Several choke manufacturers have started to produce turkey chokes designed for the Winchester Long Beard (WLB) shells. George Trulock, Trulockchokes.com has taken that one step further by producing chokes designed specifically for each of the shot sizes offered in those shells.
All of the Trulock WLB chokes are crafted from 17-4PH stainless steel and then blackened. They have a knurled muzzle that also is slotted to facilitate installation and removal. The exit diameter is visible both at the muzzle and on the barrel of each choke. Each choke is also marked for the size shot that is recommended.
Recently, I spent several hours at the range with the Trulock WLB chokes and several boxes of WLB shells.
Elevation & Climate Conditions
Elevation 676 ft. above sea level
When I began
30.09 pressure - steady
4 mph wind
At the end
30.09 pressure - steady
5 mph wind
The evaluation conditions were excellent. There was very little wind and all shots were taken within a bermed range which further reduced the effects of wind on the shot charge.
Temperatures were moderate, rising 10° over the course of the evaluation and should reflect repeatable results within this range.
The humidity levels were, moderate and dropped over the course of the evaluation.
Shots were executed with WLB shells, allowing time for the targets to be changed and the barrel to cool between shots. When chokes were changed, a Boresnake Viper was run through the bore and choke tube to remove any fouling.
All shots were fired at 36” x 36” white paper targets, 40 yards from the muzzle-end of the choke, using a MaXbox rest from a bench.
My evaluation of each target consists of performing a count of each pellet hit within a 10” circle and then recording any gaps within that circle that equal or exceed 2” in diameter. I am looking for a dense pattern with even coverage and not just the total number of hits. When evaluating #6 shot patterns, I expect to see few if any 2” gaps but experience shows that as the shot size increases, the number of gaps will also increase.
3” WLB - 1.75 oz. - #6 shot – Lot # LT1GH29
3” WLB - 1.75 oz. - #5 shot – Lot # L12G110
3” WLB - 1.75 oz. - #4 shot – Lot # L12G112
Remington 11-87 with a 26” barrel – Leupold VXII scope set at 4 power
Trulock WLB Rem-Choke models.
The choke for #6 shot has an exit diameter of .650, the choke for #5 shot has an exit diameter of .660 and the choke designed for #4 shot has an exit diameter of .665.
The parallel section measures 1.015”, the overall length is 3.068” and the choke extends from the muzzle by 1.033” (The measurements are mine of each choke.)
The Results Hits 2” Gaps
WLB #6 Choke 221 0
WLB #5 Choke 166 1
WLB #4 Choke 107 4
According to information furnished by Winchester, that represents 55% of the #6 load, 56% of the #5 load and 45% of the #4 load in 10" at 40 yards.
While I do not specifically quantify the “halo” area around the 10” circle, all targets had sufficient hits to allow for some margin of error in aiming.
The concentration of hits in the center of the #4 shot target was quite impressive and while there were a good number of gaps, 4, there was also a fairly impressive halo pattern.