5 Best Chokes for Turkey Hunting [+Buyers Guide]

by Dave Chesson

September 6, 2023

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I went turkey hunting with a friend this season and let me tell you, it was the most fun I had on a hunt recently. Turkeys are super smart and have keen eyesight, which makes it pretty tough to get close to them. This makes shooting from a distance and waiting for the perfect shot a really important part of the hunt. That’s where using the right choke can make a world of difference. 

I was using a turkey choke and my hunt turned out decent because I downed a few gobblers over the week, but my friend had a bad time. Twice, he hit a gobbler only for the bird to strut away because he didn’t get enough pellets in the bird to knock it down. 

So to help out my friend and everyone out there looking for a good turkey choke, I decided to test out a few to figure out what works best. I put together a list of chokes that worked out great and added a buyers guide with the factors to consider when buying a turkey choke.

Types of chokes for turkey hunting

There are many types of chokes depending on how narrow they are (their constriction). The narrowest chokes can help the shot travel far and set off the pellets in a dense spread (the pattern of a shot) at a distance. With more open chokes, you can get a good pattern at close range, but the pellets will spread too thin as they travel further and won’t be as effective. Getting a tight pattern is important because there’s a high chance of a clean takedown when more pellets hit the target. 

Now, since turkeys rarely come in close range, the best choke types to go for when hunting them are chokes that give tight patterns mid- to long-range: 

  • Improved cylinder choke has a slight constriction and in the rare case of a gobbler strutting away at a distance under 25 yards, this choke can work.  
  • Modified choke is narrower than an improved cylinder choke and produces tight patterns under 35 yards.
  • Full choke is extremely narrow and helps you land effective patterns from 40 to 70 yards. 
  • Extra full choke has an even narrower constriction, and can help you shoot accurately beyond 70 yards.

Constrictions can vary between manufacturers and how they perform can change with different combos of shotgun, shotshell, and choke. So to find which combo makes the most effective patterns for you, try testing out your preferred shots and shotguns with a few chokes at different distances. Here’s how we tested our chokes.  

How I picked the best chokes for turkey hunting

I put together a list of turkey chokes from my experience and included recommendations from my hunter friends as well. I then set out to find out how each performed. As for the shotguns, I picked a few, including a Remington 870 and a Benelli Supernova, combined with most kinds of shot types. I made sure to get the TSS (Tungsten Super Shot) loads for two reasons; one, I’ve shot with TSS and the patterns were fantastic and two, many turkey hunters I spoke to recommended it for its performance. 

I set my targets at 30, 40, and 50 yards and got shooting. It was a slow process swapping out chokes and trying out all the shots with all the shotguns, but it paid off because I managed to nail down 5 chokes that did great in a few use cases. 

Gun University’s Choices of the Best Chokes for Turkey Hunting

Best chokes for turkey hunting

Carlson’s TSS Turkey Choke Tube
  • Excellent patterns
  • High-density shots
  • Provides a maximum range
  • Suitable for smaller sub-gauge scatterguns like the .410
Buy on Amazon
Indian Creek Black Diamond Choke Tube
  • Comes in many gauges
  • Shoots all lead and hybrid turkey loads
  • Compatible with many popular guns
Buy on Amazon
Kick's Gobblin' Thunder Turkey Choke Tube
  • Wide range of shotgun gauges
  • Reduced recoil
  • Tight and consistent patterns
Check Price
Patternmaster Anaconda Striker Choke Tube
  • Durability
  • Consistent patterns
  • Accuracy
Buy on Amazon
Best budget

Primos Tightwad

Primos Tightwad
  • Long-range shooting
  • Ported to reduce recoil
  • Budget-friendly
  • Knurled end for easy in and out
Buy on Amazon

Best chokes for turkey hunting Specifications

Below is a table of the specs for the best chokes for turkey hunting.

ChokesMaterialGaugeRecommended ShotsExtended/Flush
Carlson’s TSS Turkey Choke TubeStainless steel12, 20, .410Most shots used for turkey. Optimized for TSS Turkey Loads (#7 to #9)Extended
Indian Creek Black Diamond Choke TubeStainless steel10, 12, 20, 28, .410All lead and hybrid heavy loads with shot sizes from #2 to #10Extended
Kick's Gobblin' Thunder Turkey Choke TubeStainless steel10, 12, 16, 20, 28, .410Lead shots onlyExtended
Patternmaster Anaconda Striker Choke TubeStainless steel12, 20Non-toxic shots as well as leadExtended
Primos TightwadChrome alloy steel12, 20Lead, copper-plated lead, and Hevi-ShotExtended

Best chokes for turkey hunting

Here is our list for the best choke tubes for turkey hunting:

  1. Carlson’s TSS Turkey Choke Tube
  2. Indian Creek Black Diamond Choke Tube
  3. Kick’s Gobblin’ Thunder Turkey Choke Tube
  4. Patternmaster Anaconda Striker Choke Tube
  5. Primos Tightwad Choke Tube

Best Products – Reviews 

I’ve categorized the chokes considering their best use case, and if you look at them with your needs in mind, you might just be able to pin down the right choke for you. 

Best overall Carlson’s TSS Turkey Choke Tube

Carlson’s TSS Turkey Choke Tube Featured Image

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  • Effectiveness A+
  • Durability A+
  • Ease of use A+
  • Value A+

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Carlson’s TSS Turkey Choke Tube Specs

  • Material Stainless steel
  • Gauge 12, 20, .410
  • Recommended shots Most shots used for turkey. Optimized for TSS Turkey Loads (#7 to #9)
  • Extended/flush Extended

Carlson’s TSS Turkey Choke Tube Review

Carlson’s has made it to my lists of the best chokes for duck hunting and buckshot because of their excellent performance. Their TSS Turkey Choke Tube is no different–out of all the chokes I tested, this choke did great in all of my grading criteria.  

They made the choke of corrosion-resistant stainless steel. I can vouch for Carlson’s statement about their chokes having excellent longevity and resistance to the elements, as I have some that I bought years ago.

I tested this choke with my Beretta/Benelli Mobil and TSS loads because it was the recommended shot. The manual said it gives tight patterns at 50 yards, so I started with the furthest target and what do you know, I got over 200 pellets in the kill zone. I set up another target at the 65-yard mark just for the fun of it, and the choke surprised me in the best way possible. I got a little over 100 pellets in the kill zone, which is still dense enough to knock down a gobbler. So, to say this choke exceeded my expectations is actually an understatement. 

The Carlson’s TSS Turkey Choke is easy to use as well; it’s an extended choke with a knurled end for better grip, so you can simply screw it into the muzzle of your shotgun without having to use a tool. This is great because I would want to swap chokes out in the woods if I want to shoot close or mid-range. 

My friend picked this as his favorite as well, and I can see why. He’s a scattergun enthusiast, which means he goes for small sub-gauge guns at .410 and the Carlson’s TSS Turkey Choke fits his gun like a glove. 

They optimize the choke for TSS but you can shoot almost any shot type, including lead, copper, nickel, bismuth, and Hevi-Shot. I tested the choke with copper shots, bismuth, and Hevi-Shot and can confirm they deliver consistently tight patterns at 50 yards. You can’t shoot steel shot with this choke though, so if your go-to load is steel, you might need to get used to another type of load to use this choke. 

Overall, the choke is an excellent performer, and I’d even say it over-delivers for the price tag of around $60. This sounds like I’m singing praises, but when you get dense patterns at 65 yards consistently from a choke that’s super easy to use and lasts long, you’ve got to give the credit where it’s due. 

Carlson’s TSS Turkey Choke Tube Pros and Cons

  • Excellent patterns
  • High-density shots
  • Provides a maximum range
  • Suitable for smaller sub-gauge scatterguns like the .410
  • Can’t be used with steel shots

Best versatile Indian Creek Black Diamond Choke Tube

Indian Creek Black Diamond Choke Tube Featured Image

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  • Effectiveness A+
  • Durability A
  • Ease of use A+
  • Value A

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Indian Creek Black Diamond Choke Tube Specs

  • Material Stainless steel
  • Gauge 10, 12, 20, 28, .410
  • Recommended shots All lead and hybrid heavy loads with shot sizes from #2 to #10
  • Extended/flush Extended

Indian Creek Black Diamond Choke Tube Review

The Indian Creek Black Diamond Choke Tube is an improved cylinder (IC) choke with outstanding performance. It landed on the list as my best versatile pick because it comes in many gauges and shoots all types of lead and hybrid shots. 

This almost became the best overall pick, but I was super impressed by the range in Carlson’s TSS Turkey Choke, which was pretty much ideal for turkey hunting. This doesn’t mean the Black Diamond Choke doesn’t have range though. It lands tight patterns from 25 yards upwards to 40 yards and that’s pretty impressive for a choke with IC constriction. My buddy who went back to the woods armed with a new turkey choke said the Black Diamond Choke helped him land a clean shot in the woods from 60 yards away. This is a huge increase from the range I got. My guess is his combo of Mossberg 985 plus TSS ammo with the 20 gauge choke worked out great. That goes to show why it’s a good practice to pattern your shotguns with the choke to figure out the most effective combo. 

The Black Diamond Choke comes in 5 gauges–10,12, 20, 28, .410–and you can go for any gauge you prefer depending on the pattern density you want. I went for the 12 gauge choke so I could pair it up with my Beretta/Benelli Mobil for tight and pretty consistent patterns at 40 yards. If you’re planning to shoot a little closer, I suggest going for a 20 gauge shotgun along with the choke for the most effective pattern. Because up close, less dense patterns help you deliver a clean kill shot without damaging the quarry too much. 

As for the shots, this choke works with all lead and hybrid loads and makes my life easy because I don’t have to spend time trying to find the right shot. Shot sizes are pretty diverse as well because it shoots from #2 through #10, which is even more shot size range than on my best overall pick.

For me, what seals the deal for the Black Diamond Choke as the best versatile is the fact that it comes in different threading to fit many popular shotgun models like Remington 870, Remington Pro Bore, Beretta Optima, Benelli Crio, Browning Invector, Beretta/Benelli Mobile, Mossberg, Winchester, and more. 

So for a choke that comes with a lot of range in load types, shot sizes, gauges, and threading, I’m not surprised it retails at around $90. It may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a budget purchase. However, if you do get the right Indian Creek Black Diamond Choke Tube for your shotgun, it can make your turkey hunting setup much more effective.

Indian Creek Black Diamond Choke Tube Pros and Cons

  • Comes in many gauges
  • Shoots all lead and hybrid turkey loads
  • Compatible with many popular guns
  • Expensive

Best for dense patterns Kick’s Gobblin’ Thunder Turkey Choke Tube

Kick's Gobblin' Thunder Turkey Choke Tube Featured Image

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  • Effectiveness A
  • Durability A
  • Ease of use A
  • Value A+

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Kick’s Gobblin’ Thunder Turkey Choke Tube Specs

  • Material Stainless steel
  • Gauge 10, 12, 16, 20, 28, .410
  • Recommended shots Lead shots only
  • Extended/flush Extended

Kick’s Gobblin’ Thunder Turkey Choke Tube Review

If you’re looking to land consistently dense patterns, Kick’s Gobblin’ Thunder Turkey Choke Tube is your best bet. It’s a stainless steel ported choke that’s constricted like an IC choke, so it patterns great at 40 yards right out of the box. 

The Gobblin’ Thunder Choke is available for many gauges including 12, 10, 20, 16, 28, and .410 which makes it easy to go for the turkey hunting setup you prefer with the shotgun you own.  

I tested the choke with my Remington 870 and Benelli Supernova to see if it performs well in both guns. Let me tell you, those patterns were some of the densest I’ve hit with an IC choke in a long time. I used Hevi-Shot as the load in both and the Remington 870 plus the Gobblin’ Thunder Choke combo gave me nearly 400 pellets on target. The Benelli Supernova and the choke pair produced 250+ pellets on target. I think it would be a safe bet to say that the choke can deliver kill shots at even further distances. 

The best part about the patterns was that they remained consistent over an entire morning of me switching the shotgun and shooting different distances. I blew out the nearest paper target at 20 yards after a few shots because of how dense the pattern was. So I’d say you probably shouldn’t shoot at close range with the Gobblin’ Thunder Choke because you could end up with more pellets in the bird than meat. 

The choke is easy to use as well, because of its design; around 1.3 inches of the choke extends out of the muzzle and makes it easy to insert or remove it and swap it out quickly in the bush. They also ported the choke with angled holes in the body and this design helps reduce the recoil and muzzle jump, making your follow-up shots super fast. 

The only issue I have with it is that the shot type is limited. This choke handles only lead shots, and if your state doesn’t allow the use of lead shots, it’s going to put a big damper on your turkey hunting plans with the Gobblin’ Thunder Choke. 

If you can use lead shot though, this choke can give you consistently dense patterns at 40 yards and out–all you have to do is figure out the best gauge and gun for your needs. 

Kick’s Gobblin’ Thunder Turkey Choke Tube Pros and Cons

  • Wide range of shotgun gauges
  • Reduced recoil
  • Tight and consistent patterns
  • Limited shot options

Best for long range Patternmaster Anaconda Striker Choke Tube

Patternmaster Anaconda Striker Choke Tube Featured Image

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  • Effectiveness A+
  • Durability A+
  • Ease of use B+
  • Value A-

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Patternmaster Anaconda Striker Choke Tube Specs

  • Material Stainless steel
  • Gauge 12, 20
  • Recommended shots Non-toxic shots and lead
  • Extended/flush Extended

Patternmaster Anaconda Striker Choke Tube Review

If you want a choke tube to up your long-range turkey hunting game, the Patternmaster Anaconda Striker Choke Tube is where it’s at. With this choke, you can get consistently tight patterns and can effectively reach ranges from 40 to 65 yards.

I tested the choke with my Benelli 20 ga. Nova Pump over a day, and I got super tight patterns at 40, 50, and 65-yard marks, hitting over 150 pellets at the last target, which is certainly enough pellets to knock down a gobbler. I think this speaks a lot about how the choke doesn’t lose pattern density over distance. 

One of the main reasons for its performance is the design. The Patternmaster’s patented Coil Zone Gas Over Constriction technology helps stabilize the wad (the compartment separating the pellets from the gunpowder) during firing. This gives you consistently tight patterns and slowing down the pellet spread at all distances. 

Patternmaster has also added their patented stud ring inside the tube that can briefly stop the wad while allowing the shot to continue. This millisecond pause shortens the shot string (distance between the first pellet out of the muzzle and the last) by about 80%, giving you amazing accuracy. They’ve crafted it from top-notch aircraft-quality 17-4ph stainless steel, so it can last you a while. Plus, it’s coated with a military-spec Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC), giving it extra protection and durability. 

Installing the Anaconda Striker Choke extension is a breeze, thanks to the grooved black oxidized end that allows for easy setup without requiring any tool. This comes in handy in the field because you don’t want to spend too much time swapping chokes if your target is strutting away. The choke isn’t ported though, so you should expect some muzzle jump when you shoot. If you’re someone who works well with minimal muzzle jump and needs quick follow-up shots, the Anaconda Striker Choke might not be for you. 

You can’t shoot steel shots or slugs with this choke, but I don’t think the latter is a big issue because you aren’t going turkey hunting with slugs. It’s also a good idea to stick with ammo that has velocities lower than 1550 FPS for the best results, as higher velocities can overpower the choke. 

All in all, I can say that the Patternmaster Anaconda Striker Choke Tube is the best for long-range turkey hunting because its long-range accuracy with high pattern consistency is the most reliable I’ve seen so far in a turkey choke.

Patternmaster Anaconda Striker Choke Tube Pros and Cons

  • Durability
  • Consistent patterns
  • Accuracy
  • Not to be used with steel shots
  • No mechanism to reduce muzzle jump

Best budget Primos Tightwad Choke Tube

Primos Tightwad Turkey Choke Tube Featured Image

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  • Effectiveness A
  • Durability A
  • Ease of use B+
  • Value A+

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Primos Tightwad Choke Tube Specs

  • Material Chrome alloy steel
  • Gauge 12, 20
  • Recommended shots Lead, copper-plated lead, and Hevi-Shot
  • Extended/flush Extended

Primos Tightwad Choke Tube Review

My best budget pick goes to Primos Tightwad because it performs just as well as (and sometimes better than) some average priced chokes at the incredibly low price of around $30. 

I honestly wasn’t expecting a lot out of the choke because of the low price tag. However, I realized I judged the Primos Tightwad way too harsh because it downed two gobblers in two days when I took it out this season. 

I’ve been using this mostly with my Remington 870 and was blown away by the patterns; this gives me evenly distributed, tight, and neat patterns than most average-priced chokes I’ve tried. Almost all my patterns had nearly 150 pellets inside a 30-inch circle at 40 yards and that’s excellent performance for the price. I’ve also tried this with my Hevi-Shot Magnum Blend at 40 yards and 65 yards and can tell you for sure the Primos Tightwad is highly reliable when you increase your shooting range. This makes it a great option in the woods because the further away you are from the bird, there’s less chance it’ll spot you and get startled. 

The Primos Tightwad is an extended choke and has a knurled end to install and remove without a hassle or any tools. Another plus is that this choke is ported, so it reduces the recoil and lets you follow-up with another shot pretty quickly. If you didn’t land a kill shot the first time, you can deliver the second shot fast enough without letting the gobbler take off from your view.  

They made this choke from chrome alloy steel, and while the durability is top-notch when it comes to alloy steel, there’s a high chance of rusting if the chrome plating is damaged somehow. You’ll need to take extra care when handling this choke to make sure it doesn’t get dropped, scratched, or exposed to the elements too much.

One thing you might need to keep an eye on is the threading; I noticed the choke tube loosens up sometimes so I have to check its tightness from time to time just to make sure it’s properly in place. While it was a hassle to constantly check on it, the choke costs so much lower than the average price for a choke ($65-$70) that it just might have taken the convenience off the table. Plus, I’ve had a friend say the threading on his choke didn’t fit with the barrel of his shotgun, so you might have to double check that too. 

Still, performance-wise, I can confidently recommend the Primos Tightwad for a functional choke that doesn’t break the bank. It’s very much worth the price and you can pair this choke with your everyday shotgun for a great turkey hunt. 

Primos Tightwad Choke Tube Pros and Cons

  • Long-range shooting
  • Ported to reduce recoil
  • Budget-friendly
  • Knurled end for easy in and out
  • Threading may loosen up
  • Likely to rust

Buyers Guide

Turkey chokes work best with the most compatible gun and shots, and finding a good choke that matches your setup can be a challenge. So, I’ve put together a buyers guide with the most important factors you should consider when selecting a turkey choke that fits your shotgun and your hunting style. 

  • Constriction and range – The type of constriction you choose determines the distance or the range of your turkey hunt. Most often, turkeys are hunted from around 40-70 yards away, so a full choke or an extra full choke with a tight constriction is effective. For close to mid-ranges at around 35 yards, improved chokes with less constriction can give you great results. 
  • Shotgun – The threading on the choke has to fit the muzzle, so keep in mind to match the choke to the exact model of your shotgun. 
  • Shotshells – TSS (Tungsten Super Shot) loads are a very popular choice for turkey hunters as they deliver patterns dense enough to take down the bird. Any other type of shot recommended for your shotgun works as well, but if you’re going for lead shots, remember to check if they’re allowed in your state.  
  • Gauge – Getting the correct gauge size makes sure the choke sits steady inside the barrel of your shotgun. All you have to do is match your shotgun gauge with the choke you plan to buy. If your gun is a 12-gauge shotgun, you have to go for a choke that is also 12 gauge. The most common gauges for turkey hunting are sizes 12 and 20, as these gauges can give enough power for a clean kill at a distance.  
  • Ease of use – Having an easy-to-use turkey choke makes your hunts easier. If you like to use different chokes in one hunt, extended chokes with threads or grooves are great because they are easy to fit or remove. You can also consider ported chokes to reduce recoil and chokes with muted colors that don’t glint or glare when you are trying to take your aim. This is important because turkeys have keen eyesight, and you need to make sure nothing gives away your position. 
  • Price – At a beginner level, you can go for budget-friendly options to gain experience and understand different chokes and patterns better. As you hunt more, you can explore other chokes with more features to see what best fits your hunting style and needs. If you’re going for a premium option, make sure it performs well and lasts long to get the best out of your investment.  
  • Manufacturer’s recommendations – Following the manufacturer’s recommendations is important to use your choke safely and efficiently. Remember to check what shot types are compatible with your choke, what the correct gauge size for your gun is, and the best practices in taking care of your turkey chokes (like not getting them wet). This will keep your chokes from rusting, splitting, or damaging your gun. 

Researching and considering all factors before buying a turkey choke may seem like hard work, but it will provide you with the best choke for your setup. This will show in your dense patterns and accurate long-range shots while hunting. 

Conclusion

While there’s no do-all turkey choke out there, choosing a shotgun-shotshell-choke combination that works for your hunting style can help you land the most effective shots from a distance and improve your experience during a turkey hunt. Try out different setups before the next season comes around and test out your chokes at a few distances to find the right combo to take a gobbler down. Happy hunting.

FAQs

What choke and shot size for turkey?

I consider the full choke the best fit for turkey hunting. It has an effective constriction and holds the pallets together longer to take out game from 40 up to 70 yards. A full choke paired with #4, #5, or #6 sizes gives you a great chance for a clean and quick shot. 

Are turkey chokes worth it?

Turkey chokes are worth it for anyone who likes a good hunt. These chokes can be expensive and a bit of work to get the right patterns, but they can greatly help increase your performance. If you’re not a regular hunter though, you can go for a regular full choke, but the performance may not be as good as a turkey choke. 

Is 4 or 5 shot better for turkey? 

Size #4 shots have fewer pallets but they are quite heavy and large to give an easy kill, even with a hit of a few pallets. Size #5 pellets on the other hand are smaller, but there are more pellets in the shot. It makes #5 a slightly better option, as it gives you a better pattern and range. 

Is a turkey choke full?

Full chokes are common for turkey hunting at 40 yards or more, but it is not the only choke size used for turkey. Extra full chokes, modified chokes, and even improved cylinder chokes with dense patterns are also quite commonly used in turkey hunting. 

What is the average shot distance for a turkey?

The average shot distance for turkey hunting is 40 yards. Shooting beyond 40 yards is possible, but there’s a chance that enough pellets won’t hit the bird to make a kill in that distance. So when shooting longer distances, you need to go for a shot with more pellets. Short distances are also not recommended. Keep in mind that if you shoot closer than 20 yards, the pellets may not have enough time to spread and the shot will hit with too many pellets, damaging your target. 

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About Dave Chesson

Dave Chesson is prior Navy with a specialty in international arms dealing for the US government across multiple countries. Having traveled the world and abided by ATF and ITAR, Roy has a unique background in legal as well as practical capabilities of weapons deployment and use.

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