Author Archives: Harvey Specter
"Sometimes hunting is the only thing that makes sense"
Author Archives: Harvey Specter
"Sometimes hunting is the only thing that makes sense"
An accurate shot begins with a proper mount and shoulder of the shotgun. As you progress as a hunter, from beginner to a more experienced shooter, certain patterns will begin to take form. One of the most important of these patterns is finding the best way to shoulder a shotgun.
Experienced shooters have their shouldering skills down to a science. It takes almost no effort to get the butt of the gun into the pocket and stance ready to go. I’ve been using the same shouldering stance since I started shooting, and I’m going to walk you through I there today. Let’s get started.
Just like in football, good footwork is incredibly important in shooting. The shoes that you wear should be well broken in field boots, or other active wear that are comfortable and flexible. Start by placing the feet about shoulder width apart. A little more than half of your body weight should be on the front foot, with knees bent and ready for action.
I usually draw a reference to bowling when describing the foot placement to people. I know this sounds weird, but hear me out – when bowling, it is important to position your body in a way that drives the ball toward to the pins you are aiming at. The same thing is true in shooting. Aim your back foot towards the target (as best you can).
In shooting, it is important to keep all body movement symmetrical to the gun and to the rest of the body. The gun hits the pocket at a 45-degree angle. Your eyes peer over the top of the shotgun at the same angle. The back of the head is perpendicular to the spine.
Once in position, all movement should come from the hips. Twisting and turning from there will allow you to keep the gun level and your aim on point. Be careful that you aren’t shifting your back around while in position. I always like to keep my knees bent slightly, for that extra bit of added pop. If I need to do any height adjustment, it comes from the knees. I never lift my toes or ankles up off the ground – it is important to keep the feet level, flat, and comfortable. Toes should be able to jiggle but the feet shouldn’t actually move.
Any shift required to hone in on a target should be initiated by a twist of the hips. I encourage you to do a bit of stretching before heading to the range or out in the field. This will ensure that you are loose and won’t pull any muscles should you need to move slightly to zero in on a target.
Let’s start here by lifting the right arm. If you aren’t already familiar with the pocket between your shoulder blade and neck, feel around until you find it. Before ever trying to fit your gun to the pocket, take a block of wood, a book, or some other firm object in your opposite hand and try to fit it into the pocket.
Once it’s in there, move around a bit. Find the positioning with the least pushback. Try to move your shoulder around in circles and ensure that the object doesn’t just slide right out or cause any discomfort.
When the gun is in there, it should have no problem staying there with the small bit of applied pressure from the other hand. The National Shooting Sports Foundation does a great job of showcasing fitting the gun to the shoulder, and realizing that you don’t have a gun fit problem, in the below video.
Face should connect with the same spot on the gun each time. You want your eye to be right over the center of the rib, providing a clean line of vision. This shouldn’t impact either the comfort level of the gun in the pocket or the accuracy of the shot. In order to have consistency, you’ve got to have comfort.
This is a repeating theme that you’ll find in each of the tips I’ve provided here. The best way to shoulder a shotgun is also the most comfortable way to shoulder a shotgun. There shouldn’t be much pressure on the shoulder before the shot. During the shooting process, the movement of the gun should trigger a similar reaction from the body. It should be a slithering snake-like process.
The gun fires, the body reacts and moves with the shot, and then the posture is reset post-shot.
After the shot, you shouldn’t have pain the shoulder, wrist, or elsewhere. It should be as though not much has happened – the main thing going through your body should be excitement at making a great shot from the pocket.
When asking yourself, ‘What is the best way to shoulder a shotgun,’ the correct answer is to find the pocket and then get yourself comfortable. These steps should help you to establish a solid, actionable stance that will increase both your accuracy and your comfort. Whether at the range or in the field, shouldering the shotgun correctly is as important as using the right ammo. Do some practice in your garage, and if necessary, have your gun personally fitted to you. Any gun shop can make this happen easily.
If you enjoyed this article, please share on your social channels. Education is key to top performance when shooting. Go ahead and post a picture of you in your shooting stance down below in the comments. I can’t wait to see what you’re shooting!
It’s that dreaded moment. The time when you have to move a gun safe from one place to another. Gun safes are notoriously heavy and difficult to move, much like that furniture you inherited from Grandma. Everything about the process basically sucks, but it is doable. Follow this simple series of steps on how to move a gun safe and you’ll have that thing in its new location in no time.
Get the safe as light as possible by removing anything that doesn’t need to be inside.
Ammo, anything else that can be put in a separate box for now, should be taken out.
If moving to a new house, park the moving truck with the rear facing either the sidewalk or driveway that you will be approaching from. Lower the ramp and be sure the path to get to the truck is made as easy as possible.
For larger safes, provide the team with worker gloves if they don’t already have some. I also find it helpful to provide pizza and beer to those that help me move – it seems to get everyone in a better mood and creates a team atmosphere. Here is a great video.
Gun safes are heavy in order to make them near impossible to steal should someone intrude into your home.
Moving them about is intentionally a process. I moved my 800-pound gun safe from our old house in Naples, Florida to our new spot in Lyndon, Washington and learned the hard way that gun safes aren’t the most transportable of items.
We spent an extra grand on gas on the drive because of the added weight. However, I picked up these tips:
Going around corners can be tough. The most important thing is to remain calm and proceed slowly. If you can, have a person position themselves on the far side of the safe (the side opposing the direction you are turning into) to provide added support from the back side. This person can forcefully push into the rear as the safe is moved around the corner. Go wide – by this I mean swing the dolly a bit further out than you initially think is necessary. That will allow the safe and dolly to be turned at an easier angle without striking the wall or toppling onto the person guarding the rear.
Ready to exert some strength? Good, because this is the time to show off how those gym sessions have sculpted your muscles.
With smaller ones, the process of how to move a gun safe is basically the same buy slightly less intense. Follow the above steps and make adjustments where necessary – you won’t need as many people or as much strength. If the safe can be carried, be sure to have at least two people for added support. Set the safe down gently and be mindful of doorways, walls, and protruding objects when passing through hallways. Do not set the safe on top of anything else – it’s weight may crush other objects.
Now you know how to move a gun safe. The process is tough but can be enjoyable with friends and a good attitude. One thing to keep in mind is that when moving the gun safe to a new house, identify in advance the best location for the safe. In the garage or a room where it will not need to be moved ever again. If you enjoyed this article, please share. Knowledge is power, just like teamwork! If you have any tips or anything, feel free to leave them in the comments and we’ll get a discussion going. Check out my recent post about best ar10 scope
Finding the right stance and getting comfortable with aiming is something that all new shooters have to go through. It’s a fun process – it allows for a bit of personalization and flare to come into the sport.
When I first started hunting with my dad and uncle and a kid, it took me several times of going to the range and trying out new positions. Once I became comfortable, I began honing my aim.
While much of it is about feeling, there are some general guidelines to follow. Here are some tips for how to aim a shotgun.
Spend any time hanging out at a gun range and you’ll likely see some interesting stances. Some stand straight and tall, others do weird things with their arms. My favorite is the old guy who stands with his feet super far apart – maybe he’s worried about knocking himself over when he takes a shot?
Here is where a shooter can put a bit of their personal vibe into their shooting stance and shotgun aim.
Now you’re in your stance and working on the rocking motion. If you haven’t already been doing so, hold the gun in a shooting position during the rocking process. Notice where you feel most comfortable during the rock.
Likely, it will be right about where 55-60% of the weight is on the front foot. Once you’ve identified this position, STOP!
That is your natural point of aim. The object with this term, as it relates to how to aim a shotgun, is that this is the angle where you’ll shoot the target. This is where the bullseye will be directly in front, or where the clay will be broken by your bullet.
It’s important to remember that you’re not shooting a rifle. Don’t stand fully sideways with the gun near the shoulder. I prefer to have the stance a bit more open here.
When aiming your shotgun, the goal is to be able to shoot in more than one direction without becoming uncomfortable or urged to reset yourself. Make sure you are able to comfortably position your head above the barrel and hone in on the line of site.
Aiming a shotgun is really about making the gun a part of your body. If it isn’t a natural stance, you’re never going to feel comfortable as a shooter. The right point of aim for you is the one that allows the most flexibility without compromising any sturdiness or power. Remember the rocking motion. I’ve been hunting for over fifty years now and still rock into my stance every single time.
Consider the best shotgun scope for your shotgun, it will help you have perfect shot with your shotgun!!!
If you’ve enjoyed this article, I urge you to share it on social media to help others get accustomed to finding the best possible stance and aiming their shotgun correctly. Feel free to leave any tips here in the comments, I’m always game for upping the ante a bit!
Do similar rounds produce similar results? Any experienced shooter will tell you that that is not always the case. For direct proof, look no further than the .260 Remington vs 6.5 Creedmoor. Both of these are a perfect match for the .308 Winchester rifle. In many cases, if you weren’t the one who loaded the rounds, you may not be able to even tell a difference.
My personal experience has led me to prefer the .260 Remington over the 6.5 Creedmoor. We’ll get into why in this article. I’m old school, is the main reason. This guy pretty much sums up my thoughts on the .260 Remington in this video:
.260 Remington is a classic among long-time riflemen, having been the backbone of what we’ve used for such a long time. The reason for this is that seasoned hunters have expertise in reloading. .260 Remington rounds necessitate this, while 6.5 Creedmoor rounds are better for those without that reloading expertise.
As many new hunters aren’t trained in the art of the reload, Creedmoor can significantly reduce the learning curve when looking to get out into the field. Additionally, the Creedmoor has a shoulder angle that is sharper than the Remington. This comes with less body taper
Additionally, less water is held by the Creedmoor. This won’t affect certain shooters, but it’s worth noting. It can fit a longer bullet because of this, but the general use of handheld cartridges has all but eliminated any benefit there. Here, a video description of the two takes place.
The brass on the .260 Remington is of a higher quality than the 6.5 Creedmoor. With the Creedmoor, you may find that the brass isn’t as long lasting. This affects hunters as they experience less overall durability and flow with their shooting than if they were to use the .260 Remington.
The Creedmoor’s case is a bit shorter than the .260 Remington’s. The Remington is undoubtedly faster as a result of the higher case capacity, necessitating less maintenance in the field. Remingtons are better for those looking to use a bolt gun, but for the semi-automatic inclined, the 6.5 Creedmoor is the better choice. I’m always using bolt, so the Remington works for me.
When it comes to distance shooting, the Remington will be solid up to at least 800-900 yards.
Beyond that, the accuracy can lose a bit of its dependability depending on skill and build. I’ve got mine accurate up to 1000, but I’ve been doing this for a long time. I will concede that the Creedmoor can perfectly nail a target from 1000 yards when built the right way and taken good care of. If everything is prepped correctly, that is the better option for really long distances.
I recommend keeping a chart of data from the rounds you fire with both. Test them out, and through your charts you can identify which one you are more accurate with, and which one makes the overall process easier for you. Keep track of powder, distance, velocity, and muzzle energy. I also encourage testing at different distances. Keep a record of 100 yard accuracy percentage compared with longer shots. Those who are new to long distance shooting should stick with the choice that they are the most comfortable with.
I also encourage shoots to watch some videos online of different practices with both options. Here are a couple great options:
At the end of the day, it really depends on personal preference. Take into consideration which bullets you plan to shoot, and whether or not you are willing to switch them to accommodate aesthetics or if you are hard lined on performance and personal comfort.
I’ve grown so accustomed to the .260 Remington over the decades that I’m not going to be switching anything up at this point.
If you enjoyed this article, please share on social media – us gun freaks always love a good debate on equipment.
Feel free to share your personal opinions in the comment section here, as I’m sure we’ve got a community of 6.5 Creedmoor users out there that have thoughts on the matter.
Perhaps the best part of using a rifle like the Ruger 10/22 is its sheer popularity among American shooters. The gun is very popular, and because of this, there are a variety of scopes and mod options that have become popular as well.
I’ve been using a Ruger since my Dad first took me out hunting as a kid, and have become very familiar with the different scope options available.
Today, we’ll take a look at three options that are the best scope for a Ruger 10/22 and why they stand apart from others.
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6 - 18x44mm AO Riflescope, DEAD-HOLD BDC (Editor's Choice)
UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings (Good in price range)
This is my review about 6 scope for ruger 10/22 takedown on the market, it will help you find the best for hunting. Check out it:
If you’re looking for a best Ruger 10/22 scope that holds zero like an absolute rock, this is the one for you.
Many Ruger fanatics spend years looking for that extra bit of accuracy and momentum in the field, and Vortex Optics answered by taking a 12 and making it doable from further than a football field away.
They are also protected under caps, allowing for longevity and durability that entry level scopes can’t offer.
Compared to other good scopes in its class, this one is the king. It easily stands its ground against top-notch offerings from elite manufacturers
This is what you’re getting with this product:
There has been much debate about what is the best scope for a Ruger 10/22. We’re here to put an end to this argument. Hands down, the best scope for a Ruger 10/22 is the UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings.
Let’s break it down for any unfamiliar with the product:
Among the scopes for a Ruger 10/22, this one stands apart for long-lasting, dependable performance.
Take it from a pro: there’s no sense wasting time and resources on flimsy pieces of crap. Go with the UTG BugBuster, hands down the best scope for a Ruger 10/22
When looking to step up the scope game significantly, this best scope from Nikon for ruger 10/22 takedown is the perfect piece of equipment.
Open circle aiming points are very accurate from 50 to 150 yards (I’ve actually used it for shots that I estimated were up to 200, but not with the accuracy of under 150).
The crosshair is right in the line of vision and never blurry or faded, something that is frequently a problem with cheaper scopes.
Make sure your on-hand mounts are made for the Ruger 10/22 – special order them if not.
Mounting and zero issues may result from mounts that are not for this specific rifle. Other than that, this is a solid scope and worth the spend.
My friend has bought a few of them for different .22s and always have been satisfied. If you’re looking to impress with a great gift, this is the best option available.
This is a good scope for ruger 10/22
Leupold has the windage issue down with this ruger 10/22 scope.
In varied weather conditions, accuracy and ease of use remain largely unaltered.
Visibility is strong as well, although they reach the mid-level in this field at best.
This scope is ideal for rim fire and quick adjustments for moving targets, even in changing conditions.
No other brand beats them on that front.
If Leupold really wanted to conquer the market, they’d address this issue – but they’ve got their niche down and a following that stands by their products. In its class, this scope is a solid addition.
This is a good choice for your ruger 10/22 takedown
The TascoRimfire Series is top of the line, all the way. You won’t find a better scope for the Ruger 10/22 in its price range
The HD vision is superb. It really hones in on far-away targets and holds the view long enough to pull the trigger and get a good shot. I’m a fan because of these features:
One thing I always suggest with this scope is to purchase a separate weaver rail to go along with it. You can get one that is of much higher quality, and will last longer, than the one that Tasco makes. Also, buy additional scope rings if you don’t have any on hand. They will be necessary for proper and secure mounting.
Another hint is to make sure everything is properly mounted and fastened, so that the reticle doesn’t move.
If you’re using this scope regularly, check the security of the mounting each time you head out.Be sure to test it at both close up and further away shooting distances to get comfortable before forming your final opinion on the scope. I found that it took a couple different scenarios before I fully grasped what it has to offer.
The Simmons Riflescope is built with optical glass lenses that, in my experience, are incredibly functional.
For an economical .22 scope such as this one, that feature really stands out.
Their HydroShield lens coating that they brag about is optimized as well. Two of the three scopes we’re talking about today are far from the high-end market, proving that best Ruger 10/22 scopes don’t have to break the bank.
The eyepiece is bright and vibrant, allowing for easy target sighting and zero fatigue when following a target or working to find the best shot location on the target. The clarity cannot be beat.
Here are the best features:
Above all other scopes, this one gives the most bang for the buck. In the hunting world, that goes a long way because it allows more flexibility for other add-ons and modifications.
There are a variety of best scopes for a Ruger 10/22 on the market . These three are all well-suited for action, whether that be the range or out in the hunting field. The trendiness of rimfire shooting has led to the development of a lot of new scopes, but I always stand by the old classics. For mounting help, check out this great video.:
If you will reference this article in your upcoming scope purchase, we’d love it if you shared what you found helpful via social media. That way, others can learn more about the scopes as well.
I’d love to hear which one you ended up going with. Feel free to leave a comment here with thoughts and we’ll get a conversation going.
Binoculars are the perfect addition for just about any outdoor activity. Hunting, fishing, bird watching, you name it. Binoculars improve visibility and help the user specifically focus on their target. If taking a shot or observing an animal from afar, they improve accuracy over a long range. Here are the best practices for how to use binoculars.
Before zooming in, figure out exactly what it is that you’re going to look at. To get set, pick a solid object up against a solid color. A building, tree, or tall plant set against a cloudless sky is perfect.
After use, you’ll want to clean the binoculars for next time. This helps keep the set optimized for long term use. You’ll notice that dirty lenses make it incredibly hard to find the perfect zoom and focal points. This can lead to headaches and fatigue. When cleaning, be careful not to scratch the lenses!
In recent years, I’ve been using binoculars more and more to hone in my hunting and bird watching. A good pair really ups the visibility, and improves accuracy with long range shooting. Now that you’ve discovered the joy of using binoculars, please share this article on social media so that those closest to you can do the same! I love hearing about new tricks of the trade and activities, so feel free to comment as well.
The scopes on today’s rifles adjust to point-of-impact specifications.
A huge plus for hunters and shooters, accuracy in long distance shooting is greatly improved. The scope has knobs on the top and bottom, both of which have significant impact on the zeroing in your shot.
Old timers like me learned to adjust a scope back on Civil War-era weapons. Nowadays, it is much easier, but still takes practice and precision.
When learning how to adjust a scope, just follow these steps and mix in a bit of personal feeling based on your weapon.
Make sure you have the necessary tools to adjust your scope.
Ensure the scope is properly fixed to the barrel, and that you have a trusted rest in place.
Equally important is identifying the ammo you’ll use. The ammo that you adjust the scope with should be the SAME ammo you’re using in the field.
Here are the first steps:
Fire Some Test Shots
This is how you’ll test your bore sighting skills. How close was the shot? Don’t worry if it was not even close, especially if this is your first time adjusting the scope on this gun. Make small movements to the scope to get that zero dialed in. Remember that a zero at 25 yards typically goes high at 100 yards, so if 100 yards is the target distance, adjust the scope to be about one inch lower than the zero at 25 yards.
Use Modern Guns And Scopes
This sounds like a picky thing to say, but as I said above, I grew up adjusting really old scopes and rifles. Today’s technology is so much better than what I grew up on, there isn’t any reason to not use the latest stuff available. Unless, of course, you’re a historian or antique gun fanatic! The scopes on modern guns have two adjustable knobs that make the process both easy and fun.
Variable scopes allow for less adjustment than fixed-power scopes, as a result of an extra cam tube. Referring to the erector tube, don’t force down on the variable scope at all while adjusting for risk of restricting it’s functions. If you have an Ar10, so you can find the best scope for ar 10 to have the good shoot
From there, it’s all step and repeat. With each new scope, I recommend repeating this process to make sure that the scope is a) mounted correctly, and b) zeroed correctly.
Just like guns, scopes are all different. Gradually move your testing target further away as you get more comfortable with the scope.
Because this is so important, I ask that all readers who enjoyed this article take a moment to share it on social media or with family and friends that are avid shooters. Shooter should buy the best handgun safe for the money to keep family safe from your gun.
I’m all ears for tips that you’ve found for specific scopes, so feel free to leave a comment.
When it comes to bagging a deer, having a sharp broadhead is just as important as mastering the art of long range archery. Without a good blood trail, locating your kill or wounded deer can prove to be quite difficult. A sharp broadhead will puncture the flesh and skin more directly and completely then a dull one, causing more blood and faster bleed out. It’s very similar to any type of sharp knife – the sharper the blade, the harder the bleeding. Here are the best practices for how to sharpen a broadhead.
A fact that many new archers don’t realize is that most broadheads require at least a small bit of sharpening to reach optimum performance. If you’ve bought the kind that are manufactured specifically to be incredibly sharp and not need sharpening, you’re off the hook for now.
I’d venture to say that a vast majority of broadheads will need at least a quick tune up before being ready to hit the field.
I recommend using broadhead arrows when hunting because they penetrate much better than other arrow types, and are also more accurate. Now that we’ve identified the broadhead type, let’s make sure that all necessary tools are on-hand:
I keep a dedicated sharpener at home, as I don’t really like to do it on the fly or use equipment that isn’t meant for the task. The first step, before any sharpening takes place, is to install the broadhead onto the arrow to make sure it fits properly. Once you’ve got the head onto the arrow, we’re ready to use the sharpener. This tool allows users to hold the arrow by the end near the broadhead. You’ll want to get a secure grip on it using both hands.
If you aren’t keen on spening some cash on a nice sharpener, a whetstone will do the trick. Just file the headstone as you would anything else on the whetstone. 3 pronged broadheads are tough to do on a surface like this, but other than that you shouldn’t have any problems.
I don’t recommend doing this with top-notch broadheads, for risk of damaging them and having to spend a bunch of money replacing them. But if you’re out in the field or on a camping trip, having a portable way to sharpen the heads is typically better than nothing.
A bastard file is my favorite of these. Approach it like you’re using a dedicated sharpener, with the broadhead attached to the arrow, and file like you would anything else on there. Again, pretty tough with three pronged heads, but you get the gist. You can take the bastard file anywhere: keep in your pocket or in your satchel.
Broadheads can be sharpened in a number of ways. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been taking the extra time to keep the heads sharp and clean. Accuracy is your best friend when out in the field, and leaving a solid trail of blood to track down the animal is going to make the entire process easier. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on how to sharpen a broadhead. Please share on social media so that your friends and family can learn the benefits, and feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to get a discussion going.
Some of us are fortunate enough to live the dream, with a nice open piece of property behind our home. Perfect for fishing, backyard camping, and of course, observing nature.
For the latter, you’ll need to know how to attract deer to your yard. I live in a house that backs up to a vast landscape of hunt-able land.
Over my twenty years here, I’ve mastered several techniques that draw deer in and keep them around. The best part is that once a few deer come in, more always follow.
Let’s take a look at my 5 techniques.
This is key, as deer are constantly grazing. The more natural in appearance the plant life, the more deer will be attracted to it. Having shrubbery native to your area is equally as effective. For how to attract deer to your yard regularly, follow these tips:
Deer are skittish animals. They spook easily, and certainly won’t hesitate to bolt if they feel at all threatened. To attract deer to your yard, you’ll want to keep a quiet, peaceful environment. Minimize noise escaping from the home.
Along the same line, don’t have loud birdfeeders or clanging wind chimes hung from the porch. Deer feel comfortable solely in natural settings free from outside distractions.
Reducing the ‘barrier to entry’ helps as well. Deer aren’t going to hop over a tall fence that they can’t see through. Do everything you can to meld your yard in with the natural settings beyond your property.
They also aren’t going to approach bright light, so turn off your porch lights when not in use and don’t have unnecessarily bring or shiny objects sitting around. We’ve all seen how deer act when they are caught in headlights. The initial freezing, followed by a quick escape as soon as they feel threatened.
If you’ve got a small pond in your yard like I do, then you’re in luck here. Mine is a natural water source, I don’t even have to feed water into it. The deer love it because it is exactly what they are used to.
If you haven’t got a pond, consider adding a water fixture of some type. Even if it isn’t natural (such as a bath or fresh water pool), you will still find that it attracts deer. Avoid chlorinated pools, or anything with a bunch of chemicals in it. The point is to offer the deer a place to refresh and have a drink, and they can smell that chlorine a mile away.
To get deer into your yard, having a large salt lick for them to taste is a great idea. They smell it, which brings them in from afar. Once they’ve tasted it, they will continue coming back for it and may even hang around for a bit. This is particularly true if you have a water feature for them to enjoy – we all know how salt makes us thirsty.
I don’t recommend putting the salt lick on your porch. Deer will be more hesitant to approach if it’s that close to the house. They’ll like it more if it’s out in the yard, maybe on a fence. Or, better yet, right next to the water source.
There are a handful of grass types that deer love to graze. A good thing about grasses is that it will attract them from quite a distance and, if you have enough of it, keep them coming back despite the other techniques listed here. If you live in an area where it is possible to use one of these, then go for it:
Ferns will also attract deer to your yard. Keep these ferns in shady spots, and do everything you can to help them thrive. The better the ferns, the higher the odds the deer will be attracted to them.
Now you have a basic understanding of how to attract deer to your yard. Hopefully, you live in an area surrounded by wildlife already – your chances of attracting deer are very high if you follow these steps. If you have any tips or techniques that you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments here so we can get a discussion going. If you found this article helpful, feel free to share on social media. Keeping deer around the yard is relaxing and surprisingly not that hard to do, it just takes some persistence!
Which shotgun choke is the most open? For those of us in the firearms community, the term ‘pattern’ is something that arises frequently. This refers to the column of round shot pellets leaving the barrel of the gun. As they move further away, they begin to spread out. Towards the end of the shotgun’s range, targets will be missed by the pellets as they spread further apart.
The shotgun choke is the response of gun designers in their attempt to combat this effect. Choking means that the bore is restricted, which will keep the pattern closer together for longer distances.
The most open shotgun choke is called a ‘cylinder.’ The easiest way for you to analyze this is to look at the muzzle end of the barrel. You’ll notice that with cylinder chokes, there actually isn’t any constriction at all. The diameter of the choke is the same as the inside of the shotgun barrel. There is the lowest amount of bore reduction.
Restriction is essentially non-existent here, which causes the pattern to spread out much more so than with higher restriction chokes.
The tightest kind of shotgun chokes are called ‘extra tights.’ These are basically the opposite of a cylinder choke. Restriction of the pattern’s spread is maximized, for increased long-range target accuracy.
For larger game, tighter chokes can help with targets on the move and further away. But for me, it’s been many years since I’ve used a tight choke. I don’t do much other than duck hunting anymore. I’ve got a buddy who is a diehard fan of turkey hunting, and he prefers to use a tight choke. Here is a great video explaining shotgun chokes with visuals.
If you are using shotgun and want to go deer hunting, let choose the best scope for shotgun for deer hunting, you will no regret about it.
The biggest advantage to using a looser choke is seen particularly by duck hunters. With waterfowl, a super tight choke can have two effects when using steel pellets (lead pellets were outlawed by the federal government for waterfowl hunting in the nineties):
So, to prevent these two things from happening, waterfowl hunters began using more open chokes. Hence, the rising popularity of the cyclinder.
I first began to prefer an open choke shortly after the regulations took place in 1991. By the following season, I began noticing severe distress to the barrel of my shotgun. This began to have a great impact on my hunting, so I started using the cyclinder choke.
Ever since, I’ve been working on ways to maximize my shooting accuracy with the most open choke, and have gotten a lot better. It takes an immense amount of practice, but at the end of the day I have better meat resulting from my increased shooting skill level. All without damaging the barrel of my gun.
When selecting the best choke for your shotgun, the most important factor is to consider what type of game you are hunting. For turkeys and larger game birds, a tighter choke is going to be the better option.
For those of us duck hunters, the cyclinder is the most open shotgun choke and therefore the best for us. I always recommend heading to the range and spending ample time on the patterning board prior to hitting the field. Notice how the pellets strike the target, and adjust your shooting technique as necessary.
Many new hunters don’t realize the advantages of using an open choke on their shotgun when waterfowl hunting. I’d appreciate it if you shared this article on social media so that more new hunters can learn of the pros and cons of different chokes. Do you have any techniques you’d like to share? Go ahead and leave them here in the comments, and we’ll get a discussion going.