How to Identify the Notches on a Shotgun Choke

When it comes to shotguns, understanding the choke system is essential for achieving the desired pattern and range for your shots. The choke is a constriction at the muzzle end of the shotgun barrel that helps control the spread of the shot. Different chokes provide different patterns, allowing you to adapt your shotgun to various shooting scenarios.

One way to identify the choke on your shotgun is by looking at the notches present on it. In this article, we will guide you through the process of identifying the notches on a shotgun choke, helping you gain a better understanding of how to optimize your shooting experience.

Choke Notches and Their Meanings

The notches on a shotgun choke are there to indicate the constriction level and the resulting pattern it produces. Each notch represents a specific choke setting, allowing you to determine the amount of spread your shot will have. It is important to note that different manufacturers may use different notch systems, so it is crucial to consult your shotgun’s manual or contact the manufacturer to understand the specific meanings of the notches.

Identifying Notches


To identify the notches on your shotgun choke, start by unscrewing the choke tube from the shotgun barrel. Most shotguns come with interchangeable choke tubes that can be easily removed by hand or with the help of a choke wrench. Once the choke tube is removed, examine the outer rim of the tube where the notches are located. These notches are usually engraved or marked in some way to indicate the choke setting. Take note of the number and location of the notches, as well as any symbols or markings that may accompany them.

Understanding the Notch System

The notch system used can vary between manufacturers, but most commonly, a single notch indicates a full choke, suitable for long-range shots with a tight shot pattern. Two notches typically represent an improved modified, providing a slightly wider pattern. Three notches usually indicate a modified choke, suitable for medium-range shots. Four notches often represent a improved cylinder choke, perhaps the most versatile of choke patterns. And five notches indicated cylinder, which closely matches the internal bore of the shotgun barrel. However, it is crucial to consult your shotgun’s manual or the manufacturer to ensure accurate interpretation of the notches.

Identifying the notches on a shotgun choke is an important skill for any shotgun owner. By understanding the meaning behind these notches, you can choose the right choke for your shooting needs, ensuring accurate and effective shots, and you can confidently optimize your shotgun’s performance and enjoy a more successful shooting experience.

# # #


    Leave a Reply

    XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

    Shotgun Life Newsletters

    Join an elite group of readers who receive their FREE e-letter every week from Shotgun Life. These readers gain a competitive advantage from the valuable advice delivered directly to their inbox. You'll discover ways to improve your shooting, learn about the best new products and how to easily maintain your shotgun so it's always reliable. If you strive to be a better shooter, then our FREE e-letters are for you.