Several months ago, after an number of inquiries about what choke worked best and in what gun, with the new Winchester Long Beard (WLB) shotshells, I decided that I would evaluate those shells through a variety of commercially made turkey chokes. I wanted to try to use the most popular guns used for turkey hunting as well as the turkey choke brands that are most discussed on Internet forums and produce the largest number of inquiries.
I had to make a few decisions before beginning the project including limiting the chokes to commercial makers. To be as fair as possible, I decided to ask each manufacturer to submit the choke, of any thread type, that they thought would do best with 3” WLB shells with 1.75 oz. of #6 shot. Most manufactures responded enthusiastically and some did not respond at all.
When all of the chokes were assembled, I had thread types for the Benelli “Crio”, Benelli “Mobil”, Win-Choke/Invector, Invector Plus, Rem-Choke, and Mossberg Accu-Mag for 835/935 shotguns. Consequently, I chose a Benelli Vinci, Benelli SBE, Mossberg 930, Browning BPS, Remington 11-87 and a Mossberg 835 shotgun for the evaluations. All shotguns had the same barrel length.
In the end, I had 32 different choke configurations that I shot through the 6 different shotguns. I shot each choke/gun/shell 3 times for a total of 96 shots. All were shot under similar conditions and in turkey hunting temperatures that many of us will encounter in spring and fall hunts.
The evaluation was as objective as I could make it and when you see the targets, the charts and read the article, you'll note that I draw no conclusions as to which choke performed the best in any particular shotgun. The reader can examine all of the results and draw his own conclusion.
The article will appear the the March/April 2015 “Turkey Country” magazine that should be in your mailbox in the next could of weeks. I hope you find it informative and helpful.