Best Chokes for Sporting Clays 2023: Field Tested (+Buyers Guide)

Having the right choke when you are playing sporting clays can be an absolute game-changer–it’s the easiest way to improve your accuracy, and the right choke can help you control the spread of your shots with ease. 

I got into sporting clays in the early 2000s because I was doing a lot of duck hunting with my shotgun and wanted to become a better wing shooter. Chokes have played a big part in how I approach the sport, and more than once, I’ve taken down targets because I chose the right choke for the shot. 

That said, if you are a beginner clay shooter, finding the best choke takes time. One reason for this is that not all chokes are made equal, and there’s no industry standard for anyone to compare chokes across the board. The other is that, as with most shooting equipment, chokes are very personal, and what works for me might not work for you. 

I did some research and tested out different chokes to help beginners find the right choke. I used that info to put together a list of the best sporting clay chokes I came across and, more importantly, talk about how you can choose the best choke for your needs.

Before we dive into the list, let’s take a quick look at what sporting clays is.

What is sporting clays?

Sporting clays is a sport you play with a shotgun, where you shoot clay birds on a course designed to imitate a real bird hunting experience. It’s a great way to keep your shooting skills sharp or shake off some rust if you’re just getting back into the swing of things before the hunting season. 

It’s probably the closest thing to field shooting for shotgun hunters and is also a decent way to practice when you’re starting out. Since it’s supposed to be like a real hunting expedition, targets can come from any distance and any angle. That’s why you need some trustworthy chokes to help you out on the course so you can control the spread of your shot to match the target. While using a choke isn’t strictly needed for sporting clays, it gives you better control of your shots and the spread, and makes the shooting experience a lot more fun.

Gun University’s choices of the best chokes for sporting clays

With a sport like shooting clays, there’s no objectively best option for a choke. So, instead of ranking these chokes in any particular order, I’ve thought of what clay shooters might want out of their chokes and found the best one for that category. 

Best Chokes for Sporting Clays

Best Chokes for Sporting Clays Spec Comparison

Below is a table of the specifications for each choke. Click the name of the item to jump to that review.

Best Chokes for Sporting Clays

Here is our list for the best chokes for shooting sporting clays.

  1. Muller Featherlight series Chokes
  2. Carlson’s sporting clays chokes
  3. Cabela’s Choke Tubes
  4. Trulock sporting clay choke tubes
  5. Briley’s Complete Sporting Clays Choke Package

Best Chokes for Buckshot – Reviews

Since the right choke for one person may not work for everyone, I’ve ranked the best ones I’ve used in several categories, instead of ranking them in order.

Muller Featherlight Chokes Series Feature Image (2)

Our Grade


Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade


Based on 0 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Accessory? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

Muller Featherlight Series Chokes Specs

  • Gauge 12
  • Material Aerospace aluminum Black finish (glare resistant & rust proof)
  • Available Constrictions Ü0 – Ü4 (cylinder / skeet – full / extra full)
  • Extended/Flush Extended

Muller Featherlight Series Chokes Review

If you are looking for something that’s specifically made for clay shooting, then your best bet is Muller’s Featherlight series. It’s the brand’s crown jewel that made them famous, and I can definitely see why. 

The Featherlight stands out to me because of one major feature; the choke gives you even 30 inch patterns with almost no pellet damage. Now, most chokes damage a lot of pellets in the outer ring of your shot, so they become useless ‘flyers’ that lead to uneven patterns. Since Featherlight damages very few pellets, I was able to get consistently dense patterns when I used it with my Benelli M4. The fact that it has a large, forgiving spread also meant that I didn’t have to worry about hitting the bullseye with every single target.

What makes this possible is something called ‘gun specific pattern geometry’ that Muller uses to make chokes. They customize their chokes to every type of gun out there, so once you pick the right Featherlight choke for your gun, you don’t have to worry a lot about patterning it, since the choke would be a good fit.

The next feature is what gives this range its name. I thought ‘Featherlight’ was just a marketing gimmick at first, but when I held one, it barely weighed 12g and really felt as light as a feather. So I did some digging on this, and the reason for its reduced weight is that they make the Featherlight series out of aerospace grade aluminum. This material is lighter than titanium, taking weight off your barrel. This can make a big difference on the sporting clay course. 

The light weight doesn’t mean they are breakable though; they coat the chokes with ceramic and Teflon, so they are slightly stronger than even the barrel of the gun. When I compared them with other titanium chokes, I found that the Muller Featherlight is both stronger and lighter.

While the Featherlight series is great, I have some issues with it. The first and biggest issue I have is that you are very limited in what you can shoot out of this choke in terms of ammo material and shot size. Muller recommends you only use lead, and the maximum allowed shot is 7.5 (2.41mm). Anything larger won’t work well with this choke. The other problem is that, even though the construction is great, it’s still not as strong as stainless steel chokes. 

Finally, while the Muller Featherlight is a top-notch series, it comes with a price tag that reflects that quality. Personally, I don’t mind paying the price because I think of the chokes as an investment, but if you are on a budget, this might not be the one for you. 

Muller Featherlight Series Chokes Pros and Cons

  • Very light
  • Highly durable
  • Installation – Easy to install and remove the choke by hand
  • Finish – Minimal plastic fouling and no carbon build up after 100 rounds of shooting
  • Patterns – Provides dense, consistent patterns of 30 inches
  • Material – Weaker than stainless steel chokes
  • Ammo Picky – Extremely restricted in terms of ammo

Muller Featherlight Series Chokes Deals

Carlson’s Sporting Clays Chokes Feature Image

Our Grade


Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade


Based on 0 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Accessory? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

Carlson’s sporting clays chokes Specs

  • Gauge 12 / 20 / 28
  • Material 17-4 Ph stainless steel Gold/ black/ silver finish
  • Available Constrictions Skeet, improved cylinder, light modified, modified, improved modified, full
  • Extended/Flush Extended

Carlson’s sporting clays chokes Review

If you’ve been following my choke lists, duck hunting and buckshot, you’ll notice that Carlson chokes almost always make it. This is because they are a great brand known for their high-quality shotgun accessories, and their sporting clay choke range is no exception. 

What really makes Carlson stand out is their variety; you can find chokes for most guns with them, and they offer a wide range of constrictions, so there’s always something for everybody. Whether you are aiming for a close range target that’s common in sporting clay ranges, or targeting a rare long-range one, you can find a Carlson choke to fit your needs. 

The real reason I picked Carlson as my best versatile choice is because it’s compatible with a wide range of ammo that you can use on a clay course. Depending on the choke you pick, you can shoot almost anything through them, including lead, steel, nickel, copper, etc. The only limitations here are that you cannot shoot any steel shot larger than BB or shots with muzzle velocities higher than 1550 fps.

They make all Carlson chokes out of 17-4 stainless steel, which means they are highly durable and come with different finishes like gold, black, and silver. For certain shotguns, they also offer ported and non-ported options. 

But Carlson’s sporting clay range has a problem: their pattern. You can’t take these chokes clay shooting right out of the box, as they don’t work very well with the manufacturer recommended load sizes. So, I had to do a lot of pattern testing with my shotgun with the choke first to figure out the right load for me. Even after that, I got some very inconsistent patterns, so keep that in mind if you are purchasing a choke from this range. 

However, considering that they are value-priced compared to some other premium brands, and have enough choices to fit almost any gun, I think they are a great option for any shooter. Also, with how limited my Featherlight is in terms of ammo, Carlson usually ends up being my go to choke when I’m out on the course. 

Carlson’s sporting clays chokes Pros and Cons

  • Durable
  • Options – Versatile selection of chokes
  • Ammo Flexibility – Compatible with a variety of ammo
  • Pattern – Doesn’t pattern very well out of the box

Carlson’s sporting clays chokes Choke Deals

Cabela's Sporting Clay Choke Tubes Feature Image

Our Grade


Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade


Based on 0 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Accessory? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

Cabela’s sporting clay choke tubes Specs

  • Gauge 12 / 20
  • Material Stainless steel Silver finish
  • Available constrictions Skeet, improved cylinder, modified, full, extra full
  • Extended/Flush Flush

Cabela’s sporting clay choke tubes Review

Cabela’s sporting clay choke tubes are my pick for the best budget category because of two things; one, they give you great functionality for the price (meaning that they’ll get the job done without breaking the bank) and two, they pattern great right out of the box. 

Now, considering these chokes cost around $30, I wasn’t expecting them to do much, but they surprised me in the best way possible. I got a nice 19 inch pattern in the skeet range without even patterning my shotgun, and considering even some of the premium ones (looking at you here, Carlson) don’t work this well out of the box, this is really impressive for a budget brand.

But keep in mind that you get what you pay for. A budget choke is not going to give you all the bells and whistles you get from the more high end ones. One issue I had to deal with is that they are not the easiest chokes to handle. I needed a standard choke wrench to just install and remove them, so swapping them out on the field was not the easiest thing to do.

Another is that the Cabela’s all kind of look the same (unlike the premium ones like Muller, which have clear markings on them), so you won’t be able to identify which one you have on your gun easily. You have to remove the choke tube to find out its constriction, so if you have a few flush chokes as I do, this can get pretty annoying on the course.

While these issues mean that Cabela’s are not the best fit for my needs right now, I still think they are some great quality chokes that get the job done. So, if you are just starting out or are on a budget, I say go for them–they could be the right ones for you.  

Cabela’s sporting clay choke tubes Pros and Cons

  • Pattern – Great patterns right out of the box
  • Material – Made of high quality stainless steel
  • Tools Needed – Requires a choke wrench for installation and removal
  • Identification – Cannot identify the choke without removing from the gun

Cabela’s sporting clay choke tubes Deals

Trulock Sporting Clay Choke Tube Feature Image

Our Grade


Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade


Based on 0 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Accessory? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

Trulock sporting clay choke tubes Specs

  • Gauge 12 / 20
  • Material 17-4 stainless steel Silver finish
  • Available constrictions Cylinder, skeet 1, improved cylinder, skeet 2/light modified, modified, improved modified, full, extra full
  • Extended/Flush Extended

Trulock sporting clay choke tubes Review

When you are shooting clays, you need to give it your 100% concentration. Therefore, having a choke you can attach and remove without a hassle when you need to is crucial on the course. That’s where Trulock’s sporting clay tube range shines, because they are some of the easiest to handle chokes out there. 

Trulock is a name that’s well-known and respected in the shotgun community, and their sporting clay range chokes are designed to give you decent patterns and even shots. To test them out, I picked out their most popular chokes (skeet 1, skeet 2, and improved mod) and shot them with my Benelli M4. The results were pretty standard; at 40 yards, I got some good patterns, and I was consistently hitting my targets, which is a lot better than most chokes out there. 

I’m also pretty happy with their choice of construction material; they’re made of 17-4 stainless steel and treated with a silver finish, so these tubes will last you for a long time to come. I also like that they’ve added the knurled grips to the extension, so I didn’t have to pull out a wrench to change tubes when I was on the course. 

What I really like about Trulock is that they understand the importance of customizing your shotgun to fit your shooting style. If you go on their website, you’ll find that they have a wide variety of constrictions and even a selection guide to help you choose the right chokes for your gun. So, as long as you have a fairly common shotgun, you’d be able to find a Trulock choke to fit your needs. 

Before you get excited and press purchase on the website, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. If you use an unusual or specialized gun, there’s a chance you might not find a choke for it with Trulock. While they cover most brands, there are always a few that slip through, so remember to check the website and see if they make chokes for your gun.

Another thing to consider is that while they packed Trulock with great features, this means that it’s on the higher end of the price range. Go with something like the Cabela’s if you’re on a budget or just starting out. Once you understand the sport, upgrade to a specialized range. 

Trulock sporting clay choke tubes Pros and Cons

  • Installation – Easy to remove and install
  • Wide variety
  • Durable

Trulock sporting clay choke tubes Deals

Briley Complete Sporting Clays Choke Package Feature Image

Our Grade


Reviewed by Dave Chesson

Reader’s Grade


Based on 0 Reviews

Your Grade

Do You Own This Accessory? Leave A Review

Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

Briley Complete Sporting Clays Choke Package Specs

  • Gauge 12
  • Material 17-4 Ph stainless steel Gold/ black/ silver finish
  • Available Constrictions Skeet, improved cylinder, light modified, modified, improved modified
  • Extended/Flush Extended

Briley Complete Sporting Clays Choke Package Review

Now, if you’re looking for a full set of chokes for sporting clays, then the Briley Complete Sporting Clays Choke Package can be a great option. The set costs between $350 and $375, and can cover almost any shooting situation you might find yourself in. 

What makes this set a perfect fit for shooters who want to get on the course as soon as possible is the range it offers. You get a bunch of different chokes that have different constrictions, so you can quickly choose the best choke for the target. The set I bought had an improved cylinder, light modified, modified, and improved modified choke. It’s also very convenient because the package comes with everything a clay shooter might need, including;

  • A tube of choke lubricant to make sure your chokes are lubricated
  • A high-quality wrench to easily remove and attach chokes 
  • Casing to store your chokes

I also like that they knurled these choke tubes at the end for easy removal. However, if a choke gets stuck, you can always use the wrench that comes along with the set to swap your chokes on the field. Another feature of these choke tubes that I find handy is that they are color coded. It was a bit hard at first to remember which color meant what constriction, but once I got the hang of it, I was able to easily pick out the choke constrictions with a single glance.  

Briley is known for their craftsmanship, so I have no complaints about the construction. The whole set of chokes is made of high-quality stainless steel, and the polished interior reduces pellet damage. This helps to keep the patterns even and also makes it a lot easier to clean the choke after a good session of shooting. The patterns are standard, but they have great consistency. In my experience with them, I find that the tighter ones shoot better compared to the more open chokes in the set.  

However, it’s worth remembering that this set is not for beginners. It’s very convenient, easy to use, and functional, but it also comes with a price tag that matches the features–that’s why it’s a premium choice. Briley also only has six different sets of chokes, so there’s not a lot of variety out there. If you are planning on buying this one, always make sure the set will fit your gun. Overall, Briley is a great premium choice for shooters who want a convenient and ready-to-shoot choke set for their clay shooting adventures. 

Briley Complete Sporting Clays Choke Package Pros and Cons

  • Identification – Color coded for easy identification
  • Added Features – Comes with added tools
  • Pattern – Pattern well

Briley Complete Sporting Clays Choke Package Deals

Buyers guide

If you are new to sporting clays, it can be a little overwhelming to find the best choke for the sport that also fits your personal shooting style. That’s why I’ve curated this buyer’s guide for you; from the basics of how a choke works to what specs to look at when you buy one, I’m going to give you a quick crash course on all the things you need to know about chokes as a clay shooter. So strap in, and let’s get started.  

How do chokes work? 

A choke basically constricts the diameter of your gun’s bore near the muzzle. The tighter your choke is, the narrower the opening of your gun–this usually means you’ll have tighter patterns. The farther away your targets are, the more constriction you are going to need. My rule of thumb is to tighten the choke for long range targets but open it for close targets. Here’s a quick rundown of the types of chokes based on their constriction.

What to consider when purchasing a buckshot choke?

There are several types of chokes on the market, and they all give you a different spread based on their constriction. These are usually the most common ones out there: 

  • Cylinder,or the open choke, is the default size of the muzzle end with no constriction, so it lets shots spread quickly over short distances. It’s best used for short range shooting. 
  • Skeet is designed specifically for skeet shooting and has a little more constriction than the cylinder. It gives you good patterns at 22 yards, so it’s got a little more range compared to an open choke.  
  • Improved cylinder choke has a slight constriction, a little more than the skeet and it’s great for shooting from a 25 yard distance, because the pattern gets looser at longer distances. 
  • Modified choke is a fraction more open than the improved modified choke and has a moderate constriction, and it’s the one I recommend for sporting clays because you rarely shoot anything beyond 35 yards.
  • Improved modified choke is slightly less narrow than the full choke, and works for long-range shooting around 40 yards.
  • Full choke is the narrowest and delivers the tightest patterns, ideal for long-range shooting from more than 40 yards.

There’s no standard degree of constriction since this varies greatly between manufacturers. To help you understand the different types of chokes and their constrictions better, I’ve put together a table that roughly tells you the level of constriction for each type of choke. 

Choke Constriction
Cylinder (C or Cyl)    .000 in.
Skeet (SK)    .005 in.
Improved Cylinder (IC)    .010 in.
Light Modified (LM) .015 in.
Modified (M or Mod) .020 in.
Improved Modified (IM) .025 in.
Light Full (LF) .030 in.
Full (F) .035 in.
Extra Full (EF) .040 in.

Having a general idea about choke constrictions will make purchasing a lot easier, but which type should you get? The right type of choke depends a lot on the range, so keep reading to find out more about the types of chokes that you should be looking at as a clay shooter.

What type of choke is best for sporting clays? 

If you are going to use your choke for sporting clays and you want to stick to one choke, then in my opinion, what you should be looking for is a choke with a large and forgiving pattern. You don’t want to go for a tight choke because a lot of your shots are going to be within the 35 yards distance at most sporting clay courses. So, a tight choke which is great for long range but not so much for short range wouldn’t really be the greatest choice. What you’re going to need here is a modified choke or a combination of skeet and mod. 

A better option–if you have the budget–is to go for three different chokes, one for each range. If you pick this option, then I recommend getting a cylinder or skeet for short range shooting, a modified one for mid range targets, and a full or improved modified choke for long range targets. 

Whatever your choice, the most important thing is to pattern your shotgun with the choke and shotgun shells you are planning to use. Now, chokes will pattern differently from one gun to another even if they are the same brand, so don’t go in with an untested choke just because your buddy has the same gun and it worked perfectly for him. I did this once, and it was not a great experience; we both had Benelli M4s and used Carlson’s sporting clay choke, but our guns patterned very differently because of a few bore differences. 

Now that you know what type of chokes would be a good fit for sporting clays, here’s what you should be looking for when purchasing a choke as a clay shooter. 

What to consider when purchasing a choke for sporting clays?

There are so many factors to consider when purchasing a sporting clay choke, but some specs are more important than others. Here’s what I look at when I get myself a new choke for sporting clays. 

Range and type of choke – With sporting clays, you won’t be shooting much at long range, so I recommend going for a modified choke and if you are feeling fancy, an additional skeet choke. This way, you get a much more spread-out pattern which can help you hit your targets better. 

Ammo and manufacturer recommendations – Ammo for shotguns are usually made out of four different types of material; lead, steel, tungsten, and bismuth. Your choke would perform the best if it’s paired with the manufacturer recommended ammo, so think of your preferred type of ammo when you purchase a choke.  

Price – If you are just starting out with sporting clays, don’t blow your budget on premium chokes just yet. Find some budget friendly ones to get used to your shotgun and the sport, and once you’ve got a good handle on them, you can upgrade to a better quality choke. Once you’ve gotten your choke, there are a few more things to get to make sure you can take good care of your choke and shotgun. 

What are the accessories to purchase for your sporting clay choke tube?

When you get your choke, I also recommend you get the following accessories. They’ll help you maintain your choke better and get the maximum use out of it. 

Choke tube lube – If you want your chokes to be easily removable and attachable to your shotgun, then lubricating your choke tube threads is a step you can’t avoid. Otherwise, they can get stuck to your barrel and even damage your gun. With choke tube lubes, you are going to need something that’s thin and easy to apply, so my recommendation is to go with Birchwood Casey Choke Tube Lube.  

Choke range case – If you are someone who likes to have the perfect choke at hand, carrying around your chokes can be a bit of a hassle. That’s why you need a choke range case; it helps you keep your chokes in one place, protect them from the elements, and prevent them from collecting dirt in their tube threads. My personal favorite is the MTM Choke Tube Case Clear Smoke, because you can store six chokes in it and that’s the number of chokes I usually carry with me. However, depending on how many chokes you like to have on hand, you may prefer a different case.    

Once you’ve gotten your chokes and your accessories, it’s time to pattern your gun and get straight to shooting. 


Sporting clays is a great way to have some fun with your buddies while also keeping your skills sharp during the off-season. But if you want to win the game, you need a great choke, and there’s no getting around the fact that you can only find it by experimenting with different ones. So, read the reviews, find the choke you like, and see how it works for you and your shotgun. With time, you’ll find the one that’s the best fit for you.   

Best Chokes for Sporting Clays FAQs

What is the best sporting clays choke for beginners?

My choice for the best choke for beginners is Cabela’s sporting clay choke range. They have a variety of options and are value priced, so they’ll be a great fit for anyone looking to get started in their clay shooting journey. 

Do ported sporting clays chokes make a difference?

Not really. They don’t make a significant difference when it comes to clay shooting, but they give tighter patterns, which is great for hunting.

What effect can a choke have on clay shooting?

A choke can help control the spread of pellets. An open choke can help you hit a short range target with its large spread, while tighter chokes are great for long range targets.

How do I choose the right choke for clay shooting?

The choice of choke depends on the type of clay target, distance, and shooting style. Go for wider constrictions like skeet for close range targets and modified chokes for targets beyond 40 yards.

How do I install a choke tube on my shotgun?

The process can be different for every choke you handle. Some of them can be installed by hand, while you might need a choke wrench for other chokes.

Can I use the same choke for hunting as well as clay shooting?

While it can be possible in hyper-specific scenarios, I wouldn’t recommend it because sporting clay chokes are made with different factors in mind compared to a hunting choke. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *