Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

squirrel hunting choke

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by twkremer, Nov 1, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. twkremer

    twkremer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I went squirrel hunting yesterday with a shotgun. My Dad's 12 Ga mossberg 500a. Saw a gray up in a tree. When I fired, the spread hit the squirrel, but it also broke a tree branch a good 3 feet away. Would a choke help to narrow the sprad? If so what kind? Using remington field 6 shot.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Full or Modified is normally what squirrel hunters pick.

    It will give you a killing pattern at longer range.

    The down-side is, it will also blow game apart at closer range.

    I'd suggest you get some big sheets of paper and pattern test your shotgun a different ranges so you have a better idea of what it is doing.

    rc
     
  3. twkremer

    twkremer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    82
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    yeah, I kind of anticipated that. The 12 Ga with no choke messed up a squirrel pretty bad, and pretty far away at that.
     
  4. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    SO. IN
    If you took a poll of shotgunning squirrel hunters you would most likley see the modified choke on top, wether shooting a 12 or 20.

    Using a full to narrow the spread could tear up a lot of meat. I have used a double Stevens 311 with mod and full, double trigger, it was great in heavy foilage in the early opening weeks being able to reach out and touch Rocky in the tip tops of those tall shagbarks, but yet being able to take a quick close up shot with the mod when you spook him picking up drops on the ground.

    Low brass 6's are the best for all around, but you could carry 2 or 3 # 4 shotshells in your pocket and stuff one of them up the spout when that little rodent is hugging that branch way up there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009
  5. pps

    pps Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    461
    If you want the kill without making carnage asada (term shamelessly stolen from the forum @ california predator hunters) then a .410 might fit the bill. It's expensive if you don't reload, but it's fun to shoot. I use a full choke and limit shots to about 35 yards and closer.
     
  6. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    3,129
    Location:
    never never land...never land here!
    There are two ways to look at this....use an extremely tight choke and enjoy pulling them out of the tops of those taller than tall oaks, aim small at close distances and try to keep most of the shot up front of the critter....

    Or, use a more open choke and limit your range but have some meat left....hmmmm.

    I like a tight choke, we used to use 3" 2oz. loads of #6 shot through a Hastings .665 choke...talk about a long distance smoker!
    But the downside is if you didn't keep most of that shot in the head area, well, just chalk up the kill and forget the fried squirrel.
     
  7. Matthew Temkin

    Matthew Temkin Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,080
    Location:
    NYC
    .22 rifle?
     
  8. stonecoldy

    stonecoldy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    350
    I prefer using a modified choke in either 12 or 20 gauge, paired up with No. 5 shot, but have used a full choke often enough. My first pump gun was a Savage 20 gauge with improved cylinder choke, which was fine for cottontail rabbits but poor for squirrels generally.
    Typically we find both fox and gray squirrels where I hunt in southern Ohio, my go-to load is No. 5 shot before No. 6, for fox squirrels. I like it as a decent enough compromise between No. 4 and No. 6 sized shot overall.
     
  9. foghornl

    foghornl Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    7,403
    I haven't done any squirrel hunting in a loonnnnngg time, but my choice was #6 shot.

    Unless I knew that we were going into the tall timber, then I used #5 in my 12-ga Mod choke. IIRC, those were either 1-1/8-oz or 1-1/4-oz loads...but I don't remember which....
     
  10. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,427
    Location:
    IA
    Hard to beat modified, IMO.
     
  11. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2003
    Messages:
    2,590
    Location:
    Mississippi
    First of all, most likely your Mossberg does not have "no choke," unless you mean you are using a cylinder choke tube or no choke tube. In the latter case, you have probably ruined the barrel.

    I rarely use Modified for squirrels, and then only in the very early season with lots of leaves on the trees and expected closer running shots.

    I use Improved Modified in the first part of the season when there are still leaves on the trees but I can get shots farther out.

    I prefer Full in late season with no leaves on the trees.

    I use #5 lead shot exclusively in 20 ga. and larger guns. #6 in smaller bores. I'd use full choke exclusively in the .410.

    More choke will "mess up" your squirrel more, not less, as it theoretically puts more pellets in the target.

    U.S. Choke % of pellets in 30" circle @ 40 yards

    Cylinder <45
    Imp. Cyl. 45-55
    Modified 55-65
    Imp. Mod. 65-70
    Full 70-80
    X Full >80

    The above does not apply to .410 bore.

    There are other chokes besides and between these.
     
  12. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Messages:
    5,690
    Location:
    North Chesterfield, Virginia
    I haven't killed a squirrel with a shotgun in a long time, but when I did use one it was modified choke with No 5 shot.
     
  13. mjb

    mjb Member.

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    Florence, Kentucky
    The early part of the season( Sep--Oct) I use a tight full choke because of the heavy foilage. When they are close and I am usung a full choke I aim right in front of their nose. Later in the season (Nov--Jan) I use eiter a doulble barrel full and modified. They are on the ground a lot later in the season and a modified chke works well when they are running. I also use a .22 WMR rifle.
     
  14. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    9,773
    Location:
    Illinois`
    Since I have a choke tube gun, I also tend to use improved cylinder in the early fall when the leaves are still up and then switch to a full choke when the trees are bare, late November through December.

    I also like to use .410 early in the season.

    My 12 guage load of choice is 3/34 dram equivelent, 1 1/4 ounce #5 Winchester Super X.
    Stone cold one shot killers and they don't tear the critters up if I am forced to take a body shot.
    It isn't hard to hit a squirrel in the head out to 40 meters if you are used to your gun.
     
  15. evbutler462

    evbutler462 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    433
    Location:
    NC
    Squirrel hunting is where a double comes in handy. Far away, left barrel, up closer, right barrel. Mod in left, IC in right barrel. I use #6 shot because it is easier to find in the backwoods where I live.
     
  16. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    SO. IN
    mjb,

    Any hardboot knows that Aug. 15 is opening day for tree rats in the Bluegrass State!,besides that you are shooting OHIO squirrels, as they are known for their uncanny preponderance for swimming!
     
  17. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    Brushy Mts, NC, growing feed-crops.
    I use a 12ga Winchester Super-X Model 1, 26" bbl, Improved Cylinder, #5 lead High-brass with great success on tree-rats. I'm shooting to thin a nuisance population though. I don't eat 'em.

    Les
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page