Turkeys are quite unlike other birds in the avian game category. Professional and experienced hunters who have been in the turkey game hunting will tell you that getting a turkey takes a little more focus requires more concentrated pellet power, speed of discharge, and accuracy within certain yards. Thus, to ultimately hunt turkey, you need a choke, not just any choke but a turkey choke to help narrow down and improve your hunting game, and here is all to know about the best choke for turkey hunting.
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- What Is A Choke?
- Choke Or No Choke?
- Types Of Chokes
- Which Is Best For Turkey Hunting: A Full Choke Or A Turkey Choke?
- The Extra Full Chokes
- Can You Shoot A Turkey With A Modified Choke?
- Examples Of The Best Chokes For Hunting Turkey
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
What Is A Choke?
Before going any further, for those who are new to turkey hunting or hunting in general, a choke is an enhancement device; it is a tapered constriction attached to the barrel of a shotgun to control how tight the pellets from the shotgun will be ejected, as well as how widespread the pellets will be once ejected from the barrel at a specific distance.
In simple terms, a choke, be it for turkey or anything else, is a device that improves the overall performance of a shotgun in terms of range, force, and speed of the pellets ejected from the barrel for a higher success rate when shooting.
Choke Or No Choke?
For a higher success rate when hunting with shotguns, most hunters prefer to use a choke because it offers more accuracy when hunting any kind of animal.
With a choke, both the speed and the range of the pellets become enhanced for a higher target probability, especially if the target has a quick response time or is hard to put down with a single shot.
Types Of Chokes
Chokes are commonly used with a variety of shotguns as an added accessory, just like the shotgun sling and case, etc.; see the best shotgun sling for hunting, best shotgun case, and come in different types too. We have the following:
A full choke offers the tightest constriction and allows the shot to hold together for a longer period of time. Full chokes are suitable for long-range shots at 30-50 yards or more and are perfect for hunting turkey, squirrels, and other long-range games.
A cylinder choke has no constriction in the barrel and spreads faster.
A modified choke offers moderate constriction levels and is designed to keep the pellets together for a denser shot. A modified choke is also good for long-range shots of about 26-42 yards and is suitable when hunting small and fast animals like doves, ducks, or geese. You can also get a modified choke that is slightly constricted in comparison to the modified choke, which is the improved modified choke.
Improved Cylinder Choke
An improved cylinder choke is an improvement of the regular cylinder choke. It offers a slight constriction making the shots spread fairly quickly but not as fast as they would when using a cylinder choke. This type is suitable for relatively close-range shots of about 20-30 yards to hunt animals like rabbits, quail, and other upland animals.
A skeet choke is like an improved cylinder choke with a slightly tighter constriction. It allows the shot to spread quickly with more range to work with. It is ideal for close-range shots between 15-25 yards for skeet range or clay.
Each of these choke types falls under three categories of:
- Fixed choke – a permanent kind of choke that is in-built with the barrel muzzle
- Adjustable choke – this type of choke offers adjustable constriction levels based on the need of the hunter
- Interchangeable choke – An interchangeable choke allows users to switch its position based on the level of constriction necessary, and it could be a screw-in or a screw-on interchangeable choke.
What Is The Best Choke For Turkey?
Now that we know a little bit about the various types of chokes available for shotguns let’s get to the real matter at hand. To the question of what choke to use for turkey, the answer would be the full choke, a turkey choke, or an extra-full choke.
When you are hunting a turkey, the target areas for a clean kill are the head and the neck area because these are the most exposed and unprotected by thick layers of feathers, so you need a powerful punch packer to hit those areas precisely at a range of 40 to 50 yards or more. For this, you need a choke that will throw pellets with a dense pattern, and this is why the full choke, the turkey choke, and the extra-full choke are the best choices.
Most turkey hunters utilize a full choke for turkey hunting because of its range which is between 30-50 or more yards, as well as the level of constriction it offers; that is to say, a full choke offers a tight constriction with a dense shot pattern which makes it suitable for turkey hunting, trap shooting, waterfowl pass shooting and so on.
But while some hunters prefer to use the full choke, others prefer to get a specially designed choke solely for hunting turkeys, the turkey choke, or in extreme cases, the extra-full choke/ the super-full choke.
Which Is Best For Turkey Hunting: A Full Choke Or A Turkey Choke?
In the turkey choke vs full choke debate, both are ideal, but one is more specifically designed to handle and make turkey hunting better.
A turkey choke offers a little bit more constriction than a full choke. While a full choke offers .030/.040 inches, a turkey choke offers another 30-40 thousandth of an inch tighter than the full choke would, which is where the main difference lies. Plus, a turkey choke allows the spread to be even narrower than that of a full choke.
It is true that the full choke allows the shot pattern to be wider and gets the target at long range, but a turkey choke improves the capacity of a full choke, and it is a better choice as it creates a tighter shot pattern optimally working at a longer range, thereby making the pellets even more lethal to increase the rate of success of getting a turkey.
There are certain chokes designed for headshots when turkey hunting. These shotgun chokes are sometimes called gobbler getters, and they are the super-full or the extra-full chokes with extra tight constriction and highly denser shot patterns beyond that which a full choke and an average turkey choke have combined.
The gobbler getters are the ultimate turkey chokes specifically designed to take down the turkey once with a head shot at 50 yards or more. These choke types turn an ordinary shotgun into a powerful killing machine, and they should not be joked with.
Can You Shoot A Turkey With A Modified Choke?
Although some hunters say they can use a modified choke for turkey, a modified choke is much more preferable and suitable for small and fast animals like waterfowls, ducks, geese, and doves, as well as some upland animals like rabbits and pheasants. See which two shotgun chokes are best for hunting small and fast animals.
A modified choke may not be the best choke for turkey hunting because of its moderate constriction, which isn’t as powerful as a full choke effect to take down an animal as tough as a turkey. And although the range is workable, the constriction isn’t tight enough to do a good job, but nonetheless, it can still work with turkey hunting. All you have to do is to pattern your gun to know how far of a range to shoot, and you should be able to make a good kill with a moderate choke.
An improved modified choke could also work for turkey hunting as its constriction is slightly tighter than the modified choke, which is still an ideal amount of constriction to match the required speed and strength to take down an animal as tough as a turkey. Plus, its distance range is somewhere between that of a modified choke and a full choke.
Examples Of The Best Chokes For Hunting Turkey
Some hunters who have been in the turkey hunting game for a while have been able to test out some shotgun chokes for turkey, and here are some of the most accepted ones so far.
- The Carlson’s Longbeard XR turkey choke
- Carlson’s Beretta/Benelli Mobil
- Hevi-Choke Turkey Choke
- Redhead Blackout
- Indian Creek Black Diamond Strike Turkey Choke
- Kicks Gobblin’ Thunder turkey choke
- Mossberg Ulti-Full choke
- Mojo Fatal Shot
- Primos Jellyhead Maximum turkey choke
- Patternmaster Code Black turkey choke
- Comp-N-Choke turkey choke
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best shotgun choke for turkey?
The best shotgun choke to take down a turkey would be a full choke because it concentrates the shot in a smaller area, increasing the chances of hitting the turkey fast.
But if you prefer, you can also use a turkey choke that is designed specifically to take down turkeys which has a much tighter constriction than that of a full choke and a narrow shot pattern.
What is the best load for turkey hunting?
The best load for turkey would be the standard 2 ¾-inch or 3-inch magnum tungsten load for any turkey within the range of 50 yards or more.
How many shots or pellets are better for turkey hunting?
The best number of shots for turkey hunting would be 4 shots. So far as the 4 shots have more than enough energy at a killing range of 40 yards or less, there is a high-level certainty that they will be enough to take down the turkey.
Are there extra full chokes?
Yes, there are super-full/ extra-full chokes available. These types of chokes have extra tight constrictions with the densest shot patterns and are designed for headshots when hunting turkey. They are also called Gobbler getters.
Turkey hunting without a shotgun choke is like going fishing without a net. Aside from enhancing your capability to take down a turkey swiftly, the right shotgun choke will make your entire turkey hunting a breeze with nothing to worry about. Be it a full choke, a turkey choke, an extra-full choke, or a super-full choke, just make sure you get the one that works fine in your turkey hunting expedition.