Best choke for #3 & #4 steel

870-Lefty

Member
What would be the best choke for #3 & #4 steel out of a 12ga. Benelli Montefeltro for wild phez? I.C., Lt. Mod., or Mod.? Hunting over a combination of pointers and flushers.
 
id say improved i shoot mostly steel #2-#4 #3 are my go to steel load... im going to get a box of hypersonic #2 to go with my #4s... i mostly just shoot 2 3/4 steel fed shot does well for me with improved all season...
 
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wisturkeyhunter

New member
I shoot improved mod or full all season lead or steel but I'm not a choke changer and just stick with whatever is working.

Best choice for steel would probably be light modified.
 

btomlin

New member
Modified

I run a Carlson's extended Midrange(mod) with 2s. I've only got to use the combo a few times on pheasants that happened to cackle in a field that we were set up in for a duck/goose hunt but it worked great.

It works equally well on "in your face" 'fowl also.

In my opinion, #4 steel is a teal shot size, but you know what they say about opinions....
 
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KSBrittman

Active member
I have had excellent luck in my sxs gold label with kent #3 and ic for the close birds and mod for then long birds .

Light mod would be my go to for a repeater
 

birdshooter

Well-known member
What would be the best choke for #3 & #4 steel out of a 12ga. Benelli Montefeltro for wild phez? I.C., Lt. Mod., or Mod.? Hunting over a combination of pointers and flushers.

That's really a tough question to answer as we all know each gun, choke and ammo combination can produce entirely different results, even between the same brand of gun. You may not want to hear this but the only way to answer that question truly is to pattern several different chokes with your ammo of choice. You may be surprised at which one performs best.

I would start with an IC and work your way up to say Mod or IM. Shoot them at a couple different distances and see what the best choke for closer shots and what works best at long ranges. If none are to your satisfaction then try another brand of ammo.

NO shortcuts if you truly want to know what performs best.

If patterning is out of the question than I have always found the light Modified choke to be a good all around choke for pheasants, whether using lead or steel.
 

BritChaser

Well-known member
The screw in chokes for my Browning Citori classify the lead modified as full for steel and likewise throughout the range. I think putting steel through a full choke for lead is risking splitting the barrel because steel is harder. So IC and modified might be the way to go.
 

calamari

Member
I think putting steel through a full choke for lead is risking splitting the barrel because steel is harder.
I've shot lots of 3" 1 3/8oz. #2 shot steel loads through my 50+ year old Rem. 1100 and the barrel is just fine with no bulges or splitting. It results in a very tight pattern but I want to either kill or completely miss any bird I shoot at. Very rarely are they in my face and when they are I just make a motion or stand up and shoot them after they flare. I have two extended super full lead turkey chokes that I put in my 20 ga O/U and shoot steel through too. No problem. That's ducks.
Pheasants are an even harder target to set up for because there are so many more variables.
You've got to pattern your gun with a variety of loads and chokes like birdshooter says. The best combo will reveal itself.
 

Dakotazeb

Well-known member
First, I would recommend #3 over #4. My preferred choke for steel shot is IC. Just remember that steel through IC will pattern like lead through a Mod.

That being said, I shoot IC with lead all season long. No problem reaching out and killing birds. And that's with a 16 ga. 1 1/8 oz load.
 

wesslpointer

New member
Steel vs Lead

by Sam Kaplan

A growing number of pheasant hunters have to shoot nontoxic ammunition. Pheasants are tough birds and elusive cripples, so choosing the right shell matters, especially when you go from dense lead to lighter steel. In the field I have had no trouble killing wild birds with steel shot, but while dead is dead, I wanted to quantify the differences between steel and lead loads.

Test Loads:
- 12-gauge 11⁄8-ounce loads of Federal Prairie Storm No. 3 steel at 1600 fps (Modified choke)
- 12-gauge 11⁄8-ounce loads of Wing-Shok High Velocity No. 6 lead at 1500 fps (Modified choke)
Results: As expected, the hard steel pellets patterned tighter than lead (62.5 percent vs. 52.6 percent) inside a 30-inch circle at 40 yards. Nevertheless, the higher pellet count of the lead load meant more pellets in the circle: 128 hits, compared to 102 hits for the steel load. The lead pellets also penetrated 4.12 inches into the 30-yard gelatin, compared to steel?s 3.43 inches. The lead load had a shorter shot string (55 inches) at 20 yards than the steel load (61 inches).

The Takeaway: Even with advances in steel ammunition, lead is still superior. Usually hunters switching from lead to steel compensate for steel?s light weight by following the ?rule of two? and going up two sizes in shot. Yet despite my choosing three sizes larger in steel and driving it 100 fps faster than the lead load, it didn?t perform as well as lead in the test. The ?rule of two? should be the ?rule of three or maybe four.? Steel 3s and 2s make the best pellet choice. Steel pellets, which remain round and fly true, patterned more efficiently than lead, resulting in tighter patterns. Given the lower pellet count and retained energy of steel, though, I would not go to a more open choke if switching from lead to steel. Still, modern steel loads are effective for pheasants.
 
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