Like everyone else, shot makers follow the trends and right now the hot ticket is creating non-toxic loads that perform like lead — although lead certainly still has its place in the uplands.
The choke manufacturers are just as quick to jump on board, fabricating constricting tubes forged from space-aged materials and delivering more shot on target.
Kent | Fast Lead
Kent uses Diamond Shot for their Ultimate Fast Lead
loads. Consisting of highly-polished lead pellets with superior uniformity and aerodynamics, it produces tight patterns and provides deep penetration. Available in 4, 5 and 6 shot for 2¾- and 3-inch (12-ga.); 6 and 7½ shot for 2¾-inch (16- and 20-gauge).
MAG-NA-PORT | Pro-Port
process is an example of addition by subtraction. You provide the barrel and Mag-Na-port uses their surgically-precise EDM process of removing metal to create eleven compound ellipsoidal ports into each side of the muzzle, behind the choke tube or constricted area. Subtracting metal to vent gases also results in a 15 to 20 percent reduction in perceived recoil.
Mojo | Fatal Shot
The Fatal Shot
line is the result of a partnership between Mojo and Rob Roberts, who has spent a lifetime making shotguns pattern to their highest potential. They were computer designed and field tested to achieve optimum performance, holding patterns longer and producing a more consistent point of impact. A convenient grip allows for tool-less interchanging between a complete set of short, mid- and long-range chokes.
Patternmaster | CB Upland
Code Black Upland
was designed with a proprietary process that shortens your shot string by as much as 80 percent, increasing energy on target. And like all PM chokes, it's made in the USA from aircraft quality 17-4 stainless steel then heat treated to the optimum level for maximum durability.
Remington | Nitro Pheasant
For its Nitro Pheasant
— the hardest hitting load in the line — Remington uses proprietary Copper-Lokt copper-plated, high-antimony lead, which stays rounder for truer flight, tighter patterns and greater penetration. Available in High Velocity 2¾-inch and 3-inch loadings for 12- and 20-gauge.
19.99 per box
Rio | BlueSteel
You can pound the birds with BlueSteel Game Loads
, which run out the muzzle at speeds up to 1,550 fps. The perfectly spherical shot packs a powerful, non-toxic punch. The 2¾-inch and magnum 3-inch loads are available in 12- and 20-gauge.
color-coated steel pellets were designed for waterfowl but work just as well on higher ground. The shot stays in the wad through the barrel so the non-toxic coating won't foul your bore, and the colored pellets — all visible through the translucent hulls — afford a convenient means to determine who shot which bird.
Tru-Glo | Titan
Patented technology on the Titan allows you to select one of nine constrictions — from Cylinder to XX Full — with a simple turn of the collar. Settings are laser engraved for fast reference and the Titan
is compatible with all waterfowl loads, including steel and Hevi-Shot. And TRUGLO substantially expanded the line to include a wide variety of big name and lesser-known shotgun manufacturers.
Trulock | Precision Hunter
chokes are built to produce tight, consistent patterns with fewer 'holes ' than flush-mounted tubes for more accurate, long-range shooting. They also handle heavier payloads while increasing muzzle velocity. They're made of 17-4 ph-grade stainless steel, CNC-machined from solid bar stock and heat-treated to a high strength level (200,000 psi).
Winchester | Rooster XR
features Shot-Lok technology, a hardened resin that eliminates air space around the pellets, preventing movement and ultimately leading to virtually no pellet deformation. That, in turn, creates tighter patterns and longer shot capability than traditional pheasant loads.
Angle Porting | Xtreme Range
Angle Porting customizes shotgun barrels, so they know what it takes to maximize performance. And they apply the same technology and design to the chokes they build. The Xtreme Range
is engineered for modern flight-control wads and is compatible with steel shot, Hevi-Shot and other non-toxic loads, delivering patterns at longer distances.
Briley | Buck Gardner EXR
Briley used the same straight rifling as its tightest turkey chokes, as well as reverse porting and internal geometry to create the Buck Gardner Signature Series EXR
for extreme range shots. With a .025 constriction, models are available for most popular choke systems, including Benelli, Browning, Winchester, Weatherby, Mossberg, Ruger and Remington.
Carlson's | Rooster XR
Manufactured from 17-4 stainless steel, the XR choke
features new Triple Shot Technology, a series of three graduated rings that allow a more gradual transition from bore to final constriction. This transition, in turn, provides benefits to the shooter like decreased pellet deformation, a shortened shot string and fewer flyers. They come in either early season (LM) or late season (IM) constrictions and are specifically designed to produce the best patterns when shooting Winchester's Rooster XR.
Federal | Prairie Storm
Designed specifically for pheasant hunters, Prairie Storm
provides a mix of steel and Flitestopper steel backed by a rear-braking Flitecontrol wad. Payloads and energy levels were made to replicate lead and FS Steel features a cutting-edge for deeper penetration and consistent patterns.
Starting at $
184 per case
The waterfowl combo
pack gives you more flexibility for alternating between waterfowl and upland loads and includes one mid-range (out to 40 yards) and one extended-range (past 40 yards) tube. The knurled chokes allow for easy, tool-less changes in the field. All chokes are manufactured from aircraft quality 17-4 stainless steel and guaranteed for a lifetime.
We smashed the holy hell out of fat pen-raised roosters that flew like the real thing on a frigid Wisconsin farm. The Hevi-Upland No. 5s
creamed ringnecks inside of 30 yards despite the blowing winds and bitter-cold conditions. The recoil was almost nonexistence, even from our unforgiving over/unders. A truly potent load.
32.99 per box
Hevi-Metal | Pheasant
uses the same layering technique as Hevi-Metal waterfowl loads, combining premium steel and traditional Hevi-Shot.
This 1-2 punch provides more knockdown power on rangy roosters while 14 percent more pellets fill in any possible holes for maximum patterning consistency.
24.99 per box
Kick's | High Flyer
High Flyer chokes
are designed to do a lot, not the least of which is increasing pattern performance on any non-toxic load while reducing muzzle jump and felt recoil. Their 135-degree diagonal porting is angled away from the shooter reducing side blasts while the inside forward lip grabs, stabilizes and slows wads for faster separation of the wad and shot column to produce better pattens. Available in IC, M, F and X-Full.