For those who think chokes don't really matter...think again.

January 21, 2011

For years I've heard so many people talk about how chokes matter and how they don't.  I would like to clarify to everyone what the difference is in chokes and patterns and what makes them advantageous or not for shotgun sports.  The main reason I want to talk about this topic is because so many people regardless of age, gender or skill level truly feel that if you put the muzzle in the correct place the clay will break no matter what choke is in your barrel!  This is by far the most misunderstood and false statement a shooter could make.  Let me explain why.

Lets start by looking at it in a simple way,  When you go to a big registered event, lets say your State Championships, US Open, Nationals, etc.  Would you be comfortable competing in the main Sporting Clays event or FITASC event using a .410 or 28 gauge??  Probably NOT,  I imagine most competitors would choose their old reliable big bore 12 gauge....right??  WHY??  Because it produces a bigger pattern which allows a larger margin of error for the shooter!!! pattern does matter!!  NOW that I have your attention,  lets look at what I mean here exactly.

Lets say you are not shooting Muller Chokes yet, but are still shooting one of the "well known" chokes tubes out there on the market such as a Comp-n-Choke, Kicks, Rhino, Pure Gold, Briley, etc.  IF you have ever patterned your chokes (which by the way is another very important topic I will be discussing in my next post) you will notice that many of these chokes produce whats referred to as a "HOT CORE" pattern which is where you have a very dense inner core where no target would ever have a chance of surviving,  then, there is the "OUTER FRINGE"  this is where things matter when it comes to patterns and chokes.  You see,  if you do not mind shooting a hot cored choke then so be it, but be forewarned, your "EFFECTIVE" pattern is basically no larger than a good 28 gauge pattern at most distances, some very hot cored chokes are no more effective than a .410 pattern.  The reason for this is because if your on the target you smoke it because there are so many pellets in the hot core, which is usually only approx 20 - 24 inches in diameter at its most effective distance for that given choke, if the target is closer than the optimal distance for that given constriction then it will be even smaller, maybe only 12 inches, which by the way is less than a good .410 pattern my friends!

Now lets touch on what this hot core means to the outer fringe.  The reason a hot core developes is because many pellets shot thru conventional chokes are damaged and deformed before they leave the muzzle. Among other things, the causes can be due to inferior choke geometry, inconsistent geometry,  material, surface finish, etc.  for the specific bore diameter of your shotgun. Therefore you lose many pellets that never stay in the pattern.  These are called "Flyers."  These pellets that were damaged and flew irregularly when exposed to the extreme forces of friction when hitting the air upon exiting your muzzle, were SUPPOSED to make up the outer fringe of your big 12 gauge pattern. You NEED them because they provide you with a larger margin of error on your lead to help you break the target more consistently.

So basically, there you have it, in a nut shell the effective diameter of a hot cored choke is no better than shooting a sub gauge gun.  THIS is something that I, as a serious competitor and hunter could not deal with. I knew there had to be a way to obtain a serious big bore 12 gauge pattern with an effective, consistent and predictable outer fringe pattern. This larger margin of error produces an advantage over other competitors,  and that is how Muller Chokes was born.