Choke tube question


May 26, 2007
Some tubes, for example Winchester, Mossberg and some others are fairly short. At least in comparison to those used by Remington, Beretta, and others.


Just for size reference all are 20 ga.

The tube on the right is a standard Winchester/Mossberg style. The middle tube is a standard Remington tube. But while the threads are far different Benelli, Beretta and many others are the same length as the Remington tube. Both the middle and right tube fit flush with the end of the barrel.

It seems logical to me that the longer tube will have a more gradual choke constriction and should give better patterns. But I've never seen any data, even discussion to support this.

The tube on the left is a Remington turkey tube with an extra full choke. The extra constriction is OUTSIDE the barrel on these. It is my understanding that a choke that tight inside the barrel could lead to split barrels. But I may misunderstand the concept.

I don't currently have any, but these types of tubes extend past the barrel; it is my understanding this is primarily to be able to quickly change the tubes with no tools.

Carlson's Beretta/Benelli 12-Gauge Sporting-Clay Choke Tube | Bass Pro Shops

Two questions

#1 Are the longer tubes such as those used by Remington better than the shorter tubes.

#2 If #1 is true, would someone benefit by using the longer tubes shown in the link over the short tubes.
I like using tubes that extend a bit past the end of the barrel. I saved extensive damage to the barrel when the muzzle hit the ground. The choke tube was damaged but no harm to the shotgun barrel.

Pattering the shotgun with the appropriate choke installed is the only way to know for sure. Different shotguns and different ammunition perform differently.
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Pattering the shotgun with the appropriate choke installed is the only to know for sure. Different shotguns and different ammunition perform differently.
^^^ This is gospel truth.

Whether or not the longer tubes have a tendency to provide better patterns on average, I don't know. I've patterned lots of shotgun barrels and far, far more loads. The only way to know what a gun and a load combination is doing for you is to pattern it. I consider NOT patterning a shotgun with the load one plans to use almost as big a failure as not checking scope zero after installing one on a rifle. But, back to the OP's question, I've only ever used Colonial Sporting Clay choke tubes (a mid-length tube), so I don't know statistically how the various lengths and types compare in terms of pattern quality or POA/POI.
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You can get long win chokes too, at least for 12ga.
If I do a barrel choke install on a 12ga I'm cutting it for winchoke since those appear to be the cheapest and most common choke type.
Are Remington chokes more common in 20ga?
I don’t know if one is better than another as far as patterns. I prefer extended over flush for barrel protection and ease of changing. I’ve also noticed some manufacturers can produce a turd now and then. I’ve had real good luck with Carlson and Trulock chokes.
I have found over the past fifteen years that extended choke tubes can be better that muzzle flush tubes. The difference is how the tubes are manufactured and what their purpose might be used for. The most common difference is between shooting lead or steel shot. But that is not the end of it. Some tubes are made from tubular steel not from solid steel stock. You get what you pay for, quality of the tube and a precise diameter. I have found Briley extended tubes are designated in both points and general terms like Improved Mod, etc. You can buy a Mobile Choke for $40 or the Briley for $100. And yes, you are paying for the name, but there is a quality difference there too. I have six Beretta Mobile extended tubes and they all print center differently. Not so with the Briley. When trap shoots can be decided with the difference of 1 bird, I take every opportunity to put that single target on my sheet and not on someone else's.
If I do a barrel choke install on a 12ga I'm cutting it for winchoke since those appear to be the cheapest and most common choke type.
Are Remington chokes more common in 20ga?

Right now there are no spare tubes being made by RemArms. I picked up a 20 ga 870 a while back and they shipped it with 1 modified tube and 2 full choke tubes. I contacted them about getting an IC tube but was advised that at this time everything they made was being shipped with guns. I just bought a Carlsons IC tube from a local store.

As far as aftermarket tubes are concerned, I can get any of them equally well in either 12 or 20.

Most of my shotgun use has been with either Remington, Benelli or Beretta, which all use the longer type tubes. I acquired an older 12 ga Winchester 1300 with a damaged barrel about a year ago that I had cut down and re-threaded. The Smith who did the work could have threaded it for either Remington or Winchester. Since I already had a bunch of factory 12 ga Remington tubes I had it threaded for them.

In addition to the 20 ga 870 I also have a Weatherby SA-08 in 20 ga that I picked up used just a few weeks ago. It is a Turkish made gun with Weatherby's name on it. It uses the Winchester style tubes. I haven't had it long enough to see what it will do with standard tubes.

I did patten it with an extended turkey tube and am using it for that now. But after turkey season ends will shoot some clays with it. It came with 4 of the shorter tubes. But I have no experience with using those shorter tubes. Just looking for advice on how well they work compared to the longer flush fit tubes I'm used to using.
No answers on choke length, but as far as maintenance, I sometimes had resistance getting a choke out that had been in for a while.

I started applying anti-seize compound to the threads and the problem went away. Just don’t get it on your clothes.
Go to Trulockchokes . Go to the menu and click on choke information . It will give you all you need from their experience with chokes . Very nice people to deal with in my experience . I also have a SA-08 20ga . I have Trulock modified , improved modified and improved cylinder Hunter extended chokes for it . I don’t notice a big improvement over the factory flush chokes , shooting lead #6 and #8 shot . I do notice a big difference in extended chokes shooting 00 buckshot . The best that I have tried is a Buck Kicker in my 870’s . My SA-08 uses Mossberg style chokes , my Winchester uses invector plus .
They ALL work, some better than others. BRILEY are the best.
Patterning is the only way to know what you have.

I have all 3 types. The extended are typically tighter chokes for turkey hunting or specialty "steel shot" tubes.
A choke tube can make the shot pattern tighter but it can also do the opposite too so they need to be tuned to the gun, shot size, power of load, & conditions you are shooting in. I shoot in shotgun target competitions & have worked with the choke tubes to find many of the tighter chokes will make the pattern spread it called shooting doughnuts where there is no shot hitting in the middle.
Most of the chokes I use go by the dia. of the opening, in 12ga the tightest is .640 that any company will make. These chokes can not be used with steel shot because steel shot will not compress.
I normally shoot Winchester AA heavy in 7 1/2 shot at a distance of 60 yds, trying to hit a razor blade + cut on a piece of wood.
There are three advantages to extended tubes.
1. Yes, better patterning
2. They do not require a wrench for retightening.
3. They are replaceable should you drop the gun/ hit the muzzle on the ground. They are in essence, a muzzle protector.

Only one real disadvantage; they seem to loosen quicker than flush fit ones. Refer to #2 for the cure.

It seems my concerns over the shorter "Winchester" style tubes were misguided. I may eventually pick up a few of the ones that extend beyond the muzzle for the reasons stated above. But that isn't a high priority for now. I've done OK with the longer Remington and Benelli style factory tubes in the past. Just little, to no experience with the shorter factory tubes. And as expensive as they are I wouldn't try to buy a complete set for multiple guns. Just the ones I'd use most.
As an interesting observation, I bought two extended skeet chokes from the same manufacturer and one measured .727, the other .720. Quite the variation but I decided to use the old designation of skeet in (.727) and skeet out (.720). Measure for reference, not performance.
I've fooled around with chokes for many years, both factory original fixed, tubes, extended and flush as well as having choked guns myself by swaging, jugging and by making sweat-ons.
Pattern and choke can only be definitively determined by patterning. That said, gun makers and gunsmiths can predict pretty well how they make will perform.
Extended chokes can or may improve patterns but it is not guaranteed.
A choke will normally perform optimally with one load and pretty well with others. Just my opinion bolstered with a lot of hands on experience.
Neill Winston is my hero and expert when it comes to all things choke.
Mine too. He taught me more in two hours than I had accumulated in 25 years of shooting shotguns. I didn't even realize who he was until I joined TS, and started reading his research. JACK told me quite a bit more about him, they were close friends.