Best Choke For Sporting Clays

Sporting clays is one of the most challenging types of clay discipline to choose a choke for.

More often than not, the best thing to do for sporting clays is to change your chokes throughout the course. 

Some people can get around the course with one pair of chokes. If you are only using one pair of chokes, the best for sporting clays would be light modified x2 or light modified and improved cylinder.

Best Choke For Sporting Clays

As I mentioned above, sporting clays a hard to choose chokes for. This is because no two courses are the same.

However, if you had only one choice of choke for sporting clays, the best would be to choose light modified

Most beginners to sporting clays will be shooting out to 35 yards, and the light mod is perfect for this.

However, if you have a choice of two chokes, then choosing two different chokes may give you a better range of coverage.

As a beginner, you should choose an improved cylinder and light modified. This will allow you to cover some of the closer clays more accurately. 

Light Modified

Best Choke For Sporting Clays

If you could only choose one choke for a sporting clay course, your choice should be a light modified choke.

This is considered the best all-around choke and can touch clays both close and far.

A light modified choke has a .015 constriction and has a 55 percent pattern at 40 yards.

As you may know, sporting clay courses vary a lot, and you may have shots out to 60 yards or as close as ten yards.

While the light modified is not the best choice for one or the other, it is the best middle ground choke for sporting clays, maybe only slightly better than the improved cylinder choke for an all-around option.

Improved cylinder

Best Choke For Sporting Clays

The next best all-around option for sporting clays is the improved cylinder. 

It doesn’t get as much love as the light modified choke on the sporting clay course, but it is a great choice for an all-around choke, especially for beginners.

An improved cylinder choke has a .010 constriction and puts 50 percent of pellets in 30 inches at 40 yards.

This is a little less than the light modified, which is what makes the light modified a better choice.

While the improved cylinder would be better at the closer shots, it would not be as efficient at further out shots; the light mod would do both but be a little better at 30 yard shots.


Best Choke For Sporting Clays

A modified choke is an option for a whole course and would allow you to tackle some of the further shots.

Generally, a modified choke would leave you overchoked for many of the shots, and if you are tackling a full course, this may be an issue.

A modified choke has a constriction of .020 and lands 60 percent of its pellets in 30 inches at 40 yards.

You can see how it may be a bit tight for 10 – 20 yard shots. If you could pair it with a light mod, you would be in a much better position.

By itself, you could still tackle a whole course, but I feel there are certainly better options.


Best Choke For Sporting Clays

A skeet choke wouldn’t be a great choice for an all-around choke on an advanced sporting clay course, but then again, if you are shooting an advanced sporting clay course, you already know you will need to be changing chokes.

However, if you are a beginner, you may be able to get by with a skeet choke for a whole course. 

Ideally, this course would want to be beginner-friendly, with most targets around 20 to 30 yards.

A skeet choke is extremely open and, as the name suggests, most commonly used for skeet shooting, but still has a place upland, especially as a dove choke.

It has a constriction of .005 and is 45 percent at 40 yards. As you can see, you’re not going to have much fun with 40 yard shots or anything beyond. 

However, if it’s a beginner course and you’re shooting 20 yard clays, you will fair much better.

A skeet choke places 70 percent of its pellets in a 30 inch circle at 25 yards.

Ideally, you would want to pair the skeet choke up with another choke to tackle a whole course. Something like an improved cylinder would be a great pairing for a beginner.

Changing Chokes

As I have mentioned, a sporting clay course is difficult to choose only one choke for. 

No two sporting clay courses are the same. Also, one course could have you shooting ten-yard rabbits out to 70 yards.

The best way to get around a sporting clay course successfully is by changing your chokes according to stations.

This will allow you to choose the best choke for each section of the course.

However, changing is not always an option for beginner clay shooters. In this case, it’s best to choose one of the all-around options depending on the difficulty of your course.

If it’s possible, use a combination. Otherwise, pick a choke you feel most comfortable with.

If you feel most shots are close, then maybe a skeet or improved cylinder. Most likely, though, you would be better off with a light modified.

Final Thoughts

If you are a beginner at sporting clays and choosing easier courses, then an improved cylinder is the best choke for you. 

If you are a little more confident and trying to improve on courses and reach further distances, then a light-modified choke is the best all-around choke.

Ideally, you will be changing chokes throughout the course. This is by far the best option.

The chokes you should carry:

  • Skeet
  • Improved cylinder
  • Light modified
  • Modified
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