Which Shotgun Choke is the Most Open?

Chokes are one of the most common gun accessories for shotgun huntsmen and enthusiasts. What does it do, you ask? We’ll get to that in a bit. We’ll also discuss which shotgun choke is the most open and why they’re important. So with no further ado….

What is a Shotgun Choke?

A choke is a short metal tube attached to a shotgun barrel to control or regulate its shot pattern. Depending on the choke type, it can either spread your pattern out or narrow it down.

Types of Chokes

Each choke type is suitable for a different shooting application. A wider pellet pattern is great for closer targets and increases hit probability. While a narrow shot pattern extends your shotgun’s range, so it’s ideal for long-distance shooting.

The inner diameters listed will be for a 12 gauge shotgun for comparison.

Turkey or Extra-Full

Going too tight for the opening of a choke can actually make your shotgun less accurate at practical ranges. But, dedicated turkey chokes really try to test the limits at 0.665 in.!


Full choke is the narrowest standard among the standard choke types. It has a constriction of approximately 0.695 inches and is effective for targets 30 to 50 yards away. 


Improved-modified choke has a constriction of 0.700 inches.


Modified choke has a constriction of around 0.705 inches and is effective for targets 26 to 42 yards away. It’s perfect for pheasant hunting and trapshooting.

Improved Cylinder

The improved cylinder choke has a constriction of 0.715 inches and its most effective range is 20 to 30 yards.


A skeet choke tube sits just in between IC and Cylinder at 0.720 inches. It’s tailored for shooting skeet (easy-to-break targets) at relatively short ranges. 


Cylinder choke means the barrel has no constriction. (0.725 in 12 ga.) It means the barrel’s diameter is the same from breech to muzzle. 

Which Shotgun Choke is the Most Open?

Now we know that the most open shotgun choke is the cylinder choke as it offers no constriction. This type of choke works best for close-range shooting and self-defense.

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Why is a Shotgun Choke Important?

A shotgun choke is important because it will let you optimize your shot pattern density at the expected range for your shooting.

What is the Best Choke for Bird Hunting and Clay-Target Shooting?

The best choke for bird hunting, clay-target shooting, or any other shotgun shooting sport depends on the distance and quarry. If you’ll be shooting 20 to 30 yards on small birds like dove or quail, an improved cylinder is a popular pick. For pass-shooting at longer distances (30 to 50 yards), an improved-modified or full choke is most effective.

How to Choose the Right Choke?

First, decide how and what would you be hunting. Different types of game and different shooting applications require different chokes. Once you’ve decided on that, choosing the choke type will be easy, but remember to always pattern your gun to know how it behaves before going out!

Speaking of muzzle devices, here’s our Rugged Oculus 22 suppressor review.

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Last update on 2024-02-12 / Images from Amazon Product API