Improved Modified Chokes: The Unpopular Choke Size


What is an improved modified choke tube? Improved modified is a little known choke tube size but it does excel in some situations where common choke sizes just don’t cut it.

An improved modified choke is tighter than modified but more open than a light full choke. Improved modified choke tubes measure between .696″ and .705″ and are used for mid range waterfowl hunting. Chokes in improved modified sizes are marked by two notches.

In this guide, we’ll discuss why improved modified chokes are some of the least popular choke tubes, but they do serve a purpose when hunting waterfowl and fill a niche that other choke tubes can’t match. And if you want to see the leading improved modified choke tube for hunting, be sure to check out Carlson’s Long Range Cremator.

Carlson’s Long Range Chokes are Improved Modified diameters.

What is an improved modified choke?

An improved modified choke is tighter than modified but more open than light full chokes according to the choke tube constriction chart. For a fixed choke 12 gauge, an improved modified choke measures 0.695” in diameter. The three types of modified choke tubes are improved modified, modified, and light modified. Improved modified is a tighter diameter than both modified and light modified.

For popular shotgun brands, the improved modified measures 0.696″ for Beretta and Benelli, 0.697″ for Browning, 0.705″ for Winchester, and 0.697″ for Remington. Choke tube markings indicate an improved modified choke tube with two notches.

Modified vs improved modified chokes

If you are stuck on deciding between a modified vs improved modified choke tube, you are not alone. The two chokes are very similar in size, with modified measuring 0.705″ and improved modified measuring 0.695″.

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The improved modified will give tighter patterns at longer ranges than a modified choke, which translates to 5-10 yards more of effective range. Patterning your shotgun with both size choke tubes with the same ammo is the only way to know for sure. If you want an all-around waterfowl choke, stick with the modified. If you plan to stretch your shots, go with the improved modified.

Is an improved modified choke good for duck hunting?

An improved modified choke tube is a great choice for both ducks and geese since it can be used with a wide range of shot types – including steel shot – and isn’t too restrictive for up close shots over decoys.

The reason why improved modified chokes are not popular is that modified choke tubes are usually included with choke sets on new shotguns, so there really isn’t a need for them. Improved modified chokes are popular with reloaders and those that pattern their shotguns regularly since they are always in search of the best patterns and improved modified can be a hidden gem under the right conditions.

What patterns to expect with improved modified

Improved modified provides the best patterns between 40 and 50 yards with steel shot and even further with heavier than lead alternatives. All bird shot pellet sizes and types can be used through an improved modified choke tube.

If you have experience with modified choke tubes, expect your pattern to be slightly tighter with an improved modified. Depending on the shotgun and ammo, the difference may not even be noticeable.

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Improved Modified Choke FAQs

Bottom Line

Improved modified is one of the least popular choke tube sizes mostly because modified is included with choke sets for new shotguns. The measurement of improved modified is 0.695” in diameter for fixed choke 12 gauges.

Duck hunting with an improved modified choke and steel 4 shot is an effective combination out to 35 yards. Improved modified also makes a great long range goose hunting choke with larger steel shot. As with all choke tubes, you should pattern your shotgun to see what choke works best for the distance you will be hunting.

Finally, if you’re wondering which chokes you should switch to for waterfowl, there’s no better place to start than our list of the best waterfowl chokes. Whichever choke you pick, just make sure it fits the choke system on your shotgun.

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