Long And Short With One Choke

Dear Technoid,

Thank you for all of your sage advice. You have saved me countless hours of frustration. My question to you regards picking chokes for a single barrel gun if you have two targets of different distance on the sporting clays range. I have a Beretta 390, and I shoot primarily on a course that has automatic traps. Hence each station presents two shots of different angles, distance, and speed. My dilemma is, do I pick a tighter choke and sacrifice spread on the closer target, or do I use a more open choke to be sure I get the “easy” target.

For example, our evil course operator likes to pair lone (40-45 yard) crossers with looping 20 yard incomers. Based on the Choke Chooser, I would need a full choke for the long crosser, and a skeet or IC for the incomer. Should I use the full choke, split the difference and go with a modified, or use some combination of spreader loads?

Thanks again for all the wisdom and honesty!


Dear Paul,

I would have felt more at home if you had “Thanks for all the semi-wisdom and usual barnyard effluent!” Opinions are like noses. Everyone has one. Here is mine for what it is worth.

I shoot a single barreled gas gun in sporting competition and I choke for the longer bird. If I had a 40 yarder and a 20 yarder, I would use Full and # 7 1/2s for the long bird and #9s for the close target. Face it, you really ought to be able to hit a skeet target with full choke. I believe that the full choke will help you more on the 40 than it will hurt you on the 20. Reasonable men may differ, but there aren’t very many of those in this sport.

That said, I don’t think that your course designer is evil, just a bit rinky dink. An extreme spread like that really isn’t very subtle and you seldom see such an obvious presentation on an advanced course. Tell him to get real and stop picking on good, honest, upstanding, patriotic Americans with gas guns – like you and me.

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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