After one of my posts about the new Federal #1 Buckshot load, I got an e-mail from a Mr. Trulock, who makes shotgun choke tubes.
He suggested that I might find their products to be interesting, as they had some chokes that would really tighten-up patterns on a shotgun.
I told him I was interested, and he sent me some tubes to test.
I asked for tubes that would fit a Browning Invector Plus, as I had one of those that I could borrow from my buddy Shane.
It is the Browning Gold Hunter model.
A really tight pattern is not always desirable, such as when shooting at birds in flight with birdshot.
A very tight pattern makes it more difficult to at least put “some” pellets in a flying bird.
But for some hunting, especially hunting turkeys, a very tight pattern is desirable to be sure to place as many pellets into the head and neck of the turkey as possible.
Most turkey hunters aim for the neck and head of the bird to minimize damage to the best eating parts of the bird.
Varmint hunters also like tight patterns.
Here’s what we will test.
- 12 gauge Improved Cylinder – .730
- Modified – .720
- Turkey – .670
- Turkey – .665
Let’s see what they do to the pattern at 45 yards with various ammo. (45 yards is a long shot with a shotgun. As we used to say, “It stretches the barrel a little.” )
These chokes are made with High Strength Stainless Steel and are made “black” for hunting purposes.
They have a 100% guarantee and are made in the good old USA. They are clearly marked as to choke on the side and on the front of the choke.
Mr. Trulock told me that they are not rated for steel shot in tighter chokes than Modified. But lead and bismuth shot are okay for all their chokes.
The standard choke for this shotgun fits flush with the end of the barrel and requires a wrench to remove it.
The Trulock chokes have a 3/4 inch extension on the end of the barrel and are knurled to make it easier to remove and tighten them.
A wrench can be used to add a little more snuggness after installation.
First, we will try some standard velocity #6 lead shot with the cylinder choke and the .670 turkey choke.
Here we go.
It is kind of difficult to see the tiny holes in the paper, but it was a 42 inch wide pattern, with lots of empty areas in it.
Then with the .670 Turkey Choke.
This group was less than 36 inches.
Quite a difference.
Then I got some Remington Nitro Turkey loads with 1 7/8 oz. of #6 birdshot.
This load is a hardened lead shot with buffering.
Let’s see the difference between the Modified .720 choke and the Turkey .670 choke at 45 yards.
These things kick like a Missouri mule.
Let’s try the .670 Turkey Choke.
Just as expected, it placed a lot more pellets into the “kill zone”.
But here’s the important point.
I drew a turkey head and neck and it had 25+ pellets in it with this choke.
That’s pretty impressive at 45 yards. I bet the turkey wouldn’t complain.
But what about buckshot? Would a tight choke result in smaller or larger patterns at 40 yards?
Rumors has it that a tight choke will “squish” the lead buckshot and cause them to spread out more.
Let’s see what happens.
We will try the Improved Cylinder .730 choke and the .Turkey .670 choke.
I got some Remington #4 Buckshot, that has 27 #4 pellets in the load.
It is a standard 2 ¾ load.
Then with the Turkey .670 choke.
That shrunk the group to almost 24 inches.
Not as expected.
Then we will try some Winchester #1 buckshot without the Flight Control Wad.
How about buckshot in a Flight Control Wad?
Would the choke cause more open patterns?
Let’s try some of the #1 Buckshot that we have recently tested that has the Flight Control Wad.
First, from the Modified choke.
A very nice 14 inch group at 45 yards.
How about with the Turkey .670 choke?
About a 16 inch pattern, not much difference at all.
Who’d a thunk it?
- The Trulock Choke Tubes are extremely high quality and are very easy to change out and use. They performed perfectly.
- The Turkey loads shot a tighter group with the Turkey choke, just as expected. And they put 25+ pellets into the head and neck area at 45 yards, just as we would want.
- #4 Buckshot without the Flight Control Wad had the group tightened up considerably when the Turkey Choke was used. This would be very usefull when hunting varmints, as it would allow more pellets to be in the kill zone at longer yardages.
- The Federal #1 Buckshot with the Flight Control Wad shot great from the Modified choke, but surprisingly, also did very well when shot through the tight Turkey choke. The tight choke did not open the pattern up as expected.
- Some old rumors just don’t hold up to testing. Of course, every shotgun and every load may be different. You must test your system with your favorite load to know what it will do.
- It’s fun to shoot stuff.