Interested in buying a new choke for turkey hunting in 2020? Here are a few things to look for that will help you choose the right one.
We all know that dense patterns are what matters most when turkey hunting and finding the right choke to deliver pellets on target is often not easy to find. Through extensive patterning and testing, I’ve found the best choke for turkey hunting is the Carlson’s Long Beard XR. I’ve used it for years and it’s always gotten the job done.
Below are the top 3 best chokes for turkey hunting that I’ve had good success with across a wide range of different shotgun and ammo combinations.
These are the Top 3 Chokes for Turkey Hunting in 2020:
Let’s face it, finding a good turkey hunting choke isn’t always easy. I place it up there with finding a good turkey hunting vest; you just need to try several out before you can narrow down the options.
I’ve gone through countless chokes and ammo combinations trying to find the best patterns. After years of patterning, these are the top 3 chokes that have performed the best and were the easiest to get 80% or better pellet density at up to 50 yards.
These are the three chokes for turkey hunting you should consider in 2020:
Why I Picked the Carlson’s Long Beard XR Choke Tube
When you sit down and compare the Carlson’s Long Beard XR to the Hevi-13 Turkey Choke and Dead TRUGLO Head Banger, the differences are noticeable.
- The Carlson’s Long Beard XR has a super tight constriction of .665 for tight patterns at long ranges.
- The Long Beard XR choke is designed especially for the Winchester Long Beard XR ammo. This is one of the top choke/ammo combinations currently available for turkey hunting.
- The Carlson’s Long Beard choke extends past the barrel and has raised grooves for easy removal without a choke wrench.
- The Long Beard XR features triple shot technology that results in more uniform pellets holding tighter at longer ranges and less flyers.
- The Carlson’s Long Beard XR has won several turkey shoots.
- It’s affordable. For less than $50, I was able to increase my pattern results considerably over factory choke tubes.
- The Carlson’s Long Beard XR choke has a 25% increase in the parallel section of the choke tube which results in tighter patterns at longer ranges.
- It’s made out of high quality stainless steel that withstands corrosion and wear and tear.
Here is a great clip of what you can expect to achieve with a good choke for turkey hunting.
Features to look for in quality chokes for turkey hunting:
- A choke constriction of .660 to .665 is ideal for producing tight patterns at up to 50 yards.
- Turkey choke tubes designed for specific ammunition can help reduce the amount of patterning involved to find a good setup. Most of the testing has already been completed, so take advantage of it.
- Constructed of high grade stainless steel. 17-4 stainless steel and above are ideal.
- Extended choke tubes perform better at longer ranges and can help reduce the need for a choke wrench.
- Ported chokes can help separate the wad from the shot to help limit flyer pellets downrange and reduce the shot string.
- Axial ports drilled into the choke can help reduce barrel jump and also reduce recoil.
- Less expensive chokes can be just as effective as expensive chokes with the right ammo combination.
- Thick walled turkey chokes are better at withstanding high pressures and thick shot columns that could create choke bulging in thin walled applications.
About Chokes for Turkey Hunting
The ideal turkey choke can deliver incredibly dense patterns at long ranges. Let’s face it, if you’re all about jelly heads, putting a mass of pellets on target is what you’re aiming for. For that to happen though, you need to have a bunch of factors working in your favor.
Below are the common types of chokes for turkey hunting and what makes them so effective.
Types of Chokes for Turkey Hunting
- Ported vs. Non-ported chokes –Ported turkey chokes have groves and holes that allow for pressure expansion and wad stripping technology to help create better patterns. Non-ported chokes are smoothed walled and can even be flush with the end of the barrel.
- Extended vs. flush chokes – All ported chokes are extended chokes. Extended chokes usually extend 1 to 1.5 inches past the end of the barrel. This added barrel length can help improve patterns by increasing the parallel section of the choke tube and allowing space for wad technology to work.
The best chokes for turkey hunting are always extended ported chokes like the Carlson’s Long Beard XR. They consistently win most turkey shoots with the right ammo combinations.
Extended chokes are ideal for turkey hunting because they provide a platform for tighter constrictions and wad technology improvements beyond that of flush factory chokes.
To kill old toms at long ranges consistently, an extended ported choke is the best starting point to developing a tight pattern that will produce great results at 50 yards or more.
Why it’s important to have a good choke for turkey hunting
On my last turkey hunt, I was able to get 3 toms to strut at 55 yards but they just wouldn’t commit past that point. Don’t get me wrong, my preferred range is 20 yards or closer, but sometimes the stars just don’t align.
Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled with taking the shot, but I knew the choke and ammo combination I was using was easily capable of dispatching even the largest Tom at that distance. I was using the Carlson’s Long Beard XR choke with Winchester’s Long Beard XR ammo.
The previous spring I had done some intensive patterning with this choke and ammo combination out of my Mossberg 500 and SBE II with great results from each. With turkey season quickly coming to an end, I ended up taking the shot on the strutting Tom at 55 yards.
The old bird hit the ground hard and upon close inspection I had put 10 pellets into him with some completely passing through. Situations like this are why having a good choke is vitally important for turkey hunting.
Tips on Improving Your Shotgun Pattern for Turkey Hunting
- Test as many choke and ammo combinations as possible.
- Chokes and ammo specifically designed for each other tend to work the best. The technology and development put into the front end just can’t be ignored.
- Pattern your shotgun at the max distance you plan on shooting in the field.
- Limit your patterning to a 10 inch diameter circle or the size of a turkeys head.
- Compensate for shot drift in high winds or pellet fall at long distances.
- Switch to dense shot like TSS or Hevi-shot for increased pellet energy and density.
- Use an aftermarket sight for a better shot profile.
- Average your results from 3 shots before giving up on a particular load.
- For more patterning tips, check out our guide here.
You can greatly improve your odds of harvesting an old tom on your next hunt by trying out one of the proven turkey chokes I’ve mentioned in this review. The Carlson’s Long Beard is my favorite, but I encourage you to look around and try as many chokes as possible to find what works with your shotgun and ammo.
Need a new shotgun sight for turkey hunting? Check out our top picks here.