirrel with a 12 ga with a Mod? That's when you choose your shot size.
Example: Squirrel hunting with a 12 ga with a 28" bbl, (2.75" or 3" makes no diff) and Modified choke, and expected target range at a max of 40 yards, I would choose #6 shot. If expected max range was 20 yards, I'd use #4 shot. The idea is to have to pick the least amount of lead out during cleaning the squirrel. #4 is larger diameter and heavier than #6 but, there are fewer pellets per load of equivilent weight.
If that makes sense, read on...

Your choke determines how 'tight' the group of shot stays after it leaves the barrel. Picture this... 2 guys with identical shotguns and loads, standing 20 yards from identical targets. The only thing not in common is that one has a Mod choke and the other has a Full. The guy with the Full Choke is going to place more of his shot within the target than the guy with the Modified Choke. That doesn't make one or the other 'better'. It depends on what results are expected.

I told ya it would get deep. Let's get deeper and focus only on Full Choke. Full is good when the target is 'tough', such as a turkey at close range with large shot such as #4. Full is also good when hunting dove where the birds may be 60 yards above you and you are using #8. If you were to use #4 on the dove, IF you managed a hit, you probably won't have anything left to eat. To use #8 on a turkey will probably just tick him off.

There are just too many variables to give you complete and concise directions, as you can see.

If you're looking into defense options, that's another game and one more easily explained.

08-25-2008, 05:14 AM
It took me little bit to process but i got it now