Best Choke for Pheasant Hunting

A Comprehensive Guide

Pheasants are fantastic game birds that hunters often overlook. Hunting for wild pheasants is a lot of fun, but it can be hard to get the hang of. You might have tried your hand at this sport before but found that you weren’t able to get close enough to these wild birds without spooking them away.

Carlson's Choke Tube Beretta Benelli Mobil Cremator Non-Ported Waterfowl Choke Tubes, 12 Gauge, MR & LR, Black

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The problem is that people can’t easily find the best choke for pheasant hunting. Most of us don’t know what choke we need for our shotguns, and it makes choosing a shotgun harder than it needs to be. This article will help you select the best choke for farm pheasant hunting.

Table of Contents

If you are in a hurry to purchase the best choke for Pheasant hunting, and you want to make the best decision, here are our top 3 picks:

Top 3 Best Choke for Pheasant Hunting

What is a Choke for Hunting?

Choke is defined as “A constriction in the bore of a firearm at or near the muzzle. Choke generally serves to modify the distribution of the shot charge of nontoxic shot types to favor adequate pattern density with a load combination of the larger shot sizes. It also affects ballistics by controlling the shape of the shot string (pattern) and the velocity for a decent shot charge.

How Does a Choke Work?

A choke typically consists of a conical section near the muzzle, which smoothly tapers back to the original bore diameter. The constriction may only be partway down the bore or at the muzzle if present. Each manufacturer’s offering is different, but in general terms, screw-in chokes are classified by the degree of constriction, e.g., none, modified, and full. A choke is used to restrict the angle of shot string when shooting at different distances, with typical applications including clay target games, hunting game birds such as quail, partridge, or ring-necked pheasant, waterfowl (such as ducks or geese), and deer.


A constriction of the barrel is similar in effect to narrowing the bore diameter and places the projectile at a greater centripetal force due to the conservation of angular momentum; it thus produces the accurate type of shot placement. There is more than one constriction (or choke) in the barrel of a shotgun, usually about one inch from the muzzle end. A barrel can have multiple chokes, and each may vary in size depending on the use for which the barrels were designed or intended. The three main types of choke are:


There is no restriction of airflow through the bore while shooting. This type of tighter choke does not affect distance or accuracy but can lead to loss of pellet speed, therefore reducing effective range. Shotguns with “none” chokes are generally used to shoot targets that offer a larger kill zone, such as trap and skeet.

Modified Choke

There is a slight restriction on airflow through the bore, decreasing distance even more than none chokes but not affecting accuracy. An example of usage is hunting geese; this enables goose hunters to fire at longer or mid-range than non-choked barrels and still produce effective results. Modified choke tube is very common in shotguns used for wild turkey hunting.

Full Choke

As above but with a significant constriction, reducing shot spread to approximately 25% of what it would be without any choke. A full choke has little or no effect on pellet density, shortening effective range somewhat further modified chokes. “Full” chokes are commonly installed on “deer slugs,” where the larger diameter of the pellet count enables it to be effective with a tighter constriction.

4 Best Choke for Pheasant Hunting (Ranked And Reviewed)

Now we’ll go over four different chokes for a pheasant hunt, perfect for beginners. We’ll also explain what each choke does so that you know how it affects your closer shot pattern at varying distances. Let’s jump in.

1. Carlson’s Waterfowl Choke Tube

Carlson’s Waterfowl Choke Tube
$64.85 $70.34
May 24, 2022 3:22 pm
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These choke tubes are designed to provide the ultimate versatility for all types of waterfowl hunting. The triple shot technology feature allows you to shoot an ammo combination of steel, lead, and Hevi-Shot without changing tubes. It will enable you to use the correct shot size for the long or mid-range you are shooting. The Carlson’s waterfowl tests choke tube that fits the following shotgun models: Browning Invector Plus, Winchester Super X2, and Mossberg 500-590.


It features a mid-range constriction of .710 and a long-range constriction of .700 for increased accuracy at varying ranges from 20-29 yards. This choke tube comes with an alloy construction and includes a wrench for installation. This choke tube features a 25 percent longer parallel section than other brands, which allows you to shoot without restriction. It is made from heat-treated 17-4 stainless steel for superior strength and durability. Carlson’s choke tubes are available in all standard constrictions and are perfect for waterfowl hunters.

Carlson's Waterfowl Choke Tube



2. Carlson’s Sporting Clays Choke Tube

Carlson's Sporting Clays Choke Tube
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Carlson’s sporting clays choke tubes are made with the same quality and care as Carlson’s other chokes. The main difference is that these tubes are designed for sporting clays target shooting only. They are not intended to be used in hunting situations where many nontoxic shot types come into play. Available in 12 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, and .410 bore, a choke tube is available for every shotgun you own. It is the choke tube that will fit Browning, Mossberg, Winchester, Weatherby, and Savage 12 gauge shotguns.


It has a red plastic cap to protect the threads when not in use. This choke tube features a “C” constriction for use on sporting clays targets at greater distances. Carlson’s choke tubes are made from 17-4 stainless steel and feature a modified constriction. These choke tubes will deliver the most consistent patterns you’ve ever shot with your shotgun. The Carlson choke tube is designed to enhance your shooting performance by reducing the percent of recoil, muzzle jump, and tight pattern deformation.

Carlson's Sporting Clays Choke Tube



3. Carlson Winchester Cylinder Choke

Carlson Winchester Cylinder Choke
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Carlson’s Winchester improved cylinder is a 12ga shotgun choke with the same constriction as an improved cylinder but a more extended parallel section to provide more consistent patterns. This choke is perfect for upland bird hunting and sporting clays. It has a dense pattern constriction that makes it ideal for use in any shotgun, regardless of gauge or barrel length. The Carlson choke is designed for Browning, Mossberg, 500 Shotguns for a 30-39 yard zone. This choke tube features a cylinder bore ideal for shooting lead, plated, or jacketed bullets.


It is constructed of steel with a matte-blued finish that resists corrosion and wear. The Winchester choke is made in the USA and has a lifetime warranty. It is an excellent choice in the ammunition industry for hunting in the field. It has a tighter pattern, making it easier to hit your target. It fits 12 gauge shotguns with 3″ chambers. The cylinder choke tube pattern provides denser shot strings for more consistent performance at all ranges. It is designed to produce uniform density and spread better shooting results.



4. Carlson’s Winchester Flush Mounted Choke Tube

Carlson’s Winchester Flush Mounted Choke Tube
$17.70 $18.93
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Carlson’s flush mounted choke tubes are made from 17-4 PH Stainless Steel, the same material used in surgical implants and high-performance auto racing components. These flush mounted choke tubes have a unique knurled pattern that provides a non-slip surface for easy removal even when wet. The choke tubes also utilize a stainless steel spring for consistent, reliable function and uniform patterns. This is a standard .710 constriction choke tube and is designed to provide a perfect approach to steel shot sizes.


You can use it with hevi-shot and steel shot loads. The flush mount design allows easy removal of spent ammunition shells without removing the entire choke tube. The unique tapered profile reduces felt recoil when shooting steel shot pellet or nontoxic shot types of any ammunition industry. They also feature an easy-to-read, laser engraved marking on the end of each tube that shows the exact percentage of constriction you need for farm pheasant hunting needs.



What To Consider While Buying The Best Choke for Pheasant Hunting?

When you have a gun and want to go for actual pheasant hunting, the first thing you will need is a choke. Chokes are used to control how many soft shot pellets leave the shotgun barrel at once. 

Size of the Choke

The size of the choke is determined by the number of thin wire loops, also called “lands” or rings, that are wrapped around the outside of a gun barrel. Each land reduces an opening one inch across to about 30 inches across. Because of this, there are different chokes designed for various purposes. Smaller examples are called “tight” because they cover small areas. These are used for a flushed bird flying long distances or lively birds flying straight away from you without much maneuvering. Larger ones with a wider opening are called “loose” chokes. They are used when bird behavior diverts their path while flying or flushed bird behavior that flies in a circle around you.


When lively birds are closer, the shot will spread out more and give you a better chance of hitting them. Since pheasants tend to escape your first shot by flying away at high speed, a tight choke works best for pheasant hunting chokes. It will give you a better chance of hitting b-1 birds that aren’t flying straight at you and stopping them. However, since pheasants tend to fly in a tight circle around you while you’re hunting, it will be helpful to have some kind of loose choke. It won’t produce as wide of spread when birds are close, but your odds of hitting birds are increased.

Shot Size

The amount of damage done by the birds’ escape is also determined by what size shot you are using. The larger the pellets, the more damage they will do to upland birds. This leads to b-1 birds dropping faster when using nontoxic loads that sizes larger. However, heavier loads with smaller sizes can be used in tighter chokes and longer distances. If you would like to get closer to the ring-necked pheasants, then it might be time to start thinking about your angle of shot and effective shot pattern. You can purchase steel shot loads made explicitly for hunting pheasant and other wild birds, which may work for experienced pheasant hunter. However, many people find that these loads are a little too expensive. So, what combination of pointer loads should you be using if you’re on a budget?


One of the essential things about decent non-tox pheasant load is that they have to be powerful enough to knock the bird down. A firearm with economical ammunition will have a lot to do with this. If you’re shooting at long distances, you may need low-power steel shot loads. If you’re shooting closer and at a smaller bird, you might want steel shot loads with more power behind them. In general, if your shots are going to be between 20-29 yards, you might want to consider using a shotshell containing 1 ounce of #6 lead birdshot for adequate penetration. If you’re shooting from a 30-39 yard zone, you can up the power a little by using shotshells filled with 1 1/8 ounces of #5 shot for exact depth of penetration.

Construction Material

The majority of chokes are made out of steel or iron. Chokes can be made from various alloy metals, such as stainless steel, nickel-plated steel, and chromium-plated steel. However, the construction material does not affect the performance in any significant way.

Pattern Spread

Shotguns shoot different spreads when fired simultaneously from the target, depending on how much choke there is in the barrel. Some chokes will produce approximately 40 to 50 percent tighter patterns than others and reduce their spread by roughly 10 percent. Most hunters use improved cylinders or modified chokes when hunting wild pheasants because they adequately balance pattern quality and range. Another thing to consider when choosing a choke is the size of your prey. A smaller game like a quail may need less shot to bring down than a bigger game like a wild turkey, which needs heavier pellets to penetrate its wings and thick skull.


The least expensive chokes are typically made out of steel. Choke tubes with a high percentage of tungsten or nickel are more expensive, but they are also harder to produce, which affects their price. If you are on a budget, buying the least costly choke that suits your needs makes sense. However, I recommend spending more money on higher-quality chokes if you can afford them to provide an effective shot pattern.

Additional Features

Most modern chokes have an extra ring at the muzzle end to allow them to be attached securely to already existing screw threads in most types of shotguns. Some hunters prefer this over removable chokes because they only need one choke for all their hunting purposes, whereas others prefer to have a separate choke for each type of hunting.


Fixed chokes are meant to work on different guns for different purposes, but interchangeable chokes allow someone to use one choke style for all their shotguns. So yes, it’s possible to put a choke in a smooth barrel with some additional knowledge about how they work.

Threaded barrels are a popular modification that you can do to factory or custom shotguns. They allow you to attach choke tubes, which are threaded on both ends. Threads in the barrel will not interfere with your ability to shoot slugs, buckshot, and other specialty projectiles.

There are many different types of chokes that every pheasant hunter should have in their gear bag. The first type is called a “skeet” choke, which has patterned holes in the middle and at the end of the barrel. These patterned holes make it easier for a shooter to hit targets that fly away from them because they don’t need a lead on their target while shooting straight away.


The more you know about chokes, the more likely you will make a wise purchase and get the best choke for pheasant hunting. A good choke can improve accuracy and range when shooting wild birds or other small games. You should choose a choke based on what kind of gun you will be using it with, how far away your target is, where they will be flying from and what type of ammunition you plan to use. Let’s look at some things that help determine which shotgun choke is suitable for your needs.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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