Dove hunting season is fast approaching and you may need a new choke tube. Here are a few things to look for that will help you choose the right one.
On my last dove hunt, the birds were flying high and fast which made bringing them down really difficult. Luckily I had a light modified Carlson’s choke tube that patterned really well with the ammo I was using so I was able to get my limit. My friends, however, weren’t so lucky.
Below are some of the best choke tubes for dove hunting that I’ve found to work well over factory chokes.
These are the Top 3 Choke Tubes for Dove hunting currently available:
Dove hunting in a good field is some of the most fast paced shooting you can experience. A good choke tube goes a long way in helping you be successful under these conditions. Using one of the choke tubes below will more than likely help you bag more doves on your next hunt.
These are the three choke tubes for dove hunting you should consider:
Why I Picked the Carlson’s Sporting Clays Choke Tube
When you sit down and compare the Carlson’s Sporting Clays Choke to the Browning Midas and Mobil Choke, the differences are noticeable.
- The performance of the Carlsons sporting clay choke exceeded my factory choke tubes by 20%.
- The Carlson’s choke is extended, whereas, my factory choke tubes are not. Extended chokes can be removed by hand without having to use a choke wrench.
- Carlson sporting clay chokes come in a wide range of restrictions that can be tailored for any situation.
- The Carlson’s choke is available in both black oxide and stainless steel for added corrosion resistance.
- Carlson sporting clay chokes are affordable. For less than $50 I was able to get a 20% increase in patterning results.
- The Carlson’s choke tubes fit flush with the end of the barrel and do not back out after a long day of hunting.
- Carlson’s sporting clay tubes are lightweight and don’t affect the swing or point of the shotgun.
- Covered by Carlson’s lifetime warranty.
Here is a great clip of the kind of success you can expect to achieve with a good choke tube for dove hunting.
Features to look for in quality choke tubes for dove hunting:
- Extended chokes allow you to quickly change out your choke without having to use a choke wrench.
- Less constrictive chokes like skeet, cylinder, improved cylinder, and light modified allow for wider patterns that can help hit fast flying dove.
- Lightweight chokes won’t affect your swing or alter the point of your shotgun.
- Stainless steel and black oxide coated chokes won’t rust or corrode over time.
- Affordable chokes like those from Carlson’s, Briley, Browning, and others allow you to purchase several different chokes to use in different situations.
- Chokes that mount flush with the end of your barrel and seat tightly will not back out during your hunt.
- Chokes like the Browning Midas have reduced gap technology that minifies the gap inside the barrel at the seat of the choke. This reduces plastic buildup caused by wads passing through.
- Compatible with steel, lead, copper, and hevishot loads.
About Dove Hunting Choke Tubes
Chokes for dove hunting are available in a wide range of designs and constrictions. This makes it difficult to choose which might be right for you. Below are the most popular types of chokes used for dove hunting and why you should consider each of them.
Types of Chokes for Dove Hunting
- Non-ported vs. non-ported – Non-ported chokes are smooth wall chokes without any holes or openings in the exterior of the choke wall. Ported chokes are extended choke tubes with a series of holes that allow of gas expansion, reduced wad speed, and increased pellet/wad separation.
- Extended vs. non-extended –Extended choke tubes protrude approximately 1 to 1.5 inches beyond the barrel of the shotgun. Non-extended chokes mount fully inside the barrel and are flush with the end of the shotgun.
- Cylinder vs. Skeet vs. Improved Cylinder vs. Light Modified – Cylinder is the most open choke you can shoot and has a constriction of 0.725. Skeet has a constriction of 0.720, while improved cylinder is 0.715, and Light Modified is 0.710.
Choke tubes for dove hunting come in many different constrictions and designs. The two most common designs are ported and non-ported. Ported chokes help reduce wad speed and increase pellet separation for better patterns and longer shot strings.
For dove hunting applications, non-ported extended chokes tubes are the best choice since the choke can be removed by hand and the pattern density is so high that the wad/pellet separation isn’t a huge factor like with steel shot and waterfowl hunting.
Popular choke sizes for dove hunting range from an open cylinder choke to the more constrictive light modified. For close shots on dove inside 20 yards, a skeet choke is the preferred choice. For fast flying and taller shots, the light modified will help keep the pattern together and increase success at longer ranges.
What is the best choke size for dove hunting?
The best choke size for dove hunting is the light modified choke. At 0.710 constriction, it’s the perfect size for both close shots and longer passing shots.
At 30 yards I can consistently get 80% or better patterns with a light modified Carlson’s Sporting Clays choke out of an SBE II. I rarely take shots on dove longer than 30 yards, so this works well for my set up.
If most of your dove shots are within 20 yards, you could switch down to skeet or improved cylinder chokes with better results. For new hunters, I always recommend a lighter constriction so there is a better chance of hitting a fast flying dove with a more open pattern.
Whichever choke tube you end up using on your next dove hunt, pattern it with the ammo you will be using. You may find a lot of gaps and uneven pellet distribution that could be contributing to misses in the field. If that’s the case, try out a Carlson’s sporting clay choke. It will help you bag more dove this season.
Need a new shotgun sight? Check out our top picks here.