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Best choke for trap

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sargenv   

When I used to shoot trap, at 16 yards you could do ok with plain improved cylinder. When you got out to handicap ranges, I felt better shooting a modified. I tended to like the bottom barrel since it felt better to me but either works.

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boz1911   

Nothing explodes a clay bird better than a 34 inch tube with a full choke. :surprise:

Improved is a good all-around choice. I always used the top barrel, but for no other reason then sight alignment.

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bottom first, less recoil...lt mod from 16 and mod or imp mod as you move back.
+1

I use mod from 16 to the 21yd lines. At 21 the breaks are getting a bit weak so if I go further back I'll go with imp mod. FWIW: My averages at 16 and 21 are nearly the same.

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Irishlad   

As mentioned, bottom barrel first and most everyone will shoot at least "mod" for 16 yard.

Always better to over-choke, than under-choke if in doubt.

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Modified is plenty for 16 yd and short yardage handicap. Improved modified or full for mid to long yardage handicap.

I shot doubles with improved cylinder and full, being a little slow to the second target.

A lot of people will shoot full choke for everything on the grounds that it forces them to hold tighter on 16s and not be sloppy when the handicap event comes up.

Shoot the bottom barrel of an O/U for singles; it has a lower bore axis and the stock comb will not slap you in the face as hard.

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JD45   

An old trap shooter told me to use the bottom barrel. He said that it helps when you shoot 300 targets in a day. Opinions on chokes vary, but I now truly believe that singles(16yds.) are just honing your skills for handicap. And that means shooting a full choke for smoke.

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I was told by many perinial All American trap shooters that trap is a full choke game. Most shooters who shoot an O/U at 16s and handicap shoot the bottom barrel because the recoil is straighter back with less muzzle rise. This is especially true when shooting doubles. If you look at most O/U shotguns with fixed chokes the bottom barrel is always the more open choke. Put your full choke in and forget it. If you miss with it you probably would have missed with less choke.

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smokshwn   

You essentially have two choices.

You can go the mod/lt. mod in order to get the bigger pattern that may end up getting an extra bird or two but the down side is it allows you to be sloppy.

I prefer to use a full or x full choke. It forces me to shoot the fundamentals and is an immediate indicator of any timing/swing issues. In turn this allows you to correct sooner and does not allow you to develop holes in your technique.

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Just for grins one day I shot a round with each of the chokes in the box from the 16. ICyl, Mod, IMod, and Full. Skipped the Skeet as I knew the pattern went to pot past 23yd.

Every round was a 22 or 23. What it proved is that when I miss, I miss big.

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I was told by many perinial All American trap shooters that trap is a full choke game. Most shooters who shoot an O/U at 16s and handicap shoot the bottom barrel because the recoil is straighter back with less muzzle rise. This is especially true when shooting doubles. If you look at most O/U shotguns with fixed chokes the bottom barrel is always the more open choke. Put your full choke in and forget it. If you miss with it you probably would have missed with less choke.

That is why there is vanilla and chocolate, trap isn't necessarily, ONLY, a Full choke game. For better shooters, maybe, but the majority of weekend shooters who seldom shoot handicap past 21 yds, can break more birds with Mod than Full.

I am not a Trap all American, but that statement was conveyed to me by a Trap Hall of Fame member, John Hall...since he had broken more targets than I have seen, I took him at his word... ;)

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EricW   
Every round was a 22 or 23. What it proved is that when I miss, I miss big.

Exactly. Which is why I leave a set of LM's in my shotgun and forget about it - even for skeet. I miss because I miss entirely. I'm not "missing" the choke. ;)

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Irishlad   

You can break handicap targets with a skeet choke, and you will hit a fair amount...but you'll never know if the ones you missed were because of the larger holes in the pattern. There's still enough pellets in the core to break targets at distance with open chokes...you just have to be more precise because your "effective/ killing" pattern is much smaller than if you used the tighter/proper choke.

Just like some of the best sporting shots that use very tight chokes for all shots, near and far, because they are confident of their ability and the "distraction" of changing chokes exceeds the benefit of going to wider patterns, the All American shooters in trap use full choke. But, IMHO, most shooters would benefit from the widest/effective choke at a given distance. Meaning, full choke at 30-35 yards is "overkill". Mod or IM might be better for most.

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I shoot all the clay games low gun so I loose a few yards just reacting and mounting the gun.

If I shot high gun I would come down a choke or two for trap.

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Full choke if preached by most of the accomplished shooters, I wonder if some of that is a little bit of ego from absolutely smoking every bird. I've also been told that in a shootoff it might be intimidating to the other guy if you powdered every bird too. A popular theory is that a tight choke will teach you to be a better shooter because of the smaller room for error, hard to argue with that.

Having said that I have to look at what the purpose of the various chokes is, and that is to provide the optimum pattern for the distance you anticipate the target to be broken at. Speaking of trap this distance is usually further for a new shooter because it usally takes him more time to recognize and get on the bird, but many of the really good shooters can break the target right out of the house, awesome if you've ever seen it. But they nearly all use full chokes hence my first sentence. So what's the answer? Hell if I know, I use Imod back to the 23 or so and Mod\Imod on doubles. Be sure and pattern your gun and choke, I had a Berreta with a Mod choke that shot a dense 24" pattern at 40 yds!!

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I think you'll find that most of the top shooters use light full to full. Most people, including myself, that have a fixed choke gun find that it's choked at .032 to .034. You really can use that choke from 16 to 27 yards. If you're in the center it will crush targets at any of those distances, if you're not it really doesn't matter because with any choke a marginal hit is a marginal hit or a miss.

It's also a tremendous confidence booster when you smoke a target. Nothing like positive feedback.

When I first got into trap shooting many moons ago I obsessed over the choke. Now I have a fixed choke gun and don't even think about it. Not to brag but you can go 25/25 with a cylinder choke in a 16" riot gun. I've done it. Did I smoke any? No, but they all broke.

More important than choke is gun fit but that's another topic.

Jerry

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