Which shotgun choke has the tightest shot pattern?

A shotgun choke is a constriction that occurs at the muzzle end of the gun, which helps to tighten the pellet pattern. How the pellets spread out as you shoot is called the pattern. The choke has a significant effect on your shooting, and therefore, you need to be more cautious about the choke you choose to use. A choke helps to alter the distribution of any shot as it leaves the firearm. Remember, as a hunter, you need accuracy from your shotgun. The shotgun choke will not reduce the power of the shot as it will only help you to boost your efficiency by allowing a tighter pattern.

Categories of shotgun chokes

There are five types of shotgun chokes as discussed below:

Cylinder choke

It is the original barrel, and it does not have any restrictions. In this choke, the pellets are widely spread out.It is ideal for short-distance shooting using self-defense, buckshot, or birdshot. The choke can cover a distance of up to 30 yards away. When the trigger is pulled, this choke will create a widespread shot. As a result, you will have higher chances of hitting the target since it is near you, and you need not aim. Shooting targets that are at a great distance using the cylinder choke will not be effective as the pellets would spread out widely, missing your target.

Improved cylinder choke

The choke has a light constriction to the barrel that helps to the accuracy of your shooting. The pellets are still scattered. The choke is ideal for hunting rabbits or quail.

Modified choke

The choke has a moderate constriction, and the pellets are not much scattered. It is suitable when you use it for hunting ducks or geese using steel pellets. There is also another type of choke known as “Improved modified” choke that has a bit tighter constriction compared to a modified choke. The modified choke is ideal for shooting at medium distances since it gives you medium compression as well as medium accuracy. The suitable shooting distance foe modified choke is 30-40 yards. Apart from hunting, modified chokes are also ideal for target shooting and self-defense.

Full choke

The choke delivers the tightest constriction, giving you the highest accuracy for a more extended range. This choke can shoot up to 40 yards, making it ideal for shooting turkey or squirrels. This is because they restrict the shots firmly when they get out of the barrel. This makes the pellets not to spread out widely since they are less constrictive. The tight restriction also makes the pellets to be near together at more considerable distances.  A full choke is the most accurate choke than all the other chokes.

Skeet choke

The choke is for target or skeet shooting. Depending on the target range, the choke has the features of either full choke or modified choke. Skeet chokes have little constriction and offer you a wide-open pattern that moves at high speed toward the target. The choke is mostly used for recreational and competitive shooting where contesters shoot clay targets, projected in the air using the shotgun at high speed. The competition gets tough as the targets are flung into various directions. The competitors who break most clay targets are awarded more points.


In a nutshell, the shotgun choke that gives you the tightest shot pattern is the full choke. It offers a tight constriction with a high level of accuracy over long distances. A full choke will allow you to hit a target from 40 to 60 yards away. But all this depends on the number of the pellets your shell has.