Benelli Lead/Steel Choke Questions

Dear Technoid,

I am a new owner of Super Black Eagle Benelli Shotgun and I have a few questions. Now I have put in more than a few days into searching for the information that I need put my efforts have proven disheartening at best.

I have looked through my manual in order to find any information about the sizes on the choke tubes that came with it. Now I been able to decifer some “M= Modified” but I was wondering if you could help me out a little…

They are writing on the choke tubes is in this format:

STEEL SHOT OK – CL – *****

Another thing… could you maybe give me a brief description of what the 2 letters mean. What I mean is, is “CL” a wide or a tight pattern and at what distance (I’m not talking about being super-specific)??

Now I’m not sure how remedial this all may sound to you but I hoping you could help me out. Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you very much,

Dear Ray,

I can help out on the choke markings. The first thing to remember is that what is marked on the choke is merely an indication of sort of what the pattern may be with a particular shell. It is definitely not anything hard and fast.

CL means Cylinder Bore, a constriction of .000″ (none). This choke should throw about a 35%-40% pattern into a 30″ circle at 40 yards. This is the widest pattern and should work nicely out to 20 yards.

IC means Improved Cylinder (.010″ constriction) and should print 50% of the pattern into the 30″ circle at 40 yard. This pattern is ideal at 25 yards.

M means Modified (.020″) and should pattern 60% This pattern is good at 30 yards.

IM means Improved Modified (about .030″) and should pattern 65%-70%. This pattern is good at 35 yards.

All of these pattern percentages are with LEAD shot. Steel patterns tighter and you can index the patterns accordingly. Benelli obviously feels that .020″ Modified (Lead) choke is the most that they want to use for steel. That .020″ M choke could well produce almost Full choke (40 yard) performance from steel. Yes, it does get confusing.

The reason that Benelli does not recommend using the tighter IM (.030″) choke on steel is that steel shot does not compress the way lead does when it goes through the choke. Steel is too hard and has no “give”. For this reason you don’t want to choke steel too much and most manufacturers think that Modified of about .020″ is about the most practical choke for steel.

Hope that helps. Just remember that steel and lead shot pattern very differently through the same choke. The manufacturers should really lable a choke something like “Lead- modified; Steel-full”. Perhaps some do.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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