Is there a single choke constriction that could be considered the “jack of all trades” for sporting clays? This is one of those questions that will always come up in discussions, usually from new shooters getting into the game. And it is a fair question that needs to be answered as truthfully as possible!
Let’s assume that the new sporting clays shotgun shooter has one of the many popular single barrel sporting clays shotguns. This shooter has only one choke available to them at a shooting stage in the single barrel, so which constriction should they use? Most ranges at most stages throw clay birds at an average distance of 20 -30 yards or less. To cover this range where a shooter uses a standard velocity shotshell with 1-1/8 oz. shot, a LMOD constriction works the best, all else being equal!
But as we shooters know, sporting clays ranges also have a few short range stages in the mix! Those troublesome “rabbits” are many times within 10-20 yards and they seem to be going 100 mph! That LMOD you have, unless you are “spot on” will leave you behind the rabbit as it skips into the concealing brush! So, there is the need for using a constriction a bit most open for this type of presentation. This is where a CYL, Skeet or IC comes in handy! Just “stick” the barrel on the “rabbit” and shoot!
Many (and maybe most) times in sporting clays a stage throws “doubles”. They may be mixed with a short range shot and a long one in any combination. That LMOD should do for these, but that long “crosser” will be hard to catch up with! A MOD would go a long way to help catch that long distance bird!
As can be seen, shooters with single barrel guns are at a somewhat disadvantage. The Over/Under shooters have that extra barrel to use that can be ready with two constriction chokes that will cover a typical stage more readily. This is not to say that single barrel guns are not great sporting clays competitors, but there is the reality that it is many times nicer to have the convenience of two barrels to call on when needed.
So, is there a single constriction choke that can be considered the “jack of all trades”? Yes, the LMOD is probably the one constriction that can do it all! Experience and skill enter in this equation as well. As we all know, with the proper gun and choke, shooters can benefit most from practice and training.