It’s time to pattern your shotgun for turkey season

Having the right combination of shotgun, choke tube, and load size is essential in killing turkeys consistently. (photo courtesy of Rectifire, Inc.)

Pattern your gun with the right choke tube and load size

Turkey hunting season still seems a long ways off. But it’s actually right around the corner. It’s time to get ready for it right now. And one of the most important steps hunters can take is to pattern their shotguns with the right choke tube and load.

Many hunters fail to do this step. They pull the trigger for the first time when a turkey is in range. And some of them have no trouble bagging that bird. But others are left wondering why their turkey trotted off with little or no damage. And the reason will remain a mystery until they shoot at a paper target and see what their pattern looks like.

Paper targets with the outline of a turkey are widely available. And they allow hunters to see how many of their pellets are hitting the turkey’s neck and head.

For Alan Tuten of Rectifire, Inc. in Brunson, S.C., patterning a shotgun is the first step in getting ready for turkey season. And that’s especially true for hunters with a new shotgun, a new choke tube, or that are shooting a different load than they’ve used in the past.

“The only way for you to know what will create the right pattern for your shotgun is to test it out by shooting it with multiple loads and multiple chokes,” he said.

Rectifire’s chart makes it easy to choose the right choke tube

But Tuten’s company makes it much easier on hunters with a chart they’ve developed showing which one of their choke tubes works best on certain shotguns and with certain shot sizes.

“This chart is a great place for hunters to start. They choose their shotgun brand and gauge. The chart shows them what choke tubes we make for that shotgun. With each choke tube, we tell them what size load patterns best with that combination of gun and choke tube,” he said.

Tuten and his coworkers have invested a lot of time shooting all the major shotgun brands along with numerous load sizes through each choke tube they make.

Rectifire choke tubes are available in numerous Hydro Dip camo finishes, as well as Cerakote HT Black, natural, and black oxide.

“A lot of times, a shotgun doesn’t shoot exactly straight with a certain choke tube and load. One load might work great. And another may shoot slightly left, right, up, or down. That’s why it’s important for hunters to pattern their guns. And that’s true no matter what brand their choke tube is, and no matter what brand their load is. But we’ve got it narrowed down to what we’ve found is the best load size for our choke tubes on each shotgun,” he said.

And that will save hunters a lot of time and money. Hunters should also keep in mind that even turkey loads are scarce in certain load sizes right now. So it’s a good idea to find out what loads you can get your hands on before deciding which choke tube you want.

Don’t wait until the last minute to pattern your turkey gun

Rectifire’s choke tubes are available for every major shotgun brand. They come in four different finishes — natural, black oxide, Cerakote HT Black, and Hydro Dip camo. The Hydro Dip camo is available in numerous camo patterns. They are made of 17-4 stainless steel and are easily installed and uninstalled without any tools. The choke tubes extend 2 inches from the barrel and are manufactured in Brunson, S.C.

Tuten also said hunters should understand that Federal TSS loads shoot much better with non-ported choke tubes. Rectifire’s Diamond Series are their non-ported models for TSS loads. The Cyclone Series is good for traditional turkey loads.

Rectifire’s non-ported Diamond Series choke tubes are made for shooting TSS loads.

“We learned through several weeks of shooting that the Federal TSS loads were inconsistent when used with ported choke tubes. That’s because those loads use Flight Control Wads which are designed to separate the pellets from the wad differently than traditional loads. When used with our Diamond Series choke tubes, they are very consistent and do what they’re designed to do,” he said.

If you’d like to see what Rectifire choke tubes are available for your shotgun, click here and find out which loads work best with which chokes. And whether you need a new choke or not, don’t wait until the last minute to pattern your gun. Turkey season will be here before you know it.

Don’t play the guessing game when a turkey walks in front of you on opening day. Know your shotgun’s pattern and you’ll have complete confidence when it’s time to pull the trigger.

About Brian Cope 2800 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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