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Ask The Instructor: Dirty Choke Tubes

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

Question: I get a significant amount of plastic residue on the inside of my screw-in choke tubes after a couple of hundred targets. Is there a technique you might recommend to clean the chokes?

Answer: Everyone seems to have his or her favorite chokes and cleaner. For traditional metal/aluminum chokes, I find that soaking them in Slip 2000 for at least 20 minutes and later running a wire brush through them is the most efficient way to clean them. While I have not personally tried them (but have many students and friends that use them), Muller Chokes seem to be a cleaner-performing choke than traditional metal/aluminum chokes. Muller chokes are coated with a proprietary ceramic material similar to Teflon that resists plastic residue or carbon buildup. Muller’s website states, “The proprietary ceramic is blended with a material similar to a non-stick frying pan, only harder, to give an extremely high lubricity factor that will not allow plastic wad or carbon to adhere.”

Plastic residue often builds in the area of the forcing cones as well. The forcing cone is a transitional area of the barrel just past the chamber where the barrel narrows from the width of the chamber to the nominal width of the barrel. This is an area of increased friction between the wad and the interior wall of the barrel and will naturally often collect excess plastic residue from the wad. Whether you’re cleaning residue from the inside of choke tubes or the inside of the shotgun barrel, the best option will be a solvent in combination with a wire brush.

Don Currie is NSCA’s Chief Instructor, an Orvis Wingshooting School instructor, and Master Class competitor. To get free shooting tips and videos, sign up for his monthly newsletter. You can also see more tips from Currie at

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