Choking in Shotgun Firearms

Choking in Shotgun Firearms

shotgun is a firearm that has a design similar to that of the rifle. The difference lies in the barrel, ammunition, and purpose.

The shotgun has a smooth barrel and the ammunition used are shots that contain metal pellets that spray around when shot. Choking in shotgun firearm is defined as a constriction to the shotgun’s bore at the muzzle end.

A shotgun choke can make a significant difference to the shooting. This article describes in detail the chocking in shotgun firearms.

Choking in Shotgun Firearms

 On firing shotshells from the shotgun, the pellets leave the barrel and then spread. The farther the pellets travel, more the pellets are spread. This spread of pellets is known as a shot string. Barrels of shotgun consists of choke that helps control the shot string.

Chokes are either formed by squeezing the end of the bore or by threading the barrel and fixing an interchangeable choke tube during manufacture. Chokes can also be made after manufacturing by increasing the diameter of the bore inside the barrel.

A choke consists of a conical part in the barrel that tapers from the bore diameter to the choke diameter, followed by a cylindrical section of the choke diameter.

Functions of a Choke

A choke in a shotgun is designed to alter the spread and distribution of the shots as it exits the firearm on pulling the trigger. The choke is tailored according to the size and the range of the target. The chocking in a firearm provides accuracy and a better range to the shots.

Types of Chokes

There are four major types of chokes in shotgun that include: .

  1. CYLINDER CHOKE: This choking consists of an unconstructed barrel. These are usually used for short distances of around 20 to 30 yards. Cylindrical chokes are used for hunting using bird shots and buck shots. These types of chokes create widespread shots after the trigger is pulled.
  2. IMPROVED CYLINDER CHOKE: These kinds of choke have a slight constriction in the bore of the firearm. Shot strings fired through this spread quickly. It is used in the hunting of quail, rabbits, and other upland games.
  3. MODIFIED CHOKE: This type of choking consists of a moderate constriction in the bore of the firearm. It is more useful in cases of long-distance firing where the pellets stay and together for an extended period and thus makes the shot string denser. They are best for distances ranging from 30 to 40 yards away. Modified chokes have a constriction size of 0.02 inches. These types of chokes can be recognized by the three notches present on their rim.
  4. FULL CHOKE: These types of chokes have a tight constriction in the bore of the firearm. They are used for 40 yards and longer ranges. It provides more accuracy than any other chokes. The constriction size of a full choke is 0.03 inches. It holds the pellets and does not let the pellet spread at a broader range.


Choking in Shotgun firearms is a constriction made into the firearm’s bore near the muzzle end of the barrel. Shotgun’s choke offers accuracy and efficiency to the shotshells fired. The design of the constriction depends on the range majorly.

“More the constriction in the bore more is the efficiency of the gun.”

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