Choke For Sporting

Hi Bruce,

First, I’m a big fan of the Technoid!

I have been shooting competitive skeet and casual sporting clays for several years now. This year, I really started to compete in NSCA sporting clays. I feel that my scores are really not improving as fast as they should be. I know I should probably hire a coach, but in the short term, looking for some advice…

I shoot IC choke and #7.5 shot on all presentations and never change choke tubes. Wondering if changing to a skeet choke and #8 or 9 would be a good idea. However, I am not sure if that is something you might recommend, or if that is “wimping out”. What is your thought on using skeet choke in sporting??




Thanks for the kind words. As to chokes and pellet sizes for sporting clays, the variety of presentations makes for much wider choices than a game like skeet or trap where presentations are known. Since you say you are just getting started, choke and pellet size really don’t matter as much as concentrating on learning the target paths and lead techniques required. Your timing of the shot can have a lot to do with your ballistic selections.

You don’t mention what gauge or load you are shooting in sporting, so I’ll assume it is 12 gauge and 1-1/8 oz shot (all the law allows). Choke and pellet size selection should really depend on the distance to the target and also on the amount of the target exposed (on-edge vs fully open, etc). There really isn’t one answer as to best choke/pellet size due to this. IC would probably work well on anything out to 30 yards with any shot load and might even be OK on 40 yard birds if they are fully open, but I would sure want something snugger for a 35~40 yard on edge bird.

I’d be very happy using a skeet choke at skeet distances (10~25 yards) along with #8-1/2 shot. If I absolutely had to pick one choke for all sporting clays, I’d probably go with Light Modified and a 1-1/8 oz load of #8s. But that’s just me. Better shooters might disagree. I do know that one year Andy Duffy won the NSCA Nationals using nothing but a Light Modified. He told me that it was because he was concentrating on the birds so much that he just forgot about the choke. That’s why he is so good. He concentrates on what matters.

Fool around with chokes and shot sizes all you want, but do hire that coach. The right advice could save you a lot of money and time. One thing’s for sure, you don’t want to fuss around with chokes when you should be looking at the paths of the targets.

Best regards,
Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

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