Re: Shotgun chokes
I totally agree. Most people use too much choke. I like to consume what I take in the field and I sometimes question what's left to eat for others when I see pheasnts swatted hard that go down in a burst of feathers.
Whenever I have friends come bird hunt with me who don't hunt often, they are surprised at the choke choices I recommend to them should they ask. I always lean to the most open of chokes. If I have a double with removeable chokes tubes, I always have a CYL ot SKEET tube in the bottom barrel. Maybe IC or MOD in the top barrel as my second shot. As weather gets colder, I will move to a tighter choke in the top barrel (usually MOD) since cold air is denser and does affect shot patterns to a minor degree. I have never used the FULL choke tubes in any of my guns except on the trap range for doubles.
My favorite fixed-choke gun for upland game is one sporting an IMP.CYL. constriction.
Some of my older fixed choke shotguns throw devastatingly tight patterns with modern shotcups, but they are overly tight for upland game over a bird dog. They are handy for long shots on pheasant, doves or crows though. It should be noted too that a bit more work went into making older shotgun barrels' fixed chokes than those made prior to the advent of removeable choke tubes. Some chokes were as long as 6", with a smooth transition to the choke and then with a lengthy parallel bore which further eased shot transition. Not to mention they usually were regulated and patterned at the factory. If the barrels didn't pattern well or to the point of aim, they were scrapped and redone.