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Turkey Choke Evaluation - Hevi-13 Shotshells

Product Tests

Hevi-Shot turkey loads from Environ-Metal have been very popular with turkey hunters for the last 16+ years. Recently, I completed an evaluation of 3” Hevi-13 shotshells with 2 oz. of #6 shot using 32 different choke configurations through 6 different shotguns..

 

I used the following shotguns, all with 28” barrels:

 

Benelli Vinci

Benelli SBE

Browning BPS

Mossberg 835

Mossberg 930

Remington 11-87

 

I evaluated 32 different choke configurations from the following manufacturers:

 

Carlson's

Hevi-Shot

Indian Creek

Kick's

Truglo

Trulock

Wright's

JEB's

Mossberg

Pure Gold

Ballistic Specialties

Primos

Briley

 

I shot 96 shells in total, 3 shells through each choke tube, over a period of several weeks, firing 32 shells at each range visit. I closely monitored the temperature, humidity and barometric pressure and shot at the same time period of each day at each range session.

 

I wanted to shoot at temperatures encountered by many, perhaps most turkey hunters in early spring and fall seasons, consequently, temperatures ranged from the low 50s when I began to shoot each day and normally rose to the mid 50s by the time I had completed my shooting. In order to be as objective as possible, I alternated the order in which I shot the guns and chokes at each session.

 

Prior to each shooting session, I “deep cleaned” the bore of each gun and each choke tube. I cleaned the bore of each gun between each shot during the session with a Boresnake. Over the years, experience has shown me that some guns and chokes will pattern better when they are slightly dirty and some pattern better when they are squeaky clean but no attempt was made to determine that during this evaluation.

 

Most turkey hunters have embraced the 10” circle at 40 yards from the muzzle of the shotgun as the standard for judging and comparing the performance of shotshells and choke tubes so that is the standard I used in the study.

 

My plan was to fire 3 Hevi-13 shells through each choke tube at 40 yards, throw out both the high and low scores and evaluate the remaining target. Evaluation would entail a count of the pellet hits within a 10” circle and  include an examination for 2” gaps within that circle to determine pattern quality. In reality I did fire 3 shells through each choke tube as I'd planned but scores were so similar that in most cases there were fewer than 3-4 pellets difference between the highest and lowest scores.

 

It is also important to address the subject of terminal energy when evaluating Hevi-13 patterns. The increased density of each pellet transfers more energy to the target than a comparable lead pellet. While that may seem to be a subjective matter, in the real world of turkey hunting it is important to remember. It's one of those cases where 100 hits on one target may not equal 100 hits on another target, even with shot of the same size, if one pattern is made by lead and the other is made by Hevi-13.

 

Evaluating pattern quality was the real goal of the study. While emphasis is sometimes placed on the number of pellets hits on a target, the true measure of pattern quality is the coverage of the targeted area and the area immediately surrounding it, sometimes referred to as the “halo” pattern. I did not attempt to quantify this halo pattern but observed that all patterns had sufficient pellet hits outside the 10” circle to allow for some error in judgment on the part of the shooter or for some movement on the part of the turkey.

 

To determine the performance of the shotshell and the choke tube, each shot was taken from a rest at 36” x 36” white paper and the best 10” pattern on that paper was circled. The point of aim (POA) and point of impact (POI) differed with several of the chokes and guns, as is many times the case.

 

It was also noted that the internal geometry of the various chokes proved to be more important than the exit diameter, since each designer determines what “internals” work best with his particular choke tube, similar performance may be noted in chokes with different exit diameters.

 

The accompanying chart yields a wealth of information about each choke tube and its performance. Please take special note of the exit diameter of each choke used.

 

It is always up to each shooter to pattern his or her gun with the choke and shell they intend to use in the field. There is just no substitute for range time when it comes to learning exactly how a particular gun will perform.

 

The goal of this study was to provide information for the turkey hunter to use in evaluating what choke might work best in his or her particular shotgun with Hevi-13 shotshells and in conditions that the average turkey hunter might encounter in the fields and forests as he or she pursues a gobbler in the spring or fall.

 

Hopefully, you'll find the information informative and helpful.

 

THREAD PATTERN

EXIT DIAMETER

10” COUNT

2” GAPS

 

CRIO

 

 

 

 

CARLSON'S

 

665

 

146

 

0

HEVI-SHOT

667

148

0

INDIAN CREEK

665

170

0

KICK'S

655

168

0

BONE COLLECTOR

667

168

0

TRULOCK

655

137

0

WRIGHT'S

655

146

0

 

INVECTOR

 

 

 

 

CARLSON'S

660

 

131

0

JEB'S

650

213

0

KICK'S

655

121

1

X-FACTOR

670

139

0

PURE GOLD

670

157

0

TRUGLO SSX

643

163

0

 

INVECTOR PLUS

 

 

 

 

BALLIST SPEC

 

655

 

135

 

1

INDIAN CREEK

655

159

0

JEB'S

650

171

0

TRUGLO SSX

643

148

0

WRIGHT'S

650

222

0

 

REM-CHOKE

 

 

 

 

COMP N CHOKE

 

665

 

131

 

0

INDIAN CREEK

655

147

0

JELLY HEAD

660

128

1

BONE COLLECTOR

667

130

0

TRULOCK

650

151

0

 

MOBIL

 

 

0

 

BRILEY

 

675

 

132

 

1

COMP N CHOKE

658

154

0

HEVI-SHOT

665

154

0

JEB'S

650

169

0

TRUGLO SSX

643

158

0

 

MOSS 835-935

 

 

 

 

HEVI-SHOT

 

676

 

201

 

0

JEB'S

650

176

0

X-FACTOR

695

113

2

 

TRUGLO SSX

670

192

0

 

 

 



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